Death Note Spinoffs: Worth Watching?

The popular manga series Death Note has captured the hearts of many since its initial release. The story follows the main character Light Yagami, a highly intelligent high school student who comes across a supernatural notebook known as the Death Note. This notebook has the power to kill anyone whose name is written in it, and Light decides to use it to rid the world of criminals and create a utopia, while an equally brilliant detective known as “L” is hot on his heels.

Over the years, Death Note has spawned numerous spin-offs, from manga to anime to live-action adaptations. While some of these spin-offs are worth seeking out, others may not be as essential. Here is a list of some of the Death Note spin-offs and whether they’re worth your time.

First on the list is Death Note Another Note: The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases, a prequel story to the main series narrated by Mello. The story features L helping Naomi Misora solve a case in Los Angeles involving a violent killer named Beyond Birthday. While L primarily communicates with Naomi through a screen, she meets a detective named Ryuzaki, who goes by the same name L uses in the main series. The mystery of whether or not this is the same L adds a clever twist to the story, making it an enjoyable read for fans.

Next up is Death Note 13: How to Read, which isn’t a narrative spin-off but rather an informative guidebook containing extra information on the series. The book offers context for lingering questions fans may have had while reading the manga, making it an essential read for those who want to dive deeper into the Death Note world.

Chapter 109 is a one-shot manga published after the main series’ conclusion, which features a new Kira emerging and picking up where Light left off. Near, one of the main characters from the main series, tries to figure out how to deal with the situation and ultimately decides that the new Kira isn’t cut out for the job. While the story doesn’t add much to the Death Note world, it provides interesting insight into Near’s character.

L: Change the WorLd is a live-action film that takes place between the defeat of Kira and L’s death. The film features L trying to solve a particularly challenging mystery that incorporates several Death Note characters. Director Hideo Nakata aimed to present a more human side to L, giving his character more depth. The film even includes Near, finding a place for the character in the new continuity. While fans of the films will likely enjoy this spin-off, those who aren’t as invested may want to skip it.

Lastly, there’s L FILE No. 15, a spin-off book released in conjunction with L: Change the WorLd. The book primarily serves as an art book, featuring images of L doing mundane tasks over the course of his development. It also includes two manga chapters, “L: The Wammy House” and “L: One Day,” which feature L doing more mundane things. While the book doesn’t add much to the Death Note world, it may be worth checking out for fans who want to see more of L’s daily life.

In conclusion, while Death Note has many spin-offs, not all of them are worth seeking out. However, for fans who want to dive deeper into the world of Death Note, some of these spin-offs provide interesting insight into the characters and lore of the series.

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Yagami, L, Kiyomi, Misa, Teru, Ryuk

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