Tuesday 5 April 2011

Book Review- Death Note: Another Note by NisiOisin

Title: Death Note: Another Note or the LABB murder cases
 Author: NisiOisiN
 Series: N/A
 Published:19 February 2008
 Length:176 pages
 Warnings: Gore, profanity, 12+
Other info:  this is set a few years before the death note manga, a review of which can be found here, you don’t need to read death note to read and enjoy this, but of course, feel free.
Read it or Kira will get you! NisiOisin has also written light novels for other manga series such as xxxHolic.

 Summary from Goodreads: There's a serial killer on the loose in Los Angeles and the local authorities need help fast. For some reason the killer has been leaving a string of maddeningly arcane clues at each crime scene. Each of these clues, it seems, is an indecipherable roadmap to the next murder.
Onto the scene comes L, the mysterious super-sleuth. Despite his peculiar working habits - he's never shown his face in public, for example - he's the most decorated detective in the world and has never tackled a cased he hasn't been able to crack.
But this time he needs help.
Enlisting the services of an FBI agent named Naomi Misora, L starts snooping around the City of Angels. It soon becomes apparent that the killing spree is a psychotic riddle designed specifically to engage L in a battle of wits. Stuck in the middle between killer and investigator, it's up to Misora to navigate both the dead bodies and the egos to solve the Los Angeles BB Murder Cases.

 Review: [side note: We (Nina and Katy) wrote this together, edited it together etc. That’s what makes it a joint review. Nina and Katy
Death Note: Another Note is a side story to Death Note. It follows detective Naomi Misora, aided slightly by L, solving the case of a series of murders. They are completely unrelated, apart from the fact there are a varying amount of Wara Ningyo (basically Japanese voodoo dolls [I didn’t know there were any Wara Nigyo in Death Note]) left at the scene. With the help of Rue Ryukzaki, strawberry jam eating and sarcastic “unprivate detective”, Naomi follows a set of (seriously) cryptic clues to hunt down and capture killer Beyond Birthday, culminating in a surprise twist. Yes, surprising for some but the only hints I pick up is in mystery stories. I knew, and so did the rest of the world from when the character was first introduced, who the killer was. It is actually pretty easy to work out who the killer is. Read it for yourself and see if you can work it out.

The whole thing was generally very good. Fans of death note will want to read this, as will crime enthusiasts. This however was not written Death Note style but something rather different. Death Note is not predictable; it is does not have stupid names and it has the character depth and intense situations that Death Note: Another Note clearly lacks completely. It was interesting to follow, with long intricate clues. It was very easy to imagine these things happening, as the descriptions were detailed and varied. 

We like the back-stories simmering underneath the main murder case plot. We get a lot of information about life in the Wammy house (the orphanage where geniuses are cultivated), that makes you want to  know a bit more, and makes you wish that NisiOisin had written a few more light novels. He did though, didn’t he? About other stuff. I meant, to tie in with Death Note.

Nina thinks it’s interesting that that the only gore that appears is the descriptions of the corpse photos, yet you’re still able to get the idea of the murder and post-death mutilation that goes on.

Katy thinks it’s thought-provoking narrative style, impatient and all knowing. Despite being a genius, Mello is not all knowing. And why would he care? I think that leaving out the actual murder makes it more realistic; most detectives do not see the victim being killed. Oh and L does look like a frog. That was my initial impression of the proper L (not the one who looks normal and has half his face covered).

Despite loving death note, and this book, there are a few (MANY, MANY,) flaws. The biggest being the narrator. It’s Mello, the chocolate loving, leather wearing genius that looks like a girl. No-one likes him. Well, actually, going round various websites, there are quite a few Mello fan girls. But we are not included. I kind of like him… Compared to Near who doesn’t move and then magically manages to run around in a police outfit… But I wouldn’t say I was a fan girl. We don’t think he was a good choice to narrate this: wouldn’t he be about ten when all this happens, or wouldn’t he be dead? He is dead: he says so early on that he died like a dog or something in the introduction chapter when he out-of-characterly says he is something like the best dresser.

Also, although the clues left behind were very clever, complex etc., at times it was a bit too complex. I.e. 4=1+3=B is a stupid idea. No one would base it one something that goes off on a tangent. 4=2+2=1+1+1+1=22.. [You remember?] No detective realistically would ever take the time to go through a book, going through pages, the first letter on a page etc. just to find the name of the next victim-to-be.

Another way this was ruined slightly was the names. Beyond Birthday is all right, considering it’s an alias. But Backyard Bottomslash and Believe Bridesmaid? No-one thirteen years ago would name their child Quarter, with the last name being Queen. And yes, those are their real names. The whole story revolves around that fact. These names are hilarious. Just remember everyone, when you are writing stories and you don’t know what to call them, take a look around you and name them after the things you see. For example I can see a monopoly game so I could call my character “Monopoly Macaroni”. How great is that?!

 Overall: we give this strength 3 tea, because we love the idea and the complexity behind it, yet there are a few major flaws that make it average. Those completely who eat, sleep and breathe Death Note will enjoy this lot though, and not care at all. I enjoyed it a lot… ish…

PS. Death Note: Another Note is often referred to by fans as “the LABB murder cases”. This is fine.  However, should anyone tell you this stands for “the Los Angeles beyond Birthday murder cases”, they are lying. Read the book to find out what it really means.

PPS. Should you read this and decide to share with friends, really really hope that none of them want to role play L or B 24/7. If they do, get away from them. It happened to us and it is so annoying. Hopefully you have normal friends who won’t do this to you though.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I liked it. ^.^ Also, welcome to Blogging...soon you will obsessed. ^.^ Good luck!



Thanks for taking time to read this!
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Nina xxx

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