This manga is the one-shot that started the Death Note series. I expected some things to be different, not much. I found this issue to be enjoyable yet ... odd.
I'll be frank: here, there is such a thing as a death /eraser/. Something to bring those that were killed in the Death Note back to life. That should tell you something right there.
The main character is an average kid with no intention to actually kill anyone (he did by mistake) which made the plot fairly less entertaining. The Death Eraser was just weird - really glad Ohba got rid of it.
It's a cool "look what started it all" kind of story, though not much if you're looking for something really engaging like the actual series. The art was good and the character could be seen as more relateable, but it's just something that fall short when compared to what was done with it later. read more
I am a huge fan of Death Note. While I was really late to the party when it came to the series (I only just got into it this year, which, as this is written, is 2016), I still spent a lot of time (and money) with Death Note. I've seen both the sub and dub version of the anime, watched all of the subpar live action movies in Japan, I have the entire series on DVD, and I'm in the middle of the manga currently.
When I found out about this, I admit I was pretty excited. Whether it's poor or not, I love seeing the "prototypes" of a story, as I feel it's always interesting to see what it could've been and see how different it is compared to the actual story. So when I found this, I made a point to read this before I started reading the manga, and it's actually quite different. While the Shinigami and Death Note concept are still the same, everything else is different to some degree: The characters, the story, etc.
The question is however: Does it live up to the hype of its successor? Short answer, no. It is nowhere near the masterpiece Death Note is. For the most part, it's fine, but it was missing the suspense and the speculation that its successor had, which was what made it so good to begin with. Not to mention a 13 year old with a Death Note is much less interesting than a 17 year old genius with a Death Note.
My biggest problem with this story however was the Death Eraser, a concept that, to be quite frank, is just terrible and full of plotholes, essentially a "Revive Ex Machina". It's introduced after our hero, Taro, shows heavy regret with killing his classmates, and Ryuk gives one to him. The end result? The kids literally rise from their graves and come back to class like nothing happened. The reason it's full of plotholes is because it doesn't bother explaining it, other than "it revives those who you wrote down in the Death Note". What if they die in a gruesome way, such as dismemberment? Does decomposing affect the usability of the Death Eraser? If they have broken bones and several wounds upon dying, does everything heal like nothing ever happened? It's questions like these that really ruin the concept of it, and it's just plain not fun.
Overall, as to be expected, this story is nowhere near as good as the Death Note we know today. Is it worth your time? If you're a hardcore Death Note fan, I highly recommend it if you're curious to see what it could've been, but for those who aren't that into Death Note, you probably won't find much enjoyment in this.read more