Splash page – Light holding a scythe, in front of Ryuuk, Raye Penbar, etc.
Side caption: Hot news! The unveiling of L’s successors, Mero and Nia!
Main caption: Death Note: How to Read (Vol. 1)
Subtitle: A four-part series, covering the ins and outs of Death Note
Subtitle: New, never-before-published official art by Obata-sensei each issue!
A page all about the Shinigami (gods of death), hereafter referred to as “Reapers”.
Title: The Complete Manual to the Gods of Death
Subtitle: Over the next four issues, we reveal the Reapers’ secrets in depth!
Middle of the page subtitle: The truth about a Reaper’s work, made public!
Subtitle: The side of the Reapers most people never see! Behind the “harvester of lives” reputation are rules and regulations. When you look at it this way, maybe even Ryuuk is hard at work...
Misa (with Rem behind her): Wow, I didn’t know Reapers had jobs to do, too!
Volume 1: What are a Reaper’s official duties?
The answer is divided into three gray boxes, each headed with a number and accompanied by a small illustration lifted from the manga.
I. Using Death Notes to shorten human life spans
Slack off, and die?!
The Reapers’ chief responsibility is writing human names down in a Death Note. When a person is killed using a Note, the remaining years in his or her life will be added to the lifespan of the Reaper who wrote their name. This means, a Reaper’s longevity is directly tied to their job performance!
Caption: Select the perfect target!
Reaper: We Reapers look down on the human world from our own.
Reaper: And choose whose name we will write.
Subtitle: Reapers only write down the names of people they can see properly. Perhaps staying inside will protect you from them?
II. Complete after-care for those who possess Death Notes
Subtitle: At your side, 24/7!
Because they are bound to see their note (or its owner) through to the end, if a Reaper has left a Death Note in the human world, they must haunt its possessor. During this time, they may offer further instructions on using the note, or the Reaper’s Sight bargain...but only if they are so inclined (apparently).
Illustration: Ryuuk standing behind Light, looking creepy.
Caption: Available whenever the urge strikes!
Subtitle: Further usage instructions and the Reaper’s Sight are available at any time.
Ryuuk: Light, you know you can make the trade whenever you feel like it.
III. ...but truthfully, Reapers don’t do very much
Subtitle: There’s no production quota or job evaluations.
It seems like the Reapers would be constantly busy selecting victims and haunting the notes, but actually their work ethic is lacking. In fact, overachiever Reapers tend to get teased for their efforts!
Illustration: Ryuuk lounging with Light (and an apple).
Caption: Working too much just isn’t cool!
Subtitle: After all, if Reapers do their jobs too well, humanity is in trouble.
The bottom section of the page has a short bit on the rules and regs of being a Reaper, and three illustrations (again, taken from the manga).
Seems free, but there are actually limitations: Reaper Rules and Regulations
No joyriding in the human world!
Unless there is an appropriate reason (such as following a Note), Reapers are not to enter the human plane. As a result, it seems their days are filled with ennui.
Illustration, Rem and Jerasu observing the human world.
Caption: Reapers usually watch humans and hunt for new victims from their own plane.
One Death Note, one Reaper!
Death Notes are allotted one per Reaper. If they find a misplaced note or otherwise manage to come by an extra, they are supposed to turn it in to the great King of the Reapers immediately…
Illustration. Ryuuk, talking to Light. Ryuuk has a Death Note strapped to one shoulder.
Ryuuk: When you die, I will write your name in my Note. But…
Caption: Based on what we’ve seen so far, it seems this poor note is being embezzled.
Preferential treatment is dangerous!
If a Reaper uses their Note in order to extend the lifespan of a person they have taken a shine to, they themselves will lose their life. For Reapers, which exist to kill humans, breaking those rules = death.
Illustration. Rem looking at Jerasu’s remains.
Rem: In that instant, Jerasu crumpled into an unidentifiable dust – maybe sand, maybe rust -
Rem: And died.
Caption: Though it is said that once, there was a beautiful young enchantress who killed two Reapers...
Special Interview: Tsugumi Ohba
The person who brings us “Death Note”; the marvelous story-teller Ohba Tsugumi. We get the inside scoop on the secrets behind the story!
Caption: Thrills and suspense that turn the usual boy’s comic format on its ear!
This is how Death Note was created!
The sole illustration on the page is Light poised over the Death Note, looking thoughtful.
Caption: The brilliant Yagami Light, possessor of the Death Note. The magnificent drama to date is due to his exceptional wit.
Q: How did “Death Note” get its start?
A: Well, I suppose it started when I first started thinking about trying my hand at writing a manga. I thought maybe one of these stories I’d been kicking around for the past couple of years would work, so I submitted two sample scripts [to Shounen Jump magazine]. Of those, the one titled “Death Note” caught the editors’ eye. After refining it multiple times, it finally went on to become a proper pilot.
As far as the illustration went, I wanted the art to be high-contrast with delicate linework, so it would really stand out. That was right about the time Obata Takeshi-sensei was finishing up Hikaru no Go, and the editors were kind enough to ask him if he’d give this a try. I didn’t actually expect him to say yes! Thanks to his talent, the pilot was very well received, and we started talking about serialization. Looking back, the whole thing really was kind of a Cinderella Story.
Q: Where did you get the idea for “Death Note”?
A: ...I don’t think there was anything in particular that got me started on it, at least, no specific “hint” or what have you. The “Death Note” itself really isn’t that original of a plot device, even. It was just something floating around in the back of my head, and gradually the Reapers, and the specifics of the Note’s usage, and so on started coming together...eventually, I started thinking there was enough material for a story.
Q: High-tension suspense stories like this have been rare in boy’s comics lately. Why did you choose to publish this story in Jump?
A: Well, it’s true that usually you draw the young male audience with battle-centric comics. Unfortunately, I didn’t think I had that kind of story in me. But even though the magazine’s main focus is fighting comics, I started thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to try something a little unusual, like this suspense story...specifically because it WASN’T battle-centric.
That's all for now. More later, when I have more time >.<;