Philosophy via manga.
Hey! I see you over there rolling your eyes! 'Another excuse to inflict your fannish ramblings on us.' I hear you saying it. I do. And you may be a little right. Maybe. But there really is an interesting moral/philosophical idea contained herein.
Here's a general idea of the manga/anime/live movies:
A high school student (whose father is a cop) comes across a black notebook. The notebook was dropped by a shinigami named Ryuk. The shinigami are gods of death. How it works is they write your name in their books and you die. There's more to it, but for the purposes of this post, that's it. I don't want to give away the whole plot. If you want to know all the details, check the wikipedia.
Light (our high school student) can now see Ryuk and hear him, because he has possession of Ryuks notebooks (the Death Note). Ryuk explains what it does, and this gives Light ideas.
He can use the Death Note to clean up the world. Execute criminals for their crimes. And that's what he starts to do. He watches the news, reads reports, etc. and writes criminals' names down and they drop dead. Light also creates an alter ego named Kira who explains what he's doing to the world. People become divided - some believe that Kira is a savior, others that he's a monster. The police start searching for him, and it gets more complicated from there.
The thing is this: Light/Kira starts out with good intentions. He wants to stop people from doing evil and make the world a better place. And at the end he winds up being just as bad (if not worse) as the people that he started out to stop.
So my question(s) are this:
What would you do with that sort of power? Would you use it? Would you drop it (because that was always an option)? Was Light always corrupt? Or did the Note corrupt him?
It's always been an interesting question. If you had the power to remake the world, would you do it?