Death Note was one of the most popular manga and anime titles to come along in recent memory. The story about a young man who stumbles upon a book that bestows him with the power to kill a person simply by knowing their face and name was fascinating, gripping, and filled with tension. Through that tale, one character in particular stood out and made his mark on the anime world. L was the antagonist detective to the villainous protagonist of the show and was arguably one of the more prominent figures from the series.
Now, over the time since Death Note was released there have been a few attempts at extending the franchise. Live action versions of the show have been released theatrically and to date three have seen the light of day. The latest of which, L, Change the WorLd was released in Japan in 2008 and hit America earlier this year. The film has been critiqued harshly and it was not received entirely too well by the masses, but does the novelization of the story fare any better?
Just in time for the holidays VIZ has released a book version of Death Note: L, Change the WorLd. Those who were fans of the show, or those who simply enjoyed the movie, will definitely want to check this one out. It's a look at the life of L and truly fleshes out his character in ways that neither medium was able to. Readers will learn many aspects about his life before he became the world's foremost detective and they'll get to see how he spends the last days of his life. You see, L has written his own name inside Ryuk’s Death Note. He made it so that in 23 days he will die quietly, and before that happens he wants to solve one last case to effectively save the world.
At the start of L, Change the WorLd we soon learn that there’s quite the nasty virus out there. America wants it; Japan wants it; terrorists want it; and somewhere in between all of them stands L. He uses his extraordinary abilities of deduction to get to the bottom of what’s going on with the virus and who is actually getting their hands on it. Caught in between events right along side of L is a young girl named Maki. She’s the daughter of a prominent scientist who was working on an antidote for the virus. Naturally she finds her way into L’s care and becomes a sidekick of sorts. This part was a little out of character for L, but his childlike nature itself made it feel plausible to some extent, so it never feels forced.