An ominous black notebook falls from the sky… and the world is forever changed…
How I discovered the book (manga): I watched the anime adaptation of this manga series. Anyone who enjoys anime will almost automatically enjoy Death Note. It blends the quintessential action that audiences love while wrapping it around a complex puzzle of mystery.
What is manga: manga is a Japanese comic book. Unlike most western comic books, the market for manga is aimed at practically everyone, from young kids to adults. There are a variety of genres and subject matter.
Light Yagami, age seventeen, is an ordinary high school student with a high IQ and the promise of a successful and bright future. One problem… he is completely dissatisfied with life. In every corner, he sees crime go completely unpunished as criminals walk the streets without fear of condemnation. On one fateful day, Light sees a black notebook fall from the sky and decides to pick it up. This notebook is no ordinary notebook. It just so happens to be a “Death Note.” Once a name is inscribed in the Death Note, the person bearing that name will die of a heart attack forty seconds later. Terrified and thrilled by this new discovery, Light decides to use the Death Note to anonymously punish criminals and bring justice to the world. However, once Light begins to implement his vision, the police take action. They enlist the world’s best private detective, L, to capture the perpetrator at all costs.
About the Book (Manga)
Title: Death Note –Volume 1- Boredom
Author: Tsugumi Ohba
Art: Takeshi Obata
Series: Death Note (12 volumes in total)
Year Published: 2004
Genre: manga, mystery, young adult, sci-fi, detective
I have to say that this series probably my absolute favorite manga of all time. Not only is it full of action and mystery, it is extremely clever. What I enjoy most about it is its precision. The rules of the Death Note are extremely precise and have an overall impact on the final outcome of the series. All loose ends or all other possible scenarios are tied up nicely and seamlessly. I love it when it is clear that the writer took a lot of time to examine all possible angles. In many detective novels/films/t.v shows there are usually errors. There was never a time when I read Death Note or watched its anime adaptation when I thought this could’ve been much simpler if… Instead, you are most likely to be left wondering: how did the creator think of this?
Not only is the plotline extremely interesting, the characters are as well. Usually most stories forgo intriguing characters in favour of a well-developed plot and vice versa. It is rare that an interesting plot-line and intriguing characters will share the same space. The two main characters L and Light are well-rounded characters with extremely complex thought processes. At times, watching their interactions is like observing a cat and mouse, while it is continuously unclear who is the cat and who is the mouse. The author, meanwhile, continuously provides insight into their thought process and switches seamlessly back and forth while providing the reader only what they need to know.
Most of the story is seen through the perspective of Light Yagami, who is the protagonist of the story (note that I say “protagonist” and not “good guy”). . In most detective stories, the protagonist would be the detective trying to track down the serial killer. Yet, by making Light the protagonist of the story, readers are placed in a position where they must decide for themselves if Light’s actions are right or wrong. Therefore, it becomes difficult to differentiate the bad guy from the good guy (if there is one).
As a person who mainly reads novels, my profound obsession with Death Note came as a bit of a surprise. I had believed that the lack of text and description might be a turn off. However, I now understand that with this genre of story, the art brings out aspects of the story that could never be described with words.
Final rating: A+