List of Death Note characters

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The manga series Death Note features an extensive cast of fictional characters designed by Takeshi Obata with their storylines created by Tsugumi Ohba.[1]

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. 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. The story creator 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.[1] Some character details differ between the manga and its anime, live-action film and drama adaptations.

Main characters[edit]

Light Yagami[edit]

Main article: Light Yagami

Light Yagami (夜神 月 Yagami Raito?) is a bored intellectual dissatisfied with the Japanese justice system. When he finds a Death Note dropped by Ryuk, he envisions to create a world without crime and rule over it as its "god". His alias Kira (キラ?), derived from the English word killer, is quickly popularized and draws the attention of the Japanese police and L. Though initially sensitive to the pain of others, Light's descent into his role as Kira marks a dramatic change in his personality as he becomes comfortable with manipulating people's lives.[2]

L[edit]

Main article: L (Death Note)

L. Lawliet (L・ローライト Eru Rōraito?), known solely as L, is the world's greatest detective. 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.

Ryuk[edit]

Main article: Ryuk (Death Note)

Ryuk (リューク Ryūku?) is a bored Shinigami that drops a Death Note, a notebook that allows you 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".

Secondary characters[edit]

Misa Amane[edit]

Main article: Misa Amane

Misa Amane (弥 海砂 Amane Misa?) 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[edit]

Main article: Near (Death Note)

Near (ニア Nia?), real name Nate River, is the young detective who succeeds L by default. He is the head of an organization created to catch Kira, the SPK. 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 Lego minifigs.

Mello[edit]

Main article: Mello (Death Note)

Mello (メロ Mero?), real name 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.[3][4]

Teru Mikami[edit]

The character design of Teru Mikami was modeled on Taro Kagami from the pilot, although the style of his hair during adulthood seems more dishevelled.

Teru Mikami (魅上 照 Mikami Teru?) is a criminal prosecutor, 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.[5] Since childhood, Mikami has had a strong sense of justice, but his views have become warped due to years of bullying and trauma.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[7] 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."[9]

Ohba has no visual preferences and therefore let Obata create the visual aspects.[9] 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.[10] Ohba stated that he leaves it up to the readers to decide if his theory is true.[11] In the anime, he is voiced by Masaya Matsukaze in the original Japanese version, and by Kirby Morrow in the English dub. 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.

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'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.[12]

Supporting characters[edit]

Kira Investigation Team[edit]

Soichiro Yagami[edit]

Soichiro Yagami, designed by Takeshi Obata to look like a "stereotypical detective."

Soichiro Yagami (夜神 総一郎 Yagami Sōichirō?) is Light's father and a police officer that initially leads the Kira investigation team that later joins with L. He is voiced by Naoya Uchida in the Japanese anime and Chris Britton in the English dub. 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.[13] 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, portrayed by Yutaka Matsushige, 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 behaviour, and - in 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, portrayed by Takeshi Kaga.

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.[13] 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.[14] Both Ohba and Obata found Soichiro to be the most pure character, and Ohba personally found him to be the third strongest character in the series "besides Light."[9][15][16] His birthday is July 12, 1955. Shea Whigham will portray Soichiro in the upcoming American film version.[17]

Touta Matsuda[edit]

Takeshi Obata said that Touta Matsuda, pictured here, was "hard to predict and thus hard to draw".

Touta Matsuda (松田 桃太 Matsuda Tōta?) 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.[18] 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 likes 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, critically wounds Light by shooting him repeatedly.[18] Matsuda is voiced by Ryō Naitō in the Japanese anime and Vincent Tong in the English dub. 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.[19] In the drama series,Matsuda is portrayed by Gōki Maeda.

Ohba describes Matsuda as a "very simple guy" easily used in the story.[20] 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.[21] 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.[20] 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."[14][22] Obata described Matsuda as the sole character who "looks younger" during the Near and Mello arc.[14] His birthday is December 14, 1978.[18]

Shuichi Aizawa[edit]

Shuichi Aizawa (相沢 周市 Aizawa Shūichi?) 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 afterwards. 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.[23] His birthday is May 11, 1969. He is voiced by Keiji Fujiwara in the Japanese anime and Trevor Devall in the English dub. In the film, he is played by Tatsuhito Okuda.In the drama series, he is portrayed by Tomohisa Yuge.

Kanzo Mogi[edit]

Kanzo Mogi (模木 完造 Mogi Kanzō?) 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. He is voiced by Kazuya Nakai in the Japanese anime and John Murphy in the English dub. 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.

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."[20] Obata also did not think of Mogi as important, so Mogi's design was not very clear.[24] 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.[23] His birthday is September 13, 1973.

Hideki Ide[edit]

Hideki Ide (伊出 英基 Ide Hideki?) is one of the few police officers who remains 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. He is voiced by Hideo Ishikawa in the Japanese anime and Brian Dobson in the English dub.

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."[20] 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.[24]

Hirokazu Ukita[edit]

Hirokazu Ukita (宇生田 広数 Ukita Hirokazu?) 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.[25] 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. He is voiced by Hidenobu Kiuchi in the Japanese anime and Jeremy From in the English dub. 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 at 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.[26] Obata found Ukita easy to draw because Ukita is an "emotional and easy-to-understand". He did not know that Ukita was to die, so he was surprised after learning about it.[24] His birthday is November 9, 1977.

Wammy's House[edit]

Watari[edit]

Watari

Watari (ワタリ?) 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. He is voiced by Kiyoshi Kobayashi in the Japanese anime and French Tickner in the English dub (except for the film, in which Ron Halder takes over). 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."[27] In the drama series, Watari is portrayed by Kazuaki Hankai. Watari survives in the series. After L's death, he serves Near. Paul Nakauchi will portray Watari in the upcoming American film version.[17]

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.[28] 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 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.[29] 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."[9] His birthday is May 1, 1933. Watari was always counted as a father and is often seen giving L snacks.

Matt[edit]

Matt (マット Matto?), 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.[15] Matt is Mello's helper[15] 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. He is voiced by Tomohiro Nishimura in the Japanese anime and by Drew Nelson in English dub.

According to How to Read, Matt enjoys video games[15] 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".[15] 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!"[30]

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.[31]

Roger Ruvie[edit]

Roger Ruvie (ロジャー・ラヴィー Rojā Ruvī?) 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. He is voiced by Hiroshi Ōtake in Japanese and Ron Halder in English.

Beyond Birthday[edit]

Beyond Birthday (ビヨンド・バースデイ Biyondo Bāsudei?) 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, had killed himself years earlier due to the pressure of living up to L. Birthday was born with 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.

Characters associated with L[edit]

Aiber[edit]

Aiber (アイバー Aibā?), 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.[32] Since he is a professional criminal, he is known solely in the underworld.[33]

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.[34][35] In the anime, he dies of a heart attack in front of his wife and son. He is voiced by Takuya Kirimoto in the Japanese anime, and David Orth in the English version. He (like Wedy) is referenced to, but does not appear in, Death Note: Another Note.[36]

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."[8]

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.[37]

Wedy[edit]

Wedy (ウエディ Uedi?), real name Mary Kenwood (メリー・ケンウッド Merī Ken'uddo?), 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.[33]

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[32] in Colorado. She is voiced by Miki Nagasawa in the Japanese version and Venus Terzo in the English version. She (like Aiber) is referenced to, but does not appear in, Death Note: Another Note.[36]

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."[8]

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.[37]

Characters associated with Kira[edit]

Kiyomi Takada[edit]

Kiyomi Takada

Kiyomi Takada (高田 清美 Takada Kiyomi?) is a former classmate and girlfriend of Light in the college, to whom he used to disguise the fact that he also conversed with Misa.[21] She returns later in the story as an announcer of NHN chosen by Mikami to be Kira's spokesperson to the world. Light then reveals his identity as Kira to Kiyomi in order to use her. She is subsequently kidnapped by Mello and forced to get undressed, but she is able to kill Mello by writing his name in a piece of the Death Note that she had managed to hide in her bra. After this, Light uses a piece of the Death Note of his own to make Kiyomi commit suicide. She is voiced by Maaya Sakamoto in the Japanese version, with Masumi Okamura voicing her brief appearance as a student. Heather Doerksen voices her in the English dub.

We are told in How to Read It that, in the anime, her voice was abnormally hoarse originally, and blossomed into a more mature, feminine voice. This was to give the impression that she has matured alongside Light, and was a good partner for him. This made her eventual murder at the hands of Light's Death Note even more surprising.

Takada was created as a character that would go well with a reporter, which is why she was given her spokesperson identity.[21] Ohba felt that because of her "normal name" her unplanned death added unpredictability to the series. Her birthday is July 12, 1985.[38]

In the film, she is played by Nana Katase, filling the "Higuchi" role in the film. When Rem gives her the Death Note, Takada kills a rival anchorwoman to become the lead anchor, although she does continue to kill criminals as instructed by Light via Rem. When she is arrested, Light kills her in order to regain ownership of the Note, although his action goes unnoticed by the other investigators. Shusuke Kaneko, director of the film, said that the film Takada bears importance in "reminding us the satanic power of the Death Note." Nana Katase, who read all of the Death Note volumes, describes her scenes, including those portrayed on video monitors, as "terrifying." Katase says that she and the film Takada have "a strong sense of justice", but that Katase personally would not kill anyone based on those ideals.[39]

In the Japanese Rewrite 2 special, Light's meeting with Takada and Mikami is moved to earlier than it occurred in the anime and manga, as the mafia plot is omitted. As such, it is instead Takada and Mikami who kill the SPK.

Hitoshi Demegawa[edit]

Hitoshi Demegawa (出目川 仁 Demegawa Hitoshi?) is 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. He is voiced by Chafurin in the Japanese anime and Ward Perry in the English dub.

Federal Bureau of Investigation[edit]

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.[40]

Raye Penber[edit]

Takeshi Obata said that he encountered difficulty making Raye Penber look non-Japanese.

Raye Penber (レイ・ペンバー Rei Penbā?) 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,[41] 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"[41] 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. Raye is voiced by Hideo Ishikawa in the Japanese anime and Michael Adamthwaite in the English dub. 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.[13]

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."[29] Hosokawa said that when he portrayed Raye he built Raye's strength, tenderness and the "feeling of mortification."[27]

Naomi Misora[edit]

Naomi Misora is "born from her clothes".

Naomi Misora (南空 ナオミ Misora Naomi?) 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,[41] Naomi left the Bureau in October 2003[42] for the sake of starting a family in the United States.[43] After the sudden death of her fiancé which she blames Kira for, Naomi, described by How to Read as having a "remarkable investigative ability",[41] 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 is voiced by Naoko Matsui in the Japanese version of the anime and Tabitha St. Germain in the English dub.

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 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 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.[27]

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.

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.[13]

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".[29]

Steve Mason[edit]

Steve Mason (スティーブ・メイスン Sutību Meisun?) 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.

Mitsuru Ogata voices him in Japanese, with John Novak providing his voice in English.

Yotsuba Group[edit]

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[edit]

Kyosuke Higuchi (火口 卿介 Higuchi Kyōsuke?) 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.[44][45] 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. 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."[46] 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.[47] He is voiced by Issei Futamata in the Japanese version, and Andrew Kavadas in the English version.

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.[48]

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." [49]

Other members of the Yotsuba Group[edit]

  • Shingo Mido (三堂 芯吾 Midō Shingo?) Voiced by: Eiji Hanawa (Japanese); Trevor Devall (English)
    • 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.[50] 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)
    • 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.[44] He has a talent in shogi at the professional 4-dan level.[51]
  • Eiichi Takahashi (鷹橋 鋭一 Takahashi Eiichi?) Voiced by: Rintarō Nishi (Japanese); David Orth (English)
    • 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."[50]
  • Suguru Shimura (紙村 英 Shimura Suguru?) Voiced by: Hiroyuki Yokoo (Japanese); Brian Drummond (English)
    • 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.[46]
  • Masahiko Kida (樹多 正彦 Kida Masahiko?) Voiced by: Masaki Aizawa (Japanese); Martin Sims (English)
    • The Vice President of Rights and Planning, 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.[46]
  • Takeshi Ooi (尾々井 剛 Ooi Takeshi?) Voiced by: Kiyoyuki Yanada (Japanese); Michael Kopsa (English)
    • 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."[50]
  • Arayoshi Hatori (葉鳥 新義 Hatori Arayoshi?) Voiced by: Yukitoshi Tokumoto (Japanese); Simon Hayama (English)
    • The Vice President of Marketing, 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.[46]

Kyosuke Higuchi, the third "Kira", takes the Death Note.[45] During L's probe on the group, Higuchi kills Hatori after Hatori produced a "careless outburst."[46] Rem aids the capture of Higuchi by revealing her identity to Misa. Misa uses her status as the second Kira to get him to admit to being Kira on tape. Higuchi is captured in an elaborate setup concocted by Light and L, and once Light touches the Death Note, thereby regaining his memories of being the real Kira, he uses a Death Note scrap to kill Higuchi.[47] 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.[52]

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.[37]

SPK[edit]

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.[53] 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.[54] Ohba said that he considered having all of the Task Force members die "in a heroic way."[7]

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.[31]

Anthony Rester[edit]

Commander Anthony Rester (アンソニー・レスター Ansonī Resutā?), 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.[55]

Rester is voiced by Masaki Aizawa in Japanese with Michael Adamthwaite providing the English voice. In the last episode of the anime, his name is spelled wrong on the Death Note.

Ohba said that Rester was the captain of a special forces squad before joining Near's team. His birthday is January 6, 1968.[54]

Halle Lidner[edit]

Halle Lidner (ハル・リドナー Haru Ridonā?), 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 is voiced by Akeno Watanabe in the Japanese anime with Lisa Ann Beley providing the English voice.

She appears in the drama adaption under the alias Shōko Himura (日村 章子 Himura Shōko). 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.[54][56]

Stephen Gevanni[edit]

Stephen Gevanni (ステファン・ジェバンニ Sutefan Jebannī?), 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.[55]

He is voiced by Hiroki Takahashi in the Japanese anime with Sam Vincent providing the English voice.

Ohba described Gevanni as a "good-looking hotshot" who received an invitation to join Near's team because of his skills. His birthday is September 1, 1982.[15]

Mafia[edit]

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."[40] In the Death Note Rewrite 2 special, the mafia plot is omitted.

Rod Ross[edit]

Rod Ross (ロッド・ロス Roddo Rosu?), 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.

Masaki Aizawa voiced Ross in the anime. Brian Dobson plays Rod Ross in the English Version. 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.[30]

Jack Neylon[edit]

Jack Neylon (ジャック・ネイロン Jakku Neiron?), 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. He is voiced by Takashi Matsuyama in the Japanese anime and Ted Cole in English.

Shinigami[edit]

Rem[edit]

Rem (レム Remu) 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 he saved. Her appearance is quite skeletal, with long, spinal cord-like arms and bone-like skin. Rem is voiced by Kimiko Saitō in the Japanese anime and Colleen Wheeler in the English dub.

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 the human she gave the Death Note to. 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."[8] 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.[9]

Gelus[edit]

Gelus (ジェラス Jerasu) 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. He is voiced by Kenichi Matsuyama (who played L in the films) in the Japanese version and Michael Dobson in the English dub.

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."[10] 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."[2]

Sidoh[edit]

Sidoh (シドウ Shidō) 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. He wears heavy clothing, obscuring most of his features, and his head is wrapped in bandages. He is voiced by Kazuki Yao in the Japanese anime and Sam Vincent in the English dub.

Sidoh 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.[11] 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.[12]

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."[10] 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.[10]Sidoh's design is reused to create Arma.

Armonia Justin Beyondormason[edit]

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), 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. He is voiced by Hideyuki Umezu in the Japanese anime and Michael Dobson in the English dub.

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.[13] Obata describes him as "conceited."[1] 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.[1]

Midora[edit]

Midora (ミードラ Mīdora) is a large, slug-like Shinigami with stubby limbs. Unlike most Shinigami, she does not wear any clothing or decorative elements on her body. She enjoys moist weather but loathes dry seasons. Her enormous size gives her a dominating presence.[13] While she is a background character in the main series, a one-shot chapter set three years after Kira'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 "Cheap Kira" is brushed off by Near as "boring", he kills himself. Midora tells Ryuk about this, and he relates Light's claim that someone must have strong 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.[18]

Midora appears to have the same feeling toward bananas, as seen in one panel of the one-shot when she is in the new Kira's room, she is eating a banana while lying amongst an enormous pile of banana peels.

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]"[1]

Shinigami King[edit]

The King of Death, also known as the Shinigami King (死神大王 Shinigami Daiō), 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.[21]

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.[22] 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.[21]

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.[1] The King of Death is included as a figure with the Japanese release of the final volume of the DVD series, and appears in the one-shot set three years after the manga's finale.

Unnamed Shinigami[edit]

Originally appearing in the third chapter of the manga,[23] this shinigami was featured in the director's cut OVA, 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.

Other characters[edit]

Sachiko Yagami[edit]

Voiced by: Ai Satō (Japanese); Saffron Henderson (English)

Sachiko Yagami (夜神 幸子 Yagami Sachiko?) 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.

Artist Takeshi Obata did not have any real concept behind the design of Sachiko stating his difficulty in drawing female characters who played minor roles.[24] 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.[16]

Sayu Yagami[edit]

Sayu Yagami (夜神 粧裕 Yagami Sayu?) 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, 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. She is voiced by Haruka Kudō in Japanese, and Kelly Metzger and Kristie Marsden provide her voice in the English dub. 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.[24] 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.[16] Her birthday is June 18, 1989.

David Hoope[edit]

David Hoope (デイビット・ホープ Deibitto Hōpu?) 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."[57] 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[edit]

George Sairas (ジョージ・サイラス Jōji Sairasu?) 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."[57] In the anime, Sairas is U.S. President from the start. He is voiced by Aruno Tahara in the Japanese anime. Michael Dobson provides the English voice.

Koreyoshi Kitamura[edit]

Koreyoshi Kitamura (北村 是良 Kitamura Koreyoshi?), the NPA deputy director, is Soichiro's superior. He feels weighted by Yotsuba's pressure. Masaru Ikeda voices Kitamura. Howard Siegal provides his voice in English. How to Read 13 states that he "isn't a bad guy."[25]

Criminals and initial victims[edit]

  • An unemployed 42-year-old man, Kurou Otoharada (音原田 九郎 Otoharada Kurō?) 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?), 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. Tomohiro Nishimura (Japanese) and Lee Tockar (English) voice him in the anime.
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 (リンド・L・テイラー Rindo Eru Teirā?) 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. 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. Yukitoshi Tokumoto (Japanese) and John Murphy (English) voice Tailor in the anime. Matt Lagan portrays Tailor in the film.
  • Kiichiro Osoreda (恐田 奇一郎 Osoreda Kiichirō?) 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.[58] Katsuhisa Hōki (Japanese) and Brian Dobson (English) voice Osoreda in the anime. Osoreda also appears in the first film.

Taro Kagami[edit]

Taro Kagami (鏡 太郎 Kagami Tarō?) 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".[59] Taro subsequently became the inspiration for the character of Teru Mikami; Mikami greatly resembles him, down to the flashbacks of him in his youth.

Film-only characters[edit]

Ryotaro Sakajo[edit]

Ryotaro Sakajo (坂城 良太郎 Sakajō Ryōtarō?) 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[edit]

Shiori Akino (秋野 詩織 Akino Shiori?) is portrayed by Yuu Kashii. She is Light's girlfriend, classmate at To-Oh University (東応大学 Tōō Daigaku?),[60] 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.[61] 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.

Shusuke Kaneko, director of the film, said that he created Shiori after reading the original Death Note manga.[61] 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."[61]

In the production notes Kashii said that she felt excited to portray Shiori and wondered if the audience could accept her character.[61] 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."[62] Shiori is dubbed by Ashleigh Ball for the English dub of Death Note

Arma[edit]

Arma is a white female shinigami that appears in Death Note: Light Up the New World. She is voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro. She is created under Sidoh's design.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "How to Think." Death Note: How to Read 13. VIZ Media. 59.
  2. ^ Death Note 13: How to Read. VIZ Media. 114.
  3. ^ Ohba, Tsugumi; Obata, Takeshi (2008). Death Note 13: How to Read. Viz Media. p. 13. ISBN 1-4215-1888-0. 
  4. ^ Ohba, Tsugumi; Obata, Takeshi. Death Note: Black Edition. 4. Viz Media. p. 196. ISBN 978-1-4215-3967-6. 
  5. ^ Death Note: How to Read 13. VIZ Media. 73.
  6. ^ Death Note: How to Read 13. VIZ Media. 81.
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  8. ^ a b c "How to Think." Death Note How to Read 13. VIZ Media. 65.
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  10. ^ Death Note Volume 12. VIZ Media. 196.
  11. ^ Death Note: How to Read 13. VIZ Media. 198.
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  16. ^ a b c Death Note: How to Read 13. VIZ Media. 192.
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  43. ^ Death Note manga; Volume 2, Page 13
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  62. ^ "Death rocks". The Star. Sunday November 12, 2006. Retrieved on August 15, 2009. Archived April 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.