After presenting a couple of reviews on the light novels of Death Note, I am back with a manga comic which is a sequel to the anime and it takes place several years ahead of time. Finally in this installment, the Shinigami world is given some light and much more details are revealed about the universe which makes it more interesting. The new ‘Kira’ is almost a polar opposite of the first ‘Kira’ (Light Yagami) which makes one want to draw comparisons at every layer of the story with his decision making about the usage of the Death Note.

We know for a fact that this plot takes place probably generations after Light Yagami’s time since the lead boy Minoru Tanaka mentions learning about the first ‘Kira’ where they studied about him in Ethics in Elementary school and also in World History in Middle school where he was proclaimed as an Evil God and a mass murdering terrorist in the worst recent history. Tanaka as expected is another regular school boy as usual, top of the class with consecutive records and hence he is the chosen one for the next phase of events by Shinigami Ryuk. However Tanaka, as he admits is not street smart or actually as shrewd as Light, he just happens to pick up the skill to rote learning a book load of IQ skill tests and aces the same exams that come his way. Shinigami Ryuk does not quite comprehend that while he initially makes his choice for a puppet, but realisation eventually kicks in when Tanaka takes nearly 2 years of pondering to strategize how to use the Death Note. A complete opposite take on what it is like when an actual ‘dunce’ is handed such a Note for a while makes up for the meaty plot of this story.

Post 2 years in the present times, Tanaka defines his plan and takes it into implementation. For a first, he decides that he simply does not want the authority to kill people at all, but knowing that Ryuk would anyhow hand over the Note to someone else and he would lose memory of everything would mean the end of his episode, that would still not work! So he decides to sell the Note and gain some big money without directly using the social media. A Shinigami can stay upto 14 km apart from the Death Note possessor and Sakura TV- the Japanese media News channel being just within the radar, Ryuk is directed by Tanaka to flash a placard at the live news event at the Sakura studio indicating that the Death Note is held up for auction and from there on curtains open to a lot more interesting scenes. L and Matsuda spot Ryuk as Sakura TV News goes on air, something Tanaka is not prepared for and everything goes topsy-turvy for him from then. Tanaka yet manages to devise a seamless strategy to obtain the big money without being tracked by declaring that whatever money comes out of the auction, should be deposited in a specific bank to all the account holders below the age of 60. Limiting the age would have increased Tanaka’s share of the stake but would also narrow down the number of possible targets. This makes it nearly impossible for L to track down the new ‘Kira’, but he is precisely able to decode the personality and safe strategies of Tanaka. Much of these events lead to outcomes where government representatives and different countries on a large scale take a spat at each other over sudden spike/plunge of nationwide economies post the auction result and the fact that global peace comes at stake when the Death Note is finally taken by the winner at the auction.

When surprisingly all looks good for Tanaka who now has a small section but a sizable amount of money in his bank account, an unexpected change of rule in the Shinigami world with regard to handling of the Notebook seals the fate for both the sender (Tanaka) and the person at the receiving end. Proof enough that good or bad luck can really turn tables and have adverse effects on the end result. What happens to Tanaka and the final possessor of the Death at the point end of the manga really surprises me!

I was much invested with the main lead Minoru Tanaka as I was with Light Yagami in the original. This is a great mirror image spin-off to the anime, short and sweet but a very abrupt and not-so-sweet for some characters at the end!