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Manga Review: "Death Note" Vol. 3

Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

Death Note official manga cover.

Death Note official manga cover.

Quick Info

Author: Tsugumi Ohba
Publisher: Viz Media
Published: March 7, 2006
Page Count: 208 pages
Availability: in print, buy the single volume, 3-in-1 Black Edition, All-in-one edition on Amazon or RightStufAnime, or at your local bookstore

Story Summary

Light figures out how to outwit L after he learns that surveillance cameras and microphones have been placed in his house as part of the Kira investigation. L ups the stakes by revealing himself to Light, will Light be able to find out L’s real name?

The Writing Has to Keep Track of Multiple Threads

This is a good manga, it’s very well done and an excellent read. The plot twists are interesting and very entertaining to read. The premise of Death Note is so different from a lot of other manga and anime and it’s an interesting story to read.

The story is very well written and has a lot of detail when it comes to the plot and the character’s thoughts. It does a good job when it comes to keeping track of character motivations and what characters are plotting against each other.

I like the story and it’s interesting to see how the characters interact with each other and try to outwit the other person in this cat-and-mouse game.

Light explaining the Kira investigation to Ryuk.

Light explaining the Kira investigation to Ryuk.

The Artwork Looks Great!

The artwork is excellent and it was not drawn by Takeshi Obata. It’s a very nicely illustrated book and it looks great, for it to be written by one person and illustrated by another is a great feat for this manga because it’s very detailed and complex.

It's very fascinating that this manga was written by one person and drawn by another, normally, the author is also the artist for the manga.

The art looks fantastic and that’s because they both worked together to make something great and I feel the great art is a testament to Tsugumi Ohba’s ability to describe to Takeshi Ohbata what he wanted the characters to look like and how he wanted the scenes to be drawn.

The art is very detailed but what makes it stand out is the unique art designs of both the characters and the Shinigami, manga art has to stand out more than anime because anime is colored and manga is black and white drawings and sometimes manga characters have very similar character designs in other manga so they all start to look the same after a while.

I like the unique art style because it makes the characters memorable and I can point them out when I see them online. I can’t do that with every magna character when it comes to their black and white art. Anime is easier because the characters are colored but Death Note has unique artwork that stands out in its original form.

The Slow Pacing Might Annoy Readers

The pacing for the manga can feel slow because it’s not an action-oriented story. It is a psychological-oriented manga, the slow pacing might turn off some readers if they want something fast-paced.

Parental Rating

This is definitely a story that’s not for younger readers. Light is looking at some magazines that were not appropriate for children to see, and this is not meant for anyone under sixteen because of language, violence, and adult themes.

Light and Ryuk talking about the investigation as they walk.

Light and Ryuk talking about the investigation as they walk.

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Reader Poll

There Are Many Editions of “Death Note”

If you want to buy Death Note, there are many ways to purchase the manga. You can buy the single volumes, physical and digital. You can buy the 3-in-1 Black editions, the complete manga box set, or the giant all-in-one edition.

There are many ways to collect this series but if you just want to read the manga, subscribe to the Shonen Jump manga app. I am using it to reread and review Death Note.

You can also borrow Death Note from your local library if they have it on their shelves for free.

“Death Note” Is Worth a Read but You Don’t Have to Buy It

I enjoyed reading Death Note, even though I don’t like the main character and it’s not one of my favorite manga to read. The writing is excellent and the characters are interesting even if I don’t find them to be likable.

Despite the slow pacing and the characters, it is a very entertaining manga and that’s why it’s considered to be a Shounen classic that fans enjoy reading.

It has staying power and it wouldn’t have that kind of staying power if it wasn’t well written and interesting.

Just because I’m not going to buy it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. I have the Viz Media app so I can read the manga any time I want and I don’t have to pay a lot of money for a volume when it’s only $1.99 a month plus tax and I have access to Death Note and other manga Viz Media publishes.

Quick Summary

What Works:What Doesn't Work:

Good story, characters, and world-building

The characters aren't always likable.

The art is great!

There's a lot of plot points to keep track of when it comes to the machinations of characters.

My Grade: A-

Is Death Note a good manga to read for entertainment? Yes. Is it meant for everyone, not really. It all depends on how you feel about the main villain protagonist, Light Yagami. I don’t like him, but just because I don’t like him doesn’t mean that the story isn’t worth reading.

This manga is also for older teens and not for the younger audience, and stop bringing Death Notes to school, it’s not going to help you or anyone else, you might end up being suspended for scaring people, the Death Note isn’t real and it’s not going to do anything except get you in trouble!

Death Note is a well-written series with excellent illustrations and a fascinating plot. The series is not for everyone but it is enjoyed by many fans and gaining new readers all the time.

It is an excellent series for people that want to start reading manga but don’t know where to start. I can recommend Death Note to anyone looking for a place to start when it comes to reading manga as it’s very newcomer-friendly.

It does have some references to Japanese culture but it mainly focuses on the plot so it doesn’t bog you down in every single Japanese reference.

I enjoyed reading the series but it’s not my favorite so I don’t feel obligated to buy it, I did read it using my Viz Media app subscription before I got a subscription I was borrowing it from my local library but the library system didn’t have all the volumes. Viz Media does have all the volumes that you can read chapter by chapter. You can also buy a digital copy of it on Viz Media’s app or through Kindle if you have Amazon Kindle, the best bang for your buck is the giant complete volume available in bookstores or online.

If you want to buy it you can but if you’re just reading through it once, just subscribe to Viz Media so you can have access to their manga catalog and not have to buy it to read it.

I recommend Death Note to anyone over the age of sixteen. Because of the adult themes, language and violence, and the Death Note school suspensions. Some readers tend to think that it’s real and they take the Death Notes to school and put people’s names in them. Because they can’t separate reality from fiction, this gives a good manga series a bad name. So just be careful who you give this one to. It’s worth your time and money, but you should see if the library has it first.

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