Ranked #23

Death Note (Manga)

Death Note

Alternative Titles

English: Death Note
Japanese: DEATH NOTE


Type: Manga
Volumes: 12
Chapters: 108
Status: Finished
Published: Dec 1, 2003 to May 15, 2006
Authors: Obata, Takeshi (Art), Ohba, Tsugumi (Story)
Serialization: Shounen Jump (Weekly)


Score: 8.821 (scored by 81442 users)
Ranked: #232
Popularity: #3
Members: 122,515
Favorites: 18,136
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page. Please note that 'R18+' titles are excluded.


A shinigami, as a god of death, can kill any person—provided they see their victim's face and write their victim's name in a notebook called a Death Note. One day, Ryuk, bored by the shinigami lifestyle and interested in seeing how a human would use a Death Note, drops one into the human realm.

High school student and prodigy Light Yagami stumbles upon the Death Note and—since he deplores the state of the world—tests the deadly notebook by writing a criminal's name in it. When the criminal dies immediately following his experiment with the Death Note, Light is greatly surprised and quickly recognizes how devastating the power that has fallen into his hands could be.

With this divine capability, Light decides to extinguish all criminals in order to build a new world where crime does not exist and people worship him as a god. Police, however, quickly discover that a serial killer is targeting criminals and, consequently, try to apprehend the culprit. To do this, the Japanese investigators count on the assistance of the best detective in the world: a young and eccentric man known only by the name of L.

[Written by MAL Rewrite]


Death Note has inspired three live-action films, a TV drama series as well as a stage musical. The series has also inspired numerous copycat crimes outside of Japan.

Death Note was published in English by VIZ Media under the Shonen Jump Advanced imprint from October 10, 2005 and July 3, 2007 and again in 2-in-1 omnibuses (subtitled Black edition) from December 28, 2010 to November 1, 2011. A special hardcover edition of the first volume was released on September 16, 2008 and a complete box set was released on October 7, 2008, which included a guidebook titled Death Note 13: How to Read.

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Write a review | More reviewsReviews

Jul 28, 2013
Q: What happens when an unstoppable Mary Sue meets an immovable Mary Sue?
A: Death Note.

The protagonist, and his adversary, are both genius pretty boys (with the odd names of Light and L) who have an incredible amount of achievements and skill for their young age. Light somehow predicts things that he could not possibly have the foresight to predict, because, you know, probability is a thing. Don’t worry though, it’s not like you know that he’ll always win, because L possesses this exact same unexplained and ludicrous ability to predict the future; he just does so without a cheesy “Just as planned!” catchphrase read more
I found this review Helpful
Jul 2, 2008
I'm glad I waited until this series was finished before I started. Considering I finished all 108 chapters in less than twenty-four hours, I'm not sure how I would have survived if I'd started earlier.

STORY - Morals and ethics are serious business, and it isn't often that they're addressed so directly in a series. The lines that people draw vary greatly from individual to individual, and the last thing any writer wants is to severely offend any portion of its potential readership. I found it incredibly impressive then, that Death Note could so effectively address such a controversial issue -- capital punishment -- without alienating read more
I found this review Helpful
May 1, 2015
Note: No major spoilers

Death Note is an intelligent and meticulously illustrated rollercoaster ride. With hardly a dull moment, it will keep you turning pages hours after you thought you would be doing something else. The artwork is superb, and while the author of the story, Ohba Tsugumi, is sometimes thought to be a bit too wordy, the story is complex enough to need all those words, even if you are in a bit of a hurry to turn the next page and find out what will happen. Suspenseful is the best word to describe this series, although it is actually not very action-packed. There read more
I found this review Helpful
Aug 9, 2007
Alright, first let me say that, the manga is infinitely better than the anime. INFINITELY. But, with that being said, I believe the manga should have ended at chapter 58/59. After that, it's just a crapload of "yeah-right" and "ooookay" and "bullshit". Seriously, I hated the second half of the story. However, the first half was so ridiculously good, that I just couldn't give the manga a bad score.

With that being said, on to the details.

Brilliant. I can't think of anything else that has even come close to something like this. Entertaining, smart, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. You'll want to read more
I found this review Helpful


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Recent Forum Discussion

Poll: Death Note Chapter 105 Discussion
GoldenDevilGamer - Nov 7
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Nov 7, 6:34 PM
Poll: Death Note Chapter 104 Discussion
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