Sunday, January 20, 2013

Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata

Title: Death Note
Authors: Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata

Published: October 2005 by VIZ Media LLC
Genre: Manga, shounen, seinen, crime investigation
Reviewer: Hannah

Summary:

Light Yagami is a normal high school student, living a normal high school life. That is, until a Shinigami--a god of death--drops the Death Note into the human realm. The Death Note is a supernatural notebook with the power to kill anyone by merely writing their name into it.

Upon finding the Death Note, Light decides to leave behind his usual monotonous routine and become Kira, an all-powerful killer doling out judgment on criminals. 

All seems perfect: fear is instilled into the world's population as the otherworldly executioner Kira is made known, therefore persuading people to do good. There's no chance that Light's family will ever discover his secret alternate identity as Kira. But when world-renowned detective L is added into the mix--and hot on Light's tail--how long will it be before Kira is unmasked? 

Review:

Alright, so I just finished volume 8 of this downright AMAZING manga series. And I have one thing to say:

Read it.

O hail ye, great, powerful, and wise Ohba! This man, who conjured up the incredible story of Death Note, is amazingly talented. He thinks everything through. Without spoiling too much, basically the main character Light is a paranoid, narcissistic psychopath............

........Yeah.

But it is never stated outright that he is. Instead of Ohba telling us, "Light's a psychopath," he shows us. He demonstrates Light's alternative thought process so well, Ohba just may be a psychopath himself. And I mean that in a good way.

Okay, so you know in some books you've read, the author wants to include something that they don't have much knowledge or experience of, so they just skimp on the details? For example, "Joe quickly and masterfully assembled a makeshift radio to..." Well, I made that up, but you know what I mean? I don't blame the authors for having limited knowledge of certain things; but I will say I have an immense respect for authors who take the time to thoroughly research every aspect of the event/action they are portraying. Ohba certainly did that here. My GOSH, did he. 

And the artwork: I have to squeeze in a mention of the beautiful artwork done by Takeshi Obata. It's detailed without being cluttered. I love it. 

This manga is so well-written and well-done; it's intelligent, thought-provoking, and fascinating. To say I'm impressed would be an understatement. I'm baffled. Flabbergasted. Uncomprehendingly stunned. (And now I'm building it up too much...). Hands down: read it. 

-Hannah 

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