that was a huge risk though
but that is the strong point of the writers' cooperation: Obata Takeshi and Tsugumi Ohba.
In their newest manga, Bakuman, they always say about making a non-mainstream manga, a manga that show the dark side of the world and make the readers think about life.
Following a villain is a very good way to approach though, we can sympathy of why they became a bad guy. But then bad is bad and then we don't know if we should cheer for him or not.
And btw, his name is Yagami Raito, nickname Kira (from the english word: killer), not akira.