One day, in the Realm of the Shinigami (death gods), listless Ryuk decides to have a little fun by visiting the human world. There, he drops his Death Note for a human to find. The recipient? Equally bored genius high school student Light Yagami.
After perusing the instructions contained within, he finds that, with a few stipulations, it’s a tool that will allow him to kill anyone simply by writing their name down! He tests this newfound tool, and, after overcoming his initial shock at what he’s just done, he comes to a decision—he will use the Death Note to create a paradise, ridding society of what he views as its worst scum!
Most shonen series have a protagonist that’s trying to do something good in their world, or are on a quest to find something that changes them along the way. While Death Note's Light bears some similarities in regard to his ultimate goal, the way in which he goes about attaining that goal sets him apart from the main characters of most shonen manga.
Early on in Death Note, Light pulls off a few complex maneuvers to get firsthand experience of how the book works. As the story progresses, other characters come up with schemes to further their own goals as well, either to catch Light or to aid him. If you’ve ever seen a talented magician perform, you’ve probably wondered how they can pull off such skillful illusions. And if you ever heard the secret behind one of those tricks, you might be a little let down at its simplicity. But Death Note never has that problem—anytime one of the many twists is explained, the breakdown is always satisfying and, as the series gets more complex, gives you a deeper appreciation for the many balls writer Tsugumi Ohba is constantly juggling.
Going into any more detail about the story would only take the fun away of the many shocks you’ll get from reading Death Note, so check it out for yourself and get ready to be thrilled!
The intricately woven tale of Death Note is on sale now from Viz!
by Stephan Massih
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