Equestria is growing, and magical savant Twilight Sparkle is disgusted by the crime and corruption this change has brought. Her life is changed forever when she discovers the Death Note, a notebook with inexplicable and deadly powers. She uses this book to pass judgement on those she deems unworthy of life, aiming to create a perfect world free of crime. But when the two Princesses put their best pony on the case, a mysterious detective known only as L, a psychological game of cat and mouse erupts between the two.A Death Note/My Little Pony: Friendship Is MagicFusion Fic by Nonagon. It follows the basic plot of Death Note but introduces enough twists to keep the readers on their toes.Can be read here.Compare with The Dragon's Notebook, the otherDeath Note/MLP:FIM crossover fic.
Above the Influence: Ditzy's boss Boxy Brown, who's had a crush on her for years, comes close to taking advantage of her while she's mourning Written Script, but stops himself at the last minute when he remembers Pinkie's last letter to him.
However, after L's death at the end of Season 2, Twilight dives right into this — she decides to set up Kira as a mythological figure of evil in order to scare anyone out of performing evil ever again, while also leading the "resistance" against Kira. She figures that such a position on both sides would make her a goddess.
A House Divided: Happens quite a bit due to L's methods. However, an extra layer is added on when Rainbow Dash hears the story Mer fed the Tri-Kira, and she begins to suspect that either Twilight or L might be Byuk's Kira, and she can't bring herself to fully trust either of them.
Anypony Can Die: It's not just OCs and minor characters at risk. Not even major secondary characters or members of the Mane Cast are safe.
An Offer You Can't Refuse: Mer coerces the Apples into being the Third Kira by threatening to kill Rainbow Dash. And then, just to prove she's serious, she kills Granny Smith.
And This Is for...: When Twilight learns that Fluttershy is the second Kira, she is very kinesthetic in expressing her displeasure.
Armor-Piercing Question: When Twilight sets up Sunny Days to die as part of a plot to clear her own name, Byuk asks Twilight what she did to deserve to die. Twilight's weak excuse causes her to face the fact that she's been killing innocents, as opposed to her original plan of just killing criminals, and she has a miniature breakdown before composing herself.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Straw Bolt's list of Colgate's crimes, when arresting her at the end of season 2, includes mass property damage, acts of terror, threats against Equestria, unauthorized uses of illegal magic, assault on a member of the Canterlot City Guard, unlawful imprisonment, possession of unauthorized experimental weapons, espionage, and multiple traffic violations.
Big Damn Heroes: Pinkie's search party. Averted for Dash, who keeps arriving too late.
Big "NO!": Byuk lets one rip when Twilight informs him that, due to being under surveillance from the L team, she won't be able to give him any apples for a few days.
Bizarre Alien Biology: When introducing the problem of Kira to the night court, Luna actually needs a medic to explain to everypony just what a heart attack is — it is an extremely rare condition for horses.
Black and White Insanity: Twilight has shades of this. She's willing to do morally grey things for the greater good of a crime-free Equestria, but she views herself as completely in the right, while targeting all criminals equally.
Butt Monkey: Rainbow Dash. Not only is she the only team member with no skills useful for the investigation, whenever she tries to use the strength she does have, her speed, she ends up arriving too late. It is almost a Running Gag except Played for Drama.
Cerebus Retcon: L's personality and her relationship with Bon Bon becomes this when it's revealed that Bon Bon is actually a changeling. As Twilight explains, this means that Bon Bon was feeding off of L's emotions for years, essentially hollowing her out into a meat puppet.
Conspicuous Trenchcoat: The EBI agents. Later inverted when Ray gets some fashion tips from Rarity and wears a much less conspicuous outfit — to a spy-themed costume party.
Crapsack World: After centuries of being a Sugar Bowl, Equestria is completely unprepared for the increase in crime that comes with the increased population. As the result, its justice system is ridiculously inefficient, to the point of convicted murderers getting released when a prison gets overcrowded.
Crazy-Prepared: Within days of learning that she is being followed, Twilight installs a magical warning system in case her home is bugged
Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Sun Eater's Devouring Seal, a spell designed to seal a unicorn's horn inside her skull. Not so much dangerous as horribly painful. Twilight is shocked when L uses it on her. She is even more shocked to learn that L regularly uses it on herself, to pass for an earth pony.
Pinkie Pie dies in Twilight's arms after being fatally stabbed by Rarity.
Tragically (and horrifically) inverted when Granny Smith dies while holding Apple Bloom.
Disappeared Dad: Dinky's father is in prison in Stalliongrad. This is Ditzy's motivation for trying to stop Kira before she ends up targeting him. Sadly, he's eventually picked off, with the sole consolation of dying in his sleep.
Disposable Vagrant: When she needs to sacrifice somepony to get herself an alibi, Twilight decides for Berry Punch, the town drunk. This backfires, as she turns out to be the best friend of one of the investigators.
Disproportionate Retribution: Twilight kills criminals of various caliber — her main targets are Karma Houdinis and those she considers unrepentant — so a pony with a life-long history of minor offences might also be offed. Second Kira openly kills those who speak against Kira.
Even Evil Has Standards: Played with. Twilight believes that as Necessarily Evil, she doesn't get to have standards. It doesn't stop her from flipping out when others cross the line, and even when she's tying up loose ends after her Memory Gambit, she can't bring herself to kill Apple Bloom.
Byuk is less evil and more an amoral force of nature, but he's still disgusted when Twilight engineers Rarity's and Pinkie Pie's deaths in order to weasel her way onto L's team.
Exit, Pursued by a Bear: The EBI agents are killed with a painless version of Hollywood Heart Attack — all except their boss, who gets eaten by a manticore. Apparently, Twilight didn't consider him a victim of circumstance. It is a massive Kick the Dog moment as not only was he too doing his job, he was also a big fan of Twilight.
Who'd have thought Pinkie Pie would end up as Shiori?
Rarity is very similar to Naomi Misora.
Fluttershy is basically a more merciless version of Misa Amane.
Spike is a lot like Soichiro Yagami, especially during the staged execution scene.
Rainbow Dash is a lot like Aizawa.
Byuk is basically punning off of Ryuk.
Mer is a more merciless version of the more passive Rem (appropriately, her name is spelled backwards to that of Rem's).
Sweetie Belle is a lot like Mr. Mogi and, to some extent, Sayu Yagami.
Fake-Out Make-Out: When Rainbow Dash is investigating the possibility that Applejack is Third Kira, the latter acts flirty and kisses her... in order to throw off the observing Mer and keep her from realizing that Applejack is whispering instructions to Dash to meet up and explain what's happening.
Gambit Pileup: Twilight and L's moves against each other count from the start. Then Mer goes off Twilight's script to reach her own ends. And on top of that, not only does Pinkie Pie appear to have set up a Thanatos Gambit before her death, but Celestia is strongly implied to be running her own scheme against Kira.
Gambit Roulette: With the plot even more complicated than the original manga, a basic Xanatos Gambit would be useless. Therefore, Twilight has to be smarter than Light was.
I Know Your True Name: All the investigators who aren't yet celebrities go under various aliases. Notably, Ditzy Doo gets renamed Derpy Hooves.
Infraction Distraction: When the investigators bug her room, Twilight opens her desk secret compartment and pulls out an adult novel from the inside — then procides to have A Date with Rosie Palms in front of the cameras. Nopony notices that there were other books in the compartment.
I Need a Freaking Drink: Colgate. Celestia might be developing an actual drinking problem from how her good intentions as a ruler continue to turn out.
Innocently Insensitive: L rarely notices when she hurts other ponies' feelings, and doesn't care when she does notice.
Interservice Rivalry: There's quite a bit of friction between the Royal Guard and the Canterlot City Guard (the police, basically). This isn't helped any by Straw Bolt holding a grudge against Shining Armor for having the position he wanted.
Straw Bolt also really doesn't like L or her methods.
In-Series Nickname: Twilight coins the name "Coalition of Justice" for the investigation team.
L takes to calling Third Kira "Tri-Kira" based on her suspicions that it's actually all three Apple siblings working together.
Irony: Twilight's letters to Celestia drip with it when weaved in the context of the chapters.
Jade-Colored Glasses: Spike. Since dragons' physical development is tied to their psychology, he gradually grows through the story.
Applejack starts out as a Kira supporter, enjoying the lowered crime rates. However, after Rarity's death and the Second Kira's less justifiable murders (which the public pin on the original Kira), AJ realizes how wrong she was.
Karma Houdini: Discussed between Ace and Colgate. The Kira Neutrality Movement's plan to remove Kira's motivation to kill — by being harsher on criminals — doesn't take into account a way to actually capture Kira, letting her get off scott free with mass murder. Ace finds this an acceptable loss; Colgate disagrees.
Kick the Dog: Many and varied, most of them consisting of Twilight coldly manipulating her friends.
Legacy Character: L is only the latest pony to take up the name and mantle of the great detective. This lineage goes back 1200 years.
Luna states that whoever is currently controlling the golems is not their original creator, Judas Loam.
Literal-Minded: At one point, Pinkie is asked to organize a search party. It is both a search and a party and it works splendidly.
Loads and Loads of Characters: After Twilight and Fluttershy join, L's team comes to a total of ten characters. The story also features the entire Mane Cast, both Princesses, a kidnapped filly and the team sent to rescue her, and the Take a Third Option duo of Ace and Spades.
And then there's Mer — after coercing Applejack into being the Third Kira, she spun a (as we know, totally fictional) sob story that makes her seem like the Lesser of Two Evils compared to Byuk and the original Kira. And on top of that, she says that Byuk is her corrupted brother who she's trying to defeat in order to save, thus playing on Applejack's strong sense of family to get them on her side.
Memory Gambit: Similar to but not exactly like in the original plot.
Never My Fault: Twilight admits that she's had to kill a lot of innocent ponies in order to protect her identity, but says it's all L's fault — if she wasn't hunting Twilight, Twilight could have just focused on criminals.
Not So Different: Colgate accuses Ace of being this to Kira, since his means of countering her — convincing the Princesses to be harsher on criminals — is to rule by fear, just like Kira.
Later, in one of her internal monologues, Twilight points out that by having Caramel deliver her challenge on crystalvision, L murdered him just as much as Twilight did
OOC Is Serious Business: Ditzy/Derpy's depression over Written Script's death eventually turns to anger, and she ends up nearly beating Applejack to death.
Once an Episode: All chapters begin with a rule from the Death Note and end with a letter to a princess, either Twilight writing to Celestia, Colgate's report to Luna, or after Chapter 12, a post-mortem letter from Pinkie Pie to one of her friends.
Outside-Context Villain: Thanks to the Death Note (which even she doesn't understand fully), Twilight becomes this to the entire Equestrian government.
That said, just when L starts to understand the rules of Kira's powers, along come the golems, which take both sides by surprise.
Outgambitted: Mer, oh so much. Not only does her plan to leave Twilight in Ironic Hell backfires with fatal results, it turns out that in all the contingencies Twilight had to plan for, Mer's betrayal was the only one she was reasonably sure of, so that the more likely outcome of her Xanatos Gambit was built around it.
Refuge in Audacity: At one point, Colgate loses her temper and punches out a pony in the middle of a crowded street. She comes to her senses, realising that she is a police oficer and has just assaulted a civilian... she resolves the situation by arresting her victim and leaving before anypony has a chance to react.
Revealing Coverup: At one point, Twilight gets a pony killed in front of the cameras to give herself an alibi. The problem is, she needed to mind-control the reporter to make sure the cameras get there. The reporter was supposed to die later and be overlooked by investigators... except that having her death already assigned, she is now impossible to kill ahead of schedule. This complicates matters immensly when she gets drawn back into the plot due to unforseen circumstances.
Right Hand Versus Left Hand: The fact that the Coalition of Justice works in the shadows leads to complications when Straw Bolt's more straightforward investigations get in the way, especially during the sting operation in chapter 29. More prominently is the fact that Celestia, or at least the Royal Guard, are running their own plan as well.
Running Both Sides: As per Death Note canon, after L's death, Twilight takes over the investigation into her own actions as Kira. Though in a difference from canon, Twilight manipulates Colgate into being the one who takes on L's mantle; so while not directly running both sides, she's at least in control of both.
Sealed Evil in a Can: Judas Loam, who created the golems, according to Discord. He chastises Celestia for it, saying she really should start destroying threats rather than sealing them away, as they always come back eventually.
Ship Tease: Big Macintosh seems to crush on Locket the moment they meet. And after their Not a Date, she seems to start liking him back (which is a bit of a problem for her, since she's already in a long-distance relationship).
Shout-Out: Spell Nexus is part of the Night Court and the initial investigation into the Kira murders.
Soft Glass: Averted. Not only does Dash suffer damage from crashing through a window, she is kept from flying for a day until the doctors make sure there are no shards left between her feathers.
So Happy Together: Obviously Rarity and Ray. Knowing the original story only makes it hit harder.
Spanner in the Works: Subverted. Mer goes off script in an attempt to get revenge on Twilight for Rarity's death, but it turns out Twilight had a contingency in place for this. Despite Mer's attempts, Twilight still ends up on top, and Mer ends up dead.
The Starscream: Mer, while never quite on Twilight's side, decides to outright betray her during the Memory Gambit. Turns out, Twilight was counting on it.
Thanatos Gambit: It is heavily hinted that Pinkie Pie might be running one.
Then Let Me Be Evil: Invoked by Twilight at the end of Season 2. Realizing that by this point, Kira will never be viewed as the shining beacon of justice Twilight was originally aiming for, Twilight decides to build up the image of Kira as an almost mythical epitome of evil, a monster who targets other evil-doers, in order to scare anyone out of ever breaking the law ever again.
Too Dumb to Fool: Derpy Hooves' role in the group is stating the obvious after everypony else has overlooked it.
Ace. His plans for removing Kira's motives for killing would, as Colgate puts it, essentially turn Equestria into a Police State (by Sugar Bowl standards, anyway).
We Need a Distraction: The Tri-Kira and their overly elaborate means of killing their victims is this for the use of the Death Note (though they themselves may not be aware of it), with the Tri-Kira as a whole serving as one for the Fourth Kira.
Except there is no Fourth Kira; the deaths blamed on them were planned by Twilight in advance as part of the Memory Gambit as a distraction, alongside everything about the Third Kira.
Wham Episode: Chapter 12. Following Ray Painter's death, Rarity suffers severe Sanity Slippage until she finally snaps when she deduces that Twilight Sparkle is Kira. She then takes Pinkie Pie hostage and threatens to kill her if Twilight doesn't confess on a live broadcast directed towards L's investigation team. Things spiral out of control, and Rarity ends up actually killing Pinkie while attempting to kill Twilight; when she realizes what she's done, she kills herself. And then we find out that Twilight engineered this entire sequence of events with the power of the Note in order to create a scenario wherein she could earn enough sympathy to be allowed on the team.
That said, it's slightly less of a wham episode when you realize that this is exactly like the twist ending of the first live action Death Note movie, just with Naomi Misora and Shiori replaced with Rarity and Pinkie Pie respectively.
Chapter 14 reveals that Fluttershy, of all ponies, is the Second Kira.
Chapter 23's ending strongly implies that Applejack is the Third Kira.
Then Chapter 25 has L deduce that Third Kira is actually all three apple siblings, and they've been coerced into the role by Granny Smith's murder.
Chapter 26 confirms this... and then implies that there's a Fourth Kira out there somewhere.
Chapter 29 has the L Team/Coalition of Justice, with help from Princess Luna, set up a sting to expose the Tri-Kira, in the process ending up having to detain Straw Bolt when he interferes; Rainbow Dash becomes convinced that Twilight is Kira and breaks off from the team; Applejack takes on the Eyes of the Shinigami, but is captured (by Derpy, of all ponies); Mer uses her Death Note to reveal herself to the team, and the cliffhanger suggests that she's restored Twilight's memories and exposed her to the team, unless, of course, she dropped the notebook when she was tackled by Bon Bon.
Chapter 30-31, which sees, among other things, the resolution of Twilight's Memory Gambit, would be cheapened by spoiling it here.
When All You Have Is a Hammer: When confronted with a magic-resistant golem, Twilight uses her magic indirectly to create a ring of non-magical superheated air around its arm, causing the clay to harden and break.
Worthy Opponent: How Twilight comes to feel about L even mourning her death.
Would Hurt a Child: Second Kira. Twilight is livid about it, despite setting up a death of a reporter who was not much older.