Death Note: Short Stories | Review
Death Note: Short Stories
Written by Tsugumi Ohba, art by Takeshi Obata
Viz Media, 2022
Age rating: Teen Plus
The iconic series is back with a brand new collection of stories centered on the magical notebook. Light, L, Near, and our favorite shinigami Ryuk make appearances, and we are introduced to new characters who get the (mis)fortune of encountering the Death Note.
The first couple of stories, “C-Kira” and “a–Kira,” are continuations of the original Death Note, where Ryuk looks for new hosts for the cursed notebook and Near, still troubled after the death of L, is contemplating whether he is worthy enough to carry on L’s legacy. In these stories, humanity’s moral code is tested once more, leading to disturbing consequences for those involved. We see this more in “a-Kira,” where the new owner auctions the book to satisfy his greed. Along the way, we encounter a characterization of a controversial political figure and his plan for the book. Needless to say, Ohba created this person to the T of his real-life counterpart.
After these dark stories, we get treated to some four-panel funnies to lighten the mood “a-Kira” left us with, featuring the original cast. Some of these are just beyond ridiculous, and just perfect after reading the previous story.
Then we get two stories, “One Day” and “Wammy’s House,” featuring the sweets-loving detective, L. These stories give us a glimpse of L’s life before his cat-and-mouse game with Light. It’s a mind-altering take on L’s personality and how he became the person he was. I personally felt sorry for this popular character and the life he’s led, but grateful that he had Wammy in his life.
In the final story, “Taro Kagami,” we see something very rare from a Death Note user: remorse. When a young boy, Taro, sees what the Death Note can do, he’s horrified and tries to get rid of it. However, Taro (and the rest of us) learn a new twist to the notebook’s powers. I’m guessing the twist has to do with the fact that Taro is a young child, and maybe Ryuk is not really a bad guy when it comes to children.
Overall, Death Note: Short Stories would be great for any Death Note fan, especially the stories “a-Kira” and “Taro Kagami,” both of which perfectly illustrate both sides of the coin when it comes to human nature.
About Renee Scott
Renee Scott is a young adult librarian based in NYC, as well as a dedicated otaku and gamer. She is a lifelong fan of comics, anime, and manga. She can be found on Twitter at @libraryladynyc, and on her review blog, The Library Lady of NYC Reviews.
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