Death Note â€“ Another Note: The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases by Nisioisin
Most avid anime and manga fans will have heard of Death Note. A chilling tale about how godly power can turn a human being into a true monster.
Very familiar fans of the series will recall the characters L and Naomi Misora mentioning that they had worked on a case together. This light-novel documents that exact case, from the point of view of Mello: One of Lâ€™s potential successors. It grants an insight into both Lâ€™s life and Melloâ€™s persona and letâ€™s loose some of the secrets behind Wammyâ€™s House. At the same time, it documents the unravelling of one of the most complicated cases L had to solve before the Kira case.
I have not read any previous works by Nisioisin but from my research I have learned that he is very popular in Japan and specialises in light-novels. Upon reading Another Note, I have no reason to doubt his popularity. His writing style is very unique, almost informal whilst being formal, as oxymoronic as that seems. It is easy to read while, at the same time, it doesnâ€™t loose the quality of a fully-fledged novel.
His writing really allows a glimpse into Naomiâ€™s thought patterns and cleverly documents Ryuzakiâ€™s strange behaviour while constantly reminding us it is Mello who is telling the tale: Sniping in his own opinions when you least expect it. This, in fact, leads to some quite comical reading part-ways through the story.
The most interesting feature of Nisioisinâ€™s writings is that you are always made aware of what Naomi is thinking. This usually takes place in one word sentences after she speaks, potentially with some elaboration. However, one word is all that is needed as it represents a thought: A fleeting opinion that has left Misoraâ€™s head as soon as you have read it. This technique adds another layer to Naomiâ€™s character and gives you a deeper look into her personality which can carry over into the manga seamlessly.
The case itself is a complicated web of extravagant clues and ridiculously hard puzzles that Naomi and L are left to piece together. This process is portrayed to us well, through dialogue and action. I myself only managed to work out one critical clue before the characters did but that is part of the fun of this book. See if you can beat Naomi and L to it.
In closing, any fan of Death Note should read this book. It gives valuable information on Lâ€™s character and allows you to see Mello from another point of view, too. Whilst reading Death Note, I did not have much respect for Mello. Since reading Another Note, I see him in a different light.
Be warned, however: The strange thing about the setting of this story is that it is set before Death Note but in the form of notes made by Mello during Death Note, so pieces of information that are introduced in the manga are mentioned. In other words, it contains spoilers.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.