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

Groups Scanlating
Aku Tenshi
Franky House

Latest Release(s)
c.23 by MANGA Plus 1 day ago
c.22 by MANGA Plus 8 days ago
c.21 by MANGA Plus 15 days ago
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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

20 topics, 577 posts
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User Rating
Average: 8.7 / 10.0 (3308 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.68 / 10.0

Last Updated
May 23rd 2019, 9:01am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Viz (13 Volumes - Complete)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #349 increased(+125)
Monthly Pos #707 increased(+22)
3 Month Pos #818 increased(+8)
6 Month Pos #1084 increased(+244)
Year Pos #1269 increased(+323)

List Stats
On 1504 reading lists
On 787 wish lists
On 7671 completed lists
On 402 unfinished lists
On 568 custom lists

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User Comments  [ Order by usefulness ]
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Too glorified  
by Seregosa
August 20th, 2017, 6:35pm
Rating: 1.0 / 10.0
Gave it a 1 because it's got too many 10's. Seriously, this might be worth a 5, 6 or even 7, for some people it could be worth a 8... but 9 or 10? It's just a bunch of fans that are too blinded to actually evaluate this thing for what it is. For me, it's a 5, perhaps a 6. It's around average to slightly above average. It's not great(7), it's not amazing(8), it's not not unbelievably amazing(9) and it sure as hell isn't a flawless 10, for more reasons than I can remember.

It was somewhat interesting at first, but it quickly got boring, started to get into repetitive storytelling and got plagued with bad decisions regarding the plot, one such example would be killing off L and then starting over again with replacement characters, but there's many other things too, such as the book being possible to pass around. Then there's the character cast, none of which is particularly interesting or likable. Just take that light guy for example, he's hardly anything but a douche with mental issues and a general hate for the world, swinging his big d*ck(book) around and saying that he has a responsibility to cull everyone he doesn't find pleasing to the eye with petty excuses such as making the world a better place. Well, that sounds all well and good if we exclude the part about him trying to make the ideal world FOR HIMSELF, meaning that anyone who doesn't agree with his views would be fcked, kinda like when you have an argument with someone over the internet and yell at each other a bit for differing opinions, both gets aggravated and annoyed, but this guy would kill you because you didn't agree with him. He's pretty much a child throwing a tantrum about life and how horrible the world is to him, only that this guy has a cheat that can kill everyone he looks at and writes down. Boring, really.

Well, there's a lot more that I can mention, but I don't care to spend more time on this. In my opinion you shouldn't read this manga if you've read a lot of novels+manga and watched a lot of anime before. Stuff like this tends to be great when you're newer to it all, just like generic crap such as bleach, dragon ball, one piece, naruto etc, you get my drift. When you're deep into this and has read thousands of manga+novels and watched a few hundred different anime, or at least a hundred or so, it's probably not going to be a good experience. This is not a great work, but I guess it could be a fairly good introduction to the somewhat darker side of manga/anime/novels. It tends to be nice to start out simple. Just keep in mind that few to none characters in this manga is likable and one of the least likable characters is the one introduced at the start as a mc, that light guy who got the death note. I do, however, applaud the creators for the "Just as planned" face that we tend to see here and there in other manga. The L sitting posture is also pretty nice.

... Last updated on August 20th, 2017, 6:38pm
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Man... Nostalgia  
by helblabla
September 3rd, 2016, 2:41am
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
I read it all when I was in middle school and back then I thought it was the greatest manga of all time. I rewatched the anime a few weeks ago and then went back to the manga and man... I've grown up and changed so much. The pacing is still suspenseful. The premise is still awesome. I will still think L is one of the coolest manga and anime characters. And I still love the art. But it's not as smart as I remember which of course was the main appeal. The thing is other than Light and L and later Mello and Near all the other characters were just there. Now, in 8th grade I thought that was part of the appeal, it was like L and Light playing chess with the people around them. But since then I've read plenty of stories where all the background characters have their own dreams and aspirations and Death Note just simply doesn't make sense in comparison.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
How was Raye Penbar's wife smart enough to pretty much crack the case but so careless in giving Light her info like that? It doesn't make any sense. And that's pretty much how so much of the series went especially with the female characters. They start off completely brilliant on their own. We think, oh, maybe they'll spice up this plot. But the second they meet Light they get completely brainwashed and their entire personalities change in ways thats inconsistent. They become total plot tools and it ruins the story. Lights dad was even worse than Misa imo. His choices kind of made sense but at a certain point he was making things too easy for Light.

I actually loved the ending though. Maybe not everything leading up to it, although I don't mind the end of the the first half as much as everyone else seems to mind it. I still think Mello and Near are cute although the reinforcements on Light's side seemed a bit more hackish. But I thought the last chapter was one of the best. The artwork was great too
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Ryuk writing Light into the deathnote. That panel can't be beat.

... Last updated on September 3rd, 2016, 2:46am
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Falls apart  
by PZcolo
October 20th, 2015, 8:10am
Rating: 5.0 / 10.0
Read it a long time ago, I can only remember my disappointment in this series that started promising but ended up exaggerating absolutely everything, mainly the main char is blow to ridiculous proportions which is a lame of an excuse from the author in trying to make a char brighter than his story telling abilities allow him.
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Not According to Keikaku  
by crazyboutcute
March 2nd, 2015, 12:50am
Rating: 4.0 / 10.0
Edit: Removed and rewritten to a higher standard of quality!

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. But if you're expecting a vivid social commentary with a complex plot and characters, then you'll be sorely disappointed.

I read the entire manga (a painstaking effort on my part), watched the anime, and even saw the three live action movies (the first two of which are, admittedly, the best this franchise has to offer). Still, I was unable to relieve the sensation of crushing disappointment this series left me with. The premise is great: Protagonist Light Yagami finds the eponymous Death Note, a supernatural notebook that allows him to kill any individual simply by picturing their face and writing their name within its pages. With this veritable artifact of doom, ol' Light intends to kill criminals and create a "perfect" world, and this inevitably leads to the start of a long game of cat-and-mouse with the mysterious detective known only by the letter L (for some reason). That all seems to check out for a great psych-thriller, right?

Well, maybe it would have been if the characters weren’t so utterly, detestably flat.

So our golden boy Light is introduced to us as a bored genius who really has no passion for life or anything in it. And… that’s it. This is honestly the only look at his initial personality we get before he discovers the Death Note about two pages in. I mention this because this kid legitimately does not receive any further development as a character beyond becoming (within chapters) a flat, black-and-white villain. No, that is not an exaggeration. He tests the Death Note because he’s bored, freaks out for about two panels when he realizes that it works and that he’s now effectively a murderer… and then he’s pretty okay with the whole "axing random criminals because screw the legal system" thing. (And yeah, I'd understand more if it were America, but this is coming out of Japan, which already has the notoriously high ~90% conviction rate and a history of prosecuting and punishing the innocent.)

Okay, so, Light’s a sociopath. It happens. Big whoop, right? But no, that’s not even the problem. The problem here isn’t that he’s a sociopath -- it’s that he’s not even a particularly interesting one. Light kills criminals because he thinks it’s the “just” thing to do. That’s basically all there is to that – the morality, or lack thereof, of his mindset and actions is never discussed, questioned, explored, or otherwise ruminated upon, much to the series’ detriment. The movie at least made him an aspiring LEO, disillusioned with his chosen field of study when he realizes that many criminals escape the law. But in the manga, his remains a very base, very static motive up until the stakes are raised for him – when he starts targeting innocents who threaten his security (which he readily and remorselessly does). This is the singular aforementioned development his character undergoes – and it’s passed over without so much as a, “Gee, I wonder if killing that innocent FBI agent who was just trying to do his job constitutes crossing a moral boundary or two.”

Light’s evilness grows as the series progresses, yet his dimensionality as a character, as a villain, remains grounded in the 2D. Nothing changes in him from then on out, good or bad. He doesn’t descend further into madness, he doesn’t struggle with the shattered remains of what was once a conscience. He just continues on as a pretty-faced force of evil and deceit. And it’s boring. With no redeeming traits at all and no bigger way to crash and burn than to climax the series, he does absolutely nothing for the reader as a character.

And then there’s L – the detective, the rival, the enemy, what-have-you. I can think of quite a few things to say about him, but in the interest of keeping this review as succinct as possible, let me just say this: He’s basically a carbon-copy of Light, only instead of working for Evil, he works for Good. Both boys are petty, childish, and self-righteous. They’re concerned with “winning” their (pardon the crudeness) grand-scale penis-measuring contest for the sole purpose of validating their egos and asserting themselves as the embodiments of the abstract principle of justice. Neither cares about what he has to do or who he has to step on in order to get his way because to them, the end justifies the means. Honestly, they’re like overgrown toddlers holding a turf war on the playground, but instead of throwing sand, they’re throwing around people’s lives. And neither one changes. Aside from a few (albeit rather refreshing and endearing) gimmicks on L’s part, I’m prepared and willing to argue that they’re exactly the same character, only opposite. Suffice to say, L’s quirkiness may hold your interest for a couple of chapters, but his flatness, coupled with Light’s, very soon wears thin.

I really could go on for quite some time about this manga, but there’s no point in beating a dead horse. For what it’s worth, this series really will mess with your head and strain your capacity for logical reasoning, at least until it pushes into the absurd. For example, a lot of the key points in the plot rely on L knowing that Light knows that L found out that Light discovered that L has knowledge of Light’s knowledge that L is fully aware that Light is Kira.

...On second thought, you might benefit more from playing a Phoenix Wright game. (And for an added bonus, Dahlia Hawthorne and Kristoph Gavin are actually interesting and multifaceted sociopaths.)

In the series’ favor, I will say that the art is pleasant and smoothly improves in quality over time, and some of Light’s and L’s schemes really are fun and clever. Still, pretty pictures and a couple of parlor tricks aren’t nearly enough to carry the sheer dead weight of this dismal manga, especially with the inclusion of the entire second half, which tanks even worse than the first, making it a particularly tedious chore to get through. (Thank god the director had the good sense to cut and speed through it in the anime, and the movies don't come near it with a ten-foot pole.) The ending isn’t exactly a reward for all that hard work, either, and it’s so humorlessly nihilistic that it actually made me a little sick to read. There’s no hope, no redemption, and no heart to be found at any point in this series, and because of its promising premise, it really does end up being quite the disappointing read. If you’re insatiably curious, then try the live action movies. Otherwise, leave this one on the shelves because there are so many better crafted shounen series out there that this one really doesn’t deserve the time of day.

... Last updated on April 10th, 2015, 5:40pm
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Mind Blowing  
by Pacific.Mint
December 27th, 2013, 12:49am
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
The premise was very unique and original to me. Never would have I imagined such a plot. As opposed to some other mangas that claim to be intelligent but weren't really, this manga is actually intelligent and amazingly so. I was completely taken away by the suspense and the mind games. Stayed up till 6 am to read it lol.

In the last chapter where the manga raises the point that though Light's actions were evil crimes, he was somewhat likable. It was so interesting to me that this manga picked an anti-hero as its protagonist. In any other manga, the hero(s) would be L or N; you know, the good guys. So when some readers, including me, didn't want Light to lose even though his actions were so evil, it's a fascinating thing.

Yeah, Light was definitely an unfeeling jerk and villainous, but since he was the protagonist, I couldn't help but rooted for him, or at least didn't want him to lose. If I were put off by Light, I would have quit by the time L died if not before that. No way would I read a story where the guy I hate wins in the end. But when Light looked at the dying L with an evil face, even though I was creeped out and a little big disgusted too, I actually let out a sigh of relief because that meant Light didn't lose. Yeah, I was a little bit to frightened to realize I was on Light's side in the story. I applaud the author to be able to so successfully create an oxymoronic anti-hero with ideas that repulse me but I wanted him to succeed, had a nasty personality with a likable charm, which made me guilty for rooting for him secretly.

Given that, I was a bit sad at the ending because I honestly wanted Light to win, even though his ideal world was crazy. I think Light, L, N, and Mello were all intelligent, especially Light and L. L lost to Light didn't mean he was inferior in brain power. He started the case with nothing but rumors, fighting against the supernatural and blocked by a major lack of information. By the time N and Mello were on stage, Light's wits were already a little bit wore down by over-confidence and his victory over L; his actions were restricted by his lies and double life. So I wouldn't say N and Mello took down Light alone. The web that would eventually kill Light had to be begun with L and took 3 guys, and 2 deaths of them, to complete. Not to mention he scared the whole world and almost had everyone on earth under his palm. I would say that Light did pretty well, not that I'm advocating his ideas.

Overall, a heart-jumping and mind-gripping ride. I almost had a heart attack myself 2/3 of the way because of the intense suspense.

... Last updated on December 27th, 2013, 1:22am
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Uniquely Intelligent  
by Fantasier
September 30th, 2013, 10:08am
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
While considering giving a manga its score, I put my like first, then consider other factors, although those are done subtly. The point is, I'm saying Death Note scores just about 100% in all the latter factors.

Let's start talking with something readers may overlook since the story is so freaking great: the art. You know, it's Obata Takeshi and you can only expect a supreme level of drawing. Even though not at his best, the art created in this series is still almost at the top of all. I like everything, the characters, the backgrounds , the scenes--the 'mangatography'. No, you won't see any ugly picture here.

Now to the story, oops, it's Ohba Tsugumi, presumably the best buddy of Obata-sensei. He or she is wonderful as an author, unrivaled (in his or her field of story style) to almost anyone in the manga industry. The story is unique, and noticeably intelligent.

Ohba made the protagonists in Death Note, Light and L (and some more), actually intelligent. In contrast to many series which just say this guy is clever, so clever with 200+ of IQ but doesn't really do anything clever, Death Note dares readers to doubt if the characters are that good, then punches us right at the faces with the sentence 'silly, I told you they are geniuses'. The plot has some hugely twisted points and massive amount of intelligence showoffs. I should not forget to mention that it's not all about cleverness battle, but also some dramas, which make it better than other similar series. Seriously a piece written by an absolutely talented author.

What might annoy you about this series, apart from not being the story of your taste, is the 'wall of texts' style of OBATAxOHBA, which I don't mind at all and rather like it.

OBATAxOHBA is the best team, and will very likely to remain the same until the end of the world. It's a big miss if you passed Death Note and didn't pick it up.

... Last updated on September 30th, 2013, 10:14am
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One of my favourite manga!  
by mercio
September 16th, 2013, 2:08pm
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Hate the ending though. I feel like they dumb down Light character just to have the "Good triumph over evil" ending. I mean come ON! This manga does not deserve that ending.

Still, it was a great read and I recommend anyone who's interested to give it a try. smile
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A tale of three thirds  
by fahmedbd
June 3rd, 2013, 4:41am
Rating: N/A
Excellent first third. Good middle third. Disappointing final third.
When I started my mind was blown. Great artwork, awesome leads and a riveting plot. The first few volumes are seriously good material. But close to the middle of the story the plot started to plod around a bit and then the final third made things even worse. I guess you could say the final act was good but the series had lost its charm by then. I'd rate it higher but the loss of potential that this series goes through really disappointed me.
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by Cock Mongler
May 29th, 2013, 9:36am
Rating: N/A
" If you don't like this manga, I'm sorry, but you have awful taste" - What a conceited remark.

Honestly, I got bored with it, that is after I watched the anime though. I can't imagine anyone watching the anime and reading the manga and not getting bored, it just feels so slow sometimes, even when a massively important event is taking place. Not to say it's bad, but if you watched the anime, don't bother reading this, the same for if you read it first, let the anime be.
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What is there to say?  
by P_O_C_K_Y
May 14th, 2013, 6:26pm
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
If you haven't heard of this manga you've been living under a rock. If you don't like this manga, I'm sorry, but you have awful taste. One of the most popular psychological mangas that I second only to Liar Game, it's brilliant.

All characters whether you are on L's side, Light's side, or prefer to be like Ryuk and just watch things unfold, are likable (yes, even Misa). It was unpredictable, it was suspenseful, it was comical, it was all-around great. Haven't read it? Read it. Don't like it? The bloody hell is wrong with you!

Read it and appreciate it for the amazing piece of work it is.

... Last updated on May 14th, 2013, 6:27pm
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