Death Note (デスノート Desu Nōto?) is a Japanese manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. It centers on Light Yagami, a high school student who discovers a supernatural notebook that grants its user the ability to kill anyone whose name and face they know. The series follows Light’s subsequent attempts to create and rule a world “cleansed of evil” as “the god of the new world” using the notebook, and the efforts of a detective known as L to stop him.
Death Note was first serialized in Shueisha‘s manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 2003 to May 2006. The 108 chapters were collected and published into 12 tankōbon volumes between May 2004 and October 2006. A television anime adaptation aired in Japan from October 3, 2006, to June 26, 2007. Composed of 37 episodes, the anime was developed by Madhouse and directed by Tetsuro Araki. A light novel based on the series, written by Nisio Isin, was also released in 2006. Additionally, various video games have been published by Konami for the Nintendo DS. The series was adapted into three live-action films released in Japan on June 17, 2006, November 3, 2006, and February 2, 2008.
Every piece of Death Note media has been licensed and released in North America by Viz Media, with the exception of the video games and soundtracks. The episodes from the anime first appeared in North America as downloadable by IGN, before Viz licensed it and it aired on Bionix in Canada and on Cartoon Network in the United States with a DVD release following. The live-action films briefly played in certain North American theaters in 2008, before receiving home video releases. In 2006, the collected volumes of the Death Note manga had over 26.5 million copies in circulation