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Headscratchers: Death Note Rules Of The Death Note
Rules Of The Death Note
  • Before posting anything on this page, it might be wise to review the rules of the Death Note, as a lot of questions asked here are clearly explained there, and a lot of answers posted here are clearly wrong when you know the actual rules. Also remember the golden rule for claims: Citation Needed - Instead of writing "the rules state ...", try telling which rule does!
  • What would happen if you wrote 'dies of natural causes at any time after the next week'? After all, the Death Note-inflicted death isn't natural, and since you haven't specified a time, would it default to your original natural death? Accidental death doesn't seem like a natural cause either, so presumably it would have to be old age or something like that. (I don't really get the 23-day rule, so that might rule this one out - can somebody explain it if it does? Is it just that it won't take effect if you specify time of death as over 23 days after writing?)
    • Heart attack in 40 seconds. The circumstances are impossible and you didn't specify time of death.
    • Okay, so if I put 'dies of natural causes on the 21st January at 20.45' (let's assume that date is within the 23 days from now), how would it interpret that? I specified the time and date of death, and the circumstances can hardly be considered impossible since people die of natural causes all the time. So how would it interpret 'natural causes', given that their death wouldn't be natural since I killed them?
      • It defaults to a heart attack.
  • If you wrote on either cover of the Death Note, would it still work?
    • The covers are black and made of some leathery material. If blood works, though, writing on the covers could take effect - but then, Rule 1 says "The human whose name is written in this notebook shall die"...
    • The pilot chapter says that nothing written on the cover will take effect.
  • If you removed a paper from Death Note A and placed it inside Death Note B, would that paper belong to note A or note B, assuming both notes have ownership from two different people?
    • Presumably it would still belong to A, since placing normal paper in a Death Note does not make it part of that Note.
  • What would happen if you wrote in a Death Note using an invisible ink pen? Would it work or would it count as "illegible."
    • What would happen if the ink you used looked normal for 24 hours, but then turned invisible?
    • If the ink was visible for any amount of time, the person will die, as writing someone's name in the note is irreversible (though you can delay their death for up to 23 days using details). If the "invisble ink" was always invisible but can be seen by applying an agent, well, it's hard to say but the smart money is that it will take effect immediately, and second-most-likely outcome is that it would take effect when the agent is applied.
    • The rules clearly state that, in any case, anything can be used to write a name in the Death Note, as long as it is applied directly, and is legible, it will work. So, technically, invisible ink will not actually work.
      • No, it would work as if you'd used a normal pen. Invisible ink is visible under certain conditions (an agent is used on it), but standard ink is also only visible under certain conditions (there being enough light to read it).
  • A person with Shinigami eyes can see the lifespan of a person. Writing that person's name in their Death Note would kill the person regardless of how much longer they had to live. But what would happen if you didn't have the notebook with you and decided to just kill them by conventional methods? For instance, you shoot the person in the face with a shotgun. Would the person live or would you have successfully killed them before they were supposed to go? This seems fairly simple but I've not seen it mentioned.
    • A successful killing by conventional methods would, as with Misa's would-be killer, take place at the fated time. NISIOISIN does not appear to understand this, given that s/he makes a case for BB not being a murderer because he targets people whose lifespans are running out anyway, but we can say that's Mello's lack of knowledge on the subject, yes?
    • An interesting question raised by this: had Misa not quartered her lifespan, but assumed Light's mantle nonetheless, would L have failed to catch on?
    • If you write someone's name in the death note while fully intending to kill them before that time, and if one assumes that you would be successful in the attempt if you tried it, then it would become impossible for them to die at the time specified — meaning that the Note would do what it always does in the case of an impossible death, and kill them with a heart attack. The same applies to many scenarios below as well.
  • Taking it a step further: You have Shinigami eyes and look for someone who has a lot of time left. Then you write his name in the Death Note saying the time of death is in 14 days or so. Then you go and kill him conventionally and make damn sure that he has to die because of you. Like, shooting him then chopping off his head. that would directly contradict the specified time you have written in the death note. (Fridge logic: a Shinigami wrote his name in his Death note saying that he gets killed by someone experimenting with a Death note.)
    • You'd find the kill impossible, because metaphysical forces would just happen to get in the way. You'd miss, you'd be unable to meet them, the gun would backfire, or something. In this universe we're dealing with fate, not causality.
    • Obvious by writing he will die he by someone experimenting with a Death note, he himself is experimenting with a death note, resulting in his suicide.
    • It's not possible to kill a person through conventional methods before their time is up. The only way to do that is using a death note. Also, it's only possible for one death note to affect a person, so if a shinigami (or any death note user for that matter) wrote that someone would get killed by someone experimenting with a death note, it would simply result in a heart attack. (Well, they could also die because of someone experimenting with a death note in some other way, like lighting a death note on fire and throwing it at them... but that's probably not what you meant.)
  • Does the "can't harm someone else rule" come into effect before or after someone else is harmed? Take the Obama example below. Would he die immediately after the nukes hit (to prevent more deaths per death note rules) or before anyone else even died? If it's the former, that's still a POWERFUL tool in this day and age.
    • Before anyone died.
  • Can you have someone you are controlling with a Death Note order a murder? For instance, could Light have written down the name of a mob boss, then write, "orders the demolition of the hotel where L is currently staying, then dies three hours later."
    • No, for two reasons. The first is that the Death Note can only kill one person per name. If it brings harm to anyone else, the person will just die of a heart attack. Also, aliases don't work, period. The Death Note doesn't know who L or Kira or Wedy or Aiber or Near or Mello or anyone else with an alias are. Real names only. However, you could write something like "Report Siht. Demolishes a hotel, then subsequently dies." and then write "L Lawliet. Crushed by falling debris as his hotel is demolished." As long as two names are written, they are able to interact.
      • Isn't it only that the person cannot directly harm people? Of course, regardless of that, "orders the demolition of the hotel where L is currently staying" is impossible because the mob boss could impossibly know that L is staying in a hotel or which hotel that is.
      • Okay then, Light writes "orders the demolition of (insert the name of the hotel where L is staying here, then dies three hours later." Or, to reduce the collateral damage, "orders hitmen to go into (the room where L is staying) in (hotel where L is staying) and shoot anyone who has no mustache."
      • Actually, it's stated in the movie version that the Death Note changes things in the most natural way. So, in the hotel demolition scenario if both people happened to be in close proximity to each other then the most natural way to change things would be to have the hotel demolished by whoever and the hotel where L is staying just coincidentally be the same one. It's not like building being demolished is a simple, easy, common thing. It would bew different if it were something like a car crash. But the point is kinda moot, since in order to do this you'd need to know L's real name regardless, so you could just kill him in any way you wish.
    • The mob boss would have to know where L is staying. And even then, unless you actually wrote L's real name, he would survive the attack somehow.
  • Okay, this is my biggest gripe with the series: HEART ATTACKS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY. A heart attack is caused by a buildup of red blood cells in the arteries. The red blood cells block the passageway to the heart, so that it can't pump blood to the brain, and thus, killing the brain. In the series, however, victims' hearts just seem to stop, killing them instantly. Heart attacks can take hours to kill, and it's a general process as the brain is deprived of oxygen. They don't kill instantly as in the series.
    • I always figured the notebook would work its magic to block the major blood source to the heart, causing cardiac arrest. The survival rate of people who receive immediate emergency care (during cardiac arrest) is only 2%, so I'd say it is pretty fatal. The 40 seconds are the time after which the Death Note works, NOT the time in which the victim dies, as somebody below this entry already pointed out.
    • Obviously, Ryuk isn't a doctor. Another possibillity is that the Death Note makes everything except the victim freeze so it only looks like it takes 40 seconds. Actually, regardless of Ryuk's medical credentials the second point must be true because even if the heart simply stopped it would take more then 40 seconds for the victim to die.
    • People killed by the Death Note seem to die because their hearts immediately stop beating. This is basically complete cardiac arrest, not a heart attack in its truest sense. However, the term "heart attack" is a catch-all term when used by laymen which encompasses all heart-related deaths. Please get off your med-student high horse.
      • Med-student? This is basic knowledge of biology at a high school level. Heart attack, cardiac arrest, whatever. Nothing that would fall under the banner of cardiac arrest could kill as quickly as in the series.
      • I believe the rule is that the heart attack occurs after 40 seconds, not that the victim is immediately dead. A lot of shots are shown of victims lying on the ground, apparently paralysed with pain. Even if it does work that quickly, it is possible that the victim dies via paranormal means and cardiac arrest is a symptom of the death (hearts stop beating when people die, after all), which would make the Death Gods think that their victims are dying of heart attacks.
      • Ahem, anyone giving up the dread "science" of Biology before A-level or equivalent hasn't yet learned the cardiac arrest thing. Or anybody on a different course. Now, if it were Metal Gear Solid Genetics... * shudder*
      • I learned about cardiac arrest in 10th grade biology. Maybe your high school wasn't that great.
      • Different schools have different curricula and agenda. Anyway, 'heart attack' is a mistranslation. The Japanese term refers to cardiac arrest. And for what it's worth, heart attack is caused by a blockage of not red blood cells but rather cholesterol and enlarged tissue walls.
      • There's a much, much, easier explanation to all this. They're magic heart attacks. They don't have to work like real ones do.
      • If you're wondering how he eats and breathes, and other science facts...
      • If anything attacks your heart (including magical notebooks), couldn't it be considered a "heart attack"?
      • The real question is, why does nobody in-universe comment on the fact that these are not just regular heart attacks, but that they act faster and more efficiently than any kind of heart attack/cardiac arrest situation possibly could?
  • If I was to write "Barrack Obama: orders nuclear missiles to be launched at various cities in China and Russia, 3 days later he is killed along with (names of other US government people) as part of an MI6 takeover of the US government", what would happen?
    • Couldn't happen. Death Note Rule 29: Whether the cause of the individual's death is either a suicide or accident, if the death leads to the death of more than the intended, the person will simply die of a heart attack. This is to ensure that other lives are not influenced.
      • Well, a bug in the launching system could prevent the missiles form launching despite his order, and the MI6 takeover could require only the deaths of the listed people.
    • Nothing: you misspelled his name.
      • Actually, names have to be mispelled with at least four letters wrong for death to be negated, as stated by Soichiro Yagami.
      • Er, no. If a name is unintentionately misspelled in whichever way four times, that person can't be killed by that Death Note. "Barrack" would count as the first misspelling and he wouldn't die.
    • To clarify, what I was actually asking was; does the 'not harming others' apply if the person whose name is written is only giving an order and not directly harming anyone. Also, assuming MI6 did the takeover effectively (ie; no one else died besides the US government people (whose names were written)) and British rule of the US wasn't necessarily going to kill people (and that MI6 already had a 'take over America' plan), would something like that work? And just pretend that I spelt his name properly.
      • "Leads to the death of more than the intended" also includes indirect harm. As someone said before, this would really only work if he ordered the strike and it still didn't happen (for whatever reason), only then the conditions of the Note are fulfilled and he could die this way.
    • You don't think that's his real name, do you?
    • Alright, but what if you wrote "Barack Obama, killed in a successfully MI6 coup of America which does not result in any more deaths." Have you then given America to the Brits?
      • Assuming such a coup could be planned and executed within 23 days of writing his name, then yes you have.
      • Note that this is extremely unlikely. Killing the president alone is not enough to take over the American government. You would have to kill the president, vice president, speaker of the house, and most of congress. Likely, Obama would die of a heart attack. Our government has an ABSURD amount of redundancies, probably because it was formed by a revolution...
      • Note that there ARE such things as bloodless coups. The whole line of sucession business only comes into play if the American government is still functioning; otherwise, with Barrack dead, other important political figures can either be intimidated into doing nothing, arrested, exiled, or taken onboard for the new government. That said, I agree it would be rather difficult for an MI6 coup of America to succeed, ESPECIALLY one which has to be planned, set up, and carried out in less than a month.
  • If someone wrote "John Smith, is accidentally run over by a car driven by his wife, one week from now." and two days from when that was written someone else wrote the name of John's wife in their Death Note. Would John die 6 minute and 40 seconds after his name was written due to the Death Note predicting that the details of death would be impossible, soon after his wife's name was written since that would be the point when the details of death would actually be impossible, or in one week due to the first Death Note having priority over the second one.
    • It may depend on how it's written- in that case, it could be a car that his wife used to drive. However, loophole aside, he could just get a new wife very quickly to make it possible.
    • Okay, what would happen if the details of death are such that they require a specific person to be alive and said person's name will be written in a second Death Note at time such that if the second Death Note kills its target on schedule the details of death in the first note will be impossible. Assume that the second Death Note will not be written in until the time to alter the details in the first note has expired.
      • That person would still die at the time specified, but of a heart attack. Ie. If I write "John's wife Jane runs him over at 2:15 tomorrow." and then 7 minutes later you write "Jane" in your death note, Jane would die in 40 seconds and John would die at 2:15 tomorrow of a heart attack.
    • I assume he would die of a heart attack 40 seconds after his wife, because that's the point when the conditions can no longer be met.
    • Actually...this troper thinks this would happen: his wife would die 40 seconds after her name was written. There's no name mentioned in the first writing (John Smith is run over by his wife, etc.), so even if she dies, theoretically John Smith could marry another woman and thereby obtain another wife. Then five days after his first wife's death and four days after his new marriage, that second wife would run John over.
    • Totally unrelated to the conversation, but this troper is having a difficult time not making a Haruhi reference. If "John Smith" was killed before he met Haruhi three years ago, would she never have awakened her powers? If she created the world in the first place, would it even exist?
      • No, because John Smith isn't even Kyon's real name.
      • It could be, theoretically. Kyon's name is never explicitly stated, and WMG has some theories about how that could be his real name.
      • But Death Note and Suzumiya Haruhi can't take place in the same universe, because the art is so different.
      • That's because Haruhi and Kyon are little kids compared to Light and L, they see the world differently. Haruhi could have made Shinigami and Death Notes always exist!
      • Also, it wouldn't stop existing. Haruhi didn't create the world; she simply changed it. I believe that's either really obvious or specified in canon (obvious because several characters point out how it isn't possible for her to have created it, and something Yuki said made me think she'd definitely changed it in some way, but Yuki didn't know if it'd all been rewritten or not.)
  • What would have happened if, in between Light's writing down the details of death for the junkie who hijacked the bus and his getting on the bus, the scrap of paper from the Death Note he was keeping in his pocket had fallen out?
    • I believe Light wrote something along the lines of "man gets on bus, sees terrifying apparition, gets scared, gets off bus, dies" in that case I would imagine the guy might hallucinate something horrible. Ryuk's presence notwithstanding.
    • Actually, the hijacker did infact see Ryuk, because he touches a piece of Death Note paper Light delibirately drops, containing a simple date plan note.
  • The rules of the Death Note mention that if the cause is a specific disease the 23 day rule will be ignored. Would writing the layman's name for the disease work or does one need to know the offical name?
    • What? No they don't. The rules say that if it can be reasonably assumed that the person can die within 23 days of a disease you pick, then it will happen. The exact date of death will not be specific, but it WILL be within 23 days. If you specify a disease that would take longer than 23 days, or you write a specific disease, but too short a time period then - heart attack. There is no way around the 23 day rule.
      • "If you write, “die of disease” with a specific disease’s name and the person’s time of death, there must be a sufficient amount of time for the disease to progress. If the set time is too tight, the victim will die of a heart attack after 6 minutes and 40 seconds after completing the Death Note."
      • "If you write, “die of disease” for the cause of death, but only write a specific time of death without the actually name of disease, the human will die from an adequate disease. But the Death Note can only operate within 23 days (in the human calendar). This is called the 23-day rule."
      • "If you write, "die of disease" like before with a specific disease's name, but without a specific time, if it takes more than 24 days for the human to die the 23-day rule will not take effect and the human will die at an adequate time depending on the disease." [emphasis added]
      • Strange, never really noticed that one. I suppose you can use a layman's term since the Death Note seems to operate so long as it can understand the writer's intent. I supposed you could cause a person to die years later with this method. Anyone see any way around this?
      • I would also assume that the disease would progress as rapidly as possible, since the death note seems not to waste any time. For example, Light kills Aiber with liver cancer in the anime and the progression is at LEAST faster than the 2-year timeskip.
      • Does that mean you could write "die of Asbestos poisoning" and die 44.6 years later?
    • Given that I think the official name for "heart attack" is something like "cardiac arrest" and "heart attack" works, I'm guessing the layman's name is fine.
      • You never have to write out "heart attack." You can just write "Old Miss - dies in 23 days" and a heart attack is already on its way.
      • Yes, but Light did write "Heart Attack" in an early chapter (So that he would have time to write their actions prior to death) and it worked just fine. So his point still stands — layman's terms work just fine.
  • If someone wrote, "Light Yagami dies by any means at the latest possible date.", how long would it take Light to die, 40 seconds, 23 days, or longer?
    • Heart attack in 40 seconds. The rules say: If the time of death is specified after writing the cause of death as a heart attack, The time of death can be manipulated and go into effect within 40 seconds after writing the name.
  • In the series, whenever someone kills someone who is Japanese, they write the Kanji for their name. However, what if they wrote the hiragana? Would it still kill them? Or what if they wrote it out in Romanji, such as me writing "Teru Mikami" in a Death Note? And what about English? If an American guy named Joe had his name written in the note in Katakana, would he die?
    • The Death Note probably requires the character set displayed by the shinigami eyes to be used.
      • Do the Rules of the Death Note say anything specifically about writing systems that the owner of the Death Note does not know? Would Light have had to write أسامة بن محمد بن عوض بن لادن‎ in order to kill Bin Laden for instance, or would a katakana/Latin transliteration have sufficed?
      • Since there were Americans killed by the Death Note, and I assume Light wrote them in katakana, any lettering as long as it's accurate is probably fine. Or Light would have had issues killing people with lots of "L"s and "V"'s in their names.
      • For Wedy and Aiber, Light used roman letters to write down their real names, at least in the anime (episode 26).
      • The name has to be written in the appropriate language or it counts as a mispelling. But that's not a problem for Light-he is a genius. It's mentioned that his father speaks English (why do you think his parents named him Light?) You can bet Light speaks English too (and Kira knows how many other languages).
      • Or the name could just be written in any alphabet as long as it's that person's real name, I guess. I don't think it counts as mispelling. It's amusing to notice how, though, when Mikami sees everyone's name in the warehouse, Japanese characters have their names shown in kanji and western characters in romaji.
  • If the Death Note cannot do the impossible, so what is the specific definition of "impossible"? I mean, sure, Light thought that a criminal getting to Paris would be impossible, but I could see how this could happen: A car helicopter randomly crashes through the prison without doing any permanent damage, the criminal steals the helicopter, flies to the international airport, hijacks a supersonic jet, flies to Paris, jumping off as he passes of the the Eiffel tower. Now, this is really, really, improbable, but not quite impossible. So why didn't it work?
    • The Note is not that creative. That's what the "details of death" rule is there for. If the Note can't figure out how to kill somebody based on what is written, it defaults to a heart attack.
    • Alternatively, maybe Light just isn't that creative, and could imagine how something like that could happen.
    • It didn't work because he would have had to go from Japan to France in less then Half of an hour. No vehicle on earth can do that. None that we know of, anyway.
    • Not to mention said criminal would have to know how to pilot a helicopter, and supersonic jet.
      • That is exactly the point of the question. How far the Note can stretch the coincidences and push people? Let's use a simpler example: "X dies in a bathroom in twenty minutes, by massive lead ingestion." Problem, there is a sumo wrestler guarding the door, and the only lead is the one from pipes, inside walls. So, X beats the sumo wrestler and rips the lead pipes from concrete in a matter of minutes; dies of heart attack; or weird and incredible concidences act up? (like, a pipe explode 'cause of pressure, knocking down the sumo wrestler)
      • The Death Note would just give up and send a heart attack. Nothing complex will happen unless it is written to be complex and plausible by the writer.
      • Alternatively, the Death Note would cause the person to try as hard as they can, then give them a heart attack at the appointed time if it turns out that they can't.
    • I think "impossible" is defined by "doesn't break Willing Suspension of Disbelief." I mean, if we are assuming deterministic physics, the death note manipulating even the chemicals and brain signals which make people behave as they do should be impossible. Unless maybe it is screwing around at the quantum level, where things are supposed to be dependent on probablity but still random, but if it had that much power it could still do plenty of things that would probably be considered "impossible" in the series.
  • If Light wanted to be seen as a god, why didn't he just write "Killed by blazing meteors from the heavens?" or, "Died from Spontaneous Human Combustion"?
    • He may have, and the Note may have ruled that Spontaneous Combustion and sudden meteor strikes count as impossible, so it would have killed those targets via heart attack.
    • Except that Spontaneous Human Combustion IS real... Supposedly...
      • Wikipedia doesn't say it's real; the article says that there are accounts of it occuring, but they all lack hard evidence proving that it really happened.
    • Light states at the beginning of the manga that he wants the public to notice the deaths gradually.
    • Also, meteors would cause severe collateral damage and thus kill other people as well as the victim. In such a case, the notebook defaults to heart attack.
    • Additionally, the Death Note can't just materialize things when they're convenient. It would have to actually be able to get a meteor into position, sufficiently large enough to survive burning up in the atmosphere but sufficiently small enough to avoid killing anyone else, in the time given to drop a meteor on the person. And even then, it would probably still be impossible because it would require a stellar object to change direction in zero-gravity without an outside force acting upon it.
    • Better method would be: "(Name) Struck by lightning within 168 hours of (current time)", which would give ample time for the victim to get to the site of a thunderstorm. Hell, you could even write "struck by lightning twice" just to make it even more godlike. Light could smite people with LIGHTning.
    • Presumably because, since heart attacks were the default, it was more convenient. If he ever needed to kill someone quickly and have it be recognizable as Kira, the death would take place in 40 seconds instead of 400. And lightning wouldn't work on people in prison, anyway. In fact, any method other then some sort of organ failure would be certain to have circumstances where it couldn't occur.
      • Lightning can strike out of a clear, blue sky at anytime. The prisoner could be standing in the yard or by a window and find himself struck. Even if he didn't, and since the Death Note attempts to work within the limits of the situation the cause of death by lightning could possibly apply to death by electrocution, and the prisoner dies from a shock of electricity from a socket while standing in a puddle of spilled water.
  • Suppose Alice is going to kill Bob (in a manner such that he won't actually die until several hours after she attacks him), but before she has a chance a Shinigami who favors Bob kills her. However, unbeknownst to the Shinigami, Bob's name has already been written in a Death Note. Given that Alice's death has no bearing on when Bob will die, will the Shinigami who killed Alice die.
    • Unclear. Even in movie canon, it's up for debate.
    • This troper would like to say that it's probably yes. They still did it.
    • Writing someone's name in the Death Note doesn't affect their lifespan, but just kills them before they reach the end of it. It's specifically stated (in the English manga, at least) that the Shinigami dies only if they increased the lifespan of one they care about intentionally. I think.
    • Exactly. Intentionally saving someone's life through use of the Death Note is what causes a Shinigami to die. If he intended to save Bob then he would die, otherwise he'd be fine.
      • Not only does the anime mention it as well, it's a major plot point; it's how Gelus dies, and how Light gets rid of Rem.
      • But the point of this question is that the Shinigami didn't extend Bob's lifespan, despite intending to.
      • But it did. The Death Note isn't connected to one's life span; it kills you regardless of how much time you have left. So the Shinigami increases Bob's lifespan, and dies. Unfortunately, Bob doesn't get to enjoy that extra time, because the Death Note kills him first. Bob's the shaggy dog, and he just got shot.
  • If you had someone get sick and die from a contagious illness, could the illness spread, making others sick, but not necessarily killing them?
    • No. The Rule says that the Note won't kill anybody whose name isn't written in it so that other lives won't be affected. The Note won't affect you unless your name is written in it, in which case you will die.
      • I disagree. Just as a matter of common sense, consider killing a doctor who would otherwise perform a lifesaving operation tomorrow—this has to be possible. There has got to be some point at which a death is indirect enough that it doesn't count as the Note killing a third party. It is possible that the illness is indirect enough, especially if it takes some time for people with the illness to actually die.
      • I doubt it. There are too many ways to exploit a contageous disease - such as AIDS. People probably can die indirectly from the actions of a death note - seeing someone you love die and then committing suicide because of the depression, for example - but something as direct as disease? I doubt it.
      • On the contrary, the disease could spread through natural means, so that it is indirect enough to infect others. Using a Death Note changes the course of destiny or whatever, so as long as the extra deaths weren't intended, it can work.
      • Think of it like this: a cold could be used to kill a newborn infant with an undeveloped immune system or an old man with a worn out immune system and it could then be naturally passed on to the relatives who wouldn't die because they obviously have a developed and healthy immune system.
      • This is all covered in the rules. A death that is written into the Death Note cannot take effect and will instead default to heart attack if it would kill others as well. This is things like saying that the person kills someone else, or saying that he blows himself up in a populated area, or such in which the actual instructions written in the note would cause the death of others besides the intended recipient. However, the rules also state that using the Death Note will influence the lifespans of people beyond the recipient, despite not being able to kill them with it. So while you can't deliberately write into the Death Note, "gets sick with a contagious virus and infects hundreds of people, killing them", you can write "gets sick with a contagious virus", and then other people getting infected by it would be a natural result of the Note's effects on their lifespans.
      • Maybe I'm forgetting some nuance of the term "lifespan", here, but... how, then, do you distinguish between "killing indirectly" and "reducing lifespan to 3 milliseconds"?
  • Something this troper wonders if you make some logical enough, would it take effect? An example that Light tried was he told a prisoner to go to Paris, and die. What if you INSTEAD said that "You will travel to Paris in three days, and toss yourself off the Eiffel tower." would the Death Note still take effect?
    • Yes, it would. His test was about physical impossibilities.
    • Used on the specific criminal that you're talking about, it probably wouldn't because he was in jail. That condition should work on anyone who has freedom of movement, though.
      • It would still be possible for him to escape from jail in order to go to Paris.
      • Not in an hour, unless the Death Note summons the space aliens from Monty Python's Life of Brian.
      • He has three days to get to paris. More than enough time.
  • If a shinigami dropped two Death Notes into the human world and they were picked up by different people who would the shinigami follow.
    • The shinigami would get to choose. See: the whole Mikami bit.
  • What would happen if a name was misspelled four times, but at least one misspelling was intentional, and at least one misspelling was unintentional?
    • Why the hell would that even happen? The "rules" Just Bugs Mes have officially gotten out of hand now.
      • Two people using the same Death Note, or someone else using a Death Note to control the person misspelling the name.
      • The rules say; The Death note will not ever effect a victim whose name has been misspelled four times, and If the Death Note owner intentionally misspells the name four times, the owner will die. This case is clear cut; nobody dies. The victims name is misspelled four times and the owner intentionally misspells the name less than four times.
  • Suppose one misspells the name of someone who is temporarily immune to the Death Note (e.g. because the victim owns a Death Note and the writer is in the shinigami world, or the victim is to young) will that misspelling count towards the four misspellings limit?
    • Sure. The Rule about misspellings doesn't have that exception. If a person's name is misspelled by accident four times, s/he becomes immune to that Note.
  • If someone misspells someone's name four times, is the person immune to all death notes, or just that one?
    • I believe that they are immune to just that one.
  • Speaking of misspellings, does writing a person's alias (while believing that it's that person's real name) count as a misspelling?
    • Undoubtedly. The name that you wrote was not the correct name for the individual.
  • Suppose a victim's name was written in English, but details of the death were written in Arabic. Would the name have to go to the left or the right of the details?
    • I suppose it wouldn't matter, so long as the name was written first. ...Wait, that isn't always the case, is it? Well, it's fair to assume that the Death Note can tell the name from the details anyway.
      • Canonically, the name must be written in front of the details for the details to take effect. English is read from left to right, but Arabic is read from right to left. Thus, if the name was written in English and the details in Arabic, which arrangement would count for the name coming before the details?
      • Write the details under the name. I don't know of any language that doesn't read top-to-bottom.
      • You can write the details before the name as well, in which case you have 19 days to fill in a name, per rule VIII. But the name still has to go above the details.
    • Since various rules establish that the Death Note depends on a mental picture of the victim as well as the name, supposedly it would simply know who the author meant. Aren't there rules establishing even that it is valid to write the name and the way of death in separate notebooks?
  • A bit of Fridge Logic hit me the other day. Further down on this page, someone mentioned someone being blind using the Shinigami eyes to be able to see. The fridge logic hit me the other night when I began wondering— If Bob were completely blind all his life and picked up a Death Note a shinigami dropped, could he even be considered the owner since he can't use it, as he's unable to see peoples' faces?
    • Are blind people able to tell people apart by how their faces feel? If so, then picturing how the victim's face felt, rather then how it looks, would probably be sufficient. However, the pool of potential victim would be much smaller.
    • Actually, in one of the "How to Use it" sections, it specifically states that the shinigami eyes make it so your eyesight is at least above a certain amount, (which I cannot recall), so the point is moot.
      • But what if you don't do the eye deal?
      • Since the Death Note becomes the property of the human world when it hits the ground (not just the seeing-humans world), it follows that anyone can pick it up and become the owner, visual impairments or otherwise.
      • This how argument could be rendered invalid because the person is BLIND!!! They would have never seen the Death Note on the ground or even be able to read it! Death Notes don't come in Braille!
      • How do you know? Maybe there are Death Notes in Braille.
      • Perhaps the blind person was barefooted and stepped on the Death Note, thereby gaining ownership of the Death Note and the ability to hear the shinigami who then offered him/her the Shinigami eyes.
      • Or just happens to be outside when it falls from the sky and picks it up...
      • Nothing about the Death Note ever suggested the deal was fair. The first person to pick it up becomes the owner. The Shinigami will appear to the owner within 39 days. The Shinigami cannot leave the human world until it writes the first owner's name in its own Death Note. You're screwed from the moment you pick it up, regardless of whether you ever use it. The letter of the rules have no loophole for the blind, and the spirit of the rules suggest they have no problem screwing you for something you had no control over.
  • Suppose you wrote someone's name in the Death Note, and had them die at some future point. However, before his death, that person changes his name. Will he still die?
    • I believe The Big Rulebook states that it requires the name given to them at birth to be written down in their native language in order to take effect and that is the name the Death God eyes will see, so yes.
  • Suppose you are trying to kill one identical twin out of a pair of identical twins, but you have only seen one of them. (not the one you are trying to kill) Can the Death note kill with the name, and face of an identical twin?
    • I don't think so, the same way you can't kill a person with a drawing, no matter how realistic it may be. I suppose you have to actually see the person's face (or picture) and in the case of twins you would only be deducting (however accurately) how the person looks
      • I disagree, identical twins have the same facial features (barring accidents and malformations) so as long as the name were written properly, the Death Note owner can imagine the twins face and still kill the intended victim.
      • You can only kill the one you've seen, either in person or through a photograph of that person. If you have seen them both, you can kill the one you want, even if they look identical. A family photo would suffice.
  • One of the lesser-known rules is that anybody over the age of 124 is immune to the effects of the Death Note. What if somebody at this age picked up a Death Note and killed some people with it? When their time came, what would the shinigami do, since they are obliged to kill them?
    • Actually, the shinigami is only required to confirm the human's death and write down the human's name in his/her Death Note. It doesn't matter whether the Death Note was used to kill the human.
    • What if there was someone who was 123 years old, had their name written down with the details of death stating that they die in two weeks. What happens if they turn 124 in that two week time period?
      • The fix is in before the limit is hit, so they'll die on schedule.
      • I think they'll just die of a heart attack in 40 seconds, since the Death Note won't be able to fufill what they've written.
      • No, the "Heart Attack" only comes once the victim has absolutely no chance in the present (Not the future, even if terms are incompatible with the rules) of completing the terms written. Ctrl+F "John Doe" for a better explanation.
  • Near the beginning of the first volume of the manga it says "This one notebook, dropped into the world by a rogue shinigami, sets off an all out battle between two chosen people." Ryuk says that he didn't pick Light he just dropped the notebook. So who picked the two of them?
    • No one picked either of them. The narration is just describing what ends up happening in the story.
    • Chosen at random, or by random means, is still chosen.
    • "Rouge shinigami"? That makes the red/blue symbolism make so much more sense.
    • Fate? Or maybe it's just a over-dramatic way of relating the events (and if there is one trope Death Note loves, it's Mundane Made Awesome).
  • If I wrote a cause of death that is possible but extremely unlikely would it work? Say I wrote "Bob Smith: head explodes", would it be the same as if I wrote "Bob Smith: brain is infected with methane producing bacteria and while he is standing in a hot place the methane ignites causing his head to explode"?
    • No. The bacteria thing is a "detail" of death. If it is not physically possible for Bob's head to just explode in the next 6 minutes 40 seconds, Bob will have a heart attack. As stated above, the Note is not very creative.
  • Suppose that someone had touched Light's Death Note prior to his memory gambit. When Ryuk and Rem switched Death Notes would that person then be able to see only Ryuk, only Rem, or both?
    • Sidoh's Note was, at that point, under Rem's ownership - thus, Higuchi could only see her, not Ryuk. Vice-versa if someone dug up Gelus's Note. See: the scene where Misa visits Light's house.
    • Yes, but Higuchi touched Sidoh's note after Rem and Ryuk switched notes, what if someone had touched Sidoh's note prior to the switch?
  • Do the Death Note covers have the full powers of the Death Note or only the ones that involve touching it (e.g. memory restoration)
    • I would think that since the rules say it has to be readable, black-cover death notes wouldn't be able to kill, but the others would. Alternatively, it may be impossible to write on the covers...
      • Gel pen would be readable, though.
    • I'm not entirely certain if it's canon or not, but, in the pilot chapter, Ryuk states that "only the inside of the notebook will work, so you can write your name on the cover if you wanted, though it probably wouldn't be a good idea." (Paraphrased)
      • I think what he says is that one cannot kill oneself by writing their name on the Death Note...
      • No, since it's fairly explicitly stated that note users can kill themselves with it (see the C-Kira chapter of the manga.
      • I took it to mean 'If you're going to kill people with it, it's not a good idea to write your name RIGHT ON THE FRONT, as that is some freakin' incriminating evidence'.
  • Some questions about the Death Notes: First - What about those rare cases of feral children, specifically the ones who might not have been named prior to living in the wilds, and most likely never got any due to living with animals? Are they still vulnerable to the Death Notes, and can Shinigami eyes see names on them? And what exactly constitutes as someone's 'real name', anyway? I mean, if, say, a married woman (i.e. Sachiko Yagami) who's changed her surname to that of her husband's surname was the target victim, would her real name be her 'married' name or her maiden name? Second - If you write the name of someone you've known some time ago in the Death Note and imagine their face (the way you've seen them some time ago), but their appearance at the current time has changed vastly due to plastic surgery or something, or because you saw them in disguise before, would the Death Note still take effect?
    • In cases of feral children, the only way you could find out how to kill them with the Note would be to do the Eye Deal. The Rules (Check the DN Wiki) state that the name you see with Shinigami Eyes is the name you need to write, even if it isn't on a family register. All humans are vulnerable to Death Notes.
    • For people who've changed their name, its possible to interpret the rule that states the Shinigami eyes display the names needed to kill the person as not referring to given name and surname, but to maiden name and married name meaning it would require both.
    • If it's a married woman then it is quite likely that you can use her new surname.
      • "The names you will see with the Shinigami Eyes are the names needed to kill that person. You will be able to see a name even if it isn't officially registered anywhere."
    • Plastic surgery might stop photos of the old appearance from working, while a disguise would only be effective if it had been enough to block the shinigami eyes.
      • I'm of the opinion that the face thing is only to prevent say 50 people dying if someone wrote 'John Smith' in a Death Note so I'd think that you could kill anyone who's face you saw as long even after surgery after all Light tries to finish off Mello by getting his dad to finish writing the name and I think light is smart enough to figure out that Mello would look different after being in such a big explosion.
  • How far must a Death Note be from its expected location to be considered lost?
    • Even Canon isn't sure of that, but one supposes it would be considered lost if the owner would be unable to find it again.
  • Suppose one wrote the name "John Smith" while picturing his face, within 40 seconds one writes " Suicide." while picturing the name "John Smith" (thereby causing John Smith to commit suicide in 6 minutes 40 seconds as per How to Use: I and How to Use LIV). Within 19 days one writes the name "Jane Doe" in front of suicide. How will Jane die? In other words can the 40 second rule and the 19 day rule be applied to the same cause of death?
    • No. One cause of death per person. If you put "suicide" after John's name, he kills himself. If you write "John Smith <Long Blank> Suicide", you've completed the circuit and can't change anything. Jane will die of a heart attack because there's no new cause of death written for her.
      • Rule LV. "In occasions where the cause and situation of death is written before the victim’s name, multiple names can be written as long as they are written within 40 seconds and the causes and situations of death are not impossible to occur. "
  • Suppose one has a single details-of-death linked to two people and the details are such that one person carrying them out will make it impossible for the other person to carry them out. Will either of them carry out the details-of-death? If so, how will the person who does them be determined?
    • The first person would carry them out. Then the second person would die of a heart attack. It's shown that it's the Death Note's default for impossible circumstances regarding the death.
  • Two people want to kill Near. One, due to a mishearing, thinks his name is Hate River (due to being Japanese he doesn't think this is a weird name for a westerner), but because of his handwriting, writes an H that looks like an N. The other hears the name correctly, but his N looks like an H. Which one kills Near, if either of them.
    • The second one since the rules only require the name to be spelled correctly (which it is) and for the letters to be legible. In other words, as long as all of the letters written can be identified as specific letters the note will take affect even if they can't be identified as the letters the writer intended.
      • you have a very... 'unique' definition of legible,... and by unique I mean wrong
      • Legible just means readable. If the word can be read then it counts as legible and even if the letter may look wrong to an outside observer, all that really matters is that the owner can read the handwriting.
  • When Light had Misa give up the Death Note at the end of the series, shouldn't she have remembered that Light was Kira, and that she was the Second Kira from when Rem told her, when she was investigating Yotsuba?
    • Nope. Forfeiting ownership of the death note deletes all death-note-and-shinigami-related memories.
  • Using the rules of the Death Note, couldn't you keep a person under your control longer than the 23 days, if you had a system where you had a 'writer' in a room, with pages from the Death Note. Within the room you would also have a sheet of normal paper, with the desired name, cause of death, and details of death of the target you want to control longer than 23 days. You then write the 'writer's name and a terminal cause of death, with the detail's of death as "Copies what's written onto blank notebook pages, then crosses out time of death with two straight lines, every 6 minutes and 20 seconds, and writes a time 7 minutes later, until death." (Based on rule XI here: http://deathnote.wikia.com/wiki/The_Rules_of_Death_Note)
    • Since the writer is the person who initially wrote the victim's name you'd have to specify him/her picturing the victim's face in the details of death, but other then that it should work.
    • Problem: Rule Ten says that "If the death leads to the death of more than the intended, the person will simply die of a heart attack." So you can't compel someone to write a third person's name in the Death Note. You'd have to actually get someone, or a rotating shift of someones, to repeatedly rewrite the cause of death, without Death Note mind-control.
    • No, the clock starts running once you write the name. 400 seconds later whatever is written down takes effect, and anything written after that is meaningless.
  • Does the person writing the cause and/or details of death have to recognize the meaning of the words?
    • I suppose yes, because it's not only important what you write, but also what your intentions are (imagining their face for example, and there is also a difference between spelling a name wrong on purpose or not).
  • Suppose Alice writes Bob's name in her Death Note, but has a change of heart before the writing a cause of death. Would adding extra letters onto his name cause it to be treated as a misspelling?
    • Probably, but it would be risky both for Bob and Alice.
  • Does the four misspellings rule protect against itself. I.e. if someone's name is accidentally misspelled in a Death Note four times can that person intentionally misspell someone's name four times and live.
    • There's a note that says if the misspelling is intentional, the writer themselves will die.
    • Also, it only protects the victim from that one Note, not from any other.
  • If someone's name is written in a Death Note and that Death Note is somehow rendered inactive before the note takes effect will that person die?
    • Quick get the Death Eraser!
    • Yes, because once a name is written in a Death Note, the person will die, no matter what.
      • No matter what? The rules clearly indicate that the Death Note will fail to kill a person who's name is written if any of the following are true: the name wasn't written on a single page, the name had been accidental misspelled four or more time, the person's face wasn't pictured, the person is 124 years old or older, 780 days old or younger, the person owns a Death Note and his/her her name was written by a Shinigami in the Shinigami world.
      • Going off of that... say you write a person's name, followed by a cause of death 20 days in the future- but their 124th birthday is one week away. Do they die? If not, can their actions still be controlled for that week?
      • As long as the curse is activated before the deadline, it can extend past it. If not, heart attack on the birthday.
  • Suppose that there are seven Death Note owned by humans and that Alice owns an active Death Note and has traded for the shinigami eyes. At some point Alice loses her Death Note which is found by Bob (who also owns a Death Note). Bob gives Alice's Death Note to his shinigami. Shortly afterward, Bob gives up ownership of his Death Note and his shinigami returns to the shinigami world taking Alice's Death Note with him. Later Bob's shinigami drops Alice's Death Note back into the human world. Assuming this all occurs within 490 days, what effect if any will Alice's Death Note becoming inactive have on her memories, and shinigami eyes?
    • She loses them as soon as she loses her Note. Everything after that is irrelevant.
      • The rules explicitly state that if one loses a Death Note one has 490 days to retrieve it before losing ownership and by extension the Shinigami eyes.
  • As it's been stated that when you misspell a name four times, the user becomes immune to the Death Note, what happens if you write your own name wrong four times?
    • It's stated below that if you intentionally misspell a name four times, you die. This effect would probably take precedence over the protection you would get, and you'd die. If you accidentally misspelled your name four names, you'd probably gain immunity, but who doesn't know how to spell their own name?
      • I have a complicated surname and didn't learn how to write it properly until some time after I could write. The time in-between had me simplifying my surname in various ways, so I wouldn't rule it out.
    • Alternatively, what if the writer was badly dyslexic or otherwise semi-illiterate and pretty much incapable of spelling anything right? Could you make yourself immune by giving them the Note and asking them to write your name four times, knowing that they'd misspell it?
      • Yes, but only from your own Note. Others would still work.
    • For that matter, what about people who have names with weird spellings. Would it grant them a degree of protection from Death Note users (assuming said user hadn't made the eye deal)?
      • Yes.
    • Does punctuation count? I have umlauts on the U in my last name, would I be safe if the user left them off?
      • Tough to say... some of the Shinigami have bad handwriting, so there's probably a point where the Note says "close enough" and activates.
      • Again, it all comes down to legibility. If a human can work out your name from the misspelling, chances are the Death Note could too.
    • What is I had someone else write me name, but gave them four purposeful misspellings, assuming they didn't know my name's correct spelling and did know my face?
      • If you give someone four different spellings of your name, there's no way they would sincerely think that all of them would be correct. At least three of them, if not all, would count as intentional misspellings.
  • If a human's actual lifespan exceeds his/her visible lifespan (e.g. because a shinigami unknowingly killed someone who was going to kill that human), what will happen when the visible lifespan reaches zero, will it stay at zero, disappear, or continue counting down into the negative numbers?
    • I always thought that the displayed lifespan is "updated". So if it shows zero it's over, but the number can increase or decrease.
      • The question was prompted by these two rules
      1. "The use of the DEATH NOTE in the human world sometimes affects other human’s lives or shortens their original life-span, even though their names are not actually written in the DEATH NOTE itself. In these cases, no matter the cause, the god of death sees only the original life-span and not the shortened life-span." (emphasis added).
      2. "A human death caused by DEATH NOTE will indirectly lengthen some other human’s original life even without a specific intention to lengthen a particular person’s original life span in the human world."
      • Given that displayed lifespan isn't updated when the lifespan is shortened, this troper assumed that lengthening it wouldn't update the displayed lifespan either.
    • Rem knew that Misa had made a Shinigami Eye Deal with Ryuk just by looking at her, so it would appear that the deal does update the displayed time. Having one's name written on a Death Note does not update that time, going by the rule above.
      • Also, it seems pretty clear that the date seen is a /deadline/, not a countdown. A Shinigami might be a little surprised to see someone walking around past their expiration date.
  • Suppose, a human owning a Death Note intends to kill him/herself using the Death Note. However, before that person can do so the Shinigami writes the human's name in its Death Note and specifies the time of death as 23 days later. Will the shinigami die? If so, will the Shinigami's death occur 6 minutes 40 seconds after writing the cause or in 23 days when the human dies. If it occurs when the human dies, how will the fact neither of their lifespans can be depleted (because the Shinigami's lifespan gets transferred to the human due to the sacrifice, while the human's lifespan gets transferred to the Shinigami) be resolved.
    • I gotta believe that writing their name in the Death Note is mutually exclusive with intending to extend their lifespan; so no harm, no foul.
      • Unless they were set to die within a few weeks. Of course, this means that the human's lifespan doesn't transfer, as there was no excess. So... um... huh. There's no reason to believe that receiving a shinigami's lifespan will, in general, confer immunity, but in this case... I think the transfer occurs after the name is written, which seems like it would override the Note, because the transfer is a... deeper... form of magic, maybe? Because the reverse transfer occurs without any explicit command to the Note to do so, which would imply that the Note is just one way to wield life-transfer powers. I dunno.
    • The shinigami wouldn't be extending the human's natural life span, so I suppose the shinigami would continue to live.
  • If a shinigami intentionally extends a person's life, they die and the person gets their life. But what if a shinigami kills someone who was fated to kill someone else by accident? Where does the intended victim's new lifespan come from? Do they instantly drop dead when it should have been time to be murdered?
    • According to the rules of the Death Note the victim's lifespan would be extended, but the visible lifespan would not be updated to reflect this change. Furthermore, the rules state that the date of Death Note caused death must be before the end of the victim's original (i.e. visible) lifespan, so the victim would also become immune to Death Notes. As for where the extra lifespan comes from I'm guessing it's from Shinigami who were killed for committing crimes that don't involve extending a human's lifespan, and humans who were killed by Death Notes that weren't linked to Shinigami.
      • Life energy never seems to be calculated exactly in any anime, so presumably their own simply stretches out a bit more.
  • What would happen if the details of death were possible, but would cause the victim to die in a way other than the written cause of death. For example, "Report Siht. Suicide. On July 5th he is stabbed and knocked unconscious by someone else and thrown out of a high flying plane into shark infested waters. Those sharks then eat him alive before he can recover consciousness."
    • Well, it's almost impossible to commit suicide by that method, so it'd probably default to a heart attack.
      • If the victim had the means and state of mind, It could trigger the victim to {{plan} those events and ending in stated consequences.
      • Suicide by attacking someone known to be armed with a knife? Kind of like Suicide by Cop, but more convoluted.
    • Alternately, the fell powers of the Death Note would keep the victim alive just long enough to live out all the details (you'd be surprised what you can live through) before ultimately falling victim to the stated cause.
  • Suppose "Steve Jones. Heart attack. Eats a cookie and finishes the milkshake he put in the freezer last night before collapsing on the floor," was written in a Death Note. Before Steve can do any of this, Daniel Plainview drinks his milkshake. Does Steve still eat the cookie before dying?
    • Nope. Heart attack.
    • However if it says "finishes any milkshakes that are in the freezer before collapsing" he'll probably eat the cookie.
  • Why do the shinigami eyes display Arabic numerals rather then fictional numerals?
    • Translation Convention?
    • Translation Convention. Ryuk specifically says that in order for it to make sense to a human, he would have to "translate" it into human time. The Rules also explicitly say a human with the Shinigami Eyes must work out for themselves how to read lifespans: they don't automatically get that knowledge with the Eyes.
  • Can the Shinigami King alter the rules of the Death Note itself or is his influence limited to the laws that govern the shinigami?
    • Explicitly left vague in canon.
  • When controlling the actions of someone prior to their death, it has to be something the person would reasonably think or be able to do. So, when one of the criminals Light controls is made to write "Love I've never known/And dessert is always apples? This is no life, I'm better off dead." does that mean there's a prison that only serves apples or something?
    • It's symbolic, the apples are a reference to the Fruit of Knowledge of Good and Evil, dessert symbolizes something one desires. The criminal is saying that even when he gets what he wants he realizes he's evil and needs to be killed.
    • The criminal was physically able to write those words, so the Note forced him to do it. You don't need to understand or have an existing reason to do something that the Note will compel you to do, it only needs to be reasonably physically possible.
      • Not so. One of Light's early tests was to get a criminal to write "I know L suspects the Japanese police," which failed because he couldn't write about something he wouldn't think.
      • it seems to only work if it's something the criminal would reasonably write, but as Light does later, you can put a hidden message in the criminal's note (e.g first letter from each sentence), as long as the full message would reasonably be something the criminal would write. It doesn't matter if the hidden message is something the criminal wouldn't know.
  • When specifying a time of death for somebody in a different time zone, whose clock does the death note go by? For example, if Light wrote "Gordon Brown, heart attack, July 10th, 11:00 am", would Brown die at 11:00am Japanese time or 11:00am British time?
    • I would assume whatever timezone the Death Note happens to be in at the time, and probably also includes Daylight Saving's Time.
    • It seems the Death Note understands the writer's intent (kind of similar to how it knows which "John Smith" to kill because you're thinking of his face). So yeah.
  • A thought occurred to me. Are there any outer limits to how long a person's lifespan can be extended through a Shinigami's sacrifice? If not, then potentially it could be set up so that a person could live far longer than any human would logically be able too; what if a Shinigami has racked up a thousand years worth of lives in their notebook? If so, it would be somewhat easy to gain incredible longevity; you would need to get a Shinigami to trust and care for you heavily to the point of being willing to kill themselves, and then set up your own death through a murder. (Though not by writing it in the notebook, since it could be assumed that should the murder fail you would just default to heart attack.).
    • Even if you set up your own death, the Shinigami would know if you are to die that day. If not, the set-up will fail, if yes, it is pointless as you'd die anyway.
      • Yes, extending your natural lifespan by a millennium is totally pointless</sarcasm>
      • Well, it probably is if you keep aging at the normal rate.
    • One assumes you eventually die of aging, or that the shinigami watching you hasn't bothered to extend their lifespan much, due to, you know, watching you. Although the idea that a shinigami would fall in love with you...
  • What applies for a person's real name in Shinigami's sight and Death Note? Does it have to be the name they were first given at birth, or do name-changes apply? It clearly isn't simply the name a person wants to be called. Also, is the full name necessary, or are the first and last name enough?
    • We've never seen a middle name in the series, even with all those Anglophones, so I'd say the first and last name are enough. Given the "How to Use" entry about how a name need not be officially registered, the birth name seems the most likely.
      • On the other hand, Lind L. Tailor shows that middle initials at least don't invalidate the writing of the name.
    • Scientific research has shown that a person imprints his name quickly, so it's probably whatever he was called in the first two years or so. (There's a How to Use that says a person has to be about 2 to be killed by a Death Note.)
    • L has responded to his code name far longer than that. For all but judicial purposes it seems to be his real name; Watari and his police friends call him Ryuzaki, but that seems to be a secondary alias he made up just for the occasion of Kira-hunting. However, it's not the one that kills him (as ironic as it would have been for Light to realize afterward it would have been that easy all along). Furthermore, it'd mean that criminals known to their friends by nicknames would have been safe, since they would no longer recognize their registered names as really theirs. The same goes for any cases of name change. However, such people are never mentioned to be safe from the Note.
    • Well, L's codename apparently is his name. Only the first one, though, so the full name (L Lawliet) is needed to kill him.
    • In the original Japanese version, you needed to know that person's name exactly as written - so if you were Japanese and you tried to kill an American, you'd have to write their name in English. However, when the series was translated into English, the Japanese names as seen by Shinigami's eyes are translated into English, hence the confusing situation where on attacking Mello's base, Light's dad finds it hard to remember Mello's real name on account of it being in English, even though all the other names he has seen up to this also appeared in English (at least to us).
    • The two years part isn't the most important thing. For the imprinting argument, what matters is that it's the FIRST two years.
    • Keep in mind, from the moment you are born in the world of Death Note, your date of death is predetermined. Only a Death Note can alter your fated time of death. Presumably your real name is predestined in the same way.
  • Is "old age" a valid cause of death?
    • The manga does say you can write in a terminal illness for an unspecified date and let it run its natural course, so probably - if it falls within the victim's original lifespan to begin with. Little point to it, really.
    • It would, however, protect the victim from any other Death Notes.
    • Or kill them immediately, if they weren't going to live to old age. The eyes would be an asset here.
    • "Old age" you say? holy Darwin you just found a loophole, so the Death Note only kills you when your normal lifespan comes to an end granting perfect immunity to the note, if L used this to surpass the 13 rule rem wouldn't be able to kill L and Light would have been in panic (unless a second Death Note can override the first) and light was never going to trade for the Shinigami eyes, unless he tricked a shinigami into restoring his lifespan but since in Misa's case you lose the eyes when you disown the Death Note it was not worth it.
      • The death note is incapable of extending the lifespan of the victim past his original death date. Rule LVII. However,
if it was shortened by some other means (such as makeing an eye trade), you might be able to get some back with a chronic illness.
  • Doesn't the 23 days rule still apply? And if it's unreasonable to die of old age within said time you'd just die of a heart attack. Also does "die of old age" really exist? Isn't there always some kind of weakened immune system, disease or just general wear and tear of the body behind it.
    • No, "old age" is a euphemism humans use, not an actual cause of death. "Old age" usually means systemic organ failure. Presumably, if you wrote that, the Death Note would use its favorite organ failure; heart attack in 40 seconds. If you really wanted to protect yourself from untimely death you could write in a prion-based disease. Some can take decades to become lethal.
    • But what about the 23-day rule? If you wrote the cause of death as a slow, progressive disease, the person would die of a heart attack, simply because it is impossible for the written cause of death to happen within the set time span.
    • One of the rules explicitly states that if the cause of death is written as a disease the 23 day rule doesn't apply.
  • How did shinigami kill humans before written names were invented?
    • Maybe they didn't exist before then. As far as I know there's no indication of where the shinigami came from or how long they've been around. For all we know they could be humans who somehow found a way to become shinigami in order to extend their own lives, maybe they just randomly appeared for no reason at some point in history, or maybe the shinigami realm is (or was) connected to multiple human realms so it wasn't really an issue.
    • Or perhaps the shinigami existed, and had their own written language, before humans developed written languages. Humans would have had names, which could be represented in any well-formed language, even a non-human one. Of course, human language would be a better representation of a human name, so once humans developed writing the shinigami would eventually adopt human writing for the purpose.
    • Another possibility is that someone without a written name could be killed simply by picturing their face while touching a Death Note.
    • According to How To Read, "Although they may currently look like notebooks, other forms have existed in the past—scrolls, for example. It could be that the notebook's form changes based on the human era." If this is the case, my guess would be that what they use to kill the person is also based on the current human era, so that when names were only something spoken, Shinigami would kill them by speaking the name. Or, it also mentions that there is a Shinigami language, so maybe they converted the human names into their own language (as was mentioned above).
  • Somewhat overlapping with Wild Mass Guessing: I've been wondering what getting shinigami eyes entail in two ways- first, are other people not able to see that the person receiving them has red eyes? Second, when a shinigami makes the deal and gives the ability, am I correct in thinking that they lose the ability themselves? I picture the shinigami who have lost eyes gambling with their lives to get them back, but as far as I know, this is never addressed.
    • According to some How To Use or other, the red eyes are just for illustration. And Rem makes the deal with Misa, yet clearly retains the ability herself, so there you are.
    • No, I guess that is sort of ambiguous. Misa has lost the eyes from that original trade at that juncture, and Higuchi is dead. Still, you'd think Ryuk wouldn't be so eager to make the trade if that's the way of it.
      • Seems kind of unfair to the human to have to trade half of their life if the shinigami isn't actually losing anything in return.
      • I don't think it's really a question of whether or not the shinigami loses anything, but that the human GAINS something, and has to pay for it. The fact that the human is on the losing end of the deal is just the nature of dealing with shinigami, they survive by killing people and stealing their life force, and that's about the only thing you can use to bargain with them. With the possible exception of apples, and who has twenty years worth of apples?
      • An apple farmer?
      • It should seem unfair. From the moment the human touches the Death Note that has fallen to Earth, their life is forfeit. Even if they don't ever use it, the act of touching it makes them the first owner. The Shinigami who dropped it cannot go home without confirming the first owner's death and writing their name into the notebook. You are condemned to die from the moment you touch it, whether you choose to use it or not. And probably the only way to hold the Shinigami's attention well enough to postpone your own life is to use it to kill others. What about this situation suggests anything is fair?
      • Really? What if the first owner relinquishes ownership?
      • Rule LXIV
    1. The following situations are the cases where a god of death that has brought the Death Note into the human world is allowed to return to the world of gods of death:
    1. When the god of death has seen the end of the first owner of the Death Note brought into the human world and has written that human’s name on his/her own Death Note.
    2. When the Death Note which has been brought in is destroyed, like burned, and cannot be used by humans anymore.
    3. If nobody claims the ownership of the Death Note, and it is unnecessary to haunt anyone.
    4. If, for any reason, the god of death possessing the Death Note has been replaced by another god of death.
    5. When the god of death loses track of the Death Note which he/she possesses, cannot identify which human is owning the Death Note, or cannot locate where the owner is, and therefore needs to find such information through the hole in the world of gods of death.
    2. Even in the situations 2, 3, and 4 above, gods of death are obliged to confirm the death of the first owner and write down that humans name in his/her Death Note even when he/she is in the world of gods of death.
    • To paraphrase, in order to go home back to the shinigami world, the shinigami has to write the name of the first owner in their Death Note, regardless of whether the Note itself has been destroyed, relinquished, or otherwise is no longer in the first owner's possession. Nothing about the Death Note is fair.
    • No, actually. Note the last bit: "Even when he or she is in the world of gods of death." If it's destroyed, relinquished, or otherwise is no longer in the first owner's possession, they can go home, but are still forced to write their name down when they die.
    • "How to Read" explicitly states that it's observationally, even "scientifically," impossible to distinguish if someone has the Shinigami eyes. It also mentions people with Shinigami eyes have perfect vision too, regardless of vision strength before, which I guess explains why Mikami doesn't always need his glasses. :3
      • What if the person was blind before gaining Shingami eyes?
      • Regardless of vision before. Unless the person had no eyes, they'd get perfect vision. Which raises another question, what if they had no eyes beforehand, like they were removed due to cancer or something....
      • This troper was referring to it being impossible to test whether someone has shinigami eyes. i.e. if a blind person suddenly becomes able to see there's a good chance he/she acquired the shinigami eyes.
      • In this case, scientifically impossible to distinguish probably means that there is no material difference between the two. That is, if a blind person becomes able to see then their eyes would appear simply as normal, functioning eyes to anybody inspecting (or dissecting) them. To take it to mean that it really is scientifically impossible to tell if somebody has the eyes would be nonsense — after all, provided your eye carrier is cooperative, it would be extremely simple to determine scientifically whether they can see the names of people they don't know or not. Most likely it is simply meant that there's no physical difference between normal human eyes and humans with shinigami eyes.
      • What if people know what the Death Note is and how it works, and are hunting down the person with the Death Note and shinigami eyes? Wouldn't it be suspicious to have been blind before, and then having perfect vision?
      • Yes. Yes, it would. Please read the post you just responded to.
    • What happens if somebody gains the Shinigami Eyes, then his eyeballs are transplanted to another person? What happens if somebody intercepts the data on his visual nerve?
      • Then it doesn't work. The deal was with the original person, and I'm pretty sure the deal is all important. Like if you gave someone else a deed to a house that you signed and are still under contract for. The house doesn't belong to them simply because your signature is still on the contract for ownership. When that contract expires, it goes back to the person who made that contract.
  • What's the point of the rule that says the conditions of death must be reasonably assumed to be carried out by the human. For instance not only does Naomi commit suicide (which granted is always a valid cause of death) but does so according to the details Light wrote which don't make sense for instance they specify the date and require her to think of nothing but suicide until she dies. However, given how determined she was to find Kira and the fact the Death Note has a 23 day window to kill her in her suicide would only be reasonable after she told the police her suspicions.
    • Another example: The Death Note couldn't be used to make one of the victims that L was investigating the police because he didn't know that. However, Light was able to send the message about gods of death loving apples because it was hidden in the note that victim wrote. Which would imply the victim knew gods of death love apples, knew some stenography, and had some reason to hide said message.
      • Not at all. It was hidden in three separate messages. None of the messages in themselves contained anything that these persons couldn't know. Only when bits of them are put together, a new message appears, even though none of the individuals knew anything.
      • However, it's established that the Death Note can read the user's mind (i.e. it knows who's face the user is thinking of) so it should have been able to realize Light's intention and thus shouldn't of caused the victim to write the message.
      • No, it doesn't matter what the intentions of the Death Note User are, just as long as the rules are followed to the letter. It's "coincidental" that the suicide notes made a hidden message, the Death Note just tweaked the odds a bit.
      • If the victims couldn't give any information they didn't know, that would mean Kira would never have been found, as the victims don't know anything about him, and thus couldn't express the fact that only people who's names and faces he's seen die. There's obviously limits to how little information they can send. I'm sure Internet Protocol over Demographics would work too.
    • Yet another example - when tracking down Mello, a guy is written as sending the location of Mello's base to an address where Light can get to it. Its not mentioned how the guy knows the place, violating the reasonable assumption, since the info would just pop into his head.
      • ...he was one of the Mafia members! He was at the location that he wrote on the letter to Misa and Light.
      • I think they mean how he knew Misa's address. But she's a celebrity, after all; Light could write that he discovers her PO box on the Internet or something.
      • Yeah, in the manga the address is written out in full in the cause of death. It's also sent to Misa Amane so they can instantly tell that it's from the mobster.
    • It's a matter of what is possible to do at all. Like you can't get to Paris in 30 minutes or you can't write down things you have no idea they exist. Most people do know that you CAN take suicide and there's nothing in the Death Note that prevents you from having a person act the total opposite of their personalities. Also in the case of Naomi, Light wrote "within 48 hours" and that it had to be clever, Naomi would have set off trying to take her life at once but Light gave her a lot of time so she would be sure to find some remote place and not just do it uncharacteristically in the middle of a street because the allotted time ran out.
  • Can the Death Note control the actions of specific people without referring to them by name. For instance if Rem had written "L Lawliet is shot and killed by the first Kira" would Light have shot L?
    • Well, in the movie, writing "Shiori is taken hostage and shot by the hostage taker" in conjunction with "Naomi takes the girlfriend of the person she suspects of being Kira hostage" is enough to make Naomi shoot Shiori, so possibly.
    • Not exactly. Light wrote that "Naomi shoots the escaping hostage to stop her from running" in conjunction with "Shiori dies taking a bullet for her boyfriend", which is what kills her.
  • What about accidents? Remember Light's very second murder? The one, coincidentally enough, mentioned right below this line?
    • You could even write "X is murdered" or "X is stabbed to death by a stranger". The problem isn't having the victim be killed by someone, it's specifying who would do the killing (since that would mean you'd have to write down their names which would result in heart attacks). No idea if using pseudonyms like "the first Kira" etc would work.
    • One of the rules states that in order for the Death Note to kill someone that person's name must be written on a single page. So even if pseudonyms can't be used one could write "X is murdered by Light" on one page and "Yagami" on the next page and cause Light to murder X.
    • In the manga Light tells Misa that pseudonyms like "the first Kira" are useless, and this later seems to be confirmed by what the Yotsuba group wrote in the notes from their meetings.
    • Additionally, you have to be very careful of the Butterfly Effect when getting clever with the Death Note. What if Light somehow discovered L's last name and wrote "L Lawliet is stabbed to death by his prime suspect in the Kira investigation." All this would necessarily mean is that Light would be compelled to stab L. Other details, such as whether someone was watching, whether it was on camera, etc. would not be taken into consideration unless the details explicitly stated them, so by doing that, Light could well get himself arrested following it. Of course, if he had L's last name, he wouldn't need to do that, but just for example.
  • But wait, isn't it against the rules at all to have one person kill another? Like, "if the death leads to death of more people, then (..)"?
    • It is. The cause of death can never be "murder", because that implicates the person doing the murdering. The only reason traffic accidents are a valid cause of death is because they are accidental. The driver of a car is not responsible for killing someone if that person leaps in front of their car and they do not have time to slow down or avoid them. Likewise, in the film when Naomi shoots Shiori, what was specifically written was that Naomi "stops" Shiori from escaping. Likewise, it was written that Shiori died of a stray bullet (an accident). Since Naomi was the only person in the area with a gun, only that gun could have fired the "stray" bullet, so it doesn't technically count as murder according to the rules of the Death Note. Light exploited the Death Note rules and found a loophole in that case.
  • Question: Light's second killing (the punk on the motorcycle): He writes the guy's name in a bunch of different spellings. Did he just get lucky and one of the first four was correct? Because I'm sure one of the DN rules is that misspelling a name four times results in immunity for the intended victim (at least from that particular DN - another one will still work)
    • Yes, the second or third one was correct.
    • Also, its the intent that matters. If you're honestly trying to kill someone, you can keep writing down names as long as you like.
      • Actually according to the rules if your honestly trying to kill someone that person will become immune to the death note after the fourth misspelling. If you're intentionally misspelling the name you'll die after the fourth misspelling.
      • But Light knew that all but one of the ways he was writing the name was a misspelling; he just didn't know which. He thus knew that all but one was wrong. If he hadn't happened to get it right in those first four times, he'd have died. Wasn't that an awful risk to take?
      • No, intentional means writing a name while knowing full well that it's wrong. Writing "Alice Cain" four times while knowing that her name is Alice Kane kills you. Writing "Alice Cane/Cain/Kayne/Kain" without knowing which one is correct would just make her immune. Besides, this is one of the rules that was never mentioned within the series, so Light wouldn't know about the risk anyway.
    • This is certainly WMG territory, but maybe he became immune to the Death Note, but coincidentally got killed the same way that Kira wrote down?
  • If a death note was used to kill a particular person and the cause of death was given as "killed by a nuclear bomb", could this be used to indirectly obliterate entire cities? I'm assuming the time of death is set 23 days to the future in order to have time to get the bomb in place. After all, it is possible to make people die in a traffic accident that forces somebody's car to be there at exactly the right second.
    • Answer: Rule 29 states that a Death Note cannot kill a person in a way that would put others at risk, so a victim intended to be killed by a nuclear bomb will simply die of a heart attack. Nor can a Death Note be used to make one person kill another, unless the owner of the Death Note also writes in the killer and specifies it as the killer's pre-death action, thus becoming responsible for both deaths.
      • But doesn't killing someone in a car crash put the other person at risk? The motorcycle guy Light kills as a test was killed by "traffic accident", and it was a truck. Does this mean that it couldn't have been a smaller car, since it would've put the driver at risk?
      • Don't forget that the time of death is predetermined. If some random guy in the same city isn't gonna die for years then he won't (unless his name is in the Death Note too).
      • Actually there's a definite possibility that a nuclear bomb would fall on the victim, but fail to explode since it wasn't specified how the nuclear bomb would kill the victim.
      • Alternatively, if you failed to specify the location of death, it's possible the person could 'just happen' to wander into a nuclear testing field in time to be blown up, allowing him to be nuked without hurting anyone else.
      • This casts a startling new light on the death of Enos Fry...
      • No, killing someone in "traffic accident" doesn't put someone else at risk because it was a truck that hit him, and no one else was struck by either him, the truck, or the motorcycle. The Death Note is a fate-shaping device. Once the cause of death was locked into place, it was going to be a car crash that does not kill anyone else around. If this is not possible, he would have had a heart attack. There is no "it could have been". It couldn't.
    • Solution: the target is killed by a TOY Nuclear bomb. Or a Paper Mache nuclear bomb. Or an undetonated nuclear bomb. Take your pick.
  • So what exactly did Ryuk mean when he said all humans go to nothingness (mu) when they die? I took it to mean that death is the end and there's nothing after it, but I've heard a lot of speculation that mu is just some big black void where souls go and spend forever bored. Can anyone clear this up?
    • It's left ambiguous. You can interpret "nothingness" as you like. Though Light's constant "I don't want to fade away" cries make it very likely it's the former.
      • Mu is an eastern concept that essentially means less than nothing. Less than zero. An empty void is still more substantial than mu.
  • Does the 780 day rule include those who haven't been born yet? If so what would happen if a pregnant woman's name was written at a time where even with the 23 day buffer she couldn't be killed without also killing the baby?
    • Do you know, I think you may have found a genuine loophole there.
    • My guess? The Death Note doesn't consider fetuses to be people. So the woman would die and the baby would die with her. You can generalize the question by asking, "What if there was a situation where if one person had a heart attack, somebody else was guaranteed to die?" I guess this could happen if you hooked up an EKG to a bomb or something.
  • However, one of the rules states that you can use a death note to make someone die of a long-acting disease by writing the disease as a cause of death, and the death note causes the disease to start at the specified time of death. (For example, if you wrote "Alexei Karloff - cancer, December 7th at 12:07pm", Mr Karloff would develop cancer at the specified time, but not die of it until years later). Most likely, if you wrote the name of a pregnant woman, the death note would cause her to develop some sort of complication resulting in death during childbirth.
  • If you want to get really grisly, then there has been cases of legally dead women completing a pregnancy and a living baby being extracted from them.
  • For the purposes of the Death Note, people without names (mainly fetuses) are probably not considered people.
  • IMO, but after a certain point (namely, when the fetus would be viable outside of the womb) it becomes an issue of breaking two rules - the 780 days rule AND the Cannot be responsible for more than the death of the intended rule, because if left to be born naturally, the fetus would be able to survive outside of the mother. Of course, this isn't counting the specifics of writing such things as "Amanda Robinson goes into premature labour on [date] and dies of massive haemmorrhagic trauma moments after hearing her newborn's first cries"...
  • If someone arranges for someone else to be killed if he dies of a heart attack (but not if he dies in some other manner) and his name is written in a Death Note with no cause of death (or heart attack as the cause of death) how will he die?
    • I think the first rule precludes "if" statements.
      • No, I think the idea is this: you hook up someone to a machine that monitors his heart rate and kills a third party if his heart stops. Therefore, for him to have a heart attack puts someone else at risk. Then you try to kill the first person with a Death Note. This would give him a heart attack, but you can't kill someone in a way which puts another person at risk, so what happens? (You could argue that this doesn't count because the heart attack only indirectly puts another person at risk, but really, any such effect is indirect to some extent.)
  • If Light wrote "Heart Attack. On [date], Receives a photograph with the name John Smith on it along with a sheet of paper she then proceeds to write the name John Smith on the paper four times while looking at the photo. Afterwards, she writes her own name on the sheet of paper." along with a person's name and sent that person a photograph of himself with the name John Smith and a sheet of paper from the Death Note would he gain immunity from Death Notes?
    • Only from his own Death Note, I believe. Feel free to correct me. But I don't think Light is actually aware of that rule - his one close brush with it came up lucky.
  • If someone's name is written in one Death Note, and then accidentally misspelled four times in a second Death Note before the first one kills that person will the first Death Note be able to take effect?
    • The first writing takes precedence, regardless of time of death.
  • If someone's name is written in one Death Note and misspelled in a second Death Note at the same time will that person die. If not will the misspelling count towards the four misspellings limit?
    • Yes to the first.
    • As to the second, misspelling a name four times only makes the person immune to that particular Death Note. For example, suppose Misa tried to kill a criminal with her notebook, but misspelled his name four times. From the fourth time she misspelled it, nobody would be able to use that notebook to kill that criminal. However, Light would still be able to use his notebook to kill that same criminal.
  • Would a product made from recycled Death Note paper have the powers of the Death Note?
    • Yes. The 21st rule states this directly.
  • Is the Death Notes power limited by the speed of light (e.g. if a victim was 41 seconds away from the Death Note would it take an extra second for him to suffer a heart attack?). If so would someone who has more then 23 light days away from a Death Note be immune to that note.
    • It's a magical artifact that can kill people in any manner merely by writing their name, and you're worried about scientific accuracy?
    • Shinigami don't care about your mortal units of measurement. The human units are simply translations for convenience, which is why many of the rules relating time specify "according to the human calendar". Besides, 23 light-days is nearly 4,000 AU. Who will live long enough to travel that distance?
      • The speed of light isn't a human unit of measurement, it's a natural ratio of how space and time are related. This is interesting because according to special relativity, simultaneity itself is relative to the observer. In that case, I imagine that the note kills 40 seconds relative to the observer's inertial frame, so if you wrote someone's name in a death note and got on a rocket ship travelling close to the speed of light far away from them, because you'd be time dilated, it would take your gamma times 40 seconds in earth's reference frame for the victim to die (but 40 seconds in your reference frame).
    • This rule could exist, but no one would know (unless the setting was different).
  • If someone's name is written in a Death Note while that person is under the protection of the 780 day rule (or the 12 minute rule) will he/she be still be immune to Death Notes when the 780 day period is over (or his/her remaining lifespan is extended to more then 12 minutes)?
    • Obviously yes for the first, since every human being has been less then 780 days old at some point.
      • How does the fact that every human was less then 780 days old at some point make it obvious that writing someone's name in a Death Note during that time would prevent them from being killed if their name was written again after their age exceeded 780 days?
      • Whoops. Okay, the Death Note only protects you from other Notes if there is an 'active' curse on you. An invalid writing wouldn't protect you since you wouldn't have another death already queued up.
    • But then, who would want to kill an infant?
      • Any Duke that thought he should be king instead of that little brat nephew of his?
  • Could the details of death be worded in a way that would cause the victim to provide information neither he nor the person using the Death Note knew for example if Light wrote "Report Siht. Heart Attack. Report Siht begins writing a random list of names, one of which coincidentally is the true name of the detective called L, and then dies." would Report Siht write "L Lawliet"?
    • Common sense tells no, otherwise a Death Note would be one heck of Misapplied Phlebotinum. For instance, it could be used to solve virtually all mysteries known to humanity, including scientific problems.
    • In that case, you'd basically be asking whatever Shinigami power that runs the Death Note to give you someone else's name, which they are not allowed to do.
    • Furthermore, as noted above, ...if it manipulates a persons actions prior to death, it must be possible for the person to perform those actions, either physically or mentally." If the target didn't actually know (i.e. have a conscious mental awareness of) L's name himself, he probably wouldn't be able to write it.
      • But the targets in the prison didn't know the Shinigami eat apples message, yet spelled it out correctly. Clearly it just has to be possible. My personal favorite phrasing of this is "stabs self in artery, which causes the blood to coincidentally write out a full and complete proof of Fermat's last theorem. Or, if you want to be more plausible, "a sudden brain tumor gives unparalleled abilities as a mathematical savant, driving them to write a full and complete proof of X, and, when finished, commit suicide."
      • The targets in the prison didn't write that shinigami eat apples, at least, not in the same message. It was broken up "L do you know/Gods of death/Love apples?" Which is possible, because it's in three separate messages (and the first word of the first one was actually 'Lord.') L just interpreted it as being aimed at him. Light also attempted to do something a little more likely "Draws L's face on the wall before dying," but since the guy didn't know what L looked like, it didn't happen, even though it could have happened. Therefore, not only does it have to be possible, it has to be reasonably likely too. Writing say "Wulf goes to TVTropes.org, contributes to the Headscratchers page for Death Note, and dies of a heart attack before hitting send" would work, but not "Wulf slips in the kitchen, pulls out the knife drawer on the way down, and is stabbed to death," even though the latter is technically possible
      • Oh, please, that's a ridiculous assertiGTGHASRGH
      • Sakujo
    • It would be possible if the rule about killing more than one person by cause of death didn't exist. Note the word "random".
      • But what if the person writing the names wasn't writing the names in the Death Note, but just on a regular sheet of paper? The person wouldn't be directly killing anyone. Then Light would be able to copy the names written onto the Death Note while thinking of L's face the whole time.
      • Er, that was probably what the original question was asking - whether it was simply possible to get a name in that manner. Furthermore, the rule about killing more than one person would apply regardless, as the notebook would probably figure out the intentions of what had been written in it.
      • Even if Light could obtain a list of names in such a manner, wouldn't all the incorrect names while picturing L's face count as misspellings?
  • What would happen if one wrote 'writes own name in a death note' as a cause of death?
    • Good question... one might think that, if the victim had a Death Note, then it would be the same as writing "suicide". However, once the name is written in one Death Note, another Note can't change it. Therefore, it would seem that the cause of death would be ruled impossible, so they merely die of a heart attack in 40 seconds.
      • The Death Note would probably treat 'writes own name in a death note' as a detail of death rather then a cause of death and thus would kill the victim via heart attack in 40 seconds unless the victim would be able to write his/her name in a Death Note within 23 days.
    • Alternatively, if two Death Notes give non-contradictory causes, then both take effect. So if Misa wrote "heart attack" and Light wrote "car crash" for the same time, they might simply suffer a heart attack while driving and plow into a wall.
      • No, even if two notes don't contradict each other, only the first one takes effect.
      • Actually, one of the rules says that two Death Notes can be used against a single person provided that they have the same owner, or if the owners are touching each others' Death Notes
  • What happens if you write the names of the pilot and copilot of a loaded aeroplane in flight in the Death Note?
    • If there's no retired pilot among the passengers or whatnot, emergency procedures pan out spectacularly. The passengers are able to successfully land the plane, and no unusual deaths or injuries occur.
    • This is a question as to how zealously the rules are policed. If the rules are strictly enforced about keeping deaths to one per writing, then presumably they'll live long enough to get the passengers out of harm's way. If they're laxly enforced, then it only stops people from actively killing others (ie intentionally crashing the plane), but would still allow a plane full of people to fall to their death as an "unrelated" accident.
    • "The use of the Death Note in the human world sometimes affects other human’s lives or shortens their original life-span, even though their names are not actually written in the Death Note itself. In these cases, no matter the cause, the god of death sees only the original life-span and not the shortened life-span." So if you write it while the plane is in-flight, yeah, the pilots bite the dust and the passangers with them. You probbaly can't write it in advance, though; if you do, it will probably default to a heart attack.
  • Does the rule that says a Death Note can restore someone's memory six times mean six times per person or six times total?
    • Per person.
  • If an inactive Death Note become active while a name is being written (i.e. Bob writes "Ali[the Death Note becomes active]ce") in it will the person who's name is written die, if not will it count as a misspelling (i.e. because as far as the Death Note is concerned Bob spelled "Alice" C-E)?
    • Probably. But that assumes there are six Death Notes in the human world. Just... don't go there. Aiigghhh.
  • If someone found out what their natural lifespan was and then did something to ensure that if he/she died before their natural lifespan someone else would be killed, regardless of apparent cause of death, and his/her name was later written in a Death Note would he/she be killed by the Death Note?
    • Yes; once a name is written, death cannot be avoided. Since the Death Note isn't killing the second party, the rule doesn't apply.
  • Can the details of death be conditional. For example would Light be able to gain protection from Death Notes and still ensure he died very close to the end of his natural lifespan if he wrote "[disease1], [disease2], [...], or [diseaseN]. If [disease1] is capable of killing Light before the end of his natural lifespan he contracts it and is later killed by it, otherwise if [disease2][...]" (assuming the diseases are arranged by how long they would take to kill him) and then wrote his own name before the cause of death?
    • The Death Note doesn't seem to be very tolerant of people casually dicking around with it. Either the first disease would kill him or he'd catch a fatal case of heart attack.
  • If the details of death specify a time of death that is later then the victim's natural time of death, but a shinigami is going to sacrifice itself to extend the victims lifespan to the point where the natural time of death will be later then the written time of death will the victim die in 6 minutes 40 seconds or at the specified time of death?
    • The victim would die in 6 minutes, 40 seconds, because the natural time of death at time of writing is still shorter than the specified time. Misa's time of death was say, 30 seconds before Gelas sacrificed himself, so if a different shinigami killed her before he saved her, they'd only get 15 seconds.
      • Remember the 12 minute rule. You can't kill someone who has less than 12 minutes of lifespan left.
  • Can the Death Note be used to kill two people with the same name by writing the name once while picturing both faces?
    • Don't think so- it's natural when picturing something to "zoom" in, so it's unlikely someone would be able to picture BOTH faces for the entirety of their writing the name down.
  • If a human agrees to trade for shinigami eyes under the condition that the actual exchange won't occur until a specified later time and the shinigami sacrificed itself at that exact time would the human gain the shinigami eyes?
    • Nope. The exchange doesn't occur until the human says to take half his life for the eyes. That said, if the shinigami made the change just before sacrificing himself, then the exchange would count.
  • How many pages does that thing have anyway? It doesn't look so big and they keep on filling it with names and ripping pages out. Or is there an unlimited supply?
    • Yes, official rules say it has infinite pages. (However, the pilot chapter didn't- the number of pages was even specified. You could ask the Shinigami for another one, though.)
    • What if someone tears out all the pages at once? Will the paper regenerate, or does that count the notebook as 'destroyed'?
      • For that matter, how is it "infinite"? Is it regenerating the paper (as suggested by the previous page) meaning you could just tear out used pages so it's grow new ones, or do things written on it fade allowing more to be written on the same pages? And if it regenerates, wouldn't that make a Death Note indestructible (i.e. if you set it on fire it would just burn endlessly) or is it just the pages and not the binding that would regenerate?
      • I would say it sees to it that it always has at least 1 empty page so it would only create new pages if it was filled to the end.
  • Can a single Death Note have multiple owners.
    • No, only one person is the "official" owner of a Death Note at any given time. They may loan it out to people, but these "borrowers" cannot trade for the Shinigami eyes, and they are not followed by a Shinigami. Any time someone does "the trade" in Death Note, they are indeed the current "owner" of that Note.
  • Can one include the details of death without a cause of death. For example if one wrote "X dies at midnight" would X die at midnight or 40 seconds after his name was written?
    • The "details of the death" only take effect if written within 6 minutes and 40 seconds of writing the cause of death. If no cause of death is written at all, the Death Note will ignore the "details of the death" completely, and the target will die of a heart attack 40 seconds after their name was written.
      • But, one of the rules states that the cause and/or details of death can be written up to 19 days prior to writing the name.
      • Cause and/or details of death, yes. But not name.
    • Nope. Gotta write cause before details.
      • Given that the rules establish that cause and/or details of death can be written upto 19 days prior to writing the name there's no reason to think that the cause of death has to be writen before the details.
  • Does the rule in the pilot chapter that said destroying the cover of the Death Note neutralizes the power of the individual pages apply to the main series.
    • I'd say no, because the pilot is non-canon.
  • Can one receive ownership of a Death Note if one hasn't touched it for instance if someone had stolen Light's desk (and by extension his Death Note) and killed Light in the process would that person gain ownership of the Death Note?
    • Probably. Who else would it go to?
    • No. If Light was killed and the notebook remained in his desk, it would become property of the human world. Its next owner would be the next person who touched it.
      • Problem is that the next person who opens up the desk will destroy it. Unless the gasoline evaporates, or someone takes a chainsaw to the desk or something.
      • So it becomes the property of the human world, and is destroyed before it gains another owner. I don't see a problem.
      • Why would someone steal a desk anyway? That would have to be the work of like, the world's dumbest criminal. Unless they knew about the Death Note it really doesn't seem worth the effort to steal a used desk, let alone try to maneuver it down the stairs from Light's upstairs bedroom. Not to mention it would be robbing the Chief of Police's house. All and all it seems less trouble to just go rob a bank and go buy a new desk.
      • There are burglars who would steal a desk. They tend to steal everything else in the room too—and as many things in the house they can get away with. The idea is that they take as much as they can, then go through it somewhere else in private and see if anything they stole is worth anything. These burglars work in groups so they can quickly and efficiently take large objects like furniture. (Furniture is itself actually pretty valuable, and cheap used furniture is in high demand.) That being said, yes, only the most clueless among thieves would pick the house belonging to the chief of police.
  • Is turning into sand simply what shinigami do when they die or is it the shinigami equivalent of a heart attack?
    • Umm... yes? The two aren't contradictory.
  • How precise are the lifespans displayed by shinigami eyes?
    • Since we don't see the numbers changing when the camera has shinigami-vision in the anime, I'm assuming that it's not as precise as the longest cut with numbers. I always thought of them as a countdown and of the numbers I've seen they looked on the order of how many days you'd expect someone to live, so I'm going with that.
    • Perfectly, 100% accurate. If the numbers say that someone dies at 13:27.4518 on December 23rd, 2014, then the person will die at 13:27.4518 on December 23rd, 2014.
      • Precision doesn't mean accuracy. Accuracy is the odds of it being right. Precision is whether it tells the time of death to the exact second, the exact minute, .... Also, we know the lifespans aren't to the precise second because we never see the numbers change in the anime even though they're seen for more then one second.
      • Why would it change? The number is when they die, not how long they have left.
      • The rules state that the Shinigami eyes show life span, the rules do not state that the Shinigami eyes show time of death. Although the later can be determined just by looking at the lifespan indicating the eyes show remaining lifespan rather then total lifespan.
      • Isn't it the other way around? Accuracy is how close it is to the true answer (2+ 2=4 is more accurate than 2+ 2=6), and precision is the amont of times a given answer crops up ( getting 2+ 2=5 9 times in a row due to a broken calculator is more precise than getting 2+ 2=4 once)
      • They're completely accurate, except they take into account the lifespan-altering effects of previous notes. Thus, every time someone is killed with a Death Note, they diverge farther and farther from the real value.
  • Is it possible to return possession of a Death Note to a shinigami without losing ownership? If so, how would the owner be affected if the Death Note was rendered inactive
    • No.
  • Why did Rem offer Misa the shinigami eyes in the first place?
    • Rem explained the rules of the Death Note. One of those rules is the eye deal.
      • Its unclear whether the shinigami has to mention the deal, but one can easily imagine a scenario where Misa was pouting how hard it was to find out real names and Rem caved.
  • Can a shinigami refuse to make the shinigami eyes trade?
    • Probably, but it's unlikely they would.
    • They can. One of the reasons that Light feels that he has to link Ryuk rather than Rem to the notebook he buries is that if Rem were the linked shinigami she'd probably refuse to do the deal with Misa a second time.
  • If B had acquired a Death Note and later loss ownership of it would he have lost his shinigami eyes?
    • Unlikely. B had shinigami eyes from birth, and in this case, there's no reason for him to give up half his remaining life to get something he already has. Hence, he wouldn't make the eye deal, meaning there's be no reason for him to lose the eyes he was born with.
  • How much of a face does the Note Holder have to know for an entry to become vaild? For example the Note Holder has the genuine name of the victim but has never seen the victim's complete face (e.g. the victim has always worn tinted spectacles). Then there's Mello, what if someone informed a Note Holder that Mello survived the explosion and his real name is Mihael Keehl but neglected to mention that he had a burn scar on his face, would writing his name but thinking of the old face be a valid entry?
    • In volume 4 of the manga, Misa explains this to Light: "You just need to be able to look at the face enough to know it's that person. From the back is no good, but profile is fine. You probably need to see their eyes (she drew a picture of someone's upper face blocked, with just their nose and mouth showing, as an example of what wouldn't work)... oh, though if you see their whole face, then sunglasses don't matter." In your Mello example, I think that, even with the scar, he's still recognizable as him, so it'd work.
    • ...actually, I kinda read that wrong. That's Misa explaining how much of the face she needs to see, to see the person's name. But, I would assume that it corresponds to your question as well. It wouldn't really make sense to be able to see enough of a face to see a name, but not enough of the face to kill the person. So, my guess is the two things are connected.
    • Canonically:
    In order to see the names and lifespans of humans by using the eye power of the god of death, the owner must look at more than half of that person's face. When looking from top to bottom, he must look at least from the head to the nose. If he looks at only the eyes and under, he will not be able to see the person's name and life span. Also, even though some parts of the face, for example the eyes, nose, or mouth are hidden, if he can basically see the whole face, he will be able to see the person's name and life span. It is still not clear how much exposure is needed to see the name and life span, and this needs to be verified. If above conditions are met, names and life spans can be seen through photos and pictures, no matter how old they are. But this is sometimes influenced by vividness and size. Also, names and life spans cannot be seen by face drawings, no matter how realistic they are.
    • Imagining the old face probably would work: The point of imagining the face of the victim is that the notebook must be able to determine who you intend to kill. There's no reason why the note wouldn't be able to do that from you imagining the old face, within reason.
  • Is it possible to determine big events with a death note as long as the event is non-lethal and you sacrifice an unimportant person for it? For example, let's say Alice writes two weeks before a presidential election about Bob, a known supporter of party X. "Suicide. Becomes heavily emotionally invested with the presidential bid of the candidate of party X. Falls into depression as he watches on the television the presidential candidate of party X concede his failure and the presidential candidate of party Y make his victory speech. Becomes even more depressed seeing various newspapers analyze the reasons why the majority of the people voted Y this time. Dies on [date five days after the election.]"
    • Probably. Unless deaths are derived directly from said event, it could be determined, no matter how "big" it is.
    • No. The event has to be something that's within the power of that person to influence for that to work. For example, the guy on the bus determined exactly where it stopped and when he jumped out to wind up in front of the car. If you wrote in an event that the person couldn't directly influence, impossible, heart attack. The only way it could work is with a major player in that event.
      • What if it is an event that would be taking place regardless? eg. said election result. If the guy doesn't die of heart attack after 40 seconds you know that the event will happen.
  • How far can the death instructions be algorithmic? That is, is it possible to establish conditional sentences and program something like "Paul Denton. He travels to Hong Kong. If when he arrives the weather's rainy, he hangs himself; else, he stabs himself"? Then, given that the Death Note seems to have access to some sort of impersonal omniscience (always acts in the exact hour, understands any sentence written on it, etc), it should be possible to obtain any absolute truth by writing things like "Jane Doe. If Riemman's hypothesis is true, she shoots herself; else, she drowns".
    • Not at all. As soon as you hit something that was impossible (say, it wasn't raining), boom, heart attack.
    • That's not how the logic of "if" works. In fact, whether it would work is an open question with the known rules. An interesting question, too.
  • How would the death note affect someone with dissociative personality disorder? Would you have to enter both identities' names to cause death? Would one be sufficient? Or would entering one name result in that personality dying but the other surviving?
    • To simply cause the body to die you'd have to enter the name of the personality that is currently fronting (assuming the Death Note checks for spelling accuracy immediately after writing the name), as for controlling the victim's actions you'd probably need to know both names, otherwise the personality who's name isn't written could simply take control of the body.
    • No... one body, one name. Write that down and they die no matter what wires are crossed in their brain.
      • What if the split personality has a supernatural cause and is accompanied by a change in appearance such as Daisuke and Dark?
      • It's still effectively a death (or permanent trapped-in-your-body) sentence. You could shift to duck it, but as soon as the target shifted back in...
  • If one were to look at Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfe­schlegelstein­hausenberger­dorffvoraltern­waren­gewissenhaft­schaferswessen­schafewaren­wohlgepflege­und­sorgfaltigkeit­beschutzen­von­angreifen­durch­ihrraubgierigfeinde­welche­voraltern­zwolftausend­jahres­vorandieerscheinen­wander­ersteer­dem­enschderraumschiff­gebrauchlicht­als­sein­ursprung­von­kraftgestart­sein­lange­fahrt­hinzwischen­sternartigraum­auf­der­suchenach­diestern­welche­gehabt­bewohnbar­planeten­kreise­drehen­sich­und­wohin­der­neurasse­von­verstandigmen­schlichkeit­konnte­fortplanzen­und­sicher­freuen­anlebens­langlich­freude­und­ruhe­mit­nicht­ein­furcht­vor­angreifen­von­anderer­intelligent­geschopfs­von­hinzwischen­sternartigraum Senior (yes, actual person) with the death god eyes, how would it fit in the field of vision?
    • I'd guess it would just be very, very small so it could fit. Doesn't explain how you'd be able to read it, though.
    • Well, it fits in the screen you're looking at, doesn't it? Nobody says long names can't "stack".
  • Is it mentioned anywhere whether or not shinigami can be photographed? Does it make a difference if the camera has touched a death note?
    • I'm pretty sure Mello watches Sidoh on security cameras at one point, so the camera itself isn't the issue.
  • This is partially a WMG but is it possible to write for how long someone dies. If so L wrote his name in the Death Note wherein he dies just long enough before any major damage to the brain (If final death is necessary L could have even wrote in that he dies years later) to get away from Light and give him the idea that he has won (Light flees pretty quickly so when L resurrects he can tell the others whats going on, he could have even made it to where Light left because the Death Note said so)
    • Death is final in the Death Note universe, so no reviving. He could probably write in a fake death (short-term coma, perhaps) if he wanted to, but he couldn't delay his "final" death more than 23 days.
      • Couldn't this be bypassed by Rule 28, by specifying disease that takes longer than 23 days to be fatal?
  • Does the person you picture in your mind have to look like them, or actually be them? Let me use Higurashi as an example, specifically, (spoilers for Watanagash-hen identical twins Shion and Mion. Shion is going on a rampage, and Keiichi has a Death Note. He writes her name down as suicide (probably involving several knives knowing Higurashi).) (Spoilers for Meakashi-hen However, Shion and Mion have interchanged their names at birth, so Shion is actually named Mion and vice versa. So, since Keiichi is picturing someone who looks exactly like Mion, who's legal name is Shion, will she die?
    • The Death Note would probally be able to distinigish between them and thus fail due to Keiichi "misspelling" Mion's name, however since they switched names at birth (and thus while still under the protection of the 780 day rule), I suspect the Death Note would consider the names they currently go by to be their true names.)
  • Is "killed by a shinigami" a valid cause of death?
    • Unlikely. Presuming shinigami can be affected by the Death Note at all (they cannot be killed by it), they are governed by a rule stating that they are forbidden from killing a human through any means other than using a Death Note. This rule is punishable by death. Thus, for it to take effect, the shinigami would either have to use their Death Note (which breaks the rule stating that only the first Death Note will take effect on the human whose name is written on it) or they would kill the human through other means, ultimately resulting in their own death (breaking the rule that the Death Note cannot be used to specify a cause of death which results in the death of someone other than whose name was written). Considering these circumstances, it is likely that the person would die by the default method.
      • Ah, but what if the shinigami used some of the pages from a Death Note as fuel to start a fire which they use to kill the human?
      • That would still break the Shinigami law, which is specific in stating that Shinigami may only kill humans by writing names in their Death Notes. Using fire (even fire set using a Death Note as fuel) breaks that law, which would cause the Shinigami's death, which breaks the rule stating that the Note cannot cause a death which would lead to the death of someone other than one whose name is written in the Death Note.
  • Do abbreviations count as real names? During the first Mafia raid, Neylon reads out the names of the people who are having their helmets removed. The first two are Joe Morton and Greg Randolph. Shouldn't it be Joseph Morton and Gregory Randolph? I know the characters in Death Note have weird names and that people are sometimes given abbreviations as their birth names, but that still seems a bit weird. Plus, Near's real name is supposedly Nate, which is usually an abbreviation of Nathan or Nathaniel.
    • Yeah, let's attribute it to Ohba's naming scheme. It could be "Quillsh", after all.
    • I had always assumed that shortened first names work, but now that I've given it the thought, what sounds like shortened names in the Death Note world seem to be their birth names, with no normal version. Shortened names do exist in Japan, right? Just that the difference is that they're strictly used informally among people close to each other whereas western shortened names can be used in any context. Maybe that's something Ohba never understood.
  • If I wrote a cause of death that is possible but extremely unlikely would it work? Say I wrote "Bob Smith: head explodes", would it be the same as if I wrote "Bob Smith: brain is infected with methane producing bacteria and while he is standing in a hot place the methane ignites causing his head to explode"?
  • How up-to-date does the face have to be? Would a childhood photo or face memory of that person as a child work against an adult?
  • How much can the Death Note affect a person's emotions? Light tells Misa that if she wrote "Light Yagami falls in love...", then he wouldn't fall in love and would just die of a heart attack. But it seems like you can make someone suicidally depressed through the notebook, as how else would the notebook make someone commit suicide? Was Light just lying to Misa because he was worried she'd try it?
    • Since the rules explicitly list suicide as a valid cause of death, its likely that whenever "suicide" is written as the cause of death, the rules requireing the cause and details of death to be reasonable are trumped by the suicide rule. Thus, Misa could make Light fall in love with someone, but only if the cause of death she wrote was suicide.
      • Assuming Light wasn’t lying then he considers the possibility of him falling in love with Misa as something impossible to think of.
  • What is defined as "touching" a notebook? Because I think in the anime Mello is able to touch the notebook in order to see Sidoh while wearing gloves, and it seems to work.
  • "The Human who's name is written in this note shall die." What is defined as writing? Would a typewriter count? How about a computer (If printed on DN paper)? What about if I burnt a name into the paper?
    • Anything, as long as the name is in legible characters. Charcoal, blood, etc. It's in the rules.
    • The pilot chapter says it won't work if you use a sticker that says the target's name. What if you used, for example, stickers in the shape of individual letters? Would it count as "writing" the name in sticker glue on the page?
      • It can be inferred from the transfer of ownership rules that any method will work that involves a human in contact with the paper.
  • A person whose name is written in a death note is immune to all other death notes. Are they immune to a bullet to the head or eating an arsenic cream pie, too? If so, would they have a sort of "luck shield" that stops any potential causes of death from making it impossible to fulfill the death note entry, or would they just survive it? This question is not made null because the death note will not affect anyone beyond their natural lifespan, because a person with shinigami eyes could theoretically experiment by trying to kill a person before the end of their lifespan without using the death note. If they could not kill the subject before the end of their lifespan, the question would still stand, just in regards to the lifespan instead of the death note entry.
    • From what I can tell, Death Notes only regulate the activities of other Death Notes. If you write someone's name in the Death Note, then shoot them in the head, they die from high-velocity lead poisoning as opposed to a heart attack.
      • According to the live-action spinoff movie, you can't die before the Death Note's schedule.
      • Two rules are at work here. One is the 12 minute rule, which states that anyone with less then 12 minutes left cannot be affected. The other rule states that the death note cannot lengthen the persons lifespan beyond their original. The person getting shot was the originally destined death, and the death note was powerless to lengthen the victim's life. But if the person had more than 12 minutes left, and the lifespan was shortened already, perhaps it would avert the currently fated death.
  • Say Lois Griffin is in a desert (trip, or whatever) and Stewie writes in his death note that Lois drowns, and yes, this troper knows that deserts are not always shifting sand lands, the term "desert" means "a place where it rarely rains", but the desert is a SSL, would the note count that as impossible?
    • No, the Death Note has a 23 day window to work in.
    • Heart attack. If it's not possible for Lois to get to any thing she might possibly be able to drown in within 23 days, she will die of a heart attack forty seconds after her name is written in the Death Note.
  • What happens if someone writes "gets crushed by a molecule of air" as a cause of death?
    • Heart Attack. Even if we assume a molecule of air could be accellerated to the point where it could kill a human, it would not be reasonable to say the human had been crushed to death.
  • What if the Death Note fell into the hands of a person who had prosopagnosia or prosopamnesia?
    • My guess is that the person with prosopagnosia wouldn't be able to kill people at all, while the person with prosopamnesia would only be able to kill people if he or she is looking at them or their pictures.
  • What determines the name you have to write for the Death Note to take effect? Birth name? Legal name? Is it possible to change it by legally changing your name? I'm guessing it isn't. According to the Rules, you have a "name" even if you aren't legally registered. Is it the name your mother gave you? What if you were born in the woods, your mother died giving birth, never having even thought of a name, and then you were raised by wolves? Would your name be something like "woof"? What about a child in a tribe that did not have a written language, and had very unorthodox pronunciation? What kind of name would appear to a person with Shinigami eyes?
    • In the case of someone having a name from a spoken, but not written language, I guess it would be rendered in IPA.
  • Would 'murder' or 'assassination' be valid causes of death?
    • Yes.
    • No, they wouldn't. The Death Note only directly affects one person at any given time. Rule X states that the Note is designed so that "other lives (aside from the victim) are not influenced". For someone to be murdered, there necessarily has to be a murderer. Now, if you were to write that a person kills someone else, and then himself, this is also not permissible, again by Rule X: "If the death leads to the death of more than the intended, the person will simply die of a heart attack." In order to make it happen the Death Note would have to control both the murderer and the victim, which it will not do. If another person is involved in the death (eg, "hit by a car") then the death must be specified as "accidental".
      • Actually, it is possible, as long as you don't specify who the murderer or the assassin is. Lives of people around the world are profoundly influenced by Light's usage of the Death Note. When Raye Penber died, Naomi Misora was undoubtedly influenced, for instance. When Misa's attacker died, she considered that the greatest influence of her life. The rule in question is that a Death Note cannot kill a person whose name hasn't been written down.
  • What would happen if your said someone would die of happiness? Or from nothing? Or if your say they die from death? Or from something that doesn't exist (dragon attack, leprechaun attack, Trix Rabbit etc.)? What if two people have the same name? If you killed John Smith, how many people would die? Or, what if someone changes or forgets, or isn't even given a name? Or, if you said they would die in the past(kill a criminal before he commits the crime and he wouln;t commit the crime, providing you no reason to kill him, allowing to live, making him commit the crime etc.)? Or if you say the die in the future, after you kill them? Can you kill people who have not been born yet? Or those who have liven in the past? Or if you say one would die from living? Or dieing from "being too pure?" Or they die from changing their name?
    • Any impossible cause of death defaults to heart attack (note: dragon attack wouldn't count as impossible the victim would be Komodo Dragon or some other real dragon). If two people have the same name the person who's face you pictured would die. If you killed John Smith everyone would die because Haruhi would be pissed. The death note requires its victim to be atleast 780 days old, and have atleast 12 minutes of life left, thus it can only affect living persons. If the cause of death is possible, but non-lethal it would likely be counted as a detail of death (for instance if you wrote the cause of death as "dies from changing his name" the victim cahnge his name, and then die of a heart attack.
    • 1st heart attack if cause of death is impossible to happen to the person. 2nd the one person you think about when writing his name dies. 3rd everyone has a name, even if it isn't written down anywhere. in that case you have to have the eyes of a Shinigami to know what to write. 4th you can't kill someone in the past only starting from the time you finish writing. 5th someone who is already dead can't be killed by the death note, if you write his name inside and then try to kill him conventionally it would probably fail. 6th no you can't kill unborn people. 7th Again no killing of who already is dead. 8th again nothing impossible.
  • I know there's the whole rule where you can't force someone to kill someone else directly before they die from whatever reason you put in the Death Note, say if I wrote "Bob shoots Alice then shoots himself" that won't work, or any of the like. However, if say the person you want dead is a known Death Note user, and I decided to kill them, is it possible to make then kill someone in their own Death Note before they die? Say this user I want dead was named Bob, and in my Death Note I wrote "Bob dies of heart attack in two weeks, after writing the name of every person he knows in his Death Note" would that work? Technically, you're not doing anything to kill anyone specifically...it's Bob's own Death Note that's doing so. So would that work or would the rules just block that?
    • Duh, that's the same as saying that Bob shooting Alice should work because it isn't Bob who kills her, it's the bullet, so no.
      • That's how Light killed the FBI agents investigating the Japanese police, so yes it would work.
      • No. He used the Death Note to keep Penber from recognizing his voice, get Penber on the train, and to die after he stepped off. He didn't use the Note to have Penber write the other names; he simply intimidated Penber into it. Bob writes nothing and dies in 40 seconds.
  • One of the Death Note rules states that in order to protect the lives of uninvolved mortals, the victim's manner of death or the consequences leading up to his death as stipulated in the note would not be fulfilled if they would inadvertently cause harm to another human being. In such case, said person would simply die of a heart attack. However, do you think it could be possible to create a murder suicide scenario by writing down two names? Example;
    Kaneda Isao
    Murder, today at 11.15 PM, at pier 34 of Minato Prefecture Harbour. Victim will disrobe on the spot and wait for death.
    Higarashi Kouta
    Suicide, today at 11.20 PM, throws himself off pier 34 of Minato Prefecture Harbour after repeatedly stabbing the naked man standing there.
    • This was done in the movie. It works. Dunno about the anime/manga canon, though.
    • Well if we're talking about the Magnificent Bastard Light using the Death Note, he has more than enough intelligence to rig the deaths of the people he write into his Death Note to make it seem like a perfect murder suicide scenario. So I'd say yes.
    • Sorry, but the answer is "no". See the relevant rule here
    • You couldn't actually make one kill the other in the anime or manga, but if one only needed to make it look like a murder/suicide, it could be written:
      Kaneda Isao
      Murder, today at 11.15 PM, at pier 34 of Minato Prefecture Harbour. Victim will disrobe on the spot and use a kitchen knife to peirce own heart.
      Higarashi Kouta
      Suicide, today at 11.20 PM, throws himself off pier 34 of Minato Prefecture Harbour after repeatedly stabbing the naked corpse there.
      [[supersecretspoiler:.....]]Assuming, of course, that the extra four minutes are for drowning, rather than the second victim jumping in the water at that time. It might also be possible to write it out as such:
      Kaneda Isao
      Murder, today at 11.15 PM, at pier 34 of Minato Prefecture Harbour. Victim will disrobe on the spot and be stabbed to death by a man [named Higarashi Kouta] with a hand-drawn picture of Clifford the Big Red Dog in his left shoe.
      Higarashi Kouta
      Suicide, today at 11.20 PM, throws himself off pier 34 of Minato Prefecture Harbour while wearing a hand-drawn picture of Clifford the Big Red Dog in his left shoe.
      [[supersecretspoiler:.....]]Although if you can use the name (I don't really recall if names were allowed in the descriptions of other peoples' deaths), you wouldn't have to use the identification detail. It would decrease the possibility of coincidence bringing up a different person with that name or that drawing in his shoe, though. I'm not really sure if that last thing would be possible, though. The reasoning is that Kaneda's death description would be no different from the guy who got run over when Light was testing the note, since it presumably takes the cause of death (gets run over/gets stabbed to death by someone with the picture in their shoe) with the most convenient source of said cause (person in a vehicle/person with said picture in their shoe, who is most likely Higurashi). Then Higurashi's death description would be an unrelated suicide that just happened to make him be wearing the picture in his shoe at that time. Since the Death Note is not supposed to be very imaginative, it's unlikely that it would be able to set up a "Lucky Hand-drawn Pictures Of This Dog To Be Worn In The Left Shoe" stand on the pier, or a less ridiculous but still manipulative coincidence, out of spite.
  • If a sketch artist drew a criminal's face, and it was spot on and totally realistic, and they gave you his name, would that work for the Death Note? Apparently seeing people on the television and photographs work, would a pencil drawing also suffice? Speaking of television and photography, we know that when somebody with Shinigami eyes see somebody, they get the name. Do they see names on TV?
    • No, a drawing doesn't work regardless of realism. Yes the do see name's on TV.
  • What if somebody was raised in the wild and didn't have a name. Or if they were raised as a test tube experiment, and weren't give a name. Would they effectively be immune to death notes? What you see if you looked at them with Shinigami eyes?
    • No because the person who wanted to kill them would simply have to give that person a name, and then use that name. If you were to look at them before giving them a name you would simply see their lifespan.
  • If a Death Note wielder saw your face, and then you went out and got plastic surgery to the point where what they remember of your face is no longer factual, would become immune to their Death Note temporarily until they met you again? If so, how damaged do you think your face needs to be before it counts again? I doubt a simple knick would do it, nor would it work if you just stopped shaving for a couple days.
    • As long as the face you have in your mind is similar enough to the target's current face to allow you to recogize that person, and distingish him/her from anyone one else with the same name the Death Note will work.
    • The actual boundaries aren't tested, but Mello sure isn't taking any chances.
  • Suppose a connection exists between Alice and Bob such that any injuries or sickness that Alice recieves will be "transferred" to Bob. For instance if Alice were to get hit by a car she'd be unharmed, but Bob would have the injuries you'd expect someone who was hit by a car to have. Furthermore, Bob himself is immune to Death Notes. What happens if someone writes Alice's name in a Death Note?
    • If Alice is truly invincible, then nothing happens.
      • Alternately, the Note's power hitting Alice transmutes "magic" to "heart attack", then Alice transfers "heart attack" to Bob, laundering the "magic" part with her own body. Bob's immunity doesn't apply. Dead Bob.
  • Consider the situation: At 9:22 AM on December 12. 2021, a shinigami named, say, Zorbo, writes "Alice Akram, 9:50 AM December 12, 2021".
    • Scenario 1: Zorbo has ten minutes left of stored-up life as of 9:22. Alice has only two minutes to live past 9:50.
    • Scenario 2: Zorbo has ten minutes left of stored-up life as of 9:22. Alice would have lived at least twenty minutes past 9:50 had Zorbo not written her into the book.
    • Scenario 3: Zorbo has at least 39 minutes of stored life left at 9:22. It is in love with Bob, but Charlie Crandall is going to kill Bob at 9:33, and Zorbo writes (after filling out Alice's entry) "Charlie Crandall, aneurysm, 9:30 AM December 12, 2021", saving Bob's life.
    • What happens to alice and her lifespan? Alice dies and her lifespan dissolves into the aether for any of the three options? Alice lives for any of the three options (I doubt this)? Zorbo gets Alice's remaining lifespan added to his "tab" and doesn't yet die of "Shinigami old age" despite her not dying yet, for the first option? Zorbo dies two minutes after he would have had he not written Alice's name, for the second scenario? Alice dies and Bob gets her remaining lifespan when she dies, for option 3 (what if Zorbo didn't have enough stored-up lifespan to get Bob all the way from 9:33 to 9:50)? Alice dies and Bob gets chalked up for that extra time when Zorbo dies, rather than when Alice dies, for option 3?
  • Pieces carry the full effects of the note, right? So what if you ground down a page to fibers and then used it in tattoo ink? Would that give you permanent ownership? And would touching a person with the tat be the same as touching the Death Note?
    • Maybe it would depend on the death note fiber:tat ink ratio?
  • Suppose that for some reason, the parents of a pair of identical twins gave both twins the same name. If I were to write that name in the Death Note, would it be able to differentiate which twin I want to kill, kill them both, or not work at all? (This is assuming they have the exact same face.)
    • Do they have any physical differences? If so you could probably get it to work if you picutred something physically distinct about the twin you wanted to kill in addition to the face. Otherwise it would fail.
  • I am confused about something. Near the start of the series, I think Ryuk said that Light would have the Death Note until "he gave it up, gets destroyed, or is finished". What does he mean by finished or used up. One of the rules say that the number of pages in the Death Note will never run out.
    • I think Light is the one who mentions the possibility of the Death Note running out of pages, so it's easier to wangle, but I'm afraid we're going to have to go Doylist on this one: the T.O. team built in an out, or perhaps a complication that would require dealings with shinigami, that they later decided would get in the way of the story.
  • What if someone uses a Death Note in a situation where the death of another person is unavoidable? For example, both pilots of a plane and the rest of the crew dies via Death Note? Or a pilot in a two-person plane with the other person, bound and drugged?
    • A lot of Death Note rules seem to boil down to "when in doubt, the book will be a douche", so let's say that Rule #1 takes precedence.
  • If I anticipate the people who would get killed and write them down with the same cause of death, could I make them die from the same thing? Example: Alice dies of small explosion in her appartment. Bob dies of small explosion in Alice's appartment. Coby dies of small explosion in Alice's appartment. Or would the "No one else must be killed" rule apply even though I scheduled them to die right there in the death note and all three of them would get heart attacks instead?
    • Multiple deaths can be linked to the same cause, However it wouldn't work how you wrote it you'd have to first write "dies of small explosion at [location of Alice's apartment]." (leaving space to fill the names in), and then write the names in, Ending up with "Alice, Bob, Coby dies of small explosion at [location of Alice's apartment].(Rules:VIII and LV)
  • What if a Death Note user is disabled in any way while in the middle of writing someone's name, so they never finish writing the name? Would it count as misspelled (therefore creating Loophole Abuse) or does it not count? An example from the series is during the finale, where Light is interrupted two times while writing down Near's name because of Matsuda.
    • I would guess an incomplete name would be counted as a misspelling, if anything.
  • What exactly is defined as a person's name? Based on the context of the Death note canon, it seems unlikely to me that something as arbitrary and unimportant as what 2 humans give their child to refer to it as would have so much power. What if the person was never given a name? what if they changed it legally? What if they were named bob, but never treated it as their real name and felt it was like a nickname, like a person with gender identity issues with their gender, it's not their true self.
    • The concept is tied to how names of things have spiritual importance in Japanese culture. This is known as Kotodama, and it is also why characters are always shouting out the names of their attacks as they perform them. In addition, nameless people are something of a non-issue in Japan, as everyone born there, as soon as it's known to the public, must have his or her name approved by the government and recorded into a registry, and anyone found without a registry match is detained, given a name, and released. As for the questions, I'd guess that whatever name someone was born with is what is used for the Death Note, regardless of what they want to be named, except in the case of an unnamed individual, in which case I'd guess that the Death Note would go with the name the individual accepts first. If they never received a name, it's whatever they're called most frequently. The rules of the Death Note states directly, by the way, that name changes don't change what the Death Note would refer to them as, even if it's official.
  • What were to happen if someone left a death note open, and someone else wrote in a name without ever actually touching the note?
    • This is effectively what Raye Penbar does. The pages from the note are inside an envelope, with only enough space cut out to write a name through. Raye was only touching the envelope, not the note itself. So even if you don't touch the death note, it still works as normal.
  • John Smith and Jane Smith are sitting in a room. Jane Smith is holding a knife. Jane Smith writes down "John Smith - stabbed to death by Jane Smith" in a Death Note, and then tries her hardest NOT to stab John Smith. Will she lose control over her body or will John Smith get a heart attack?
    • If it is theoretically possible for Jane Smith to stab John Smith to death, it will happen. As Naomi Misora's case shows, it doesn't matter what kind of conviction you have before your name is written. Remember though that regardless of how John Smith dies, Jane Smith will die of a heart attack, because she also wrote her own name in the Death Note.
  • For that matter, could someone write down "John Smith - shot to death when John Doe discovers that his daughter is pregnant with John Smith's child" and use the Death note to actually CREATE a life?
    • One of two things will happen. The first possibility is that John Smith will get John Doe's daughter pregnant with his child, after which John Doe will shoot him, after which John Doe will have a heart attack (because his name was also written in the Death Note.) However, this will only happen if it were theoretically possible for John Smith to get John Doe's daughter pregnant in the first place. The second possibility is that it's not possible for John Smith to get John Doe's daughter pregnant (either he or she is infertile, she's too young to have children, she's not in a place he can reach or he's not in a position to do anything to her, if he tried to do anything to her she'd resist too much, etc) in which case both John Smith and John Doe will die of a heart attack.
      • After rereading my own answer, I've realized there's actually only one possibility. Because there is no time or cause of death specified for John Doe, after his name is written he will die of a heart attack 40 seconds after his name is written. Because John Doe is already dead, there is no way for John Smith's entry in the Death Note to be fulfilled, therefor he also dies of a heart attack.
      • And on the subject of creating a life, there's no reason a child actually must be conceived: All it take is for John Doe to Find out about the pregnancy.
  • Suppose, when writing down the conditions of a person's death, you say that they die immediately (or specify a time that's within ten seconds or so). Would the person die right then and there, or does the Death Note require that at least 40 seconds go by between writing the name and the person's death? If you could make that work, writing such a condition on the Death Note scrap beforehand could have made Light's killing of Higuchi a lot less stressful.
    • Obviously that's not possible, because then you would not have the ability to add further details. The notebook has no way of knowing you have finished writing the conditions/details of death, therefor it can't do anything until the 40 second (or 6 minutes 40 seconds in case of the details) mark has passed and you've officially finished writing.
  • What if one party is traveling fast enough for relativity to be an issue?
    • I guess it'd be forty of the Death Note user's seconds. And I guess if you're on a spaceship and you've got a Death Note-using cohort with the same aims planetside, best let them take care of matters so the simultaneity rule doesn't bite you.
  • Suppose I write down "Jobababby Mickerfishtington, all the ants and wasps in the city congregate on him and devour him until nothing is left" will it work.
  • So a shinigami is "obligated" to kill a Death Note owner before their natural lifespan is out. Also, a Death Note user's lifespan can be miscellaneously jerked around by using the Death Note - and only to shorten it, unless that rule is just saying that humans don't absorb life spans the way shinigami do - and this will make no difference to what the Shinigami Eyes see. So if the user dies well before the expected time and hence the shinigami misses the boat, what exactly happens?
    • I guess nothing, since lots of WMG and whatnot have already explained that Light would have lived far from the moment where Ryuk killed him, and nothing happening to Ryuk.
  • If you typed up the names of people you recognized, then put a page of the Death Note through a laser printer, would it kill them?
    • How to Read said you can use any material to write the names but makes no mention of what happens if you have a machine writing it...
    • Possibly nothing. It's not enough to recognize the people, you have to be actively imagining their face as you write. A machine like a laser printer is incapable of doing that.
    • What about a rubber stamp? If so, then could you make a mechanical printer powered by hand-crank, so that you cranked it to print the name while you thought of the face?
  • On that note, can you program a robot (with facial recognition software) to use the notebook? And if the robot is using the notebook does that mean the robot is the Owner and the human who programmed the robot is free from any supernatural penalty?
  • A terrible accident has killed John Smith's parents right after his birth. Luckily for him, he was adopted by another family, who didn't know his name and called him Bob Johnson. This way, nobody knows his real name, and everebody, himself included, consider Bob to be his real name. Does this make him invincible for Death Note (without taking shinigami eyes into consideration)?
    • I would assume that this would become his new name. If he himself knew what his real name was, then he would be invincible until someone who owned a death note found out his real name.
  • One of the rules of the Death Note states that a person who owns a Death Note stops being a victim of death. (Which is why a person with the Shinigami Eye power can't see the lifespan of someone who owns a notebook.) This is also why a Shinigami is required to write the name of a owner in their own notebook when the time comes for that person to die. (Or whenever they choose.) So how is it possible that Light could use the notebook to kill Higuchi while Higuchi still owned the notebook? Shouldn't Higuchi have been immune?
    • I always read that as more a symbolic passage than literal. Sort of like a human Death Note owner is considered sort of an honorary Shinigami since they have the same power over death, but Shinigami themselves aren't immortal. Death Note users can still get killed by another Death Note. Also, it's never stated that the Shinigami has to be the one who finally kills a Note's owner, just that that's the way it usually ends.
  • Can you kill yourself by writing your own name in your own Death Note?
    • Well, in one chapter, Light mentions that if Misa were to write "Light Yagami falls in love with Misa Amane", then she would die, but for reasons outlined in the above headscratcher, that may not actually be true. After all, Light never tried it, so he doesn't really know that for sure.
    • While not canon, in the first movie, L writes his own name into the Death Note, and it works.
  • What would happen if you ripped pages out of the death note, filled your laser printer with them and then made a program to automatically copy and print the mugshots from news sites every day? Would people die? Would your printer suffer bad fortune? Or the people who posted the mugshots on the net? And what if you did all this without ever touching the death note without rubber gloves? Would you get away with it because you never really used the death note or even touched it? Or would the shinigami king just get fed up with all that smartassery and write your name down?
    • On the gloves point during the Mello-arc some of the mafia guys touched the notebook while wearing gloves and it apparently still counted as "touching" the notebook. So what you need to do is to pick it up with one of those little remote-controlled bomb-defusig robots or something...
  • If a Bob is fated to save Alice, but Bob's name is written on a death note and instructed to die before saving Alice, will that count as "leads to a death of more than the intended" and therefore dies by a heart attack? If so, does that mean Alice will die anyway because nobody could save her? Or the death or Bob will be cancelled? Or a third person, named Clay, will save Alice instead?
  • There something I don't understand. I probably lost track, but as I remember: If you give up the ownership of your death-note, all death-note related memories will be erased. If you touch it again, you'll regain them, but only as long as you're touching it, unless you become it's owner again. That's why Light had to hold the Death-Note while writing Higuchi's name on the piece of paper. All clear. Then, we see Light giving up his ownership of the Deathnote and sending it to Task Force, while telling Misa he'd take her Death Note and thus remember everything. Does that mean that He was holding her Note during the whole time, until his father died?
    • Yes. In the manga they mention he uses a kind of corset thing and keeps it pressed against his body. In the anime however, they show exactly where he keeps the notebook: [1]
  • Can a past-Death Note user (who lost their memories) be forced to remember under the Death Note control? If Ryuk wrote Light's name in his book and put "he regains Death Note-related memories, confesses, and then dies", would Light's amnesia be broken or not, considering he didn't regain ownership of a Death Note again?
    • "The conditions for death will not be realized unless it is physically possible for that human or it is reasonably assumed to be carried out by that human." So if it's physically possible for them to touch Death Note, which is the way to regain their memories, then yes. If not, then no.
  • One of the rules is you can't kill anyone under 2 years old, roughly.. Why would you need to kill anyone a 3 year old? Or most little kids for that matter? Also what happens if - like the rule book says the limit is - a 6 - 10 year old grabs hold of the book?
  • The Death Note was supposed to be an instrument used by shinigami (Death Gods) to kill humans when "their time was up", and if Ryuk hadn't thought of using it as a means of entertainment, humans would have no business with it. Why then are there SO many rules concerning use of Death Note by humans?
    • Doesn't Ryuk mention at one point that there have been other notebooks in the human world before? Ryuk may have been the first to put one there intentionally, but persumably notebooks have ended up there by accident before, so rules were created governing how humans could use them.
    • That actually makes it even more difficult to believe the need for those rules. It is one thing if you intend to have them used by humans and then write rules for them. It is quite another to think they might accidentally land in a human's hand and write rules. To take a real life analogy, a recreational club will have rules concerning use of their equipment (such as the pool table) for members and visitors. They don't think aliens might accidentally fall off a spaceship into the club's property and write rules for aliens.
    • Crossing over with Wild Mass Guessing. Shinigami can't reproduce and sometimes they even die. So maybe they need humans to use the notebook in order to create new Shinigami.
    • I actually wasn't saying that they created the rules in anticipation of the notebooks accidentally landing in the human world, but because of it. It was a response to the phenomenon, not something that was in place beforehand. It's not like creating new laws and rules in response to certain events is unusual. It happens in the human world all the time. (Example: Japanese internment during World War II).
    • The rules are there because it's a scenario that is likely to happen at least once. Unlike with aliens from outer space, the death gods know there is a world populated by humans and that they can visit it. The death gods also know they're imperfect and can leave a Death Note there, either by accident or on purpose. To the death gods, it's not theoretical like aliens. So really, a bank's policies on identity theft. Why the Death Notes can't be disabled except when written by a death god I don't know though.
      • Because then Death Gods wouldn't be able to sate their boredom.
  • If "mu" is the fate of all human beings after death, why do the Death Note rules seem to imply that only Death Note users go there?
    • Which rules do you mean?
      • "A human who uses the Death Note can neither go to Heaven nor Hell". Implying that this is a special case rather than the norm.
      • Remember the Ryuk was the guy who wrote that in. He could have thrown it in just to fuck with whoever read it.
  • Can two or more people own a Death Note at once? For example, what would happen if Ryuk got bored in another 10 years or so, dropped another notebook and wherever it landed, Alice and Bob reached for and touched it at the exact same time? Whose ownership would it fall to then?
    • Maybe whoever wanted it more? It gets fuzzy. You can lose ownership of the notebook if you let go of it or hand it to someone else "with a strong desire to give it up."
  • Would a death note work on non-humans? For example if someone wrote the name of a horse a death note, would the horse die?
    • "The HUMAN whose name is written in this notebook will die." So probably not.
      • what about Neanderthals or Homo floresiensis (the 'hobbit) or other members of the genus Homo. or how about "Humanzees" (Human chimp cross breeds)
  • Read this idea in an fanfic, but what would happen if you wrote the name of a person with a transplanted heart? Would the Death Note kill them? After all, it affects the heart, but a transplanted heart is not that individual's original tissue.
    • Yes, it would still affect them. Why would it matter that the transplanted heart is not the original tissue? It's still in their body, and it's still keeping them alive.
  • What if the user of the death note specifies that the person whose name is written in the death note delivers non-fatal injuries to another person that essentially gets the target out of the way about as well as death? Would something along the lines of "Robert Smith beats John Doel into a permanent coma that does not reduce John Doel's life span, then gets shot by police." work?
    • Presumably, yes. You'd have to word it differently though: any human whose name is written in the Death Note will die. In your example, John Doel would still die, because his name was also written down.
      • so, it would have to be worded 'Robert smith goes to 277 maple street breaks open door and enters, then beats up the first balding adult male Caucasian in a blue shirt he sees into a permanent coma that does not reduce the aforementioned balding adult male Caucasian mans life span. Robert smith is then shot by police.' would that work?
  • This is not really a question so much as just a point out; the rule that states the Death Note can't kill someone older than 124 years seems pretty pointless. I mean, how many humans live to be that old? Sounds like the shinigami who wrote the rules just took a wild guess at how old people become or something. (Btw I skimmed the entire list and couldn't see this being written before, if I missed it however, I apologize.)
    • Perhaps that rule is more of a guideline for Shinigami and there, uh diet. I mean they aren't going to get much time out of an older human.
  • Since a Death Note can't kill anyone under a certain age and a person dies of a heart attack if the specified method of killing would affect another life, what would happen if a Death Note was used to kill everyone that came near a newborn child? Since no one would then be able to take care of the child, it would die of thirst/sleep deprivation/starvation/what have you. Would this cause people that came close not to die, since the consequences of death leads to another person's death?
    • Presumably not, since any individual death does not result in the child's death. Only if they are all considered together does it lead to the infant's death. The Death Note doesn't consider mass killings, only one death at a time.
  • Assuming that someone came up with a conlang or writing system that no one else knew, would writing in these be acceptable if it's legible to the person writing?
  • How would the Death Note affect a Brain in a Jar?
    • Wouldn't it be considered already dead at least as far as the notebook is concerned?
  • Say someone from Dragon Ball wanted to use the Death Note to kill Goku. Would they need to write his Earth name, Son Goku? Or would they need to write his Saiyan name, Kakarot? Same question applies to Super Man. Clark Kent or Kal El? And "yes" is not a valid answer.
    • Theoretically, you could just write them both down to make sure. You get four tries before the notebook ceases to work on your target.
    • Since the Death Note's purpose is to kill humans I'm guessing you'd have to write their real name. I didn't watch Dragon Ball so excuse me, but isn't Son Goku an alien or something? Same with Superman. In the rules it says "The HUMAN whose name is written in this note shall die" so you couldn't kill them if they're not humans.
  • What if you knew a person's real name, but could only recognize about one-half of the face because they were always wearing a mask over one part, but the rest was pretty recognizable?
    • How to Use XX: "In order to see the names and life spans of humans by using the eye power of the god of death, the owner must look at more than half of that person’s face. When looking from top to bottom, he must look at least from the head to the nose. If he looks at only the eyes and under, he will not be able to see the person’s name and life span. Also, even though some parts of the face, for example the eyes, nose or mouth are hidden, if he can basically see the whole face, he will be able to see the person’s name and life span. It is still not clear how much exposure is needed to tell a person's name and life span, as this needs to be verified" - so I am guessing to kill you need to recognize the same amount you need to see their lifespan/name
  • If a Shinigami gives its life to a human by saving them, what kind of immortality would they get? Suppose the Shinigami had 2000 years left, and the person was 30 with a natural lifespan of 70. First, would they live to 2030 or 2070? Second, what kind of immortality would they get? Would they age normally until 70, then stop? Would they stop aging right there? Or would they simply become more and more decrepit. Then there's the question of death from other causes: does one gain the inability to be killed within this incredible expanse of life, during their natural lifespan or not at all? If they do gain an inability to be killed, how is it implemented?
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