N00b Reviews: Death Note

After falling in love with the Death Note anime I have decided to look at the manga series to see how it compares.  I found the story really compelling and the opening theme of the anime strangely hypnotic…

cover


Summary:

Death Note is a manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. The story follows protagonist Light Yagami, a student with great prospects but unsatisfied with his life. This all changes when he finds a notebook that has the powers to kill people dropped by a rogue Shinigami named Ryuk. Light vows to use the powers of the book to kill criminals, but when the authorities discover the pattern they send the legendary detective ‘L’ to track down the killer.


First Impressions:

I don’t think I’ve seen any other manga in the N00b series so far that is as wordy as Death Note is. It feels like it should be a novel rather than a manga series as it needs a lot of descriptive text to explain things such as the theories behind using the notebook, which seem to be too complex to describe simply using images.

wordy

Does it really need to be specified where he sits?


What I liked:

One thing that particularly stood out to me about Death Note was the fact that even though the protagonist is an anti-hero we still end up rooting for him despite him killing millions of people even when they are innocent. We can’t help but side with him as we believe in his cause and the fact the reason he is doing it is for a greater good; to rid the world of criminals.

Light and L

At the same time we admire L for his attempts to catch Kira (Light’s alter ego) and enjoy how mysterious and quirky he is. The central plot of Death Note revolves around the cat and mouse chase between L and Light, and this element is what makes this manga so engrossing; waiting to see how the two of them will try to out-think the other.


What I disliked:

As I’ve stated one of the major flaws with the Death Note manga was the fact that it was very wordy and often felt like it should be a novel rather than a manga series. The other thing that I was slightly disappointed with was the second half of the manga series as a lot of the main cast changes and the new characters feel a lot weaker. Although despite this the plot tricks and twists are just as good in this half – in fact some of the better ones happen towards the end.


How does it compare to the anime:

 The anime gets off to a great start with this brilliant opening sequence:

Stunning visuals, addictive theme song, and the fact that it spans over 37 episodes and still keeps you interested. What’s not to love about this adaptation?

With long-running anime series there can often be a lot of filler episodes but with Death Note this isn’t the case at all and leaves very little out from the manga which is definitely very satisfying to see.


Overall Opinion:

 This series is simple enough to understood universally no matter of age, but at the same time deep and clever enough for those looking for something more meaty to sink their teeth into. Additionally, this series offers something that not many other series do–a moral conundrum. What if we had a Death Note? Would we use it? How would we use it? Is it possible to use it without turning into what Light becomes?

If you’re a seasoned anime fan or a N00b like myself I think this is a series you should definitely check out. Especially if you enjoy a mix of mystery, horror and crime thriller.


Written by Jess Harcastle, Marketing Whizz-kid for Cosmic Anvil.

Check out our own Welsh-manga (or ‘Wanga’) series, AGE OF REVOLUTION on our official site and Comixology!

N00b Reviews: Soul Eater

This week in Noob Reviews I am going to look at the very popular Soul Eater manga series to see what makes it so popular.

Soul_Eater_manga_volume_1


Summary:

Soul Eater written and illustrated by Atsushi Okubo is a manga series set at the “Death Weapon Meister Academy” and tells the story of three teams. Each team consists of a weapon meister and a weapon that can transform into a human. Their aim is to create a death scythe for the headmaster of the academy: ‘Shinigami’ or Lord Death. In order to do this they must collect souls of 99 humans and one witch. If they don’t do this in the exact order they have to restart from the beginning.


First Impressions:

Talk about jumping right into the action! On the very first page we see the protagonist going after a human named Jack the Ripper. The art style of the manga is almost Tim Burton-esque. The background images are highly detailed but the character designs vary from cartoon-like to intense detailed illustrations especially during fight sequences.

Soul Eater

The Tim Burton influence


What I liked:

I like how all the characters have very unique abilities, personalities, and quirks. For example, Death the Kid has an obsession with symmetry and Black Star is an arrogant assassin that always likes to have a flashy entrance.  I also liked the intense battle scenes because they were very detailed and intricate. This helped highlight the seriousness of the fight and the fact that one of the characters is likely to die.

fighting


What I disliked:

I can’t really think of anything I necessarily disliked about Soul Eater, but I didn’t find it was as gripping as most of the other manga I have read and although I did carry on reading it after the first few chapters, the pace seemed kind of slow and I just wanted to get to the main story arc. Sorry Soul Eater, I’m just not one of the most patient readers!


Soooooo much Fan Service!

Are all the male characters obsessed with boobs? As mentioned in my first review in the N00b series (Fairy Tail) I thought there was a lot of pervy characters, and it’s the same at the beginning of Soul Eater with a lot of the male characters’ infatuation with the female characters’ chests.  However, as the story progresses this doesn’t seem to be the case as much and tends to focus more on the fighting aspects of the story.

boobs

boobs3


How does the anime compare to the manga?

After watching the first few episodes it does seem that the anime closely follows the manga from which it was adapted. I quite liked how similarly to the manga the style was. Cute but also creepy at the same time, and stuck to the cartoonish illustrations that the manga used.


Overall Opinion:

Whilst I did enjoy Soul Eater I don’t necessarily think it’s one of the manga I will carry on reading.  As I mentioned earlier, I enjoyed the style of the illustrations in the manga but wasn’t gripped with regards to the story. I found I much preferred the anime series because I found the voice acting unique and funny, I was especially not expecting the Shinigami to sound like this:


Written by Jess Harcastle, Marketing Whizz-kid for Cosmic Anvil.

Check out our own Welsh-manga (or ‘Wanga’) series, AGE OF REVOLUTION on our official site and Comixology!