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Death Note, Volume 1: Boredom by Tsugumi…
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Death Note, Volume 1: Boredom (2003)

by Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata (Illustrator)

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Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
4.5 Stars! I bought the complete boxed set of this series after reading Vol.1 from the library. ( )
  CaliSoleil | Mar 2, 2014 |
As a relative newcomer to Manga, this reader was unprepared for the beauty, intelligence, and intensity of Death Note, volume 1. The graphics enhance the story of when a rogue Shinigami (Japanese death god) "drops" his death note book into the mortal world. Ace student Light Yagami finds the book and slowly begins to realize his remarkable discovery. As the new owner of the Death Note, Light learns that when he enters someone's name in the book (and picture his face... no mixups, please!) that person will die. In addition, the book's first owner, the Shinigami, appears to Light as a kind of malevolent ghost. At first, Light muses about whom he might want to see dead. Then when confronted with a sudden hostage situation, he is prompted to kill the perpetrator. He begins to systematically rid the world of criminals. The police are not amused, of course, and send special forces after him. It becomes a match of wits between Light and the law (and did we mention Light's father is the chief of police?) Subsequent volumes are sure to be packed with action, deal-making (the Shinigami wants Light's soul...) and moral quandaries. ( )
  mjspear | Jan 25, 2014 |
My opinion of this manga has been tainted by the anime. How does one regain the initial suspense and wonder they have when they encounter a work for the first time? Besides that, it can be hard to maintain a fresh look on the first work in a series when you've seen the ending of the last. Still, I'll try because I think Death note is worth reading.

Death Note constantly questions ones moral compass, which is quite profound for a comic strip geared towards 17 year-olds about a magical notebook of murder. Besides asking the obvious "what would you do?" question that this book poses, the question that kept surfacing in my mind was "Why am a rooting for the bad guy?" and there is no helping it. By the end of this book I found myself vested. I may have set myself apart from the Light Yugami, the protagonist, and proclaimed up and down that I would never make the choices he did, but like it or not, I reveled in his successes.

You could argue that real genius was afoot when Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata thought this one up. If Light had been an adult, the reader would have called foul play. By making him young though, his flaws in moral judgment seem forgivable, and it stirs up the raw emotion everyone once had as an adolescent. It is also interesting that the death note itself, although fantastical in nature, parallels the weapons in our day, being able to strike people down from far away without getting one's hands dirty. That right there is where the age of Light really matters most, its hard to sympathize or even relate to nations and governments deciding they must purge the world of evil, but one can wrap their head around such feelings in a high school student.

I was able to forgive the few shortcomings interspersed throughout the manga rather quickly. Personally, I wanted more buildup in the beginning. It would have been interesting to me to see what kind of person Light was before he found the Death Note. Also, Light's declarations of righteousness throughout the comic can be over the top, but in some ways this hyperbole echoes back to the fact that Light is representing people and powers that must feel that they are so correct in their actions that they border on godliness.

The fantastical nature of this work also speaks to how delusional the idea of cleansing the world of evil is... or getting rid of all the terrorists, or I dare say the united states epic war on drugs. This idea, that through sheer willpower and determination we can succeed in removing that which we find repugnant. I think that is where Death Note shines, in showing us how desirable such things can be, while reminding us how unrealistic such goals are.

Attribution: http://gestclarinetist.wordpress.com/2010/06/05/death-note-volume-1-tsugumi-ohba... ( )
  jakegest | Dec 24, 2013 |
I was almost entirely unfamiliar with the premise behind Death Note when I picked up this book and I have to say that I'm kind of grateful. Death Note -- with its demons and crime-centered plot -- is not the sort of story that would ordinarily have interested me. It was recommend to me by my partner, though, and I knew it was quite popular, and that alone was what encouraged me to give it a try. I'm very glad I did, because despite being concerned with topics that typically don't concern me, I've found that Death Note is an interesting, clever, and exciting manga that I am eager to continue with.

The story begins with Light, a highly intelligent, college-bound high school student, finds a "death note" dropped by a death god -- or shinigami. This "death note" has the ability to kill anyone provided that their name is written within its pages in the proper manner. Light, who considers himself highly ethical and capable of determining the best method for ridding the world of evil, takes it upon himself to use the death note to exterminate murderers and criminals that he considers a plague on society. He hopes that by doing so, he can usher in a more utopian society (of which he would be the leader, of course).

Light is an interesting character because, on the one hand, he acts out of concern for the good of all -- and begins his adventure with the death note by killing only those that have caused harm to others. He is, however, increasingly arrogant and concerned with his own wellbeing over the rights of others, and you can see his grasp on his own moral code begin to slip when confronted with the possibility that he may be caught and sentenced for his actions.

This volume also introduces us to another compelling character, L, who at this point we only know of as another highly intelligent individual with a penchant for solving difficult and dangerous crimes. It is this conflict between Light and L that begins to drive the story forward and that I anticipate being the crux of the story from this point onward. Also important to mention is the shinigami, Ryuk, whose death note is the catalyst of all of this. Though he starts as simply a bored demon-like creature that is pushed along only by Light's actions, he begins to take more shape as a character unto himself by the end of this volume and I am curious to learn more about Ryuk, the shinigamis, and their world.

I can see why Death Note has earned so many accolades and why it has so many loyal fans. I imagine that after running through the available manga I will probably make short work of the anime series also available. I really appreciate the highly original storytelling and the dynamic characters, as well as the highly shaded and dark art style that compliments them. ( )
  vombatiformes | Nov 5, 2013 |
Death Note was my first manga, and I enjoyed it rather more than I thought I would. Although the premise sounds quite macabre, this isn't a book about "killing people," as would seem from the description. The pleasure in reading Death Note comes from watching the battle of wits between two brilliant minds, Light and L, as each tries to find out the identity of the other. The book also raises interesting philosophical questions, such as, is it wrong to kill criminals who have committed horrible crimes and probably will again, given the chance? And how does doing that change the person doing the "vigilante" killing?

Click here to review my entire review ( )
  SheilaRuth | Aug 23, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ohba, Tsugumiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Obata, TakeshiIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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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?… (more)

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