Light Yagami (Japanese: 月ライト, Hepburn: Yagami Raito) is the main protagonist of the manga series Death Note, created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. He is portrayed as a brilliant but bored genius who finds the Death Note, an otherworldly supernatural notebook that allows the user to kill anyone by knowing their name and face, after it is dropped by the Shinigami Ryuk. Frustrated by the status quo and unfairness of the world, Light uses the Death Note to kill those whom he deems morally unworthy of life, masterminding a worldwide massacre as the vigilante Kira (キラ). In the anime adaptation, he is voiced by Mamoru Miyano in Japanese and by Brad Swaile in the English version. In the live-action film series, he is portrayed by Tatsuya Fujiwara with Swaile reprising his role as his English dub voice; he is portrayed by both Kenji Urai and Hayato Kakizawa in the musical; in the TV drama, he is portrayed by Masataka Kubota; his counterparts in the American film are portrayed by Nat Wolff and Margaret Qualley. Tsugumi Ohba, the story writer of Death Note said that his editor suggested the family name "Yagami" for Light. Ohba said that he did not feel "too concerned" about the meaning of the name (the Kanji for "Yagami" are "night" and "god"); he said that after he created the final scene in the manga he "liked" that the final scene created "deeper significance" in the name, of Kira worshippers worshiping him at night under the light of the moon - his given name Light is written with the character for "moon".
39;s clothing in Death Note is "fitted" and Obata avoided jeans.
Takeshi Obata, the artist of Death Note, said that he had "no trouble" designing Light as the character description presented to him, "A brilliant honors student who's a little out there," was "clear and detailed". As the weekly serialization continued, Obata simplified the design by subconsciously removing "unnecessary" lines and felt that he became "better" at drawing Light. When Chapter 35 appeared and the editor informed Obata that Light lost his memories, Obata had to draw Light in a similar manner as he appeared in Chapter 1; Obata said "It was like I had to forget everything I had learned." Obata said that he used "a lot of effort" to design Light's wardrobe. According to Obata, he encountered difficulty imagining the clothing of "a brilliant person," so he looked through fashion magazines. Obata envisioned Light as a "smart and formal guy" who wears formal shirts. Most of Light's clothing in Death Note is "fitted" and Obata avoided jeans. For color illustrations, Obata assigned specific colors to each main character to help "get the atmosphere right" when designing them. He assigned "a lack of color or clear" to Light.
Shusuke Kaneko, director of the film, intended for Light to appear sympathetic at the beginning of the film; when Light first gains the Death Note, Kaneko "was careful" to have Light react in a manner "as you and I would". Kaneko changed the story involving Light gaining his first notebook as he felt that the audience "would have a hard time sympathizing" with Light if the scene remained the same as it was in the manga. Kaneko added that as he portrayed Light as "being enthralled" as he "becomes more cruel" to make the audience members feel that they could "do the terrible things he does" even if the members do not sympathize with Light. Kaneko designed Light's room to reflect the character's personality by making it clean and neat and filling it with legal, criminal history, foreign, and academic books. The original version of Light's room included a stereo; Kaneko replaced it with a vacuum cleaner to reflect Light's "clean-freak self".
Kenichi Matsuyama, the actor who portrayed L, said that he and Fujiwara became "so immersed" in their character portrayals that they did not talk to one another while on the set; when filming ceased they conversed and "went out for a drink or two". Matsuyama also said that Light and L are "extremely" alike in that they have "a very strong sense of justice". Light Yagami was born on February 28, 1986 (or 1989 in the anime). He is portrayed as a teen genius and a model student with a polite, reserved, and gentleman-like personality, who is popular among his peers and teachers and is known for being the class topper. At the beginning of the story, Light is a student in his last year of high school; he later attends To-Oh University (東応大学, Tōō Daigaku). His father, Soichiro Yagami, is the chief of the National Police Agency and the head of the task force hunting for "Kira", the name the public has given to the perpetrator of a string of inexplicable murders around the world. His mother, Sachiko, is a housewife.
His younger sister, Sayu, acts as a cheerful, less academic foil of Light himself. Light initially becomes horrified at the Death Note's abilities after he tests the notebook on two criminals out of curiosity, but he eventually convinces himself that the criminal's resulting deaths were justified, thinking he would bring crime rates down around the world. Light soon becomes driven to lead a personal crusade to rid the world of crime by using the notebook. Light eventually finds himself killing law enforcement and even innocents in order to elude capture. His ethics are utilitarian, justifying the most extreme acts in service of his cause. He is also driven by a need for victory, which motivates most of his cruelest acts. Combined with the power of the Death Note, his hubris and genius-level intellect convince him that only he can save the world. Eventually, a small task force of Japanese police officers, including Light's father, under the direction of the eccentric genius detective L begin to close in on Light. Although he suspects Light is Kira, L allows him to collaborate with the police on the case. This begins a game of cat and mouse between the two, with Light trying to learn L's real name so he can kill him, and L trying to get Light to expose himself so that he can arrest him.
Because the actions of Misa Amane, a fervent Kira supporter and fellow Death Note owner, nearly implicates Light, he becomes compelled to temporarily relinquish ownership of his notebook and subsequently loses his memories of using the Death Note. It is during this time that Light reverts to his original persona: a caring, level-headed, and empathetic individual unwilling to manipulate others or commit or justify acts of crime, such as murder. After Light regains ownership of his notebook and his memories, he manipulates Misa's Shinigami Rem into killing L. Light then assumes the "L" persona and continues his charade of searching for Kira with the task force while carrying out the killings himself with help from Misa. Over four years later, Light is able to garner most of the world's support, reaching the point where his followers have begun to worship Kira as a literal deity. However, it is around this time that two of L's protégés, Mello and Near, begin their investigation against Kira. Near heads the SPK (Special Provision for Kira), an American investigation team composed of CIA and FBI agents, while Mello works with the Mafia.
Although Mello dies working separately from Near, his actions lead Teru Mikami, a man selected by Light to kill criminals using another Death Note, to make a mistake that results in Light's capture by Near, the SPK, and Japanese police. Seeing that Light has finally lost, he is killed when Ryuk writes his name in his own Death Note, just as the Shinigami had warned when they first met. Light Yagami died on January 28, 2010 (or 2013 in the anime). In the Japanese film series, Light Yagami is portrayed by Tatsuya Fujiwara, known for his role as Shuya Nanahara in Battle Royale. In the films, he is portrayed as a distinguished, popular and intellectually gifted college student, who has a disregard and frustration of the incapability of the law enforcement system to quell the rampant increase in criminal activities around the world, which drives his motives to use the Death Note, to change the world into a utopian society without crime, under the alias of a god-like vigilante known as "Kira", much like his manga counterpart. However, some slight changes and modifications were made to the character. At the film's beginning, Light is a first-year law student at a university, instead of still being in high school as in the beginning of the manga and anime. Light's motives also slightly differ; in this version, he uses the Death Note mainly out of his frustration from the perceived failures of the Japanese justice system.
Light, prior to his discovery of the Death Note, hacks into the national police database and finds that the government is unable to prosecute many criminals, either due to lack of evidence or technical loop-holes, among other reasons. Also, Light discovers the Death Note in an alley during a rainy night after encountering an acquitted felon named Takuo Shibuimaru in a night-club. Another difference is that Light meets Ryuk right after killing Shibuimaru with the Death Note. At the end of the first movie, Light reluctantly kills his girlfriend, Shiori Akino, and frames her death as a murder and reason to foster hatred for "Kira", in order to join the Kira investigation team as a result of their sympathy. Light relinquishes ownership of the Death Note to Kiyomi Takada. After Takada is caught, Light kills her to recover the Death Note, but it is taken by the investigation team. L states that he will test the 13-Day Rule, a fake Death Note rule designed to prove Light and Misa's innocence. Rem, knowing that L's actions will reveal Misa's identity as the second Kira, writes both L and his handler: Watari's names in the Death Note. Light then proceeds to write his father's name in the book, manipulating his father to return the confiscated Death Note. Light confronts his father, but Soichiro does not die. The investigation team members, including L, reveal themselves. Having already written his own name in the Death Note, thus negating Rem's actions, L tells Light that he had just written in a fake note. Light tries to write on a hidden piece of Death Note, but is shot by Matsuda, an investigation team member.
Light tells Ryuk to write the team's names, promising to show him many interesting things, and begins to laugh. He stops, however, when Ryuk shows him that he had written just one name: Light's. Light tries to stop Ryuk, but only passes right through him. As Light begins to succumb to the effects of the Death Note, Ryuk takes this opportunity to reveal to him that humans that have used the Death Note are barred from entering either Heaven or Hell, instead spending eternity in nothingness. Light dies in his father's arms, begging him to believe that he acted as Kira to put the justice, which Soichiro had taught him since his childhood, into practice. Several years after Light's death, however, it is revealed in the sequel film Death Note: Light Up the New World that Light secretly had a son, Hikari Yagami (夜神光 Yagami Hikari), who was expected to inherit a Death Note and carry on Kira's legacy. Teru Mikami's status as Hikari's appointed guardian implies that Misa Amane was the boy's birth mother. Mikami kills Hikari over control of the notebook, and is then killed by police officer Tsukuru Mishima who decides to use the notebook to continue Light's work in ridding the world of crime. During the course of the film, Mishima is eventually caught by the police and he willingly turns himself in and the notebook to the authorities, thus ending Kira's legacy. A mid-credits scene reveals a video recorded by Light addressing the film's events to have occurred just as he has expected them to, teasing his potential resurrection.