Otaku #05: Death Note Vol. 3

‘Death Note Volume 3’ adds faces, intrigue to Light’s saga

Brandon Beatty, contributing editor

This quarter in the Otaku corner, I’m continuing the review of the biggest battle of good versus evil ever seen in Japanese animation in Volume 3 of “Death Note.”

A word of advice: Buckle your seat belts because new players arrive on the scene to shake things up and  set the foundation for more intense battles in the manga’s future.

A small recap: “Death Note” is the tale of Light Yagami, an ace high school student with great prospects who is completely bored with his life. That changes when he finds the “death note,” a notebook with the power to kill anyone whose name is written in it. Light, using the name Kira, vows to use the death note to rid the world of crime, resulting in criminals dropping dead. This leaves authorities no choice but to send in world-renowned detective L to solve the case.

photo courtesy of Amazon.com

In volume 3, Light has discovered that L has placed 64 surveillance cameras and microphones in his home. Once again, however,  Light/Kira manages to evade capture: He uses a bag of barbecue potato chips with a miniature TV inside and acts as though he is preparing for college entry exams as Ryuk, original owner of the death note and companion to Light, searches for the cameras and microphones. L, not completely fooled by Light’s tactics, decides to up the ante by enrolling at the same university that Light is attending using the name of Hideki Ryuga.

The mind games are temporarily stopped when Light’s father is sent to the hospital with the speculation that Kira caused his heart attack. At this point in the story, I consider both the mind games and Soichiro Yagami’s heart attack to be a filler break , leading readers to an action-packed stand off that results in the arrival of a “new” Kira as the femme fatale who, unknowingly to  Light and L, will have a major impact in upcoming chapters.

Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata continue to keep the perfect fusion of paranormal action and mystery through precise writing and energetic art in “Death Note,” refraining from the use of fan service elements usually found in anime and manga. While reading Death Note, you will be challenged to think more about their personal morals while at the same time evolving their appreciation for innovative storylines.

We’ll get further along with more Death Note action in future editions of Otaku, so keep an eye out for more commentary and analysis on the tale of Light, L and Ryuk. By the way if you rooting for “Team Light,” be like Kira and support your local shinigami by buying them apples. They’ll thank you for it.

Brandon Beatty is contributing editor for Gaming Insurrection. He can be reached by e-mail at gicomics@gaminginsurrection.com

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