Manga Monday: Death Note

Published on November 16th, 2009

So Film4 here in the UK currently has a whole string of week nights dedicated to Asian films. One night saw me watching a film taken from a hugely popular manga, and that’s pretty much the one for this weeks Manga Monday.


Starting in December 2003 and lasting for 12 volumes, Death Note was a massive success. It follows the story of an extremely intelligent highschool student, know as Light. He finds a black book, a book known as ‘The Death Note’, dropped onto the earth by a God of Death. Light learns that by simply writing the name of the person and visualising their face, he can kill them. Either by writing mode of death or leaving it blank to which they will die of a heart attack in 40 seconds.

The interesting thing with Death Note is the actual mature theme that runs throughout. Light takes it upon himself and begins writing the names of convicted murders, thieves and rapists into the Death Note and watching then die. Even if they are convicted criminals, who is Kira (lights alias) to decide if they live or die? The theme of being ‘God like’ runs strong and it isn’t long before the FBI try to track down Light and L, leads the case. Both Light and L are extremely smart and Death Note sees the story take twist after twist and keeps the reader on the edge of there seats as they try to keep up.

If you like clever stories, detective type stories, or something deeper and more meaningful, then Death Note is the perfect manga. Don’t want the manga? Both a successful anime and two feature films are available. It is another perfect manga for beginners that proves that manga can be clever and meaningful and is more than fan-service and tactical rape.

* The human whose name is written in this note shall die.
* This note will not take effect unless the writer has the subject’s 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 subject’s name, it will happen.
* If the cause of death is not specified, the subject will simply die of a heart attack.
* After writing the cause of death, the details of the death should be written in the next 6 minutes and 40 seconds (400 seconds).

Hollie ‘Death Note’ Bennett