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Book Review

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Death Note
Volume 13 - How to Read


Author: Tsugumi Ohba
Artist: Takeshi Obata
Viz Media
RRP: £8.99, US $14.99, Cdn $17.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 4215 1888 6
ISBN-10: 1 4215 1888 0
Ages: T+ (For older teens)
Available 07 July 2008

Death Note (story by Tsugumi Ohba, art by Takeshi Obata) was an unusual manga, satisfyingly complex in the execution of both the narrative and the art the story posed a simple question. If you found a book that would kill just by putting the victims name in it would you use it for good or evil? More complicated than this is the question as to whether, even for the greater good, it is ever acceptable to take another’s life.

In the main story of Death Note, Light finds the book, initially just wanting to make a better world by ridding it of evil; he quickly succumbs to megalomania when he decides to set himself up as the god of his imagined new utopia.

Given the number of characters and the convolutions of the plot is seems appropriate that the story finally got its own encyclopedia Death Note: How to Read.

Where to begin, the book is a gold mine of information about the series, of course you have in-depth character profiles which even include fake psychometric results to visually show each characters emotional and intellectual attributes.

More interesting is the extensive input from the book's creators in the form of interviews and FAQ’s. There is also a look at the themes in the books and a timeline. For those of you who didn’t get enough with the first twelve books there is also an original bonus story.  

This rich and densely pack book should be an essential purchase for any fan of Death Note, as a reference book for a manga it doesn’t get much better than this.


Charles Packer

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