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Characters: Death Note Main Characters

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    Light Yagami/Kira 

Light Yagami/Kira

Voiced by: Mamoru Miyano (JP), Brad Swaile (EN)

The protagonist of the series, but not the hero.

Light is a genius student who has one major flaw... namely, one hell of a God complex. He has a hatred of the criminal element of the world, but for most of his life took a "what can you do" approach. Then, he finds the Death Note dropped by the Shinigami (Death God) Ryuk and his world is turned upside down. He begins using the notebook to kill criminals, believing that in doing so, he could scare the world into becoming more law-abiding.

He finds an equal and opponent in L, the elusive international detective hired to find and prove the identity of the mysterious string of murders.
Tropes associated with Light:
  • Adaptational Villainy: He becomes more evil more quickly in the films than in the anime or manga.
  • Adult Fear: In "The Last Name", he seemed genuinely concerned about Sayu provoking the second Kira.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: The ending of the anime when he is defeated in the end.
    • Certainly just after Matsuda shoots him. The way he calls out to Takada and Misa, asking what he should do now that he's lost and going to die, is pretty heartwrenching.
    • Also in the manga. He lays bloody on the ground, all allies having died or abandoned him, knowing that his death is coming. As his heart gives out, Light repeats over and over how he doesn't want to die, like a helpless child. Pitiable for some.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: After being shot, Light asks Ryuuk to write the names of his last enemies into his Death Note. Instead, Ryuuk writes Light's own name into the book and shows it to him.
  • Allergic to Routine: Now if Light could have found some other intellectually engaging hobby the entire plot probably would not have happened.
  • Aloof Big Brother: To Sayu.
  • Alternate Character Reading: Light's name is very unusual (as in what were his parents smoking [1]) and this is Lampshaded by several characters. It is read as Light but spelled with the kanji Tsuki or moon making it a Meaningful Name since the kanji has four strokes and Light Is Not Good. Also a bilingual pun on "moon light". Light or Raito is also a bilingual pun on Right or Righteous and Write as in writing.
  • Amateur Sleuth: Before picking up the Death Note.
  • Amnesiacs Are Innocent: A deliberately Invoked Trope during Light's Memory Gambit. Yotsuba!Light is warm, open, kind and a Nice Guy because he doesn't remember he is Kira.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Light is a mass murderer, and his father Soichiro is the police chief trying to stop him. However, Soichiro wants to believe his son is innocent.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: Despite the Psychotic Smirk after having L killed, there are several hints suggesting that he misses him afterwards.
  • Anti-Hero: A Pay Evil unto Evil type until he dives over the edge and becomes a straight up Villain Protagonist.
  • Anti-Villain: A Well-Intentioned Extremist. Again until he jumps off the slippery slope.
  • Appropriated Appellation: "Kira", the Engrish pronunciation of "killer," also means "sparkling," "shining," or "glitter" in Japanese. Additionally, Kira is also a Russian name by origin and is the feminine version of Cyrus. Cyrus comes from the Greek Κυρος (Kyros) which is the Greek version of the Persian name Kürush which may mean "far sighted" or "young" — this, in and of itself, may refer to Light's grand, far-reaching dreams and his own youth and inexperience. Where it gets more interesting, however is that the name is also sometimes associated with the Greek κυριος (kyrios), meaning "lord." Indeed, the Greek word Kyrios means "lord, Lord, and Master" and in religious usage designates God, appearing 740 times in the New Testament referring to Jesus. Consider, though, that one of the songs in the Death Note soundtrack is titled "Kyrie" which is a transliteration of Greek κύριε (kyrie) and a vocative case of κύριος (kyrios). An interesting connection, even if it wasn't done intentionally.
  • Awesome McCool Name: "Light" is written with the kanji for "moon" and "Yagami" is written with the kanji for "night" and "god".
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: This is his forte; quite a lot of his scenes involve a running inner dialogue where the audience hears him analyzing the scene around him, taking stock of his circumstances and options, and planning his next move. And of course after his genius plans come to fruition, he has to go over them in detail so that the audience has a chance to figure out what exactly just happened.
  • Ax-Crazy: And very much so. In the very first episode, he locks himself into his darkened bedroom, pulls out his Death Note, opens it up to reveal all the pages and pages of names of the people he's killed, smiles down at it, and then breaks out into creepy, creepy laughter.
    • He hides it very well in public, though.
  • Badass: Light has an undeniable aura of audacity and sophistication about him.
  • Bad Boss: Light rules his circle of supporters, namely Misa, Ryuk, Takada, and Mikami, with an iron fist. And although he's always polite, accommodating, and courteous to the Japanese Anti-Kira Taskforce, there's really no other way to take plotting their deaths. However... in retrospect, Ryuk was free to do whatever the hell he pleased... and that includes penciling in Light's own name into the Death Note.
    • Justified in that Light is extremely security-conscious, and his success rests largely on the people in his command, both as Kira and the second L, not screwing up. Due to this, he kills or tries to kill almost everyone who helps him throughout the series.
  • Bad Dreams: During his first week of judgments in the manga; he also has a psychotic Nightmare Sequence in Relight 2.
  • Bastardly Speech: Gives one after L's death.
    • Following his father's death, when Matsuda is questioning whether capturing Kira is right or wrong, Light says that history will favor the victor; Kira will be seen as a criminal if he's caught, and will be seen as justice if he prevails. While this is meant to come across as a suggestion that the investigation team will be vindicated if they are successful, it also represents Light's belief that the world will soon come to accept him.
  • Batman Gambit: He's a master at manipulation. His entire period of amnesia and what followed is a clear example.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: compare Light with the notebook and Light without the notebook: Without the notebook-an honorable, highly empathic, idealistic teen who believes in the inherent goodness of man. With the notebook-a manipulative, vindictive, lying, murderer with a God complex who believes Murder Is the Best Solution.
  • Berserk Button: Don't suggest what Kira is doing is wrong...
  • Big Bad: As the main Villain Protagonist and, later, Shadow Dictator.
  • Big Bad Friend: Although he kept up the act of being a friend, or at least a decent co-worker, to L, Matsuda, and the rest of the taskforce, he is the mass murderer they've all been searching for. And although he would rather not kill off the taskforce, preferring instead to manipulate and deceive them, he will not hesitate to get rid of them if he feels that he needs to.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Initially, (in fact, in the manga, this is part of his initial justification for using the Death Note) but ends up being one of the many things forgotten by the Dark Side. Poor, poor Sayu.
  • Big Man on Campus: Word of God says he is very popular and has lots of friends. This is shown more in the manga than in the anime.
  • Big Sleep: In the anime, at least. When he was killed by Ryuk in front of the police in the manga, he Dies Wide Open.
  • Bishōnen: Very much so. Though his features do coarsen a bit as the series progresses as he becomes older and nastier.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In the 1st live-action movie, he was reading this German book.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He acts polite, understanding, and caring towards the people around him, but in reality he's a Manipulative Bastard with a God complex. And boy, when that facade drops, can he get nasty.
  • Black and White Insanity: Falls into this more and more as the series progresses. Justified: People matching the diagnostic criteria for narcissistic personality disorder use black and white thinking, called splitting, as a central defense mechanism; they separate mental concepts into good versus evil, say, as an attempt to stabilize the sense of self in order to preserve self-esteem. Throughout the series Light certainly does show clear indications of perceiving himself as purely upright or admirable and others who do not conform to his will or values as purely wicked or contemptible.
  • Bloodbath Villain Origin: He begins his first week as Kira by killing so many people that Ryuk, a god of death, is surprised.
  • A Boy And His Shinigami
  • Brainy Brunette
  • Break the Haughty: This happens a bit every time he gets Out-Gambitted by his opponents, although he's fairly good at bouncing back. And, of course, his death counts as a truly epic example.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: In the first volume of the manga it seems people think he's this-Light's teacher throws chalk in his face for spacing out in class. Justified in that he's worried that he just killed someone. Also normal high school subjects probably aren't that interesting to a super-genius who already knows the subject material.
  • Broken Ace: There are hints in the series that Light wasn't entirely stable even before finding the Death Note; being so effortlessly perfect while surrounded by a world that he considered "rotten" while having little ability to fix it left him bored and seemingly depressed. And of course, as the series progresses he uses his near-inhuman charm to cover up his true nature.
  • Broken Messiah: Invoked word for word in the first opening credits ("Doushite? Boku wa kowareta meshia?"). Word of God suggests that Light was the first victim of the Death Note-he was very nice and very pure before realizing the notebook was real-then it was only a matter of how fast and how far he would fall.
  • Brown Eyes: His character inverts the symbolism; stable, trustworthy, and normal Light is not.
  • Brutal Honesty: Although it's a contrast to his usual approach to those around him, Light uses this tactic with Misa, most notably when he is just getting to know her and is sounding her out for motivation, understanding of the situation, and so forth.
  • The Butcher: His kill-count earns him the name "Kira."
  • Byronic Hero: A villainous one. Physically attractive, cunning and intelligent, arrogant with a major God complex, prone to quiet brooding when things don't go his way, very passionate about his ideals, and absolutely convinced that what he is doing is right.
    • He could also be a deconstruction of one: While people in and out of the series think he's misunderstood, he is genuinely evil and dangerous. Of course the "misunderstood" conception changes at the end, at least in-universe.
  • The Caligula: Kira makes for a dangerously insane ruler. The God of the New World does not like it when people question the way he does things. Dissenters are likely to find their names in a certain little black book.
  • Calling Card: "L do you know..."
  • Can't Take Criticism: suggesting what Kira is doing is wrong is a very good way to end up dead. He also walks out on a family meeting where his father is calling Kira nothing but a murderer and later he looks visibly upset when the taskforce begins to (rightly) doubt his innocence again.
  • Catch Phrase: Say it with me everybody...
  • Celibate Villain: Zigzagged: In the manga he dates as many as four women at a time to deflect suspicion, and has romantic trysts with Takada after becoming the second L in order to manipulate her into doing his bidding. However, he doesn't really care about romance or sex, so played straight in that regard.
  • The Charmer: When all else fails he switches to this tactic of manipulation in order to get someone's name or to save himself.
  • The Chessmaster: He manipulates and uses pretty much everyone he comes into contact with.
  • Chick Magnet: Let's count all of the names that pop up in the manga: Emi and Shiho (whom he mentions to Ryuk), Yuri (Spaceland Girl) and Mayu (whom Misa cites as competition), Kiyomi Takada (who begins her role in the story as the girl who asked him out in college) and of course Misa Amane herself. Word of God says that "during college he had about five or six girlfriends."
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Light betrays, has betrayed, or plans on betraying effectively everyone who was ever close in any way to him.
  • Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive: He's done this on occasion: [2]
  • College Sweethearts: With Kiyomi.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Official color seems to be red. Also wears a lot of black and white.
  • The Conscience: Memoryless!Light is ironically this for L.
  • Consummate Liar: Even L calls him out on it.
    L: "Tell me Light, from the moment you were born, has there actually been a point in your life where you've actually told the truth?"
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment/Karmic Transformation: The first Relight special hints that after he dies, he becomes a shinigami.
  • Cool Pet: Ryuk
  • Cosmic Plaything: He found the Death Note completely at random (if Ryuk is to be believed) and is heavily hinted to have been doomed from the beginning.
  • Cradling Your Kill: His rival, L, dies in his arms in "Silence".
  • Cram School: He attends one despite being WAY too smart to need it.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Played with. When he starts acting as Kira, he riggs his desk to burst into flame if anyone tries to find the Death Note, has three different ways to tell if someone has been in his room - even before gaining the notebook - and is shown spending hours going over his past actions and future plans, as well as what's been reported in the news. He looks for mistakes and possible holes, and memorizes what has been reported, so L can't trip him up. Later, due to his raging god complex and his sense of complete superiority, he starts to view himself as invincible, and stops being so well-prepared. It doesn't end well for him.
  • Crucified Hero Shot:
    • The cover art of Volume 12 of the manga.
    • Also during the second ending theme song's animation, although if you blink you'll miss it.
  • Cry for the Devil: Light's end is just so pitiful. Especially in the anime ending ,which features a flashback to when he was just an innocent student.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Though he doesn't think of it as a curse.
  • Cute and Psycho: Horror has never been so adorable. Many people have remarked that he looks a bit like Zac Efron.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Light manages to avoid most major villain pitfalls... until the end.
  • Dark Messiah: "The Savior, the Messenger from Hell."
  • Darker and Edgier: When compared to Taro Kagami, the Kira from the pilot chapter.
    • Ye gods, Light in the live-action movies! It makes his anime counterpart seem downright cuddly in comparison.
  • Death Glare: Don't screw up his plans. Just... don't.
  • Declaration of Protection:
    • Rem forces him, under direct threat of death, to adopt this mindset towards Misa in regards to his plans during the events that lead up to the Yotsuba arc.
    • As a more genuine example, this is Light's attitude towards his little sister, Sayu. In the manga, though, he considers murdering her at one point, and lets her live only because he opts to gamble with her life—and their father's life—in order to find and kill Mello and get the second Death Note back.
  • Deep Cover Agent: He acts as his own Manchurian Agent.
  • Desk Jockey: We rarely see him leave his desk during either the Yotsuba arc or the second arc, his "investigation" with Kiyomi Takada aside. He inherits this from L.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: In the first episode, but then he finds one.
    • After L's death in the anime, he seems to be quite listless and empty, Evil Gloating aside; he only really perks up when Mello and Near come onto the playing field.
  • Determinator: "Childish and hates to lose."
    • Light as Kira is (from his perspective) on a holy crusade against Evil. He's never going to quit his mission for the sake of his friends, family, or "true love." Sorry Misa and sorry fangirls.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: For the audience, and, later, Aizawa, Mogi and Ide.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?/Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Light manipulates Rem into killing L and Watari in order to save Misa. Because this deliberately lengthened Misa's life - a big no-no for Gods of Death - it ensures that Rem will die as well.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • He sentences a purse-snatcher to death.
    • He plans to eventually start killing people for laziness.
    • The utterly heinous crime of getting in his way.
  • Dissonant Serenity: He can remain perfectly calm and go about his daily routine while knowing full well that people are dying by his hand. The anime even shows a sequence, early on, that places scenes of criminals dying, sometimes violently, in-between scenes of Light walking to school, playing a game at gym, and opening a bag of chips at lunch.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: He and Misa set several of these up throughout the course of the series, sometimes on national TV, sometimes on private laptops.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Getting away with murder has never looked so cool.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Light refuses to accept a handgun for self-defense in the middle of a car chase. He has some less than pleasant experiences with guns throughout the series.
  • Domestic Abuser: Light takes his anger out on, controls, demeans, deceives, and ultimately plans to kill Misa.
  • Don't Tell Papa: "You told my father that I'm a suspect?!"
  • Doom Magnet: Complete with Lampshade Hanging.
  • Doomed Protagonist: Kind of a given when you've picked up an Artifact of Death; there's also more Foreshadowing when Ryuk informs Light that humans who come into contact with Shinigami have nothing but misfortune. Light assures him "I'll show you the break in that pattern.". The "How To Read" caption on that picture says that "Light suffered a pathetic end. This line reveals his arrogance."
  • Double Consciousness/Secret Identity Identity: "Don't panic. I have to act like Soichiro Yagami's son Light would act." Also made obvious with the fracturing image symbolism in the second opening credits. Also Lampshaded by L when he asks Light how, as a detective, he would go about trapping Kira:
    L: Absolutely amazing. The thing is I've asked countless investigators that same question and it took them minutes to even come up with an answer. But you, Light. You immediately thought of a scenario where Kira was talking directly to the investigators. I'm impressed. You'll make a fine detective someday.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Seen in episode 1 before finding his "purpose." Also in episode 26 when trying to adjust to a world without L in it.
  • The Dutiful Son: Light is this for his parents. Subverted when he uses his father in an attempt to kill Mello.
  • Dying Alone: Although in the anime, there is an appearance from what appears to be L's ghost. This may or may not be a Dying Dream.
  • Dying as Yourself: Possibly at the end.
  • Dynamic Character: He changes so much over the course of the series you almost have to have the Characterization Tags: pre-note!Light, early-note!Light, cackling-villainy!Light, Tennis-with-L!Light, Yotsuba!Light, post-L!Light, rapidly-losing-grip-on-remaining-sanity!Light, Shinigami!Light, etc.
  • Engineered Heroism: Well, he's perfectly happy soaking up lots of praise from the Taskforce for working to stop Kira... while being Kira.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: When the taskforce begins to turn against him in Season 2, it's clear he sees it as a betrayal. Also the end of the series, "Matsuda, I thought you understood!" The manga finishes it up with Mikami screaming "YOU'RE NOT GOD!!"
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He genuinely cares about his family (not that that would ever stop him from going through with his plans.) Word of God says that, although "he's likely not capable of loving a woman," he does "possess love for his family and for humanity as a whole." Averted in the second live-action film, wherein he writes Soichiro's name in the Death Note, shocking even Misa to the point of tears. And just when we thought it couldn't get worse, it did: he dies in Soichiro's arms (who, by the way, survives here), begging him to believe that he acted as Kira to put justice, which Soichiro had taught him about since childhood, into effect. However, despite what he does in the live-action films, he was horrified to see his sister risk her life against the second Kira. In the original manga at least, the author does note that "Light would never kill his own father so [the author] worked hard to make the death an accident."
  • Even Evil Has Standards: 1) He is initially dismayed when Mikami's killing spree extends even to relatively innocent people guilty of such minor acts as being lazy, but later thinks to himself only that it's "too early to be making statements like that," suggesting he may agree. Explicit in the manga when he actually toys with this very idea early on in the story. 2) Light set up matters in the second arc so that he couldn't kill his little sister without incriminating himself. Though that's after he considers actually doing it. 3) In the anime, Light looks quite irritated when a second Kira appears and uses his name to kill innocent newscasters and police officers for "no good reason." 4) Light looks quite shocked when Misa offers to kill her friend who helped her distribute the Kira tapes. 5) It's also possible that he felt pain when his father died and Word of God says Light would never intentionally kill his own father. 6) In general Light is disgusted by any crime (unless of course he's the one doing it; in which case it's perfectly justified.)
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Two examples:
    • When Soichiro tries to arrest Mello rather than using the Death Note on him as Light expected, Light is unable to comprehend why.
    • After Mello kidnaps Takada and is killed in subsequent events. Light, whose first loyalty is to his own survival, cannot conceive that someone like Mello would sacrifice himself for any reason and walks right into the trap convinced that Mello was just an idiot. Although not exactly hero and villain, this is clearly a case of selfishness cannot comprehend loyalty. It's worth noting that with other characters that are more clearly good guys, Light tends to have better success predicting their behavior - Near is an example - but, perhaps because Mello demonstrates a kindred disregard for human life early on, Light simply assumes that the other is driven by greed rather than revenge.
  • Evil Counterpart: To L.
  • Evil Gloating: He just can't resist it.
  • Evil Is Not Well Lit: His bedroom always seems to be dark, save for the light from his computer and television; as you can imagine, he has several eerie Face Framed in Shadow moments.
  • Evil Laugh: He's got some evil chuckles spread out throughout the series and the one in the Grand Finale is legendary.
    • Not to mention the one he comes out with after L pwns him for the second time, at his university entrance ceremony.
  • Evil Overlooker: A few times, such as during the opening and closing themes, symbolically and literally overseeing his New World.
  • Evil Plan: Motive Decay changes it from the well-intentioned 'eliminate crime' to the insane 'become god of a new world'.
  • Evil Redhead: Light's hair is stylistically colored blood-red when he's feeling particularly vile, along with his eyes, but even when that's not the case, his hair is closer to auburn than brown and the reddest in the cast.
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: As part of his Memory Gambit, Light makes sure that L reads the rules of the Death Note so that his own fake rules, in the context of the other real rules, come across as legitimate.
  • Expressive Hair: Whenever he freaks out, his normally tidily combed hair becomes wild and messy.
  • The Extremist Was Right: During his Motive Rant, Light says that wars have stopped and crime has dropped 70% because of Kira. He succeeded in scaring the shit out of most of the world as an anonymous "God" and walking deterrent.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: He's pretty good-looking for an evil mastermind.
  • Fallen Hero: He was a Nice Guy and Amateur Sleuth before becoming a Serial Killer.
  • False Friend: To L, though the author says L feels the same way.
    • Also to Matsuda. Aizawa, Ide, and Mogi never seemed closer to Light than "co-worker," but Matsuda considered him a friend, probably because the two had Soichiro, who was Light's father and Matsuda's mentor, in common.
      • His relationship with Matsuda is probably closer then any of the other detectives since he believes that Matsuda is a Black Shirt who believes in Kira's justice. He was wrong. And of course, Light didn't hesitate to have Matsuda killed along with the other detectives.
  • Family Values Villain: Light doesn't approve of any crime. He is also a firm believer of that credo "respect the police and pressure them into murdering your enemies."
  • Fatal Flaw: His pride.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He plays cool, polite, friendly... as long as you're not a sinner or in his way. Then you have 40 seconds to live.
    • A particular example is when he's just written Misora's name in the Death Note. The moment she realizes that he is Kira and the Death Note takes effect, he asks her what the matter is and casually turns his phone back on, telling Naomi she can speak to his father now.
  • Fear Is the Appropriate Response: Light tends to panic when things don't go according to plan.
  • Fluffy Tamer: "You shinigami are so cute!" (Parodied in this doujinshi.)
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Sayu and Light, though subverted once Light becomes Kira.
  • Freak Out: One of the most famous in all of anime.
  • Friendless Background: Though he's very popular Light doesn't seem to be particularly close to anyone. This varies somewhat from the manga to the anime. In the manga, Light is seen casually joking while walking home with friends, while in the anime, Light is shown pointedly declining an invitation to hang out and eating lunch alone. Word of God says, though, that he had many friends, and he was able to get a large group together when going out looking for the Second Kira.
  • Gadget Watches: Light hides a piece of his Death Note inside his watch, meaning he can kill anyone at any time as long as he's not being watched carefully.
  • Gambit Roulette: A number of his plans rely more on luck and coincidence than genuine planning; so much that this trope was once called the Yagami Gambit. The most famous of his plans being, of course, is the Memory Gambit.
  • Giggling Villain: He does this a lot, especially in his inner monologues. And when he does, your guts will squirm.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Such pretty red eyes.
  • Go Karting with Bowser: He and L do this throughout the first arc.
  • A God Am I: After picking up the Death Note, Light sets out to become the God of the New World.
  • Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: Before he jumps off the deep end and when he gives up his memories and becomes truly innocent, his eyes are wide. When he is acting as Kira, contemplating and executing murder plots and plans for godhood, his eyes are noticably narrower.
  • Gut Feeling: Among other situations, if Light hadn't felt this about Naomi Misora, the story would have had a very different ending.
  • Hannibal Lecture/Motive Rant: Light delivers one after he's cornered and exposed as Kira. As noted below, Near responds with a Kirk Summation.
  • Harmful to Minors: Death Note: Keep Out of Reach of Anyone.
  • Hates Being Touched: Misa never catches on.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: It takes only one chapter for him to become a monster (i.e. killing Lind L. Taylor).
    • And he keeps on going from there. As the crusader against criminals, Light becomes the worst of them all.
  • Heel-Face Brainwashing, which he pulls on himself via supernatural notebook.
  • Heel-Face Turn: See above. It doesn't last, though.
  • Helpless Good Side: Yotsuba!Light is a Technical Pacifist who believes he's not even capable of killing and won't even accept a handgun for self-defense.
  • Hired to Hunt Yourself: Turned Up to Eleven when he becomes the new L. It's one thing to string along a group of detectives for years while pretending to chase the mass-murderer you secretly are. It's another thing to get a paycheck for it.
  • Hollywood Hacking: How he is shown getting information from various sources over the course of the series.
  • Holy Halo: On the manga cover art. Also gets Holy Backlight in the first episode when he first declares he's going to become the God of the New World.
  • Horror Struck: There's a brief but powerful image at the very beginning of the manga when Light is coming to grips with the power of the Death Note. He's shown huddled in bed, wrapped in a blanket, with this stricken look on his face.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Light being Light, he proceeds more intelligently than most.
  • I Am the Noun: "I am Justice!"
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Light clings to this belief throughout the series. See the spoiler in Motive Rant for more.
  • I've Come Too Far: He says this nearly word-for-word at one point.
  • I Have Many Names: Light Yagami, Kira (the Saviour, the Messenger from Hell, etc.), Light Asahi, "Mr. A an office worker", L (number two), God.
  • I Meant to Do That: Whenever L one-ups or humiliates him Light quickly recovers with "This is perfect. It's all according to plan." [3]
  • I'm Having Soul Pains: "Ryuuzaki, let me see it!"
  • Ignore the Fanservice: In one scene in the second arc, Light walks into a room containing both Misa Amane dressed in lacy knee-highs, a corset, and very little else, and a computer with information on it. Guess which one he immediately focuses on and which one he completely ignores?
    • In an earlier scene Misa comes into a room with the entire task force in it wearing a skimpy nightdress. Matsuda, Ide, Mogi, and Aizawa are clearly affected by it, but Light doesn't even look at her.
    • When Light first meets Misa, she is dressed in black lace, a very short skirt, and a tight black corset. His reaction? "Everything she does is ridiculous."
  • Ignored Epiphany: At the very beginning. He is completely overcome when he realizes that the Death Note does indeed work and that he's just murdered two people - dry heaving, shaking, even a hint of tears. Then he starts thinking that this is exactly the opportunity he's been waiting for. "This world is rotting, and those who are making it rot deserve to die!"
  • Improbable Age: He's only 17 at the start of the series yet manages to be an even match for the world's greatest detective.
  • Implausible Deniability: Justified. As the Real Life section notes on the trope's page, clinical psychopaths have a tendency to never admit guilt even when faced with undeniable proof of their actions.
  • Incriminating Indifference: Although he tries to avert this.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Light seems to be living his life under the assumption that he has to be perfect. Perfect student, perfect son... and then he kills two people by accident just to satisfy his curiosity and his boredom. That ruins everything. It makes him a murderer, evil. The only way to become "perfect" again is to become Justice, to become God. In his own words "If Kira is caught, then Kira is evil. If he wins and rules the world Kira is justice." He gets caught. Also as per the trope at times he comes off as desperate to prove himself - especially in his interactions with L, where he seems to get overly-excited even when he gets simple answers right. And "feeling better about themselves by putting others down"... does the whole world count?
  • The Insomniac: though he's easily overshadowed by L in this department Light often pulls all-nighters to keep his plans running smoothly.
  • Insufferable Genius
  • It Gets Easier: Early in the manga, Light is shown wrapped up in a blanket, wide-eyed and trembling, wondering if he has the guts to go through with his plan, after killing just two people. Days later, he's proudly showing off his pages of written names to Ryuk.
  • It's All About Me: Although he begins his career wanting to be the god of the "new world", he switches his emphasis to being the god of the new world to accomodate his steadily growing narcissism.
  • It's Probably Nothing: Light's reaction during the Yotsuba arc when thinking about how the ideals of the original Kira are disturbingly close to his own.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: When he gives up the notebook and his Kira memories he goes from being a complete jerk to being the nicest guy you could ever know. Then, of course, he regains his memories and goes back to being evil again. But the change is so extreme, some fans consider Light and Kira to be two different entities.
    • Some may even see the notebook as pure evil and Light as a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, seeing that it's possible that Light was taken over by Kira and is now unable to control his action. It's possible that the notebook possessed him the moment he picked it up.
  • Jerkass Dissonance: Believe it or not, he still had fans by the time the credits rolled.
    • In-universe, this is Light's relationship with Misa. He is generally cold, commanding, and stern towards her (except when he wants something), and offhandedly orders her to go to bed, to be quiet, to go back to work, etc. And despite one or two quiet "You're so mean, darling," comments, she adores him until the end.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: He genuinely cares about his family... and hopes he doesn't have to kill them.
  • Jumped at the Call: Once Light finds the Death Note, it doesn't take him long to use it to start changing the world.
  • Just a Kid: In the live action movie, it's outright stated that his dad doesn't want him working on cases yet for this reason.
  • Just as Planned: Almost everything that happens to him goes "exactly as planned".
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Killing Lind L. Taylor.
  • Karmic Death: When he dies in the final episode, "New World".
  • Kick the Morality Pet: Light and his family.
  • The Kira Becomes the Killed: See Karmic Death.
  • Knight Templar
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: He really does love his little sister, Sayu, and is quite protective of her. When L and he are profiling Kira, and L suggests that Sayu is the one who best fits the profile, Light briefly loses it.
  • Kubrick Stare: He does this quite a few times.
  • Large Ham: "I will be the god of the new world!!!"
  • Lean and Mean: The official stats list him as 5'8, 119 lbs, leading to some fan speculation that he might have some sort of eating disorder, though when compared to the stats of the other characters they're all pretty lightweight. He also mentions in passing that during his first week as Kira that he's lost 10 lbs on top of not sleeping.
    • There's a scene in the first volume of the manga, actually, where he announces that he's finished eating, and his sister says, "What, already?"
      • This is even worse when you realise the official stats are mistranslated, and Light is meant to be 5'10! The "I'm not eating with the family", though, seems as if it's underscoring that he's bolting his food to get away from them.
  • Light Is Not Good: No pun intened.
  • Limp and Livid: After getting shot by Matsuda in the finale.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: To Misa.
  • Living with the Villain: Soichiro, Sayu, and Sachiko all live with Light in the first season (which makes for some really awkward family discussions).
  • Lonely at the Top: Sure, lots of people worship him from a distance. But he either screws over or emotionally distances himself from pretty much everyone he knows.
  • Love Is a Weakness: Light believes this. In the manga when Light meets Misa who is madly infatuated with him he thinks "I can't develop feelings for her. That's how idiots get caught."
  • Magnetic Villain: His cult of personality is so strong that he gets three other people (four if we count Higuchi) to commit mass murder on his behalf. He gains Rem's loyalty as well even though she hates him ( because his motives are more pure than Higuchi's).
  • The Man Behind the Man: In manipulating both Misa and Higuchi; Mikami and Takada both count, too. He is the original Kira, functioning through a series of proxies and decoys throughout the series.
  • Mangst: He does feel emotional pain for his sister's kidnapping and his father's death. And maybe even for betraying his "good friend" L, it's just very subtle and well-hidden.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Whoo boy. Deceit and manipulation pretty much define all of Light's relationships.
  • Mask of Sanity: The Trope Codifier, no less. Light seems to be a calm, stable, ace, but in reality, possibly even before the series started, he has some serious mental problems.
  • Master Actor: According to the guidebook, his acting skills are 10/10.
  • Memory Gambit
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Mamoru Miyano is nowhere as cruel, blackhearted and cynical as Light becomes.
  • Meaningful Name: Done ironically seeing as Light is (probably) not good. Also Yagami (夜神) means "Night god" or "Dark god", so his name is "Light Dark God". But the important thing is the god part.
  • The Mentally Disturbed: If you think Light can keep his grasp on his sanity once he gets a hold of the Death Note, you haven't been watching the series nearly as close enough as you should.
  • Mirror Scare: The sinister Kira reflection at the end of Relight in the Taskforce HQ's Hall of Mirrors.
  • Mistaken for Masturbating: Light deliberately invokes this trope to conceal the fact he's killing people with a magical notebook.
  • Mole in Charge: During the Time Skip, he is in charge of the task force investigating his murder spree.
  • Moral Myopia: He applies very high standards of morality to his mother, sister, father, and absolutely no one else.
  • Moral Sociopathy: Kira's justice. He definitely has a moral code and he doesn't care who he has to kill to uphold it.
  • Mr. Fanservice: As Near points out, "Light Yagami is a lady-killer."
  • Mundane Made Awesome: He's not the title page character for this trope for nothing. The potato chip scene is an epic example of this.
    • Light and Misa share an epic hug in the anime, including views from several different angles, creepy music, and a shaft of light.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: If someone becomes a nuissance he first thinks something along the lines of "I have to kill him!"
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Night god, anyone? Also his first name is a name that real parents in Japan would never give to their child because the character for moon is written with four strokes meaning his adult life would be dominated by death.
  • Narcissist: Light grows completely divorced from humanity, and eventually percieves himself as a god, valuing other people according to their usefulness to him (like Misa, Takada, and Mikami) or his personal interest in them (like his family).
  • Necessarily Evil: Starts out this way, determined to sacrifice himself for the greater good. However, less than a week later he's squeeing over his promotion to Godhood It doesn't keep him from occasionally toying with the concept of himself as selfless and self-sacrificing, though.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: Initially.
    • He seems to think of himself that way, though.
  • Nice Guy: Not very much after he picked up the Death Note, but when his memories are wiped during the Yotsuba arc, he reverts to the way he was/would have been before picking up the Notebook.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Light has referred to Shinigami as "cute," finds all that Ryuk will tell him about Shinigami quite fascinating, makes jokes about how being a shinigami might be interesting, and his fascination with the Death Note is a little... eerie.
  • Non-Action Guy: Well, he only writes people's names in the Death Note, and has never done physical harm.
    • Non-Action Big Bad: This is his game plan. When his ego starts to balloon out too far, he forgets this was how he saved his own self time and time again. Inevitably, Light steps out into the open... and makes the worst mistakes of his life.
  • No Sense of Humor: Other than making a "joke" about wanting to trade away half of his life for shinigami wings, he lacks any sort of sense of humor.
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: "If Kira is caught, then Kira is evil. If he wins and rules the world, Kira is justice."
  • Not So Different: Frequently lampshaded. Both he and L are genius Chessmasters that hold vast power by remaining anonymous- L solves criminal cases behind his computer screen, Light judges humanity from the comfort of his bedroom. They're two sides of the same coin: Light has great ideals and no integrity. L has great integrity and no ideals.
  • Nothing Can Stop Us Now: "Looks like I win."
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: "What's that, Rem? I don't understand... could you explain to me the rules of ownership again?"
  • Obliviously Evil: He consistently views himself as a Dark Messiah Well-Intentioned Extremist whose actions are justified and necessary. As you can imagine, he's quite, quite mad.
  • Odd Name Out: Light is the only Yagami not to have a name that starts with "S" (Sochiro, Sachiko, Sayu)
  • Offered the Crown: L unexpectedly offers Light his title as the "Great Detective L" should he die. Light (who no longer remembers that he is Kira and at the moment genuinely likes L) refuses for as comrades chained together by a common destiny they would die together anyway, but then he realizes it was just another test.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Light's final slide into full-blown dementia puts him firmly in the position where he thinks it's all just fun and games to kill practically everyone on the planet.
  • Omniscient Morality License: When he kills a criminal as Kira, he's never wrong about his victim. Ever.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Both the anime and the manga introduce Light at school; he notices the Death Note fall because he's staring out the window, bored.
    • Not quite ordinary since he's The Ace at the start.
  • Out-Gambitted: By Near at the end thanks to Mikami's screw up.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Light wears a hoodie and beanie when manipulating Raye Penber, which renders him unrecognizable to both Raye and the investigators that view the surveillance cameras.
    • Though Raye never sees him until it's too late, and the chances are he doesn't recognise Light's voice because he's already under the effects of the Death Note.
    • And L does note that Kira likely examined the subway beforehand and made use of the blindspots of the cameras.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Under Kira, any crime is punishable by death.
  • The Perfectionist: Of course taken to extremes and applied to the entire world.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: He kills hundreds, if not thousands, of people.
  • Pet the Dog: He often helped Sayu with her homework, but this was partially done to throw suspicion off him.
    • His possibly genuine love for family might count. This changes later with he didn't seem to care about his father's death and thought killing his sister would put more suspicion on him. He never seemed interested in hurting his mother, however.
    • When his memory is erased and he's helping with the investigation, he notes that Kira never killed anybody who had already served their sentences, displayed genuine remorse, or had seemingly justifiable reasons for their crimes.
  • Playing with Puppets: When testing the extent to which he can control victims with the Death Note.
  • The Power of Acting: According to the guidebook, his acting skills are 10/10.
  • The Chief's Kid: The irony is that Kira is actually a detective's son.
  • Pride
  • Principles Zealot: Falls under this trope during the Yotsuba arc. The entire Kira-mission falls under this as well.
  • Properly Paranoid: After all, they ARE all out to get him.
  • Prophetic Names: Light Yagami = Light Night/Dark God.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Type C. Intelligent, sophisticated, and badass as well as childish, naive and insane.
  • Psychotic Smirk
  • Real Men Hate Sugar: When L offers to share his cake. "Er... no thanks." In the manga during the second arc Takada remarks that Light takes his coffee black but will take one sugar cube in his tea.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Light does wear a pink shirt when hanging with Matsuda in Aoyama. Also, fear the God of the New World's mad sewing skills! [4]. Light also wears a pink butterfly belt-buckle in the anime opening, as seen here [5]. Also in the manga at one point Light wears a corset in order to hide the Death Note... [6]
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: After he gains the Death Note, the anime makes a point of catching his eyes so that they have a red cast to them. This is made even more obvious when he is contemplating something particularly nasty, and the anime colors his eyes, metaphorically, bright red.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to L's blue. The anime makes this very obvious.
  • Red Right Hand: By the end of the first Relight special (everything after the funeral scene) Light seems to be sporting fangs in addition to perpetually glowing red eyes.
  • Regularly Scheduled Evil: Early in the series it is explained that Light had set aside specific time slots in which to kill criminals, in order to provide himself with a healthy balance of sleep, homework, and death.
  • Religion of Evil: His cult worships him, a ruthless mass murderer, as a god.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Light believes this during the Yotsuba arc, when he lost his memories of the Death Note and being Kira, which caused him to revert to the state he was before finding the Death Note (though we aren't given any insight into his thoughts at that point). He whole-heartedly argued that the members of the Yotsuba group other than the 3rd Kira shouldn't be prosecuted since no doubt Kira was coercing them into cooperating. In other words they aren't evil-circumstances pushed them into being evil and once the evil is removed, i.e. arrested, they will live good lives.
  • Rules Lawyer: Light uses the rules of the Death Note in ways even Ryuk had never thought of before.
    • He has a hard time coping with the Near-and-Mello situation because Near and Mello aren't particularly inclined to play by the rules.
  • Sadist: As he gets in the habit of killing, he starts to really enjoy it and often smiles and laughs as he slaughters people by the score. He also appears to get off on being a Manipulative Bastard, and can't resist the urge to gloat to his enemies that he's literally signed their death warrant, or take cruel pleasure in discarding and betraying his own allies, even girlfriends. Some of his deaths are needlessly nasty as well (eg. said girlfriend, he has her set herself on fire) and on several occasions he takes a moment to watch his victims die. And of course, like many sadists, he absolutely believes that his victims had it coming, and that he himself is blameless.
  • Samaritan Syndrome: An evil version.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Savvy Guy to Misa's Energetic Girl, and although Light's family and co-workers seem to think that there's No Accounting for Taste, a few people do comment on their unlikely relationship.
  • Sanity Slippage: He gets crazier with every passing episode barring the time he loses memory of the Death Note.
  • Scare 'Em Straight: This is essentially what he's trying to pull on the entire world. As it turns out, with a supernatural, godlike entity willing to kill you if you commit a crime, people are much less likely to commit crimes. The rate drops accordingly.
  • Scheherezade Gambit: Light knows that Ryuk is only here because he's bored and he can kill him at any time. Ryuk wants to be entertained and if he gets too bored, he'll just kill Light and go home. Light constantly reminds Ryuk how entertaining he can be. It works for six years.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Light knows that his father's position is what is protecting him from being seriously considered as a suspect by the normal police.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Yotsuba!Light is a variation on this with the twist that Kira!Light did it to himself.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Light is in denial about quite a few things:
    Ryuk: But if you did that, you'd be the only bad person left.
    Light: Huh? I have no idea what you're talking about, Ryuk.
  • Self Restraint: Light is the king of this trope. Until he makes a tiny screwup near the end.
  • Serial Killer Kira
  • Shadow Dictator: He becomes this in the second arc.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: On rare occasions, which tend to define him in the eyes of the fandom.
  • Sitting on the Roof: Light does this a couple times, symbolically overlooking his "New World."
  • Slasher Smile: Definitely. It's the last thing L sees.
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: If Light haven't went off the edge already when he kills Lind L. Taylor, then he might have when he kills the lazy people, marking the transition from a dark Anti-Hero to a fully fledged Villain Protagonist.
  • Smug Smiler: The God of the New World takes to showing an insufferably superior expression when no one but the audience is looking.
  • Social Darwinist: Killing off all of the bad elements in society is for the benefit of the non-criminal folk. In fact, it's going to create a better world, a New World.
    • Subverted in that he begins as protecting the weak by paying evil unto evil before jumping off the slippery slope.
  • The Social Expert
  • The Sociopath: Just listen to his speech to Ryuk in episode 1. Though he only becomes a sociopath due to the power he's been given through the Death Note, we later see he'd be the exact opposite without it. Even the author stated that Light's life was pretty much ruined the minute he picked up the Death Note.
  • Softspoken Sadist: Among other examples, Light's voice is chillingly calm and pleasant even when taunting Naomi Misora after revealing himself as Kira. "My father's phone is back on, didn't you want to talk to him?"
  • Spell My Name with an S: Light or Raito?
  • Start X to Stop X: He commits mass homicide to put an end to all crime.
  • Stepford Smiler: He presents himself as positive, thoughtful, and cheerful to the world, but at the beginning of the series he's so bored and empty inside that a quest for a new world and godhood seems like a great idea; and of course, as the series goes on, that smile hides an increasingly unstable and cruel personality.
  • The Stoic: Whatever else you may say about him, Light has a great poker face. This serves to give his Not So Stoic moments even more of an impact.
    • Lampshaded by L. He kills criminals without even changing his expression.
  • Straight Edge Evil: He's never shown drinking, doing drugs or smoking, unlike Misa, the mafia and Matt, respectively.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: With L, and Mikami.
    • With Misa, as well, considering their opinions on how to go about creating a New World. "To defeat evil, there must be sacrifices, right?"
    • Also with Ryuk in the first episode when they both contemplate how rotten their respective worlds are.
  • Super Intelligence: In the How To Read 13, Light is described as abnormally intelligent in the character quiz.
  • Super OCD: His room is immaculately tidy for a teenager, so don't try to steal anything- least of all killer notebooks- from it. And definitely don't catch him by surprise.
  • Take Over the World: Well, he wants to becomes its God, and that's pretty much the same thing.
  • Taking You with Me: In his first week as Kira, Light was expecting some sort of punishment for using the notebook but decided it's Worth It if he can make the world a better place by taking out as many bad guys as possible before he's killed or his soul is dragged off to Hell. Then Ryuk informs him there is no punishment, he wasn't Chosen or anything, and its all a joke. Light does not take it well — in the Manga Light has his first crazy laugh of the series after that particular revelation.
  • Talking Your Way Out: With a high success rate.
    • Near dares him to do this in the finale.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky
  • Tareme Eyes: Especially in the beginning before Art Evolution kicked in and when his memories are wiped.
  • Tautological Templar:
    Light: "Me? Evil? I am justice! Those who oppose me — they're the evil ones!"
  • Teen Genius: He's the top scoring student in all of Japan.
    • Not to mention that he manages to stay on L's level and focus on school-work.
  • Terror Hero: He sees himself as one (Type 3).
  • That's What I Would Do: He freaks out his father pretty badly when he voices this to L.
  • These Hands Have Killed: In the manga. "I-I've killed two people..."
    • In the last episode, while he's arguing his side, the camera pans up from a shot of his open hands.
  • Third Act Stupidity: Once he starts buying into his own hype.
  • Too Clever by Half: He fails in the end after being exposed by Near as Kira.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Believe it or not, he Used to Be a Sweet Kid before finding a killer notebook and it just keeps getting harsher from there as he shifts his focus away from his vision of "a perfect world" to "not getting caught." After the timeskip his idealism and standards have slipped considerably.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: When he relinquishes his Death Note memories during the Yotsuba arc. It doesn't last.
  • Totalitarian Utilitarian: He wants to create a New World where only kind, good people will live.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Potato chips.
  • Tragic Dream/Tragic Hero
  • Tranquil Fury: Kira's default mood.
  • Trapped In Villainy: unlike any of the other Kiras who all had a Shinigami pop up to explain the notebook Light was literally trapped into becoming a murderer by confirming the notebook is real. But even in the off-chance that he wanted to stop Ryuk will probably kill him if he gets too boring and Rem has also promised him death if he abandons Misa.
  • TV Genius: His cleverness at times reaches beyond the plausible. (Not as extreme as L's, though.)
  • Two Aliases, One Character: By the second arc, he's playing the role of both L and Kira.
  • Übermensch: One interpretation of his character. He certainly sets up his laws by which he lives.
  • Ugly Hero, Good-Looking Villain: Light is the handsome villain to L's ugly hero.
  • The Unchosen One: He found the Death Note purely by accident.
  • The Unfavorite: Mr. Yagami is absolutely certain that Sayu can't be Kira but isn't so certain about his son. Even though it's true it does hint at Parental Favoritism.
  • Unholy Matrimony: With Misa.
  • The Vamp: How he gets Misa and Takada to serve him.
  • Victory Is Boring: When Near and Mello appear on the scene, Light, after first being enraged and frustrated, remarks that "Things are getting interesting again!"
  • Vigilante Man
  • Villain Protagonist: To L's Hero Antagonist.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The polls by the second arc indicate that much of the world agrees with him, or views him positively.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Has a few, his end being the most notable.
  • Visionary Villain: He really believes in that new world of his.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Light and Ryuk, arguably both types 1 (i.e. laughing it off whenever Ryuk reminds him that he's a Death God and that he's going to kill him one day.) and 2 (insulting each other in equal measure).
    • Also with L during the Yotsuba arc.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: As the second L.
  • Wake Up, Go To School, Take Over The World
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: During the Yotsuba arc, with L ("I think I wanted you to be Kira").
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Light has daddy issues. His father is always out working to catch the bad guys and hardly ever sees his family. It's been speculated that this might be the ''real'' reason he hates criminals with such a passion - they stole his father away from him. Also how he walks out on the family meeting where his dad is talking about catching "that evil bastard Kira." Also it's well established that Light is the top-ranked student in the country but his father is still surprised that he can keep up with L. Later that instance of his father pretending to shoot him in the head on L's orders might have added to the dysfunction as well.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He consistently sees himself as this.
  • What Beautiful Eyes: Light has very pretty long-lashed Bishōnen eyes and the anime pays them special focus being kind of a tell in letting the audience know what he's really thinking and having them change color from brown, to goldish/amber, to red.
  • What If God Was One of Us?: It would end badly. Textbook example of The Prince, though he imagines himself as The Shepherd.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer: All his obstacles look like nails that are in need of being hammered down.
  • White Shirt of Death: He ends up having blood on his white shirt underneath his coat when Matsuda shoots him.
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises
  • Wise Beyond His Years: An older example, but he is considerably more intelligent than almost all of the Task Force.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Has been implied throughout the series.
  • Workaholic: During the first arc, Light devotes all of the time that he's not working on work for school or cram school to killing criminals as Kira; in the anime, he turns down offers to hang out with other students, something Ryuk comments on. And let's give the kid some credit: keeping up four girls at once isn't exactly easy, even if it is for a relatively brief period of time.
    • And in the second arc, when he's balancing his jobs as L and Kira, he often goes without sleep to keep his schemes running smoothly. At one point, Matsuda calls Light's ability to work endlessly "amazing."
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Mostly played straight, though he has no problem with writing women's names down.
    • In episode 14 he says "this is the first time in my entire life I've seriously wanted to hit a girl" after being glomped by Misa.
  • You Are What You Hate: Ryuk points out in the first episode when Light explains his plan to get rid of all the bad people that there will always be one bastard left.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: What he does to Raye Penber and Kiyomi Takada. Also what he would have done to Misa were it not for Rem.
  • You Just Told Me: Happens to Raye Penber and (in the manga) the President of the United States.
  • You Will Be Spared: Provided someone is useful to him and/or doesn't get in his way. i.e Misa and Mikami. Also the Taskforce for most of season 2.
  • Young and in Charge: He is 18 when he assumes L's name and control of the Japanese Taskforce after L's death, and even at twenty-three in the second season he remains both its youngest member and leader.
  • Young Conqueror: His is youthful idealism at its darkest.

    L/L Lawliet 

L Lawliet

Voiced by: Kappei Yamaguchi (JP), Alessandro Juliani (EN)

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 deathrow inmate announcing himself as "L" on a live TV broadcast filmed only in the Kanto region of Japan and deduces his age soon afterwards 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 in-take, 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.
Tropes associated with L:

    Misa Amane/2nd Kira 

Misa Amane/Kira

Voiced by: Aya Hirano (JP), Shannon Chan-Kent (EN)

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.
Tropes associated with Misa:
  • A Girl And Her Shinigami
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Her eyes are apparently naturally brown in the manga but blue in the anime.
    • Not to mention she's blonde in both manga and anime but a brunette in the movies.
    • 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.
  • ...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."
  • Anti-Villain: Type II or III, depending on how much one sympathises with her.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Blondes are Evil
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cute and Psycho
  • Cute, but Cacophonic
  • Cute Is Evil
  • 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/The Fake 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: Word of God says that 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.
  • Dumb Blonde: Then again, next to L or Light, pretty much anyone would look dumb by proxy.
  • 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.
  • 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 stripped stocking feet during Light and L's sparring match when she accidently 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 oggle 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).
    • 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.
  • Genki Girl
  • 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.
  • Hair Colors
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Subverted. Her character fits the Blondes are Evil archetype, but it can be argued that her blonde hair is supposed to give her the appearance of innocence. In reality, she's just blissfully ignoring the consequences of her actions- even halving her natural lifespan.
    • Interestingly, when we see her nearly killed and then saved by Gelus in Rem's flashback, she has black hair (considering that she's Japanese, this is probably her normal color). When she makes her appearance as the second Kira and later as The Dragon / Dark Mistress for Light, she's blonde.
  • 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.
  • Villain Protagonist Secret Service:
    Misa: (swooning) I would gladly die if it were for you, Light!
    Light: (sweat-dropping) We just met.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Towards Light.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager
  • 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.
  • 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 Word of God.
  • 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 live action movies.
    • However, this has a brilliant explanation: the police couldn't convict her without exposing the existence of the Death Note. Plus with the Note's destruction, she won't remember having ever been Kira, or having used the notebook.
  • Kawaiiko: Yes, although in most of her appearances it only serves to add to her sheer creepiness.
  • 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.
  • Lady Macbeth
  • Large Ham: She even overacts in-universe and justified: During her plot to get proof that Higuchi is acting as Kira, the audience can hear her calmly calculating just how much cuteness, charm, and energy to use in her responses.
  • Lean and Mean: She is 5' and 79 lbs. Justified, as she is a model.
  • Loony Fan: Towards Light.
  • Love at First Sight: Towards Light, again. (Light looks physically pained when she later asks him if he believes in this.)
  • Love Makes You Crazy/Love Makes You Evil: Her love for her family drove her to become sympathetic to Light's ideology when he killed the man who murdered her parents in front of her (and who looked like he was going to be acquitted of the charges). Later when she herself becomes a Serial-Killer Killer she meets and falls in love with Light, and her insanity worsens.
  • Love Martyr: She'll do anything for Light, and the tragedy of it all comes across strong and clear.
  • Luminescent Blush: While daydreaming about Light.
  • Mad Love: Her relationship with Light is not healthy.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Subverted and deconstructed; Misa Amane is a Genius Ditz Perky Goth with a mad zest for life and a Mad Love for uptight Broken Ace Light Yagami. But she truly is mentally and emotionally disturbed under her blithe façade, and unfortunately for her Light has no intention of falling in love and finds her antics both obnoxious and exasperating. He does however play along in order to use her shinigami eyes.
    Misa: LIGHT!!
    Misa glomps him.
    Light: This is the first time in my life I've wanted to hit a woman.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Though she never gets the same cred as Light, Misa is plenty manipulative on her own.
  • Meaningful Name: From How To Read, it says her name comes from Kuromisa meaning "Black Mass."
  • Monster Fangirl
  • 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: Misa has the 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
  • 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.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning
  • Samus Is a Girl: Light and the investigators assume the Second Kira to be male. L also refers to the Second Kira as a "he" (though L might have known sooner considering he is L and had access to physical evidence; he could have just decided not to reveal the gender so as not to give Light any clues.)
  • Satellite Love Interest: An interesting illustration of this trope. It's certainly possible to picture her without Light — we see her before they meet, and she's clever and dangerous. But after they meet, she'd rather die than live any kind of life without him.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Energetic Girl to Light's Savvy Guy.
  • Secret Keeper: Even while under L's Cold-Blooded Torture.
  • Selective Obliviousness: To the nth degree. There is a major disconnect between Misa's personality and her actions, and it's safe to say that the full impact of what she does is something that she simply does not understand. (The anime at least gives her one sequence of contemplation, but it's implied at best.) There is another major disconnect between how she views those around her and what their actions are; the best example would be her adoration of Light, which continues in spite of all that Light does, but her friendship with L, who had her tortured in an earlier episode, is another.
  • Self-Proclaimed Love Interest: Immediately after meeting Light, Misa declares herself to be "his girlfriend."
  • Serial Killer Kira
  • Significant Birth Date: Christmas.
  • "Silly Me" Gesture: Although not the only instance, she most notably uses one as a rather clever part of her manipulation of Higuchi.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Towards Light. She wouldn't even kiss another guy while acting.
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: She blushes over Light after she spies on him and looks him up on the internet, and it only gets worse from there. At twenty-six she's still completely infatuated with him. Enough to kill herself rather than live in a world without him.
  • Sore Loser: When she lost against Mogi in checkers, she flipped the board.
  • Spanner in the Works: For both Light and L.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: The live action films. This actually becomes an important plot point in the novelization of the spinoff film, L: change the WorLd.
    • Her survival is left ambiguous in the anime, which does not show or mention her suicide. The Japanese anime guidebook states that her deathdate is unknown.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Towards Light.
  • Stepford Smiler: She acts happy and cheerful but Beneath the Mask she is psychologically traumatized, uncaring, self-destructive, manipulative and genuinely believes that criminals should die. She has more in common with her "boyfriend" than you might think.
  • Stocking Filler: Misa's outfits always showcase her legs.
  • Strawberry Shorthand: It's something she and L have in common.
  • Street Smart: While Misa is by no means a genius like Light or L she does have very good instincts. When meeting Light for the first time she seems to instinctively know how to appeal to Light's God Complex and during the Yotsuba arc with just a little help from Rem she successfully outmaneuvered and controlled Higuchi to "solve" the Kira case.
  • Sycophantic Servant
  • 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 when she was a little girl, she would've possibly grown into the same cheerful and sweet Idol Singer she is... only without the Ax-Crazy Yandereness.
  • Villainous BSOD: Suffers this in The Last Name after Sayu calls her a murderer.
  • Villain Protagonist
  • Villain Song: "Misa no Uta", sung while she's killing people, no less.
  • 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?: In the manga, Misa has a cat, which is shown briefly curled up next to her while she looks up Light on the internet. This cat is neither seen nor mentioned again.
    • She also mentioned once that she duped a friend of hers into touching the videos she would later send out to the task force to throw them off her trail and have her friend arrested instead. She also suggested killing said friend if Light felt it necessary to tie up loose ends. One wonders if said friend was caught or not.
    • 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. It's unclear if the sister actually exists or not.
    • She herself 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. Word of God 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.
  • Woman in Black
  • 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.

    Mello/Mihael Keehl 

Mello/Mihael Keehl

Voiced by: Nozomu Sasaki (JP), David Hurwitz (EN)

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.

Tropes associated with Mello:

    Near/Nate River 

Near/Nate River

Voiced by: Noriko Hidaka (JP), Cathy Weseluck (EN)

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.

The closest thing that the one-shot comic three years later has to a main character, he drives C-Kira to suicide with words alone. It's worth noting, however, that the one-shot's canon status is debatable, as it appeared to have been produced as part of the promotional wave for "L Change the WorLd".

Tropes associated with Near:

    Characters/Death NoteDeath Note Supporting Characters

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