Otaku Corner: Death Note Vol. 8

L con­tin­ues to inspire jus­tice in Death Note Vol­ume 8

Brandon-2012-cutoutFour years after his death, the world’s great­est detec­tive L con­tin­ues to chal­lenge Light Yagami in the most intense  game of cat and mouse via his suc­ces­sors. Will L and com­pany tri­umph or will Light have the last laugh? The answer to these ques­tions awaits in Death Note Vol­ume 8: Tar­get.
Writ­ten by Tsug­umi Ohba, drawn by Takeshi Obata and pub­lished by Viz Media, Death Note Vol­ume 8 lives up to its sub­ti­tle. At the end of Vol. 7, we left Light (Kira/the sec­ond L) — the newest mem­ber of the NPA’s intel­li­gence bureau — unchal­lenged in mak­ing his idea of a crime-free world come to fruition. How­ever, he was unpre­pared for a two-pronged attack from Mello and Near, L’s true suc­ces­sors. Mello joins with an orga­nized crime group to kid­nap Light’s sis­ter, Sayu, while Near gains the sup­port of the pres­i­dent of the United States to form the SPK (Spe­cial Pro­vi­sion for Kira). Both par­ties’ main objec­tive is to cap­ture Kira and the Death Note.
For a brief period, Light and Near coop­er­ate to res­cue Sayu while Light’s father, Soichiro, leaves for Los Ange­les to deliver their Death Note to Mello’s hench­men. Although Sayu was safely recov­ered, the note­book fell into the hands of Mello, allow­ing him and the gang’s boss, Rod Ross, to elim­i­nate indi­vid­u­als who sold var­i­ous ille­gal goods with­out Ross’ per­mis­sion as well as three senior mem­bers of the SPK.
As the psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare con­tin­ues, U.S. Pres­i­dent David Hoope gets thrown into the fray via Mello, whoDeath Note Vol. 8 cover states that his group would give the U.S. Kira’s note­book in exchange for fund­ing, weapons and shared use of the SPK’s satel­lites. Fac­ing a poten­tial global cri­sis, Pres­i­dent Hoope briefly com­plies with Mello’s requests but also noti­fies Light. Light promised to pro­tect the pres­i­dent but also requests use of spe­cial forces sol­diers to com­bat Mello and his group. Unfor­tu­nately, Mello was able to use the shinigami Sidoh to elim­i­nate the sol­diers at the same time Pres­i­dent Hoope was elim­i­nated, pos­si­bly by Kira (aka Light).
Vol­ume 8 con­tin­ues the tried-and-true for­mula that made Death Note a smash suc­cess: A great sto­ry­line that com­bines action and mys­tery with ele­ments of super­nat­ural hor­ror. I still can’t keep my jaw from drop­ping to the floor when I read about Light and his plans to keep him steps ahead of the task force, Mello and Near while act­ing as L and Kira. As Death Note con­tin­ues, you will form a view of Light Yagami: On one side, you admire Light’s intel­li­gence and his just goal to make the world a bet­ter place, while on the other side you despise him and root for his down­fall.
The art by Obata-san is flat-out awe­some, from char­ac­ter design to the loca­tions in Amer­ica. You will have to give Mello and Near credit; they’ve made some game-changing moves of their own such as Near let­ting Light take the lead while he still has author­ity over U.S. law enforce­ment, while Mello uses the mafia and resources to force the U.S. pres­i­dent to give him money and other sup­port to slow down Kira and Near to stay on top. Viz media, again, did an excel­lent job of adapt­ing and trans­lat­ing, this time entrust­ing both tasks to Tet­suichiro Miyaki.
Vol­ume 8 con­tin­ues the non­stop bat­tle of good vs. evil with the vic­tor claim­ing the  weapon to END all weapons. While read­ing, I felt like I got a front-row seat to a three-way bat­tle of devi­ous minds that are deter­mined to be tri­umphant. Who will prevail?

Bran­don Beatty is editor-at-large of Gam­ing Insur­rec­tion. He can be reached via email at brandonb@gaminginsurrection.com

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