Monday, 14 May 2012

Death Note manga review

The Japanese cover of book 1
Beginning note

I'll start off by saying that this is the first manga I read all the way to the end. The first manga I actually read a bit of was Fruits Basket, but I just couldn't get hold of the books. The girl that runs the local comic book store recommended that I read Death Note, so I did. And I am kinda glad I did. Now, I'm going to try and make this review have as few spoilers as possible, but I will do a very brief introduction.

Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata is a manga series that ran from 2003 to 2006 in Japan's Weekly Sh┼Źnen Jump magazine. The plot revolves around Light Yagami, who finds a Death Note and decides to use it to kill criminals for the greater good. The manga contains a few rivals to Light and he does pretty well against them. I won't go on in case I spoil the ending.

The review

This twelve-book series has entertained many people within many countries. It shows the darker side of the human soul- showing what merciless creatures humans can be when they think they are doing what is best for others. Within the series, there is also the use of manipulation as a plot device. Misa, for example, is manipulated by Light to try and kill L. There is also manipulation by L of the taskforce to try and worm out Kira. Later in the series, the story becomes entwined with the idea of Light having a relationship. A man who believes Light is God is glad to do God's work, but this ends up helping his adversaries.
Personally, I did enjoy the art and the story. I preferred the way the story went to the way that the original pilot chapter was laid out. However, I think that some people will be disappointed by the manga if they watched the anime or films first. I personally feel that this is the strongest of the three forms of Death Note, but there was the need for the films in order to condense the story and alter it slightly. 
Overall, I would give Death Note a 10/10 for art, 7/10 for characters and 9/10 for plot-line, The art is simple but beautiful and different for every single character. Unfortunately, there are some characters I feel that are underdeveloped in the manga and die before we can get to like them. The plot-line is good, but not only do I dislike the way it ends but there is also a severe lack of reasons behind the deaths of certain characters, or lack of response to these deaths by the plot.


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