Death Note Vol. #04 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Release Date: Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Writer/Artist:Story by Tsugumi Ohba, Art by Takeshi Obata
Translated by:Alexis Kirsch
What They Say
With two Kiras on the loose, L asks Light to join the taskforce and pose as the real Kira in order to catch the copycat. L still suspects Light, and figures that this is the perfect excuse to get closer to his quarry. Light agrees to the plan in order to have free access to the taskforce resources. But when Light manages to contact the new Kira, he discovers that his rival is anything but as expected. Will Light escape from love unscathed?
The stakes of the game have been raised now that there's a second Kira in the picture and Light knows he's got to find the fake before he's exposed. To that end a good deal of this volume deals with how the two Kiras meet and join forces without detection by the task force. Naturally Light wasn't prepared for who he finds: Misa, a cute up-and-coming idol who's got a great big crush on him. The story behind her ownership of a death note is pretty interesting itself, but even more important to Light is that it should be a breeze for her to kill L. Just when things look promising however, Misa is apprehended and both their lives are in danger. Misa's shinigami Rem is none too pleased with the outcome, but he strikes a deal with Light to save her. Of course, about the only thing left to do is relinquish ownership of the death notes and forget everything about them.
With Light now a clear suspect in L's mind, the focus shifts to even more conjecture, suspicion and planning - on both sides. I'll admit this manga is starting to outfox me; I could never be a super detective. Despite dizzying rounds of explanations, it doesn't seem like all that much is happening - at least not until the latter part of the book when Light's careful plans start unraveling. (A victim of love, indeed!) On the downside, this kind of ending makes the rest of the volume feel somewhat wasted, goofing up the pace a bit. Read week-by-week it may have been less noticeable but in collected form the handling of the Misa storyline has been rough in comparison to the rest. I'm still enjoying the dynamic between Light and L though - I almost want them to actually be friends because Light's so absolutely terrifying in his ability to compartmentalize. (And I'm not sure if this is good or bad, but I found a lot of humor in this volume.) One thing is clear though - this manga is getting ready to switch gears. The question is, are we ready?
This volume is incredibly text heavy, and thankfully the wrap and alignment look better than last volume. A nod goes out to the translator; it's got to be a tough job to make sense of all this.
Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A-
Text/Translatin Rating: A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: Viz Media
Orientation: Right to Left