Death Note – an Amazing Mind Battle Between 2 Geniuses

What if you found a note book that belongs to God of Death?
Deep down in your heart…
Is there anyone whose death is in your wish?

As I have said before in my review of 2 Irish ghost stories post, I have been having a readers block. To save me from a total blockage, I decided to pick a manga I really love beside One Piece, that manga is called デノートス  or Death Note in English. Reading this manga is also away to fulfill 3 challenges at once, R.I.P Challenge VI, Manga Reading, and Hello Japan! Mini Challenge. I have written my review in Indonesian language 5 years ago.

Death Note is a manga I chose by instinct. When I was looking for One Piece, I saw a manga with a very intriguing cover. It was a drawing of Ryuuku in front of a cross filled with skeleton. The cover of Death Note volume 3. I had no idea what the story was and I couldn’t find volume 1 and 2. Despite all of that, I bought the manga because I had strong feeling that the manga would turn out to be a great manga. And it was INDEED an amazing manga.

Death Note is a collaboration of Ooba Tsugumi and Obata Takeshi. Ooba –sensei was the one who wrote the story and Obata-sensei was the one who drew the manga. Obata-sensei was known for his details in drawing. His details are crazy!! He even draws a convenient store full with everything in it. Ooba-sensei’s ability in creating mind battle story is a real page turner. When I first read it, I couldn’t wait for the next volume to show up. I checked the bookstore every week wondering has the new one been released yet. This is my third time reading it.

夜神月(Yagami Raito) was an excellent student who always had the highest score in his school but he was bored. Ryuuku was a God of Death who thought that the world of 死神 (Shinigami – God of Death) had become terribly boring. These two different beings were about to be united and enjoyed a life far from boredom.

To wash away his boredom, Ryuuku decided to drop his book into human world. He deliberately wrote how to use the book in English so that anyone can read it. The book fell on Japan and Raito was the one who picked it up. A God of death who dropped the book into human world had to go to the human world and took his book back and if a human had picked it up, he had to make the human returned it to him or wait till that human died. Fortunately, Ryuuku found an interesting human. Raito had written so many names within 5 days which he had killed so many people in only 5 days. Ryuuku was intrigued.

Some of the rules are:

  • The human whose name is written in this note shall die.
  • This note will note that effect unless the writer has the persons face in their mind when writing his/her name. Therefore, people sharing the same name will not be affected.
  • If the cause of death is written within 40 seconds of writing the person’s name, it will happen.
  • If the cause of death is not specified, the person will simply die of a heart attack.

Raito didn’t kill those people for his advantages, he killed them because they were criminals. He believed that he could create a peaceful world, he would be the new God. The world called him Kira (Japanese pronunciation for Killer)

Unfortunately for Kira, the best detective in the world decided to devote his life to investigate him. This mysterious detective was called L, he never showed his face to anyone. He only showed himself in video with the letter L. To capture Kira, he showed his face to some dedicated Japanese policemen, and to prove his suspicion he introduced himself to the man he suspected to be Kira. He met Raito in purpose.

The day L decided to test his theory that Kira was in Japan, or in other word since the day Kira knew that there was someone looking for him…the fun began!!!

Both characters were incredibly well built. L and Kira were 2 geniuses who tried to test one another. It was like a game of chess. Both Kira and L tried to think ahead of each other. Kira wanted to know L’s real name so that he could kill him while L tried to find proofs that Raito is Kira. The way they interact was the best part of the book. I enjoyed their mind game a lot.

Things became more complicated when the second Kira showed up. This second Kira had the ability to see people’s name just by looking at their face.

I am not going to say much about the story as it could be a major spoiler and I hate sharing spoiler.

 I can assure you that this manga is amazing and somehow it feels more like reading a novel rather than a manga. Every intrigue to trap the other party is very interesting. We can see how the book changed ownership but still under Kira’s control. You can never predict what will happen next.

The characters are also interesting ad well built. Readers are divided into two, some love L while other love Kira. I admit that L is a unique character, an investigator like I have never seen before. However, Kira is the one that attracted me the most. He is a murderer that cannot be hated. There are parts of his mind that we can all agree with. Killing is bad but a world free of criminals sounds great. In my eyes, Kira is more unique than L.

Beside those 2 main characters, the other characters are also equally interesting. The three Gods of Death have different personalities, and I have to say that Ryuuku is the most interesting one. He looks scary and yet cute at the same time. The women used by Kira also have different personality, I like Misa-Misa more than Takada. L successors are as smart as L, but I have to admit that I really dislike Mello.

When I first read the book, I don’t like how it ends, I think that they didn’t do justice toward Kira. I am expecting him to accept things with dignity, but now that I have read it three times, I have a better understanding toward Kira and completely understand why he acted like that. Death Note used to have a tiny flaw but now it is flawless. I love this manga so much!!

Book Details

Title: デス ノート  (in English:  Death Note)
Author: Oobata Tsugumi & Obata Takeshi
Volume: 12
Language: Indonesian (Original: 日本語)

Because I love the manga, when its anime and live action movie were released I  immediately search for it…but……

The anime

The anime is BORING!!! I don’t know what is it about the anime that bored me but I really couldn’t stand it and finally stop watching after 10 episodes. Maybe it is because of the fact that Death Note is too serious and watching a serious anime is just not up to my liking.

I fell asleep when watching it. I found out later that the anime is not exactly the same as the manga. Upon hearing that, I have no regret I for not finishing the anime. The book is just too good to be changed.

The movie

The two worth seeing characters in Death Note-the movie

The anime is boring but I don’t hate it. How I feel toward the movie is different. I can’t say that I hate the movie, but I certainly hate the actor!! I have said it in actors I don’t get the appeal, I really really hate Tatsuya Fujiwara’s portrayal of Kira…he was totally off and ruin my favorite character. His emotions are all wrong and out of place. He could not change himself from being Kira to being Raito. He made me reluctant to see the movie again.

However, there are 2 other  characters that were really well portrayed. L and Ryuuku are awesome! L had made it into my top-5 book characters in movies. Matsuyama Ken’Ichi is the best choice to play L. Ryuuku is a CGI, of course!!! His animated version is really good. i enjoy seeing him in the movie.

I honestly don’t remember whether the movie was good or not because all I can remember is how much I hate Tatsuya and how much I adore Matsuken.

Out of all three Death Note, I advice you to read the manga…it is still the best of  all three.

19 thoughts on “Death Note – an Amazing Mind Battle Between 2 Geniuses

  1. I personally loved the anime, although i don’t mind watching serious animes

    Have you heard of a manga called Monster? I am currently watching the anime version of it with my dad, and we both really like it…but it is relentlessly depressing.

    1. Maybe I should give the manga another try…but the fact the story is changed made me not too interested to try it again. I love the manga and as always when I like a book so much, any attempt to change it made me avoid watching it.

      Ah Monsters!!! I have been searching for it EVERYWHERE…it was a limited print… I am still hoping they will publish it again one day. Enjoy the anime Julian 🙂 as for me I want to read the manga before watching the anime.

    1. Japan always make anime out of famous manga. It is said that the ending of the anime was changed (I know the movie was changed) but I never get around to see it. Some people think that DN anime is one of the best anime ever made…but for me, the pace is too slow, I like the manga much more.

  2. I enjoyed the manga although it isn’t among my favorites. Not interested in either the movie or the anime though. The mangas always beat the adapted versions anyway 😉

    1. Right on Cas!! 🙂 manga and book always better than the adaptation (or at least equally good). but I think you should try the movie just to see L. Matsuken was awesome as L

  3. Sangat menyukai Live Actionnya, tp yg ketiganya gk bgitu bagus… tp bnr jg itu yg jd Light itu bnr2 gk pas sama sekali, berbanding tebalik sama yang jadi L.

    Anyway, knp baru sekarang2 suka sama death note ba novroz???

    1. Aha!! Ferdinand berarti ga baca baik2 🙂
      Bukan baru suka Death Note tapi baru BACA ULANG Death Note. Ini udah yang ketiga kali saya baca. Tahun 2006 saya udah nulis review bahasa Indonesianya,sekarang pengen nulis yang pakai bahasa Inggris.

      Karena saya sukanya sama Kira jadi susah buat saya untuk suka dengan film yang GAGAL total milih pemeran Kira.

  4. I’ve read a lot of good stuff about this anime/manga lately. I think it has an interesting premise – what would someone do if they could kill anyone they wanted just by writing down a name. Would it be okay to kill anyone – even a criminal – in order to build a better and safer would? I really must read it and find out lol. I think it’s cool that you reviewed it in all three formats – I’d thought about only looking into the anime, but now I’m thinking about the manga.

    1. Hi Julie, thank you for stopping by and commenting.
      Some people I know think that the anime is boring but some other think it was awesome,it is really up to you whether you want to choose the anime or the manga…however,just for your consideration, I have never heard anyone said that the manga is boring 😉
      In conclusion,if you really want to try knowing more about Death Note, you should start with Manga. I hope you are not the type who finds manga as a difficult read.

  5. I love this manga! I have the complete comic, manga scan, anime, live actions, and also its soundtracks! I never understand the story if I read it just once, at least I must repeat read twice to get the point. Oobata Tsugumi & Obata Takeshi are soo brilliant to change audience’s symphaty from Kira to L. Yapp, I agree with you, the manga are better than the live actions, the live actions just shorthen the story, but overall I STILL LOVE THIS MANGA!

    1. I haven”t met anyone who dislike the manga yet 🙂
      I agree, they are amazing mangaka…but I never shift my sympathy to L…I am still rooting for Kira from the beginning till the end, since the first time I read it till this third time reading. I really like Kira’s character.
      Most live action is not as good as the manga … but Matsuke is so convincing as L,you gotta admit that 😉
      Thank you for stopping by Acil,long time no see 🙂

  6. Death Note hasn’t really appealed to me but I hear so much about it, one of these days I’m going to have to try it I think. And whether it’s manga or regular fiction, the book is usually better. 😉

    1. Well…Nat,don’t force yourself 😉
      It’s the kind of Manga that cannot be forced,you have to read it at your own will. Totally agree for that last statement 😉

  7. Have you watched the dorama version released last year? Kinda curious to know your review, hehee. I personally still don’t like the cast for Light.. but if you think it’s good, I might continue watching. LOL

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