Review: Death Note

Death Note is an intelligent tale about a Japanese student, Light, who finds a notebook dropped by a shinigami (demon). According to the rules, whoever holds the notebook is given the power to cause the death of anyone who is written in it as long as he/she can picture the face of the victim. If circumstances are not written in the book, the victim will simply pass away from a heart attack. If the circumstances of the death are written in, the victim will die exactly how it is written. Just like all magical tools of the underworld, Light learns to be careful what he wishes for. When Light writes his first circumstances in, he is not specific enough and causes injury to innocents involved in the accident.

Things get tricky when special agent “L” is assigned to figure out who is mysteriously killing criminals. How is the culprit sneaking into jail cells without detection? Is someone drugging the criminal’s food?

Light, who starts as a superhero trying to rid the world of the worst criminals in jail, begins to turn evil as he kills people who may find him out and begins calling himself by the name “Kira” who is some kind of savior in the minds of Japanese citizens. It appears, though I haven’t read the other volumes yet, that the book is slowly eating away at his soul. Perhaps it’s the act of killing that is destroying his good nature or maybe the power of killing is turning him into a monster. Whatever the cause, Light—or Kira, allows the lines of justice to be blurred when he feels he may be found out.

His conversations with the shinigami, the demon who lost the death note, are entertaining. The demon in this story pretty much sits back and watches the destruction caused to this noble teen by his greed for justice. The shinigami’s explanation of hell and how the demons are all bored of using the Death Note is interesting.

I found this manga appealing and though the art is not traditional Goth-Lolita with the big dresses and curls, I found it beautiful nonetheless. The shinigami’s and their world are done in intricate drawings opposed to the straight lines of the human world. Excellent concept and I look forward to reading the other volumes that are out.

I’ve just recently heard of a Death Note movie. I haven’t been able to find too much about it except that there were two Death Note movies released in 2006 in Japan.
The posters for these films are very exciting.
Per Wikipedia, North American release for Death Note: The Last Name is slated for release in American theaters for two nights only, October 15th and 16th, 2008. A DVD release will soon follow. I also saw at a Death Note movie quoting a release date of 2010. Perhaps an american remake?

Get your copy of the Manga here

For more information on the Death Note manga, anime, and live action movie, visit these sites:

Official Death Note Website

Death Note Movie at Wikipedia

Death Note Anime TV

Death Note Movie Trailer (In Japanese)

Death Note 2: The Last Name Trailer (with English subtitles)