Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and Illustrated by Takeshi Obata

Publication Date: January 1st 2001
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Format: Paperback
Page Count: Vol 1-4
Synopsis: Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects – and he’s bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami, a death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal…or his life?


I am going to apologize in advance because this review is probably not going to make any sense and all I do is ramble. 

This is for Vol. 1-4

This is a weird, confusing, amazing manga series.

I really like the premise of this story. A Shinigami drops a death note, a boy picks it up, discovers what it is, then uses it to eliminate the criminal race. There are a lot of rules when using the Death Note, but it was explained clearly.

You follow two protagonists (or 1 protagonist and 1 antagonist or 2 antagonist depending on how you see it). Both Light and “L” are likable characters. They are likable because you end up cheering for both sides but also unlikable because you begin to favor one side(it’s quite confusing honestly). You favor Light because you see his perspective first and grow an understanding of him on what  he is trying to accomplish. But then you also begin to favor “L”  because he is adorable, brilliant, and works for the police. You will constantly switch sides because it’s difficult to choose.

This manga is not only an entertaining read; it’s thought provoking. It forces us contemplate whether  being or acting as a vigilante is a good thing. I mean, its eliminating the anarchy and the immorality in the world. In the series, it stated that because of Kira,or Light, Japan’s criminal activity decreased. However, with what price? Like Voltaire once said “with great power comes great responsibility.” But the manga series progresses, Light begins to know how much power he is truly responsible for. As Light struggles to keep his identity safe, he begins to want to Kill “L” (the best private detective ever) because he is the threat. “L” did nothing wrong.. He’s not a criminal. He’s just a private investigator trying to solve a murder case. In this case, he’s no longer just a vigilante….he’s a God. If you defy any god, you face a consequences. Just like in “L” and Light’s situation.

And I like the cat and mouse angle. One is always chasing the other, but misses by a heartbeat. I also like how they both have brilliant minds, and it was interesting how they contemplate each and every detail, which makes this book epic and unpredictable.

I also will add that it’s quite humorous at times. The conversations with Light and his Shinigami, Ryuk (when the Death God dropped the death note, light picked it up thus making that God be stuck with him all times) made me laugh a couple times, especially the Death God’s love with red apples(you probably won’t even know what I am saying but reeaaaddd it because you will when you do).

This manga series so far has been a rollercoaster. It’s mindbogglingly, shocking, fantastic and I know I said this already but epic.

Go read it…or watch the anime on Netflix!


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