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4.8 out of 5 stars46
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 27 December 2011
YES! Its Death Note! Basically for the people that have not read death note I suggest you do! Enough said. anyone who knowns anything about manga will have read it, and read all of it!
Now the Black Edition. The original manga came in 12 volumes, The black edition comes in 6, so thats 2 volumes per volume (if that makes sense) so the books are nice and thick. The books are also bigger than the original manga so the artwork is much clearer and easier to read which is always a good thing. Another nice touch is that the page edges are black so when the book is closed it is completely black (black edition - black pages = I see what they did there ).
The books also contain various pieces of artwork which is nice and they look fantastic. And that's it. Its Death Note but bigger and......well Black-er. For those who have not read death note I recommend either the original box set or these as both are fun to read. If you are new to manga the Death Note Black Edition is a great place to start and you will also be reading one of the best thriller's ever written.

One last note from me, if you already own the original manga its hard to recommend this to you. I'm not sure its worth buying again because its bigger, unless you really cannot get enough Death Note.
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I've read the original Death Note Manga and was intrigued by this new release. The book is slightly larger than the previous releases and contains volume 1 and volume 2 of the original Manga. The content is the same but the pages are black at the edge so that when closed the entire book is black apart from the cover design. It's a very attractive book and whether this cover or the original colour covers are more attractive is a matter of opinion, Death Note is a thought provoking story and appeals to many - this release of the book looks more mature and may appeal to older readers.

Within the first few pages we are introduced to the Shinigami (Gods of Death) and to Light - the top student at his school, who regularly acheives the highest grades nationally. Ryuk the Shinigami and Light have something in common, they are bored, but when Light stumbles across Ryuk's Deathnote the two are inextricably linked and life will be anything but boring.

The Deathnote allows the owner to write the name of someone, and as long as you picture their face as you write, that person will die. You can specify a method of death, or simply leave them to have a heart attack. Initially Light questions the ethics of using such a powerful instrument, but he quickly forms his own moral code and realises that he is in a position to instil social justice on a massive scale. He has the power to remove from society all those he sees as ruining it, all those who hurt the vulnerable and pray on the innocent.

The story gets going very quickly: The first chapter establishes Light's plan to change the world for the better - chapter two shows how his actions have been noticed at a high level. The killings are all over the news and the internet, the unknown force behind the deaths has become known as "Kira" (from the English word "killer"). The G8 summit and Interpol meetings have made a point of discussing the strange sudden deaths of serious criminals and already people are starting to form polar opposite views concerning the legendary Kira. Some think that the losses of life are a good thing, that criminals being removed from society for good is no bad thing, whereas some believe that whatever force is at work - ending the lives of others is morally deplorable. Either way the cause of the deaths has to be identified before it can be dealt with, this results in the introduction of "L", a strange genius and one of the most intriguing characters I've ever seen who is tasked with coordinating the search for Kira.

Although in the first half of the book L was a mysterious figure we saw little of, in the second half L is forced to reveal himself. His eccentric mannerisms add to the magnetism of this odd character. There are moments when the book really captures the battle between him and Light, the two are formidable opponents because of their intellect and determination.

The strength of the book lies in its swift establishing of the main characters and portraying a complex moral argument in an accessable way. The cat-and-mouse chase between L and Light as L tries to find out who is behind the Kira phenomenon is gripping and intelligent. There are more twists and clever plot devices in this book than some entire Manga series have. Also, instead of this being a simple tale of good versus evil, it gets the reader to assess whether Light is right or not to become Kira. Is his power too dangerous? Is he a dangerous serial killer or a genuine force for good in the world?

With this book being larger than the originals, the incredible detail of the artwork really shows. The content overall is black and white, but there are a few bonus colour pages which weren't in the original Viz (Shonen Jump Advanced) releases and they look superb. The illustrations are more real than 'cartoony' and this helps to create more realistic characters. It's only when you look at the books that you realise how close to the source material the anime and film adaptations were in terms of style. This is a perfect book to introduce yourself to Manga if you haven't read one before, you get used to reading from right to left very quickly and the story will make this very difficult to put down.

In a nutshell: A great introduction to the start of an incredible adventure. Light and L are fantastic characters and we have only just started to scratch the surface of an epic battle between two great minds. This re-issue probably isn't worth buying if you already own the original volumes 1 and 2, but otherwise this is a great purchase. This book works out cheaper than buying the original two versions separately, it's larger, and it has some colour art which you don't get in the original. Death Note is one of the greatest Manga series ever released, this is great chance to experience it if you haven't so far.
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I bought Death Note black for my son who has become interested in Manga and was very keen to try this having read good things. After he'd read it he was buzzing about it so I decided to give it a read.

I have read very little Manga and have been raised on western style comics so this is very different for me. The world in which humans and the spirit world simply coexist (it's not considered fantastical, just matter of fact) reminds me of Spirited Away. I love the complete absence of capes and super heroes and what is ultimately a human story.

It follows the story of Light Yagami, a young man who discovers the Death Note, a book dropped by a shinigami (who he can then see and talk to) which gives him the ability to kill people who's name he writes in ways he describes and he decided to put this to use doing away with evil.

The way this power changes and corrupts him and the battle of wits as he comes up against an adversary every bit as brilliant as him is beautifully written and drawn.

Captivating stuff and we're now collecting this whole series.
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on 30 August 2014
Death Note is without a doubt one of those mangas that practically everyone has at least heard about. No wonder too, the story is interesting and attention-catching. The plot is centered on Light Yagami, who finds a notebook with which he can kill people by writing their names on it, and the police investigation that attempts to put an end to his criminal killing and bring him to justice. It is deep, interesting, with a well-developed plot, and absolutely memorable. This manga is, story-wise and art-wise, fantastic. There is no question about it, and a review based purely on the story would be pointless considering the sheer amount of great existing ones already. I definitely recommend a fan of manga or just purely great works to read this comic. Because of this, this review will be about the quality of the Black Edition book itself and how it compares to the physical tomes. I will note here that I have both the hardback and paperback editions of the black edition, as well as some older volumes of the normal version of the comic.

The design of the Black Editions is just as they should, and feature a basic cover with a headshot of each of the major characters (Light, Ryuk, L, Misa, Mello, and Near). The spine, unlike the normal volumes, doesn’t feature a different shinigami in each volume, but a simpler and neater and simpler design. It seems, in a visual way, to be more reminiscent in this sense of the Death Note itself: formal, elegant, and with a somewhat ominous tone that goes along with the story itself. This extends to the visual look of the pages of the book, which from the outside are completely black.

The main feature of the Black Edition is that in each volume it serves as a two-pack, and in the six published volumes it contains the original 12 books of contents. The books are taller and wider, and the art in the pages is in this way scaled along with the pages – thus becoming easier to appreciate the detail of the art and the text itself – and makes it easier to hold than the original volumes. Several art pages are added at the cost of the original covers of the original volumes featuring the characters (though these do make reappearances at the end of the chapters, but not in colour).

The difference of material with the original releases is slight, though when compared to rereleases of other similar series (such as the Naruto 3-in-1 volumes) it is noteworthy that the Death Note Black Edition isn’t use as much thin paper. The paperback version, due to its choice of material in the cover – which although I like has a very significant visual impact – appears more as a block of sorts, making me prefer the hardback edition of these volumes because of their visual impact (though this is a conclusion I often get when comparing hardback and paperback editions of different books).

All things considered, the Death Note black edition is a great streamlined and convenient package of the original volumes. The increased size makes for an easier reading experience, and no matter what version (paperback or hardback) it looks visually stunning. The coloured art in some pages look great, as do the other black and white areas of the volume because of the increased quality. Though absence of the cover art of the original volumes was missed, I definitely recommend purchasing these volumes for reading or collecting. They look wonderful and will make for a great addition to any library, plus are easier to hold and read than the original release. As such I give it 4 out of 5 stars as applied to the volumes and materials themselves, rather than the story. The story, though not one of my absolute favourites, is definitely worth reading and deserves the highest rating.
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on 17 October 2013
I can not begin to describe how thrilled I am to have this book.

The delivery time was good as it respected the time frame (I ordered this on the 12th October and it got dispatched the following day. It came on Thursday 17th instead of Friday 18th- I chose standard delivery!

The book came in immaculate condition with no scratches, creases or tears, which is a definite plus!

The book in it self looks AMAZING. The black edition volume 1 features two volumes in one book, so the book is thicker. What I absolutely love about the way this book looks is the fact that the pages on the outside are black like the cover (Not the pages inside), which brings depth and sophistication to the book. The design on the front cover is simple yet sophisticated with the skull head at the side of the book. The feel of it is smooth. I love the design! It makes the book look more adult in my opinion.

The black edition of Death note comes in 6 volumes and does not include the 'how to read' volume 13, which is found in the normal edition of Death note books.

Now what makes this black edition different from the normal edition is the fact that of course it is black, includes two volumes in one book and the pages inside are of better quality/thicker. A part from that the content, story and art is exactly the same as the standard edition.

The story plot is AMAZING (I do not want to ruin the story for you guys, but this is a must buy!) and mixes suspense, tactics, battle of the wits and thinking outside the box. The characters are clever, fascinating and attractive in every single way! You become attached to them easily and it almost feels as if you are part of their secret plots.

If you want to save some money on the death note manga series buying the black edition six volumes is better value than buying the normal edition 13 volumes. I like both editions, however the black edition is way off the scales in the way it looks and feels.

I would recommend this edition and book to anyone! I am extremely pleased with my order!
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on 27 August 2011
I've already watched the anime series and decided to try the manga (My first!) and I have not been disappointed. In terms of story the anime has closely followed the manga and the battle of mind between L and Light never gets old.

This Black Edition of the Death Note hit has been brilliantly made and the quality of paper and cover used is great. The quality of drawing is just fantastic and I would imagine looks even better in this new larger book than the original releases! The book contains the same content as the original volumes (1 and 2 have been merged into this first Black Edition volume) and arguably has a more mature, darker appearance than the original releases.

This being my first manga read I was a little concerned with the whole 'Eastern way' of reading right to left, however after just a few pages it felt natural and in no way prevented me enjoying the experience.

The Black Edition may not be worthwhile buying for those who already own the original releases of the manga, however collectors and such may still find this of interest. For those like myself who have watched the anime or are new to the story and are yet to own the manga, this would be the best buy as it works out cheaper than buying the original volumes individually. Also the increased size, 'dark-look' and colour pictures of this edition may appeal more to buyers.

In all, I love the story of Death Note and this manga Black Edition was a joy to read.
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on 25 August 2013
If you're a fan of the fantastic live-action and/or anime of Death Note you'll love this Manga, the Manga follows the anime more than the live-action.

The artwork is superb. The Book itself looks really nice. Each 'Death Note Black' edition contains 2 of the original volumes. So if you've already bought the first 2 volumes of the manga (Like these ) there's not much point you buying this.
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on 12 December 2014
Brought as a Christmas present. Came covered in smudges which couldn't be wiped off and the corners must have been hit on something, still readable but I've had a copy of the same book for years that's in better condition. Gave them my copy instead. Though my copy was £7.99, so it's a good deal if you don't mind the quality.
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on 6 November 2014
I bought this as a present for my nephew and haven't read it myself. What I can say, is that the black edging on the book really makes it stand out. It's really unusual and would make a great gift for fans of the books.
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on 6 September 2015
If you're wondering if you should get this or the box set of death note - GET THIS!
It has a lot more colour pages than the original, as well as slightly bigger size pages. It looks much nicer on a shelf.
The black edition comes with 2 volumes per book, which equals to about the same price overall as the box set.
(The pages are not thin like the Viz 3-in-1 mangas, these are regular thick pages)

As to the story, it's some of the best out there. This is a must read!
The art is also amazing, you can tell the writer / artist (both the art and writing are done by Tsugumi Ohba) has had a lot experience with manga, and truly is a talented writer.

The only flaw I see in this, is the lack of the original cover art - which is mostly preference. I prefer the minimalistic black edition covers to the original colourful ones.

I added a picture to show off the colour pages as well as to show the size comparison with a regular sized manga. Its only about half an inch taller.
review image review image
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