Monday, October 20, 2008

13 for Halloween: Pencil in some time with Death Note

You may point to anything from Chainsaw to just plain Saw, but for my money nobody does horror like the Japanese. And one of the best ways to soak up all that weirdness is by reading a little horror manga like Death Note.

Compared to some other manga, like Gyo or Uzumaki, Death Note is actually pretty tame, but it still has a nice creepiness and asks a truly disturbing question: Which is the true monster? The one that provides the means to murder with the hope it will be used, or the murderer himself?

In Death Note, a shinigami (death god) has left its notebook in the human world out of sheer boredom. The book has the power to kill anyone who's name is written in it, and the shinigami Ryuk hopes someone will discover and begin using it — he's even helpfully included detailed instructions on how the notebook works.

Ryuk doesn't have to wait long. The notebook is discovered by brilliant but sociopathic student Light Yagami, who immediately uses it to kill off more than 50 criminals in and out of police custody. Light argues that he can use to the Death Note to make the world better by cleansing it of evil people, but he soon begins to target anyone he thinks is in his way toward utopia and ultimate power. Once he finds out he can even choose the time and method of death, he relishes coming up with violently creative ways for his victims to die.

One day Light is trying to track down the special agents trying to find him so he can put them in his notebook, when suddenly his bus is hijacked by a drug-addicted, failed bank robber (who Light has arranged to be on the bus by using the Death Note). It's just another day for Light in ...


STOP THE BUS!

(Hey, don't forget to read from right to left!)


Panels from Death Note, Vol. 1
Tsugumi Ohba, writer; Takeshi Obata, artist

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2 comments:

Sea_of_Green said...

Hee, hee! I like that monster. Appropriately creepy. :-)

Maxo said...

It's a great design - it even looks good in the movies.