- Title: Death Note
- Author : Tsugumi Ohba
- Illustrator: Takeshi Obata
- Series: Death Note series total of 12 Volumes
- Genre: Manga
- Available in the library: Yes – Black Edition 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 (Volumes 1-12)
- Rating: 9/10 – Read it. Go. NOW
- Reserve a copy
Review by Karune Walker
Overview: As a manga fan, old or new, you are guaranteed to hear about one manga series. That is Death Note and it deserves the hype that constantly surrounds it. Why? Brilliant characters (albeit one) in a brilliant story that constantly keeps you wondering what is going to happen next. It’s pacing makes it easier and more enjoyable to read as it’s not too slow but not fast either, which suits this specific manga, as you would need some time to absorb what in the world just happened. Basically it’s like CSI, but more awesome.
Written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata, this detective and psychological thriller is set in modern Japan and follows the story of Light Yagami, a high school student genius who despises the world he lives in because of all the evil that exists. One day he finds the Death Note, a notebook which will kill a person if their name is written inside it. With this power, Light decides to make the world a better place by killing all the worlds’ criminals at the cost of having the world’s law enforcement agencies combine in order to stop him. With the police and the mysterious detective L after him, Light must outwit and outsmart them in order to create his perfect world.
Characters: Thankfully, there is a small set of characters in Death Note (compared to most manga), allowing me to cover all the relevant ones.
Light Yagami – As well as being a high school prodigy, Light is also very athletic, charming and hardworking. He has overwhelming confidence and believes that he is always right. Light firmly believes that the world is corrupted and evil, with justice not able to prevail. When he discovers the Death Note, he takes the responsibility of cleansing the world by killing all the world’s criminals in order to create a utopia.
L – L is a detective who is determined to track down and stop Light. Similar to Light, L is a genius and has a strong confidence in his detective abilities but he is occasionally socially awkward when around others. He has a strong infatuation with cake, loves to walk around barefooted and has a habit of sitting with both feet on his chair. Probably the most awesome character ever developed. But that’s just my opinion.
Misa Amane – And then we have one of the most annoying characters in the history of characters. Period. Saying anymore may be spoiling parts of the story so I’ll just say she is extremely annoying. Misa is a rising model and has an unhealthy obsession with Light. She has copious amounts of energy and is constantly hyperactive. Misa is oblivious to many events in her life even though she is very outgoing and popular socially.
Ryuk – A shinigami or “God of Death” in Japanese, Ryuk is the original owner of Light’s Death Note. Because of this, Ryuk decides to
follow Light and observe him cleanse the world of all evil. On a side note, he his addicted to apples and shy around girls.
Art Style and Visuals: Simply put, Death Note looks absolutely amazing in most areas. The character designs ditch the typical anime style and look more realistic, with heavy emphasis on the facial expressions of characters. This not only does seeing character reactions to certain situations make the manga more interesting but these reactions also tell us just how serious one of these situations actually is, making the story more gripping. Background wise, the city of Tokyo does sometimes look a little dull and bland which just takes away from the experience. Detail was given to rooms and apartments though, the predominate setting, so at least that makes up for a bland Tokyo. Overall Takeshi Obata has done a stellar job with the artistic side of Death Note.
The Verdict: Death Note is amazing on almost every level. The story is intense and just keeps dragging you in, not making you want to stop, unless you have some homework…then do that first. The characters are very relatable to the average everyday person (except Ryuk) and they drive the story along. Artistically, the manga is brilliant and it shows. But not everything is perfect sadly. The dull and blandness of Tokyo that shows itself is just too hard to ignore (for me at least) and then…there’s Misa. But compared to the positives, these are easily forgettable for most readers. I recommend Death Note for every manga fan. This is a must read and should not be put off
Out of 10, I rate Death Note: 9/10 – Read it. Go. NOW
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