Series Review: Death Note

Death Note is one of those series that I had been wanting to read for a while, but never really put the effort into finding the books. Then, last summer, I spotted the entire series at a used book store and knew my time to check out this series had finally come.

I didn’t really know what to expect out of this series. Really the only thing I knew was that the main character, Light, somehow got a notebook that can kill people by writing their names in it. Honestly, it sounded like a pretty darn interesting concept, so I was eager to dive in.

This was certainly not your typical manga. Usually, it’s the pictures that tell the story, as the dialogue and minimal descriptive text just helps the story along. That is not the case with Death Note, as it the text often overtook the visual aspects page after page. Not only that, but most of the characters spoke, or thought, a lot and in very long, drawn out moments. I felt in a way it took away from the manga, because it was more like reading a novel that just happened to have pictures in the back ground than an actual manga. This made me dislike the series in a way.

As for the characters, well there are quite a few of them throughout this series. Some remain from volume one and go through to the end, while others have very small roles. I have to say, I didn’t really care for Light all that much. He was an interesting character for a while, but then his analytical ways started to bother me. This was the same for L, but I really hated his character right from the get go. Between the two of these characters, I felt my desire to keep reading and see how things played out starting to wane. I did also feel like the series was a bit long. It probably could have been condensed down into six volumes or so and still had everything in it, just in a more fast paced and perhaps interesting way.

I feel like this series would have been much more enjoyable as a light novel. That way the walls of text wouldn’t seem so bothersome. I’m still glad I read this series, but I honestly don’t know if I would recommend it or not. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who would enjoy it and those who wouldn’t as well. I may eventually watch the anime series just to see if it is more enjoyable than reading the manga, but we’ll see.

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