Death Note: 10 Flaws In The Anime That Fans Chose To Ignore
Death Note is a complex anime that is so popular that it has been adapted multiple times - nonetheless has flaws in how it presents the story. The plot can occasionally get so convoluted that fans can find some plot points unnecessary and problematic, such as Raye Penber's unprofessionalism during the bus jacking early in the series. With Light and L battling against each other as main characters, the series has little space for women either.
RELATED: 5 Times Light Was The Smartest Character (& 5 Times It Was L) In Death Note
Regardless of Death Note's flaws, fans were able to look past them and still enjoy the story underneath. The way Death Note handled certain elements didn't detract from its story of a mass murderer and the detectives who are trying to stop him. Overall, Death Note is an enjoyable show despite its ill-advised elements.
10 Near vs. Light
The last few episodes of the anime are a low point for fans due to the lack of tension for the showdown between Light and Near. Since Near and his agent Gevanni simply explain their entire plan at the end, it comes off as if Near and Mello just got incredibly lucky in taking down Light and Mikami. The second arc as a whole has an ensemble cast; it doesn't feel like the beginning of the anime, where the focus was solely on L and Light, which most fans loved.
These episodes do make sense but can seem rushed and badly paced, partly due to how much plot there is to wade through. Regardless, the final episodes are rife with suspense (even if Mikami's reveal is known to the audience) and the anime's last shots are gorgeous. This show is still worth watching all the way through and is a recommended beginner anime as well.
9 L's Death
As L is one of the central characters, most fans weren't expecting him to die, particularly not halfway through the series. Regardless, that's what happens, as Rem kills him to protect Misa. L's death moves Light's plans forward by a lot, which fits since he's the protagonist, after all. However, L is the only real opposition to Light at the point, and his death can definitely feel like a blow.
On the other hand, this shows that the creators weren't afraid to kill off beloved characters or to show off Light's ruthless streak. Luckily, his plans are continued through his successors. Even though L dies, the story of a detective fighting a murderer continues.
8 Treatment of Women
Death Note doesn't have a good track record with women. Misa only cares about what Light thinks of her and eventually has her lifespan shortened multiple times for his sake. Naomi Misora figures out the killer way too early in the series and is killed off because of it.
RELATED: 5 Funniest Moments in the Anime (& 5 Darkest) In Death Note
The story is centered on men, so these negative elements mostly just detract from the storytelling, rather than outwardly hinder it. Some female supporting characters are useful to the narrative, but never really emerge as characters in their own right, such as Lidner or Wedy. Nevertheless, Death Note's treatment of women is an aspect that hasn't aged well. Due to the focus on male characters, most fans are able to ignore it, but the problematic elements are still there.
7 Matt's Death
Mello's accomplice Matt didn't really need to die. Even he assumed that he would be brought in for questioning after he assisted in Takada's kidnapping, but he's shot in the middle of the street. Since Mello dies the same night, their part in the story is finished and is never really expanded upon. Many fans find Matt to be a fascinating character simply because his characterization and backstory are such a blank slate.
From a writing perspective, he isn't much of a character, not to mention he's dead after his first appearance. If Mello's accomplice had been a low-ranking mafia underling, fans probably wouldn't have gotten as attached as they did. Matt's death was unnecessary, and his character could have been so much more. Though fans liked Matt, his part in the story is minor, and easily passed over.
6 Naomi's Death
Naomi Misora used to work with L, and after her fiance Raye Penber's death, she begins to investigate Kira. According to the writers (via Fandom), Naomi is killed off quickly because she would have solved the case too easily. However, aside from that writing decision, her actions become ridiculous in just a few episodes.
She goes from saying she'll only speak directly to L to agreeing to give Light information that could - and does - get her killed. It's a depressing fall for the interesting female detective. Naomi's death reminds L of just how serious everything is, however, and that personal connection helps him work out his next moves, allowing fans to accept the flawed writing decisions.
5 Mello's Treatment of Takada
Mello performs a surprising action in his final interaction with Takada - and it gets him killed. He gives her a blanket. This allows her to hide a piece of notebook paper in her bra, and use it to kill him and herself.
RELATED: 8 Villains That Achieved Redemption In Death Note
Why wouldn't Mello simply force her to strip completely? There was nowhere Takada could go from the back of a truck. This is an element written for the sake of moving the story forward, but it does a disservice to the character, who wants to stop Kira. It's possible Mello was already being controlled by the notebook, but it still feels out-of-character for Mello.
4 No Case Information
One of Watari's last acts is to delete all of L's findings on the Kira case. Therefore, his work dies with him, but it also means that the Task Force doesn't have anything to work from after L and Watari die. Light is able to transfer some things over to his own laptop, but it mainly seems to be voice scrambler software.
Why don't the other members of the team question the lack of records? Their lack of concern over this allows Light to control the case for years. In a way, this is one of the saddest things about Light: he doesn't see a life for himself anymore without the Death Note. However, the Task Force isn't able to move the case forwards, and this doesn't seem to bother them.
3 Light Isn't Suspicious To The Task Force
Towards the middle of the investigation, when the suspect list has been narrowed down to just two families, it's strange that Light isn't put under more suspicion from the Task Force. The bus jacking, as well as Raye Penber's death, should have started raising alarm bells.
It complicates things when he and L develop a pseudo-friendship, but by that point, L suspects him. His father, the Chief, doesn't believe his son could possibly be Kira, so the Task Force members might be following his lead, but maybe not. No one else seems to have any leads. What's stopping the others from finding Light suspicious in the beginning?
2 No Ending For Most Characters
The story follows Light after he gets shot in the warehouse. Therefore, after Near decides not to pursue Light since he'll die anyway, the audience doesn't know what happens to any of these characters after their arcs in the series. This left the audience guessing how the rest of the world reacts to Kira's disappearance.
The personal lives of the police officers, not to mention Near and his team, are left open. It makes sense that the writers wanted to follow Light to his death since he is the protagonist, but it leaves everyone else's fates feeling empty.
1 Raye Is Unprofessional
During the bus jacking, Raye easily hands out information he really shouldn't have: namely, his real identity. By this point, the investigators know that Kira needs a name and face to kill. Why wouldn't Raye use a fake identification card? There is no reason to explain his FBI agent status just to convince one student that he isn't in league with the bus driver. Sadly, this character flaw gets Raye - and several of his colleagues - killed. Fans can overlook this element since it was needed to move the story forward, but it is still a character flaw.
NEXT: 10 Best Anti-Hero Anime Like Death Note
NextJujutsu Kaisen: 10 Anime Tropes It AvoidsAbout The Author
Noemi Arellano-Summer is an arts and culture journalist working in the Los Angeles area. Armed with a BS in Journalism from Boston University, she has published work at the following publications: Boston Globe, Crime Report, Ancient World Magazine, Screen Queens, BU BUZZ, BU Quad, Mindfray, Catalyst.cm, the Boston Hassle, and the Celebrity Cafe. She is excited to share film, history, and the arts with people.
Genius level Intelligence
Playing with toys and puppets
Become the new L
Protect the innocence (all succeeded)
Halle Lidner (co-worker)
|“||Nobody can tell what is right and what is wrong; what is righteous and what is evil. Even if there is a god and I had his teachings right before me, I would think it through and decide if that was right or wrong myself.||„|
|“||No. You're just a murderer, Light Yagami. And this notebook is the deadliest weapon of mass murder in the history of mankind. You yielded to the power of the Shinigami and the notebook, and have confused yourself with a god. In the end, you're nothing more than a crazy serial killer. That's all you are. Nothing more and nothing less.||„|
|~ Near to Light Yagami|
Nate River (ニア Nia), better known as Near, is one of the two secondary antagonists of the anime and manga series Death Note (alongside Soichiro Yagami), acting as the main antagonist in the second half of the series. He is the younger of L's two successors, raised in Watari's orphanage for gifted children (Wammy's House), as well as one of the characters from Death Note. After the death of L, Near begins his investigation of the Kira case, gathering evidence over a period of four years, Near takes his findings to the President of the United States and reveals himself to be the true successor of L. Soon after, Near becomes the head of the SPK and continues the hunt for Kira. After making contact with "L" (Light Yagami), Near begins to suspect that the current "L" is also Kira.
He is voiced by Noriko Hidaka in the Japanese version of the anime, and by Cathy Weseluck in the English version of the anime.
Near has white hair and gray eyes (similar to the eyes L had). Near is only seen wearing a white long-sleeved pajama top, and white pajama pants. In the anime, Near's pants are instead a light blue color. In the Death Note One-Shot Special which takes place three years after the end of the Kira case, Near is shown to have sharp bags under his eyes, slightly longer hair and to have undergone a growth spurt.
Near is very intelligent, although his childish appearance and demeanor can cause others (such as David Hoope) to question his abilities. He has an obsession with solving complex problems to which he views investigation as like solving a puzzle. He is highly observational, and was once seen piecing together a puzzle that was almost entirely colored white. He is proficient when it comes to multitasking, and is able to monitor multiple computer screens at once. Near also appears to be ambidextrous, playing darts with his left hand and stacking dice with his right.
Despite his genius abilities, Near has a low social knowledge and is bad at interacting with others. As stated in Death Note 13: How to Read, "he is only able to display his true deductive powers when he has the support of his members." The book also states that Near is distant from people because he is sensitive. Near is rather codependent, as seen when he asks Rester to accompany him on his flight to Japan, due to having never flown alone.
Near is very calm and stable, a trait that is described in Death Note 13: How To Read as being "above that of L's". He is also rather devious, and isn't above using tactics that are "barely within the law", as he "values results above all else." Although a seemingly straight faced individual, Near will often smirk when getting something right, and does so many times while trying to corner Light during their conversations. He is also shown to have a sense of humor, stating that Light was "popular with the ladies" while discussing with Rester the roles of Misa Amane and Kiyomi Takada in the Kira case. Near shows much more emotion in the manga than he does in the anime, and displays far more facial expressions. For example, when the SPK members were killed in the anime Near has a very stern look, but in the manga he is visibly upset.
In the post-series one-shot, Near is shown to have a great respect for L, basing much of how he solves crime on L's methods, even to the point where he only takes cases that he has a personal interest in rather than trying to pursue justice. Much like L, Near shows various unusual mannerisms during his day to day life. He is usually seen hunched over rather than sitting, and he also constantly plays with various toys, which he uses in his theories. With extremely childlike interests, his surroundings always have toys, dice, or darts strewn about. Even though he is only playing, piecing together a patterned puzzle starting out of nowhere and the like easily shows a sample of his abilities and intelligence. Normally, his fixation with toys is light, but he does seem to have things that he particularly likes since he has taken these with him when he had to escape. Three years after the main story, Near takes an interest in building Tarot card stacks. Of course, these structures are far beyond normal size, easily covering an entire room. It appears that Near would despise anyone who would knock down these structures, accidentally or intentionally. He also seems to have a love for dice. Although Near is always surrounded with toys, none of them are electronics. All of his toys are the types that need to be moved manually such as the action figures, darts and dolls (except for the remote-control rubber ducks powered with batteries, and a battery-moved train). While L uses the Old English Text MT/Cloister Black font text "L," Near uses the Wedding Text BT/ClerestorySSK font text "N," to represent himself during the Kira investigation. In the post series one-shot, he is shown conducting investigations as "L", and uses the Old English Text MT/Cloister Black font text "L".
Near is first introduced to the story as a child at Wammy's House. He is first seen sitting alone in a room, piecing together a white puzzle, with the puzzle's only design being a black letter 'L' in the corner. As some children run by the room, a young girl named Linda asks Near if he wants to play with them. Near replies "No, thank you Linda", and continues to put together his puzzle. Soon after, Roger comes by the room with Mello, and brings the two children to his office. There, Roger informs the two children that L has died.
Although Mello reacts rather violently to the news, Near remains quiet, sitting on the floor piecing together his puzzle. Mello begins questioning Roger, asking how L could say that he would catch Kira but end up dead himself. Near picks up his completed puzzle and turns it upside down, causing the pieces to fall about. He states that "If you can't win the game, if you can't solve the puzzle, you are just a loser." He immediately begins putting his puzzle back together. Mello asks Roger if he or Near was chosen as L's successor and Roger replies that L had not decided yet. Roger asks if the two children could work together. Near responds with a positive "alright", while Mello says it will never work because they "don't get along". Mello says that Near should take the position of 'L' because he stays calm and doesn't get emotional; he uses his head to solve the puzzle. Mello leaves the orphanage and Near stays at Wammy's House for an unknown period of time. In the time between learning of L's death and the creation of the SPK, Near gathers evidence related to the Kira case. Because all of the data gathered by L had been deleted, Near starts from scratch.
On March 5, 2009 (2012 in the anime), Nearly four years after the death of L, Near and the Director of the FBI, Steve Mason, meet with the President of the United States. The Director informs the President that the current 'L' is false and was created by the Japanese Police to avoid disorder. The President is informed that L is dead and the murders performed by Kira were done with a Death Note. The Director asks Near if his (the Director's) statements are correct and Near replies that they are. Near explains that on November 5, 2004, L pursued Higuchi and within forty minutes Higuchi in his vehicle was surrounded by police cars. Near says that L warned the police to not get near Higuchi's car, meaning that there is no doubt that Higuchi had the ability to kill. The President asks Near if he thinks Higuchi killed with a Death Note, and Near responds that the notebook has the power to kill those whose name is written in it. Near explains that a policeman at the scene reported hearing Higuchi mention a notebook that could kill someone whose face you know, if you write their name in it. Near says that afterwards, a notebook was removed from the scene and taken away via helicopter. Near says that this indicates that with L gone, the notebook is most likely in the hands of the Japanese Police. The Director tells the President that Near began his own investigation with no prior evidence, but his (Near's) research materials that he brought for the President support his theory. The President asks the Director who this boy is, and the Director responds that Near is the rightful successor to the name of 'L'.
On March 12, 2009, the United States of America created the SPK, an independent organization consisting of FBI and CIA agents. Near worked for the United States under the SPK team that was established to investigate Kira. He soon managed to deduce that Light Yagami, posing as L, actually is Kira.
After identifying Mikami as Light's proxy and after Mello kidnaps Takada (which revealed Light's deception of having Mikami use a fake Death Note to lead Near on), Near was able to switch the real Death Note with his own fake version, which allowed him to set up a final confrontation which left Light exposed. Near claims neither he nor Mello could have surpassed L alone, but together they had done so by inadvertently working together. Near soon takes on L's name and keeps on the surviving members of the SPK as his subordinates.
In the one-shot taking place after the series, Near is shown as the new L (the third chronologically). A new Kira emerges who had gained a Death Note from the Shinigami named Midora, who had received the additional Death Note from the Shinigami King by bribing him with 13 apples she had taken from the human world. The new Kira murdered elderly people in Japan to "relieve their pain." When Near's SPK subordinates asked him why he wasn't taking any action, he replied that he was trying to think what the previous L would have done. He finally reaches a conclusion that the prevailing Kira was just a killer without a purpose, and he labeled the killer as "C-Kira" for "Cheap Kira." He announces on national television, under the alias of "L," that he was not interested in the case and that he had deduced that this Kira was not the real Kira but only an "abominable murder." This resulted in the suicide of C-Kira. Throughout the 40-page manga chapter, the identity of the new Kira is not revealed.
- There is a theory that Near has albinism. The evidence supporting this theory are his pale hair and skin, his slate-grey eyes, and the fact that he is never seen outside (those with albinism can be highly sensitive to UV rays), as well as the fact that he is bad at darts and usually doesn't look those to whom he is talking in the eyes, which could be signs of poor eyesight, another common problem for those with albinism.
- There is another that him and his late brother L have Asperger Syndrome, which causes their strange behavior, seeming disregard for social contact and norms, and extreme intelligence. They also present other secondary signs, such as dislike of constricting clothing/shoes, always wearing the same clothes, and intense staring.
- His English voice actress, Cathy Weseluck, also voiced Spike in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Shampoo in Ranma ½, Snoozer in Hamtaro, Dennis Chan in Kid vs. Kat and Buttercream Sundae in Littlest Pet Shop.
Death Note: 10 Things You Need To Know About Near
There were many great characters in Death Note. After defeating L and thinking the rest of his mission to become God would be easy, Light was not expecting Near to join the game. Near was one of the characters introduced in the second half of the series and was the one to avenge his idol, L.
RELATED: Death Note: 5 Ways Soichiro Is The Best Part Of The Show (& 5 Why It's Watari)
Due to his lack of taking action and having a lot of similarities to his predecessor, Near is a very controversial character. Some fans love him while others consider him to be the worst character in the story. Due to how much happens, it may be hard to keep track of all the characters and some of the finer details of individual characters in Death Note.
10 He Is L's Successor
Knowing that L wouldn't live forever, Watari made sure to find a successor that had a lot of similarities to L so his legacy would continue and the world could still rely on him. Two orphans from Wammy's House were worthy of being L's successor, Near and Mello.
However, L died before he decided who would take his name. Due to Mello not liking Near, he refused the offer of the two of them working together and Near became L's successor. Though Mello ended up playing a big part in defeating Kira, Near was the one that would avenge their predecessor.
9 He Was Supposed To Be Mello
In Death Note 13: How To Read, the artist of the manga, Takeshi Obata, stated that Near was supposed to look like Mello and Mello was supposed to look like Near. After the editor accidentally switched things up, the creators went with it. It is very strange for fans to think of Near doing everything that Mello did and Mello staying calm while getting information solely by speaking to people.
8 His Reaction When L Died
When Roger learned about L's death, he found Mello with a group of the other orphans and Near on his own, working on a puzzle. Roger told them to follow him, where he told them about L's defeat. While Mello was outraged and decided to leave the orphanage, Near remained calm. He dropped the pieces of the puzzle he was working on and began solving it again as a way of saying that he would finish what L could not.
7 He Has A Rivalry With Mello
Mello always felt that Near was better than him. This mentality led him to try to be better than Near in any way that he could. Every move he made was to get closer to defeating Kira before Near did.
RELATED: 5 Ways Light Yagami Is The Most Terrifying Serial Killer (& 5 Ways Yoshikage Kira Is)
However, there were times where the two of them worked together, with Mello even sacrificing his life in order to help Near avenge their idol. Despite their rivalry, the two respected each other and would not have defeated their opponent if they did not work together.
6 He Loves His Toys
Fans loved L's quirky behavior. The ways he moved and spoke were characteristics that the orphans shared. While L frequently ate sugar, Mello always had a chocolate bar on hand, and Matt constantly played video games, Near was surrounded by toys that he would use to demonstrate his thoughts. Unlike the other detectives, Near's toys had a lot of meaning and he thought carefully on what he did with each one.
5 He Is The Leader Of The SPK
After leaving Wammy's House, Near went to the United States and became the leader of the SPK, a group formed in order to find and defeat Kira. It would not take long for most of the members to be killed and Near became one of the four members remaining, with the other three being Rester, Lidner, and Gevanni. The three of them were very useful to Near in uncovering Kira's identity.
4 He Is Incredibly Convincing
He was able to get the other members of the SPK to do anything he asked, no matter how difficult the task seemed. As the story progressed, he also got two of the task force's members, Mogi and Aizawa, to believe and join him in figuring out if Light was really Kira.
RELATED: Death Note: 5 Times L Was Right (& 5 Times He Was Mistaken)
Near was even able to convince Mello of helping him numerous times, putting their rivalry on hold to help each other avenge L. Though he lacks social skills, he was able to rely on others when he truly needed them.
3 He Joined Forces With Members Of The Task Force
While Aizawa and Mogi agreed to help Near, they also did not want to believe that Light was their enemy. However, when the truth came out, the members of the task force helped Near on other cases as shown at the end of the manga. Though not all of the members were happy to join him, they were willing to put their differences aside and dedicate their lives to justice again.
2 His Real Name Is Nate River
Every kid from Wammy's House uses an alias. When Teru Mikami wrote the names of everyone in the SPK and the task force, with the exception of Light, fans learned that Near's true name is Nate River. Light and Teru were shocked that nobody had died after 40 seconds and Near revealed that he replaced the notebook with an exact replica.
1 His Work As The New L
After Light died and Ryuk returned to the Shinigami Realm, Near officially became the new L. To honor Mello's memory, he started to eat chocolate bars while he played with his toys. In the events since Kira's defeat, Near worked on other cases and was most recently shown in Death Note: Special One-Shot as an adult with long hair. With a new Kira showing up and putting the notebook for sale, Near was temporarily intrigued in the case once more.
NEXT: Death Note: 10 Things Most Fans Still Don't Know About Naomi Misora
Next10 Best Villain Monologues In Anime, RankedAbout The Author
Kit Morris is a list writer for CBR and Game Rant. He got into anime when he was in high school, starting with Attack on Titan, which eventually became his favorite franchise ever made. He is also a fan of other anime, such as Death Note and The Promised Neverland. Feel free to follow him on Twitch, badgamerkit, and Twitter, @CreatORoyalty.
|Nate River||Nate River (ネイト・リバー)|
|Near||Near (ニア) (Nia)|
· · ·
|13 years old (at debut) (born August 24, 1994) (anime)||13 years old (at debut) (born August 24, 1994) (anime)|
· · ·
|13 years old (at debut) (born August 24, 1991) (manga)||13 years old (at debut) (born August 24, 1991) (manga)|
|Type B||Type B|
|SPK member, Second L||SPK member, Second L|
|"Light Yagami is Kira"||"Light Yagami is Kira"|
|Cathy Wessluck||Noriko Hidaka|
|Episode 27 (partial debut in episode 26), Chapter 59 (manga)||Episode 27 (partial debut in episode 26), Chapter 59 (manga)|
|Death Note||Death Note|
Near was raised in an orphanage, and is highly intelligent. Watari was the owner/creator of this orphanage, and due to this all the children in there are highly intelligent, but Near was always at the top. Because of this, Near was chosen as one to possibly precede L if anything happened to L.
Near figured out many of the details on the Kira case that L didn't find out until it was too late. Due to this, the president of the USA makes Near the leader of an organization that is focused on finding Kira. As with L, Near has no written proof of his real name or any photo's anywhere.
Near's lifespan is 434016. In the manga, Near is stated to have been born in 1991, while in the anime it becomes 1994. At the start of the series Near is 13 years old, then he is 17 years old when the series picks up after the time skip. And of course he naturally ages throughout the series.
Death note near
List of Death Note characters
Wikipedia list article
The manga series Death Note features an extensive cast of fictional characters designed by Takeshi Obata with their storylines created by Tsugumi Ohba. The story follows the novel of a character named Light Yagami, who uses the notebook he found in order to cleanse the world of those humans which he deemed unfit for society. A team of professional investigators set out to find out the mysterious killer and arrest him, and thus many other characters are introduced until Light is eventually caught.
In the fictional stories featured in the Death Note universe, Tsugumi Ohba, the story writer, created characters that lived in a world featuring a notebook in which names written on it would lead to the ones named to die, typically the cause of death being a heart attack when otherwise not specified. Ohba chose names for his characters in a way that, as he described, "seemed real but could not exist in the real world", due to the fact that most of the characters were criminals or victims. Light Yagami, the main character, is depicted as the deadliest of them. Some character details differ between the manga and its anime, live-action film and drama adaptations.
- A dark grey cell indicates that the character was not in the property or that the character's presence in the property has yet to be announced.
- A Main indicates a character had a starring role in the property.
- A Recurring indicates the character appeared in two or more times within the property.
- A Guest indicates the character appeared once in the property.
Main article: Light Yagami
- Light Yagami (夜神 月, Yagami Raito)
Light Yagami (夜神月, Yagami Raito) is the main protagonist of the Death Note series. After discovering the Death Note, he decides to use it to rid the world of criminals. His killings are eventually labelled by people of Japan as the work of "Kira."
Main article: L (Death Note)
- L Lawliet (Ｌ・ローライト, Eru Rōraito)
L Lawliet, known solely as L, is the world's greatest detective and one of the main antagonists in the Death Note. He takes on the task of tracking down and arresting Kira. He only ever wears shoes in public, just to take them off as soon as he sits down. His disheveled appearance and constant playing with his food, which usually consists of candy or fruit, causes people to doubt his position as L. He lives in solitude, and only his manager Watari is able to contact him directly. L suspects that Light is Kira almost from the beginning, but cannot confirm his suspicions (although they are right), due to his death.
Main article: Ryuk (Death Note)
- Ryuk (リューク, Ryūku)
Ryuk is a bored Shinigami that drops a Death Note, a notebook that allows the one in its possession to kill anyone simply by knowing their name and face, into the human world in order to have fun. It is picked up by Light Yagami, a young genius who uses it in an attempt to create and rule a world "cleansed of evil" as "God".
Main article: Misa Amane
- Misa Amane (弥 海砂, Amane Misa)
Misa Amane is a popular Japanese idol, who is known for her Gothic-style of dress, hyperactive personality and devotion to Light, falling in love with him after he kills her parents' murderer. As a Death Note owner and the second Kira, she has the Shinigami Eyes, which allow her to see nearly everyone's name and lifespan. However, she cannot see the lifespans of Death Note owners. As part of her career as an idol, she performs numerous jobs such as acting, singing and modeling.
- Near (ニア, Nia)
Near, whose real name is Nate River, is the young detective who succeeds L by default. He is the head of an organization created to catch Kira, the SPK (Special Provision for Kira). A placid character with a sharp tongue, he has white hair and wears pale clothes. He constantly plays with toys, building towers of dice and playing cards, and illustrating his exposition with small finger puppets and Legominifigs. He is seen completing blank puzzles, which emphasizes his problem-solving skills. He was the person who succeeded identifying and capturing Light as Kira.
Near appears in L: Change the World, a spin-off film that details the final 23 days of L's life before his death in Death Note 2: The Last Name. Unlike in the manga, Near was a Thai boy who resided in a village in the rural areas of Thailand. He was also shown to be gifted in mathematics. At the beginning of the film, the village Near lives in was struck and destroyed by a virus that infects all the villagers, all except Near, who was the sole villager who did not get infected. F, an associate of L and Watari, had found the boy and brought him to safety before his death. Given that there was no mention of Near's family or parents, it is possible that they died due to the virus or from other causes prior to the film, effectively making Near an orphan.
Near, who was not named throughout the film, wandered around for days before reaching a market where he managed to use a phone to contact L and was brought to Japan. He was found to be not infected from various tests conducted, and later brought to L's headquarters. In the course of the film, Near spoke only Thai and English, otherwise, he rarely speaks, reflecting an introverted personality. He also did not display a habit of using finger puppets or any other habits compared to his manga counterpart; his hair was black in the film instead of white.
Near joined L and a 10-year-old schoolgirl, Maki Nikaido, in their escape from a terrorist group who was the one that created the virus which killed Near's fellow villagers and friends back from Thailand. He formed a bond with both Maki and L throughout their escape. Near played an important role in the process to create the antidote, as he was the one who solved a mathematical question left behind by Maki's father, and the answer turned out to be a crucial clue to making the antidote. His supposed immunity to the virus also contributed to the antidote-making process by him providing his blood and thus leading to a positive outcome. As a result of Near's actions, he indirectly saved all the plane passengers infected by the virus in the climax of the film, and Maki as well. In the final scenes of the film, L brought the boy to the orphanage he grew up in, where L gifted him a robot and named him "Near". It would be the last time Near would see L alive before L's death. It is not known how Near reacts to L's death or what is his eventual fate, since he did not make any further appearances in the subsequent sequels of the live-action Death Note Japanese film series. Despite being named Near, the character was credited as "BOY" in the film's ending credits. Similarly, there was nothing known about Near's birth name in the film.
In the anime adaptation, Near is voiced by Noriko Hidaka in Japanese and by Cathy Weseluck in the English version. He is portrayed by Narushi Fukuda in L: Change the World and by Mio Yūki in the television drama.
Tsugumi Ohba, writer of Death Note, said that he introduced Near and Mello together because L individually could not defeat Kira. Ohba felt that introducing one character individually would produce a "repeat" of the struggle between Light and L, so he instead wanted a story involving three combatants fighting each other. Ohba said that he let Obata create the character designs and asked him to make both characters look "a little "L-ish". Ohba said that he "wavered" in their ages and considered making the characters the sons of L. Ohba added that he did not initially develop their personalities as he wanted to "reveal" them through their actions.
Ohba said that he gave Near a hobby of playing with toys and stacking "things" as a development from L's hobby of stacking sugar cubes and little food cups. Ohba included the match and the dice towers in his thumbnails. Ohba said that he thought about Obata encountering difficulty in drawing the dice towers and felt surprised when he saw the dice towers in the final work.
The given name "Nate River" comes from the words "natural" and "river", to symbolize that Near's talents flow from L, thus making Near the natural successor to L. The name is supposed to show that Near is a "natural genius blessed from above".
Takeshi Obata, artist of Death Note, said that, since Ohba wanted to "include a little L" in Near and Mello, he tried to keep "the weirdness and the panda eyes". Obata added that since L was an important character he felt that he made Near and Mello looks too much like L. He described the character designs as "a major struggle". Obata said that, when he first heard about Near and Mello, he assumed that Near and Mello would join as a team and work together, so he envisioned the two as twins when he created the character designs. Obata stated that he originally thought about creating Near as "a bit more mature mentally". Obata said that he created a "cooler looking version of L" design and considered using a younger version of that design. Another design Obata created for L included a "really innocent and cheerful character" and he felt that the design could work for Near; he said that he "quickly abandoned" the idea.
Obata said that when he first saw Near he "didn't even know what the heck he was wearing". He said that "it was tough" drawing Near's clothes as he did not understand the assembly of his clothes. Obata said that he settled for pyjamas and "things got a lot easier".
Ohba said that Near "becomes less likable" as the story advances, citing Near's plan to take the notebook at an earlier point in the story. Ohba said that a negative reaction originated from the loss of L and "the difference in their attitudes" and that people may have viewed Near as "a cheat". Ohba added that Near's "cheeky behavior", intended to "reinforce his childishness", had been construed as "annoying".
In the final chapter Near brings finger puppets to the Yellow Box Warehouse. Obata said that Near first bought the Kira finger puppet and drew on it with a magic marker. Obata then said that Near must have created the other puppets afterward. Obata views Near as not liking L much so Obata had Near depicted L as "ugly", and that Near "worked hard" on Mello's puppet as Near "liked Mello".
Obata said he enjoyed drawing Near and that Near is also one of his favorite and his least favorite characters, considering him to be the smartest character in the manga "because he cheats".
When asked about which character was most similar to himself, Ohba indicated Near and "maybe Light". Regarding Near, Ohba said that he does not leave his house often.
Obata added that the designs for the characters became switched at the design phase; the final Mello had Near's design and vice versa. Obata said that when he created a depiction of the designs his editor wrote the wrong names accompanying the designs; then when Obata received approval he could not say that the labels were incorrect. Obata said that, for him, Near was "eviler". He felt that "it's better" that the switch occurred.
Obata stated that as he drew Near the concept of his immaturity became "stronger and stronger" as he believes that such traits are best revealed "gradually". Obata cited the fact that in the beginning Near's sole toy consisted of darts. He felt he could express "negative" parts of Near with the puppets. Ohba added that one could see "his dark side in his kind of puppets he used".
Briana Lawrence of Anime News Network explained that many fans feel Death Note went downhill after the defeat of L. She wrote that the introduction of Near and Mello as L's protégés was an interesting idea at first, but they would have been much better characters if they had been treated as individuals and not as two different halves of L. "Every volume always had to point out the fact that Light was still battling L through Near and Mello, but if Light has defeated L already why do we want to watch him battle L all over again?"
Main article: Mello (Death Note)
- Mello (メロ, Mero)
Mello, whose real name is Mihael Keehl, grows up in competition with Near to succeed L. After L's death, however, he concedes the position to Near and leaves to hunt Kira through criminal means, eventually joining the American Mafia. His obsession with surpassing Near serves as the primary motivation for many of his actions. He has blond hair, dresses extravagantly, and is rarely seen without a bar of chocolate.
- Teru Mikami (魅上 照, Mikami Teru)
- Voiced by: Masaya Matsukaze (Japanese); Kirby Morrow (English)
Teru Mikami is a criminal prosecutor, a fanatical supporter of Kira, and the fourth Kira. When Light needs a new Kira proxy to hide his identity, Mikami is selected as the new Kira by Light, purely based on his intuition. Since childhood, Mikami has had a strong sense of justice, but his views have become warped due to years of bullying and trauma. Mikami wishes to punish those he considers to be evil (which, to Light's dismay, includes unproductive people and reformed criminals) and worships Kira as a god. Mikami mutters the word "delete" (削除, sakujo) repeatedly to himself while writing in the Death Note, which Tsugumi Ohba felt made him more interesting.
Mikami was introduced into the story to take Misa's role as Kira. After struggling to create Mikami, Ohba created Mikami's backstory in order to establish Mikami and Light as "equals" and that Mikami is "special in some way." Mikami is the only character to receive a chapter dedicated to his past, and Ohba was reluctant to create the flashback because he personally does not like creating them. Though he usually did not add detail about "Kira worshippers", he decided to pay special attention to Mikami's first appearance. He wanted to have Mikami be both smart and dangerous, and have a hatred for societal evil, which he transferred into Mikami's role as a prosecutor. He wanted it to be clear that Mikami was evil, but, at the same time, he did not want to focus on the aspects of right and wrong. Ohba's second favorite human character in the series was Mikami as Ohba believed that Mikami was the second "strongest" character in the series "besides Light."
Ohba has no visual preferences and therefore let Obata create the visual aspects. Obata based Mikami's design on Taro Kagami, the main character in the pilot chapter of the series. He was told that Mikami was supposed to be a "stoic character like Light" while not knowing that Mikami was a prosecutor and a follower of Kira. As the series progressed, Obata drew Mikami as an "insane fanatic." Obata said that he gave Mikami glasses since "glasses are in these days." Obata added that "things were a little haphazard at this point..."
At the end of the series, Mikami is captured by Near's team at the Yellow Box warehouse. While Mikami dies in prison after going insane in the manga, he commits suicide by stabbing himself with his pen in the anime. Matsuda believes that Near wrote in the Death Note to manipulate and restrict Mikami's actions. Ohba stated that he leaves it up to the readers to decide if his theory is true. In the second Death Note rewrite special, Mikami is the one to kill the SPK (after Light blackmails the US President to leak information about the SPK, which he, in turn, forwards to Takada and Mikami), rather than the mafia, as shown in the manga.
Mikami's role was well praised in the second half which made him stand out in relation to characters such as Misa, Near, and Mello. IGN's Tom S Pepirum liked how Mikami's backstory and his strong sense of justice stood out to other viewers regarding concepts brought to life unlike that of Light who didn't have that kind of perspective.
In the live action drama, his role is expanded upon. Portrayed by Shugo Oshinari, Mikami is introduced as the prosecutor handling the case of Kyu Nishida, the murderer of Misa's parents. He eventually deduces Misa's identity as the second Kira after accumulating information from Kira-related news. After stealing Misa's notebook to become Kira in her place, Mikami collaborates with Light to kill L. Mikami continues to work with Light until they are both caught by Near and the police in the Yellow Box warehouse. Mikami accidentally kills Light after he sets the warehouse on fire in an attempt to escape.
Mikami makes a cameo appearance in Death Note: Light Up the New World serving as the guardian to Light's young son, Hikari Yagami (夜神光, Yagami Hikari). He murders Hikari in order to steal the boy's notebook but is in turn killed by police officer Tsukuru Mishima. He is portrayed by Kensei Mikami in the film.
- Minoru Tanaka (田中実, Tanaka Minoru)
The new possessor of the Death Note and the main protagonist of Death Note: Special One Shot, he decides to auction off the Death Note instead of using it. Having Ryuk go out to send his instructions to Sakura TV, he creates a hashtag to auction off the Death Note, ultimately leading to world governments bidding on the Death Note, ultimately getting the United States to bid $10,000,000,000,000 for it, while various law enforcement agencies are out to catch Minoru, whom Near names "A-Kira". During that time though, the Shinigami King is infuriated by the idea of the Note itself being for sale, and creates a new rule to the Note. After the Note is paid for by depositing the money equally into the savings account of every Japanese person 60 or below, the new rule is revealed to be that anyone involved in the buying or selling of the Death Note will be killed upon fulfillment of the deal. The US President balks at this, and secretly refuses to take ownership of the note (though mentioning he'll publicly bluff about having it), and Minoru dies immediately after trying to cash out his payment.
Kira Investigation Team
- Soichiro Yagami (夜神 総一郎, Yagami Sōichirō)
- Voiced by: Naoya Uchida (Japanese); Christopher Britton (English)
Soichiro Yagami is Light's father and detective superintendent of Japan's National Police Agency. He initially leads the Kira investigation team that later joins with L. When L begins to suspect Light of being Kira, Soichiro is unwilling to believe his son would be capable of such a thing. After L's death, he is sent to retrieve the Death Note stolen by Mello by obtaining Shinigami Eyes and infiltrate Mello's hideout, though Light had planned for Matsuda to fill the role. He retrieves the note and learns Mello's real name, but is unable to kill him, and is instead fatally wounded. Because Light has given up his Death Note, making his lifespan visible above his head, Soichiro dies believing that Light is not Kira.
In the film series, Soichiro, portrayed by Takeshi Kaga, survives - discovering that Light is Kira and holding him as he dies - but chooses to hide the knowledge from his family. However, in the live-action drama, Soichiro is portrayed by Yutaka Matsushige, which differs greatly from his other counterparts. Although his strong sense of justice and love for his family remain much the same, he is a widower, and Light feels some resentment towards him for choosing to interrogate murderer Kurou Otoharada over going to his wife's bedside when she passed, as well as his repeated absence in his son's life following that event. Yet despite this strain, the pair are much closer than other versions, and their relationship has a huge impact on the story, with Light killing Otoharada and ultimately becoming Kira in order to protect his father. It is this closeness that causes Soichiro to notice changes in Light's behavior, and - is a huge departure from the source material - leads him to suspect his son when L suggests the possibility. This ultimately leads to a confrontation between the two towards the end of the series, in which Soichiro, blaming himself and having instructed his colleagues to assume Light's guilt if he should die, writes his own name in the Death Note before trying to burn it as his final act. In the musical, Soichiro is portrayed by Takeshi Kaga, who also portrayed Soichiro in the live-action film series, effectively making Kaga reprising his role as Soichiro.
His counterpart in the American film, James Turner: a seasoned Seattle detective, is portrayed by Shea Whigham and is the father of Light Turner: the American adaptation of Light Yagami. This version of the character is a widowed and experienced Seattle police detective and Light's father, who has a deeply ingrained sense of justice, is still reeling from the death of his wife in a hit and run incident, with the person responsible being bailed from the trial, and has a close yet somewhat strained relationship with his son, as demonstrated when Light refuses to kill his father when he appears in a television broadcast where he publicly humiliates "Kira", and is unaware of his son's dual life as an infamous god-like serial-killer named "Kira", who is massacring numerous known law-offenders around the world, through the utilization of a cursed supernatural notebook known as the "Death Note", with James refusing to believe in the possibility that his son could be "Kira". He is also appointed as the local head of the "Kira" investigation in Seattle and is eventually assisted by an enigmatic and esteemed international consulting detective known as L, who correctly surmises Kira's location within Seattle. Unlike the manga, he is somewhat doubtful of L's deductions and observations and even engages in open conflict against L, when he suspects and attempts to attack Light, out of suspicion that he is "Kira", which eventually boils down to the point that James issues an arrest warrant and manhunt for L, who decides to hunt down Light, after L's handler/foster-father: Watari is seemingly murdered by "Kira". However, by the end of the film, James is eventually horrified to find out that Light is true "Kira", after finding out evidence pointing towards Light being responsible for the murder of his mother's killer, who was his first victim. After Light reveals how he had committed his murders and cleared himself of being "Kira" and tries to convince his father that what he did was the "lesser of two evils", James asks him if what he did was really a good thing either, while elsewhere, L finds a hidden page of the Death Note and contemplates writing Light's name in it.
Soichiro was envisioned as an "honest police officer with a strong sense of justice" that the reader "would have to feel sorry for everything he has to go through." Though Ohba did not want Soichiro to die, the writer felt that he had to because the character's continued existence would have interfered with too many of the already set up plot points. He did not want Light to kill him, so he wrote Soichiro's death as an accident. Obata designed Soichiro to look like a "stereotypical detective", retaining the mustache and glasses found in Ohba's concepts. Over the course of the series, he changes visibly by losing weight and aging poorly- particularly during his and Light's confinement. Both Ohba and Obata found Soichiro to be the purest character, and Ohba personally found him to be the third strongest character in the series "besides Light." His birthday is July 12, 1955.
- Touta Matsuda (松田 桃太, Matsuda Tōta, (romanized as Tota Matsuda in Japanese media))
- Voiced by: Ryō Naitō (Japanese); Vincent Tong (English)
Touta Matsuda is the youngest member of the Kira investigation team. His alias is Taro Matsui (松井 太郎, Matsui Tarō). Matsuda has the drive to match the other members of the team, but his lack of experience sometimes hinders the investigation. He is described as a "typical young man" who is "easy to get along with" and feels "very excited about trends and gossip;" often listening in on Light's intimate conversations with Misa and later Takada for the sake of gossip rather than the investigation. He becomes quite fond of Light, as noted by Hideki Ide at the series' conclusion. As for Misa, Matsuda often shows that he is a massive fan of hers, becoming quite upset when his death is faked and he can no longer work as her 'manager'. It is hinted that Matsuda has an inferiority complex regarding his detective ability, and many of his coworkers feel annoyed by his behavior. Matsuda's "risky moves" sometimes place him in danger, and his "quick thinking" sometimes aids the investigation, such as his actions in the Yotsuba case that lead to Higuchi's detainment. Matsuda initially befriends Light and believes that he is not Kira, but at the end of the series, during the final showdown between Light and the SPK, Matsuda, enraged and grief-stricken over Light's apathy in regards to his father's death and to stop Light killing Near, fatally wounds Light by shooting him repeatedly. This ultimately results in Light's death when Ryuk, realizing Light's loss, writes Light's name in his Death Note.
Ohba describes Matsuda as a "very simple guy" easily used in the story. Some fellow task force members even refer to him as an idiot, including L and Light. Matsuda is very useful as a character because he acts only on his emotions, which according to Ohba is "probably" why he survives. Despite working to capture Kira, Matsuda admits that he is not entirely sure whether or not the death of criminals is such a bad thing, though he does not let it get in the way of his work; even in the epilogue of the manga he still struggles with determining whether or not he did the right thing in siding with Near. This trait was given to him because Ohba felt that any group would have at least one individual who supports Kira to help balance it. Obata described Matsuda as "hard to predict and thus hard to draw." Obata felt that Matsuda's character concept consisted of an "average young detective", and that because Matsuda's character was not unique and his actions were not consistent, something Obata sees in himself, he did not like the character or how it pointed out his "own inconsistency." Obata described Matsuda as the sole character who "looks younger" during the Near and Mello arc. His birthday is December 14, 1978.
In the film, he is played by Sota Aoyama. Matsuda stars in a Death Note film version special, aired on Japanese television, that takes place after Light's death; in it, Matsuda has to come to terms with L's eventual death. In Death Note: Light Up the New World, Matsuda joins the new Death Note task force in order to bring the new Kira to justice. However, Yuki Shien, a user of the Death Note, forces him to commit suicide with his gun while smiling. In the drama series, Matsuda is portrayed by Gōki Maeda. In the musical, he is portrayed by Tsugoshi Matsubara.
Shuichi Aizawa (相沢 周市, Aizawa Shūichi)
- Voiced by: Keiji Fujiwara (Japanese); Trevor Devall (English)
Shuichi Aizawa is a member of the Kira investigation team that leaves the team under the guise of needing to support his family because the Japanese police cut their funding (it is only after he leaves that it is revealed that L would have supported them had he stayed). Aizawa uses the alias Aihara (相原) to protect his identity. Aizawa returns after L's death, where he is one of the first to suspect Light of being Kira (although he continues to act compassionately towards Light until he is cornered, and goes mad), and helps contribute to his eventual defeat. He becomes the leader of the investigation team afterward. Ohba decided to make Aizawa the chief of the NPA because he did not want to create a new character in the final chapter, and because he felt that Aizawa is the best candidate because of his connections to the police and Near. His birthday is May 11, 1969. In the film, he is played by Tatsuhito Okuda. In the drama series, he is portrayed by Tomohisa Yuge. In the musical, Aizawa is portrayed by Makoto Okada in the 2015 production and by Kosuke Sugaya in the 2017 production.
Kanzo Mogi (模木 完造, Mogi Kanzō)
- Voiced by: Kazuya Nakai (Japanese); John Murphy (English)
Kanzo Mogi is one of the most dedicated members of the Kira investigation team, but also one of the most reserved. Mogi rarely speaks, even when someone presents an opinion he agrees with. Despite this, perhaps even because of this, he is a particularly good detective. He is shown to be an excellent actor, becoming an excited and cheery manager for Misa on demand and in seeming contradiction to his usual demeanor. He appears to be fond of Misa, as is seen when he worries that Misa's comments about Takada could get her killed. The feeling is probably mutual, since Misa is happy to have him stay with her, and nicknames him 'Motchi'. Mogi uses the alias Kanichi Moji (模地 幹一, Moji Kan'ichi) to protect his identity. In the second film (in which he is played by Shin Shimizu), he is killed by Misa in her first Sakura TV broadcast (in the manga and anime, it is Ukita who is killed at this point). In the drama series, he is portrayed by Jirō Satō. In the musical, Mogi is portrayed by Makoto Nishino. In this production, L has Mogi follow Light, so Light has Misa use her Shinigami eyes and tell him Mogi's name. After which, Light kills Mogi using the Death Note.
Mogi was originally introduced to "fill the cast", though Ohba later planned to use Mogi for "something really amazing" and "surprising" since Mogi is a "silent type." Obata also did not think of Mogi as important, so Mogi's design was not very clear. While trying to decide who would become the new NPA chief at the end of the series, Ohba felt that Mogi would be too close to Near, so Ohba chose Aizawa to be the new NPA chief. His birthday is September 13, 1973.
- Hideki Ide (伊出 英基, Ide Hideki)
- Voiced by: Hideo Ishikawa (Japanese); Brian Dobson (English)
Hideki Ide is one of the few police officers who remain with Soichiro during the Kira Investigation. He initially leaves when he disagrees with L's methods. Ide later returns and plays a relatively minor role in the Kira investigative team. He helps coordinate their efforts and performs actions such as organizing a blockade of police cars to trap Higuchi. Later, after L's death, he rejoins the investigation, though he states that he only did so to be with Aizawa. Ide trusts Light more than any of the other Task Force members, except for Light's father.
Ohba said that Ide reappeared since Ohba wanted to use Ide during the Higuchi arrest; according to Ohba having Ide reappear would create "a nice solidarity scene" and that using more characters would make the arrest "better." Obata said that he liked Ide because he could understand the mental process of Ide leaving and rejoining the team. Obata said that he finds it easier to draw characters that reveal their motivations for their actions.
Hideki Ide was the only member of the Task Force from the manga series who did not appear in the live-action film adaptation of the Death Note series. He does, however, appear in the musical, portrayed by Seito Ueno. The Task Force sings *Change the World reprise", during which each of them tries to decide if they should stay on the Kira Task Force, or leave. At the end of the song, Ide ultimately decides to leave the investigation, but the others remain.
- Hirokazu Ukita (宇生田 広数, Ukita Hirokazu)
- Voiced by: Hidenobu Kiuchi (Japanese); Jeremy From (English)
Hirokazu Ukita is a member of the Kira investigation team that is led by L. He is characterized as being "young" and "brave" and he smokes a lot of cigarettes. When Misa has Sakura TV (さくらTV) broadcast a message from her as Kira, Ukita rushes to the station to stop the broadcast without any prompting by the rest of the team. Since Misa has the Shinigami Eyes, she kills Ukita as soon as he approaches the door. In the film, where he is portrayed by Ikuji Nakamura, he survives with Mogi replacing him as Misa's victim.
Ohba killed Ukita because he happened to have Ukita appear on Sakura TV. Ohba said that he did not choose Matsuda as Matsuda was "useful" and that he planned to use Mogi for "something big", so he chose between Aizawa and Ukita. Obata found Ukita easy to draw because Ukita is "emotional and easy-to-understand". He did not know that Ukita was to die, so he was surprised after learning about it. His birthday is November 9, 1977.
- Voiced by: Kiyoshi Kobayashi (Japanese); French Tickner, Ron Halder (English)
Watari is L's assistant, providing logistics to the investigation team. Before the team is formed, he is the only person who has seen L, and the only one capable of contacting L directly. Like L, he represents himself with an Old English "W" on computer screens. He is also a fatherly figure to L. On the surface, he is Quillish Wammy (キルシュ・ワイミー, Kirushu Waimī), a famous inventor and founder of Wammy's House, an orphanage for gifted children in Winchester, England. Watari is well trained in espionage and marksmanship. Rem kills Watari, along with L, in order to protect Misa. At the end of the manga, Roger Ruvie, the manager of Wammy House, becomes the new Watari for the third L, Near. In the film, he is played by Shunji Fujimura, who felt that Watari's presence would "come alive" if he projected "the mood of this mysterious old gentleman without the air of livelihood." In the drama series, Watari is portrayed by Kazuaki Hankai. Watari survives in the series. After L's death, he serves Near. Paul Nakauchi portrays Watari in the American film version.
Watari's name was originally going to be "Shadow" in reference to being L's shadow, but the editor disapproved, which led to the name "Watari", which references his role as a handler. The design team decided on Watari's design during the second chapter. Obata did not put much thought into Watari's disguise because his face did not appear, but afterwards, the rough drafts had Watari as an elderly man with a single strand of hair on his head. Obata decided to keep him as an old man because he believed older characters were more fun to draw than younger ones because of the "weird angles" that could be created with their wrinkles, while younger characters may be designed as "attractive, normal, or ugly." Obata likes leather coats, so he had Watari wear one. Watari is Obata's third favorite human character because he likes older characters and that because Watari "seemed to be hiding a lot of ability" and "had depth." His birthday is May 1, 1933. Watari was always counted as a father and is often seen giving L snacks.
- Matt (マット, Matto)
- Voiced by: Tomohiro Nishimura (Japanese); Drew Nelson (English)
Matt, whose real name is Mail Jeevas (マイル・ジーヴァス, Mairu Jīvasu), is a cohort of Mello's. Matt was also a former resident of Wammy's orphanage; Ohba described him as the "most talented member however he is lazy" of the house. Matt is Mello's helper as Matt performs espionage work and acts as an accomplice in Takada's kidnapping, which results in his death when he is shot by Takada's bodyguards.
According to How to Read, Matt enjoys video games and is not outgoing. He also seems to be a chain smoker. He uses his last breath to smoke his cigarette. He is the third smartest member of Wammy's House and the third successor to L.
Ohba said that he created Matt because when Mello started to act alone Ohba believed that he would find difficulty in explaining the story unless Mello had a character to talk to. Ohba jokingly said that even though Matt may appear to play video games and have no other actions, Matt's existence was "important". In response to a question inquiring about which characters the creators had the most difficulty creating, Ohba cited Matt and said "Even I didn't know what kind of character he was!"
Obata said that he did not receive advance notice regarding Matt, who had the character concept of "a young man who loves gaming and doesn't really care much about the world." Obata said that he remembered seeing the thumbnails and asking his editor "Who's this character?!" The thumbnails gave Matt a bowl haircut and goggles; Obata instead drew "what I liked." Obata added that he could "create Matt naturally" as he had a "he probably won't do much" mentality regarding characters introduced in the Near and Mello arc. His birthday is February 1, 1990.
- Roger Ruvie (ロジャー・ラヴィー, Rojā Ruvī)
- Voiced by: Hiroshi Ōtake (Japanese); Ron Halder (English)
Roger Ruvie acts as the manager of Wammy's House. He is aware of L and Watari's detective work. Despite his work with children, he detests them. At the end of the series, he becomes the new Watari for Near.
- Beyond Birthday (ビヨンド・バースデイ, Biyondo Bāsudei)
Beyond Birthday, or BB, a character exclusive to the prequel novel, Death Note Another Note: The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases, is a serial murderer bent on surpassing L - not by being the world's greatest detective, but by being the world's greatest criminal. The novel takes place in August 2002, over a year before Light became Kira. The only thing known about his past before going to Wammy's House is that his father was beaten to death by a thug and his mother died in a train crash. Like L, Mello, Matt and Near, he lived in Wammy's House and was known as B, which stood for "Backup." A, the original successor to L, was said to have killed himself years earlier due to the pressure of living up to L. Beyond had Shinigami eyes, so he could see when humans would die, and their names. Using his Shinigami Eyes, he would intentionally kill people on their destined day of death.
To fool Naomi Misora, he acted a bit strange during Naomi and L's investigation, calling himself Rue Ryuzaki (竜崎 ルエ, Ryūzaki Rue), with "Rue" being an anagram of the Japanese pronunciation of L (エル, Eru), and Ryuzaki being a nickname L later adopts. He was always in heavy makeup when with Naomi, so his true appearance is unknown. He killed 3 victims, Backyard Bottomslash, Quarter Queen, and Believe Bridesmaid, while leaving clues at each murder scene for Naomi Misora to "solve." In reality, he himself led her to each conclusion she made.
He attempted to commit suicide at the end of the novel, by setting himself on fire, to look like the final victim. He felt that L would never be able to solve the case if he, the murderer, were "murdered", meaning he would have outwitted L. Naomi Misora, however, figured out his plan at the last moment, saving Beyond Birthday's life while at the same time putting him under arrest for his murders. At the very end of the novel, the narrator, Mello, states that Beyond Birthday died of a mysterious heart attack several years later in prison. According to Death Note How to Read 13, he was killed by Kira and the Death Note.
Associates of L Lawliet
- Aiber (アイバー, Aibā)
- Voiced by: Takuya Kirimoto (Japanese); David Orth (English)
Aiber, whose real name is Thierry Morello (ティエリ・モレロ, Tieri Morero), is a professional con man in the employ of L. He plays the role of Eraldo Coil (エラルド・コイル, Erarudo Koiru), one of L's detective aliases, during the investigation of the Yotsuba Group. Aiber uses his initial "A", just like L, when communicating through computers. Aiber speaks many languages and uses many false identities. "Supposedly" he has a talent for using his "good looks" to convince women to pass information to him. Aiber enjoys "life on the edge" and his "biggest thrill" comes from conning people. Since he is a professional criminal, he is known solely in the underworld.
After L's death, Light kills him using the Death Note. In the manga, Aiber dies from liver cancer at a hospital in Paris, France with his family at his bedside. In the anime, he dies of a heart attack in front of his wife and son. He (like Wedy) is referenced to, but does not appear in, Death Note: Another Note.
Ohba said that he created Aiber and Wedy so he could use characters with "special abilities" to advance the storyline. He said that Aiber "did some things."
According to Obata, his editor told him that Aiber was a "sarcastic, comic relief" character. Obata said that he wishes that he could have drawn Aiber to be "more comedic." Obata believes that if he drew Aiber and Wedy to look "a little bit more original", Ohba could have included the characters in a larger role in Death Note.
- Wedy (ウエディ, Uedi)
- Voiced by: Miki Nagasawa (Japanese); Venus Terzo (English)
Wedy, whose is real name Mary Kenwood (メリー・ケンウッド, Merī Ken'uddo, (romanized as Merrie Kenwood in Japanese media)), is a professional burglar in the employ of L. She installs bugs in the Yotsuba Group's meeting room to secretly observe the group's weekly meetings. She does the same for Higuchi's car, allowing the team to watch his desperate attempts to kill Matsuda. Since she is a professional criminal, she is known solely in the underworld.
Wedy uses her initial in computer communication; to avoid confusion with Watari ("W"), she deliberately uses the lowercase form, "w". After L's death, Light kills her using his Death Note; Mary Kenwood dies in a motorcycle accident in Colorado. She (like Aiber) is referenced to, but does not appear in, Death Note: Another Note.
Ohba said that he created Aiber and Wedy so he could use characters with "special abilities" to advance the storyline. He said that he wanted to use Wedy more than Aiber. As an example he explained a scenario involving Light controlling Wedy, making her place cameras in the headquarters so Misa could see L's face "... or something."
According to Obata, he drew Wedy as a female model as he did not know what kind of character she would be. Obata added that Wedy has the "stereotypical female spy look." Obata believes that if he drew Aiber and Wedy to look "a little bit more original", Ohba could have included the characters in a larger role in Death Note.
Associates of Kira
Main article: Kiyomi Takada
- Kiyomi Takada (高田 清美, Takada Kiyomi)
Kiyomi Takada first appears for a short period as Light Yagami's classmate and girlfriend; Light appeared with Takada in public to disguise the fact that he also conversed with Misa. She returns five years later in the story as an announcer of NHN chosen by Teru Mikami to be Kira's spokesperson to the world. Light realizes that he can use this connection with Takada to his advantage and sets up a meeting with her, presumably for the benefit of the investigation. While the two meet, Takada receives a call from Mikami and Light reveals himself to Mikami as Kira. They create a ploy to force the Kira Investigation Team to remove all bugs from the room, after which Light tells Takada that he wants her to be his goddess in the new world.
- Hitoshi Demegawa (出目川 仁, Demegawa Hitoshi)
- Voiced by: Chafurin (Japanese); Ward Perry (English)
Hitoshi Demegawa is a publicity hound and director of Sakura TV (さくらTV). He initially appears when Misa Amane sends four videotapes to Sakura TV in order to gain attention from the real Kira, and approves of broadcasting the tapes on live TV. However, he is forced to hand the tapes over to Soichiro, who crashes a police wagon into the studio and threatens him at gunpoint. He later helps the investigation force to lure out Higuchi by running a television program. Demegawa reappears after L's death, serving as Kira's spokesman for a while and even creating new programs in "honor" of Kira. Demegawa also leads the raid on Near's headquarters with Kira's supporters, but like all the other rioters, is distracted by the money that Near throws down. Later, when he takes matters into his own hands and builds a chapel to greet Kira, asking for donations, which would give Kira a bad image, Mikami kills him for being greedy, and he is replaced by Takada. In the movie Death Note 2: The Last Name, Demegawa's full name was changed to Yuji Demegawa, although he retains his surname from the original manga. Magy portrays Demegawa in the live-action film.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation agrees to assist L since some people believed that Kira killed some American criminals. After Kira kills several agents, the FBI withdraws its assistance.
- Raye Penber (レイ・ペンバー, Rei Penbā)
- Voiced by: Hideo Ishikawa (Japanese); Michael Adamthwaite (English)
Raye Penber is an American investigator from the FBI, sent to Japan with eleven other agents to aid in tracking down Kira early in the story. Described by How to Read It as a "talented" agent, Raye is assigned to investigate the Yagami family for any suspicious behavior; but he eventually stops suspecting Light after he appears to be one of the victims of a bus-jacking. However, Light staged the event to get Raye's name so he could kill him. He has a fiancée, retired FBI agent Naomi Misora, whom he tells not to involve herself in the investigation for her own safety. Light manages to track him down and use him "as a pawn" to kill the other eleven members of his team (he unknowingly used a page of Light's notebook to kill them). Light kills Raye soon after. Before Raye dies, he sees Light, realizing that he is indeed Kira.
Played by Shigeki Hosokawa in the film, his name was changed to Raye Iwamatsu (レイ・イワマツ, Rei Iwamatsu), due to not being able to find an actor in Japan that resembled Raye in the anime and manga. This is because he was also described by How to Read It as a "cross between Japanese and American". The artist, Takeshi Obata, even had trouble drawing him initially due to this (pictured right). In the first film he is a counter-terrorism agent headquartered in Dallas, Texas.
Ohba said that at the beginning he thought of the idea of the FBI going after Light, and so he created Raye to fill the plot point.
Obata said that as Raye was of mixed American and Japanese descent, Obata "struggled over his design" and tried to make Penber look more non-Japanese. Obata said that he wishes that he could have "drawn him a bit better." Hosokawa said that when he portrayed Raye he built Raye's strength, tenderness and the "feeling of mortification."
- Naomi Misora (南空 ナオミ, Misora Naomi)
- Voiced by: Naoko Matsui (Japanese); Tabitha St. Germain (English)
Naomi Misora is the fiancée of Raye Penber (also known as Raye Iwamatsu in the films). Described by How to Read as formerly a "first rate" FBI agent, Naomi left the Bureau in October 2003 for the sake of starting a family in the United States. After the sudden death of her fiancé which she blames Kira for, Naomi, described by How to Read as having a "remarkable investigative ability", decides to take part in the Kira case herself, and theorizes that Kira has other methods of killing besides heart attack. In her attempts to contact the Kira investigation team, she comes across Light Yagami. Cautious at first, she uses the false name Shoko Maki (間木 照子, Maki Shōko) in order to protect herself until she can reach L. However, Light manages to manipulate her into revealing her real name to him resulting in her death by suicide. Her body is never found due to the specifications made by Light in the Death Note.
Naomi's character was originally intended to have a larger role in the storyline which included investigating possible suspects for the Kira Case and expanded interaction with her fiancé. However, once Raye's character was killed author Tsugumi Ohba believed that having Naomi search for Kira was a "natural and interesting development" in the story. Within the cast of characters at the time Sayu was the only notable female. In adding Naomi, Ohba could finally have the "cool" female character he had always wanted. He initially planned for Naomi to have a long involvement in the story but underestimated the character's deductive abilities. Because she was able to uncover crucial plot information "faster than... thought", Ohba decided to end her character early to avoid facing complications with the story development later on. He described the storyline issue of Naomi as the greatest difficulty that he created for himself since the beginning of the series.
According to artist Takeshi Obata, after hearing about the storyline he looked forward to drawing her character since it would be his first time designing one like Naomi. Using the color black to convey her mourning over her fiancé he gave Naomi a leather jacket then designed her face and hair to match her clothes. Because of this ordering Obata states that Naomi was essentially "born from her clothes".
In the live-action films her character, played by Asaka Seto and voiced by Nicole Oliver in the English dub, plays a larger role in the story. After witnessing her fiancé die at the hands of Kira, an enraged Naomi decides to investigate the case herself. Beginning with Light as her prime suspect she uses Shiori Akino to get to him. Using the alias Shoko Maki to protect herself and with a strong belief that Light is Kira, she tries to make him confess that he is. However, her real name is uncovered by Light through the wedding documents held by the church where she and Raye had planned to marry; Light managed to deduce the name of the church after seeing the symbol and name of the church on the documents Naomi carried on the day she witnessed Raye's murder the moment he left the train Light was in, and he knew no one would use a fake name to register a marriage. Light writes Naomi's name to have her commit suicide. Light engineers the suicide to make it appear that Naomi killed herself after a botched kidnapping to try to make Light confess to being Kira; as part of Light's Death Note instructions, Naomi fatally shoots Shiori and then commits suicide in desperation. Naomi also makes a brief appearance in L: Change the World. For the production and filming of the movie, Seto stated that she "tried to project that awesome spirit" of Naomi, referring to the character's tenacity and drive while trying to defeat Kira.
Naomi is one of the central characters in the spinoff novel Death Note Another Note: The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases by author Nisio Isin. The story is set several years prior to the start of Death Note and focuses on a series of murder cases investigated by L with Naomi as his operative. The resulting capture of the murderer helped launch Naomi's reputation within the FBI.
- Steve Mason (スティーブ・メイスン, Sutību Meisun)
- Voiced by: Mitsuru Ogata (Japanese); John Novak (English)
Steve Mason is the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He assists L in investigating the Japanese police and withdraws FBI involvement after the agents die. At a later point he helps Near create the SPK. Mason dies due to the Death Note.
The Yotsuba Group (ヨツバグループ) is a group of eight characters that are members of the Yotsuba Corporation. On Light's instruction, Rem delivers the Death Note to one of them. They meet weekly to discuss the killing of key individuals from competing companies to maintain dominance in the business industry. While they realize that one of them is Kira, they do not know which one.
- Kyosuke Higuchi (火口 卿介, Higuchi Kyōsuke)
- Voiced by: Issei Futamata (Japanese); Andrew Kavadas (English)
Kyosuke Higuchi is the third "Kira", receiving the Death Note from Rem, who was instructed to give it to a "greedy", "forceful", and "selfish" individual who would use the Death Note to attain a higher status that was out of his reach. He was the head of Technology Development at the Yotsuba Corporation, and is part of the Yotsuba Group, eight members of the Yotsuba Corporation that use the Death Note to kill individuals from competing companies to dominate the business industry. He is introduced with a major main antagonist in série/mangá Death Note. Due to his brash attitude and ineptitude, he once suffered demotion, and it was due to this that allowed the other members to eventually figure out that he is Kira.
When he receives the Death Note, he is instructed by Rem to carry out routine killings of criminals, then do whatever he pleases with the Note outside of the killings. He then meets weekly with the rest of the Yotsuba Group to discuss the killing of key individuals from competing companies to maintain dominance in the business industry. While they realize that one of them is Kira, they initially do not know it is Higuchi. During L's probe on the group, Higuchi kills Hatori after Hatori produced a "careless outburst." Rem aids the capture of Higuchi by revealing his identity to Misa. Misa reveals her admiration of Kira and uses her status as the second Kira to get him to propose to her and admit to being Kira on tape.
He is then betrayed by his fellow Yotsuba Group members, which involves Matsuda appearing on Sakura TV to reveal that Higuchi is Kira. This leads to him acquiring the Shinigami Eyes, and he uses them to evade the police for a short time on his way to Sakura TV. He is eventually thwarted by a masked police blockade set up by L's task force. He attempts to kill himself to avoid capture, but Watari uses his expert marksmanship to shoot the gun out of his hand. He then reveals to everyone the existence of Death Notes. Light touches the Death Note while inspecting it, thereby regaining his memories of being the real Kira. Light then uses a Death Note scrap hidden in his watch to kill Higuchi.
Ohba selected Higuchi to be Kira for several reasons. Most of the other members of the Yotsuba group had already been used as "red herrings" and other roles that ruled them out in Ohba's mind. Higuchi was chosen through the process of elimination, using his greed as a criterion to fit the Yotsuba Kira's mold.
Tom S. Pepirium, an editor of IGN website, describes Higuchi in a review of the Death Note episode "Performance" as having "more in common with Cobra Commander than anyone from Death Note, announcing his nefarious plans to no one in particular. Even throwing in a few evil chuckles for good measure."
Other members of the Yotsuba Group
- Shingo Mido (三堂 芯吾, Midō Shingo)
- Voiced by: Eiji Hanawa (Japanese); Trevor Devall (English)
Shingo Mido, the Vice President of Corporate Strategy and the Director of Financial Planning, feels reservations regarding the Yotsuba Kira and ponders leaving the other board members. Mido "seems" to have a "sense of appreciation" for Yotsuba. Misa Amane acknowledges that Mido bears a resemblance to Light Yagami.
- Reiji Namikawa (奈南川 零司, Namikawa Reiji)
- Voiced by: Hirofumi Nojima (Japanese); Ted Cole (English)
Reiji Namikawa is the Vice President of Sales, and the youngest member of the eight. He initially encourages the Yotsuba Kira. After receiving a telephone call from Light he ceases participation and observes the scenario. How to Read describes him as the "most talented" of the board members who has the potential to "make it to the top" without Kira, and that he detests useless subordinates. He has a talent in shogi at the professional 4-dan level.
- Eiichi Takahashi (鷹橋 鋭一, Takahashi Eiichi)
- Voiced by: Rintarō Nishi (Japanese); David Orth (English)
Eiichi Takahashi is the Vice President of Yotsuba Material Planning Division and Yotsuba Homes. How to Read 13 states that he "never had what it takes to be a true leader" and that he was selected to attend the meetings to "make Higuchi look good." The book adds that other members view Takahashi as "foolish" because he does not "seem to put much thought into his comments."
- Suguru Shimura (紙村 英, Shimura Suguru)
- Voiced by: Hiroyuki Yokoo (Japanese); Brian Drummond (English)
Suguru Shimura is the Head of Personnel. How to Read 13 describes him as "paranoid" and always "keep a close eye" on others. Shimura's ability to pay attention to small details allowed him to join the meetings; he noticed subtle changes in "poker-faced" Namikawa's face. How to Read states that he does not like his predicament.
- Masahiko Kida (樹多 正彦, Kida Masahiko)
- Voiced by: Masaki Aizawa (Japanese); Martin Sims (English)
The Vice President of Rights and Planning, Masahiko Kida controls the finances of the committee and contacts "Eraldo Coil." How to Read 13 describes him as "calm and collected." However he is not able to "deal with surprises", leading him to panic when "Eraldo Coil" asks for more money.
- Takeshi Ooi (尾々井 剛, Ooi Takeshi)
- Voiced by: Kiyoyuki Yanada (Japanese); Michael Kopsa (English)
Takeshi Ooi is the Vice President of VT Enterprises. He is the eldest and "most influential" member and he "appears" to control the conferences. He individually contacts the members of the committee. How to Read 13 states that Ooi is "seemingly" a "tough guy who doesn't sweat the details."
- Arayoshi Hatori (葉鳥 新義, Hatori Arayoshi)
- Voiced by: Yukitoshi Tokumoto (Japanese); Simon Hayama (English)
The Vice President of Marketing, Arayoshi Hatori is the illegitimate son of the company president and uses this fact to benefit himself. How to Read 13 states that he "appears to be something of a lightweight" and that he cannot handle the pressures of the meetings. After Hatori makes a "careless outburst" the Yotsuba Kira kills him.
After L dies, Light writes the names of the remaining six, killing them by way of a heart attack. Rumors of Kira's responsibility in the deaths causes Yotsuba's share prices to drop sharply. In the director's cut of Death Note, Mido dies by falling from a tall building, Shimura dies by being run over by a train, and Namikawa dies in a car accident.
Ohba created the characters as "stock villains intended to make the main characters look good." Ohba said that he had always planned for Light to regain his status as Kira, so the specifics of a certain member of the Yotsuba group being Kira would not matter to the plot; Ohba wanted the readers to guess which of the characters was Kira. After seeing Obata's designs Ohba selected Higuchi as Kira. Ohba said that he wanted for Mido to appear to be "the most suspicious" of the Yotsuba group. Ohba added that he created the profiles of the characters while eating dinner with the editor. He believes that he did not "put much thought" into the character profiles. He said that he included a lot of information to serve as red herrings.
Obata said that he felt excited when he learned that he had to draw eight Kira characters. Obata said that he created the characters "in the mold of The Seven Samurai" by giving each Yotsuba board member his own individual appearance. Obata said that he remembers making Mido and Namikawa look attractive to make the readers believe that they may be Kira.
The Special Provision for Kira, usually abbreviated "SPK", is a group of anti-Kira formed by members of Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation members headed by Near. Membership of the group remains small to preserve secrecy and the group decides to work separately from the Japanese task force. Many of the SPK are later killed with the Death Note by the mafia due to leaked information, which is never directly mentioned in the anime (in the Rewrite 2 special aired on Japanese television on August 22, 2008, the mafia are omitted, with Light instead blackmailing the US President to leak out info about the SPK, which is transmitted to Takada and Mikami, whom he then has kill the SPK).
Ohba said that, in terms of visual character design, he wrote descriptions such as "Commander" and "Spy" in rough drafts. He let Obata create the rest of the details. Ohba said that he considered having all of the Task Force members die "in a heroic way."
Obata said that he drew the SPK "without thinking too much" when the group first appeared in Chapter 60. Obata heard that Mello sent a spy, so he tried to make a character look "suspicious looking." Obata said that he had to "work hard" on all of the characters since he did not know which ones would survive. Obata said that he believes that his drawing skills relating to "foreign characters" are poor; he says that he imagines the characters being "from so far away" and that he forgets how to draw them.
- Anthony Rester (アンソニー・レスター, Ansonī Resutā)
- Voiced by: Masaki Aizawa (Japanese); Michael Adamthwaite (English)
Commander Anthony Rester, real name Anthony Carter (アンソニー・カーター, Ansonī Kātā), is the second-in-command and the lead crime scene investigator. Rester follows Near except in emergency situations. Near trusts Rester and sometimes reveals certain information solely to Rester. How to Read states that Rester's "quiet personality" and physical capabilities serve useful functions in the SPK. The book also states that Rester is "far below" Near in terms of intellectual prowess.
Ohba said that Rester was the captain of a special forces squad before joining Near's team. His birthday is January 6, 1968.
- Halle Lidner (ハル・リドナー, Haru Ridonā)
- Voiced by: Akeno Watanabe (Japanese); Lisa Ann Beley (English)
Halle Lidner, whose real name is Halle Bullook (ハル・ブロック, Haru Burokku), works for Near as part of his investigation team. Halle is a former CIA agent who leaks information to Mello in order to increase the chances of Kira being caught.
She appears in the drama adaptation under the alias Shōko Himura (日村 章子). Portrayed by Megumi Seki, Himura is an FBI agent handpicked by L to serve in the Kira investigation team. Her true identity remains a secret until the end of the series, when she sacrifices her life to help expose Light as Kira. She teams up with Mello to expose Light as Kira. She kidnaps Light's sister, Sayu Yagami to obtain the Death Note. Light uses her real name to kill Mello. She returns the Death Note to Light and bombs at Mello's hideout, as controlled by another note. Mello escapes the bombing but she dies.
Ohba said that Halle, who has a "strong core", wanted to capture Kira as the Yotsuba Kira killed an acquaintance "close to her." Her birthday is February 18, 1980.
- Stephen Gevanni (ステファン・ジェバンニ, Sutefan Jebannī)
- Voiced by: Hiroki Takahashi (Japanese); Sam Vincent (English)
Stephen Gevanni, whose real name is Stephen Loud (ステファン・ラウド, Sutefan Raudo), works for Near as part of his investigation team. Gevanni is assigned to follow Mikami for much of the case, and it is his meticulous analysis of Mikami's personal habits which allow him to find Mikami's Death Note and swap it with a fake.
Gevanni skillfully follows and monitors suspects and has abilities such as the skill of picking locks. Ohba described Gevanni as a "good-looking hotshot" who received an invitation to join Near's team because of his skills.
The Mafia, allying with Mello, increases its influence and intends to possess the Death Note and gain power; How to Read states that the organization is "being used by Mello." In the Death Note Rewrite 2 special, the mafia plot is omitted.
- Rod Ross (ロッド・ロス, Roddo Rosu)
- Voiced by: Masaki Aizawa (Japanese); Brian Dobson (English)
Rod Ross, real name Dwhite Gordon (ドワイト・ゴードン, Dowaito Gōdon), is the head of the mafia Ross follows Mello's orders. His name is easily known, so Light kills him. His name is also mentioned in L: Change the WorLd as the leader of an arms syndicate who deals with the mafia.
When asked by an interviewer who the most "evil" character in Death Note is, Ohba replied by saying that Ross is the most evil; Ohba added that Ross is "pretty darn evil" as he is the leader of the mafia.
- Jack Neylon (ジャック・ネイロン, Jakku Neiron)
- Voiced by: Takashi Matsuyama (Japanese); Ted Cole (English)
Jack Neylon, whose real name is Kal Snydar (カル・スナイダー, Karu Sunaidā), is a member of Mello's gang. He is the holder of Sidoh's Death Note after it is given to the gang by the Kira investigation team. Before Mello joined, he was involved in drug trafficking and illegal weapons sales; neither charge stuck due to lack of evidence, despite four separate arrests. After Sidoh tracks down his Death Note, Jack was forced by Mello and Ross to perform the eye trade with the Shinigami (in the manga only). Light uses the Death Note to have him mail the address of Mello's hideout. According to How to Read 13, Jack dislikes Mello. In the anime, the eye trade and first raid attempt were cut.
- Rem (レム, Remu)
- Voiced by: Kimiko Saitō (Japanese); Colleen Wheeler (English)
Rem is the Shinigami who gives Misa her Death Note. Like Ryuk, Rem possesses two Death Notes; however, Rem did not get hers through trickery. The Shinigami Gelus, who had fallen in love with Misa, intentionally killed someone who was going to murder Misa. Since he had knowingly used his Death Note to extend a human life (a violation of Shinigami law), he was reduced to ash, leaving only his Death Note. Touched by this act, Rem delivered Gelus's Death Note to Misa, since it was her life that he saved. Her appearance is quite skeletal, with long, spinal cord-like arms and bone-like skin.
While Ryuk takes amusement in everything in the human world, Rem is almost the exact opposite. She views most humans with contempt, seeing Shinigami as the more evolved race. Also, while Ryuk is ambivalent to Light's success or failure, Rem actively assists Misa, having inherited Gelus's love for her. She is even willing to sacrifice her life to defend Misa, as evidenced by her threat to kill Light should Misa die before her time. For Misa's sake, however, she still assists Light in his schemes, although she despises Kyosuke Higuchi, the human she gave the Death Note to and calls the Yotsuba Group "disgusting creatures" due to them using the Death note for personal gain. Death Note 13: How to Read said Rem "supposedly" experiences difficulty while writing the Japanese language.
Light manages to force Rem to work for him by presenting a situation in which harm would come to Misa otherwise. As such, she dies when she writes L's name. In the second movie, Rem declares her love for Misa and her spite for Light moments before her death. While her Death Note is left behind in the manga and anime, she burns it in the film out of spite. In the drama, she doesn't die. She returns to the shinigami realm after the Kira case solved.
Obata said that Rem is his favorite Shinigami since she is a Shinigami and "a good person." He says that he believes Light may have hidden Rem's Death Note as it is never tested before being burnt. Because Rem is female, Obata said that he decided to create a design contrasting with Ryuk's by using a white body with "rounder" lines. He says that he used fashion collections to create his motif. He described her resulting appearance as if she wore a "really bizarre suit." Obata said that Medusa inspired the design of Rem's head.
- Gelus (ジェラス, Jerasu)
- Voiced by: Kenichi Matsuyama (Japanese); Michael Dobson (English)
Gelus appears in a flashback when Rem explains how to kill a Shinigami. He is a small, doll-like Shinigami who appears to be patched together out of mismatched fabric. He only has one eye, despite having two eye sockets.
In the flashback, Rem recalls Gelus watching over a younger Misa Amane in the human world, which he spends most of his time doing. Knowing that it was Misa's final day, he watches with her, interested in how she will die. Having fallen in love with Misa, Gelus uses his Death Note to kill Misa's destined murderer, a crazed stalker, against Rem's protests. Gelus is reduced to a pile of "something that was not sand nor dust," as punishment for extending a human life, leaving behind only his Death Note. His remaining years are added to Misa's lifespan. Rem delivers his Death Note to Misa because it was she whom he saved. In the film, she simply drops it and it lands near Misa.
Obata said that Gelus appeared to be "a really beautiful" Shinigami in the thumbnails but decided to use his concept instead; Obata designed Gelus with a patchwork body since Gelus is a "really pitiful character." Obata added the trait of Gelus having difficulty writing names into the Death Note. Obata said that he believed that readers could relate to him and sympathize with him more if he looked "pathetic" instead of "beautiful." Obata said that at first he placed "detailed patterns" on Gelus's Death Note. When deciding that the patterns looked "too pretty" Obata covered the patterns with black, leaving the white portions visible. The text of the notebook is in a "Shinigami language."
- Sidoh (シドウ, Shidō)
- Voiced by: Kazuki Yao (Japanese); Sam Vincent (English)
Sidoh is the Shinigami whose Death Note was stolen by Ryuk. By the time he realizes this, however, the note has already changed hands several times, ending up in the hands of Mello's gang (more specifically, Mello's subordinate, Jack Neylon whose real name is Kal Snyder). After repeatedly hounding Ryuk for its return, he tracks down the gang to get it back. He discovers his notebook is in Los Angeles, California and upon arrival takes the notebook out of Mello's hands (making it look as if it just floated in mid-air) and touches it to the notebook's current owner, Kal Snyder (a.k.a. Jack Neylon). After Snyder freaks out, he gets Mello and the others to touch the notebook. To regain his Note, Sidoh agrees to help Mello's gang against Near's SPK and the Kira investigation team. Snyder is forced to make the eye trade with Sidoh, who exposes the fake 13-day rule.
Sidoh wears heavy clothing, obscuring most of his features, and his head is wrapped in bandages. He shares Mello's great liking for chocolate, similar to Ryuk's liking of apples. Sidoh is fairly timid; Mello frightens Sidoh, despite the fact that Mello is a human. Death Note 13: How to Read describes Sidoh as unintelligent and forgetful, rarely remembering the names of other Shinigami. After Light regains the Death Note from Mello, he returns it to Sidoh to keep him from interfering.
Tsugumi Ohba, writer for Death Note, said that he used Sidoh as another Shinigami appearing in the human world because he liked Sidoh's appearance; Ohba described Daril Ghiroza as a "candidate" and that he wanted a "pretty pathetic" character.
Obata said that when he discovered that another Shinigami would appear on Earth, he filed through designs and nominated Sidoh and Daril Ghiroza. Obata said that he believed that Ghiroza would be chosen and prepared for that decision; instead Ohba selected Sidoh. Obata said that he based Sidoh's design on the appearance of a bird with his mouth being based on a beak of a canary. Obata described Sidoh's foldable arms as more "insect-like." Obata described Sidoh as "very funny," citing the time when Sidoh becomes the first Shinigami to distribute flyers. Obata said he wished that Sidoh appeared more often in the story.
Armonia Justin Beyondormason
- Armonia Justin Beyondormason (アラモニア＝ジャスティン＝ビヨンドルメーソン, Aramonia-Jasutin-Biyondorumēson)
- Voiced by: Hideyuki Umezu (Japanese); Michael Dobson (English)
Armonia Justin Beyondormason, is a briefly featured Shinigami who informs Sidoh that his Death Note was stolen by the Shinigami Ryuk and gives him the rules for different situations. As his names suggests, Justin's appearance is that of a skeleton adorned with all manner of jewellery.
As described in 13: How to Read, Justin is the right-hand man of the Shinigami King and sits on a throne. Highly intelligent, Justin knows everything there is to know about the Death Note, and Shinigami often go to him in trouble. Obata describes him as "conceited." Justin provides Sidoh with several scrolls describing the various rules that Shinigami have for interacting with humans, which Sidoh uses to guide his interactions with Mello in the human world. The scrolls are not mentioned in the anime.
Obata said that for Justin's body he referenced Tibetan art that features skulls. He also used ideas stemming from Italian antique accessories that feature faces covered in jewels.
- Midora (ミードラ, Mīdora)
Midora is a large, salamander-like Shinigami with stubby limbs. Unlike most Shinigami, she does not wear any clothing or accessories. She enjoys moist weather but loathes dry seasons. Her enormous size gives her a dominating presence. While Midora is a background character in the main series, a one-shot chapter set three years after Light's death focuses on her. In the chapter, Ryuk's actions have made apples a commodity among the Shinigami. Midora uses this to bribe the Shinigami King into giving her a second Death Note, which she gives to a human in an attempt to replicate Ryuk's experience with Light. When this "Kira" is brushed off by Near as "Cheap", they kill themselves. Midora tells Ryuk about this, and he relates Light's claim that someone must have great spiritual strength and conviction to use the Death Note; Midora simply picked a "weakling". She admits that Ryuk is better at judging such things, then gives the extra Death Note to him.
Midora appears to enjoy bananas in a similar vein to how Ryuk enjoys apples; in one panel of the one-shot, Midora is eating a banana while sitting on a pile of banana peels in the new Kira's room.
Obata said that he liked Midora's design as she appears "more like a salamander" and has a "vastly different" design when compared to other Shinigami. Obata said that her skin feels moist like amphibian skin; due to this Obata said that he worries "if she can survive in the heat of the Shinigami realm. [laughs]"
- Shinigami King (死神大王, Shinigami Daiō)
The Shinigami King, also known as the King of Death, is the ruler of the Shinigami. An unseen character in the main series, the Shinigami King governs the Shinigami and controls distribution of the Death Notes. It is not made clear if he creates them or just has a certain supply, as he is unwilling to replace lost ones. He appears to at least write the rules for the Death Notes, but whether or not he enforces them himself is unclear. The Shinigami King is regarded as a sort of father figure by lesser Shinigami, and is said to be almost immortal. Chapter 109 depicts the King as a large mass suspended in the air with chains. He has a skull for a head, which is surrounded by a larger, skull-like formation. He has four tentacle-like arms, each with only three fingers on the hands, which hang from his body.
One of the eyecatch rules given in the series states that extra Death Notes found by Shinigami are generally expected to be returned to the King, though this clearly is not something Shinigami are forced to abide by. Likewise, lost notebooks must also be reported to him. Little information is given about the character itself, aside from Rem's assertion that the King is not easy to trick, which Ryuk successfully did. In contrast, he is quite easily bribed, as Midora was able to trade thirteen apples for a second Death Note after getting them from the human world.
Obata said that he felt too afraid to design the King of Death; he said that he considered placing the King of Death on a book spine but felt that the spine would not have enough space to depict the King of Death. The King of Death is included as a figure with the Japanese release of the final volume of the DVD series, and is mentioned in both the one-shot set three years after the manga's finale, and in the one-shot set eight and then ten years after the manga's finale.
This shinigami was featured in the director's cutOVA, Death Note Re-Light: Visions of a God. Like Ryuk, he is bored with the shinigami realm, and convinces Ryuk to tell him the story of Light Yagami and the Death Note. Inspired by the tale, he heads off for the human world, in search of a similar cure for his own boredom.
- Voiced by: Ai Satō (Japanese); Saffron Henderson (English)
Sachiko Yagami is the wife of Soichiro Yagami and the mother of Light. Like her daughter Sayu, she is unaware of Light ever being Kira even after his death. She is portrayed by Michiko Godai in the live-action films.In the live-action drama, Sachiko dies during her treatment, when Light and Sayu was a kid. design 130" /> Author Tsugumi Ohba considers both Sachiko and Sayu as the purest characters in the series stating that he could not "sense any evil or twistedness from these two at all." The Yagami family is thought to be the most "pitiful" characters in the book by both creators with Ohba later adding that he felt sympathy for mother and daughter.
- Sayu Yagami (夜神 粧裕, Yagami Sayu)
- Voiced by: Haruka Kudō (Japanese); Kelly Metzger, Kristie Marsden (English)
Sayu Yagami is Light's kindhearted younger sister. Like her mother she never learns of Light's possession of the Death Note or his identity as Kira. In the manga and anime, after Takimura's death, Mello's gang kidnaps her in exchange for the Death Note possessed by the investigation team. Although being returned unharmed, Sayu falls into a state of shock, eventually becoming unresponsive to the presence of others. In the live-action films, her character is portrayed by actress Hikari Mitsushima, and since the mafia does not play a role, she is not kidnapped. In the drama series, Sayu is portrayed by Reiko Fujiwara.
Though not having any real concept behind Sayu's design, artist Takeshi Obata states that he often encounters difficulty in drawing female characters not central to the storyline. Author Tsugumi Ohba considers Sayu and her mother as two of the purest characters in the series, stating that he could not "sense any evil or twistedness from these two at all." Both creators added that they considered the Yagami family to be the most pitiful characters in the book; Ohba later added that he felt sympathy for Sayu and her mother. Her birthday is June 18, 1989.
- David Hoope (デイビット・ホープ, Deibitto Hōpu)
David Hoope is the President of the United States of America in the storyline. He assists in the formation of Near's SPK, and provides information and funding to Mello under threats of the Death Note. He turns to Light, despite knowing that he is not the real L, who manipulates him into providing assistance and attacking Mello's hideout. When the attack fails, President Hoope commits suicide to prevent Mello from writing his name and making him launch a nuclear strike. How to Read 13 states "It's believed that Kira disposed of him." In the second Rewrite special, the mafia plot is omitted, with Light instead blackmailing him to leak information about the SPK. Light in turn forwards this information to Takada and Mikami, and they kill the SPK. In the anime, the character was merged with that of George Sairas.
- George Sairas (ジョージ・サイラス, Jōji Sairasu)
- Voiced by: Aruno Tahara (Japanese); Michael Dobson (English)
George Sairas is the Vice President of the United States. When Hoope dies Sairas becomes the President. He capitulates to Kira and officially announces support for him. In addition, Sairas leaks secret information about the SPK. How to Read 13 describes Sairas as "weak-willed" and "clearly lacking as a leader." In the anime, Sairas is U.S. President from the start.
- Koreyoshi Kitamura (北村 是良, Kitamura Koreyoshi)
- Voiced by: Masaru Ikeda (Japanese); Howard Siegal (English)
Koreyoshi Kitamura is the deputy director of the NPA and Soichiro's superior. He feels weighted by Yotsuba's pressure. How to Read 13 states that he "isn't a bad guy."
- Kanichi Takimura (多貴村 管一, Takimura Kan'ichi)
Kanichi Takimura is the head director of the NPA. He is kidnapped by Mello in order to be used as a hostage in exchange for the Death Note. He is later controlled to commit suicide by Light Yagami.
- Yamamoto (山本, Yamamoto)
Yamamoto is the newest member of the NPA who only appears in the final chapter, Finale. He works as Matsuda's junior, and was seen troubled by Matsuda bothering him with going to a bar. In the special one-shot chapter set three years later, he can be seen in the same room with the rest of the team, albeit not belonging to them, as noted by Matsuda. According to Tsugumi Ohba, the character was added during the continuity stage to show dirty side of Matsuda as a senior member, and there was no other specific intention to the inclusion of him.
This character is the same character as a former high school friend of Light Yagami, appearing in the earlier chapters, who also bears strikingly similar appearances, and has the same English name, Yamamoto. However, in the original Japanese manga, the both character's spelling is different.
Criminals and initial victims
- Kurou Otoharada (音原田 九郎, Otoharada Kurō)
An unemployed 42-year-old man, Kurou Otoharada is the first criminal that Light kills. Otoharada's name is announced on television as he holds eight hostages in a nursery school. As this incident was reported only on local television, it helped L narrow down Kira's whereabouts.
- Takuo Shibuimaru (渋井丸 拓男, Shibuimaru Takuo)
- Voiced by: Tomohiro Nishimura (Japanese); Lee Tockar (English)
Takuo Shibuimaru, nicknamed "Shibutaku" (シブタク, "Cool Taku"), is the second person that Light kills. Shibuimaru rides a motorcycle and travels with a group of bikers. After Light sees him harassing and chasing a woman (in the anime, he was about to rape the woman), Light writes his name down with a death by traffic accident. A truck slams into Shibuimaru's motorcycle, killing him. It was this death that fully convinces Light that the Death Note does work. In the manga Light feels some guilt since Shibuimaru is not a criminal.
In the first film, Shibuimaru is a criminal who was never prosecuted for killing five children. Light finds his name in a police database after he hacks onto the NPA server, and later encounters him in a lounge, bragging about the fact that he was not prosecuted. When a man asks Shibuimaru how he felt, he brags about his acquittal and laughed at the fact that parents of his victims screamed when they discovered the acquittal. Shibuimaru finds Light looking over his shoulder and threatens him with a knife, but backs away and laughs, taunting Light by stating that no-one can prosecute him. Later on, Shibuimaru sees Light at a train crossing, gawking at him. Light, having previously killed another criminal, writes Shibuimaru's name into the Death Note, and he collapses of a heart attack as a train passes between them.
Lind L. Tailor
- Lind L. Tailor (リンド・L・テイラー, Rindo Eru Teirā)
- Voiced by: Yukitoshi Tokumoto (Japanese); John Murphy, Matt Lagan (English)
Lind L. Tailor is a convicted criminal waiting on death row; this information was kept secretly away from the public. L places Tailor as his decoy on television in exchange for being pardoned by the government. The television states that the broadcast is worldwide and that Tailor's statements are being translated into Japanese. After Tailor states that he is "L", he reads a declaration stating that Kira is evil. Light, in a rage, kills Tailor with a heart attack. The real L announces that Tailor was a decoy, a criminal on death row, and discovers that Kira cannot kill the real L without having seen his face, and that Kira is in Kanto, as that was the only area that the appearance was actually broadcast in.
- Kiichiro Osoreda (恐田 奇一郎, Osoreda Kiichirō)
- Voiced by: Katsuhisa Hōki (Japanese); Brian Dobson (English)
is a drug addict and criminal used by Light to trick Raye into revealing his FBI badge to Light. Osoreda had failed in an attempt to rob a bank, shooting a teller and two customers as he escaped. Light writes Osoreda's name in the Death Note, dictating his actions. Osoreda boards a bus and holds a gun to the driver's head. Osoreda threatens Light as he unwittingly picks up a piece of the Death Note. Due to this, Ryuk appears solely to Osoreda, frightening the criminal. Osoreda empties his ammunition into Ryuk, who does not die. Osoreda forces the driver to stop the bus and then runs into the street, where an automobile hits Osoreda's head, killing him; the authorities mistakenly believe that Osoreda's vision of Ryuk was a drug-induced hallucination.
- Taro Kagami (鏡 太郎, Kagami Tarō)
Taro Kagami is a character featured in the original Death Note pilot story, which differs greatly from the final series. While walking home from school one day, Taro finds the Death Note on the ground, and thinking it to be an ordinary journal, he writes down the names of people who had been bullying him. The next day, these bullies are reported dead, and Ryuk appears to Taro that night. Soon, the police get involved, and Taro uses an eraser to revive the dead bullies. As the police interrogate the bullies, the bullies and the two police officers die; as it turns out, Ryuk's other note fell into the hands of one of Taro's friends. The police officers and the bullies are brought back to life again, and Taro keeps one Death Note while the other is burned. At the end of the chapter, a 20-year-old Kagami is seen with Ryuk following him.
This version of the story is significantly more horror-based, and Death Note 13: How to Read describes the pilot chapter Ryuk as "really lazy" and "incompetent". Taro subsequently became the inspiration for the character of Teru Mikami; Mikami greatly resembles him, down to the flashbacks of him in his youth.
- Sanami (佐波, Sanami)
Sanami is a character exclusive to the Death Note film series. She is a member of the Task Force.She is portrayed by Miyuki Komatsu. She is the only female member of the Task Force, which differs from the all-male team in the manga and anime. In Death Note: The Last Name, she tends to Misa Amane during her captivity and is more critical of the methods used by the investigation team, often calling them cruel near the end of the film she is killed by the Shinigami Arma when she attempts to kill Mishima.
In the Matsuda Spinoff short film, Sanami tries to help Touta Matsuda and passes him a note from Soichiro Yagami. The note tells Matsuda to visit Ryuzaki to help Matsuda find closure with the case.
- Ryotaro Sakajo (坂城 良太郎, Sakajō Ryōtarō)
Ryotaro Sakajo as a character is present only in the films. He is the assistant director during the filming of Misa Amane's "Misa-Misa's Happy Sweets" video. He is obsessed with Misa, collecting a used tissue of hers after she throws it in the trash. In a sequence bridged between the two films, Sakajo corners Misa and brandishes a knife, stating that he wishes to die with her. Gelus, a shinigami watching from the Shinigami realm, kills him to save Misa's life. In doing so, Gelus dies and Rem, who was watching, finds it only fitting to grant possession of his notebook to the human that he loved. Since Rem was the first Shinigami to touch the dead Gelus's notebook, she gained possession of that one.
- Shiori Akino (秋野 詩織, Akino Shiori)
Shiori Akino is portrayed by Yuu Kashii. She is Light's girlfriend, classmate at To-Oh University (東応大学, Tōō Daigaku), and childhood friend. Shiori dreams of working in law enforcement and feels some envy stemming from Light's abilities. Shiori disagrees with Kira's methods, stating that she does not like the terror they incite; she believes that the law should judge criminals. Shiori argues with the "pro-Kira" Light, unaware of the fact that Light is Kira. Kashii describes Shiori as a "very innocent" and "ordinary" girl who "believes in justice." Kashii believed that Shiori's way of thinking is closest to that of audiences of the Death Note film. Light writes Shiori's name and the name of Naomi Misora in the Death Note, arranging the scenario to make it look like Naomi killed Shiori in a botched kidnapping scenario trying to expose Kira. Despite doing so, Light still express some remorse and sadness for using the Death Note to kill Shiori.
Shusuke Kaneko, director of the film, said that he created Shiori after reading the original Death Note manga. In an interview printed in Weekly Shonen Jump, the creators of the film stated that Shiori was added to the story to highlight Light's negative aspects. Kaneko said that he needed Shiori to "deliver Light's badness to the audience."
In the production notes Kashii said that she felt excited to portray Shiori and wondered if the audience could accept her character. Kitty Sensei of OtakuZone had her opinions of the film portrayal of Shiori published in The Star, a Malaysian newspaper. In it Kitty Sensei said that she felt concern about what the addition of Shiori "would affect our dear, megalomaniac Light. Will he be a softer version of the Light from the manga?" Kitty Sensei said that after watching the film she felt that Shiori "only strengthens the portrayal of Light" and that she "provides one of the gasp-worthy moments of the movie." Shiori is dubbed by Ashleigh Ball for the English dub of Death Note...
L: Change the World
- Maki Nikaido (二階堂真希, Nikaido Maki)
- Portrayed by: Mayuko Fukuda
Maki Nikaido is a 10-year-old schoolgirl and the daughter of Dr Kimihiko Nikaido. Her mother was presumably deceased prior to the events of the film. She shared a close bond with her father's assistant Dr Kimiko Kujo (also known as K) before the murder of her father. Maki appeared as a pretty girl with chin-length black hair with her bangs covering her eyebrows, and wherever she goes, she was always seen carrying a teddy bear that contains a recording of her mother's voice. She was also shown to be sensible, calm and kind and caring towards her kin, though she can be quite ruthless towards those whom she hated (notably Kujo for killing her father).
Internet. He is 35, he is shorter than me and looks quite intelligent and modest. I would never say that he might be interested in such a topic. And the topic that brought us both together on the Internet is slavery. He has long dreamed of humiliating anyone, I have long wanted to be humiliated and shaken as a whore.
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It was still about halfway and the whole arrow was quiet, there was no one to shoot. We spent cartridges. Two zinc is empty, but the Nazis are already in heaven.