Death Note Vol. 1, by Tsugumi Ohba

My first manga! I’m growing up so fast!

So I had to read a manga for my YA class, and I was like… hmm. I know nothing about manga, except that sometimes it becomes movies or TV shows. Conveniently, my dear husband watches many of those movies and TV shows, and so when I showed him the list I had to choose from, he was like, “I’ve seen this… and this… and this… and this…” Delightful! And, being married to me, he sort of knows what I like, so he picked a couple and gave me a brief overview. A tough choice later, I ended up with Death Note.

At first, I was like, “Ohhhhhhhh goody.” I had forgotten what I’ve disliked about all of the anime I’ve watched — that everything is made REALLY OBVIOUS. I was quoting passages of tedious exposition to Scott and saying, “Would you say that in real life? No you would not.” He apologized for making me read a crappy book, but now I apologize to him, because I plowed through this book and pretty much immediately grabbed the next one from the library. It is so engrossing.

The premise is that there’s this death god dude who is really bored and so he drops his “death note” down to Earth. It lands in Japan, where a high-school kid, Light, picks it up and is like, “Suuuuuure, Death Note description. I totally believe that if I write someone’s name in here they’ll die, and that if I specify the manner of death it will happen. Uh-HUH.” Then we skip ahead a few days and find out that Light didn’t just try it out, but is now a prolific murderer of bad guys of all sorts. He thinks that this will be awesome, and that people will start being good for fear of being murdered, and that eventually he will be able to rule over a world of good people. The police and a shadowy figure called only L think that they should probably stop this crazy serial killer.

It’s good stuff. It’s fast-paced and engaging and I forgive the terrible bouts of exposition because they are balanced by a really neat ethical problem and a thrilling plot line. I’ve got a bunch more books to read for class in the near future, but you can bet you’ll be seeing Death Note Vol. 2 up here soon enough.

Rating: 9/10
(Orbis Terrarum Challenge: Japan, A to Z Challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge)

See also:
Rhinoa’s Ramblings

Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.

One thought on “Death Note Vol. 1, by Tsugumi Ohba

  1. Melissa says:

    I read the most un-manga manga for that class – a historical fiction manga called Emma. LOVED IT! But now I want to read all sorts of manga, so I may have to check this out!

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