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 74965 users)
Ranked: #212
Popularity: #3
Members: 111,785
Favorites: 16,663
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page.

Popular Tags

drama mystery psychological shounen supernatural undefined


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.

Related Manga

Alternative version: Death Note Episode 0
Prequel: Death Note Another Note: Los Angeles BB Renzoku Satsujin Jiken
Sequel: Death Note Special Chapter
Side story: L Change the WorLd, Death Note: L FILE No. 15
Adaptation: Death Note Rewrite, Death Note


Amane, Misa
Keehl, Mihael
Lawliet, L
River, Nate
Yagami, Light

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May 22, 2015
Story: First off, I should say that Death Note is extremely wordy. It honestly would've been better off as a light novel from the start. If the author could plot all that is in Death Note, I don't think he would've had a problem describing character emotions and setting the tone for the atmosphere. That being said, this is definitely not a manga that a young, not-as-knowledgeable person should pick up and read. Not for explicit content, but for fear that their little brains would leak out through their ears after trying to read and guess what will happen next in the plot. Plus, y'know, read more
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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
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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
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Sep 30, 2007
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
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User Recommendations

The psychological genre is evident in both and the main male leads are both cunningly intelligent. 
Raito, L, Mello, Misa, the Death Note itself, all of them appear in this manga in some way. 
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. 
Both have the similar, eerie themes of being chased for taking actions that the antagonist party views as correct. 
Both series deal with a teenage protagonist given an unusual supernatural tool in an otherwise ordinary world and the moral dilemmas, mind games, and fights for survival that ensue. 
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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