Ranked #21
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: 8.831 (scored by 77346 users)
Ranked: #212
Popularity: #3
Members: 115,707
Favorites: 17,136
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page. Please note that 'R18+' titles are excluded.


Light Yagami is a brilliant 17-year-old student, one of the top scorers on his exams in all of Japan. One day as he leaves school, he finds a mysterious black notebook on the ground with "Death Note" written on it. The first thing written inside: "The human whose name is written in the notebook shall die." Light decides to use this to cleanse the world of evil by killing all the criminals. On the scene comes L, ace detective, who's determined to find Light—who the world now calls "Kira"—and track him down, thus bringing us an epic psychological thrill ride.


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 2, 2008 6:44 PM
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  Not Helpful
Sep 30, 2007 4:43 AM
Death note is a perfect manga of suspence and thriller. The story line is rich and tasteful and characters really standout from other manga and anime by the fact that they are so different. while reading Death note it will make you think and guess until the end. This manga is has dark themes because the main character basically goes on a killing spree for 6 years to create the perfect world and outsmart this foes.

About the story. The main character is Light Yagami who is a bored Highschool student, he soon finds a Death note which has the power to kill people by writing read more
I found this review Helpful  Not Helpful
May 1, 7:24 PM
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  Not Helpful
Aug 9, 2007 12:40 PM
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  Not Helpful

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Raito, L, Mello, Misa, the Death Note itself, all of them appear in this manga in some way. 
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Both have the similar, eerie themes of being chased for taking actions that the antagonist party views as correct. 
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A prevailing theme in both series is the notion of moral justice: Is it right to kill those who are unhealthy to society? It is a rather conflicting statement as often the answer lies in the subjective. This is profoundly highlighted in both series through the characters, views of the general public, and moral consequences and decisions the protagonists have to face. 
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Manga: Bloody Monday
I only realized the similarity with around chapter 22 of BM. There is a mastermind with an initial (K and L). There are genius on both sides of the fighting line attacking with intellect and sleuth. Bloody Monday has more action and blood than Death Note and DN has more brains. There is mystery regarding both the protagonist and antagonist and their plans. Death is brought up on both and justice.  
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