Death Note vol 2

US Distributor: Viz Media

Author: Tsugumi Ohba Artist: Takeshi Obata

Suggested Retail Price (SRP): £5.50

Number of Pages: 204

ISBN: 9781421501697

Reviewed: 19th November 2006

Reviewer: Tom (Webmaster)


In volume 1 of Death Note we were introduced to the cool and calculating Light Yagami who possesses a Death Note - a notebook in which the names of people you write will die and you only need to know their name and have seen their face to do it.  The intelligent student then embarked on a crusade to rid the world of evil by writing down the names of the world's most notorious prisoners as he felt that they deserved death.  Interpol soon noticed something odd was happening and started to investigate.  Light's character then changed when expert detective 'L' appeared and Light started to eliminate those who might catch him.  His genius and his evil were growing fast and that was just at the end of the first volume, volume two is even more fascinating. 

In volume 2 we begin to see Light using and toying with his victims like never before.  He clearly starts to revel in his murder spree and even reveal himself to some of his victims before they die.  He enjoys them seeing the creator of their death as the last person they will ever see, a clear example of him believing that he is some kind of God.  You can hardly blame him as he really does, after all, have the power to control the death, and actions before death, of people but despite this he shows no signs of insanity.  Instead Light becomes increasingly more intelligent when challenged by the police and his nemesis L by avoiding most of the obstacles they attempt to put in his way.  The arrival of the fiancée of one his victims provides Light with one of his biggest challenges yet however and this meeting proves he may not be able to elude the authorities forever. 

As with the previous volume, volume 2 of Death Note is a fascinating read and impossible to put down.  Every action by every character is integral to the plot and you will find yourself turning back to previous pages to check up on certain plot elements in order to keep up with the ongoing battle of minds between Light and L.  What also impressed me with volume 2 is that it did not fall into a predictable formula.  With other manga I could have expected other people who possessed a Death Note to have shown up by now, for Light to join them and for him to undertake a more just crusade.  But no, Light joins no such group and continues his macabre mission alone, never showing need for human contact.  By the end of the volume you will really believe that he would be willing to kill anybody who gets in his way, even members of his own family. 

Even more dark and compelling then the first volume, volume 2 of Death Note is proof enough to me that it is a classic manga and certainly one of the best I have read in years.  The twists that are revealed and questions left unanswered leave me eager to read volume 3.  Fantastic. 


Another short haiku introduction from the author (less good this time) and the usual adverts in the back.  No short four-panel comic at the end either, a great shame. 

Once again at the end of certain chapters Death Note rules unveiled in the chapter just passed are recapped, which serves as a handy reminder as you go into the next chapter. 


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