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Ho Yay / Death Note

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Relax. I'm actually pretty good at this.

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  • Light and L are chained to each other for several months. Lampshaded when Misa shrilly complains about the implications.
    • Light gets real emotional when L talks about the possibility of his death: "What are you talking about? As long as we're bound by these (handcuffs), we'll die together anyway!" Like the very idea of living without L would be unthinkable or that he would want to die with L.
    • Also, the fact that L placed sixty-four surveillance cameras in Light's room. And only Light's room - the other rooms apparently only had one, and L is seen pretty much all the time watching the cameras with Light in it. This is hilariously lampshaded in the doujinshi Light Note, where it explains that the reason why L kept watching Light obsessively was not because he inexplicably suspected him to be a serial killer but because he has a big crush on him.
    • On Light's part, upon discovering L's cameras he resolves the situation by... buying porn?
    • When L says "Light-kun is my first ever friend" Light gets a very shocked look on his face and the same music that played when Gelus "died for love" starts playing. Later, Light has to explicitly remind himself why he has to kill L...
    • There is one interesting scene in the manga after Light is "proved innocent" (Volume 7, chapter 55, pages 60-61). L decides that Light can stay investigating the Kira case if he wants to, but Misa should leave. Light then asks L if he is allowed to see her outside the headquarters, with a very surprised L asking him why he suddenly wants to be with her. Light tells him he may have fallen in love with her and... well, we know these two are always getting suspicious about everything the other does, L especially. But the way the whole scene is drawn it's suspicious to say the least, especially with those close-ups of Light's "repenting" face when he is about to "confess" his feelings for Misa, and L's blank face at the end. And then L starts thinking about Higuchi, so it's not like he started tying loose ends with the information he just received.
    • In the manga when Light is getting his memories back and is about to close the loop and spring the trap that will lead to L's death, he shows a moment of hesitation where he's wishing he had more time with L you know, just to get closer, to win his trust...
    • The anime introduced a particularly poorly-timed bit of Fanservice in the form of a foot massage. To be charitable, it might have been a comparatively subtle attempt at What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?. [1]
      • Of course, the entire scene isn't helped by how the anime made it seem like L had a foot fetish. Both Light and L are soaking wet, drying themselves off, and their dialogue and actions go something like this:
        (L kneels down in front of Light and takes his foot in his hands)
        Light: What are you doing?!
        L: I thought I might help you out. You were busy wiping yourself off, anyway.
        Light: Look, it's fine, you don't have to do that.
        L: I can give you a massage as well. It's the least I can do to atone for my sins. I'm actually pretty good at this.
        Light: (looking away) Fine, do what you want.
        (L presses Light's foot, and Light cries out in pain)
        Light: Hey!
        L: You'll get used to it.
        Light: Here, you're still soaked. (wipes L's soaked bangs with a towel as music starts playing)
        L: I'm sorry...
      • Light looks furious when L stops massaging his foot when he receives a phone call.
    • Episode 26: a depressed Light keeps seeing L's ghost. At one point the L ghost/hallucination silently mouths something that looks suspiciously like "I love you." In the scene immediately following, Light very unenthusiastically asks Misa to move in with him.
    • Light continues to obsess about L years after L is dead. "The real L would/would never X..." Not to mention that his last thoughts are of L.
      • It's a few days after L's funeral that Light's moping around the HQ, desolate that "there's no challenge with L gone". Remember how heavily he's motivated by boredom; by the second arc, he remembers L almost fondly. When he goes to face Near and thinks that he's defeated Near's final maneuver, he remarks that Near is "far below L." This indicates that he does respect L on some level.
    • Then there is Light's initial reaction when Rem finally kills L. He looks very shocked. There's even a hint of tears. Of course it's gone in an instant replaced by the world's most disturbing Slasher Smile as L dies in his arms and he rejoices in Kira's victory. Light is a very good actor but at that moment there was no one to act to.
    • When coming home late from Taskforce HQ Light tells his mother "I was hanging out with my girlfriend." Sure... "her" name is "Elle."
    • In the manga when L breaks out the handcuffs and states "I'm not doing this because I want to..." it comes off as rather sarcastic considering he's saying it with a wicked grin on his face.
    • Every room at Taskfroce HQ is monitored... EXCEPT for L and Light's bedroom...
    • At one point before actually meeting L, Light is laying back in his bed with a dreamy expression on his face while scheming and obsessing over L and when he thinks of L's name/alias in his internal monologue he sounds quite frustrated.
    • Then there's that fight Light and L had while handcuffed together which involved pulling each other's shirts up and having L's pants fall down so you can see the waistline of his boxers... [2]
    • Apparently L gave Light his personal cell phone number. This makes Matsuda suspicious.
    • When phoning up Matsuda, L calls himself "Asahi", Light and Mr. Yagami's alias, and L is apparently cool with letting Light use his alias as well.
    • In one of the Omake, Light is arguing with Ryuk on how strawberries are definitely more of a turn on than apples. Remember who has that as a Trademark Favorite Food?
      L: I'll give you this strawberry if you keep it a secret, okay?"
    • "Let's all be friends together!" when Misa forces Light and L into a Circle of Friendship — Light and L chose to hold hands, are facing each other, and Light looks very... happy in that scene... [3]
    • Light and L are frequently shown to be thinking the exact same thing.
    • Light and L sure do stare at each other a lot.
      L: You've been staring at me for the last five minutes. Let me guess, it's because I'm the only one eating cake, right?
    • L has No Sense of Personal Space when it comes to Light. In the manga during the Yotsuba arc L is frequently drawn sitting really close to or touching Light and Light looks perfectly happy about it.
    • "Nice pants."
    • A tennis match, a walk in the park surrounded by falling cherry blossoms, going out for coffee and cake... is it an investigation or a date?
    • There's a deleted scene added in the Relight special where L invites Light to watch the Second Kira tape in an empty movie theatre. L greets Light with a very creepy facial expression, gets up to shake Light's hand, and then proceeds to wipe his hand down with a hand wipe (there is NO good way to take that). L then sits down in the seat next to Light and as they watch the Second Kira tape, L is staring at Light and getting closer and closer to the point where he's almost falling onto him. [4] Light keeps his poker face throughout.
    • The Relight special also added another scene in which it looks hilariously like Light is thrusting against L's grave. If the YouTube comments are to be believed, several people misheard (in the original Japanese version of that scene) Light's screaming of "I've won" as "Aishiteru".
    • "I'm feeling kind of thirsty."
    • Then there is the the instance when Light manipulates Rem, persuading her that for Misa to be happy L has to die. At first Rem gives no response and Light says sarcastically "oh, that's too bad..." he was acting like he didn't expect it to work, like if L catches Misa now it's not on his hands but then to Light's surprise Rem AGREES to it, perhaps reacting when Light ends his Circling Monologue and takes his hand off Misa's shoulder as if to say 'I won't love her unless L is dead'. Light gets a very stricken look on his face and thinks " L will die THIS EASILY?!" Rem is ready to kill L right then and there but Light immediately backtracks and gives a Hurricane of Excuses why it would be bad to kill L right away.
    • L succeeds in getting under Light's skin when he tells him "I feel as if you're the first friend I've ever had." Light continues to obsess about L as he walks home up until he's glomped by Misa, sounding very much like a Tsundere all the way as he curses L's name (or rather his alias). Ryuk mocks this development in a very suggestive tone:
      Light: That DAMN Ryuuzaki!
      Ryuk: Friend. *snicker* He's your friend. But that's a good thing, isn't it, Light?
      • Yeah, that DAMN Ryuuzaki, saying he's my friend. It's not like I like him or anything!
    • During the "Light is my first ever friend" scene, Light seems quite fascinated about watching L lick the frosting off his doughnuts.
    • Later during the Yotsuba arc Light's looking rather interested while L is eating a banana.
    • Also during the Yotsuba arc when Light has lost his Kira memories and the knowledge that L is his enemy, you'd still think he'd be a bit upset with L for confining him for 50 days and making his father carry out a mock execution, yet when L ends their confinement Light seems not to hold any grudge against L for locking him up and indeed seems quite thrilled about the idea of being with L 24/7.
    • When L meets Light at the campus for the last time before his confinement and Misa appears, L starts giggling and says something to Light that has different fansub translations. It can be either "Light-kun, I envy you" or "Light-kun, I'm jealous". He makes it clear after saying that that he was being jealous-envy of Light's "girlfriend", being a fan of her, but in the moment he says it, it's not clear if he's saying he is jealous of Light or Misa... It doesn't help that, in the manga version only, Ryuk is shown to have the biggest WTF-did-he-just-say-what-I-think-he-said face ever, suggesting that he captured the ambiguity of the statement as well.
    • The same scene gives us this gem:
    • During L's death scene even though it was probably an act how bout when Light catches and holds L in his arms following him falling over once his heart gives out? Also upon realizing that L is dead-he SCREAMS. Makes you wonder if it's all an act...
    • There are hints that Light grieves the loss of L. In the days following L's death there's an interesting scene where Light and Ryuk are up on the roof of Taskforce headquarters overlooking the city.
      Ryuk: So you've finally settled the score with L, huh?
      Light: Yeah...
    • Light's voice in that scene is not elated with victory but instead sounds kind of sad, disappointed, empty... in that same scene he looks very depressed as he grasps for a chain that is no longer there (both literally and figuratively) and then quite visibly SNAPS and throws himself into his "work" like never before...
    • There is another deleted scene from the OVA's where L is talking to the children from Wammy through the monitor and they ask him if he is afraid of anything. L tells them that he is afraid of many things, but the thing that hates the most is being lied to. Now, go watch the scene under the rain from episode 25 and tell me, after knowing this and shipping Light/L if the scene is not even more of a Tear Jerker now.
      • Which is kind of hypocritical, considering what a shameless liar L is himself.
  • In the Alternate Continuity of L: change the WorLd Light isn't even alive in this universe, and there is still plenty of fodder for shippers, starting with the way L wears Light's watch in "remembrance," strengthened by the quote "Light, it hurts... My heart-", and ending with his offering at Light's altar.
    • In the same book you have a strong case of You Are Worth Hell (Accidental Pun) when L says : "Light, I’ll see you on the other side. Let us explore the world of nothingness together.”. It's strangely heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.
  • Also in L: change the WorLd, L is very protective of Light's potato chips.
    • I'll Be Waiting" by Lenny Kravitz is featured in the ending credits of the film. It's also a classic Love Hurts song. Just go and check the lyrics out.
  • The TV drama is already filled with subtext, and it's only episode four. Right from their first meeting, L is all up in Light's personal space, and they even have a scene in the shower, in which they're both, obviously, naked.
    • And in Episode 9, Light kissed L!
    • Looked like his mouth just happened to brush into his face to me.....
    • L's dialog to Light is frequently subtext-ridden, as well. In the lead-up to, and during, the tennis match (which subsequently leads in to the shower scene), we have L saying "let's do it" (in a way that's possibly more euphemistic in Japanese than it is in English), getting right up in L's space and murmuring in his ear that he wants a "favor" if he wins (the favor turns out to be asking Light to be his friend, which he does while they're NAKED IN THE SHOWER) and remarking that Light's "the type who gets rather passionate." Later, after dropping the famous "you're my first friend" line, he waggles his eyebrows suggestively at Light. And then there's this exchange, when L's trying to sell the task force on letting Light join the Kira investigation...
      L: It’s possible that talent only blossomed since you met me… Maybe there was nothing to trigger it before, but there’s something very passionate sleeping inside you.
    • Plus, episode 8 has some heartbreaking pieces of dialog during the showdown that results in L's death. After L removes the only security camera filming them at the time, he implores Light to confess to being Kira, saying that he thought he'd never care who the culprit was, that catching Kira would be a thrill... until he met Light, and became interested in someone for the first time. He tells him he wants to stop him because they're friends, and that he wants Light to atone for his sins, while Light struggles more and more to hold back tears and deny what L's saying. Judging by L's previous interactions with Near, when he admits he doesn't want Light to be Kira, he means it, and L's face when he says "and then I met you" doesn't make it any better. L also seemingly attempts to kill Light with the Death Note, saying they can meet again in the afterlife if the thirteen day rule is real and L dies himself. The Japanese fandom in particular has pointed out what anime trope this exchange is reminiscent of... Then, when Light thinks he's just written L's real name down in the Death Note, he says, while sobbing, that he if he could have, he would have wanted L to see the world Kira could create, as well, and that he wanted to be L's friend forever. This when he thinks L is about to die, meaning he has no reason to be acting. On top of that, when L reveals he'd tricked Light with a fake notebook and Light thinks he's been beaten, L tells Light that he's just stupid murderer... and he's his only friend. There's sad cello music playing for a good part of this scene.
    • Light has tears in his eyes when he later burns the slip of paper with L's name on it, saying "This is really goodbye... L. Lawliet." This while he's completely alone.
    • Light's willing to jump in the path of a bullet to push L out of the way.
    • As Light's burning to death, he's thinking about L, remembering some of their scenes together with lines from the above Tear Jerker confrontation before L's death, these being "Then I met you, and for the first time I became interested in a person," and "I wish we could have met some other way." Light tearfully proclaims through the pain that he'll create a peaceful world without crime, that things can't end like this... and then says, presumably in response to his L flashback, "our feelings are the same." Ouch.

  • In episode 5 of the tv drama L gasps and gets a very shocked look on his face when Light kisses Misa , like a girlfriend who just saw their partner cheat on them with another woman just the way he says "he kissed her....." and slumps into his seat looking very unhappy about what he just witnessed .

  • This exchange in episode 6, while Light is being subjected to a polygraph test and has just been asked to answer "no" to every question. It reads less like a detective interrogating their suspect and more like... something else. It truly has to be seen to be believed.
    L: Alright; let's get straight to the point. Are you—?
    Light: (laughs) Hey... (looks up at L) Do you enjoy messing with me like this?
    Light: (laughs again, then suddenly gets serious) Do as you please...

  • The Musical doesn't even try to hide it, now that it's so famous within the fandom. The duet between L and Light, "Playing His Game" is basically Foe Romance Subtext: The Song. Mixed with, "Jeez, would you two just make out already?"
    Get into his head,
    and under his skin.
    The things that he said,
    the food that he likes,
    the places he’s been.
    I’ll look through his eyes,
    and see what he sees,
    'til I see the forest, not just the trees.
    I’ll mimic his will
    and learn his routines
    and feel the same thrill and know what it means.
    I’ll walk in his shoes
    as long as it takes,
    'till deep in my bones I’m sure
    I’m winning my game while I’m saying.
    I’m playing his game.
    • The English version has nothing on the Japanese version, which truly has to be heard to be believed. It's set over the famous tennis match, it cheekily uses semeru and ukeru (lit. "attack" and "receive", but also famously the verbs from which seme and uke came from,) and as for the lyrics...
      Our bodies, and anything and everything, will be tied into one,
      This heart, as it is, is you.
    • Or the entire second chorus:
      Come, follow me everywhere,
      Blaze up! Become a single flame
      Other things don't matter, I can't see anything but you,
      Right now it's only the two of us in this world


  • Mikami is/was COMPLETELY obsessed with Kira/Light. So much so that (in the anime only) he commits suicide via PEN and in the manga kills himself in jail when he realizes Kira has lost and it was all his fault.
    • If you ship L x Light (and are still watching by the second season) it makes sense to ship Mikami as Light's Replacement Goldfish especially considering that Light's selection process basically consisted of him scanning the crowd of Kira supporters and choosing the first tall, wild haired, Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette his eye happened to land on...
    • Mikami's adoration for his God is totally canon: [14]
    • Light and Mikami get REALLY excited when talking to each other on the phone (complete with some very EXTREME facial expressions.)


    L/Beyond Birthday 
  • In the novel Death Note: Another Note, Beyond Birthday and his creepy obsession with L.
    • Oh and Beyond is "an aggressive top."
    • Given the way L delegates the case to Naomi Misora and L and B's mysterious shared history it kind of comes off like L is hiding from his abusive ex-boyfriend.
      • Except that L states that he has never actually met B. Then again, L is known to be a Consummate Liar.
      • Oh, can't forget: 1) L did "strange things" as a teenager. 2) B is very sadistic and likes to tie people up.

  • The movieverse gives us F x L L writes his own name in the Death Note after learning that F is dead. Also from the movies L and Hideaki Suruga have a "mommy and daddy" vibe when taking care of the orphans.
  • Both Mello and Near really look up to L...
  • When Aizawa is shouting about how much he hates L and L tells Aizawa that he likes him.
  • L has some sort of history with Aiber and he vehemently objects to Matsuda's suggestion that they use Aiber as bait to draw out Yotsuba Kira (opting to use Matsuda instead).
  • In the drama L keeps taking his shirt off in front of Souichiro.

  • Mello and Matt anyone? Matt's character was stated to have just been created for Mello.
    • Matt's Ho Yay seems to be the only reason such an infinitely small character is so incredibly popular.
    • "Matt... I never thought you'd be killed... forgive me..."
    • In the manga Matt does crush on Misa-so his type is apparently a cute, thin, overly-dramatic blonde who wears tight black leather clothing... oh wait... Paging Dr. Freud.
      • And while Matt is telling Mello all about the "cute girl" he's watching, Mello seems a little bit jealous. As in, someone's gonna wind up Exiled to the Couch jealous!
      • Which could very well have been Matt's intention.
    • In some promotional material, Matt is described as, of all the words they could have used, Mello's consort.

  • Mello and Near. Mello is so overly concerned with everything Near does it comes across as stalkerish. When he talks about Mello, Near is likewise very complimenting and admiring, and toward the end he says that he and Mello should have been partners, and that it would've led to great things.
    • Near is the only person with a picture of Mello. Just something to chew on...
    • Also, Word of God says Near made (or at least painted) those finger puppets himself. And that he spent extra time creating the Mello one (even adding the scar on after Mello's accident) because he liked and admired Mello. And that's not even getting into the infamous ventriloquist's dummy from the live-action drama.
    • In the drama, Mello is inside of Near. snicker
    • To expand: When it's suggested they should be co-Ls, Near immediately agrees. Later, when Mello is suspected of kidnapping Sayu, Near couldn't care less about whether Mello is guilty or not but is irritated Mello left Mello's picture behind. In the Dear Mello scene: On Mello's side, despite his distaste for Near, he seems to unquestionably believe and be unsurprised by Near's statement about not making any copies of the picture and of dealing with the others who knew Mello's face. On Near's side: Mello pulls a gun on Near, and Near orders the agents protecting him to stop aiming their guns at Mello. After Mello claims shinigami are real, Near automatically believes him. In one translation of this scene, as Mello is leaving, Near sadly asks, "It's a race, huh?" In the English dub, he scoffs, "Right," when Mello insists it's a race Mello will win. Then, later come the aforementioned hand puppets, and in one of Near's last appearances, there's a subtle bit of him eating chocolate.

  • There's lots of Les Yay between Misa and her Shinigami Rem, mostly from Rem's side though, who not only loves her but is willing to die for her.
    • Rem/Misa is canon on Rem's side at least. Indeed, in the musical her feelings for Misa are explicitly romantic in nature.
    • There's a scene in the manga where Rem stares at Misa's panty shot.
  • Sayu occasionally shows some interesting tendencies, like grabbing at Light's tabloids to look for dirty pictures or commenting that she can see Misa's underwear shortly after meeting her or saying that Misa is just her type.
  • In episode 15, upon spotting Misa a lot of girls crowd around her saying things like "Oh, she's so cute!" and "I'm your biggest fan!"
  • There's also Misa/Takada. Takada asks Misa out to dinner (to catfight over Light). With candles. And wine.
  • And Halle/Misa. There's their brief fight-scene together.

  • There's also Matsuda and almost every other male character. In regards to Light and L he really looked up to them, to the point of obsession in some cases.
    • "Your reasoning is not actually reasoning but...desire. Your desire. Light was Kira, but you liked Light, didn't you, Matsuda?" And what does Matsuda say in return? " may be so."
      • The subtext of that scene is written directly as text in some of the manga's Spanish translations. Ide's question is translated as "Te gustaba Light, ¿verdad?". The verb "gustar" used towards another person, at least in some Spanish speaking places, has the meaning of being sexually attracted to somebody. To like somebody as a friend or as a person would require another verb, like "agradar" or "simpatizar".
      • The wording's very ambiguous in the original Japanese as well. 好き does mean "like" and can be used to refer to objects and the like, but in reference to a person, it can also mean romantic feelings. Saying "君が好きです" or similar is a very common way to say you have feelings for someone. With how dramatically this scene is framed, and Matsuda's reaction, it seems reasonable that it might actually have been intentional.
    • And in chapter 107 as Light begs for his life Matsuda appears to feel sorry for him.
    • There are strong hints that Matsuda is bisexual, if not just outright gay - though he does seem attracted to Sayu in the second half of the series. He is known to be quite "fond" of Light, following him in a manner that could easily be indicative of a crush. He shows no jealously whatsoever when seeing Light with women, but this may just be him accepting that Light is straight and would of course have no interest in him. His actions near the end as he shoots Light and screams at him almost look like the reaction of a lover learning the truth about his significant other. And then there's his throwing an arm around a blushing male coworker...
    • When Light invites himself to hang with Matsuda in Aoyama searching for the Second Kira (and Light is wearing that pink shirt) it kind of feels like a date. When Light feels the need to invite all his friends from school (for The Plan) that just makes it seem even more awkward like Light feels some sort of tension with Matsuda and is trying to convince everyone that its Not a Date.
  • Matsuda and Ide. Matsuda repeatedly teases Ide about his lack of romantic luck, and while Ide is outright angry at first, he eventually begins to seem to put actual thought into Matsuda's comments. They watch Light and Takada's dates together, and Matsuda brings out a more emotive side in Ide, to the point where Aizawa, who has a very close friendship with Ide, yells at them both more than once.
    • They're also shown to be close a year after the Kira case, and are seen carpooling together. Ide even knows Matsuda well enough to confront him on his own biases and tendency to dwell on what happened the year prior, which is no small feat considering how positive Matsuda's usual personality is.

    Everyone Else 
  • Mello's (Leather pants) wardrobe is flaming. It's only natural he has Ho Yay with every male character he shares a scene with.
  • I see Ryuk/Light and raise you Mello/Light's dad. Damn you Subtext! [16]
    • According to How to Read, he let Soichiro live because "that gray hair's just too cute".
  • The Yotsuba group only catch Matsuda spying because Hatori and Shimura suddenly decided to go to the bathroom together in the middle of a meeting.
  • In the scene at Mido's house, Namikawa enters... and immediately starts stripping, tosses his coat dramatically onto the couch, and looses his tie while glancing at Shimura. He proceeds to essentially flirt with Shimura a few times throughout the meeting.
  • Aizawa and Ide are very, very close. Ide provides Aizawa with motivation when he briefly quits the Kira investigation, and Ide rejoins the Kira investigation for the sole purpose of working with Aizawa again. Ide also provides Aizawa with support during the second arc, and Aizawa entrusts Ide with avenging him if he is killed by Kira.
  • Mello and Rod Ross seem pretty close too slouching together on the zebra couch.
  • Mogi and Aiber seem oddly close to each other.
  • Takada/Halle. Takada trusted Halle implicitly.
  • How about Watari x Mr. Yagami? Is there some reason that Watari gives Mr. Yagami three scoops of ice cream and everyone else gets two?
    • Seniority and rank. Damn it feels good to be police chief.
    • Or he just ASKED for another scoop...he is an adult he can have as much icecream as he wants.
      • What adult (besides L) explicitly asks for more ice-cream?
  • And Roger x Watari. It would explain why Roger runs an orphanage when he hates kids. Also Roger keeps Watari's picture on his desk.
    • Stephen and Mikami with Stephen stalking Mikami, following him into the locker room, going through his things...
  • Then there's Mishima and Ryuzaki II from Light Up the New World. For most of the movie, they have an antagonistic relationship similar to L and Light, although Ryuzaki is less upfront about his suspicions that Mishima is Neo Kira and acts like he's just being an asshole for the sake of it. They still develop an odd friendship, and later on, after it's revealed that Mishima was Neo Kira, they continue to behave close despite their obvious reasons to oppose each other. They basically carry each other while injured during the climax, and are very physical with each other during that entire part of the movie. Then Arma kills Nanase to prevent her from killing Mishima because she realizes that Mishima is important to Ryuzaki, and Ryuzaki ultimately saves Mishima's life and trusts him to become the new L despite everything.
  • Also from Light Up the New World, Uragami and Kuromoto are very close. They're practically never seen apart, and Uragami hides behind Kuromoto and clings to him when they see Beppo for the first time. They also die together.