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An overachieving 12th grader, Yagami Light is an aspiring young man who seems destined for success. Unfortunately, his daily habits bore his incredible intelligence--So when a strange black notebook falls from the heavens during his class, it isn't long before he takes it for himself. In his room, he finds, to his horror/fascination, that the Death Note is real, and owned by Ryuk, a Shinigami (Death God). Any person's name written in the Death Note will die in 40 seconds.... without fail. With this supposed gift of God, Light swears upon his grave that he will 'cleanse' the world of the evil and needless people that inhabit it, thus creating a utopia for all. With the world's greatest detective, L, hot on his tail, will Light's ideals prove too fantastic to realize, or will he succeed bringing justice?
- Weekly Shonen Jump page on Death Note Wiki