Death Note: Black Edition: Volume 4 Review By Deffinition
Death Note started off tremendously. The first two volumes were incredible and I was unable to fault them at all. However, upon reading Black Edition: Volume 3, I saw things in a much different light (excuse the pun). Gone was the unrivalled tension, replaced with what can only be described as a teen drama.
With the introduction of two new Kira’s I found that the storyline had gotten away from its main selling point: Light VS L and because of this the work suffered.
However, as with all new volumes I am able to draw a line in the sand and chalk up the last misstep as a big L (pun intended) that can be learned from.
Will this book save the franchise or does it deserve to have its name written in its own Death Note? That’s what I’m here to find out so with that out the way let’s dive into Death Note: Black Edition: Volume 4!
Back With The Book
I’m happy to say that the book gets off to a flying start and instantly becomes infinitely more interesting than the previous manga.
Having captured the third Kira, Light is able to attain the Death Note once more and therefore his memories. It’s brilliant to see the full return of our favourite antagonist and watching the sinister psychopath back in power elevates the storyline exponentially.
Just as Light was back with the book, so was I. The return to form really piqued my interest and seeing Light’s nefarious plan come to fruition will definitely get the attention of those who had fallen out of love with the storyline. His intelligence was always his most endearing quality and seeing how all the pieces have slowly fallen into place elevates this work back to the level of phenomenon. It doesn’t get any better than this!
Rem Member What You Did (worst pun ever)
L, able to see Rem after touching the Death Note, interrogates the demon. After being fooled by fake rules imprinted in the book by Light in advance, the detective has no other option but to relinquish the surveillance on Light and Misa.
His suspicions remain and the majority of the first act revolves around the two adversaries constantly second-guessing one another. It’s a gripping read that builds tension strategically through both characters trying to out think the other.
I was turning page after page, desperate to see how the events would conclude and when Light finally manipulates Rem into murdering L in order to save Misa my mind was blown. The series has never been better than this and the book easily secured itself as one of the best graphic novels I’ve ever read.
The Light Of God
Four years pass and the world becomes a different place. With L dead, Light is now able to assume his name and role. Murdering the corrupt and unjust he has become a God. The world over changes and humanity becomes an enlightened version of itself in fear of the retribution that they could face at the hands of their new murderous leader.
This change up within the book is brilliant. Every page feels impactful and it’s an incredible turn of events that lets you know that anything is possible in this storyline.
Of course it’s not over yet and when L’s true appointed secret successors (Mello and Near) begin to investigate the case the walls close in on Light, in more ways than one.
Kidnapping the kin of Kira
Mello enacts a plan to kidnap Light’s sister in order to attain the Notebook that is currently in Police possession. It’s expertly planned and plays out perfectly, ramping up the tension exponentially. Mello, unlike L, is a Makavelian character that is able to cross the line in order to draw Kira out and this makes him infinitely more dangerous that his predecessor.
It puts Light in a tight spot and watching the protagonist balance his dual identities whilst dealing with this impossible scenario is fascinating. I imagine most will be gripped at this point, unable to put the book down and it should certainly be applauded for its ability to engross those into its universe.
Mello is the perfect villain for this saga and his brilliance is matched only by his wickedness. Threatening to start World War Three he really pushes Light to his limits. I was besotted by the storyline on every page that he appeared on and he is the perfect counterpart to our protagonist. When he obtains the Death Note the stakes rise exponentially and the danger he poses has the potential to end the world as we know it.
Near or Far
Juxtaposing this is Near. More akin to L in appearance and persona he takes a softer, more analytical approach to tackling Kira.
Near and Light collide in battling the ever evolving Mello, however, when the villain threatens the President Of The United States, things become difficult and the two must work together.
I absolutely loved the political intrigue that the book provided in its closing chapters and this turn seemed like the next logical step for the story to progress into. Someone with a Death Note would always seek to control the World’s Leaders so it is heavily appreciated as a plot aspect. This plot point allows the book to be more relatable and keeping the story more grounded means that metaphorically we can imagine how the scenario would play out in real life.
With the President as his Pawn, Light orders an attack on Mello’s hideout. Anticipating this due to the Shingami on his side, Mello is able to counterattack and the finale of the book is outstanding.
Far more gripping than ever before it’s an overwhelming climax that demonstrates just how dangerous the two foes now are.
It’s the perfect way to end the book and it left me desperate to see how the story continues in Black Edition: Volume 5.
Death Note: Black Edition Volume 4 Returns the Manga series back to it’s pedestal.
It’s perfect from start to finish and delivers on all levels.
I really can not recommend this book enough. For those who were perhaps put off by the lacklustre Volume 3, you owe it to yourself to pick up this sequel. It doesn’t disappoint.