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Main Character Index | Main Characters | Light Yagami | L Lawliet | Near | Task Force | Shinigami | Side Characters | Novel, Pilot, and Movies | Death Note (2017)

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Light and his allies

"You're asking me why? I did it 'cause I was bored."
Played by: Shido Nakamura (JP, movies), Jun Fukuyama (Japanese, TV drama), Brian Drummond (EN), Jorge Varela (Spain), Alfonso Vallés (Spain, movies), Rolando De Castro (Latin America), Emmanuel Karsen (FR)

Light's Shinigami sidekick, and the one who dropped Light's Death Note on Earth in the first place. Despite his terrifying appearance, he's mostly harmless (unless he gets bored), and has a fondness for apples. He tells Light about various rules of the Shinigami Realm, sometimes at extremely inconvenient times.

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In both the Japanese and Korean productions of Death Note the Musical , Ryuk is much less ugly and scary-looking than his manga counterpart.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • While his manga and anime incarnation could hardly be called heroic, he's much worse in the TV series. See The Corrupter below for details.
    • His Netflix movie counterpart is more evil than his drama counterpart. He encourages Light to write a specific death for his first victim, keeps implying that he would find someone a lot worse than Light to give the notebook to and seems to favor Mia more because she caused the FBI agents' deaths and was planning to take the notebook from Light by trying to kill him.
  • Affably Evil: Is a bit of this and Faux Affably Evil, as he can be genuinely nice to Light and Misa, but fits the latter in his malicious way of curing boredom. Of course, it's worth noting that Shinigami are not hard-wired toward compassion for humans to begin with, so from Ryuk's standpoint, his actions do not seem immoral.
  • Alien Catnip: Apples are addictive to him.
  • Allergic to Routine: Ryuk really disliked the fact Shinigami tend to spend their lifetimes doing nothing but writing names on their Death Notes from time to time. And when Ryuk did get a second Death Note, he decides to drop it to break the routine.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: He could end the duel between Light and L at any time if he really wanted to, just by writing one of their names in his notebook. But that would be too boring for him.
  • Art Evolution: His new look for the 2016 film Light Up the New World is noticeably sharper and more intimidating.
  • Audience Surrogate: He starts the whole story simply because he was bored, and mostly hangs out on the sidelines treating Light's antics like his own personal soap opera, not really caring who wins as long as it's entertaining.
  • Ax-Crazy: Even for a Shinigami, his idea of fun back in the Shinigami World is attempting to kill his "friends".
  • Badass Bookworm: He's a nigh-immortal god of death that happens to like Nintendo games (since he asked Light to play Mario Golf with him, and, in an omake, asked for a silver Game Boy Advance SP).
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Moreso in the manga and the movies than in the anime.
  • Bishōnen: Was this in his original design which was going to be of "an attractive rockstar," before the creators decided that him looking more interesting than Light could cause the fandom to ignore Light's character.
  • Catchphrase: To use the manga translation, "Humans are fun!"
  • Captain Obvious: He tends to point out obvious problems so that Light can then explain things more thoroughly (to him and to the audience).
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: His face is frozen like that so he has one all the time.
  • The Corrupter: In the TV drama, he intentionally drops the Death Note near Light, and goads him into using it more when Light hesitates, effectively making him the one responsible for Light becoming Kira, a stark contrast to the source material in which he was a self-acknowledged neutral bystander.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: For all his lovable goofball portrayal, we get a reminder of his status as a Death God at the end of the series, when he murders Light without a second thought for having used up his entertainment value.
  • Death Takes a Holiday: Downplayed. He maintains his function as a Shinigami and shortens more than one person's lifespan throughout the series, but his leaving the Shinigami realm to go to the human world is a holiday of sorts.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Ryuk is an apple junkie. He has withdrawal symptoms and everything, even explicitly comparing them to cigarettes.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Don't order Ryuk to kill anyone when his reason of being in the human world was to see someone else kill. When Light asks him to write the names of the entire Task Force (his own father included) in his Death Note, Ryuk writes Light's name instead. He was not going to take orders from any human. Along with the small matter of shinigami who write in their Death Notes to save a human ceasing to exist; he certainly wasn't going to sacrifice himself for Light's sake.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Ryuk tells Light at least once that he's even eviler than a shinigami, and generally, when Light does something particularly nasty, laughs mockingly in the background.
    • He also suggests that Light should have second thoughts about killing L after he said he thinks of Light as a friend.
  • Evil Laugh: A raspy cackle in the English Dub. In the manga it is written as "hyuk hyuk hyuk."
  • False Friend: Though he "betrays" Light and kills him in the end, this trope is Subverted; Ryuk makes it perfectly clear that he is fated to kill Light as soon as he meets him, and, as far as things go, he really is Light's friend for all intents and purposes. It's just that loyalty and emotional attachment traditionally doesn't come with the package when you're friends with a god of death. From Ryuk's point of view, killing Light once his usefulness was lived up is just the natural way of things. No hard feelings. His speech before killing Light in the anime can even have his actions considered a Mercy Kill - he didn't want to wait until Light died in prison, implying he still had a long time to live.
  • Fish Eyes: Depending on the angle of the scene. The rest of the time it's just a bulging stare.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: In his more menacing moments. It happens in full force when he kills Light at the end.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: In every adaptation, Ryuk's wings are some manner of evil. In the manga, he has black crow wings, while in the film adaptation he has leathery bat wings.
  • Goth: Well, at least his clothes look like it. Personality, not so much.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: As a genuine Shinigami, he's a greater threat to humans than Light can ever be but he's content to watch Light work and so is uninvolved with the Evil Plan.
  • Greek Chorus: Serves as this a few times, notably his Inner Monologue eulogy for Soichiro.
  • Hates Being Touched: More like he's rather bashful. When Misa tried hugging him, he blurred away from her, blushing and citing he's not used to it.
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!: He's a "triple A"; an Apple Addicted Asshole.
  • I Warned You: He really, really did. Just as promised, he kills Light in the end. Even as the latter begs for his life, Ryuk simply reminds him of what he said all those years ago...
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Ryuk shakes with excitement when Light details his plan to kill off all the evil people in the world and declares himself God.
  • Intrigued by Humanity: Along with boredom, his main reason for setting off the events of the series.
  • Ironic Echo: Y'know that thing Ryuk warned Light about at the very beginning of this whole mess? Guess what!
  • It Amused Me: Ryuk drops his Death Note into the human world, setting off all the chaos that follows, just because he's bored.
  • Jerkass Gods: He's only here for laughs. He makes no secret of the fact that he is on neither Light's side nor L's and doesn't much care who wins. He just enjoys watching the show. He watches L die and ultimately makes Light die without shedding a single tear.
  • Jump Scare: Frequently the one to make it happen.
  • Karma Houdini: Despite being the one responsible for the events of the story, nothing bad happens to him.
  • Keet: He's surprisingly energetic and cheery, despite appearances. Of course, the events of the series are the most fun he's had in centuries...
  • Kid with the Leash: Inverted; Ryuk, and by extent, the rules of the Death Note, are often the only thing restraining Light from killing his opponents directly. Not that that stops him from getting around the rules.
  • Kill You Last: To Light.
    "You know, you haven't been very nice to me. I might just write your name in my Death Note and kill you, just like that! ...I wouldn't laugh if I were you."
    • Which he does when realizing that Near's beaten him.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: He murders Light at the end of the series. Exaggerated in the manga and the second movie, where Light begs him to write the names of the Task Force in his Death Note, and Ryuk writes Light's name instead, then showing him.
  • Large Ham
    "The symptoms are STAAAAAAARTING!"
  • Laughably Evil: He sets the entire plot in motion because he's bored, but he's just so funny that it's practically impossible not to like him.
  • Lightning Reveal: His entrance in Light's bedroom in Episode 1.
  • Monster Roommate: He's bound to Light so long as he has the Death Note, and usually just chills out munching on apples when Light's at home.
  • Noble Demon: Or more precisely, an honest one, as he is fully straight with Light from the start that he's on nobody's side and will probably be the one to kill him in the end.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Likes to get close to Light, especially when explaining the rules of the eye deal.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: After spending the whole series eating apples and providing comic relief, he kills Light.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Ryuk conceals his knowledge of the rules of the notebook from Light in order to amuse himself.
  • Pass the Popcorn: The whole series is him doing this. He watches disaster unfold with sheer delight, since it's entertaining. Instead of a big bucket of popcorn, however, he has apples. Many, many apples.
  • Snarky Nonhuman Sidekick: Ninety percent of his dialogue consists of deadpan commentary.
  • The Sociopath: To the extent that he can be judged by human standards, Ryuk fits a great deal of the criteria. He sets the plot of the series in motion when he deliberately drops his Death Note into the human world just to see the results, and when Light himself acquires the notebook, he makes it clear that if he doesn't provide entertainment through continuing to cause carnage and mischief, his own death won't be far behind. Light himself is eager to oblige for his own reasons, but while Ryuk sometimes expresses surprise at the depths Light will sink to, it's always with amusement or appreciation, never condemnation. Throughout the series, Ryuk never quite reaches Light's level of active evil, and in fact often serves as comic relief, but his role as an amoral eager observer is never obscured. In the end, he makes good on his promise to kill Light when he outlives his entertainment value, and despite Light's pleas, shows not a trace of remorse in doing so.
  • So Proud of You: Tells Light he's proud of him at his high school graduation, in a bizarrely hilarious Pet the Dog moment.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Apples.
  • Troll: He seems to enjoy messing with Light just for the sake of amusing himself.
  • Video Game Culture: In the manga Ryuk pesters Light about wanting to play Mario Golf, and Ryuk begs Light to get him a silver Game Boy Advance SP for Christmas in an omake.
  • Villainous Friendship: With Light, of the Evil Vitriolic Best Buds variety.
    Ryuk (sounding excited and happy): He's not the least bit daunted by the fact that I'm a Shinigami! He doesn’t suck up to me, and he seems to have no problem giving me a hard time. (Grins, AWESOME!!)
  • Villainous Widow's Peak: Okay, so he's not that villainous, but still...
  • Villain Song: The stage musical gives him one in the form of "The Name is Kira!", although in some ways, it could also count as a Villain Sucks Song towards Light ("You think you're making changes, but the only thing you can change is your name!").
  • Villains Out Shopping:
    "Hey Light, want to play some video games?"
  • The Watson: Since he's constantly hanging around Light (and has to because of the Death Note bond), he is the one that Light explains all of his plans to, for the audience's benefit.
  • Wild Card: He makes it clear that he's not on Light's side or L's; he's on no one's side but his own.
  • You Can See Me?: He can only be seen by the current owner of the Death Note or by people who touch it. Asks this word for word, when one of Light's plans involves a criminal picking up a note written on paper of the Death Note and then freaks out upon seeing him.
  • You Didn't Ask: Ryuk amuses himself by explaining certain rules of the Death Note to Light at the worst moments. He even invokes this trope word-for-word in the movie.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He doesn't kill Light because he's Entertainment Value. This is what he plans to do to Light when the latter no longer provides him entertainment. He does so in the end when Near beats Light.

    Misa Amane/2nd Kira
"I hate evil and love justice. I do not consider the police as my enemies but as my allies against evil."
Played by: Aya Hirano (JP), Shannon Chan-Kent (EN), Nuria Trifol (Spain), Rebeca Gómez (Latin America), Charlene Pestel (FR), Erika Toda (films)

The second Kira, an internationally famous model and pop star who started out as Light's Stalker with a Crush since, as Kira, he killed the burglar that murdered her parents when she was a little girl, thus making her feel indebted to him. She has one hell of a messed up lifespan due to multiple shinigami sacrificing their lives for her and her multiple exchanges for the Shinigami Eyes. She and her shinigami, Rem, helped Light, but not before dragging him through a series of events, both good and bad, started by her carelessness.

  • Adaptational Badass: As the 2nd Kira before joining Light in the live-action movies, she is portrayed as more dark and intimidating, and not making the stupid mistakes she does in the manga and anime.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: While Misa wasn't the most intelligent person in the original manga, she did have a good head on her shoulders and was serious about her actions, knew simple, slightly dangerous yet effective plans on how to get what was needed, like in the Yotsuba Arc where she goes off on her own to investigate Higuchi from the Yotsuba group and records his admission that he is the current Kira which played a big role in finishing up that arc. The anime altered her intelligence to the point of downplaying any big moments she had in the manga and even changed her personality to be more airheaded and up-played her Yandere traits towards Light, making her a typical The Ditz character.
  • Adaptational Heroism: She has no hesitation or remorse when killing in the name of love in most versions, but the Japanese live-action film version is different. First, when Sayu calls her (as the Second Kira) out as a murderer, Misa remembers her own family's murder and stops writing names in the notebook, going into a guilty Villainous BSoD (which sadly ends the moment she first sees Light.) And then later, she cries when Light writes his own father's name down, and actually acknowledges that Light and what he does is evil, albeit through admitting that even knowing this, she just can't bring herself to stop loving Light or stop being loyal to him.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Her eyes are apparently naturally brown in the manga but blue in the anime.
    • She's blonde in both manga and anime but a brunette in the movies and the TV drama.
    • Her eyes switch between brown and blue in the anime depending on whether she's on the job as an Idol Singer. It's probably color contacts.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Instead of her name being Misa Amane in Death Note (2017), it's been changed to Mia Sutton.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Just about every incarnation of her depicts her as a ditzy, yet devoted follower of Kira's who would gladly give her life for him if it meant keeping him safe. She was also hopelessly in love with him and hoped that he would feel the same way towards her. However, her counterpart in the Netflix movie is more serious and ruthless than Light, to the point that in many ways she's closer to the original Light Yagami than the movie's Light Turner. She's the one who crosses the line into killing anyone she perceives as a threat, even if they're otherwise innocent. This change in personality also led to her stealing a page of the Death Note, cornering the agent following Light and forcing him to write the other agents' names down. Since she wanted to use the notebook in ways Light never would, she wrote his name down and had planned to let him die unless he gave her ownership of the notebook. At one point, she even wanted to kill Light's father for labeling Kira as the enemy (which Light refused to do so because it was his father), a stark contrast to Misa in the Japanese live-action movies who objected to Light trying to kill his father.
  • Affably Evil: She'll kill you without hesitation if you get in her way or cause trouble for Light, but other than that, she's a genuinely sweet girl.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: She was rather fascinated with Light, once she learns that the same boy is none other than someone who killed the same burglar that robbed her house and murdered her parents.
  • Aloof Big Sister: She either has one or is one. The manga mentions that Misa has a sister still living in Kansai as a plot point but she doesn't even get Nominal Importance and after that it's never mentioned again. Though this could also be seen as part of her cover story, worked out with Aiber and L, to infiltrate Yotsuba; Aiber uses "your sister said that you said x about Kira" to introduce the information that Misa is connected to L to the Yotsuba group. It's never made clear if the sister actually exists or not.
  • Amnesiacs Are Innocent: She loses her memories of the Death Notes completely at the end of the manga, and every adaptation thereafter. But this only spares her from death in the live-action versions.
  • ...And That Little Girl Was Me: When Rem tells Misa the story of how Gelus died and she got a second notebook.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: After meeting Light and having him doubt and question her, Misa begins to cry, falls off of her chair and tells Light that she "just had to meet him."
  • Anti-Villain: ZigZagged, as her only motivation in the entire series is finding Kira and help him in whichever way she can. And if that involves killing good people...
  • Ax-Crazy: When her Berserk Button is pushed.
  • Badass Adorable: Despite being a childish, energetic, squeaky-voiced Genki Girl, Misa does have her moments. She takes Sakura TV hostage, refuses to give up Light under L's torture, and executes her plot to ditch L's surveillance and get Higuchi to confess to her. She is also the resident cutie.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Several times, and not always just for Light.
  • The Beard: Becomes Light's official girlfriend (and in the manga, fiancee), but he keeps her around only to make him look "normal" enough to not be Kira. She knows this, too, and hopes she can make him actually love her.
  • Beast and Beauty: With Gelus who she never met, and then with Rem. Both are shinigami so in love with her that are willing to disregard the laws of life and death for her sake. Plus she's probably the only human Rem regards fondly. Unfortunately subverted in that Misa doesn't seem to care that deeply for either of them, and lets Light manipulate Rem as he pleases.
  • Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Takada's Veronica for Light's Archie.
  • Berserk Button: If anyone screws around with Light behind her back...even Light isn't safe from her wrath if this happens. As she tells Light, "If I see you with another girl, then I'll kill her!"
  • Beware the Silly Ones: After they actually meet her in person, no one - not Light, not Near, not Mello, not L or Aizawa or Mogi - takes her seriously. At all. In fact nearly every character dismisses her as a legitimate threat; in the few instances that Aizawa, Mogi, L, Near, and Mello feel that she may be trouble, it is as an agent of Light rather than in her own right. Light, knowing that Misa has said that she will kill her competition, sees other women anyway; and L, after Misa escapes from Mogi, pretty much shrugs the whole thing off. This is all despite the fact that Misa is dangerous: she is in charge of Light's killings from time to time, she threatens and controls news stations in both seasons, and she outs Higuchi as a Kira to L.
  • Blatant Lies: "Misa never betrays her friends!"
  • Blessed with Suck: Her Death Note and shinigami eyes absolutely ruined her life. Thanks, Rem.
  • Bloodbath Villain Origin: Misa is introduced as the supernatural killer who takes Sakura TV hostage, killing off innocent people and criminals alike to convince the world of her powers and then killing off the cops who race down there to stop her. During this, she threatens to kill yet more people. And she does it all solely to get Light's attention, because she must meet him, to tell him him how grateful she is that he killed her parents' murderer.
  • Bound and Gagged: In the episode, "Wager", courtesy of L.
  • Break the Cutie: She is the end-product of a cutie who's been broken too much. It fatally breaks her when Light dies.
  • Broken Bird: Under the childish behavior and cute looks, there's one hell of a mentally and emotionally broken young woman.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: To Light. Although she's smart enough to find Light, dodge Mogi and manipulate Higuchi, her mistakes do cost them both.
  • Caught in the Rain: During the opening sequence of the first season, Light offers Misa his hand as she walks through the rain towards him.
  • Cleavage Window: In the shape of a heart, no less.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Light is hers. Woe to any woman who tries to come between them.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Misa certainly does not live in the same world as most other people.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Her official color seems to be light blue.
    • Also, in the first arc, she's shown primarily wearing black while acting as the second Kira, and in the second arc she wears plenty of black and red.
  • Come Back to Bed, Honey: She tries this with Light; it ends with him ordering her out of bed and back to work.
  • Cool Pet: In the second arc she keeps a pair of lovebirds.
  • Creepy Cool Crosses:
    • She wears them in the manga and live-action film series.
    • The collector's figure included with volume 5 of the DVD series retains the cross.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: She really is a lot smarter than she usually acts.
  • Cry Cute: She begins to cry in the scene when Light first meets her and she tells him that she'll work hard to make him love her.
  • Cute and Psycho: She is charming, cheerful... and one of the Kiras.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Her high-pitched voice is...not well-liked by fans.
  • Cuteness Equals Forgiveness: To an extent, both in-universe and out. Despite being portrayed as viciously selfish and quite, quite mad, Misa never earns the same type of villain cred as, say, Light - whose eviler counterpart she was introduced as. Additionally, the characters in-universe definitely treat Misa far more gently than Light when both come under suspicion in the second season - compare Aizawa's grim, suspicious surveillance of Light with Mogi going shopping with Misa. Why is this? Misa is a small, sweet, cheerful, and cute woman, and that registers more immediately to both much of the audience and most of the characters than "ruthless serial killer." Although it could be argued that another reason for this is that she is legitimately mentally ill and thus not in full control of her mental capacities, whereas Light is fully in control of his brain and the choices he makes using it.
  • The Cutie: Subverted; She's a villainous example. Don't let her appearance fool you; her adorableness is to hide her villainy (except in the case where she's lost her memories.)
  • The Dark Chick: On Team Kira.
  • Dark Is Evil: She dresses primarily in black. And her bedroom is decked to the nines in creepiness.
  • Dark Mistress: Misa starts out as a second Kira who takes Sakura TV hostage and murders several cops and criminals to get Kira's attention. Later, she tracks down Kira, discovers that Kira is Light Yagami, and falls in love with him. She demands that Light take her on as his girlfriend; because she was already a villain in her own right, their joining forces would qualify for Unholy Matrimony status, but as she becomes immediately subservient to him and her role becomes simply "Light's Love Martyr" as the story progresses, she develops into the Dark Mistress role.
  • Deadly Upgrade: Twice, for that matter. She serves as Light's deadly upgrade: with the second Kira on his side and completely devoted to him, he gains the use of her shinigami eyes.
  • Death by Despair: According to Ohba, this is her ultimate fate, via being Driven to Suicide.
  • Death Seeker: Some of the material in the series seems to point to the fact that Misa isn't exactly concerned with her own life. Misa deliberately seeks out dangerous situations: for one example, she walks home alone, at night, on a deserted street, and for another she begins the entire attack on Sakura TV while being across the street in person. She then shows up on the mass-murderer Kira's doorstep and volunteers to be his girlfriend while knowing full well that he could kill her. She in fact explicitly offers Light the option of killing her if she gets to be a burden. Also, she begs Rem to kill her when she feels that she has a good justification to ask that of Rem, and, mind you, when Soichiro informs Misa that both she and Light are to be executed, it is Light's life that she begs for. Plus, she sacrifices half of her lifespan (even twice) to get the shinigami eyes. And of course when Light dies, she kills herself soon after.
  • Did You Just Romance Cthulu?: There is a vengeful, godlike entity out there who can kill with just a name and a face. Obviously the best way to handle the situation is to offer to be his girlfriend.
  • Dissonant Laughter: When Rem agrees to murder L at Light's request, Misa's reaction is to laugh and clap her hands. In the anime, she even hugs Rem.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Comes with the job of being the second Kira. When she regains her Death Note and finds Light's note asking her to kill L, she gladly, even triumphantly, considers it. Her distress comes only when she realizes that she can't remember his name.
  • The Dragon: She becomes this for Light, until Light has her Death Note given to Mikami.
  • Driven to Suicide: What finally happens to her. She wasn't kidding when she said she couldn't dream of living in a world without Light. Averted in the TV drama and musicalnote , where she simply loses her memories of Kira, the Death Notes, and all that stuff, and goes on to lead a normal (well, for a celebrity) life.
  • Dumb Blonde: Then again, next to L or Light, anyone would look dumb by proxy.
  • Dye Hard: In a flashback, her hair is black. May be justified on the grounds of her being an Idol Singer. invoked
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita. She dresses like this when she becomes more famous - and in the anime, when she's about to jump off to her death after Light dies.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She genuinely loves Light and she genuinely loved her dead parents.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The film version of Misa was visibly horrified when Light planned to kill his own father to prevent the notebook from being analyzed. Makes sense when you remember that she lost her own parents to a murderer.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Sayu mentions that Misa is "just her type," and Misa also seems to have as many fangirls as she does fanboys at To-Oh University. Also, Rem (a female shinigami) is genuinely in love with her.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Light at first, lampshaded when Light and L are building a profile of the Second Kira.
    Light: ...this Kira isn't idealistic.
    L: Yes. I really don't like the way he operates. It's not like Kira.
  • Evil Diva: Along with her other traits and hobbies, Misa is a singer as well as an actress and model; in the second arc, she gets hired to open a New Year's show with a song.
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: She doesn't intend to do this, but her videos provide L with a lot of clues. Before she and Light officially team up, she eagerly hands out information to him.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Misa starts out wearing her hair in either Girlish Pigtails or Baby Spice pigtails (as pictured above), to go with her Elegant Gothic Lolita clothes and her job as a cutesy Japanese actress/model/Idol Singer. After six years as Light's live-in girlfriend and the second Kira, her acting career is becoming more serious (she gets a part in a Hollywood movie), so she starts dressing in tamer, preppier clothes and wearing her hair straight and loose, in order to look older and more mature. However, after she gives up ownership of her Death Note and all memories related to it and quits her job in anticipation of marrying Light, with her now Locked Out of the Loop while he does his thing, she becomes increasingly lonely and bored, and eventually goes back to the way she looked when she first met Light, like nothing ever changed.
  • Expy: Shares quite a few similarities with Harley Quinn.
  • Extreme Doormat: Misa would do anything for Light. Especially tragic in the live-action films, where she actually comes to realize and admit that Light is evil and not worth loving and yet she just can't help herself.
  • The Fake Cutie: Her cute and ditzy act is at least partly a calculated façade. And that's before you get into her severe mental illness and homicidal tendencies...
  • The Fashionista: Justified because she's an idol; Misa is often shown shopping, reading magazines, applying make-up, and so on.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Misa is heavily implied to be the one who cooks and cleans after the timeskip, when Light and Misa move in together; a strip from the omake extras released in the thirteenth volume explicitly shows her doing some fancy cooking while Light reads a newspaper.
  • Femme Fatale: In the Yotsuba arc.
  • First-Name Basis: With pretty much everyone.
  • Flanderization: While she was on the ditzy side during her debut arc, she was actually a fairly competent strategist, she was able to see trick Light into showing himself as Kira to her, and Light even feared her enough to contemplate killing her. However, come the Yotsuba arc, she Took a Level in Dumbass and her strategic capabilities were sidelined in favor of her devotion to Light.
  • Foot Focus: There's a shot of her striped-stocking feet during Light and L's sparring match when she accidentally steps into a cake she was eating.
  • Freudian Excuse: Her family was murdered right in front of her! And she's lived either alone or with only Rem for company in the year since their deaths. No wonder she takes Light up on his offer to have her move in with him.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Debatable, but in the last few legs of the first season and then for the whole of the second season, Misa is associated with the Kira Taskforce and tolerated by them only because of her connection to Light. Aizawa, Ide, Soichiro, and Mogi never voice their opinion about the situation, but they never do seem quite happy with the idea of Misa following them around everywhere they go. Subverted by Mogi later on, who actually grows fond of her after all the babysitting he has to do.
  • Genius Ditz: She has enough smarts to channelize her child-like charm into her very successful model and Idol Singer career. Also, she figures out how to expose Higuchi as the Yotsuba Kira to the police without revealing Rem's presence. She's actually quite clever, she's just more energetic and not as smart as the downright superhuman Light and L. If she didn't ogle Light so much, she could get her head in the game.
    • Some would argue that Misa has very good instincts. She taps right into Light's desire to control and use people from the very first time they meet, and her submissiveness gains her exactly what she wants (i.e. for Light to be her boyfriend). With just a little help from Rem Misa blackmails the most dangerous man on the planet into getting what she wants. Successfully.
    • Misa follows the situation more closely than she seems to. For example, there's a scene in the manga after the timeskip where, after Misa points out something Light hadn't gotten to yet and Light tells her to go to bed, Light thinks to himself that Misa was right.
  • Genki Girl: She's very passionate and energetic.
  • Girlish Pigtails: She loses them in the second arc, as a sign of her maturation from a giggly idol to a serious actress. Notably, when she gives up her memories of being the second Kira (and, therefore, a significant portion of the last four years of her life), she stops wearing preppy, classic clothes and her hair loose, and goes back to the Baby Spice pigtails and Elegant Gothic Lolita costumes.
  • Happiness in Slavery: She willingly volunteers herself to do anything for Light, and seems to never have a problem with it. Even after Light overwhelms her with work for him and yells at her in anger, she still beams when he walks into the room.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: She is shown drinking a few times in the second arc.
  • Harmful to Minors: Her parents were murdered right in front of her. She breaks down in tears when she tells Light about it.
  • Hello, Nurse!: In addition to being very popular with the boys, Misa wears a nurse's outfit once, as a disguise.
  • Hero Secret Service:
    Misa: (swooning) I would gladly die if it were for you, Light!
    Light: (sweat-dropping) We just met.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Towards Light.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Even during those times when she claims she understands that Light doesn't give a damn about her, she still swoons for him.
  • Housewife: What she really wants, more than anything, is to be Light's wife. When he tells her to quit her job, she immediately asks if it's so they can get married.
  • Hypocrite: Her backstory reveals she was once approached by a man who had been stalking her and who almost killed her when she rejected his hysterical declarations of love. In the story, she does basically the same thing to Light, except the threat of death is more implicit.
  • The Idiot from Osaka: She's from Kansai and definitely a ditz.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: She wears color contacts to work for the appeal of this trope (and, curiously, when she first confronts Light), but her eyes are naturally brown.
  • Interrupted Suicide: When Misa is Bound and Gagged she tries to kill herself by biting her own tongue when Rem refuses to kill her at her request, and L has Watari gag her to keep her from doing so. Sadly the next time she tries suicide at the end of the story she succeeds, according to the mangaka.
  • Jack the Ripoff: She claims to be Kira to get Light's attention, killing off several people in precisely the same manner. However unlike Light, who tries to be subtle in his methods, Misa's way too bombastic in her approach and leaves too many clues for L to rightfully suspect her. If Light hadn't agreed to take her on and orchestrated to make her look innocent, she would've been locked away permanently the first time she was caught.
  • Karma Houdini: In the manga, she's let live freely whereas Teru Mikami is imprisoned, even though it's explained she commits suicide later. In the anime, whether she commits suicide or not is ambiguous. Both are taken into custody in the TV drama, but lose their memories due to the notebooks being destroyed. Initially played straight in the live-action movies, until Light Up the New World, although it's still played straight in the musical.
  • Kawaiiko: Yes, although in most of her appearances it only serves to add to her sheer creepiness.
  • Kill the Cutie: By way of being Driven to Suicide after Light's death.
  • Kitsch Collection: Misa's room which is filled with candles, religious memorabilia, and creepy dolls and things that look like they came out of Hot Topic.
  • Knight Templar: Misa is as willing as Light and Mikami to fight evil for a New World.
  • Large Ham: She even overacts in-universe and justified: During her plot to get proof that Higuchi is acting as Kira, the audience can hear her calmly calculating just how much cuteness, charm, and energy to use in her responses.
  • Lean and Mean: She is 5' and 79 lbs. Justified, as she is a model.
  • Loony Fan: Towards Light.
  • Love at First Sight: Towards Light, again. (Light looks physically pained when she later asks him if he believes in this.)
  • Love Makes You Evil: Her love for her family drove her to become sympathetic to Light's ideology when he killed the man who murdered her parents in front of her (and who looked like he was going to be acquitted of the charges). Later when she herself becomes a Serial-Killer Killer she meets and falls in love with Light, and her insanity worsens.
  • Love Martyr: She'll do anything for Light, and the tragedy of it all comes across strong and clear.
  • Luminescent Blush: While daydreaming about Light.
  • Mad Love: Her relationship with Light is not healthy.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Subverted and deconstructed; Misa Amane is a Genius Ditz Perky Goth with a mad zest for life and a Mad Love for uptight Broken Ace Light Yagami. But she truly is mentally and emotionally disturbed under her blithe façade, and unfortunately for her Light has no intention of falling in love and finds her antics both obnoxious and exasperating. He does however play along in order to use her shinigami eyes.
    Misa: LIGHT!!
    Misa glomps him.
    Light: This is the first time in my life I've wanted to hit a woman.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Though she never gets the same cred as Light, Misa is plenty manipulative on her own.
  • Meaningful Name: From How To Read, it says her name comes from Kuromisa meaning "Black Mass."
  • Ms. Fanservice: That wardrobe of hers. Many viewers wish they were Light, if only for the sake of Misa.
  • Mysterious Woman: Misa shows up out of the blue on Light's doorstep, in a little black dress with a killer notebook and a god of death, and simply introduces herself, saying that she came because she thought that he might be worried that she would go to the police instead. Light looks wary and rather unnerved, but - and without knowing anything else about her (besides the fact that she is responsible for Ukita's deaths, among others) - he invites her in.
  • Namedar: Unlike Light, Misa made the deal for the Shinigami eyes.
  • The Nicknamer: She is shown nicknaming Light (much to his horror and annoyance) as her Knight in shining armor or Raito-Naito, Matsuda (Matsu), Mogi (Mochi), and Aizawa (Monchichi); by the second arc, the last three all appear to treat it as normal.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: "What a beautiful way to kill!"
  • No Accounting for Taste: A number of characters express slight skepticism on Misa's relationship with Light. However, the members of the Task Force, who witness the decidedly one-way, unhealthy relationship on a daily basis, never seem to actually notice just how unlikely it is, or question its genuineness until several years down the line.
    • Perhaps they were assuming that Opposites Attract, or simply keeping out of Light's business out of respect. There is a scene in the first season where Misa, returning triumphantly from tricking the hell out of Higuchi, sits on Light's lap, and although no one actually says anything, Soichiro looks over from the background at them with a very amusing expression on his face.
  • No Place for Me There: Asked in the ending of "Misa no Uta" ("Misa's Song).
  • No Sense of Personal Space: She hugs and clings to Light, Ryuk, Rem, and Mogi.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: She spends much of her time in the first arc going about her job, teasing Light and L, reading magazines, playing with her make-up and hair, and being grudgingly tolerated by the taskforce. No one takes her seriously: Aizawa forcefully throws her out of the room solely because she's being annoying, L mocks her, and the others tend to just ignore her. And then Light's master plan comes full circle and Misa finds herself being appointed as the criminal-killer for the time being. Thrilled to be of service, she dresses up in a beautiful black dress and goes for a walk, singing sweetly ... while murdering the guilty. And some of those deaths are pretty gruesome.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Sometimes. She's at least smarter than she acts most of the time.
    • In the Yotsuba arc, at least in the manga, when she's in the car with Higuchi and later talking to Light and L, you can see her calculating her actions and reactions quite calmly in her mind.
  • Obliviously Evil: She seems to genuinely believe that she's a good person doing the right thing. Or at least the justified, necessary thing in the service of the person she loves the most.
  • The Obstructive Love Interest: Especially early on. "You're my boyfriend now! Squee!! I have the following demands..."
  • Odd Friendship: Most obviously with L, though the extent to which theirs is a "friendship" is negotiable. However, by the second arc, she's actually won over Mogi, a man her polar opposite, and the two seem quite close. Mello even says that she appears to be his girlfriend.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: She wears one to try to get Light's attention; unfortunately for her, it doesn't work.
  • Older Than They Look: She's 19 at the start of the series though she looks younger than the 17 year old Light. Lampshaded when a character (in the second arc, no less) believes her to be a teenage girl between 14 and 20 years old. She happens to be in her twenties at that particular point.
  • The Ophelia: Cute? Check. Insane? check. Puts on pretty dresses and murders people? Definitely.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Her parents were killed right in front of her.
  • Overt Operative: Misa is famous and so her face is everywhere. If anyone else has the Shinigami eyes she'd be the first to be discovered. That's why Light has her suddenly quit the movie in the second arc when the mafia gets a hold of the notebook and the eyes.
  • Panty Shot: Lampshaded by Light's little sister, of all people.
  • Parental Abandonment: Her Freudian Excuse, as explained above.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: "I wanted that man to pay for what he did!"
  • Perky Female Minion: She's been seen giggling and clapping her hands while Light plots.
  • Perky Goth: She wears a lot of black and Creepy Cool Crosses (at least in the first half of the series), and a glimpse into her room shortly after she's first introduced is filled with things that are at least vaguely gothic. Despite this, she frequently acts cheerful, perky and ditzy, at least on the surface.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Don't let her sweetness and good cheer, however genuine, fool you. She's just as dangerous as any other Kira.
  • Pillow Pistol: She keeps her Death Note hidden under her mattress.
  • Ping-Pong Naïveté: In some scenes (when you can hear her thoughts), she comes across as quite calculating. In others, she comes across as downright ditzy. Also, she seems to bounce between being thoughtful and solemn when contemplating her role as the second Kira (the best example would be the scene in which she sings "Misa no Uta" and pauses to look sadly out over the horizon) to being cheerful and enthusiastic about it all.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: She serves as the humorous element in some of the darker scenes, albeit not to the same extent as Ryuk.
  • Poisonous Friend: She cheers Light on in his quest, and supports him wholeheartedly. This does not help Light's problems in the least.
  • Psycho for Hire: Basically how Light uses her throughout the series. Even better, since she loves him, she's a Psycho for Hire who works for free.
  • Psycho Supporter: She's madly devoted to Light and will do anything to please him.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: She's Type D- an endearingly naive Kawaiiko who has a very childish demeanor that persists well into her 20s, obsesses over fashion like any young girl, is completely boy-crazy, and was able to translate her Moe appeal into a successful career as an actress/model. All this is likely because her parents were murdered while she was still a child, trapping her in a perpetually immature state. Unfortunately for the world, this apparently happened before the Amanes had the chance to explain to their daughter that human life has an intrinsic value beyond being useful to Misamisa-chan, who latched onto the man who used his Death Note to kill the burglar years after the actions that shattered her mind. The results weren't pretty.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Depicted with this sometimes, such as on the Volume 4 manga cover, although most of the time her hair is medium-length.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When taking advantage of the Shinigami Eyes, her eyes take a red colour. This is only the case to viewers, as there is no perceptible difference In-Universe between someone with the Eyes and someone without.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Light and the investigators assume the Second Kira to be male. L also refers to the Second Kira as a "he" (though L might have known sooner considering he is L and had access to physical evidence; he could have just decided not to reveal the gender so as not to give Light any clues).
  • Satellite Love Interest: An interesting illustration of this trope. It's certainly possible to picture her without Light — we see her before they meet, and she's clever and dangerous. But after they meet, she'd rather die than live any kind of life without him. She improves in the Yotsuba arc where she loses her memories and her love for Light, while passionate, isn't quite as deranged and obsessive, and she interacts with other characters frequently. However, this doesn't last once she regains her memories.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Energetic Girl to Light's Savvy Guy.
  • Secret Keeper: Even while under L's Cold-Blooded Torture.
  • Selective Obliviousness: To the nth degree. There is a major disconnect between Misa's personality and her actions, and it's safe to say that the full impact of what she does is something that she simply does not understand. (The anime at least gives her one sequence of contemplation, but it's implied at best.) There is another major disconnect between how she views those around her and what their actions are; the best example would be her adoration of Light, which continues in spite of all that Light does, but her friendship with L, who had her tortured in an earlier episode, is another.
  • Self-Proclaimed Love Interest: Immediately after meeting Light, Misa declares herself to be "his girlfriend."
  • Serial Killer
  • Serial-Killer Killer: Like Light, she dedicates her time to killing murderers and other criminals.
  • Significant Birth Date: She was born on Christmas.
  • "Silly Me" Gesture: Although not the only instance, she most notably uses one as a rather clever part of her manipulation of Higuchi.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Towards Light. She wouldn't even kiss another guy while acting.
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: She blushes over Light after she spies on him and looks him up on the internet, and it only gets worse from there. At twenty-six she's still completely infatuated with him. Enough to kill herself rather than live in a world without him.
  • Sore Loser: When she lost against Mogi in checkers, she flipped the board.
  • Third-Person Person: She does this to appear cute (i.e. kawaiiko). Mercifully, this was omitted for the most part in the English translation of the manga, and completely eliminated in the English dub of the anime.
  • Together in Death: Misa kills herself not very long after Light dies. In the anime, shots of Misa preparing to commit suicide are shown alongside shots of Light dying.
  • Unequal Pairing: She swears complete devotion to Light, assuring him that he can use her as he wishes and that he can kill her if he sees fit. Light, of course, with that raging god complex of his, views her merely as a pawn; although he has a few moments when he seems almost fond of her (usually when she's just been extremely useful), they don't last long and he quite coldly contemplates killing her throughout the series.
    • Interestingly enough, though, this also gets played back the opposite way early on. Misa forces Light to make her his girlfriend; he has little to no choice in the matter, because Rem will kill him if he attempts to off her, and he needs Misa close and controlled to protect his identity of Kira; and he also considers that Misa could kill him otherwise.
  • The Unfettered: Her goal is to help Light. She will do anything to further that goal.
  • Unholy Matrimony: With Light; they are engaged in the second arc.
  • Unkempt Beauty: After she was released from captivity, she spent her next scene in white pj's, without makeup and with her hair down (more or less like this). More than one viewer thought she looked quite nice like that.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Had her parents not been killed one year prior to the series, she would've possibly grown into the same cheerful and sweet Idol Singer she is... only without the Ax-Crazy Yandereness.
  • Villain Song: "Misa no Uta", sung while she's killing people, no less. "Be careful what you do, because god is watching your every move...."
  • Villain with Good Publicity: She's an international model and pop star who secretly moonlights as the second Kira.
  • Villainous BSoD: Suffers this in The Last Name after Sayu calls her a murderer.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Besides literally going shopping with Mogi, Misa is shown having tea with Light's family, scolding Ryuk to stay and help her with the cleaning, and going about her daily job as a model and actress.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Misa is eager to kill for Light's sake. "So just take me to where L is and I'll write his name down!"
  • Walking Techbane: In the manga Misa is no good with computers or technology and L mocks the poor quality of the Second Kira tapes. In the anime Misa is shown purchasing Light's personal information online.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: She is last seen in her new hotel room when Light calls her (for the last time while he's alive) and doesn't appear in the epilogue of the manga. Ohba admitted in How to Read that he couldn't find a way to include her in the final chapter and confirmed that she dies about a year after Light's death by suicide.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: Used to avoid attracting attention while tracking down Light and later Higuchi.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Her parents were taken away from her. Her mind completely broke. You know what happened next.
  • Yandere: Misa loves Light obsessively, and has shown herself to be ready and willing to kill her competition.
    ''If I see you with another girl, then I'll kill her!"
    • This is somewhat muddled later on, when after Light proposes to her, she admits that she wouldn't actually kill all the girls he's been with prior to this since she knows they were just pawns to him (which, of course, she is too but she's not that self-aware to know this.)
  • Zettai Ryouiki: The Second Kira's standard uniform.

    Teru Mikami/X-Kira
Voiced by: Masaya Matsukaze (JP), Kirby Morrow (EN), Jordi Pons (Spain), Arturo Mercado Jr. (Latin America), Bruno Choel (FR)

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

L and his allies

    Mello/Mihael Keehl
"I wanna eliminate my competition. I will be the best. I don't care what it takes."
Voiced by: Nozomu Sasaki (JP), David Hurwitz (EN), Manuel Gimeno (Spain), Javier Olguín (Latin America), Emmanuel Garijo (FR)

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

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

In stark contrast to Near and L, Mello is extremely dynamic and a ruthless mob boss, but just as brilliant as Near. Also, he likes chocolate.

  • Adaptational Early Appearance: In the TV drama, he's involved in the story from the start, due to being Near's Split Personality.
  • Affably Evil: In particular, the way he speaks to Takada, and lets her cover up with a blanket when he makes her remove her clothes.
    • Also, the fact that he does genuinely care about Matt and views him as a friend as well as an assistant, and expresses genuine sorrow over Matt's death.
    • Even before that, he offers Sidoh some of his beloved chocolate.
    • He's very polite towards Soichiro as well.
  • Agent Peacock: The aforementioned fur-lined coat and massive amount of leather makes him stand out, even among his Mafia subordinates.
  • Always Second Best: The reason for his rivalry with Near, he thinks Near is always better than him and hates it.
    • In the novel Another Note, Mello sympathizes with Beyond Birthday because of this.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Has the inferiority complex, impulsiveness, extreme emotional reactions, intense mood swings, and black-and-white perspective of somebody with borderline personality disorder. Additionally, people with BPD often desire closeness, but due to their disorder tend to alienate people more than anything; from what little we see of him during his time at Wammy's House, he's always isolated.
  • Ambiguously Christian: He wears a rosary necklace note , as well as a matching bracelet, and crosses and even a Virgin Mary graphic appear on his clothes occasionally. He also has a crucifix on the wall, a little cross charm on his gun, and a small Marian shrine on the mantle in his personal living space. He also refers in Another Note to The Almighty. And when he dies, the rosary is seen going through the steering wheel, in a way that could pretty much only happen if Mello were touching the rosary beads, which is how they are meant to be used while reciting the Rosary prayer. This, and a real name Mihael Keehl that marks Mello as being possibly from a predominantly Catholic country or ethnic background, leads many fans to believe that he is a practicing Catholic. It would also be a plausible reason to fight against Kira besides besting Near, whom he technically gave the role of L's successor to in a fit of sour grapes. However, it is never actually confirmed In-Universe if Mello actually is a Catholic, or if he was one but is not anymore, or is one In Name Only, or if he's some other type of Christian (real or made-up) that's similar to Catholicism but isn't, or if he just thinks the crosses, and such look cool.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Mello takes this trope so far as to be mistaken for a girl by a lot of readers (and indeed viewers, in the case of the anime—before he starts talking, at leastnote ) until he is referred to as a "he" by other characters. He does not, like the other senior Mafia men, cuddle up with girls, dresses in tight leather long before he rides a motorbike for the first time in the series, has a VERY girly fur-lined coat, dons black lipstick and nail polish, ignores Hal Lidner's coquetry when she talks to him from her shower, licks chocolate bars suggestively in the company of other men, and lives with Ambiguously Bi loose-cannon geek Matt in a house full of mannequins. He also seems unenthused when Matt points out that switching jobs would mean getting to spy on a cute girl (Misa).
  • Ambiguous Gender: Particularly in his first manga appearance, where he had a rather androgynous figure and hairstyle, and wore pretty plain, gender-neutral clothing. And it took several pages for other characters to start referring to him as a male. Many readers assumed he was a woman. Backed by Obata, who described Mello's character design as "calm and feminine."
  • Anti-Villain: He's ruthless in his goal of taking down Kira, and is more interested in being the best than in serving justice. However, the author says Mello is "not purely evil", citing his reluctance to kill Yagami even when he was prepared to write Mello's name, and his sorrow at Matt's death. Lidner later suggests that he engineered his own death in order for Mikami to switch the notebooks and ultimately get Light caught, an interpretation the anime seems to favor. And he has the decency to let Takada cover herself with a blanket when stripping for him.
    • Possibly subverted. Another Note shows that Mello does have a great sense of justice, but it's primarily directed as rage toward Kira and those who stand in the way of it.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Just like L, Near and Light, he can follow potential situations and think of alternative routes to take.
  • Ax-Crazy: Because of his intense rivalry with Near and drive to get ahead, he does some seemingly-irrational (or at least extremely risky things).
  • The B Grade: He's the second-top scoring students at Wammy's House, but all that matters to him is that he's not the top scoring student.
  • Badass Baritone: In the anime, probably in an attempt to avert the viewers confusing him with a girl which ensued when the manga was released.
  • Badass Biker: Rides a cool motorcycle
  • Badass Bookworm: He's the second best student at a school for genii. He eats chocolate and blows stuff up.
  • Beta Test Baddie: Becomes a villain (or Anti-Villain, depending on your interpretation) because he can't handle being outranked by Near.
  • Bowdlerised: In the manga, Mello wears a rosary as a necklace, and he has a matching bracelet, a little cross charm on his gun, a crucifix and a small shrine to the Virgin Mary, and occasionally cross motifs on his clothes. note  In the anime, all of Mello's crosses are edited away, and the crucifix and shrine he has in his living space are never seen. Special mention goes to the rosary, where the crucifix is turned into a nondescript red stick charm.
    • Also, in the manga, he tends to lick his chocolate bars quite suggestively before actually biting into them. While he still eats chocolate bars in the anime, he doesn't lick them beforehand, especially not in that fashion.
  • Byronic Hero: He's handsome, passionate, ruthless and very rebellious.
  • Cain and Abel: Both him and Near were the successors of L. Mello is the Cain to Near's Abel.
  • Celibate Hero: Assuming Mello isn't gay or asexual, he doesn't seem particularly interested in the opposite sex. He's the only one of the mafia leaders not seen cuddling up with a girl, and he ignores a stark-naked Halle Lidner's attempts at flirting with him when he sneaks into her apartment.
  • The Chessmaster: Especially in his first couple of episodes.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: According to most Fanon, he's Catholic, though it's never confirmed in-series whether he has the rosary and other Catholic paraphernalia for religious reasons or simply because he thinks it looks cool.
  • Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder: Word of God says he plays this role to Matt, although it's probable that the reverse is also true.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Which arguably accounts for his effectiveness. Light seems to have trouble dealing with someone who refuses to play by the rules. Near, too—whilst knowing him well enough to keep track of him—does not anticipate his kidnapping of Kiyomi Takada or their subsequent fiery deaths.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: While L was a quiet, reserved man who could infiltrate a Japanese university, Mello is a loud, hot-blooded European. While L ate all sorts of sweets, Mello's Trademark Favorite Food is chocolate. While L employed a few petty crooks, Mello bent a mafia gang to his will. While L eventually died at Rem's hand, Mello took down Light with a Thanatos Gambit.
  • Creepy Cool Crosses: In the manga. In the anime it's changed into a... red stick thing.
    • In addition to the rosary and bracelet, and the cross motifs on his clothing, he also has a crucifix on the wall in his personal quarters. (As well as a small Catholic shrine on his mantle.)
  • Creepy Doll: Appears as a ventriloquist's dummy in the live-action drama. It remains to be seen whether the dummy is merely a representation of Mello, or is Mello, or both, or neither...but either way it's creepy.
  • Cute and Psycho: He's a downright pretty young man with a borderline psychotic temperament.
  • Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: Enlists the help of The Mafia in his quest to catch Kira...and becomes either its leader or second-in-command.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Like all successors, he's an orphan, making it likely he witnessed his family die, with apparently no remaining family that could have (or wanted to) adopt him, and was groomed from an extremely young age (likely being confronted with very graphic crime scene evidence during the process) to succeed the world's greatest detective, and actively being pushed to compete with his peers no matter the cost to his mental health. No pressure.
  • Death by Disfigurement: Not long after acquiring a large burn scar, he goes on a Suicide Mission that ends up leading to Kira's undoing—but not before Takada kills him.
  • Death by Pragmatism: He's the only one of Kira's opponents that doesn't "play by the rules" of Kira's game. Despite being smart enough to avoid it, he still ends up being killed by Takada anyway, not realizing that she had a scrap of the Death Note with her. Or did he? See Thanatos Gambit below.
  • Decapitation Presentation: At the tender age of 15, he presented Rod with the head of one of his biggest rivals. He also keeps skulls in his living space (and shows one of them off on a manga cover), though it's unknown if they are the heads of Mafia rivals he is keeping as trophies, or if they're fake and purely decorative.
  • Defective Detective: Mello is a very capable detective. He just happens to have a lot of personal issues, is all. See Ambiguous Disorder above.
  • Demoted to Extra: In the Relight movies.
  • Determinator: Does not give up easily, and works very hard.
  • Deuteragonist: After L's death, Mello and Near become the opposing deuteragonists to Light.
  • The Don: Rod Ross is the head of The Mafia, but he answers to Mello.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Eats chocolate with Sidoh, a Shinigami.
  • Dies Wide Open: Dies of a heart attack at the wheel of a truck, landing on the steering wheel with his eyes open.
  • Driven by Envy: Wants to catch Kira, not so much to be L's successor (and in fact technically gives up that role), but to be able to say he outdid Near for once—though vengeance also plays a part.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: He's often mistaken as a very flat-chested girl when readers or viewers first see him.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: After finding out that Matt was killed.
  • Erotic Eating: Whenever he eats his chocolate.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He definitely cares about Matt, and expresses genuine sorrow when he founds out he was killed in a police shootout.
  • Everyone Has Standards: This is ultimately what gets him killed—he tells the kidnapped Kiyomi to strip naked so he can get rid of any tracking devices she has on her, but allows her to cover herself with a blanket while she removes her underwear to preserve her modesty, allowing her to palm the scrap of a page from the Death Note hidden in her bra without him seeing, and ultimately kill him with it. If he'd been just a bit more ruthless and inconsiderate, he might have lived.
  • Evil Brit: Downplayed. He was raised in Winchester, but it's as likely as not that he's actually from the UK.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Near. Or is it the other way around? Word of God at least believes so, stating that Near is "the more evil" out of the two of them.
  • Evil Virtues: Mello is intelligent, passionate, and works hard for everything.
  • Eyes Are Unbreakable: Although badly burnt on the entire left side of his face in an explosion, his left eye is apparently just fine.
  • Fur and Loathing: He wears fur-lined jackets and his villain lair is decorated in zebra / tiger-stripe prints.
  • Gayngster: Possibly. See "Ambiguously Gay."
  • Genius Sweet Tooth: Pretty much lives on chocolate, much like L and his cakes and candies. (And, like L, manages to stay thin in spite of his diet.)
  • Good Is Not Nice: His tactics are quite ruthless.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Gets a large facial scar from an explosion he caused.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Pretty much only wears leather.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Almost always portrayed this way with Matt by fandom—though the heterosexual part is usually debatable at best.
  • Hollywood Healing: Manages to recover from a third-degree burn in a matter of days, and goes across the country to demand his photo from Near like nothing happened. In Real Life, a burn like Mello's would take months to sufficiently recover from.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Sidoh, a Shinigami is scared of him.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Holds Sayu hostage, in order to get his hands on the notebook.
  • Hot-Blooded: Prone to emotional outbursts.
  • I Have Your Wife: A daughter variant. Says this pretty much word-for-word to Soichiro, in a bid to get the notebook.
  • Idiot Ball: Ohba says he needed to carry it or otherwise he'd be too effective, and would have ended up solving the Kira case. He believed Soichiro when he said Matsuda was the Second L despite Matsuda not being anywhere near intelligent enough, and when he made Takada strip to remove any weapons, phones, or tracking devices, he let Takada keep her underwear and cover herself with a blanket. Making Takada strip was a smart move, but only if she stripped all the way, so Mello brought about his own death at her hands. Not to mention that Mello also removed his helmet in her presence.
    • Also, How to Read: 13 reveals that the reason his hideout was found was because he left boxes of fancy imported chocolate lying around.
  • Ignore The Fanservice: In response to Halle Lidner showering in front of him and offering him a place to stay in a seductive manner, he instead points a gun at her, demanding her to bring him to SPK headquarters.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: The only friend he seems to have prior to leaving Wammy's is Matt. Even while at Wammy's, he's shown by himself a lot, though this may be because Matt was an afterthought on the part of the creator.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Wears lipstick in some of the colorized manga and nail polish, as well as form-fitting, midriff-baring leather clothes, and fur-and-feather-lined coats. Also, he eats chocolate, a food more commonly associated with women.
  • Knight of Cerebus: An antiheroic example, along with Near.
  • Mad Eye: Does this during his encounter with Sidoh, to the point where the God of Death is creeped out by him.
  • The Mafia: Mello leads one, having brought in the head of a mob boss at fifteen.
  • Man on Fire: Takada's involuntary suicide forces her to burn herself, and everything around her, including Mello's corpse.
  • Motor Mouth: In his narration of Another Note, he's a bit long-winded at times. (In the series proper, he's not exactly quiet, but not a chatterbox either.)
  • Morality Pet: Matt. He's the only person whose death Mello expresses regret over. Also, to an extent, Soichiro Yagami. He didn't intend to kill him, but justifies it due to his alliance with Kira in using a Death Note against him.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: His last move is to kidnap Takada, before he was killed.
  • Narrator: In Another Note.
  • Nerdy Bully: In his days at Wammy's House. He is seen punting a soccer ball at another boy's head at his first manga appearance, then tugging on yet another boy's hair as the kids go back inside from recess. Later, he becomes practically the head of a criminal organization.
  • Noodle Incident: Back at Wammy's, he got to meet L in person once. L tells him 3 stories: The LABB Murder Case (which Mello does share in Another Note), the story of how L bested Eraldo Coil and Denevue in another Noodle Incident, the Great Detective Wars, and how L arrived at Wammy's. Mello chooses not to share how he met L, or how and why L came to tell him these stories, though he calls it his most valuable memory. (Nor does he share the Detective Wars story or the story of how L arrived at Wammy's.)
    • How he met and became friends with Matt.
      • Considering they were both raised at Wammy's, where they met seems clear. How they became friends can be speculated on, but the fact that Matt was third in line probably helped: he was smart enough to keep up with Mello, but not a threat to his rank due to his laziness. Their personalities seem to mesh quite well, too, as far as we can tell: Mello is ambitious and fiery, while Matt is far more calm and laid-back, and appears more than capable to take whatever Mello dishes out.
    • The aforementioned incident where Mello took down one of Rod's rivals and presented Rod with the head of said rival as proof.
    • How he lost his family and arrived at Wammy's house.
    • How he came to the US with little more than the clothes on his back.
    • Heck, Mello's entire existence seems to be either one big Noodle Incident or a string of them!
  • Not So Different: His methods more closely resemble Kira's than L's. Also in Another Note, Mello seems to find B to be sympathetic.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When he puts down the chocolate bar, it's a sign that he knows that he and Matt likely won't survive the mission he's planned out.
  • Only Friend: The only person he has anything even close to a functional, normal, and healthy relationship with is Matt, and it would seem that the reverse is also true.
  • Parental Abandonment: Somehow lost his parents and ended up at Wammy's House.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: When he briefly gets control of one of the notebooks.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: He cites that he "doesn't underestimate revenge as a motive" as a reason that killing Chief Yagami would cause him more trouble than would be worth. Later on, Mello justifies his killing of Yagami because Yagami was prepared to use the Death Note against him.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Mocked in Death Note The Abridged Series Team Dattebayo. "Quit talking like that! You're from an orphanage in England for Christ's sake!"
    • Note that he loses this speech pattern after the explosion. It's possible that he affected it to blend in with the mafia, and, after the explosion, reverted to his regular way of speech because there was no need to maintain the act.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Particularly before the explosion, or when dealing with Near.
  • Punch-Clock Hero: Does want to bring Kira to justice, but more for the sake of besting Near and avenging L than for actual justice's sake.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Near's blue. While Mello is a genius like Near is, Mello's more emotional and impulsive.
  • The Resenter: Is jealous of Near.
  • The Rival: Mello is Near's rival, and a bit more unhinged.
  • Satellite Character: To Near, in the drama. In the anime/manga series, he has one in the form of Matt.
  • Scars Are Forever: After he blows up his base.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Does this in his first appearance, leaving Wammy's House at the age of 14.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Believes this.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: Compare his clothes to Near's. Interestingly, after the explosion, Mello starts covering up a bit more... and also being more willing to cooperate with Near.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Views himself as this, and introduces himself as "the best dressed" in Another Note.
  • Shout-Out: In Another Note, he gives one to Catcher In The Rye.
  • Slouch of Villainy: This guy can't even drive a car sitting straight.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: In Another Note, particularly.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: He doesn't die in the TV drama due to being Near's split personality.
  • Split Personality: In the live-action drama, he is a split personality of Near, rather than a distinct entity.
  • Straight Edge Evil: If the viewer/reader considers him to be evil, that is. Unlike other members of the mafia which he leads, he never drinks, smokes, does drugs, or enjoys the company of women. Just eats chocolate.
    • As far as we know, anyway.
  • Teen Genius: He is from Wammy's House, after all.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He hates to acknowledge that practically speaking, he and Near are on the same side.
  • Technical Pacifist: If his reluctance to kill Mr. Yagami is anything to go by, he may be this.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Likely. His death ultimately engineers Light's downfall; the ambiguity lies in whether or not everything he did was intentional. However, Near's eyes not being in view while he says "Even if he didn't surpass me... Even if he didn't..." may hint at what he thinks about it.
    • Lidner certainly seems to believes so: the final time they called and she fed him information, he said the rather ominous last words, "Then I guess I'll have to do it." to her. After hanging up, he bowed his head, chocolate abandoned, and looked rather forlorn, with a similarly grim-looking Matt watching him.
  • Two-Faced: By the base he blew up while he was still inside.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Is hardly surprised by the idea of a killer notebook, and offers a Shinigami chocolate.
  • The Unfettered: Will do whatever it takes to beat Near and capture Kira.
  • Unknown Rival: Near actually isn't that interested in beating him and expresses no problems with working with him. Light's lucky that Mello isn't quite as open-minded.
  • Unorthodox Holstering: He carries a gun in the front of his pants.
  • Unreliable Narrator: He tells the story of Another Note. Because the clinical style of narration he started with bores him. Unreliable because he's very biased in favor of his idol, L, and states openly that he sympathizes with B. Also because he's telling a story that he's heard from L, who heard the details from Naomi, and is filling in a lot of blanks he couldn't possibly know.
    • Hell, as far as Another Note can take us, we don't even know if Mello is even alive.
  • Walking Spoiler: It's hard to talk about L's successors without giving away the fact that L himself dies.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: There are hints of this in the way he sympathizes with Beyond when telling Another Note.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Does this to everyone directly involved in the notebook exchange as well as his mole in the SPK. He had explosives planted in the Mafia headquarters for quite some time before the raid planned by Kira, which suggests he would eventually do the same with his Mafia allies after solving the Kira case.
  • Young and in Charge: Heads a Mafia crime syndicate while not yet out of his teens.

Alternative Title(s): Death Note Secondary Characters


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