[Top 10] Death Note Best Characters (Ranked)

[Top 10] Death Note characters (ranked)
Even though Kira kills most of them off - here are the top 10 characters in Death Note.

This show is a whole damn character by itself… and has a lot of character to its stories! But that's kinda hard to think about for me, I'm getting light-headed…So let's talk about the amazing characters in the show that make it this way. Because there's no shortage of them! Here are my 10 favourite people, from "Okay, they impacted me" to "Wow, their awesomness hit the hardest!"


10. Watari

He is L's closest confidante. The masked man you meet at the beginning is the only person who can contact L. In the end, he is the team's Guardian angel. Who dies at the hands of Kira.

Watari's awesome traits:

  • He is as old as a Shinigami's mom yet he's still bright and badass.  
  • He shot the gun out of a criminal's hand from a helicopter. Without hurting the criminal. Or shooting anyone in the face. I mean whaaaat, HOW!?
  • He's always bringing L and the team food and treats. Like Alfred except sweeter and scarier. 


9. Naomi Misora

She is a character we only see for a few episodes. Her story begins and ends tragically. It starts with the death of her fiance, Ray Penber, and wraps up with her finding his killer and dying too. Her last moments were a false suicide that was written by Light.  Her story sucked (as in - I wanted to cry) but her character was interesting.

Naomi's awesome traits:

  • Her intelligence is so underrated. She noticed a problem with the bus being hijacked, by a criminal from the news, as soon as she heard about it. 
  • She is an ex-FBI agent!! 
  • She was cautious enough to give Light a pseudonym at first! But of course, almost no one can outwit Light's pro manipulation skills.
  • She was a determined, honest and brave person. Who, even with her loved one's death, still pursued the culprit. Wouldn't you want someone like that in your life? The answer is yes!


8. Shinigami Ryuk

The story starts with a bored, loner-type Shinigami. In the realm of the Death Gods. He, like Light, thinks his world is rotten. Unlike Light, he can get the hell outta there. So he does, and down to the human world, he goes. This is how we get our very first Shinigami. From then on he is a crucial part of every episode. And a hilarious part!

Ryuk's awesome traits:

  • He doesn't get stressed by anything! He chuckles in almost every situation, it doesn't matter who is winning. I need me some of that!
  • He's unbiased. Which I can't even say for myself! In the end, he kills Light, someone he was with for 6 years! 
  • He's honest. Every time anyone (and I mean ANYONE) asks him about a rule in the Death Note he tells them...unless, of course, Light says not to *eye roll*.
  • He LOVES APPLES!! Me too bro, high five!! Although I don't get apple withdrawals by doing handstands...


7. Soichiro Yagami

The father of Yagami Light. The best cop in the world. With a heart of strong gold. From the beginning, he is on the Kira case. Even when he's fired from being Chief of Police he stays on it. In the end, he dies while still pursuing Kira. If only he knew it was his darling boy, Light!

Father's awesome traits:

  • He truly is a cop. Not the current-day descriptions we expect but a real hero. He proves that time and time again throughout the show. He rams a bus into a building to stop Kira! He dies to stop Kira! 
  • He was willing to arrest his son if he was Kira. So yeah, no corruption there. Also when Light was arrested he detained himself too! So no corruption and full of beautiful support for the wrong person!!
  • He is hardworking and determined. The case was lucky to have him! If only all our crimes had cops like that right? 
  • He's a father figure to Matsuda. For me, that was the most precious relationship out of the whole show. I want a Detective-Yagami-Dad mentor! 


6. Shinigami Rem

The second Shinigami to join the Human realm! She gives rise to the Second Kira - Misa. With Ryuk being the only Shinigami personality we knew before, she was something different. Unfortunately, she dies to save Misa about 3 quarters into the show *cardiac myocytes rip as my heart breaks*. 

Rem's awesome traits: 

  • She's a Shinigami who cares about a human - Misa!! It's so unconventional and heartwarming! But dangerous! If a Death God tries to save a life it's bye-bye for them.
  • She came down to Earth not to have fun (Like Ryuk) but to pass on a dead friend's notebook to Misa. This shows us her loyalty and empathy, which I love!
  • She is smart and unafraid of Light! Even in the end when she figures out how he's set the situation up so she must die. She still sacrifices herself for Misa.


5. Matsuda

Ahh, Matsu, a young detective under the wing of Light's father. He is there from the first episode to the last, usually as comedic relief. Yet, he is the one who, finally, shoots Kira. 

Matsuda's awesome traits:

  • Holds the title of the most called "Baka" in the entire show! Don't know if he'd be happy but it's an achievement.
  • His innocent way of both understanding Kira's wish to stop criminals and still wanting to catch him. Sweet, conflicted Matsu.
  • He has this wide-eyed face that is so cute!  I  giggle every time I see him. Especially when he messes up! (This is why there's an entire episode named after him - he's MATSUDAAAA)
  • Regardless of whether he is slow or not… he's brave. Throughout the series, he stays dedicated to the Kira case! While knowing the risk to his life.
  • He's Detective Yagami's adopted cop son! It's obvious he respects and loves that man.*sniffles* Me too.
  • In the last episode, his rage at Light for not caring about his father's death is as hot as hellfire! (Uuugh, If only Death Note users could go to hell right?!) 


4. Detective Near

L's successor. The dude who FINALLY figures out Kira's plan and stops him. An adolescent from a detective training orphanage. Near is the most important counterattack character of the entire show but he's awesome for so many other reasons.

Near's awesome traits:

  • The adorable hair twist he does when his magnificent brain is working!!
  • His straightforward confidence in his convictions. He caught Kira because he didn't hesitate or doubt what he knew! 
  • The way he's young and yet so much more brilliant than the adults around him! I mean he figures out the case with action figures!
  • And finally, I thought it was really funny and sweet when he states he can't fly on a plane alone. He never has before. This highlights his innocence. Who better to beat Kira than someone innocent and intelligent!


3. Misa-Misa

An absolute Yanderi … jokes she just really loves Light. She starts the series as a religious rocker model who becomes the second Kira. And ends it as a sad "widow" who takes her own life. Not a great overall storyline, damn. Her character is much lighter though. 

Misa's awesome traits: 

  • She's smiley and upbeat most of the time! A true cutie! Even one evil Boardman admits "She's cuter in person!" 
  • She's "Blonde" but sharp as a pocket knife! She pulls off quite a few stings herself! (With awesome Rem's help of course). You don't have to be Mr. Light to be Kira!
  • Daaaamn her fashion sense is gorgeous! I love her colourful outfits in the sea of serious guy grey. 
  • She has a "full of love" heart. As warm as a mom's hug! 
  • Yet with a brain filled with memories of her parents' death. This causes a radical, Kira supporting side to occur. Even when faced with Kira though, she is loving and wears her pretty heart on her pretty sleeve.
  • Lastly, her sweet, child-like voice!! Whether it's speaking, screaming or singing a sad death song she sounds, to me, like what a baby bunny in a bright flower field would make you feel: wholesome cuteness.


2. Yagami Light 

The main "pro?"tagonist. The ultimate unstoppable force, all wrapped in the wrinkles of his brain matter. Light starts as the first Kira, in high school. Through twists and turns only this mad genius could think of, 6 years go by. His mission to kill criminals lasted a whole 6 years!!! That's why, as you'll see, I love things about this main character but they are things you love to hate!

Light's "awesome" traits:

  • It goes without saying: His Megamind vibes brain! He is undoubtedly the smartest person in the show. This creates a lot of interesting situations the series couldn't do without.
  • He is the ultimate manipulator!! From manipulating the police force to manipulating the women in his life, this guy has no shortage of lies to sell. And he's really good at telling those lies.
  • His twisted sense of Justice. Even though he is basically (as N said) "just a serial killer with a God complex", he still does start and continue on a path dedicated to stopping crime. He's like a broke broken Batman.
  • He has awfully quick thinking! In one scene his entire internal monologue goes down before L can even remove his finger from his lip!
  • His bright red eyes and creepy laugh. They are the perfect way to get you to think "Well okay these cops are pretty brave" because this guy's cray-cray.
  • And finally, because it bears repeating, he is EXTREMELY INTELLIGENT!!! Don't play chess with Light!!!! He is the Liiigght!


1. Ryuzaki/L

And now for the cherry on top of a sweet dessert Ryuzaki gobbles as he deduces! The best character in ANIME... *drum roll* Detective L! This fantastic character starts as a "Who the hell is he?" behind a computer screen. He takes the biggest risk of his amazing (he solved EVERY case) career. And reveals his identity. I'm so grateful he did! Then, openly, he solves Kira's side-steps. Usually, right after they've been executed! He works every episode to arrest new Kiras while still collecting evidence against Light. Just before he reveals all the answers,  he is murdered. Luckily even then it's not for nothing. As N later says "It took all of us to defeat Kira!". Teamwork makes the dream work baby! He is by far my favourite character! Now, let me over-explain why!!

L's most awesome traits:

  • His overall cute, mysterious and always pondering appearance. Who knew dark rings under the eyes could be so beautiful, right??
  • His thinking position: knees to chest, bare feetses comfortingly rubbing each other and his thumb to his lips. This iconic L gesture will stay with me forever in a soft smooshy part of my heart.
  • Now, I've said a lot about his appearance. The truth is his biggest, most awesome trait is his complex intelligence! 
  • He solves, and solves, and solves, and… okay you get the picture...solves, dilemmas. And he always makes the right deductions.
  • His self-doubt. This has mixed feelings for me. On one hand, it is the reason he is so epic - his brain is always arguing! On the other hand, if he had been more sure of Light being Kira he might not have died. So...yeah, you can decide if that's a good or a bad trait, hehe.
  • His rock-steady sense of Justice! He never stops fighting for the law. Even when he knows Light is about to kill him. He bravely goes back into the investigation room and gets to work. 
  • His sweet tooth! So relatable that I finished all my snacks in one episode! Oops...
  • He's almost always barefoot! His idea of dressing up for events is putting shoes on. And surprisingly his feet are perfectly clean and manicured. Teach me how??

L is the best character of the show for me! Obviously...I hope you found some of your faves here too! If not, check these awesome people out next time you watch Death Note and see what you think.


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Author's Note:


There were a few suicide mentions in this article. I would like to make clear: you as a human being (I know I wish I was an Anime character too!) deserve happiness and a full life. If you feel that's taking a nap on you, remember there are support systems and you deserve those too! 

Here are a few centres to try if you are in need. Every country has one so if the hotline isn't mentioned here it can be found online.


 Suicide Hotline: (800) 273-8255


Suicide Hotline: 810352869090


Suicide Hotline: 0514445691

Please remember your life is important! You deserve to get through every day of it! 

With Love, 


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