Death Note Short Stories [Manga] Review - New and Underwhelming

New and Underwhelming
  • Mangaka : Tsugumi, Ohba (Writer); Obata, Takeshi (Artist)
  • Publisher : Viz Media
  • Genre : Drama, Mystery, Supernatural, Shounen
  • Published : May 2022

When the original Death Note manga first hit the shelves back in 2005, it was an instant phenomenon. It was dark, it was thrilling, it was unique, it was interesting, it was different than anything in the manga market at the time.

When the series finally published its final volume in 2007, fans couldn’t help but want more from the series. Fifteen years later, we finally got something new in the form of a short story collection. So here’s the review for Death Note Short Stories.

Contains Spoilers

Discussion Time

There are six short stories in this collection, and they cover several different topics. There are three stories about people who receive the Death Notes, just like Kira. One of the recipients kills old people on-demand, one of them sells the notebook, and one of them is just a middle schooler. All of these happen several years after the original plot ended.

There are two stories about the younger “L” - his origin story, so to speak. And finally, there’s one chapter full of comedic 4-koma featuring iconic Death Note characters, such as Kira, L, Ryuuk, and Misa.

Why You Should Read Death Note Tanpenshuu (Death Note Short Stories)

1.Something New for the Fans

The fact of the matter is, there are no stories in this collection that are absolutely a must-read for you. There’s no groundbreaking tale that will paint the things that happened in the main story in a new light. What this book has, however, is some new content for the avid Death Note fans out there. Sure, they may not be that important to the original series, but it is still more Death Note to consume.

Three more stories on people who try to take on the mantle of Kira, two chapters’ worth of L’s past from childhood to adulthood, and a bunch of funny and silly 4-koma that bring our favorite characters into all sorts of chaotic situations. Ryuuk argues with Kira about the superiority of apples over strawberries, L and Kira discuss the kind of swimsuit that Misa likes, etc.

2.Made by the Same Author

There are short story collections out there that serve as some sort of a tribute to the original series. These kinds of collections are usually written by different authors who tell different stories set in the same universe. The most popular example would be “Neo Parasyte”, based on the manga Parasyte.

That kind of collection means that every author brings their own take on the original story. The problem is, some of them don’t really understand the true spirit of the story and just end up making something that happens to take place in the same world.

Thankfully, that is not the case at all in this collection. The original author, writer Ohba Tsugumi, and artist, Takeshi Obata, join forces once again to create these stories. That means you can rest assured knowing that every story in this collection will be faithful to the spirit of the original Death Note.

Why You Should Skip Death Note Tanpenshuu (Death Note Short Stories)

1.Underwhelming Stories

There are a couple of interesting ideas in this collection, especially in regards to the three Kira stories. Unfortunately, they all suffer from the same ailment - all of them are quite underwhelming. The thrill is there, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired.

To be fair, this kind of problem exists for most short stories. After all, there are simply not enough pages available for the author to tell a complete story. That is especially true for any stories based on Death Note. After all, character development is the key component to the success of the original story.

With short stories, there is basically little to no character development whatsoever. We don’t even get a backstory or motivation behind the character’s actions. Why does this Kira want to kill old people? What makes this new Kira want to sell his notebook? What will the police do to the middle schooler Kira?

Those are just some of the questions that the readers will inevitably ask after reading this collection. And yet the answers will be left to each reader’s imagination. That is why these stories feel unfinished and underwhelming.

Final Thoughts

Death Note Short Stories offers some new content for those of you who love the original Death Note. The stories are crafted by the original author of the series, so the same elements of thrill, mystery, and psychological warfare also exist in this collection to some degree.

However, while the stories are mostly good, none of them are outstanding enough to stand toe to toe with the original. Which is why the final product ends up feeling quite underwhelming.

Do you love the story of Death Note? If you do, would you consider getting this short story collection? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Death-Note-Short-Stories-wallpaper-700x368 Death Note Short Stories [Manga] Review - New and Underwhelming


Author: Harry

Harry is a manga addict first and freelance writer second. While he hasn’t read every manga under the sun, he has read an unhealthy amount of Shounen and Seinen manga. When he’s not writing in Honey’s Anime, you can find him in his personal blog:

Previous Articles

Recommended Post

6 Manga Like Death Note [Recommendations]