It’s been years since the first time i encountered Death Note. Stacking in the shelf at a comic book rent café, curiosity took me away to read the manga especially after looking at the mangaka, it was created by Takeshi Obata. The same person as the one who created Hikaru No Go, one of my favourite anime of all time.
The first time I read Death Note, it was intriguing, it was sophisticated, it was dark, and it was high analytical. Death Note gave me that punch-in-the-face feeling with its battle of wits and the plot twist.
First published through manga in December 2003, then it was adapted into anime in October 2006. Next year, it’s going to be the 20th year of Death Note since the first time it was published. Even after years, the legend of Death Note across its 12 volumes of the manga, never failed to amaze me.
Once I finished reading all the volume, Death Note became one of my favourite anime and manga of all time. Even after years, until today, after I read the books for the countless times, Death Note still amazes me. The brilliance battle between Kira and L is just masterpiece. No battle of wits can outsmart the battle of Kira and L.
Despite the disastrous Netflix’ adaptation, my opinion on Death Note is still the same. It is one of the must-read manga or must watch anime if you are into Japan pop culture. Death Note is an everlasting story, it was good then, it is good now, and it will still good.
Below are several reasons on why Death Note is a manga and anime that you have to read and watch.
- Simple yet Sophisticated
The basic storyline of Death Note is actually simple. A pretty-face genius highschool student named Light Yagami playing cat and mouse game with a world-renowned quirky detective named L. Without knowing each other’s identities, they try to outsmart each other. It’s simple.
What make it cool and sophisticated is the existence of a book called Death Note. A mysterious book which has a magical power. If someone’s name is written on the book, that someone will die. And you know what is next right? It’s a great battle of wits between geniuses.
- A Rare Double-Protagonist Concept
Death Note has this unique concept called double protagonist. Both main characters are the protagonists of this epic story, Kira and L. The villains are the supporting character such as Misa and Ryuuk the God of Death.
Double protagonist serves as its strong point and also weak point. The weak point is, the story would only centered in both character, hard to imagine one character would dies (except in manga version of Death Note). Meanwhile the strong point is, it can increase the intensity since it is clear who is against who.
- Allegory of Life
Yes, Death Note is more complicated than just good vs evil. Because it’s basically showing the allegory of life, there is always good in bad, and there is always bad in good. The equilibrium of evil and good, that life is always find its balance.
Light Yagami, who more well-known as Kira, starts to begin his judgement by writing the name of the criminals on the Death Note. A lot of people turn out supporting the action of Kira, they feel that the world has become more peaceful since Kira bring judgement to the criminals.
The ideal of Kira might raise some questions, moreover he even gets a spotlight like a saviour. There are also characters like Amane Misa and Toru Mikami, both of them are Kira’s worshipers and hard-die fans. They become the fans of Kira because Kira killed the criminals who was once ruined Mikami and Misa’s lives in the past. In the manga, Kira also successfully outsmarts L resulted in the death of L. Good side is not always win.
- Mind Challenging
Every time i read Death Note, i always ask myself, “What would I do if I have a Death Note? Will I use it?”. Some of my friends who read this manga also think similar questions to their inner self. We unknowingly put ourselves inside the story and emphasize with some of the characters and their decision-making process.
Do you agree with what Kira do with his Death Note? To what extent? Or do you 100% support L? What if you have Death Note in your hand? Death Note is challenging your own beliefs about good and evil based on certain situation. Death Note is not just about good vs evil, but it is more complicated than that.