Title:Death Note, Vol. 1: Boredom
By: Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata (Illustrator)
Published: September 2006
Length: 195 pages
First of all I’d like to apologise for not posting this review sooner, I’ve actually finished reading Death Note Vol. 1 quite a while ago! I just started watching Outlander, and that kind of distracted me, because I’m kind of obsessed with it! I know I should’ve probably read the books first but I just couldn’t wait… So, Death Note…
I actually haven’t read a huge amount of Manga but this had been recommended to me quite a bit by a persistent friend! So I thought I’d take a bit of a break from reading novels and try a Manga. IT WAS SO GOOD! Initially the concept is what caught my attention, I’d never read anything that was a based on a premise even similar to this! Here’s the synopsis: (Taken 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, a 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?
Light tests the boundaries of the Death Note’s powers as L and the police begin to close in. Luckily Light’s father is the head of the Japanese National Police Agency and leaves vital information about the case lying around the house. With access to his father’s files, Light can keep one step ahead of the authorities. But who is the strange man following him, and how can Light guard against enemies whose names he doesn’t know?’
If that doesn’t drag you in I really don’t know what will! From the synopsis I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up, there were a lot of concepts that were really bizarre. But throughout this volume we slowly find out a little more about the Shinigami and concept of the Death Note. At each chapter we are introduced to new rules of using this Death Note that were relevant to the previous chapter, so in other words they revealed enough to keep the reader engaged. However they also withheld enough to create a mysterious environment that keeps you flipping through ‘til the very end! This volume was also able to maintain an intense and actually quite sinister/creepy atmosphere throughout.
Characters: Our main character Light initially rejects the idea of using the Death Note and actually thinks that it’s a bit of a myth! Only after he’s actually used it does he begin to believe that maybe this isn’t absolute garbage… I think we’ve all come across a fictional character like Light, carrying out an action with good intentions, to rid the world of evil in his case. But it also raised the question, who gives him the right to control their lives, regardless of their crimes. Throughout this volume we see Light getting to grips with this notion and trying to convince himself that he’s not a monster. I enjoyed that we had a more complex main character, and that we were able to see his struggles for justifying his actions. We also see a little bit of a development of his character in this volume but as this is only the first the development is quite minimal.
As this is the first volume, other than talking about the characters and general concept I don’t really have much more to comment on. I do know that this is definitely a series I’m going to continue and I actually think it lives up to the hype it receives. With a great art style and an easy to follow layout, I would pretty much recommend this to anyone! I have watched the first two episodes of the anime and I think it’s actually a little creepier than the manga. It’s a bit of a unique concept but the first volume really helps set the tone and provide a foundation for the series to come! Have you read Death Note? Let me know what you thought in the comments!