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Death Note is a popular anime based off of the manga written by Tsugumi Ohba (art by Takeshi Obata). The manga, written by Tsugumi Ohba and drawn by manga artist Takeshi Obata, ran in Weekly Shonen Jump from December 2003 to May 2006. The series was published in tankĊbon (what we call graphic novels) starting in May of 2004. By October of 2006, all 108 chapters were fit snugly into 12 volumes. The anime follows almost the exact story line of the manga, taking only 37 episodes to complete story. The anime ran in Japan from October 3, 2006 to June 26, 2007.

DeathNote begins when innocent law student discovers a notebook, and across the cover is the word DeathNote. He is visited by Shinigami Ryuk and with the Shinigami's help, he devises a plan to clear the world of evil, and bring justice to the people. Together with Misa and Ryuk, Light fights against his most formidable opponant yet, the worlds greatest detective L.



Light Yagami
Light Yagami

Light Yagami: A young man who tries to make the world a better place by using the Death Note. Combining his innate intelligence with the power of a Shinigami, he secretly tries to take over the world as Kira, the God of the New World. Light was uncompromising when it came to achieving his ideals. He sullied himself by using the Death Note, but his extreme actions may have been the result of the purity within him before he got his hands on the Notebook. Over taken by evil, Light even takes advantage of love to achieve his goals.

Light is a genius who never stops working hard. By combining extensive planning with his already brilliant mind, he was able to go head to head with L. If you had to identify a weakness, it could be that he never doubted his own ability. Light is always one or two steps ahead. Even facing the greatest danger in his life, he escapes with a brilliant plan and turns the tables on L.

Having defeated L, Light names himself as the Second L and takes control of the Kira investigation. With this ultimate cover, Kira continues to influence the world while playing the part of L. Light fools everyone around him by fulfilling the roles of both L and Kira.

L Lawliet: He's the most respected detective in the world, but his identity is shrouded in mystery. With the Kira case, he stands on the stage of history for the first time. L takes the upper hand, using suprise and is able to press Light with his strategies.

As L himself acknowledges, he has a childish personality and hates to lose, no matter how small the contest. Very suspicious by nature, he'll use any method he can to track down the truth until he's completely satisfied with the answer. As such, he's often misunderstood. Somehow he's mastered the Brazilian martial art, capoiera. It seems he's been in a few serious fights.

L has a sweet tooth and is never seen eating a regular meal during the investigation. Everything he eats is either candy or some other kind of sweet. Staying healthy on this sort of diet requires a lot of skill. Misa was jealous. L snacks during important meetings. He doesn't seem to take anything seriously, but this is his style.

L is the best detective in the world not only because of his brilliance but also because of his daring actions. From watching a monitor for days to planning the capture of a suspect, he can do it all. L blends into the crowd when he steals Misa's cell phone. He'll even commit a crime to solve a case he's working on.

Mello (Mihael Keehl): One of the children raised as a possible heir to the L name. After L is killed Mello acts on his own to capture Kira. He uses any means available--even teaming up with the mafia. He even Threatens to kill the president of the United States in order to procure his cooperation. Mello often disregards the law. Despite his inferiority to Near, Mellow finds a way to be a major threat to Light. A hostage is the quickest way to get what you want. While incredibly risky, Mello's plan fools both Light and Near. Though Mello doesn't always follow the law he is good at heart, and realizes that without his help, Near will never solve the case. Therefore he sacrifices his life to catch Kira (to the disappointment and tears of many fan girls))

Although he has an excellent mind he sometimes lets his emotions get in th eway. His hatred of Near, for example, has created a flaw in his personality. Realizing that he will never be the best, Mello becomes a criminal in order to reach his goals. Mellow has always been obsessed with defeating Near. By capturing Kira before Near can, he's hoping to wrestle away with the title of number one for himself. Mellow is always obsessed with being the best. His final objective is to dispose of Kira and use the notebook to rule the world for himself.

Matt (Mail Jeevas): Matt smokes... a lot. He absolutely LOVES video games, and carries a PGS (portable game system) around in his pocket everywhere he goes! You never see him take off his goggles in the series. Although he only shows up in 11 or 12 panels in the manga, he is still an important character. He shows up in the anime only briefly as well. He gets shot down and that is the last you see of him.

Matt, Near, and Mello all grew up in the Wammy house, and though Matt hardly shows up at all in either the manga or anime, he does contribute to the Kira case. It implies that Matt and Mello are very close. Though it's vague, somewhere in the series it shows how humble Mello is to Matt.

In the bonus 13th volume of the manga, we learn that Matt was the third successor to become L after Near and Mello. He's a computer and technological expert that used to go to Wammy's House with Near and Mello. In the manga, Matt is introduced by working with Mello on the Kira case.

A picture of Matt without his goggles is also in the 13th volume. In the anime, Matt's hair is a brownish color, while in the manga many fans like to believe it is red. I have never seen an official colored manga drawing of Matt, thus I cannot confirm what his real hair color is in the manga.

Matt is nineteen years old. He was 14 at the time of L's death and then four years passed, making him eighteen years old at that time. However, he doesn't show up immediately, and turns nineteen before he is actually brought in by Mello. Matt dies on January 26th, 2010 at the age of 19 (less than a week away from his 20th birthday).

Near (Nate River): A prodigy said to be the closest to L in terms of ability. He's the leader of the anti-Kira team, SPK, and controls the FBI as he sees fit. He challenges Kira directly and pushes him to the brink.Near is angry when he hears how America responds to Kira. His feelings against Kira are even more intense than L's.

Is he just following the beat of his own drum, or does he, like L, simply lack basic social skills? He doesn't hesitate for a second when he finds himself in legal grey areas. For Near, the ends justify the means. Near takes control of a situation through verbal domination. At times he even gets the best of Light.

His gifts of reasoning and insight are equal to L's, but because his social and basic living skills are even lower than L's, he can fully utilize his abilities only when he's surrounded by support. Near rarely goes outside and keeps human contact to a minimum. It doesn't seem as if he had any friends at Wammy's House.

Near is always surrounded by toys, as if he were a child. Even while playing, he'll start putting together a puzzle with nothing but the L emblem in the corner, which shows just how talented he is. He doesn't seem to have much loyalty to a particular type of toy, but he does take his favorites with him when he escapes his base.

Misa Amane: A beautiful girl who works as a model and actress. With the Death Note given to her by Rem, Misa becomes the Second Kira. Having fallen in love with Light, she tries to help him. With her shinigami eyes, Misa is an asset to Light and helps him in various ways.

She was just a model for a popular magazine until she heard about the Kira case. That's when she started using her own Death Note. Because of her acting talent, she;s able to help both the police and Kira. She's a pretty good actress and has entertained many offers for movie rules. Misa has great screen presence and doesn't wilt under pressure. Her talents are very helpful during the Yotsuba investigation.

Teru Mikami: Mikami is the new Kira proxy whom Light chooses. He worships Kira and faithfully carries out any order from him. Mikami possesses a sharp mind and frequently acts on his own judgment as well.

Kiyomi Takada: A popular anchor woman who is revered as Kira's representative. She was a classmate of Light's during their college days and even dated him. As an adult she is reunited with Light and helps him.

Soichiro Yagami: Soichiro is Light's father and a member of the Japanese Task force. Soichiro leads the Kira investigation not knowing that his son is behind the killings. A serious and responsible individual, he's respected by everyone.

Touta Matsuda: The youngest officer on the team of Japanese investigators. He has the drive, but his lack of experience sometimes hurts the investigation. He likes Light and believes in his innocence, but...

Shuichi Aizawa: A detective for the NPA and a very serious and passionate officer. At one point he quits the investigation for the sake of his family, but later returns. He comes to suspect Light and tries to help Near solve the case.

Kanzo Moki: A detective with the NPA and a very quiet guy. He's not flashy, but he's talented and tough. He's a valuable membver who supports the investigation by doing a lot of the heavy lifting behind the scene.

Hideki Ide: A member of the NPA who disagrees with L's methods and decides to investigate on his own. Later, he rejoins the team and sees the case through to the very end. He and Aizawa have a strong bond of trust.

Hirokazu Ukita: A young and brave NPA detective killed by the Second Kira during the Sakura TV incident. He was a pretty heavy smoker. He is the first member of the team to be killed by the Death Note.

Kanichi Takimura: Head of the Japanese police. He's kidnapped by Mello as a bargaining chip, but is ultimately killed by Kira.

Raye Penber: A talented FBI agent working under L to moniter the Japanese police. Because he's assigned to watch the Yagami family, he ends up being used as a pawn in Kira's plan and loses his life. He and Naomi Misora were planning their wedding when he died. Her existence was a vunerable point that Light took advantage of. From time to time Raye would have to remind Naomi to stop acting like a cop.

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