Light Yagami will stop at nothing to be the god of his own new world. When he was a teenager, he gained possession of a Death Note, which allowed him to kill people by writing their names in it. He became famous the world over as Kira (a Japanese take on the English “killer”), but no one could catch him.
Now Light is in his 20s and is part of the investigation to find Kira. The perfect disguise, no? He has a girlfriend with the shinigami eyes and uses her to kill anyone who gets in his way. She had to give up most of her lifetime to get this dark gift from the shinigami, but she did it for Light, oblivious to how much he uses her. He certainly isn’t with her because he enjoys her company. The detective L was hot on Light’s trail, suspecting Light might be Kira, but that’s the past. Light has not only vanquished L, he has taken over his identity.
Even though L is done for, that doesn’t mean it’s over. Now Light has to deal with two other young geniuses: Mello and Near. Light has killed countless people and even sacrificed his own father for personal gain, but he can’t get away with his evil deeds forever. In the final volume, the truth is going to come out and even Light’s genius may not be able to save him.
It isn’t all that often that the main character is also the villain. There isn’t sympathy for Light, especially as he’s gotten worse throughout the series. His acts become all the more unspeakable as time goes on. He thoroughly believes in his mission, thinking he can make the world a better place by killing off criminals and anyone who tries to stop him.
At 12 volumes, Death Note is a highly ambitious series. While it has a supernatural theme, its take on good and evil gives it universal appeal. Light’s ideal world --- which sounds so nice --- goes so, so wrong when he uses a hypocritical method to get the job done. This is also a very smart series that challenges a reader’s thinking, a series that’s highly recommended and endlessly dark and fascinating.
Reviewed by Danica Davidson on January 2, 2007
Death Note, Volumes 9-12