- Story: Tsugumi Ohba.
- Art: Takeshi Obata.
- Released: October 10th, 2005.
- Imprint: SHONEN JUMP.
- Pages: 200.
A Death Note is a notebook that has power to take the lives of the people whose names are written within it. A day unlike any other, Light Yagami has found a Death Note, and now has the means to shape the world as he sees fit. Under the guidance of the Shinigami, Ryuk, Light will use his new-found power to change the world. The only question is, will he use it for good or for evil?
Light is only a teenager yet he takes people’s lives with ease. He’s relatable in the sense that most people would like to rid the world of “evil”, but Light seems to have separated himself entirely from society, he even appears to place himself on a higher pedestal than everyone else. This aspect alone makes it difficult to relate to him. Light holds fast to his ideals and finds himself to be righteous in his pursuits of a utopia. He isn’t unlikable, just set in his ways of wanting a perfect world. In his pursuit of a perfect world, Light seems willing to do whatever he needs to do to ensure his ideal world.
The characters introduced so far are intriguing to say the least. Light is already being met with adversity from the police, Interpol, and an investigator named L. Light has the resources he needs to stay ahead of the police, because his father is the Detective Superintendent of the NPA, but even Light’s own father is a problem. Light uses information from his father to stay one step ahead of the interested parties. Light may be able to do some good for the world if L doesn’t get to him first. As of now it seems that only L would be able to stop Light, or Kira, as he is coming to be known.
I find myself to be conflicted with this series because it goes against my personal idea of what makes a perfect world. A peaceful world that is obtained through ill begotten means is not a good thing. The world becomes an honest place only through fear, instead of through an inherited sense of justice and righteousness. Even if the world is perfect, evil would still remain in the hearts of people, and render Light’s perfect world to still be flawed. If Light was truly concerned with the wellbeing of the world, he would try a more open minded approach, and opt to not kill anyone.
As far as first impressions go, Death Note is certainly different from your average manga. The story is by far the best part. Not so much flare on the art, not a lot of action, but the story is superb in multiple aspects. A book that can take the lives of people just by writing their name in it, is a wildly different concept. The characters are also a great component to the story. On one end, we have Light who wants to rid the world of evil, on the other end we have L who wants true justice. I would read the story if it were just these two characters alone. Light is probably one of the most interesting characters that I have encountered in most any manga series that I have read. Light has this ability to kill at will, and also separate himself entirely from the murder. I am excited to see how far Light goes in his quest for a perfect world. Death Note volume 1 was a great read.