by Tsugumi Ōba; Takeshi Obata; Pookie trl Rolf book_printbook : Fiction : Juvenile audience  |  Shonen Jump advanced graphic novel ed
An awesome manga series!   (2008-11-24)
Light Yagami is a serious straight-A student from Japan with great prospects. Ryuk is a shinigami, a death god, with nothing but time on his hands. Both Light and Ryuk are bored with their worlds. Then Light finds Ryuk's Death Note, a notebook with the power to kill anyone who's name is written within. Of course, there are rules that must be obeyed when using the Death Note. But Light sees it as a tool that he can use to create a utopia, ridding the world of criminal, and he can rule over it. Ryuk sees a chance to be entertained. When criminals begin to mysteriously die all over the world, the police and the enigmatic detective L begin searching for the killer, dubbed by the media as Kira.
This is the first volume of Death Note, and it gets the ball rolling quickly. Light is a chilling character. He honestly believes that what he's doing will make the world a better place and, though he first struggles with the powers of the Death Note, he quickly becomes corrupted by its power. Light sees the world in terms of black and white. Ryuk provides commentary and reflection on Light's actions (an interesting role for a death god), acting as a sort of chorus. He sometimes fills in the gaps between Light's plots and how they play out in the manga.
If there's anything I don't care for in Death Note, it's Light's incredible intellect. Yes, it's established that he's a genius and has amazing analytical skills. However, nothing seems to catch him off-guard. Even when Ryuk presents him with information he couldn't have possibly guessed about the Death Note, we only see Light briefly sweat it out and then just shrug the shock off. Light is still a teen and, even though he's confident and believe himself to be righteous, I'd think he'd be a little more flustered at times.
However, the story line is very interesting, raising questions about abuse of power and right and wrong. The artwork is incredible. You become more comfortable looking at the shinigami, who are very open about what they are, instead of Light, who goes from sweet and optimistic to manic.
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