Characters / Death Note Main Characters

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Light and his allies

    Ryuk 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/RYUK.jpg
Voiced by: Shido Nakamura (JP), Jun Fukuyama (Japanese, TV drama), Brian Drummond (EN), Jorge Varela (Spain), Alfonso Vallés (Spain, movies), Rolando De Castro (Latin America)

Light's Shinigami sidekick, and the one who dropped Light's Death Note on Earth in the first place. Despite his terrifying appearance, he's mostly harmless (unless he gets bored), and has a fondness for apples. He tells Light about various rules of the Shinigami Realm, sometimes at extremely inconvenient times.
  • A Protagonist Is Ryu: Subverted in that he's not the main character. He's still the one who sets everything in motion, though.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In both the Japanese and Korean productions of Death Note the Musical , Ryuk is much less ugly and scary-looking than his manga counterpart.
  • Adaptational Villainy: While his manga and anime incarnation could hardly be called heroic, he's much worse in the TV series. See The Corrupter below for details.
  • Affably Evil: Is a bit of this and Faux Affably Evil, as he can be genuinely nice to Light and Misa, but fits the latter in his malicious way of curing boredom. Of course, it's worth noting that Shinigami are not hard-wired toward compassion for humans to begin with, so from Ryuk's standpoint, his actions do not seem immoral.
  • Alien Catnip: Apples
  • All-Powerful Bystander: He could end the duel between Light and L at any time if he really wanted to, just by writing one of their names in his notebook. But that would be too boring for him.
  • Art Evolution: His new look for the 2016 film Light Up the New World is noticeably sharper and more intimidating.
  • Audience Surrogate: He starts the whole story simply because he was bored, and mostly hangs out on the sidelines treating Light's antics like his own personal soap opera, not really caring who wins as long as it's entertaining.
  • Ax-Crazy: Even for a Shinigami, his idea of fun back in the Shinigami World is attempting to kill his "friends".
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Moreso in the manga and the movies than in the anime.
  • Bishōnen: Was this in his original design which was going to be of "an attractive rockstar," before the creators decided that him looking more interesting than Light could cause the fandom to ignore Light's character.
  • Catch Phrase: To use the manga translation, "Humans are fun!"
  • Captain Obvious: He tends to do this so that Light can then explain things more thoroughly (to him and to the audience).
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: His face is frozen like that so he has one all the time.
  • The Corrupter: In the TV drama, he intentionally drops the Death Note near Light, and goads him into using it more when Light hesitates, effectively making him the one responsible for Light becoming Kira, a stark contrast to the source material in which he was a self-acknowledged neutral bystander.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: For all his lovable goofball portrayal, we get a reminder of his status as a Death God at the end of the series, when he murders Light without a second thought for having used up his entertainment value.
  • Death Takes a Holiday: Downplayed. He maintains his function as a Shinigami and shortens more than one person's lifespan throughout the series, but his leaving the Shinigami realm to go to the human world is a holiday of sorts.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Ryuk is an apple junkie. He has withdrawal symptoms and everything.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Ryuk tells Light at least once that he's even eviler than a shinigami, and generally, when Light does something particularly nasty, laughs mockingly in the background.
  • Evil Laugh: A raspy cackle in the English Dub. In the manga it is written as "hyuk hyuk hyuk."
  • Fish Eyes: Depending on the angle of the scene. The rest of the time it's just a bulging stare.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: In his more menacing moments. It happens in full force when he kills Light at the end.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: In every adaptation, Ryuk's wings are some manner of evil. In the manga, he has black crow wings, while in the film adaptation he has leathery bat wings.
  • Goth: Well, at least his clothes look like it. Personality, not so much.
  • Greater Scope Villain: As a genuine Shinigami, he's a greater threat to humans than Light can ever be but he's content to watch Light work and so is uninvolved with the Evil Plan.
  • Greek Chorus: Serves as this a few times, notably his Inner Monologue eulogy for Soichiro.
  • Hates Being Touched: More like he's rather bashful. When Misa tried hugging him, he blurred away from her, blushing and citing he's not used to it.
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin: He's a "triple A"; an Apple Addicted Asshole.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Ryuk shakes with excitement when Light details his plan to kill off all the evil people in the world and declares himself God.
  • Intrigued by Humanity: Along with boredom, his main reason for setting off the events of the series.
  • Ironic Echo: Y'know that thing Ryuk warned Light about at the very beginning of this whole mess? Guess what!
  • It Amused Me: Ryuk drops his Death Note into the human world, setting off all the chaos that follows, just because he's bored.
  • Japanese Pronouns: Addresses himself as "ore" and almost everyone else as "omae," and talks in masculine slang a lot.
  • Jerkass Gods: He's only here for laughs. He makes no secret of the fact that he is on neither Light's side nor L's and doesn't much care who wins. He just enjoys watching the show. He watches L die and ultimately makes Light die without shedding a single tear.
  • Jump Scare: Frequently the one to make it happen.
  • Karma Houdini: Despite being the one responsible for the events of the story, nothing bad happens to him.
  • Kid with the Leash: Inverted; Ryuk, and by extent, the rules of the Death Note, are often the only thing restraining Light from killing his opponents directly. Not that that stops him from getting around the rules.
  • Kill You Last: To Light.
    "You know, you haven't been very nice to me. I might just write your name in my Death Note and kill you, just like that! ...I wouldn't laugh if I were you."
    • Which he does when realizing that Near's beaten him.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: His murder of Light at the end of the series.
  • Large Ham
    "The symptoms are STAAAAAAARTING!"
  • Laughably Evil: He sets the entire plot in motion because he's bored, but he's just so funny that it's practically impossible not to like him.
  • Lightning Reveal: His entrance in Light's bedroom in Episode 1.
  • Monster Roommate: He's bound to Light so long as he has the Death Note, and usually just chills out munching on apples when Light's at home.
  • Noble Demon: Or more precisely, an honest one, as he is fully straight with Light from the start that he's on nobody's side and will probably be the one to kill him in the end.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Likes to get close to Light, especially when explaining the rules of the eye deal.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: When he finally kills Light.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Ryuk conceals his knowledge of the rules of the notebook from Light in order to amuse himself.
  • One of Us: Ryuk pesters Light to play Mario Golf with him in the manga. On top of that, an omake has him ask Light for a silver Game Boy Advance SP. invoked
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Apples.
  • Troll: He seems to enjoy messing with Light just for the sake of amusing himself.
  • Video Game Culture: In the manga Ryuk pesters Light about wanting to play Mario Golf, and Ryuk begs Light to get him a silver Game Boy Advance XP for Christmas in an omake.
  • Villainous Friendship: With Light, of the Evil Vitriolic Best Buds variety.
    Ryuk (sounding excited and happy): He's not the least bit daunted by the fact that I'm a Shinigami! He doesn’t suck up to me, and he seems to have no problem giving me a hard time. (Grins, AWESOME!!)
  • Villainous Widow's Peak: Okay, so he's not that villainous, but still...
  • Villain Song: The stage musical gives him one in the form of "The Name is Kira!", although in some ways, it could also count as a Villain Sucks Song towards Light ("You think you're making changes, but the only thing you can change is your name!").
  • Villains Out Shopping:
    "Hey Light, want to play some video games?"
  • The Watson: Occasionally.
  • Wild Card: He makes it clear that he's not on Light's side or L's; he's on no one's side but his own.
  • You Bastard: Fridge Logic: he's the Audience Surrogate.
  • You Can See Me?: He can only be seen by the current owner of the Death Note or by people who touch it. Asks this word for word, when one of Light's plans involves a criminal picking up a note written on paper of the Death Note and then freaks out upon seeing him.
  • You Didn't Ask: Ryuk amuses himself by explaining certain rules of the Death Note to Light at the worst moments. He even invokes this trope word-for-word in the movie.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He doesn't kill Light because he's Entertainment Value. This is what he plans to do to Light when the latter no longer provides him entertainment. He does so in the end when Near beats Light.

    Misa Amane/2nd Kira 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/misatvtropes_2097.jpg
Voiced by: Aya Hirano (JP), Shannon Chan-Kent (EN), Nuria Trifol (Spain), Rebeca Gómez (Latin America)

The second Kira, an internationally famous model and pop star who started out as Light's Stalker with a Crush since, as Kira, he killed the burglar that murdered her parents when she was a little girl, thus making her feel indebted to him. She has one hell of a messed up lifespan due to multiple shinigami sacrificing their lives for her and her multiple exchanges for the Shinigami Eyes. She and her shinigami, Rem, helped Light, but not before dragging him through a series of events, both good and bad, started by her carelessness.
  • Adaptational Badass: As the 2nd Kira before joining Light in the live-action movies, she is portrayed as more dark and intimidating, and not making the stupid mistakes she does in the manga and anime.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Her eyes are apparently naturally brown in the manga but blue in the anime.
    • She's blonde in both manga and anime but a brunette in the movies and the TV drama.
    • Her eyes switch between brown and blue in the anime depending on whether she's on the job as an Idol Singer. It's probably color contacts.
  • Affably Evil: She'll kill you without hesitation if you get in her way or cause trouble for Light, but other than that, she's a genuinely sweet girl.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: She was rather fascinated with Light, once she learns that the same boy is none other than someone who killed the same burglar that robbed her house and murdered her parents.
  • Aloof Big Sister: She either has one or is one. The manga mentions that Misa has a sister still living in Kansai as a plot point but she doesn't even get Nominal Importance and after that it's never mentioned again. Though this could also be seen as part of her cover story, worked out with Aiber and L, to infiltrate Yotsuba; Aiber uses "your sister said that you said x about Kira" to introduce the information that Misa is connected to L to the Yotsuba group. It's never made clear if the sister actually exists or not.
  • Amnesiacs Are Innocent: She loses her memories of the Death Notes completely at the end of the manga, and every adaptation thereafter. But this only spares her from death in the live-action versions.
  • ...And That Little Girl Was Me: When Rem tells Misa the story of how Gelus died and she got a second notebook.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: After meeting Light and having him doubt and question her, Misa begins to cry, falls off of her chair and tells Light that she "just had to meet him."
  • Ax-Crazy: When her Berserk Button is pushed.
  • Badass Adorable: Despite being a childish, energetic, squeaky-voiced Genki Girl, Misa does have her moments. She takes Sakura TV hostage, refuses to give up Light under L's torture, and executes her plot to ditch L's surveillance and get Higuchi to confess to her. She is also the resident cutie.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Several times, and not always just for Light.
  • The Beard: Becomes Light's official girlfriend (and in the manga, finance), but he keeps her around only to make him look "normal" enough to not be Kira. She knows this, too, and hopes she can make him actually love her.
  • Beast and Beauty: With Gelus who she never met, and then with Rem. Both are shinigami so in love with her they are willing to disregard the laws of life and death for her sake. Plus she's probably the only human Rem regards fondly. Unfortunately subverted in that Misa doesn't seem to care that deeply for either of them, and lets Light manipulate Rem as he pleases.
  • Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Takada's Veronica for Light's Archie.
  • Berserk Button: If anyone screws around with Light behind her back...even Light isn't safe from her wrath if this happens. As she tells Light, "If I see you with another girl, then I'll kill her!"
  • Beware the Silly Ones: After they actually meet her in person, no one - not Light, not Near, not Mello, not L or Aizawa or Mogi - takes her seriously. At all. In fact nearly every character dismisses her as a legitimate threat; in the few instances that Aizawa, Mogi, L, Near, and Mello feel that she may be trouble, it is as an agent of Light rather than in her own right. Light, knowing that Misa has said that she will kill her competition, sees other women anyway; and L, after Misa escapes from Mogi, pretty much shrugs the whole thing off. This is all despite the fact that Misa is dangerous: she is in charge of Light's killings from time to time, she threatens and controls news stations in both seasons, and she outs Higuchi as a Kira to L.
  • Blatant Lies: "Misa never betrays her friends!"
  • Blessed with Suck: Her Death Note and shinigami eyes absolutely ruined her life. Thanks, Rem.
  • Bloodbath Villain Origin: Misa is introduced as the supernatural killer who takes Sakura TV hostage, killing off innocent people and criminals alike to convince the world of her powers and then killing off the cops who race down there to stop her. During this, she threatens to kill yet more people. And she does it all solely to get Light's attention, because she must meet him, to tell him him how grateful she is that he killed her parents' murderer.
  • Bound and Gagged: In the episode, "Wager", courtesy of L.
  • Break the Cutie: She is the end-product of a cutie who's been broken too much. It fatally breaks her when Light dies.
  • Broken Bird: Under the childish behavior and cute looks, there's one hell of a mentally and emotionally broken young woman.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: To Light. Although she's smart enough to find Light, dodge Mogi and manipulate Higuchi, her mistakes do cost them both.
  • Caught in the Rain: During the opening sequence of the first season, Light offers Misa his hand as she walks through the rain towards him.
  • Cleavage Window: In the shape of a heart, no less.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Light is hers. Woe to any woman who tries to come between them.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Misa certainly does not live in the same world as most other people.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Her official color seems to be light blue.
    • Also, in the first arc, she's shown primarily wearing black while acting as the second Kira, and in the second arc she wears plenty of black and red.
  • Come Back to Bed, Honey: She tries this with Light; it ends with him ordering her out of bed and back to work.
  • Cool Pet: Rem. Also in the second arc she keeps a pair of lovebirds.
  • Creepy Cool Crosses:
    • She wears them in the manga and live-action film series.
    • The collector's figure included with volume 5 of the DVD series retains the cross.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: She really is a lot smarter than she usually acts.
  • Cry Cute: She begins to cry in the scene when Light first meets her and she tells him that she'll work hard to make him love her.
  • Cuteness Equals Forgiveness: To an extent, both in-universe and out. Despite being portrayed as viciously selfish and quite, quite mad, Misa never earns the same type of villain cred as, say, Light - whose eviler counterpart she was introduced as. Additionally, the characters in-universe definitely treat Misa far more gently than Light when both come under suspicion in the second season - compare Aizawa's grim, suspicious surveillance of Light with Mogi going shopping with Misa. Why is this? Misa is a small, sweet, cheerful, and cute woman, and that registers more immediately to both much of the audience and most of the characters than "ruthless serial killer."
  • The Cutie: Subverted; She's a villainous example. Don't let her appearance fool you; her adorableness is to hide her villainy.
  • The Dark Chick: On Team Kira.
  • Dark Is Evil: She dresses primarily in black. And her bedroom is decked to the nines in creepiness.
  • Dark Mistress: Misa starts out as a second Kira who takes Sakura TV hostage and murders several cops and criminals to get Kira's attention. Later, she tracks down Kira, discovers that Kira is Light Yagami, and falls in love with him. She demands that Light take her on as his girlfriend; because she was already a villain in her own right, their joining forces would qualify for Unholy Matrimony status, but as she becomes immediately subservient to him and her role becomes simply "Light's Love Martyr" as the story progresses, she develops into the Dark Mistress role.
  • Deadly Upgrade: Twice, for that matter. She serves as Light's deadly upgrade: with the second Kira on his side and completely devoted to him, he gains the use of her shinigami eyes.
  • Death by Despair: According to Ohba, this is her ultimate fate, via being Driven to Suicide.
  • Death Seeker: Some of the material in the series seems to point to the fact that Misa isn't exactly concerned with her own life. Misa deliberately seeks out dangerous situations: for one example, she walks home alone, at night, on a deserted street, and for another she begins the entire attack on Sakura TV while being across the street in person. She then shows up on the mass-murderer Kira's doorstep and volunteers to be his girlfriend while knowing full well that he could kill her. She in fact explicitly offers Light the option of killing her if she gets to be a burden. Also, she begs Rem to kill her when she feels that she has a good justification to ask that of Rem, and, mind you, when Soichiro informs Misa that both she and Light are to be executed, it is Light's life that she begs for. And of course when Light dies, she kills herself soon after.
  • Did You Just Romance Cthulu?: There is a vengeful, godlike entity out there who can kill with just a name and a face. Obviously the best way to handle the situation is to offer to be his girlfriend.
  • Dissonant Laughter: When Rem agrees to murder L at Light's request, Misa's reaction is to laugh and clap her hands. In the anime, she even hugs Rem.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Comes with the job of being the second Kira. When she regains her Death Note and finds Light's note asking her to kill L, she gladly, even triumphantly, considers it. Her distress comes only when she realizes that she can't remember his name.
  • The Dragon: She becomes this for Light, until Light has her Death Note given to Mikami.
  • Driven to Suicide: What finally happens to her. She wasn't kidding when she said she couldn't dream of living in a world without Light. Averted in the drama, where she simply loses her memories of Kira, the Death Notes, and all that stuff, and goes on to lead a normal (well, for a celebrity) life.
  • Dumb Blonde: Then again, next to L or Light, anyone would look dumb by proxy.
  • Dye Hard: In a flashback, her hair is black. May be justified on the grounds of her being an Idol Singer. invoked
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita. She dresses like this when she becomes more famous - and in the anime, when she's about to jump off to her death after Light dies.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She genuinely loves Light and she genuinely loved her dead parents.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The film version of Misa was visibly horrified when Light planned to kill his own father to prevent the notebook from being analyzed. Makes sense when you remember that she lost her own parents to a murderer.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Sayu mentions that Misa is "just her type," and Misa also seems to have as many fangirls as she does fanboys at To-Oh University. Also, Rem (a female shinigami) is genuinely in love with her.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Light at first, lampshaded when Light and L are building a profile of the Second Kira.
    Light: ...this Kira isn't idealistic.
    L: Yes. I really don't like the way he operates. It's not like Kira.
  • Evil Diva: Along with her other traits and hobbies, Misa is a singer as well as an actress and model; in the second arc, she gets hired to open a New Year's show with a song.
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: She doesn't intend to do this, but her videos provide L with a lot of clues. Before she and Light officially team up, she eagerly hands out information to him.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Misa starts out wearing her hair in either Girlish Pigtails or Baby Spice pigtails (as pictured above), to go with her Elegant Gothic Lolita clothes and her job as a cutesy Japanese actress/model/Idol Singer. After six years as Light's live-in girlfriend and the second Kira, her acting career is becoming more serious (she gets a part in a Hollywood movie), so she starts dressing in tamer, preppier clothes and wearing her hair straight and loose, in order to look older and more mature. However, after she gives up ownership of her Death Note and all memories related to it and quits her job in anticipation of marrying Light, with her now Locked Out of the Loop while he does his thing, she becomes increasingly lonely and bored, and eventually goes back to the way she looked when she first met Light, like nothing ever changed.
  • Expy: Shares quite a few similarities with Harley Quinn.
  • Extreme Doormat: Misa would do anything for Light.
  • The Fashionista: Justified because she's an idol; Misa is often shown shopping, reading magazines, applying make-up, and so on.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Misa is heavily implied to be the one who cooks and cleans after the timeskip, when Light and Misa move in together; a strip from the omake extras released in the thirteenth volume explicitly shows her doing some fancy cooking while Light reads a newspaper.
  • Femme Fatale: In the Yotsuba arc.
  • First-Name Basis: With pretty much everyone.
  • Foot Focus: There's a shot of her striped-stocking feet during Light and L's sparring match when she accidentally steps into a cake she was eating.
  • Freudian Excuse: Her family was murdered right in front of her! And she's lived either alone or with only Rem for company in the year since their deaths. No wonder she takes Light up on his offer to have her move in with him.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Debatable, but in the last few legs of the first season and then for the whole of the second season, Misa is associated with the Kira Taskforce and tolerated by them only because of her connection to Light. Aizawa, Ide, Soichiro, and Mogi never voice their opinion about the situation, but they never do seem quite happy with the idea of Misa following them around everywhere they go.
  • Genius Ditz: She has enough smarts to channelize her child-like charm into her very successful model and Idol Singer career. Also, she figures out how to expose Higuchi as the Yotsuba Kira to the police without revealing Rem's presence. She's actually quite clever, she's just more energetic and not as smart as the downright superhuman Light and L. If she didn't ogle Light so much, she could get her head in the game.
    • Some would argue that Misa has very good instincts. She taps right into Light's desire to control and use people from the very first time they meet, and her submissiveness gains her exactly what she wants (i.e. for Light to be her boyfriend). With just a little help from Rem Misa blackmails the most dangerous man on the planet into getting what she wants. Successfully.
    • Misa follows the situation more closely than she seems to. For example, there's a scene in the manga after the timeskip where, after Misa points out something Light hadn't gotten to yet and Light tells her to go to bed, Light thinks to himself that Misa was right.
  • A Girl And Her X: In this case, A Girl And Her Shinigami.
  • Girlish Pigtails: She loses them in the second arc, as a sign of her maturation from a giggly idol to a serious actress. Notably, when she gives up her memories of being the second Kira (and, therefore, a significant portion of the last four years of her life), she stops wearing preppy, classic clothes and her hair loose, and goes back to the Baby Spice pigtails and Elegant Gothic Lolita costumes.
  • Happiness in Slavery: She willingly volunteers herself to do anything for Light, and seems to never have a problem with it. Even after Light overwhelms her with work for him and yells at her in anger, she still beams when he walks into the room.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: She is shown drinking a few times in the second arc.
  • Harmful to Minors: Her parents were murdered right in front of her. She breaks down in tears when she tells Light about it.
  • Hello, Nurse!: In addition to being very popular with the boys, Misa wears a nurse's outfit once, as a disguise.
  • Hero Secret Service:
    Misa: (swooning) I would gladly die if it were for you, Light!
    Light: (sweat-dropping) We just met.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Towards Light.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Even during those times when she claims she understands that Light doesn't give a damn about her, she still swoons for him.
  • Housewife: What she really wants, more than anything, is to be Light's wife. When he tells her to quit her job, she immediately asks if it's so they can get married.
  • Hypocrite: Her backstory reveals she was once approached by a man who had been stalking her and who almost killed her when she rejected his hysterical declarations of love. In the story, she does basically the same thing to Light, except the threat of death is more implicit.
  • The Idiot from Osaka: She's from Kansai.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: She wears color contacts to work (and, curiously, when she first confronts Light), but her eyes are naturally brown.
  • Interrupted Suicide: When Misa is Bound and Gagged she tries to kill herself by biting her own tongue when Rem refuses to kill her at her request, and L has Watari gag her to keep her from doing so. Sadly the next time she tries suicide at the end of the story she succeeds, according to the mangaka.
  • Jack the Ripoff: She claims to be Kira to get Light's attention, killing off several people in precisely the same manner. However unlike Light, who tries to be subtle in his methods, Misa's way too bombastic in her approach and leaves too many clues for L to rightfully suspect her. If Light hadn't agreed to take her on and orchestrated to make her look innocent, she would've been locked away permanently the first time she was caught.
  • Karma Houdini: In the manga, she's let live freely whereas Teru Mikami is imprisoned; both are taken into custody in the TV drama, but lose their memories due to the notebooks being destroyed. Initially played straight in the live-action movies, until Light Up the New World.
  • Kawaiiko: Yes, although in most of her appearances it only serves to add to her sheer creepiness.
  • Kill the Cutie: By way of Driven to Suicide after Light's death.
  • Kitsch Collection: Misa's room which is filled with candles, religious memorabilia, and creepy dolls and things that look like they came out of Hot Topic.
  • Knight Templar: Misa is as willing as Light and Mikami to fight evil for a New World.
  • Ms. Fanservice: That wardrobe of hers. Many viewers wish they were Light, if only for the sake of Misa.
  • Mysterious Woman: Misa shows up out of the blue on Light's doorstep, in a little black dress with a killer notebook and a god of death, and simply introduces herself, saying that she came because she thought that he might be worried that she would go to the police instead. Light looks wary and rather unnerved, but - and without knowing anything else about her (besides the fact that she is responsible for Ukita's deaths, among others) - he invites her in.
  • Namedar: Unlike Light, Misa made the deal for the Shinigami eyes.
  • The Nicknamer: She is shown nicknaming Light (much to his horror and annoyance) as her Knight in shining armor or Raito-Naito, Matsuda (Matsu), Mogi (Mochi), and Aizawa (Monchichi); by the second arc, the last three all appear to treat it as normal.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: "What a beautiful way to kill!"
  • No Accounting for Taste: A number of characters express slight skepticism on Misa's relationship with Light. However, the members of the Task Force, who witness the decidedly one-way, unhealthy relationship on a daily basis, never seem to actually notice just how unlikely it is, or question its genuineness until several years down the line.
    • Perhaps they were assuming that Opposites Attract, or simply keeping out of Light's business out of respect. There is a scene in the first season where Misa, returning triumphantly from tricking the hell out of Higuchi, sits on Light's lap, and although no one actually says anything, Soichiro looks over from the background at them with a very amusing expression on his face.
  • No Place for Me There: Asked in the ending of "Misa no Uta" ("Misa's Song).
  • No Sense of Personal Space: She hugs and clings to Light, Ryuk, Rem, and Mogi.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: She spends much of her time in the first arc going about her job, teasing Light and L, reading magazines, playing with her make-up and hair, and being grudgingly tolerated by the taskforce. No one takes her seriously: Aizawa forcefully throws her out of the room solely because she's being annoying, L mocks her, and the others tend to just ignore her. And then Light's master plan comes full circle and Misa finds herself being appointed as the criminal-killer for the time being. Thrilled to be of service, she dresses up in a beautiful black dress and goes for a walk, singing sweetly ... while murdering the guilty. And some of those deaths are pretty gruesome.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Sometimes. She's at least smarter than she acts most of the time.
    • In the Yotsuba arc, at least in the manga, when she's in the car with Higuchi and later talking to Light and L, you can see her calculating her actions and reactions quite calmly in her mind.
  • Obliviously Evil: She seems to genuinely believe that she's a good person doing the right thing. Or at least the justified, necessary thing in the service of the person she loves the most.
  • The Obstructive Love Interest: Especially early on. "You're my boyfriend now! Squee!! I have the following demands..."
  • Odd Friendship: Most obviously with L, though the extent to which theirs is a "friendship" is negotiable. However, by she second arc, she's actually won over Mogi, a man her polar opposite, and the two seem quite close.
    • Mello even says that she appears to be his girlfriend.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: She wears one to try to get Light's attention; unfortunately for her, it doesn't work.
  • Older Than They Look: She's 19 at the start of the series though she looks younger than the 17 year old Light. Lampshaded when a character (in the second arc, no less) believes her to be a teenage girl between 14 and 20 years old. She happens to be in her twenties at that particular point.
  • The Ophelia: Cute? Check. Insane? check. Puts on pretty dresses and murders people? Definitely.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Her parents were killed right in front of her.
  • Overt Operative: Misa is famous and so her face is everywhere. If anyone else has the Shinigami eyes she'd be the first to be discovered. That's why Light has her suddenly quit the movie in the second arc when the mafia gets a hold of the notebook and the eyes.
  • Panty Shot: Lampshaded by Light's little sister, of all people.
  • Parental Abandonment: Her Freudian Excuse, as explained above.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: "I wanted that man to pay for what he did!"
  • Perky Female Minion: She's been seen giggling and clapping her hands while Light plots.
  • Perky Goth: Her attire, especially earlier in the series.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Don't let her sweetness and good cheer, however genuine, fool you. She's just as dangerous as any other Kira.
  • Pillow Pistol: She keeps her Death Note hidden under her mattress.
  • Ping-Pong Naïveté: In some scenes (when you can hear her thoughts), she comes across as quite calculating. In others, she comes across as downright ditzy. Also, she seems to bounce between being thoughtful and solemn when contemplating her role as the second Kira (the best example would be the scene in which she sings "Misa no Uta" and pauses to look sadly out over the horizon) to being cheerful and enthusiastic about it all.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: She serves as the humorous element in some of the darker scenes, albeit not to the same extent as Ryuk.
  • Poisonous Friend: She cheers Light on in his quest, and supports him wholeheartedly. This does not help Light's problems in the least.
  • Psycho for Hire: Basically how Light uses her throughout the series. Even better, since she loves him, she's a Psycho for Hire who works for free.
  • Psycho Supporter: She's madly devoted to Light and will do anything to please him.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: Type D. She acts like a sweet and perky child, despite her madness.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Depicted with this sometimes, such as on the Volume 4 manga cover, although most of the time her hair is medium-length.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: Misa evokes quite a lot of sympathy from Kira's pursuers, considering all she has done.
    • She gains sympathy from the audience, too. Very few people will understand wanting to reign as a God over a New World, which costs Light points on the popularity front. Far more of those watching will identify with Misa's grief over losing her family and her heartfelt desire to support and help the person she loves, which is essentially what she is trying to accomplish during the story.
  • Terms of Endangerment: After just meeting Light she starts calling him cutesy nicknames like "Light-darling" or "Raito-Naito."
    • Note that this takes place right after Light thinks to himself that Misa could kill him if he refuses her.
  • Thinks Like a Romance Novel: Played for terrible tragedy.
  • Third-Person Person: Mercifully, this was omitted for the most part in the English translation of the manga, and completely eliminated in the English dub of the anime.
  • Together in Death: Misa kills herself not very long after Light dies. In the anime, shots of Misa committing suicide are shown alongside shots of Light dying.
  • Unequal Pairing: She swears complete devotion to Light, assuring him that he can use her as he wishes and that he can kill her if he sees fit. Light, of course, with that raging god complex of his, views her merely as a pawn; although he has a few moments when he seems almost fond of her (usually when she's just been extremely useful), they don't last long and he quite coldly contemplates killing her throughout the series.
    • Interestingly enough, though, this also gets played back the opposite way early on. Misa forces Light to make her his girlfriend; he has little to no choice in the matter, because Rem will kill him if he attempts to off her, and he needs Misa close and controlled to protect his identity of Kira; and he also considers that Misa could kill him otherwise.
  • The Unfettered: Her goal is to help Light. She will do anything to further that goal.
  • Unholy Matrimony: With Light; they are engaged in the second arc.
  • Unkempt Beauty: After she was released from captivity, she spent her next scene in white pj's, without makeup and with her hair down (more or less like this). More than one viewer thought she looked quite nice like that.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Had her parents not been killed one year prior to the series, she would've possibly grown into the same cheerful and sweet Idol Singer she is... only without the Ax-Crazy Yandereness.
  • Villain Song: "Misa no Uta", sung while she's killing people, no less.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: She's an international model and pop star who secretly moonlights as the second Kira.
  • Villainous B.S.O.D.: Suffers this in The Last Name after Sayu calls her a murderer.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Besides literally going shopping with Mogi, Misa is shown having tea with Light's family, scolding Ryuk to stay and help her with the cleaning, and going about her daily job as a model and actress.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Misa is eager to kill for Light's sake. "So just take me to where L is and I'll write his name down!"
  • Walking Techbane: In the manga Misa is no good with computers or technology and L mocks the poor quality of the Second Kira tapes. In the anime Misa is shown purchasing Light's personal information online.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: She is last seen in her new hotel room when Light calls her (for the last time while he's alive) and doesn't appear in the epilogue of the manga. Ohba admitted in How to Read that he couldn't find a way to include her in the final chapter and confirmed that she dies about a year after Light's death, most likely by suicide.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: Used to avoid attracting attention while tracking down Light and later Higuchi.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Her parents were taken away from her. Her mind completely broke. You know what happened next.
  • Yandere: Misa loves Light obsessively, and has shown herself to be ready and willing to kill her competition.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: The Second Kira's standard uniform.

    Teru Mikami/X-Kira 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mikami.jpg
Voiced by: Masaya Matsukaze (JP), Kirby Morrow (EN), Jordi Pons (Spain), Arturo Mercado Jr. (Latin America)

Holds a view of morality more black-and-white than a zebra and penguin musical in the 1920s. Has even more of a flair for the dramatic than Light, if that's even believable, and worships Light as the true God.

L and his allies

    L Lawliet 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/L__fancel__from_Death_Note_by_escaf.jpg
Voiced by: Kappei Yamaguchi (JP), Alessandro Juliani (EN), Roger Pera (Spain), Claudi Domingo (Spain, Relight), Hugo Núñez (Latin America)

The main antagonist of the series, but not the villain.

L is the greatest detective in the Death Note world, able to control and work through the police force worldwide and notorious for uncovering seemingly unsolvable crimes, he's called in to work on the Kira (as Light is known) case. Since Kira needs a face and name to be able to kill people and L does not make public appearances and hides behind aliases (L being the most famous) he is the ideal opponent for Kira since neither knows the identity of the other. He establishes Kira's location by tricking him into killing an unknown death row inmate announcing himself as "L" on a live TV broadcast filmed only in the Kanto region of Japan and deduces his age soon afterward by observing his simplistic, somewhat immature concept of justice and out-of-school-hours killings. Having established which members of the Japanese police department he can trust (which include Light's father) he names Light as a suspect for Kira and with a simple combination of remorseless logic, barely legal methods and sugar intake, he places obstacles for him—and eventually Misa—to prove his theory, leaving them barely able to stay two steps ahead of him.

He is the opposing Deuteragonist of the series. His real name, revealed in an encyclopedia of the series (How To Read 13), is L Lawliet.
  • 20% More Awesome: He occasionally gives statistics about how right he is. The official guide claims that he makes these up to sound more credible, while another claims that whenever he mentions a statistic at all, he's always 99% sure. So all that "5%" or "47%" or whatever meant he was almost totally sure every time, a claim that seems dubious when you consider that L frequently uses these statistics in his inner monologues.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the films, wherein he's played by Kenichi Matsuyama, who is quite handsome in real life. Many fangirls seemed to think L in the movie was more attractive than the actor who played Light.
    • Granted, despite his odd appearance in the anime, he wasn't exactly ugly (though he was designed to be that way).
      • This is also the case in the live-action drama, where he's portrayed by Kento Yamazaki. who is actually more than quite handsome, in contrast to the supposed-to-be-ugly L.
  • Adaptational Badass: He takes down Light in the films.
  • Adaptational Dye Job: In the Korean production of the stage musical, he sports short, light brown hair as opposed to long and black.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the original manga and the anime L is a rather ruthless Anti-Hero who is explicitly described by Word of God as "slightly evil." In his movie L: Change The World, L is a lonely, misunderstood Woobie Action Hero guy who cares for sick orphans.
  • Adaptational Villainy: While he's not exactly a hero (Word of God even confirms he's "slightly evil"), the TV drama plays up the immorality of his actions a lot more, and he also acts rather condescending.
  • Admiring the Abomination: L only takes on cases that interest him and though understated he finds Kira/Light quite fascinating and regards him as a Worthy Opponent. L gets very annoyed at the appearance of a Second Kira because it's not his Kira and not playing by the same rules. In the live action movies he's clearly entertained by watching Light manipulate Naomi Misora on the monitors.
    Souichiro Yagami: We have to stop this!
    L: We're just getting to the good part.
  • Adorkable: During the few times where he's not giving the Kira case his undivided attention, he's this.
  • Allergic to Routine: Very easily bored, and even prolongs the Kira case just for the rush.
  • Alliterative Name: His full name is L Lawliet. This is only alliterative spelling-wise, though.
  • Alternate Continuity: In the movies, L outlives Light.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Has very poor social skills and odd mannerisms.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Shares a number of Ship Tease moments with both Light and Misa.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: L in his Alternate Continuity movie (L: change the WorLd) seems to miss Light just as Light seemed to miss L back in canon. He too experiences a bizarre sense of loss with the death of his adversary. This is hinted at in the way he kept Light's watch. He’s also very protective of Light's potato chips.
  • Anti-Hero: Not exactly your ideal type of hero. While he does try to capture Kira because he's a murderer, his main motivation is because he sees Kira as a challenge and willfully prolongs the case, endangering countless lives in the process, simply to have more fun with him. Regardless, L only reserves his justice for people he sees as evil, and to be fair, his accusations are always correct (Light, Misa). Moreover, while L does order the deaths of a few criminals to help further the investigation, these criminals were on death row anyway.
  • Awesome McCool Name: The gothic font helps.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: In the second episode, L is able to deduce several different things about Kira from one televised broadcast. Throughout the show, L is also shown assessing situations, analyzing happenings and their effects, and planning his next move.
  • Back for the Finale: Anime-only. In the final episode, he appears before a dying Light. Whether his ghost is actually there or whether he's just a hallucination is never made clear.
  • Badass Boast: When first revealing himself to Kira after Light took his bait:
    "But I assure you - L is real. I do exist. Now - try to kill me!"
  • Badass Bookworm: He's a genius skilled in Capoeira. Also in his movie, he can throw hammers with exceptional accuracy.
  • Batman Gambit: The Do Not Adjust Your Set one being only his first in the series. He was counting on Kira's ego being bigger than his reason.
  • Becoming the Mask: Popular interpretation on the "Light is my first ever friend" line, which was actually a lie. This statement comes from How to Read, yet a different section of How to Read says that L establishes an Odd Friendship with Light, even while fighting him as an enemy, and notes that they make a good team during the Yotsuba arc.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Despite his poor social skills, L is pretty good with kids, especially at Wammy's House.
  • Big Eater: L is always eating sweets.
  • Big Good: He fulfills this role as the one heading the task force, despite being a rather ruthless Anti-Hero.
  • Bishōnen: His TV drama counterpart is considerably cuter than his anime/manga counterpart. He doesn't even have bags under his eyes.
  • Big Sleep: When he dies in the episode "Silence".
  • Blood Knight: More interested in interesting cases than in "right" or "wrong."
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Sometimes. He apparently takes 2 months off of his own investigation and refuses to work on it again until Light points to the Yotsuba Group as potential suspects.
  • Bullying a Dragon: L's main tactic to reveal Light as Kira seems to be to just keep annoying him. Justified in that there really is no evidence other than to test Light's reactions.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Give L a bowl of candy, and he'll work for two nights straight. Three, if he has to.
  • But Not Too Foreign: He's "...a quarter Japanese, a quarter English, a quarter Russian and... maybe a quarter French or Italian..." So he's a gaijin, but he had to come up with a reason he speaks Japanese fluently.
  • Capoeira: He knows it, which proves useful during his Chained Heat scenes with Light.
  • Catch Phrase: "I am justice!" (Both he and Light have this catchphrase.)
  • The Chains of Commanding: As L, he lives under constant threat of death, has to contend with people dying on his watch, mistrust from the police and from the public and avoiding choosing a successor. Oh, and no social life.
  • The Chessmaster: See Awesomeness by Analysis
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Very much so.
  • Collector of the Strange: L collects criminals, which is all well and good for a detective, but his way is a bit... creepy. Along with Aiber and Wedy, in the manga, L has an army of peepers at his disposal who do his bidding and help him set up surveillance cameras everywhere. Also in Another Note there's the implication that he steals the names of his vanquished rivals and uses them as his detective aliases.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Official color seems to be blue. According to Obata, his assigned color is gold. Grey also seems to be a recurring color.
  • Confirmed Bachelor: Despite his Foe Yay with Light, he is canonically of the Married to the Job variety as opposed to Armored Closet Gay. Regardless, he shows no interest in romance.
  • Consummate Liar: To the point where no one can be sure if L is telling the truth, or lying.
  • Cool Car: In the live action movies, L uses a modified pink angel crepe van as his personal batmobile.
  • Covert Pervert: Subverted, perhaps, because he may have grabbed Misa's magnificent ass, but only to steal her phone.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Has money and resources set aside for every scenario imaginable...and some not!
  • Creepy Good: For a certain definition of "good."
  • Creepy Monotone: The English anime, at least, puts this to good use.
  • Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: Has these as a result of being The Insomniac which has earned him the Fan Nickname of "Panda".
  • Dance Battler: Knows some capoeira.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: L is an orphan who has been raised to be the world's best detective. He doesn't consider anyone a friend, his lies to Light and Misa aside.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Particularly in the anime.
    Misa: I couldn't live in a world without Light!
    L: Yes, that would be dark.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: In Another Note it's strongly implied that L takes the names or aliases of his vanquished rivals as trophies: "Ryuuzaki" is from the LABB murder case and "Eraldo Coil" and "Deneuve" came out of "detective wars". If things had gone differently in the Kira case, L might have taken to calling himself "Light Yagami".
  • Defective Detective: See Hurting Hero
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: Allows himself to be punched in the face before kicking Light hard.
  • Determinator: "I am also childish and hate to lose."
  • Deuteragonist: He is the second viewpoint character after Light, who is the protagonist.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: How he's introduced. He basically goes on television and tells Kira through his stand-in Lind L. Tailor where he can put his justice. Kira, of course, kills Tailor immediately, thinking that it's L. Then, L keeps on taunting him anyway.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: He passes away in Light's arms.
  • Ditzy Genius: Quirky, but very smart.
  • Disc One Final Boss: In season 2 of the anime. Near, Mello and Matsuda take over the role to bring down Light.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: He sets up the initial one of the series, identifying himself as Kira's sworn enemy.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: L goes barefoot except when outdoors, due to his knack for crouching. Even when he wears shoes, they're ratty sneakers left untied to slip back off at a moment's notice.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: L, unsurprisingly, polishes off a whole box by himself.
    • In the live-action adaptation, he creates a donut kebab by placing several on a skewer.
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch: "You can call me whatever you like, but I'm taking your cake."
  • Et Tu, Brute?: He realizes that Light, the person he is working alongside with, is Kira, moments before his death.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He only takes on cases that he's interested in, but expresses an apparently sincere belief that he finds Kira thinking of himself as a god and killing people he doesn't approve of unacceptable.
  • Evil Twin: Has one in the form of Beyond Birthday in Another Note, although it's unclear if BB is literally L's twin or not.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: See Creepy Shadowed Undereyes above.
  • The Exotic Detective: L is the only member of the task force that isn't Japanese; he was raised in England.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Soichiro Yagami and the other detectives are visibly surprised when they meet L.
  • Expy: Of Sherlock Holmes according to Obata.
  • Extreme Doormat: Despite being one of the most powerful and influential people on Earth, he acts like one. It might (in part) be an act of some sort to lure Kira out as it's also been seen that he can be just as stubborn as Light. In Another Note it's teased that he was raised as some sort of Tykebomb which would go far to explaining this behavior.
  • Extremity Extremist: On the rare occasions he fights physically, he mainly uses kicks.
  • Flashback Nightmare: The opening of episode 25.
  • Friendless Background: L has no friends.
  • Friend to All Children: As mentioned in Big Brother Instinct, L is great with children.
  • The Gadfly: L will often say things he doesn't mean just to get a reaction.
  • Genius Sweet Tooth: He's a genius and he always has something sweet nearby.
  • Good Counterpart: To Light and BB.
  • Good Is Not Nice: He's on the trail of a dangerous Serial Killer, but he's also a sugar junkie with practically No Social Skills and a very low opinion of most other people, who only takes up cases that interest him in order to fend off boredom. A frequently lampshaded fact is that he and Light are Not So Different.
    • Also, L is not above using torture.
  • Great Detective: The top three, actually.
  • Guile Hero: Relies on his keen intellect.
  • Gut Feeling: He is suspicious of Light from the moment he meets him. Guess what, L, you were right.
  • Hates Being Touched: Zig-zagged. He tenses up and trembles when Aizawa roughly grabs him by the shoulder in one instance. But in another, when Misa kisses him on the cheek he responds rather positively to the gesture, blurting, "I could actually fall for you." It might depend on context.
  • The Hedonist: Does what he wants, when he wants. Also only takes on cases he's interested in.
  • Hero Antagonist: With Light as the Villain Protagonist.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: The public and the police don't trust L because he hides behind a computer screen.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the Alternate Continuity, Death Note: The Last Name. He writes his name in the Death Note with the longest possible time until his death, and is able to survive and catch Light before he dies.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: A completely falsified version with Light. They attend the same college, are constantly hanging out and later on begin living together, with L calling Light the only real friend he's had in his entire life. In reality, all of this is a sham and both are simply playing mind games with the other to further raise the stakes of their battle.
  • Hikikomori: Subverted in the "L: One Day" mini-manga, where it's shown that he goes to amusement parks, concerts, and out for walks in his free time.
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep": In The Last Name, it's revealed that his first name is actually L.
  • Honor Before Reason: He's almost certain it's Light from the very beginning but instead of say nabbing him in the middle of the night or just shooting him, he insists on waiting until he has 100% proof before making an arrest. Of course, killing him without evidence that he's right would pretty easily turn the police against him, especially since the police chief is Light's father.
  • Hurricane Kick: Ow, Light, that looked like it hurt.
  • Hurting Hero: Not so much in the manga or anime, but the two light novels Another Note and L: change the WorLd suggest that he is this. An excerpt from the latter:
    It was a hurt that L. Lawliet had suppressed, that he had to suppress in order to continue his existence as the peerless Detective L. How had the world's top detective been described with regard to facets of his personality other than his ability as a detective? He had been called a kinky detective who relished bizarre murders, a human computer capable only of measuring mass numbers in terms of cold numbers, a reclusive sociopath. What L thought of such estimations of his personality only L could know. But no one could truly understand L. How L did not and could not forget the faces of thousands of victims. Who could comprehend the man who had lived his life, and had to live confronting all the lives ended prematurely, the tears of the grief-stricken survivors, the devaluing of life as a daily reality? How was it possible to measure the pain of such a man? Was it a strain so heavy that L's back curved under all its weight? Was it an agony so terrible as to leave the indelible dark circles around his eyes? Was it a feeling so bitter that every bite he took needed to be coated in sugar? The chronically rounded shoulders, the inevitable dark circles, the eccentric tastes-L suppressed the pain of being a champion of justice, but the evidence of the pain was molded into his very body.
  • Hypocrite:
    • He tells Light that it's illegal to murder outside of the law, but he does plenty of illegal things like spying and kidnapping in his efforts to catch Kira.
    • One potent example: when Light asks L to isolate him from the outside world to prove his innocence, L turns him down, explaining he "can't deprive (Light) of his basic human rights," and besides "it's complete nonsense for an investigator to take suggestions from his suspect." Guess what he ends up doing just a few episodes later.
  • I Am a Monster: Says this almost word for word in a flashback in Relight 2 when one of the children at Wammy's asks him what he's afraid of.
    "Lying monsters are a real nuisance. They are much more cunning than other monsters. (...) If I were to encounter such a monster, I would likely be eaten by it. Because in truth, I am that monster."
  • I Am the Noun: "I am Justice!"
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Many times.
  • I Have Many Names: Besides L, he's also known as Ryuzaki, Eraldo Coil, Deneuve, and Hideki Ryuga. In Another Note, Mello estimated the amount of aliases that L possessed to be in the three digit range, and wonders which one of them finally killed him (not knowing that it was none of them), or if L himself even knew.
  • The Insomniac:
    Aizawa: So, when does Ryuzaki sleep?
    Matsuda: I once saw him sleeping in a chair in that position ... No, really!
  • Insufferable Genius: He seems confident enough in his abilities that he thinks he can keep a supernatural killer an arm's length close to him. This is taken Up to Eleven in the TV drama, wherein the pilot episode has him behave impolitely to Soichiro's face.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: To the point where very few people have actually seen him in person; most of his interaction is done via a computer screen and a voice changer.
  • Interpol Special Agent: Interpol agrees to bring in L for the Kira case.
  • It Amused Me: He mostly goes after Kira simply for the lulz. In fact, part of L's reputation is that he refuses to take on a case that doesn't interest and challenge him, even though he's leagues above the rest of the world's police.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In the films. He was more of a jerk in the first film. Near the end of the second film, however, he developed into this, sacrificing his life to stop Light/Kira. And if that weren't enough, L: change the WorLd pretty much shows how much of a nicer guy he can be.
    • Subverted with his TV drama counterpart who's more interested in showing off his intelligence and snuffing Light out than trying to keep people from getting killed.
  • Limited Wardrobe: L is almost never, if ever, seen wearing anything but that pyjama-top-and-jeans ensemble. He even shows up at To-Oh University's Opening Ceremony to give a speech dressed that way!
  • Loners Are Freaks: Unnerves a lot of people with his appearance and habits.
  • Looks Like Cesare: Probably because he's The Insomniac.
  • Man in White: In the TV drama.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Undeniably. L has no problem using people to get the job done. Light of all people calls him out on it when he loses his memories and refuses to go along with L's plan to manipulate Misa.
  • Married to the Job: Has no canonical relationships, because his line of work (and lack of charisma) makes it difficult.
  • Meaningful Name: His last name Lawliet, which is pronounced "low-light."
  • Messianic Archetype: In the anime, where he washes the feet of Judas...er, sorry...Light before he is killed by him.
  • Messy Hair: L puts little to no stock into his persona appearence. His hair looks like he's never held a comb or brush in his life.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: He's scrawny, but strong enough to knock Light flying across the room with one kick.
    L: I'm a lot stronger than I look, y'know.
  • Must Have Caffeine: He is frequently shown dumping sugar into a cup of coffee or tea; when Matsuda asks him how he can be of help, L asks him to go get him coffee.
  • Mr. Fanservice: His TV drama counterpart frequently changes his white shirt anytime it gets stained. And it's a Running Gag.
  • Mysterious Past: The taskforce, Light, and the audience never really learn anything about L.
  • My Greatest Failure: L admits that the deaths of the FBI agents and having to reveal his face to the Kira Investigation Force are failures of his that he considers terrible.
  • No Hero to His Valet: Relies on Watari for almost everything.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Coinciding with his No Social Skills.
  • No Social Skills: Not good at interacting with people, or conforming to their expectations.
  • Not So Different: Frequently lampshaded, especially with his true name: Lawliet, which is pronounced like "low light." The Great Detective L is a nameless, anonymous force of justice / retribution that may strike down when your least expect it. Sound familiar? Sucks to be you, Light.
  • Not So Stoic: When he sees Light's Slasher Smile as he's about to die. Nothing shows this better than episode 11 ("Assault"). Shortly after Ukita is killed by the second Kira live on the news while trying to stop the airing of that Kira's threats towards the task force, L stops Aizawa from impulsively going to the TV station and suffering the same fate. Aizawa is enraged by L's seeming indifference and grabs his shoulder to confront him about it, but he immediately backs off and calms down once he sees that L is literally trembling with anxiety.
  • Oh Crap!: When he sees Light above him with a huge Slasher Smile as he's dying.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: The older Hero Antagonist to Light's younger Villain Protagonist.
  • Older Than They Look: He's twenty-four at the start yet doesn't look much older then the 17 year old Light. If anything, he looks younger.
    • Evoked in the Live-action movies, where L's actor is younger than Light's actor.
  • One-Letter Name: In fact, it's his real first name.
  • Oral Fixation: The amount of time the guy spend with his fingers/various food substances in his mouth is amazing. Also, he can tie cherry stalks into knots with his tongue.
  • Out-Gambitted: By Light; essentially what his death came down to, although he had no way of knowing Rem would kill to protect Misa.
  • Papa Wolf: In the Alternate Continuity movie L: change the WorLd, L is very protective of his orphans.
  • Paranoia Gambit: When L puts 64 cameras in Light's room and then waits to see what will happen.
  • Parental Abandonment: L is an orphan.
  • Parental Neglect: Beyond seems to think so.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: With Light, all the time. They subvert this exactly twice, during which Light finally just punches L and a brawl breaks out.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Given the dark nature of the franchise, the one he gives to K in Change The World is unusually poignant.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Most of the time.
  • Pet the Dog: The entirety of L: change the WorLd is a big Pet the Dog moment for L.
  • Politeness Judo: "Is that alright, Light?"
  • Posthumous Narration: The opening of Relight 2 has L summarize the events of the Kira case, even events that occurred after he died.
  • Primal Stance: When he and Light get into a fight.
  • Private Detective: Is contracted out by police organizations around the world.
  • The Profiler: L can be downright psychic when it comes to guessing Kira's motivations. It's vague whether this is thanks to his skills as a profiler and/or because he recognizes a thought process eerily similar to his own.
  • Properly Paranoid: Light is Kira, Misa is the second Kira, and they really are out to get L.
    • In Another Note, Mello explains that the reason L doesn't go out much or interact with many people face-to-face is that L's life is perpetually in danger due to his line of work.
  • A Protagonist Is Ryu: His alias, although he's actually an antagonist.
  • Psychic Dreams for Everyone: The beginning of episode 25.
  • Punch Clock Hero: He only takes cases that interest him or give him a challenge; in fact, he deliberately prolongs the Kira investigation just to have more fun with it.
  • Race Lift: The very multiracial L is played by a purely Asian actor in the live action film. He's also black in the 2016 Netflix remake.
  • The Rainman: There's considerable debate about whether L is in fact autistic, but he's very weird and he sucks at normal social interaction, so he qualifies as a Rainman regardless.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Sugar and spice and everything nice. That's what little Ls are made of.
    • And in the live action movies L's ride is a pink crepe van.
    • In one of the omakes, he got some 3D nail art done. (And for someone who bites his nails a lot, his always manage to look nicely manicured!)
  • Real Name as an Alias: As it turns out, Lawliet is his surname.
  • Rebel Relaxation: L has his trademarked poor posture.
  • Tautological Templar: His methods, including violations of privacy, unlawful imprisonment/kidnapping, and physical and psychological torture, seem to be justified, both in-universe and out, because he's the one doing it.
    • In the case of Misa's imprisonment given that he knows she can kill with just a person's face, but does NOT know that she has to have the Death Note to do so, you could say that it is a case of Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures
    • To be fair, for all of L's questionable methods, he never really used them to harm an innocent person. Two of the people that he did use them on, Light and Misa, were far from innocent.
  • Teen Genius: He's several years past his teens by the time of the series, though you have to assume he started that way.
  • Thanatos Gambit: He ensures that his successors, Near and Mello, would succeed him after his death.
  • That's What I Would Do: He tries to think of Kira's next move using this reasoning.
  • Thinking Tic: He often bites his nails, particularly the nails on his thumb.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: When he first addresses the ICPO he calls Light's spree "an atrocious murder case I will never forgive!"
  • Together in Death: With Light, at the end. In the anime, he is the last thing Light sees before dying.
    L: Let's explore the World of Nothingness together!
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Cake and really sweets of any kind.
  • Tragic Bromance: With Light during the Yotsuba arc.
  • Trash of the Titans: L in his movie. Justified in that he's only got 23 days to live and he's not going to waste his remaining time cleaning.
  • Troll: Does several things completely unnecessary to the case just to screw with Light, like claiming him to be the best friend he's ever had and pretending not to hear him in the rain. Since he knew he was Kira pretty much immediately, it's a given.
  • TV Genius: He often seems to deduce things almost out of thin air. As a general rule, he's never wrong about anything.
  • Two Aliases, One Character: L is his alias, while L Lawliet is his real name.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In the TV drama, he's noticeably more arrogant and stuck-up than his original counterpart. He even installs the cameras and microphones without telling the investigators involved, especially Soichiro.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In the films, especially in L: change the WorLd.
  • Tyke Bomb: Was trained as this, and started out as such.
  • Ugly Hero, Good-Looking Villain: L is the strange-looking hero to Light's handsome villain.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Uses some questionable methods, and is not above lying and manipulating others.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: To everyone at first, until Light forces him into a situation where he needs to come out into the open to Light himself and the Kira taskforce members.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The Taskforce yells at him from time to time. Such as for his treatment of the Kira suspects during confinement. Also for wanting to wait around for more people to die (and thus have a more solid case) before making a move against the Yotsuba Group.
  • When He Smiles: The normally stoic L gets one of these moments when he tells the taskforce "Justice will prevail no matter what."
  • Workaholic: He spends all his time solving cases and eating candy. He rarely sleeps.
  • Worthy Opponent: Light views L this way, and L views Light this way.
    • This is in direct contrast to Near and Light's relationship, where Near viewed Light as "just a crazy mass murderer" and Light resented Near as being "far below L."
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: He's a master of it, as shown when he saves Matsuda from being discovered by the Yotsuba group by having him fake his own death.
  • Young and In Charge: He's 24 at the beginning and the world's greatest detective with control over the world's police forces. It's suggested he's been this for several years, back into his teens and possibly even his childhood. In-series, the middle-aged cops of the taskforce answer to him.

    Mello/Mihael Keehl 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mello.jpg
Voiced by: Nozomu Sasaki (JP), David Hurwitz (EN), Manuel Gimeno (Spain), Javier Olguín (Latin America)

A handsome but dangerous young man with a massive inferiority complex. Briefly after the timeskip, having resigned himself to the fact that he cannot work with Near, he sets up a gang of Mafia members even Kira hasn't noticed who abduct the head of the Japanese police department from whom- following a spot of torture- he deduces that there are two Death Notes within the human world and vows to acquire both of them to stop Kira once and for all before Near does.

Besides being in the manga and anime, Mello also appears in the spin-off prequel novel, Another Note, where he acts as the narrator.

In stark contrast to Near and L, Mello is extremely dynamic and a ruthless mob boss, but just as brilliant as Near. Also, he likes chocolate.
  • Affably Evil: In particular, the way he speaks to Takada, and lets her cover up with a blanket when he makes her remove her clothes. Also, the fact that he does genuinely care about Matt and views him as a friend as well as an assistant, and expresses genuine sorrow over Matt's death. Even before that, he offers Sidoh some of his beloved chocolate.
  • Agent Peacock: The aforementioned fur-lined coat and massive amount of leather makes him stand out, even among his Mafia subordinates.
  • Always Second Best: The reason for his rivalry with Near, he thinks Near is always better than him and hates it.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Has the inferiority complex, impulsiveness, and black-and-white perspective of somebody with Borderline Personality Disorder.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Mello takes this trope so far as to be mistaken for a girl by a lot of readers (and indeed viewers, in the case of the anime) until he is referred to as a "he" by other characters. He does not, like the other senior Mafia men, cuddle up with girls, dresses in tight leather long before he rides a motorbike for the first time in the series, has a VERY girly fur-lined coat, dons black lipstick and nail polish, ignores Hal Lidner's coquetry when she talks to him from her shower, licks chocolate bars suggestively in the company of other men, and lives with Ambiguously Bi loose-cannon geek Matt in a house full of mannequins. He also seems unenthused when Matt points out that switching jobs would mean getting to spy on a cute girl (Misa).
  • Ambiguous Gender: Particularly in his first manga appearance, where he had a rather androgynous figure and hairstyle, and wore pretty plain, gender-neutral clothing. And it took several pages for other characters to start referring to him as a male. Many readers assumed he was a girl. Backed by Obata, who described Mello's character design as "calm and feminine."
  • Anti-Villain: He's ruthless in his goal of taking down Kira, and is more interested in being the best than in serving justice. However, the author says Mello is "not purely evil", citing his reluctance to kill Yagami even when he was prepared to write Mello's name, and his sorrow at Matt's death. Some have speculated that he engineered his own death in order for Mikami to switch the notebooks, and thus cause Light's arrest. And he has the decency to let Takada cover herself with a blanket when stripping for him.
    • Possibly subverted. Another Note shows that Mello does have a great sense of justice, but it's primarily directed as rage toward Kira and those who stand in the way of it.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Just like L, Near and Light, he can follow potential situations and think of alternative routes to take.
  • Ax-Crazy: Because of his intense rivalry with Near and drive to get ahead, he does some seemingly-irrational (or at least extremely risky things.
  • The B Grade: He's one of the top scoring students at Wammy's House, but all that matters is that he's not the top scoring student.
  • Badass Biker: Rides a cool motorcycle
  • Badass Bookworm: He's the second best student in a school for genii. He eats chocolate and blows stuff up.
  • Bare Your Midriff: A rare male example
  • Beta Test Baddie: Becomes a villain (or Anti-Villain, depending on your interpretation) because he can't handle being outranked by Near.
  • Bowdlerised: In the manga, Mello wears a rosary as a necklace, and he has a matching bracelet, a little cross charm on his gun, a crucifix and a small Marian shrine, and occasionally cross motifs on his clothes. note  In the anime, all of Mello's crosses are edited away, and the crucifix and Marian shrine he has in his living space are never seen. Special mention goes to the rosary, where the crucifix is turned into a nondescript red stick charm.
    • Also, in the manga, he tends to lick his chocolate bars quite suggestively before actually biting into them. While he still eats chocolate bars in the anime, he doesn't lick them beforehand, especially not in that fashion.
  • Byronic Hero: He's handsome, passionate, ruthless and VERY rebellious.
  • Cain and Abel: Both him and Near were the successors of L. Mello is the Cain to Near's Abel.
  • Celibate Hero: Assuming Mello isn't gay or asexual, he doesn't seem very interested in getting with the opposite sex. He was the only one of the Mafia leaders not seen cuddling up with a girl, and he ignored Lidner's coquetry.
  • The Chessmaster: Especially in his first couple of episodes.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: According to most Fanon, he's Catholic, though it's never confirmed in-series whether he has the rosary and other Catholic paraphernalia for religious reasons or simply because he thinks it looks cool.
  • Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder: Word of God says he plays this role to Matt, although it's probable that the reverse is also true.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Which arguably accounts for his effectiveness. Light seems to have trouble dealing with someone who refuses to play by the rules. Near, too- whilst knowing him well enough to keep track of him- does not anticipate his kidnap of Kiyomi Takada or the subsequent fiery end of both.
  • Creepy Cool Crosses: In the manga. In the anime it's changed into a... red stick thing.
    • In addition to the rosary and bracelet, and the cross motifs on his clothing, he also has a crucifix on the wall in his personal quarters. (As well as a small Catholic shrine on his mantle.)
  • Creepy Doll: Appears as a ventriloquist's dummy in the live-action drama. It remains to be seen whether the dummy is merely a representation of Mello, or is Mello, or both, or neither...but either way it's creepy.
  • Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster: Enlists the help of The Mafia in his quest to catch Kira...and becomes either its leader or second-in-command.
  • Death by Disfigurement: Not long after acquiring a large burn scar, he is sent on a Suicide Mission and killed by Kira.
  • Death by Pragmatism: He's the only one of Kira's opponents that doesn't "play by the rules" of Kira's game. Despite being smart not to do so, he still ends up killed by Takada anyway, not realizing that she had a piece of Death Note with her.
  • Decapitation Presentation: At the tender age of 15, he presented Rod with the head of one of his biggest rivals. He also keeps skulls in his living space (and shows one of them off on a manga cover), though it's unknown if they are the heads of Mafia rivals he is keeping as trophies, or if they're fake and purely decorative.
  • Defective Detective: Mello is a very capable detective. He just happens to have a lot of personal issues, is all.
  • Demoted to Extra: In the Relight movies.
  • Determinator: Does not give up easily, and works very hard.
  • Deuteragonist: After L's death, Mello and Near become the opposing deuteragonists to Light.
  • The Don: Rod Ross is the head of The Mafia, but he answers to Mello.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Eats chocolate with Sidoh, a Shinigami.
  • Dies Wide Open: Dies of a heart attack at the wheel of a truck, landing on the steering wheel with his eyes open.
  • Driven by Envy: Wants to catch Kira, not so much to be L's successor (and in fact technically gives up that role), but to be able to say he outdid Near for once.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: He's often mistaken as a very flat-chested girl when readers or viewers see him first.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: After finding out that Matt got killed.
  • Erotic Eating: Whenever he eats his chocolate.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He definitely cares about Matt, and expresses genuine sorrow when Matt is killed.
  • Evil Brit: Was raised in Winchester.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Near. Or is it the other way around?
  • Evil Sounds Deep: In the anime, probably in an attempt to avert the Viewer Gender Confusion that ensued when the manga was released
  • Evil Virtues: Mello is intelligent, passionate, and works hard for everything.
  • Eyes Are Unbreakable: Although badly burnt on the entire left side of his face in an explosion, his left eye is apparently just fine.
  • Fur and Loathing: He wears fur-lined jackets and his villain lair is decorated in zebra / tiger-stripe prints.
  • Gayngster: Possibly. See "Ambiguously Gay."
  • Genius Sweet Tooth: Pretty much lives on chocolate, much like L and his cakes and candies. (And, like L, manages to stay thin in spite of his diet.)
  • Good Is Not Nice: Arguably
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Gets a large facial scar from an explosion he caused.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Pretty much only wears leather.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Almost always portrayed this way with Matt by fandom—though the heterosexual part is usually debatable at best.
  • Hollywood Healing: Manages to recover from a third-degree burn in a matter of days, and goes across the country to demand his photo from Near like nothing happened. In Real Life, a burn like Mello's would take months to sufficiently recover from.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Holds Sayu hostage, in order to get his hands on the notebook.
  • Hot-Blooded: Prone to emotional outbursts.
  • I Have Your Wife: A daughter variant. Says this pretty much word-for-word to Soichiro, in a bid to get the notebook.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: In the anime.
  • Idiot Ball: Ohba says he needed to carry it or otherwise he'd be too effective, and would have ended up solving the Kira case. He believed Soichiro when he said Matsuda was the Second L despite Matsuda not being anywhere near intelligent enough, and when he made Takada strip to remove any weapons, phones, or tracking devices, he let Takada keep her underwear and cover herself with a blanket. Making Takada strip was a smart move, but only if she stripped all the way, so Mello brought about his own death at her hands. Not to mention that Mello also removed his helmet in her presence.
    • Also, How to Read: 13 reveals that the reason his hideout was found was because he left boxes of fancy imported chocolate lying around.
  • Ignore The Fanservice: In response to Halle Lidner showering in front of him and offering him a place to stay in a seductive manner, he instead points a gun at her, demanding her to bring him to SPK headquarters.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: The only friend he seems to have prior to leaving Wammy's is Matt. Even while at Wammy's, he's shown by himself a lot, though this may be because Matt was an afterthought on the part of the creator.
  • Knight of Cerebus: An antiheroic example, along with Near.
  • Large Ham: Oh, yes. Especially in the English dub!
  • Laser-Guided Tykebomb: Was being trained as this.
  • Lean and Mean: Even though he's always eating chocolate, he manages to stay thin (though not to the point where he looks sickly, unlike L).
  • Leatherman: A much younger and more Bishounen example than the standard
  • Limited Wardrobe: Averted; he does have some costume changes, though they are often subtle.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Blows up his own hideout when cornered
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy
  • Mad Eye: Does this during his encounter with Sidoh.
  • The Mafia: Mello leads one, having brought in the head of a mob boss at fifteen.
  • Man on Fire: Takada's involuntary suicide forces her to burn herself, and everything around her, including Mello's corpse.
  • Motor Mouth: In his narration of Another Note, he's a bit long-winded at times. (In the series proper, he's not exactly quiet, but not a chatterbox either.)
  • Morality Pet: Matt. He's the only person whose death Mello expresses regret over. Also, to an extent, Soichiro Yagami. He didn't intend to kill him, but justifies it due to his alliance with Kira in using a Death Note against him.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: His last move is to kidnap Takada, before he was killed.
  • Narrator: In Another Note.
  • Nominal Hero: For his arc.
  • Noodle Incident: Back at Wammy's, he got to meet L in person once. L tells him 3 stories: The LABB Murder Case (which Mello does share in Another Note), the story of how L bested Eraldo Coil and Denevue in another Noodle Incident, the Great Detective Wars, and how L arrived at Wammy's. Mello chooses not to share how he met L, or how and why L came to tell him these stories, though he calls it his most valuable memory. (Nor does he share the Detective Wars story or the story of how L arrived at Wammy's.)
    • How he met and became friends with Matt
    • The aforementioned incident where Mello took down one of Rod's rivals and presented Rod with the head of said rival as proof.
    • How he lost his family and arrived at Wammy's house.
    • How he came to the US with little more than the clothes on his back.
    • Heck, Mello's entire existence seems to be either one big Noodle Incident or a string of them!
  • Not So Different: His methods more closely resemble Kira's than L's. Also in Another Note, Mello seems to find B to be sympathetic.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When he puts down the chocolate bar, it's a sign that he knows that he and Matt likely won't survive the mission they've been sent on.
  • Only Friend: The only person he has anything even close to a functional, normal, and healthy relationship with is Matt, and it would seem that the reverse is also true.
  • Parental Abandonment: Somehow lost his parents and ended up at Wammy's House.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: When he briefly gets control of one of the notebooks.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: He cites that he "doesn't underestimate revenge as a motive" as a reason that killing Chief Yagami would cause him more trouble than would be worth. Later on, Mello justifies his killing of Yagami because Yagami was prepared to use the Death Note against him.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Mocked in Death Note The Abridged Series Team Dattebayo. "Quit talking like that! You're from an orphanage in England for Christ's sake!"
    • Note that he loses this speech pattern after the explosion. It's possible that he affected it to blend with the mafia, and, after the explosion, reverted to his regular way of speech because there was no need to maintain the act.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Has some shades of types B and C.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Particularly before the explosion, or when dealing with Near.
  • Punch Clock Hero: Does want to bring Kira to justice, but more for the sake of besting Near than actually for justice's sake.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Wears lipstick in some of the colorized manga and nail polish, as well as form-fitting, midriff-baring leather clothes, and fur-and-feather-lined coats. Also, he eats chocolate, a food more commonly associated with women.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Near's blue. While Mello is a genius like Near is, Mello's more emotional and impulsive.
  • The Resenter: Is jealous of Near.
  • The Rival: Mello is Near's rival, and a bit more unhinged.
  • Satellite Character: To Near, in the drama. In the anime/manga series, he has one in the form of Matt.
  • Scars Are Forever: After he blows up his base.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Does this in his first appearance, leaving Wammy's House at the age of 14.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Believes this
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: Compare his clothes to Near's. Interestingly, after the explosion, Mello starts covering up a bit more...and also being more willing to cooperate with Near.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Views himself as this, and introduces himself as "the best dressed" in Another Note.
  • Slouch of Villainy: This guy can't even drive a car sitting straight.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: In Another Note, particularly.
  • Split Personality: In the live-action drama, he is a split personality of Near, rather than a distinct entity.
  • Straight Edge Evil: If the viewer/reader considers him to be evil, that is. Unlike other members of the mafia which he leads, he never drinks, smokes, does drugs, or enjoys the company of women. Just eats chocolate.
  • Teen Genius: He is from Wammy's House, after all.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He hates to acknowledge that practically speaking, he and Near are on the same side.
  • Technical Pacifist: If his reluctance to kill Mr. Yagami is anything to go by, he may be this.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Maybe. His death ultimately engineers Light's downfall; the ambiguity lies in whether or not everything he did was intentional. However, Near's eyes not being in view while he says "Even if he didn't surpass me... Even if he didn't..." may hint at what he thinks about it.
  • Together in Death: Dies very shortly after Matt, and they both die slumped over in a similar manner.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Chocolate? Did you say chocolate?
  • Tsundere: Type A.
  • Two-Faced: By the base he blown up while he was still inside.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Is hardly surprised by the idea of a killer notebook, and offers a Shinigami chocolate.
  • The Unfettered: Will do whatever it takes to beat Near and capture Kira.
  • Unknown Rival: Near actually isn't that interested in beating him and expresses no problems with working with him. Light's lucky that Mello isn't quite as open-minded.
  • Unorthodox Holstering: He carries a gun in the front of his pants.
  • Unreliable Narrator: He tells the story of Another Note.Because the clinical style of narration he started with bores him. Unreliable because he's very biased in favor of his idol, L, and states openly that he sympathizes with B. Also because he's telling a story that he's heard from L, who heard the details from Naomi, and is filling in a lot of blanks he couldn't possibly know.
  • Walking Spoiler: It's hard to talk about L's successors without giving away the fact that L himself dies.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: There are hints of this in the way he sympathizes with Beyond when telling Another Note.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Does this to everyone directly involved in the notebook exchange as well as his mole in the SPK. He had explosives planted in the Mafia headquarters for quite some time before the raid planned by Kira, which suggests he would eventually do the same with his Mafia allies after solving the Kira case.
  • Young and In Charge: Heads a Mafia crime syndicate while not yet out of his teens.

    Near/Nate River 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/death_note___37___large_25_3809.jpg
Voiced by: Noriko Hidaka (JP), Cathy Weseluck (EN), Masumi Mitsuda (Spain), Bruno Coronel (Latin America)

A detective presented as very similar to L. Characterized by the contrast of his mature conversation with his childlike playing with toys, he runs the SPK, a force from the USA specially designed to unmask Kira. He suspects Light to be Kira and periodically makes life difficult for him both unwittingly and wittingly- the former by reminding Light of L through the style of his speech and analytical skills and the latter by sowing seeds of doubt amongst the Task Force to make some of them suspect Light as well. He soon comes to suspect Mikami and Takada to have something to do with Kira as well.

  • Ambiguous Disorder: In a different but similar way to L (just as the character is different but similar to L generally).
  • Ambiguous Gender: In the drama. Although referred to as male in some promotional material, is never given a gender in the show itself. Near is referred to as "they," though it's probably an indication of a Split Personality rather than a nonbinary gender.
  • Author Filibuster: His Shut Up, Hannibal! summation of Light is meant to be a reflection of writer Ohba's personal beliefs.
  • Badass Adorable: He's a lot more traditionally cute than L and just as cunning.
  • Bat Deduction: In the anime, Near's eyes turn white and he has the clues he needs. The manga avoids this, but does show his photographic memory and ability to watch and listen to a room full of TV sets showing as many different news items and taking them all in at once.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Theorized by Matsuda. At the end, he uses the Death Notes to find out which is the real and fake ones that he can trick Mikami into taking.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Near loves playing with toys just as much as L loves sweets. He stacks dice and matchsticks just as L stacks milk-pots and sugar-cubes.
  • Cain and Abel: Both him and Mello were the successors of L. Near is the Abel to Mello's Cain.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Looks like the c: emoticon, transposed onto a human being.
  • The Chessmaster: Just as good as L and can go toe-to-toe with Light and Mello.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Though he rejects offhand the idea of "just shooting him" as dishonorable, he's still a cheater and Ohba suggests that that's why he survives. It is still argued on whether or not he used the notebook to control Mikami in the final confrontation.
  • Creepy Child: Played with. Near is 13 when he's first introduced and 17-18 by the end of the story, but he gives off Creepy Child vibes all the same.
  • Creepy Monotone: In the anime, certainly.
  • Crosscast Role: In the TV drama, he's portrayed by actress Mio Yuki.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: The Alternate Continuity film L: change the WorLd gives Near a very sympathetic Backstory- Near is an orphan from Thailand who watched his hometown get destroyed.
  • Defective Detective: He has the minimal possible rank in the "Ability to Live Everyday life" part of his stats in "How to Read", in the slot that indicates a character's special talent or significant weakness.
  • Deuteragonist: After L's death, Mello and Near become the opposing deuteragonists to Light.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: As with L, he doesn't wear shoes, though he at least puts socks on his feet (except for a couple of scenes in the manga).
  • Everyone Has Standards: Toward the end, he points out that he doesn't believe in an absolute code of right and wrong, but doesn't like Kira killing people in the name of justice.
  • Extreme Doormat: Even moreso than L. He doesn't hunt Kira out of any moral obligation but just because it's what he's been trained to do- although his final showdown with Light might imply a personal touch considering he wears the L mask and makes it a point in how important Mello's contribution was with his miniature doll.
  • Genius Sweet Tooth: In the epilogue of the manga at least, in which he's seen eating a chocolate bar. It's thought he's doing it in memory of Mello.
    • Also, in the drama, he is fond of Watari's cakes, much in the same way L is in the anime/manga.
  • Guile Hero: Outwits Kira.
  • Heroic Albino: Well, for a certain definition of "heroic", anyway.
  • Hidden Depths: The How to Read volume suggests that he cut his ties with the outer world because he's really sensitive.
  • The Immune: In the Alternate Continuity film L: change the WorLd he is the only one to survive The Plague that afflicted his village.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Was a loner from the beginning
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While his partners don't always like working alongside him, they do agree with him and his plans, especially when he tells Light that he is nothing more than a serial killer.
  • Kirk Summation: He rejects Kira's ideals entirely, especially after confronting an implicated Light:
    Near: No. You're just a murderer, Light Yagami. And this notebook is the deadliest weapon in the history of mankind. If you had been a normal person and had used this notebook once out of curiosity, you would have been surprised and scared of what had happened, regretted what you had done, and never used this notebook again. To speak of extremes, I can actually understand those who would use this notebook for their personal interests and kill a couple of people, and even think that they're normal. But you yielded to the power of the notebook and the Shinigami 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.
  • Knight of Cerebus: An antiheroic example, along with Mello.
  • Laser-Guided Tykebomb: So Light, you thought you'd gotten rid of L, huh? Say hi to his successors.
  • Light Is Not Good: Though not as evil as Light himself, Near wears white pajamas, and his hair is white - white being the color of death in Japanese culture, though whether he knows this is debatable.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Has closed himself off from the world, and seriously creeps Light out.
  • Man in White: Wears white PJs and socks
  • Meaningful Name: His real name, Nate River, is supposed to symbolize how his talents flow from L like a river flows from Canada to Alaska.
  • Messy Hair: Well, messy or maybe just curly; it's a little hard to tell.
  • Mind Rape: Just look at chapters 103 and 104 of the manga.
  • Name's the Same: Shares the name "Near" with a young boy from Thailand in L Change The Wor Ld, but the two characters don't seem to be related in any way, shape, or form.
  • No Social Skills: Even more so than L, to the point where he is apparently unable to make his own travel arrangements. How To Read, the series encyclopedia, points out that this is a significant weakness, as he can only make full use of his brilliant mind when surrounded by support because his basic social and living skills are so bad.
  • Not So Different: Near's like a more vengeful version of L. He's not above stooping to Kira's level of mind games and manipulative tactics. It's also teased that Near used the notebook to defeat Kira.
  • Offered the Crown: Given the title of L's successor by Mello in a fit of sour grapes before the latter storms off.
  • Oh Crap!: His surprise to Light pulling out the last trick up his sleeve, the piece of the Note in his watch. His expression is clear in the manga, but remains absent in the anime.
  • Older Than They Look: Many assume he's ten or so by his appearance, behavior, and voice: he's 17 or 18 by the end. He looks about 15 three years after that. He's even referred to as a "boy" by the President of the United States.
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: He spent his entire appearance clothed in PJs, although in the anime this appears to have been changed to a PJ top and jeans.
  • Parental Abandonment: Like all the other Wammy's kids, he's an orphan.
  • Planning with Props: Uses his toys for this sometimes.
  • Politeness Judo: Very passive-aggressive.
  • Punch Clock Hero: More so than L.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives an epic one at the end to Light.
    • He also gives one to C-kira that drives him to suicide.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Mello's red. While he and Mello are geniuses, Near's more calm and logical.
  • Rei Ayanami Expy: He has even poorer social skills than L and white hair.
  • Sole Survivor: In the Alternate Continuity film L: change the WorLd Near is not only orphaned but is the last survivor of his village. Also in canon he is the only Wammy’s Kid to challenge Kira and survive.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: "What this proves is... Light Yagami is a lady-killer."
  • Split Personality: Appears to have one in the live action series.
  • The Spock: Operates almost completely on logic, and is a brilliant strategist.
  • The Stoic: Rarely, if ever, shows any emotion.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: As with L before him, he is shown to be thinking exactly the same thing as Light when planning out his strategy for defeating his opponent.
  • Super OCD: Is it the majority of his agents dropping dead all around him from the Death Note or his tower of dice falling over that he is most saddened by in chapter 66? You decide.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Quoting from the folks at IGN, "Near is the darker, colder, angrier version of L. L represented justice and Near represents vengeance."
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In L: change the WorLd.
  • Übermensch: As he put it, after Light responds to his withering complaint towards his personal character:
    "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 in front of me, I would think it through and decide if it was right and wrong myself. I'm no different to you. I believe in what I think is right, and believe that to be righteous. You are no god. And I find the whole idea of you setting the path for all the people to follow is neither peaceful nor righteous. And anybody who claims to be a god and kills people from left to right is neither peaceful nor righteous."
  • The Un-Smile: Sometimes he gives an extremely unnatural smile like looks like a living version of the "c:" emoticon, in a great contrast to L's When He Smiles moments.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: At first, he's almost as bad as Mello, but in the bonus chapter (post-epilogue), he's a little bit more reasonable.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: As "N"
  • Walking Spoiler: It's hard to talk about L's successors without giving away the fact that L himself dies.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Quite literally.
    • He gets a full list of his toys in the 'How To Read' book, complete with their price and how difficult they were to obtain.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Near is a white-haired Guile Hero whose classification as a hero is strictly based on the fact that he works against the villain. Although his actions are only slightly worse than his predecessor, he's way more of a Jerkass about it... mostly because he really doesn't care.
  • Worthy Opponent: While at first he viewed Light as nothing more than a crazy mass-murderer, by the time of the epilogue he has come to view Kira in a better light, refusing to consider C-Kira as an equal to the original Kira.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Near has natural white hair.
  • Young and In Charge: Is still in his teens (and looks much younger) and heads the SPK, which consists of several experienced FBI agents.
  • Young Conqueror: Defeats Light at the age of 18.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/DeathNoteMainCharacters