Friday, April 11, 2014

Review: Death Note Vol. 1 by Tsugumi Ohba

Death Note Vol. 1 manga review by The Wayback List
Title: Death Note Vol. 1
Author: Tsugumi Ohba (Translated by: Pookie Rolf)
Illustrator: Takeshi Obata
Rating: ****
ISBN: 1-4215-0168-6
Publisher: VIZ Media, LLC
Genre: Young Adult - Fiction - Manga - Urban Fantasy - Supernatural - Horror
Source: Library

Summary: From Goodreads: "Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects - and he's bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal...or his life?

Thoughts: I have watched a good number of the episodes of the televised version of this manga, but the friend that I normally watch them with is busy right now, so I decided I would pick up the manga to read. (They are almost identical to one another so far.)

Death Note deals with a lot of dark themes and huge questions. Is what Light is doing with the Death Note right because of the nature of the people he is going after? Is he merely being seduced to think that it is right by the nature of the Death Note? Will L catch him or will he eventually get away with it?

This book constantly has your questioning your beliefs and opinions on so many things. It is incredibly suspenseful and very fast paced. I should have known better than to only bring the first volume home from the library because now that I remember the story, I want to hurry through to the end. I have a feeling my next library haul will be incredibly massive.

The characters are very well written, and the translation seems good. It's a little jarring to read the manga from right to left since I don't make a habit of reading much of this genre, but after several pages I settled in to a pace and grew accustomed to it.

I would recommend this book for thinkers. The "horror" elements to this book are more psychologically terrifying than the illustrations are gruesome. Light and L make great opponents - each trying to discover the other before they are discovered themselves. The battle is intense so far, and I can only assume it will get more insane before the end.

Do you have a favorite manga series?

- Faye

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