Joe and Jenny recommend: Death Note
This week we’ve decided to review the well-known series Death Note. The story follows Light Yagami, a brilliant high school student who is bored with the monotony of his everyday life. One day he comes across a black notebook left on the grass outside his school. Written on the front of the cover is ‘Death Note’ hence the title of the manga. Light finds a list of rules inside on how to use the Death Note, which claims to cause death to any person whose name is written inside, and at first believes it’s a joke but then to satisfy his own curiosity he writes a criminal’s name inside and that person dies of a heart attack. Light then takes it upon himself to become a ‘god’ of justice under the name of Kira and aims to punish those who he deems are criminals. This causes the police force to investigate these mysterious deaths and this attracts the attention of the mysterious detective L who makes it his mission to capture Kira and a battle of morality and wits is set between the two.
Joe’s Opinion: This is one of my favourite series as it has such an original storyline that doesn’t rely solely on battles and fight sequences to keep the reader glued to the page. The rivalry between L and Light is very intense and you are dying to see who will finally outwit the other person. The shinigami that originally have the death notes are more in the background than most of the characters but their actions do have significant changes to what happens. This leads me to my favourite character Ryuk. Even though his death note is in Lights possession he refuses to help and is quite indifferent to the situations that Light causes but to me this makes him quite a humorous character in parts of the series.
Jenny’s Opinion: This series is by far one of the cleverest series I’ve ever read and I love how all the battles take place on an intellectual level rather than physical conflict. It also constantly raises interesting questions about morality and you find yourself both sympathetic and repulsed by each characters’ reasoning and motivations at various points throughout the series, without there ever being a clear division into ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’. With this series, I couldn’t possibly chose a favourite character as every character is so complex and multi-layered that they are all individually fascinating, although I do find the Shinigami characters of Ryuk and Rem to be particularly interesting and at times quite funny.
We give this series 5 out of 5 apples! (Yum)
If you like this series we reccomend reading Bakuman by the same authors, which you can reserve on the Swindon Libraries catalogue for free.
Next month we will review the manga series; Blue Exorcist.
Fact From Kitty
Did you know…that despite the Death Note manga only being twelve volumes long it has been adapted into an anime, light novels, video games and a series of live action movies due to its popularity!
[Jenny and Joe work at the Central Library and they LOVE manga and anime! They are going to share their favourite books and films on the Swindon Libraries blog, so watch this space for more great reviews in coming months! ]