"There is no need for a God in this world... What it needs is a Judge."
Light Yagami is the protagonist of the canon series, Death Note, as well as the fanfiction series Death Note: Return from Purgatory. Originally a talented high school student with a bright future, he discovered the mysterious book titled, "Death Note," which could kill anyone who's name was written down on it's pages. In the canon series, he once aspired to be a god-like figure, eliminating all the criminals in the world, as well as anyone who would seek to hinder his progress, but was later killed after being discovered by Near. In various other stories, his role has been altered significantly to adapt to them.
In Return from Purgatory, Light made a deal with the Shinigami King, Hades, and was returned to the human world, on the same day he found the Death Note. In the original version, he thought of the events of what transpired in the canon series to be a dream, and grew terrified when he saw the power of the Death Note, quickly realizing what would happen if he continued. He was egged on, however, when Hades appeared before him, and told him that this would be his second chance. If he were to fail, however, his soul would be devoured. In the revised version, Light spent his last moments with the Kira Counterforce before dying, and later meeting Hades in Mu, where the deal was expanded upon. Similar to the original, he thought the canon events were all a mere dream, but after witnessing the Death Note's power, he quickly realizes that everything that happened was real, and remembers the deal. As a result, he now strives to become a "judge of humanity's sins" rather than a god.
In the series, Light appears as an attractive young man with brown hair and eyes. He has commonly worn various outfits through out the series, mostly seen in either his school uniform or in his detective attire. During several scenes in the anime series, Light has been shown with glowing red eyes and pale red hair, in contrast to L, who at times was depicted with blue hair, providing a contrast to one another. In Return from Purgatory, however, Light prefers to wear a light blazer over a pale green shirt and denim jeans with leather boots. He also keeps a bookbag with him, though why he does is unknown, as it does not contain the Death Note with him.
In Return from Purgatory, Light shows genuine remorse for all the deaths he had caused in the past, seeking to atone this by pursuing a more 'pure, just' path by limiting his victims to only his primary targets in the beginning of the series: criminals and scum. He refuses, in under any circumstance, to kill innocent bystanders, having recalled Ray Penbur and Naomi Masora, as well as his own father. He also displays a more cunning, charismatic side to him as he demonstrated his knowledge of L's plans by killing Lind L. Tailor, and creating a distorted video showcasing his challenge, thereby creating the new rivaly between him and L.
In contrast to how he was before, Light greatly cherishes his family and friends, most importantly Misa, who he now loves for her conviction and devotion to him, and L, a great friend and rival. It was speculated by L at some point in the story that Kira (Light) purposely leaves out clues for him to find, showcasing a possible desire to be caught, hinting that Light possibly wishes to be stopped before he can return to how he was before.
Light's backstory was not explored much in any of the canonical media. In the fanfiction story, however, his story was slightly expanded.
Light, even from a young age, was a brilliant child, having scored the highest in his fourth grade class, and was very well-mannered, earning him a large social circle. His grandfather was also a prestigous police officer, and Light greatly respected him, saying that he would be like him one day. This led to him often seeking advice, and training in some sense, to become a member of law enforcement, though his father opposed this initially. However, when Light was twelve, his grandfather died due to a heart attack, which left Light in a state of depression, and barely spoke with his parents at all since then. It wasn't until he was fifteen that he got over it when he met Kyoka Sayoki, who became his emotional crutch. By that point, Light had seemingly forgot about his desire to become a police officer.
A year later, Light and Kyoka became romantically involved, and according to his parents, they were quite the happy couple until one day, Kyoka was hit by an oncoming car. The incident had nearly left her all but paralyzed, and despite who was at fault, the driver shouted and denied the accusations, saying that she was the one at fault. Light was furious, and nearly attacked him before being pulled away by the authorities. Kyoka spent several months in the hospital in Intensive Care, with Light visiting her every day. Despite the assurances of the doctors, Kyoka died several days later, leaving Light once again in a state of depression, and skipped school for almost a year. He became extremely bitter when he learned from his father that the man who hit Kyoka was actually a regular thug who was thrown into jail on various occasions, and yet somehow managed to avoid being tossed back into a cell.
When he learned this, Light became furious, and soon began attending school, rekindling his desire to become a detective, so that he could put scum like the one who killed Kyoka behind bars where they belong.
Death Note: Return from Purgatory
Return from the Brink
In the original debut chapter of the story, Light was shown having awoken up in his room, left behind in a cold sweat as his mother called for him downstairs, saying it was time to get ready to go to school. He seemingly appears to retain all memories from the original series, though he believes it was all a dream, and proceeds to go to school. During the lecture, he reflects back on the supposed dream, admitting that, while the idea is tempting, he finds it also abhorrent, as killing criminals is no better than being a criminal yourself, and finds the current state of the world to be satisfactory, all things considered. Just like before, he watches Ryuk's Death Note fall from the sky, and unto the ground.
When Light discovers it, he quickly becomes panicked, trying to rationalize himself that it's all a mere dream. However, he still takes the book back with him, despite his own self-protests that the book is just a joke and nothing more, insisting that what happened was nothing more than a dream. However, after looking over the notebook's contents, Light quickly becomes more unhinged, especially when he recalls what occurred in the dream when he found the book. Eventually, the television shows the events of what is transpiring at the daycare center, sending Light into a near panic when he sees the perpetrator bringing the hostages to the rooftop carrying a shotgun. In fear of what will happen, Light quickly writes down the man's name, and the specifications of his death.
Forty seconds later, the man takes the gun and shoots himself in the head. This action confirms Light's deepest fears to his dream, and falls onto his bed in fright and disbelief, now confirming that the dream had truly occurred. However, his shock and fear does not last long, as he notices the sudden arrival of a new figure, who expresses their pleasure at seeing Light's work as "Kira". He questions who the robed figure is, who replies that he is the one who took Light and raised him from perdition. Realizing that the figure is the one who brought him back, Light grows furious as he demands to know the implications of what the being had done, bringing him back to when everything started. It's then that the figure starts to explain everything.
He reveals himself as the Shinigami King, Hades. He explains to Light that he found his actions with the Death Note both fascinating and amusing, saying that he would have made a worthy Shinigami had he entered the realm. However, he also felt that he deserved another chance, but explained to Light that, if he were to fail, he would not be given another chance to redeem himself, nor enter Mu. Rather, Hades would devour his soul. Afterwards, he leaves a bewildered Light Yagami.
The young man quickly develops an astounding resolve to better himself, and once again assumes the role of Kira, albeit no longer desiring to become a god of a new world order.
In the re-written scenario, titled Chapter ReLight: Return from the Brink, an alternate scene played out. The stage is set in the last episode of the anime series, where Light tries to escape the task force and finding refuge in the warehouse, where he sits at the rooftop, apparently reflecting on his past actions. He thinks that, perhaps, things would have gone differently, had he chosen to plan out his actions in a more befitting manner. He slowly dies in his own pool of blood as he hears the task force banging against the door leading to the rooftop, and catches sight of a familiar, yet ghostly apparition. He smiles wistfully, noting that even L has come to see him off before the task force finally manages to break down the door. Light notes that they are seemingly still left in disbelief, and asks as a final request for his family not to learn the truth about him. Matsuda nods to this, and not long after, Light dies in peace.
When Light opens his eyes, he finds himself in a bleak, rotting world where he quickly deduces that it is Mu, or nothingness. He is also greeted by a robed figure, who introduces himself as the Shinigami King, Hades. He notes that Light is neither disturbed, nor shocked by his presence in this realm, nor his appearance, though Light attributes to this, mentioning that Ryuk told him he had something to look forward to when he died. Light asks if Hades is here to collect him, though the being mentions that he was an odd existence, explaining that he was greatly amused and fascinated when Ryuk had told him about Light, a human who tried to play god. He also gives Light an offer, where he has three choices: the first being that he will wander Mu for eternity, as per the agreement of the Death Note, or that he becomes a Shinigami, though any memory of his human life will be erased.
Lastly, he makes a third offer: he will send Light back to the human world. At first, Light is intrigued by the offer, but then recalls his actions, and just as he is about to answer, Hades adds that he will be sent back to the day when he first became Kira. This leaves Light shocked and stunned, a revelation soon forming in his mind. He would be able to prevent the deaths of Raye Penbur and Naomi Masura, both of whom he, at one point, greatly regretted killing, L, and even the FBI Agents. He at last makes his judgement, and accepts. Hades appears to be pleased as he discards his robes, bandages, and mask, revealing an appearance almost identical to Light's, except bearing red hair and gray eyes. Light is soon overwhelmed by the sudden action of the bandages wrapping around his body while Hades informs him that, should he fail, he will devour his soul. Afterwards, Light falls unconscious.
The Shinigami solely responsible for Light becoming the infamous, god-like figure "Kira," and the main trigger behind the events of Death Note. The two share a cordial relationship, though Light is annoyed by Ryuk's antics and his mentioning of the aspects of the Death Note at later points rather than explaining them in the rules or when they had first met each other. To Ryuk, Light is his primary source of entertainment, enjoying himself as he watches Light trying to change the world and become a God, though he may have considered Light a good friend, as in the re-written scenario of the debut chapter, Ryuk expressed sadness for having written Light's name in his Death Note. Currently, the two share, more or less, the same relationship, though he expresses surprise at Light's great knowledge, possessing no memories of the original timeline.
In the canon series, Light and L were enemies against one another right at the very start, one trying to capture him, and the other trying to kill him. Though often battled each other in a game of wits to see who could figure out who, and eventually, they came face to face, though L went under the alias Ryuzaki, despite Light was already aware of who he was. Afterwards, both before and after Light lost his memories of the Death Note, and subsequently his time as Kira, the two became great friends. Light also expresses some form of happiness when he saw what appeared to be a phantasmal figure of L standing nearby as he died. Currently, while they have not met each other yet at this point in time, Light greatly values the relationship they had prior, and hopes that they will forge a bond like that again this time around.
A popular idol who is madly in love with Kira, as her parents' murderer was able to walk away scotch free due to a lack of evidence, only to be killed by Light in the beginning of the series when he first acquired the Death Note. She is greatly infatuated with him, right to the point of being a fan girl with an obsessive, and cold and ruthless streak, following Light's orders down to the letter, and considers any enemy of his to be a danger. It is unknown what became of her in the anime series, but in the manga, she was confirmed to have committed suicide. At present, it is unknown whether or not Misa has obtained the Death Note, but she still idolizes Kira, and in turn, Light. He also feels guilty for using her, confessing that he had adopted feelings for her somewhere down the road, but was too obsessed in maintaining the order of the new world as it's god.
A dangerous foe from the Psycho-Pass franchise, and also one of Light's most devout followers. He made his first debut at the end of Chapter 4: Cogs of Destiny (Part 1), speaking with an unknown individual about how everything was going to begin soon, and speaking about an unknown individual, presumably Light due to the choice of wording by Makashima. He, like Misa and Mikami, also carries a Death Note with him, but it is unknown whether or not he is accompanied by a Shinigami at present. It is also unknown how he learned of Light's existence as Kira, though nonetheless, he greatly respects and admires Light, lamenting that even a God could fall from grace. Light is unaware of Makashima's existence, but according to the author, it is stated that he will become Light's most dangerous foe, even greater than that of L and Near.
- It was mentioned in Chapter 3: The return of L by Ryuk that, when Light had made his declaration, he had seen a phantasmal figure in his place, bearing characteristics that are heavily familiar to the unnamed Shinigami from the film, Death Note ReLight Volume 1: Visions of a God. According to Ryuk, if the user of the Death Note's actions are noteworthy enough, Hades will offer to make them into a Shinigami, referring to the deal Light and Hades made in the beginning of the story.
- This also coincides with the Light's Reincarnation Theory, where it is speculated the unnamed Shinigami of that film, and Light Yagami, are one of the same, due to the heavily similarities.
- “I'm going to make the world know I’m here… that somebody is passing righteous judgement on them.” (Chapter 1)
- “I will reign over a new world.” (Chapter 1)
- “"I'll make you trust me. And when you've told me everything I need to know, I'll kill you.” (Chapter 19)
- “You can't ever win if you're always on the defensive, to win, you have to attack.” (Chapter 20)
- (To Ryuk, regarding the Death Note) “I've never considered finding that notebook and gaining that power a misfortune.” (Chapter 22)
- “This… is the first time that I actually want to punch a girl.” (Chapter 31)
- “I’m going to get more intimate with Misa and make her fall helplessly in love with me.” (Chapter 32)
- “The thing I hate the most is to trample on other people's good will.” (Chapter 37)
- “Exactly as planned.” (Chapter 53)
- “Follow the teachings of God and receive his blessings, and so it shall be that the seas again become bountiful.” (Episode 1)
- “I'll solve equations with my right hand and write names with my left. I'll take a potato chip… and eat it!” (Episode 8)
- “Under normal circumstances, humans should have continued to evolve as the greatest creatures upon this earth, but we were actually regressing. A rotten world. Politics, law, education… Was there anybody around who could correct this world? But someone had to do it.” (Episode 37)
- “I understood that killing people was a crime. There was no other way! The world had to be fixed! A purpose given to me! Only I could do it. Who else could have done it, and come this far? Would they have kept going? The only one… who can create a new world… is me.” (Episode 37)
- "What I need to be... What I need to become... is a Judge. A Judge of Humanity's Sins!" (Chapter 3/Chapter 2: Justice Reincarnated