- This page is for a general series overview. For specific uses, see Death Note (disambiguation).
It began as a manga series, and since then, there have been several adaptations, notably the anime series from 2006-2007, the live-action film series beginning in 2006, a television drama in 2015, a musical first performed in 2015, and an America-set live-action film in 2017.
Genius high school student Light Yagami finds a supernatural notebook that allows him to kill anyone by writing the victim's name while picturing their face. The story follows his attempts to become a god by creating a New World cleansed of evil, using the notebook, and the complex conflict between himself and all those who try to stop or help him.
The original manga series is divided into Part I, which predominantly focuses on Light's rivalry with L, and Part II, which focuses mostly on Light's rivalry with Near and Mello. Many adaptations are based on just Part I.
Original main characters:
The series and adaptations Edit
Manga series Edit
The manga is the original series of Death Note and the version on which all adaptations are based. It was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump beginning with the 2004 No.01 issue (first sold December 1, 2003) and ending with the 2006 No.24 issue (first sold May 15, 2006). It ran for 108 chapters, which were collected into twelve volumes under Shueisha's "Jump Comics" label. The chapters were later re-released in a 7-volume collection under their "Bunko" label. The entire series was later collected into a single volume titled the Death Note All-in-One Edition.
The manga was followed by an epilogue chapter released in Weekly Shonen Jump on February 9, 2008.
The twelve volumes were followed by the manga guidebook Death Note 13: How to Read, which provides information on the series and official stats for the characters.
The manga series is licensed for English-language release in North America by Viz Media.
Anime series Edit
The 37-episode anime series closely adapts the entire manga series. It was animated by Madhouse and directed by Tetsurō Araki. It originally aired on Nippon Television (NTV).
The anime is licensed for English-language release in North America by Viz Media, in the United Kingdom by Manga Entertainment, and in Australia by Madman Entertainment.
Japanese live-action film series Edit
The first two films, Death Note (2006 film) and Death Note: The Last Name, were released in 2006 and are the main adaptation of the original series. It keeps the battle between Light and L and features an original ending.
It was followed in 2008 by a spin-off film focusing on L, titled L: Change the WorLd. The film also had a novelization which had several notable changes from the film. Related to the film, a Matsuda spinoff short film was aired on television, focusing on Matsuda's struggle coming to terms with the end of the case.
Ten years after the first two films, the series returned with a three-episode miniseries Death Note: New Generation and the film Death Note: Light Up the NEW World. While many of the original characters were referenced or present, the series focused on three new leads. The film had a novelization.
Death Note: The Musical is a stage musical production composed by Frank Wildhorn, written by Ivan Menchell, with lyrics by Jack Murphy. It was originally written in English and translated into Japanese. It was produced by the Japanese company HoriPro.
The storyline keeps the battle between Light and L and features an original ending. Misa is introduced as a singer in this version.
In 2015, it had productions in both Japan and South Korea. In 2017, both countries had rerun productions. As part of the marketing, the Korean productions released several music videos online, featuring the performers singing studio-recorded songs. The Japanese productions were filmed and released on DVD, and the live songs were released on two soundtracks. The Korean production team performed Showcases, featuring songs from the musical, and the Japanese production team held a concert.
A Russian production is anticipated in 2018, and some Russian-language concerts were performed in 2017.
An English-language concept album was recorded in 2014, but plans for an English-language production have not been announced.
2015 television drama Edit
In 2015, a live-action television drama was released in Japan. It aired from July to September 2015 on NTV. It stars Masataka Kubota as Light Yagami and Kento Yamazaki as L.
It had major changes from the original storyline, such as changing Light to not be an honor student, and introducing Near, Mello, Misa, and Mikami earlier.
The drama was simultaneously released with English subtitles on Crunchyroll.
2017 Netflix live-action film Edit
In 2017, Netflix released an English-language live-action film set in the United States. It was directed by Adam Wingard and stars Nat Wolff, Margaret Qualley, and Keith Stanfield.
The film had major changes from the original storyline, such as portraying Light as an outcast who is not so secretive of his use of the Death Note, and focusing mostly on Light's relationship with his classmate and girlfriend Mia rather than on the mind games with L. The default cause of death is no longer a heart attack, leading to much more violent and graphic deaths.
The film was the most expensive adaptation to date with a budget between $40-$50 million. The film is also the most critically panned of the adaptations.
Audio drama Edit
A 12-hour audio drama is anticipated for release in 2018, produced by German publisher Lübbe. It will be released with a German version and an English version.
Other content Edit
Pilot chapter Edit
The initial pilot chapter preceded the manga series and led to the manga's serialization, but it is unrelated to the manga series' storyline.
As in the manga, Ryuk drops a Death Note into the human realm, but it is picked up by 13-year-old Taro Kagami. There are no rules written in this Death Note, and Kagami unwittingly kills several bullies from school when he uses it as a diary. The story also features the use of the Death Eraser, which allows for deaths to be undone.
The yonkoma (4-paneled comics) are official gag comic strips released for the Death Note manga. They feature the characters being sillier than their usual canon selves. Most of the yonkoma were reprinted in Death Note 13: How to Read.
- Death Note: Another Note: The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases
- L: Change the WorLd (novel)
- Death Note: Light Up the NEW World Film Novelization
Other books Edit
- Blanc et noir - Takeshi Obata's artbook, featuring quite a bit of art for Death Note
- Death Note 13: How to Read - a guidebook for the manga series
- Death Note /A Official Analysis Guide of the Animation - a guidebook for the anime series
- L FILE No. 15 - a booklet related to the film L: Change the WorLd, it is predominantly a photography book
Video games Edit
Death Note games:
- Death Note: Kira Game - A strategy game where the player takes on the role of Kira or L.
- Death Note: Successors to L - The storyline is based on the entirety of the Death Note series, and the game is played as if it were a board game.
- L the ProLogue to Death Note: Spiraling Trap - The story is set before the Kira investigation, and the player assumes the role of a rookie FBI agent.
- Death Note VR Escape Game - The player takes on the role of Misa and must escape a flooding basement with the help of Rem.
Collaboration events with other games:
- LINE - several LINE mobile games had collaboration events in 2016
- Othellonia - mobile game had a collaboration event in 2017
- Death Note Trading Cards - trading cards and the trading card game
- List of Death Note figurines - including Nendoroids, Funko Pops, figurines from Jun Planning, and more
- Death Note: The Escape - an escape room attraction at Universal Studios Japan in 2016
- Death Note: The VR Experience - a 360 virtual-reality video released by Netflix related to their 2017 film