- Story by: Tsugumi Ohba
- Art by: Takeshi Obata
- Translation & Adaptation: Tetsuichiro Miyaki
- Touch-up Art & Lettering: Gia Cam Luc
- Designer: Sam Elzway
- Editor/s: Pancha Diaz (Manga Edition) / Elizabeth Kawasaki (Omnibus Edition)
- Published by: Viz Media
- Chapters in this volume: 9
Since I have the first volume of the Black Edition of Death Note, I have the first two volumes of the manga in one book, but as I mentioned previously in my review for Death Note Volume 1, I will be reviewing each volume individually so that I can help readers to read a review based on both the single volume series and the Black Edition Omnibus series. I will at some point review the Black Edition Omnibus’ as book editions but for now I just want to focus on reviewing the story itself as told in both formats.
As the investigation into who Kira the criminal killer continues, Light has begun taking drastic but necessary measures to ensure he is not discovered. L is slowly putting the pieces of the puzzle together, but he’s not the only one. A fiance of a former FBI agent that was killed by Kira is closing in on the case, and is getting far too close for comfort for Light, who uses his wits and his charm to keep anyone from discovering that he is Kira.
Just when L believes he’s one step ahead of Kira, Light is always ten steps ahead of L, having planned for the future including any obstacles that might stand in his way. Meanwhile, Ryuk the shinigami, is still enjoying the ride, offering deals when the time is right, but finding that Light’s own intellect surpasses the need for such deals, making it more and more entertaining for Ryuk to watch.
This volume becomes heavy to read, as we begin to see more and more of Light’s dark morality unfold, all in the name of keeping his identity and his task safe from prying eyes. He’s a character that isn’t afraid to take the lives of others but he’s far more dangerous than any serial killer in other stories. Light is able to manipulate people to a whole other level, even controlling their actions and the specifics of how they die, and all he has to do, is write it down in the Death Note.
This story is full of dialogue and a lot of cat and mousing, so if you’re not into books with heavy dialogue stories, then maybe this isn’t for you, but I will say, this is a fantastically written book with some clever twists and turns that keep you guessing as to what will happen next. Light is not a character you wholly want to win but he is a character you can admire for his intellect and planning. He is certainly not someone you should look up to though. His actions speak louder than words and that’s what I love about this book. He talks about his processes but until you see them happen, you think that something has to go wrong. If it does go wrong however, there is always another twist in the story that brings it back to him getting away with it, making him the perfect criminal to follow.
This volume introduces us further to Naomi Misora, fiance of former FBI agent, Raye Penber, who was one of the agents investigating the Kira case. She’s a strong, young and beautiful woman who is determined to crack the case on Kira, to avenge her husbands death, and her skills as a former FBI agent herself certainly help her get closer than anyone else in the story has so far, but that can only mean danger for her safety. Something she is willing to risk.
We also finally get to see the reveal of L. A young looking man who isn’t too dissimilar to the character of Light, making them the perfect rivals. When two people are similar in nature but differentiate on a moral scale, it always makes for an interesting story because one always pushes the other until eventually they can do nothing more but reveal themselves for who they truly are. That is something I would like to see with this story.
This volume felt a lot heavier to read because you didn’t really want to root for Light, and instead wanted his victims to get away safely. It’s strange to read such a story where the protagonist is the one you’re rooting against despite your admiration for their intellect, which makes up the majority of the entertainment in this book, because it’s a thrilling read that leaves you guessing and trying to figure what comes next.
If the seriescontinues in this way it may very well become one of my all time favourite reads.