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Death Note  
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Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects--and he's bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal… or his life?

After the series ended The Death Note One-Shot Special was published which explains what happens in the series three years after the Kira case is resolved.


Related Series

Associated Names
Тетрадь смерти
مذكرة الموت
데스 노트
Bilježnica smrti
Cuaderno de la Muerte
Death Note - A halállista
Death Note – Zápisník smrti
Desu Nôto
Quyển Sổ Thiên Mệnh

Groups Scanlating
Aku Tenshi
Franky House
Ice-Master Scanlations

Latest Release(s)
v.1 c.1 by thefolenangel & Franky House (33d ago)
v.13 c.2a by mD-xD (2394d ago)
c.Special by Binktopia (2542d ago)
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
12 Volumes + 1 Extra Volume (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter
Starts at Vol 1, Chap 1
Ends at Vol 12, Chap 108

User Reviews
Death Note by Rune71
Death Note by torrentchan
Death Note by Rashid

17 topics, 563 posts
Click here to view the forum

User Rating
Average: 8.7 / 10.0 (2883 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.68 / 10.0
 33% (964 votes)
 29% (827 votes)
 21% (611 votes)
 9% (267 votes)
 4% (102 votes)
 2% (58 votes)
 1% (22 votes)
 0% (6 votes)
 0% (5 votes)
 1% (21 votes)

Last Updated
January 24th 2015, 4:29pm PST

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Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
JManga (Defunct)
Viz (13 Volumes & 6 Omnibuses - Complete)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #666 increased(+114)
Monthly Pos #1027 decreased(-319)
3 Month Pos #838 increased(+35)
6 Month Pos #798 decreased(-139)

List Stats
On 1377 reading lists
On 678 wish lists
On 6656 completed lists
On 354 unfinished lists
On 437 custom lists

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Forum Posts
Light or L:who do u like better? 1106 days, 21 hours, 35 minutes ago
Favorite Death Note character 1162 days, 3 hours, 4 minutes ago
if you had a death note 1162 days, 3 hours, 9 minutes ago
AMERICAN REMAKE OF DEATH NOTE IN THE WORKS 1162 days, 3 hours, 15 minutes ago
Site Poll - Chat Box 92 - What to do with a Death Note? 1275 days, 21 hours, 17 minutes ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by dbzrox4ever
February 25th, 2012, 6:48am
I'm actually quite surprised by all the negative reviews here. Death Note is one of my favourite mangas of all time! Yes, it's misogynistic. Yes, Light is a huuggee asshole. Yes, it becomes lame after
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
L dies
but still! I don't think there has ever been a manga that has kept me as on edge as this one.

The battles between Light and L, not as Kira but as Light himself with him trying to prove that he's not Kira, Oh My God. It was suspenseful and damn exciting. Every time you thought "Oh so maybe this is gonna happen" BAM! Ha! Think again! Completely unpredictable. It also made you think a lot, philosophically. Light might have thought himself as God trying to bestow justice upon everyone and the world might have become a little safer thanks to him, but at what cost? . He could be described as an extremely intelligent sociopath. The sad thing is though, if he had never found the death note, he could have grown up to be a great police officer without hurting anyone.

L on the other hand is my favourite character. He represents true justice. If you look at both Light and L, they have extremely similar personalities with their manipulative nature and desire to outwit each other. I think L was the key appeal to the series, because I personally thought it became damn boring
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
after he died
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
I REALLY wanted him to be the one to expose Light as Kira and not Near
. I didn't like Near very much. It seemed like he was trying too hard to be better than L, which could never happen. L's habits are also really hilarious, like the desert thing and the way he sits. I LOVE his design too, the shaggy hair and the bags under his eyes.

The series is great. It's very well planned is what I can say. I can't even imagine how the author thought of such an intricate and well balanced plot. The characters are extremely complicated and interesting.

My only problem is that Kira somehow gets things done almost too easily. The characters feel dumb when they're actually intelligent. Sometimes it made me feel dumb too. It also practically killed all the main female characters with the exception of the most annoying one. Misa Amane, ugh. I really don't get her role in the story except going "Kya! Light!".
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
The other somewhat intelligent women like Naomi and his ex-university colleague were disposed of rather easily which I thought was disappointing

My opinion, great shounen! Lots of action, brilliant plot, very interesting characters and an awesome chase. It falters a bit but do read it. I loved this one. I watched the anime and have to say they did an incredible job as well! So don't miss out on that if you don't wanna read. 37 suspenseful episodes. Ho It doesn't completely live up to the hype, but it's lovely nonetheless. biggrin

... Last updated on February 25th, 2012, 7:04am
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A great start but then disappointing   
Rating: 6.0 / 10.0
by strixflash
December 20th, 2011, 10:24am
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
As everyone previousley said that you would love the plot. It shows the true nature of human.
Though author have done unjustice to the character of Light. He was a good character who used it to make a world better to live. His purpose have been forgottened in the series. It looks like that author wanted to make him as a villain. He was originally good,but just author wanted to make him dull or wrong person,he made him look like a murderer.
Dont forgot that it was L and police which forced him to kill innocent people. Who would allow himself to be executed. The manga lost its main theme.
Also after L's death all tricks were used again. Same plot again and again. Manga's original length was about 50-60 chapters but to earn money they destroyed and stretched the stroy to a large extent.
I guess Light should have been given a justible role.
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Oh gosh...   
Rating: 4.0 / 10.0
by NobodyStupid
September 18th, 2011, 8:03am
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Actually I really love this series
But why is L must die?
I wonder...
Every manga always have an ending about justice always win
But why this manga made the evil win ?
But this manga are great without the die of L :(
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Rating: N/A
by Sacheverell
June 12th, 2011, 8:17pm
I don't get why some people don't like Light. Okay I do if you're the sort of person who arbitrarily hates all villain characters just because they're bad guys. However I found this character very interesting, far more so than everyone else. During that brief period when he is not under the influence of the Death Note, Light reverts back to being a truly good person that wants to do good and help L catch Kira. It some ways, it is rather tragic when the Death Note returns to him. I really did hope that it wouldn't.

On the other hand, L really isn't a good person. He hides in his hotel room, only allowing people he is sure are not Kira to see him then only let's Light see him when he is sure that Light cannot kill him just by looking at him. He likewise only goes out when he knows he isn't in any real danger, while the same cannot be said for everyone else he works with as they all remain in danger. If not from Light, from the other Kiras that show up. His two successors really are not any better when you consider their actions.
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Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by meniel
May 21st, 2011, 6:53am
Death Note is one of the most original manga I've ever read. I think it's unique, and maybe it's also for this that it's so popular and known all over the world. Well... let's see its strong points! :3

1) First of all, the art style. It's particular, charming and captivating. It's the perfect art for this manga. Not shojo nor shonen... I would say no manga-like at all. Every detail is precise as it's real. That's what makes this art so beautiful.

2) Second: the plot. I bet you've never heard such a strange, original and interesting plot. Like I said, Death Note is unique! And its plot is strange and interesting, it arouses your curiosity and makes you want to read more and more. That's what I call a good plot.

3) Third, the detective style. Yeah, Death Note has got it! Together with the plot, the story goes on with a good detective style. It's like Death Note is a detective novel, but it's even more interesting, because it has drawings! Understand what I'm trying to say? ;D

4) Fourth... characters! I read that some people didn't like Light. But... wait! I think that a BAD main character is just too cool! Don't you agree with me? It's something that manga or normal stories don't have, and it gives you a different point of view. Plus, I think Light is a good character, well developed and interesting. Like L and Misa, they're all good characters. Only one thing: I would have liked it more if they elaborated more Mello's and Mat's stories. However, the characters are wonderful, talking both of personality and design.

So... why did I rate this wonderful manga 8? Why didn't I give it a 9 or a 10? It's because... this manga is too long. It should have finished in... 7 or 8 volumes. The plot is good, like I said, but they spin it out too much. For example...

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
When L dies, the manga becomes quite boring. I think L's death was a good event in the plot, even if I felt really sorry for him, but from that moment on the manga lost its main hero... and Near is not good enough to replace him. If they had created a more charismatic character, maybe the manga would have been better. So, Death Note should have ended soon after L's death.

That's what is not good in Death Note. Well, it's not perfect, but you really should read it. It's worth it!

... Last updated on March 24th, 2014, 9:20am
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Rating: 5.0 / 10.0
by crazyboutcute
May 20th, 2011, 1:54pm
If you’re looking to read a pulp-like detective thriller that’s only charm is that it will make you feel smarter by the end of it, look no further than Death Note. If you’re like me, however, and would prefer to read a series with complex, well-developed characters and an immersive plot, then I recommend you skip this one.

I read the entire manga (a painstaking effort on my part), watched the anime, and even saw the three live action movies (which are, admittedly, much better than the manga). I was still unable to relieve the sensation of crushing disappointment I felt with this series. The premise is great – ingenious, really, constructed of a nice, intricate framework with the potential to be used for exploring morality and the human condition. The protagonist Yagami Raito finds a notebook called the death note that allows one to kill an individual simply by writing their name within its pages. There are certain rules that the owner of the death note must follow (for example, one must know the victim’s face as well their name in order to prevent people with the same name from being killed). With the death note, Raito intends to kill criminals and create a perfect world, and this naturally leads to the start of a long game of cat and mouse between Raito and the mysterious detective known only as L, who is determined to track down the killer (nicknamed “Kira”) and bring him to justice. While the concept is certainly an interesting one, the series ultimately falls flat because of its unlikable, unsympathetic, and two-dimensional characters, of which there are many.

Raito is introduced as a bored genius who is the top of his class and who really has no passion for life or anything in it. This is honestly the only look at his original character we get before he discovers the death note about two pages in. After that, he decides to kill criminals, not because of any moral obligation he feels to humankind to rid them of the scum of the Earth so that all may live in peace but rather… because he’s bored. His initial motivation is completely unrealistic for an individual of his intellect and is more akin to a troubled teenage boy’s obsession with living rather than playing Grand Theft Auto than anything else. Apparently, the author expects us to believe that an insanely intelligent high school student with an immensely promising future decides to become a mass-murdering serial killer, thus dedicating his life to completely eradicating the world of evil (a task that I hope we all know is perfectly impossible) and in the process forever condemning himself as a criminal… simply because he was bored one day and couldn’t think of anything better to do with his life. In fact, the author goes out of his way to reiterate that Raito only used the death note because he was bored even though the former very easily could have pinned the blame on a more fervent (and believable) desire to improve human society. Why he chose to do this, I have no idea. A lot of people argue that Raito had good intentions. Certainly he could have, at least at first, but I can hardly consider boredom (i.e. selfishness) a “good intention,” especially when it was made explicitly clear that his desire to rid the world of crime was only a secondary motivation. There was a part in the first chapter, a very short scene of about two pages, in which we see our antihero pathetically dragging himself along an alleyway, essentially freaking out because he’s just committed a murder. Quite frankly, it is the most interesting scene in the manga because it’s the only real character development he ever gets throughout twelve volumes that are almost entirely about him. Afterwards, he begins to devolve from a potential three-dimensional character to a blatant two-dimensional cardboard cutout of a baddie. When he (rapidly, I might add) gets over the initial shock of having become a murderer, he resumes killing criminals, this time at exponential rates as if the word “conscience” were merely another part of his undoubtedly large vocabulary. People may argue that the death note drove him insane. I won’t deny that it’s very likely that it did… eventually. There is no evidence in the series to suggest that the death note held any such power over him. It was, in fact, his own god complex that encouraged him to keep killing. Though I didn’t agree with it, it was understandable to me why he was killing off criminals. What I would have liked was for him to eventually come to realize that he was morally wrong in what he was doing, but no such development occurs.

Raito completely crosses the line for me when he
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
kills off all of the innocent FBI agents tasked with tracking down Kira because it is their job. Any way you dice it, that’s completely sick, cowardly, and unjustifiable. How can one feel sympathy for a person who murders innocent people because he’s afraid for his own hide?
A particularly annoying inconsistency in Raito’s character (or rather lack thereof) occurs when
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
he gives up possession of the death note and thereby loses all his memories of it. I feel like the personality that then emerges is how the real Yagami Raito ought to have acted, but since we see so little of his personality pre-death note (thank you, careless author), we have no way of knowing if this is the case. Regardless, he has a lot more passion and emotion in the memory-loss arc and is also much more personable. He actually cares for the ditzy and intolerable Misa and is not a complete manipulative womanizer as he previously was. His entire character does a perfect one-eighty; he is disgusted by Kira’s killings and aims to stop him no matter what. Yet when he regains his memories of the death note, this side of his personality disappears completely as if it had never existed. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it.
Unless Raito was clinically insane from the get-go (of which there is no mention – thanks again, careless author), then this creative writing major simply cannot convince herself that a seemingly normal, law-abiding human being with a good upbringing and no evident psychological disorders could bring himself to do half the things of which Yagami Raito is guilty and subsequently feel no remorse whatsoever.

The ending of the manga is, put bluntly, disgusting. I won’t detail it here, but honestly, it made me physically ill just reading it, and I’m appalled that it was even allowed to go uncensored in a shounen manga geared towards young boys. It almost made me feel as if the author
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
was simply sick of his protagonist just as much as I was.
And I guess that should be expected, considering the author admitted himself in an interview that he wrote the series purely for the entertainment factor without taking into account at all the morality of the issues he explored. For the sheer intelligence of some of the maneuvers in this series, I give it two stars. The art is lovely and gradually gets better towards the end, so I’ll add three stars for that. The bishounen protagonist is the weakest link in this series, and I think that if it weren’t for his pretty face and astounding brainpower, his fan base would drop by perhaps ninety percent. If you’re curious, try out the live action movies. If you want to read a series by an author who clearly hates women and honestly doesn’t care a whole lot about his characters or morality, then this series is for you. Otherwise, leave this one on the shelves and opt for a better-crafted shounen series with convincing and relatable characters and real elements of tragedy such as Fullmetal Alchemist, Pandora Hearts, or the Record of a Fallen Vampire.

... Last updated on May 20th, 2011, 2:21pm
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Rating: 9.9 / 10.0
by MatrixM
May 13th, 2011, 3:03am
I think i first started reading this in 2005, when i was in grade 6 [maybe i started in grade 5]. I stopped reading at one point because the company arc was getting tiring for me. in Grade 7 my friend told me that literally a few pages after i stopped, the arc ends. So, stick with it all the way lads/lasses.
I'm not sure what to put in this review, as i was 12/13 when i read this so i'm not sure if i would have felt the same if i had read it at my current age. But when i did read it, it was undoubtedly my favourite of all the anime/manga i had seen/read at the time [this is including FMA-the first series adaptation].
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Good but the ending sucks   
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
by kiron216
April 25th, 2011, 1:53am
Anyone who thinks that you can change the world without sacrifice is an idiot. I keep hearing things like L was awesome and Light was evil and yet as we speak there are illicit dealings going on such as a secret weapons program in the fukushima reactor which prevented a timely response and worsened the disaster as well as a coverup of the corrupt nature of the industry in general.

Right now one of the two major parties in the United States is advocating cutting 4 trillion dollars from medicare and medicaid to pay for yet more tax cuts for the rich and the ignorant plebians who support them are gobbling up their oversimplified reasoning. In general corporate america is sucking the nation dry and warmongering abroad and yet we have a justice system that not only allows them to get away with unforgivable atrocities but actually rewards them for it.

Looking at a justice system like this do you think that it is possible to judge the moral righteousness of a person using this system as a standard? I don't and yet that is exactly what L does. He pursues the case because of misguided idealism and self interest (he took on the case because he was interested in the case). The police and L make me sick. They just did what was best for themselves all along.

Other than that it was good. The ending was so horrible that im lowering it from a 9 to a 7. It was seriously that bad.
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It's amazing.   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by strawberriez880
April 18th, 2011, 10:41pm
Well, I'm going to ignore some of the comments here that say DN is unnecessarily complex or emo or whatever. Death Note is one of the best shounen manga I've ever read. I even bought the box set for it (truth be told, I only buy manga that I really, REALLY like).

Why is it so good, then? (If you don't agree, fair enough. These are my opinion.)

1) The main characters are very intelligent and their ways of executing their plans are amazingly neat.
2) Storyline is consistent.
3) Supernatural plays a big role in this, yet it doesn't completely take over and makes everything magical. (Does that even make sense? o.O)
4) The ending is perfect (I'm talking about the manga, not the anime). Enough said.


1) Minor characters are too stupid and one dimensional.
2) Intelligent characters are killed too easily by Light (SPOILER example: Naomi).
3) The story drags on for a little bit after a certain character's death, but it picks up the pace quickly enough that I didn't lose interest.

Art style: I love the art. The characters body and facial features are very proportional. You can easily tell the character's age by looking at them (in some manga, especially shoujo, everyone looks the same, even if they're supposed to be mature/old). You can even tell their race by their facial features, which I think is remarkable. Also, as far as I noticed, there are no two characters that share the same style of eyes (besides Mello and Near, I think).

Anyway, enough of me rambling.

If anyone is looking for a good manga with a dark, intriguing story with awesome (for the lack of a better word bigrazz ) main characters, Death Note is the way to go.

... Last updated on April 18th, 2011, 10:44pm
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Ohba Tsugumi's serious problem   
Rating: 6.5 / 10.0
by Kamugin
April 1st, 2011, 4:31pm
I've devoured this manga and, to say the truth, I found it very good initially. But after I calmed down my enthusiasm, I started to acknowledge its many flaws. Besides Light and L (and L sucessors) everyone else are very stupid characters, mainly the women. Even the most intelligent ones are nothing but toys in the hand of Yagami Light. The ex FBI female agent (killed very easily when I was expecting she would have a main role to disclose and arrest Kira) and the Light's university ex colleague (later his lover and Kira supporter). Useless to mention Misa, Light's play thing, and the most stupid character in the whole manga. Now I think the author, Ohba Tsugumi, must have a personal grudge against all women. Perhaps his mother was bad to him, or he was rejected by every girl he confessed to, or his school female colleagues bullied him or everything of that at the same time.

... Last updated on April 1st, 2011, 4:55pm
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