Otaku #03: Death Note Vol. 2

Death Note Volume 2 fills out its pages with interesting twists

Brandon Beatty, contributing editor

Previously in Otaku, I reviewed the manga Death Note, which tells the story of high school ace Light Yagami who finds a death note, a notebook with the power to kill anyone whose name is written in it.

Light, learning of the death note’s powers, decides to use it to kill off criminals. However, when criminals worldwide start dying simultaneously, the authorities send in L, a legendary detective to track down the killer. In volume two, the battle between Light aka “Kira” and L rages on when Light uses Kirchro Osoreda, one of his reserved criminals to lure out Raye Pember, a member of the FBI team sent to Japan at L’s request to investigate members of the NPA’s Kira Task Force who are suspected of leaking information on Kira. When Osoreda dies and Pember’s identity is known, Light quickly hatches a plan which results in not just Pember but all of the FBI agents in Japan dying simultaneously. As a result, L is forced to not only reveal himself, but also to rely on the remaining six members of the NPA task force, including Light’s father.

Death Note Vol. 2/Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

At this point in the story, I’m still in awe of how Light has evolved from a model high school student to an individual of pure evil, who believes that his actions are shaping a better world. He proves this when he kills Naomi Misora, Rayes’ fiancé and a former FBI agent who was close to revealing Light as Kira. As volume 2 continues, L, now going by the name Ryuzaki, is not out of the battle yet by providing the task force with fake police IDs in addition to making his hotel room the secret HQ for the Kira investigation.

Suspicious that Kira can still access classified information from the NPA, Ryuzaki increases the psychological warfare by placing a hidden camera and listening devices in the final two homes Pember was investigating where the Yagami family are suspects. Light, in the final pages of volume two, discovers that he is under surveillance and hatches a plan to counter Ryuzaki’s efforts using Ryuk to find the cameras. Readers picking up the second volume of Death Note will not be disappointed, since Tsugumi Obata has kept the plot fresh from the start of the series. His writing has ensured that Death Note is more than a regular who-done-it mystery.

The master talents of artist Takeshi Obata will not disappoint manga otaku. He regularly successfully mixes supernatural and physical elements with few hitches. The stage is set. Two chosen people are fighting in a battle destined to be one of ages. Who will win? Stay tuned as we continue to review a supernatural mystery manga that’s taking the world by storm.

Contributing Editor Brandon Beatty can be reached via e-mail at gicomics@gaminginsurrection.com.

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