Aki18's Death Note Manga Review

Death Note

Death Note manga Review

Story by Ooba Tsugumi; art by Obata Takeshi (The mangaka of Hikaru no Go).

The human world is rotting. The gods of death are bored.

Death Note begins when the shinigami Ryuk 'accidentally' drops his death note in the human world. It is discovered by 17-year-old academic genius Light Yagami, who decides that he wishes to create a world free of evil. To what extremes will he go, only needing a name and a face to kill? Or rather...how will he be stopped?

Story & Playability

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 humanlike(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 Ryuk and Remu, the gods of death in the story, are given well-described personalities, and the gods of death are diferent 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 Ohba 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.

Rating: 10


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.

Rating: 8


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...

Rating: 7


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.

Rating: 9

Final Verdict

8.83 (very good)

Reviewed by Aki18, Dec 26, 2005


  1. albelofthe21stcentury Dec 26, 2005

    Wow, that sounds like a good investment of time. I think I'll consider buying them.

    merged: 12-27-2005 ~ 03:01am
    Oh, and a great review, I can tell you put much thought into it's production. X)

  2. aura- Dec 26, 2005

    I love Deathnote! The art is good and it totally deserves a 8.83! You did a really good job reviewing it!

  3. audishah Dec 28, 2005

    death note is great!should try n read it!

  4. freezingsaphire Dec 28, 2005

    yeah, death note is amazing, both the artwork and the plot, great review!

  5. ManakaNo-Baka Jan 02, 2006

    Death NOTe is Awsome! is it that scary? one of my friend read it from my Shonen Jump..then she got scared..she said it was scary..Da art is Really Good! it does deserve 8.83 you know ^_^

  6. ueon Mute Member Jan 05, 2006

    death note is soo good, i might be getting vol 1 and 2 soon. must own it....

  7. azndragonz Jan 11, 2006

    ^^ Deathnote is not that scary....personally, i don't think it's that scary *i'm not a horror-liking person...i hate horror stuff* ..but it could be different for u...

    nice review without spoiling the manga for everybody...lol...just curious, when writing the review, didn't u want to tell everybody EVERYTHING about Death Note?..lol..it's just that great...

    anyways...yeah i've read up to Chapter 92...

    just to let u know, u can get this manga on the internet...if anybody is interested in reading the scanlations becasue they can't buy manga or if they want a preview, PM me and i'll send u the link

    but yeah, still support the manga industry by buying it....

  8. Aki18 Jan 15, 2006

    ^ mt's rules sayd clearly... no spoilers... anyway i really dun wan to spoil anything for the aspiring reader... because the story is what most people read the book for.

  9. azndragonz Jan 17, 2006

    ^ lol...i know..rules are rules...but did u have the urge to tell everbody about everything about Death Note..tha'ts my question...lol..

  10. almina Jan 18, 2006

    I think it's a really clever story (by a new author) supported by a great artist.

    But there are moments where I'm not that enthousiastic about it. By example just after the first chapter I want to buy the manga, but now I'm ok with the idea of letting my sister buying it. -_-

  11. zazuge Feb 14, 2006

    Yeah i think DeathNote is the best manga ever
    it can be considered as a seinen (since teens ,won't find it brain entertainning)
    ,Hail Kira-sama!

  12. Keya Apr 24, 2006

    I LOVE DEATH NOTE! Its the bestest! lol, L is so the coolest, I love the way he sits, lol, its so cute! ^^

  13. Countess-D May 29, 2006

    Just an 8? Come on! this manga deserves at the very least a 9! I have never been so adicted to a plot ever since...ver since...I get this is the first one O_o...

    The characters are just amazing! one can hate them and love them at the same time, plus it really remarks on how cool it is to be smart! Raito's brain is just sexy xD

    I can't wait for the upcoming movie and I think I heard there was going to be an anime. How cool is that? I just hope its quality is as good as the one in the manga!

  14. kctvsam3667 Oct 22, 2006

    death note is indeed a very awsome manga. im at around chapter 78. Very nice.. the way they solve the case is great ^^

  15. mechanical-angel Oct 31, 2006

    death note is awesome! lol.
    the plot is fantastic. ^^
    i'm until book 11.
    i agree that the chinese ver was very wordy. [i read the singaporean ver.] i was sure my chinese improved by the end of book 1!
    great review ^^

  16. Aucifel Jan 14, 2007

    Deathnote is fantastic.
    until L's death,the story is perfect
    i love lightyagami and L
    and this review is really good

  17. Sanisa Sep 21, 2009

    Cool review

  18. angelxxuan Banned Member May 23, 2012

    nice review, the manga is entirely different from the anime and live action movies, this is one of the few manga I can actually admit to reading and enjoying greatly and would own if I had the time and place to put manga.

  19. YHE Jan 21, 2014

    Death note is really awesome, it is my favorite. And you're right it has a good manga style they are very well drawn. The characters are also drawn great. (anyway the anime series is also great they dubbed it really good, with great background music and sounds). And great review.

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