Author/artist: Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata
You are bored in class, barely listening to the teacher, sitting through useless information you already know. Then you notice a notebook, lying on the school grounds outside. Retrieving it as quickly as you can after class ends, you read the title – ‘Deathnote’. Inside the book it explains that writing a person’s name down will cause them to die!
This is what happened to straight As, disciplined Japanese student Light Yagami. Of course he was sceptical, and almost as a joke to himself he tried writing the name of a criminal being shown on television into the Deathnote. Nothing happened for a minute. Scolding his curiosity Light turns away – and then the news reporter announces that the criminal has died of a heart attack.
Light is astonished. He goes up to his room and places the Deathnote in his drawer, head in hands. And then he is tapped on the shoulder – by a SHINIGAMI (Japanese gods of death). Dumbstruck, he turns round and asks what the god is doing in his room. He finds out that Ryuk (his name) has left his Deathnote in the human world, not by accident, but for his own entertainment.
Light makes the decision to make the world a better place by killing all the criminals he can – keeping his identity a closely guarded secret. Within a few days, the mysterious figure wiping out baddies soon becomes known as Kira – everyone fears him, and stops their sins for fear of death.
And then an incredibly smart, secret detective starts unveiling information about Kira/Light’s identity on television, inferring from blunders that he didn’t know he made. Both Kira and the detective known as ‘L’ have to do their best to keep their identity a secret from each other. But L needs to stop the deaths, and Light needs to keep on with his job of killing criminals. Which side will prevail?
This is my favourite manga I have ever read (I’ve only read four different Manga authors though) – the plot is brilliant, complicated and satisfying to understand. The art is good, and the panels flow. If you want to read a manga, READ THIS.
Jackson, aged 13