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Except that it totally is.
Maybe. Development and creation  Development and creation of the Death Note serialized manga
Ohba said that he decided to create a suspense series because he did not feel that he could have created a "normal fight-style" series and that the genre had few suspense series. Ohba said that he did not derive the Death Note concept from any single source. He said that one day he thought of a concept involving Shinigami and "specific rules."
After publication of the pilot chapter Ohba said that he did not expect for the series to be approved as a serialized comic as he thought it did not "fit with Jump." Ohba said that when he learned Death Note received approval and that Obata would create the artwork he couldn't even believe it.
Due to positive reactions to the series Death Note became a serialized manga series.
Ohba created "thumbnails," consisting of dialog, panel layout, and basic drawings, to be sent to Obata; the editor reviewed the thumbnails and sent them to Obata with the script set in stone and the panel layout "mostly done." Obata determined the expressions and "camera angles" and created the final artwork. According to Ohba he concentrated on the "tempo" and the amount of dialog; he added that he had difficulty in keeping the text from being too long. Ohba said that he tried to make the story concise and did not want too much text as he believed that "reading too much exposition" would be "tiring" and that it would negatively affect the atmosphere and "air of suspense". Ohba set the basic characteristics of his characters while he allowed for Obata to influence the actual character designs. According to Ohba he did not derive the actual plot idea from one particular source. Regarding the backgrounds and props Ohba said that he put descriptions such as "abandoned building" and let Obata wield most of the creative power regarding the backgrounds and props.
Ohba said that when he decided on the plot he internally visualized the panels while "rolling around in bed," drinking tea, or walking around his house; Ohba said that he needed to feel relaxed while visualizing the panels. After that he drew the panels on white paper in a "very simple manner." The writer added that on many occasions the draft consisted of too many pages and he had to write drafts two or three times to find the desired "tempo" and "flow" for the chapter. Ohba added that he liked to read the previous two or four chapters very carefully to ensure consistency in the story.
Ohba said that his general weekly schedule consisted of five days to create and think about the creation and then use one day pencil and insert dialog into the rough drafts; according to Ohba, after this point he faxed the drafts to the editor. Obata also described his weekly schedule. He said that he usually took one day with the thumbnails, layout, and pencils and one day with additional penciling and inking. His assistants usually worked for four days and Obata used one day to add "final touches." Obata said that sometimes he took an extra day or two to color pages and that this "messed with the schedule." Ohba said that on some occasions he took three or four days to create a chapter while on other occasions he took a month to create a chapter. Obata said that his schedule remained consistent except when he had to create color pages.
Ohba and Obata rarely met in person during the creation of the serialized manga—they met with their editor, instead. The first time they met in person was at an editorial party in January 2004. Obata said that, despite the intrigue, he did not ask his editor about Ohba's plot developments as he anticipated the new thumbnails every week. The two did not discuss the final chapters with one another and they continued to talk with the editor. Ohba said that when he asked the editor if Obata had said anything about the story and plot the editor responded "No, nothing".
Ohba said that the series ended more or less in the manner that he intended for it to end; Ohba considered the idea of L defeating Light Yagami with Light dying; he instead chose to use the "Yellow Box warehouse" ending. According to Ohba he had the details set from the beginning. Ohba wanted an ongoing plot line instead of an episodic series because Death Note was serialized and that Ohba wanted a series focused on a cast with a series of events triggered by the Death Note. Ohba used the Internet for research and did not go on any research trips.
How to Read 13 states that the humorous aspects of Death Note originated from Ohba's enjoyment of humorous stories.  General creative process
For each chapter the creative process began with Ohba and moved to Obata; both authors took advice from the editor.
Ohba began each segment by creating a rough draft; he said that his main weakness was including too much information in each panel. Once each draft "goes through a few rounds" and the elements "are decided on" Ohba split the panels and "solidified" dialog, monologues, and everything else. Ohba included "specific art" in thumbnails if he believed it was needed. Obata took the thumbnails and edited "camera angles" and expressions exhibited by characters. Obata used the thumbnails as models for his final panels. When Obata decided on the content he began drawing. At this point in many cases Obata determined designs of newly-introduced characters and items. After that the editor takes the pages and lettering, special effects, and other type are inserted into the pages; at that point the final drafts are finished. Really, it is not emo, unless it cuts itself, not another person.