Let’s Read: Death Note Volume 1

Creepy, Psychological and Comedic. If these are some characteristics you like in a manga, look no further, because Death Note will be your next favorite.

deathnote1_500Death Note is one of the biggest manga hits internationally, one which has adapted its own anime series of 37 episodes, 3 live-action movies, and even a novel the starts before the main story. There is no doubt that the storyline is one that absorbs its readers into it, and so intense you wouldn’t want to put it down for a second. This piece by Takeshi Obata is definitely a unique one.

The first volume follows student Light Yagami, an up and rising young man, top of his class, perfect grades, and looks and even top in his cram school. He lives with his two loving parents, one being the chief of police, and an adoring little sister. So how could this go wrong? Boredom, that is how. One day he finds a book that he at first writes off as a bad joke. The book states that if a person name is written in the book, they are to die. And of course this would come off as a bad joke, it is not thought possible that such a book exist. Till one night, when bored and curious, Light decides to write a name down as a joke. What is thought of as a joke, turns frightening when Light wakes the next morning to find out the crook whose name he wrote down, and had died of a heart attack. He convinces himself it is just by chance; no way had he killed someone. Till he testes it again, and when a man dies in front of his eyes, the realization sinks in for the young student.

But instead of completely freaking out and getting rid of the book like most would, he wants the book. This is where you see a personality change in the student; Light becomes obsessed with now being the God of the New World. This intrigues the shinigami (Death God) whose book Light has. Being bored himself; Ryuk reveals that he dropped the book into the human world. This slightly crushes Light idea that he was chosen for this job, but never the less, Light still contains his egotistical outlook. With this Light begins killing off criminals one after another, with a wicked grin on his face.

But this is not where the real fun begins, not till the villain meets his opposite. In Death Note, this is L. L is a world known detective, conveyed in mystery. He is the last resort for police, CIA, FBI and so on when a case seems unsolvable. And he proves his talent in a live television broadcast where he out smarts Light, revealing the exact city in Japan KIRA (the name the world has given Light) and challenging him, stating he will be the one that gets him sent away and executed. First seeming stunned, Light quickly accepts this challenge, finding this new life to bring excitement to his normally boring and repetitive lifestyle.

Light begins to test the limit of the book, though L does not go without noticing this, and begins using to isolate who KIRA may be. This again shows his strength as a detective when he centers the investigation of the Head of the Police and The Chief and their family, this includes Light. When Light finally notices he is being followed, he decides to set off a bus seen so to find out who this man is, and to get rid of him.

So who will win? Who would you be rooting for? Read the manga and find out.