Monday, October 7, 2013

Pulp of the Week - Death Note

Death Note is a great Manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata that has spawned anime, video games and live action movies in Japan. Shane Black and his writing partners are working on an American adaptation. The story follows Light Yagami, college aged son of a Tokyo police detective, after he has been given a strange notebook.

After touching the notebook, a strange demonic creature, a japanese shinigami named Ruyk, appears and stays by Light throughout much of the story. The holder of the Death Note is the only one that can see the Shinigami. This gives Light someone to talk to about the Death Note.

Light decides to test it out on convicted killers that are in prison. It works. He expands his tests to more and more people and finally sends a message, naming himself Kira, out to the world. Kira makes it clear that he will rid the world of evil, that good people need not fear him, and that he will rule this utopia.

Then it becomes clear to Light that there is another Kira, and the twists and puzzles mount. A task force is formed, with the mysterious L serving as lead detective. L has mysteries of his own and there is a battle of wits as L and Light serve on the task force. As this is a 12 book manga series, this is just the beginning.

I highly recommend Death Note. It is exciting, adventurous stuff that is exceedingly well written given the twists and turns of two geniuses in intellectual battle.

Death Note deserves a rating of 10. It is great. Warner Bros has optioned it for Shane Black to direct as an english language movie (Japanese versions already have been made) and I certainly thought it would make a great movie as I was reading the books. Check out Death Note.