Saturday, October 20, 2007

Death Note

Story by Ooba Tsugumi
Art by Obata Takeshi (The mangaka of Hikaru no Go)

Story & Characters

In short, the story, as already said, is mainly about a notebook which is a tool of the gods of death to, as the name of the notebook already says, causes death in people. This book falls into the hands of a high school student, who has his own idea of an ideal world. However in his journey of achieving it, he faces powerful adversaries who try to stop him from reaching his ideals, or tries to take the note. I shall stop here in case i provide too many spoilers.

The story is very deep, with well-created characters with unique personalities. The thing i like about this book is that the characters are all very human like (apart from their unbelievably strong analytical thinking) and each of them have a unique personality.

Light, the main character, for example, is illustrated to give a very clear image of a high-school genius who has surpassed most of his peers' academic abilities, and is bored with his routine life, and yearning for something new. He also gives us an image of a person who will go the distance to get to his ideals (why not, since he has the ability to kill).

even Ryukuu and Remu, the gods of death in the story, are given well-described personalities, and the gods of death are different themselves. Indeed it is a great addition to the already deep human characters.

The story by itself, is also full of twists and turns. Frankly, i myself have not completed the manga, but the story is such that one will never expect what will happen, except that he/she will expect that whatever that happens will be unexpected. The prospect that anyone will suddenly die also will lead a reader to be very much interested in the book, and will yearn for the next book after the current one. The twists in this story is so unexpected that, somewhere in the story, the reader faces an almost complete change of characters and roles. Indeed, the plot-thinking skills of Tsugumi Ooba cannot be under-estimated. The only bad thing is that, somewhere the changes are so sudden that i myself have no idea how the writer is going to end his story.
Great plot indeed. i give it a 10.

10 (excellent)


The characters are rather lifelike as compared to other artists like clamp, where everyone looks almost the same. Not that i do not like stuff by clamp, but the art of deathnote is indeed very well drawn.

Characters also have faces which match their personality and backgrounds. The image of Light for example, being of a respectful, middle-class, background, gives the air of a gentleman. Misa, being a young and innocent girl is also depicted very well, with her blonde hair(or white in the manga) and large eyes, is exactly what you expect to see while viewing a teen idol.

The gods of death are also drawn very well. They are in no way pretty nor handsome, but pretty much the opposite. They are scary looking, with tentacles as hair, sharp teeth and sometimes rotting parts of bodies. However it really gives one the image of a 'god-of-death'. The realism in the art shows us that indeed, there is ugliness in the world, and this realism really fits in well with the dark story.

Expressions are also very well depicted. Expressions of shock, hopelessness, and agony are common in this story, and all of them are very well drawn, and kind of makes the readers feel exactly what they are feeling too.

Settings in the story are well drawn too. say, in a certain room, much attention is given to the details, such as the stuff on a table, being well arranged or messy. Indeed takeshi obatataks much pride in his work, and gives absolutely no nonsense. There are not much action scenes however, so theres actually not much chance for the artist to show off his skills in drawing such scenes.

8 (good)


haha there is obviously no sound, as already said this is a manga review. I shall just review on the dialogues.

The dialogue takes up pretty much of the manga, as this is mainly a story about a person's mind and his ways to achieve what he wants. This can be a good thing as it makes each book worth its money(since the reader takes so much time to read the dialogue). However the dialogue may be a bit too much for some people and they may deem it boring. I myself slept while reading book 1 halfway, not because it is boring, but rather i got tired from reading the large amount of words in the book.

The thing i like best about the dialogue is that, there are NO STUPiD CaTch phrases. Characters in the book talk and think like normal people, which is a very very good thing...

7 (above average)


Overall a very nice presentation, totally worth it.

The only bad thing was jus that there are too many words in the book. Not that it is anyone's fault, as the words are necessary to tell the story well. This happens in the chinese version of the comic, at least.
The presentation of the comic itself is clear cut, and different situations, for example flashbacks are well represented by a black border.

Desperate situations, scenes of suspense, etc are also very well presented, and in such a way that the reader may realise his heart is beating quickly and his hands are starting to swear(at least in my case).

Though this is mainly a serious story, there are few times of humour, not too few such that the book will be boring and droning, but also not too much as to make this story a complete joke. The use of humour in places are certainly appropriate, as it does lift up the readers' spirits in the process of reading such a suspense-filled story.

In conclusion, it is a very good mangas that teenagers and certain adults will enjoy. It is indeed a good read.

9 (very good)

Final Verdict

8.83 (very good)

This manga review was taken from here

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