Completely bored with his everyday life. Straight A high school student Light Yagumi is about to experience excitement he has never dreamed of. After class, Light comes upon a black book lying on the ground titled Death Note. The user instructions describe if a persons name is written in the book, then that person would die from a heart attack in a certain amount of time.
After testing the book on an armed man during a hostage situation. Light learns that the book is far from a hoax. Now with the new power that was given to him. Light embarks on his one man quest to change the world. His plan is to rid society of all criminals, and make himself the God of the new world.-summary
Hands down the best manga I have read in years, and it's very close to being the best I ever read, which is actually saying a lot, because that top spot has been on lock down by Akira for at least a decade. When I first heard of Death Note. I honestly thought that the anime world was over hyping another series, and were praising it from a delusional point of view. Therefore, I came into this one with low expectations. However, I am glad to report that Death Note exceeded my expectations, and I been on the bandwagon ever since. I can come into this series at any time to relive the experience. This is now my third time going through the 12 book manga series. While I saw the anime series five times.
Written by Tsugumi Ohba with the artwork delivered by Takeshi Obata. Death Note is a suspense thriller, which utilizes its characters and dark themes, to deliver a thought provoking and very entertaining experience. The series plays on the morality of man to a point where it can be down right scary. Usually, when I'm done reading or watching the series. I begin to wonder what are really peoples thoughts on the so called menaces to society. Death Note works really well in regards to playing on the silent feelings of people. Once the plot begins and the stage is set, the story never seems to let up. The writing will keep most readers on the edge, and the story development is exceptionally done, by delivering small bits at a time.
The character development is very strong and begins almost immediately. Light really doesn't appear to be an evil person. Instead, more of a misguided one, who believes that the path he has chosen is correct. Light spends his days filling up the Death Note, with the names of criminals until the police become involved. The police soon introduce their trump card, which happens to be the super detective known only as L. He's a very intelligent man who only takes on the toughest cases while working in constant secrecy. This begins a game of wits between Light and L, which puts the losers life at stake.
The interactions between Light and L are the biggest attraction. The battle of wits is where the writing in this first book truly stands out. This is a battle between two geniuses, who are using the best guess work I have ever seen in anything. The tension only continues to build, with the goal being both combatants trying to learn the others identity.
Another character by the name of Ryuk is almost as captivating as both L and Light. Ryuk happens to be a a God of Death called a Shinagami. He's the original owner of the Death Note, and he dropped the book in the human world only for entertainment purposes. His mission is to hang around Light until he gives up ownership of the book or dies. He also adds to the overall suspense factor as well, especially, since he holds allegiance to no one.
Although Light appears to be an anti-hero. He does in fact take steps that crosses very closely into the realm of being a full fledged villain. However, this is where the real debate in his character and motivation begins. During one segment of the story, Light does conduct test runs on criminals. This may be wrong in the eyes of a civilized society, but since the victims are convicted murderers. Then could it be possible they're only getting what they deserve? This is one of the nagging points in the series, that can even question the readers humanity. Who knows? Perhaps after reading Death Note, an individual could probably learn a little bit more about themselves. The suspense in the series is no doubt the selling point, and any more mention of the plot would result in big spoilers.
The artwork is also well done, with some variety between the character designs. Some of the death scenes are rather graphic and are quite disturbing. One of the features of the book worth noting would be the panel by panel format. Some manga are so clumsily put together, that the dialogue bubbles can sometimes seem misplaced, and when multiple characters are on a page, it's sometimes difficult to tell who is talking. This clearly isn't the case here. The attention to detail is rather sharp, and I had no trouble distinguishing who was actually talking.
My only problem with the manga series is being spoiled by the anime(especially) and the live action films. The manga is very good indeed, but I think the drama is delivered better on the screen, due to the excellent voice acting of the anime, and very good acting in the films. Another problem is the open ending, because it makes the next volume mandatory. Still, the manga in my view is very good reading, and I recommend Death Note to those who enjoy very good thrillers with ample story, character development, and plenty of suspense. Death Note is 193 pages, and is broken into 7 chapters.
-Very interesting main characters, thought provoking themes, well written, very good artwork, suspense
-The reading experience is not as great as watching it during the beginning.
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Death Note (デスノート, Desu Nōto?) is a Japanese manga series created by writer Tsugumi Ohba and manga artist Takeshi Obata. The series centers on Light Yagami, a university student who discovers a supernatural notebook, the "Death Note", dropped on Earth by a shinigami (death god) named Ryuk. The Death Note grants its user the ability to kill anyone whose face they have seen, by writing the victim's name in the notebook. The story follows Light's attempt to create and rule a world cleansed of evil using the notebook, and the complex conflict between him, his opponents and a mysterious detective known to the world only as L.
Death Note was first serialized in 108 chapters by Shueisha in the Japanese manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 2003 to May 2006. The series was also published in tankōbon format in Japan starting in May 2004 and ending in October 2006 with a total of twelve volumes. The series was adapted into live-action films released in Japan on June 17, 2006, on November 3, 2006, and on February 2, 2008. The anime series aired in Japan from October 3, 2006, to June 26, 2007. Composed of 37 episodes, the anime was developed by Madhouse and directed by Tetsuro Araki. A light novel based on the series, written by Nisio Isin, was released in Japan. Additionally, various video games have been published by Konami for Nintendo DS.
Viz Media licensed the Death Note manga in North America and has published all the twelve volumes from the series as...