Death Note is one of the highly acclaimed animes that has led a lot of audiences to turn their heads towards the anime industry and Japanese Manga. Written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata, the anime indeed is a unique take on the supernatural world. The manga originally ran from December 2003 to May 2006 for Weekly Shōnen Jump. Later it was adapted in an anime by Madhouse in 2006. Death Note has been applauded for its gripping storyline, compelling characters, and a dark take on the world that questions morality. The series is highly regarded as one of the pivotal animes of the 21st century that defines anime as an entertainment medium.
Death Note follows the story of Light Yagami, an ordinary college-going student. Light Yagami accidentally comes across a mysterious book called Death Note that lets him kill the person he wants to. All he has to do is write the person’s name in the book. There are certain rules to this book. But still, Light Yagami embarks on a journey to become the new god of the world, which comes with its own consequences.
It’s been years since anime and manga arrived. There have been a lot of theories and stories around the series. Also, adaptations that have been followed catapulting on the success of the original Death Note. So, here we are, counting down some of the intriguing facts about Death Note that may question you more about the original series.
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20. L Was Supposed To Have Two Sons
We are starting with die-hard fans’ most favorite fact, which some of the regular anime fans might not know. So, during the earlier development stages of Death Note, Near and Mello were planned to be twin sons of L becoming the successor to the brilliant minds. This could’ve developed to be a really good story, but Ohba wasn’t able to sum this up. Especially after the personality of L he had introduced in the series. The fact of L able to have sex with women wasn’t quite digestible to the author. Thus, the idea was dropped, and both Mello and Near became orphans raised at Watari’s orphanage for gifted children destined to succeed L.
19. Sidoh Wasn’t Originally Part Of The Series
Yes, originally the creator of Death Note, Tsugumi Ohba, intended to introduce a super-smart shinigami called Daril Ghiroza. The writer soon realized that Daril Ghiroza was difficult to draw compared to Sidoh and thus decided to replace her. So, Sidoh, a not-so-smart Shinigami completely opposite of highly intelligent Daril Ghiroza, debuted in the second season, and that’s how the story played out.
18. Ryuk Originally Had A Different Design
Ryuk was one of the most pivotal figures of the show. Especially his scary but attractive appearance is what caught many people’s attention. He is quite unique looking creature himself with that black attire, long limbs, and an unforgettable persona. Originally, Ohba wanted to give Ryuk some human-like features, which could’ve made him a lot easier to draw. But, Ohba decided to drop the idea when he thought that Ryuk’s human-like appearance might take away the attention from Light. After all, Light is supposed to be the main attraction for the series.
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17. The Strawberry
Well, this is one of the mysteries that doesn’t have an answer quite yet. You might remember L asking Detective Mogi to keep a secret and offered him strawberries in front of them. What many have looked over the fact is that Detective Mogi indeed took the strawberry and kept it in his pocket. Was it dumb? or does the guy love eating strawberries probably, or at the end of the day, was it just a casual move, or as fans, are we thinking too much?
16. Video Game Adaptations
Yes, Death Note is quite known for video game adaptations. The most popular one is the Konami developed game for Nintendo called Death Note: Kira Game. The game lets’ player investigates who is Kira and who is L. It can be played in a group of three and is a complete strategy game. It involves three stages, the first being investigation, where they investigate who Kira is and who L is and then voting where they vote out, and last phase where it’s their decision to keep investigating the same person or move on.
Death Note: Kira Game had its own two sequels while the characters have appeared in other different games. Several of the characters from the series appear in fighting games like Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars, where several of Shonen Jump’s characters make an appearance.
15. L’s Fighting Style Was Recognized By Fans
Considered to be one of the most iconic moments of the whole series is in episode 18. The time when L and Ligh are cuffed together, and we see them engaging in an altercation that leads to Light punching L. The move is followed by L performing an impressive kick that received a lot of attention from the fans. Many fans based on the move recognized it as Capoeira, which is a form of Brazilian Martial Arts. In fact, a form of fighting combined with dance that comes from Brazilian slaves. Interestingly, author Ohba never intended to mention that L knew Capoeira, but he liked the fact pointed out by fans so much that he kept it as canon.
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14. The Two Main Characters Have Completely Opposite OS.
Probably the silliest fact in this list. But, in a way, this signifies how the characters of L and Light are completely different from each other. The two characters, if we watch closely, use completely different operating systems for their work. Light uses a PC, whereas we can see L using a Mac. Oh! The rivalry just got heated.
13. The Names
It’s been said that the author of Death Note, intentionally kept the names of all the characters in a way that people think they are real, but they do not exist at all. The case was used deliberately in one of the Death Note Light novels titled Another Note that contains names like Quarter Queen, Believe Bridesmaid, and Blues-harp Babysplit.
12. Full Metal Panic Raid Two Had Death Note Cameos
Fans always dream of watching their favorite characters meet each other in their own universes. Anime too has its fair share of crossovers, primarily the Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, and Toriko special episode. Much like that, a similar instance happened in a show with Full Metal Panic Raid Two, where characters from Death Note have appeared briefly. Go and revisit episode 6 of Full Metal Panic Raid Two, and focus carefully, or you will miss out. There are brief appearances from Light, Misa, Soichiro, and most importantly, L riding a bicycle.
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11. Misa Amane’s Infamous Jewellery Was Changed
Misa Amane was one of the most attractive anime characters from the show, often sporting beautiful attires and accessories. It’s been said that Misa Amane’s distinctive cross jewelry was replaced with fleurs-de-lis for the anime adaptation. The move was intended to avoid any controversies. Anyway, the jewelry had still managed to appear in the intro of the series, where we can clearly see Misa Amane sporting it.
10. Misa Was The Most Difficult Character To Write
Like we mentioned above, Misa Amane was one of the most attractive ones in the anime. But, the writing for the character of Misa was also one of the most challenging ones for writer Ohba among all other characters. He has revealed that he was unable to keep the pace of Misa revolving around her loyalty and love for Light or even her different moods and expressions. Her attributes, as in Gothic lolita fashion sense was just another thing to look around to.
9. There Is Another Version Of Death Note Manga
There are times when works are heavily inspired by previous works of other writers, and often there also times when they straight fall in the line of plagiarism. These mangas often share similar storylines, characters, or settings. There is another manga that came way back in 1973 that resembles Death Note.
The Manga’s name is “Fushigi na Techou” as in “The Miraculous Notebook”. It was written by Shigeru Mizuki. The story of the one-shot followed a completely different protagonist than Light. The story saw a middle-aged man who comes across a book that can kill anyone whose name is written on its pages, even animals like dogs. We, as of now, know that Death Note comes from a completely original idea by Tsugumi Ohba and are not sure if the writer knew about the existence of this one-shot.
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8. The Pilot Was Different Than Original
The pilot of Death Note served a completely different story than the original one, which we saw in the manga. The pilot saw a young boy named Taro Kagami, who comes across the Death Note accidentally and unintentionally uses it to kill the bullies that harassed him at the school. The young boy feels devasted to know that the deaths really took place. Feeling pity for him, Ryuk introduced an impressive tool that is not part of the original manga or anime, and we have mentioned it in the fact no. 4 below. Keep Reading.
7. There Are Six Live-Action Adaptations Of Death Note.
Everyone knows about the Netflix adaptation, which kind of doesn’t live up to the expectations. We also know the popular musical. There are also a few movies coming from Warner Bros. Japan that was released starting in 2006. These include Death Note, Death Note 2: The Last Name, and the last being a spin-off called L: Change the World. There was also a mini-series “Death Note: New Generation”. Later in 2016, the min-series was followed into another movie called Death Note: Light Up the New World. Lastly, there is also a TV adaptation of the series following the same name. Whoa! there has been a lot of catapulting on the success of manga and anime.
6. Character Naomi Misora Died Because She Was Too Smart
We all applaud the intelligence of characters like Light, L, and Near but we forgot about Naomi Misora, who smart enough to come up so close to solving the case only to be killed off. The former FBI agent Naomi Misora started investigating after the death of her own fiance. Despite being away from her career, her skills didn’t fall even in a bit. She was one of the knowledgeable ones who summed up the case pretty quickly, which drawn her closer to Kira. Light was indeed furious because she was so good at her job she didn’t even give her real name.
It’s been said that she didn’t die because of Light, but it was Ohba’s decision. Originally she had a bigger role, but the character was portrayed as a very intelligent one, much like our main characters. Ohba thought that her existence might affect the duel between L and Light, thus leading her to die way too earlier.
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5. There Have Been Real Life Deaths Connected To The Series
Yes, we saw many readers and people who watched the anime series creating their own version of the book portrayed in Death Note. There were cases reported in different schools, although the intent behind children’s was not conveyed, they did have the names of a lot of celebrities. This did not sit well with parents or the schools for sure.
Okay, books were one thing, but the other thing was the real-life deaths that were inspired by the series. A fifteen-year-old girl was found dead in 2013 in Yekaterinburg, Russia, along with several pages of the Death Note Manga. A huge request from outraged parents called for President Vladimir Putin to present this idea in the media, but still, no ban was made on Manga.
There was another case coming from Belgium where a serial killer called the Manga Killer left pieces of paper near his murder victim, writing “I am Kira” over it. The murders began in 2007, and in 2013 three suspects were caught with the murders being charged with 20 years in prison as punishment.
4. A Death Eraser Existed
Like we mentioned above, in fact no.8. The pilot was quite different and saw an innocent kid who accidentally killed bullies at school. Ryuk pitted the little child and gave a tool called “Death Eraser”. The rules of Death Note are quite specific and must be followed respectively, and change of mind is not something to be considered for. Death Eraser was a tool in the pilot that let the owner of the book erase the name of individuals who would revive the characters who were initially killed off using the book.
The Death Note requires a committed user, and the eraser would have made them a cowardly person and snatch-away the god-like power that it gave to the user. Gods don’t make mistakes, and deaths should remain unchangeable, making it interesting and dark enough. Thus, the eraser was removed from the manga, was dismissed in the original publication, and didn’t appear in the anime either.
3. Different Death Note Designs
Death Note looks much like the other regular books used by college students. The books make up to be a perfect disguised tool for an ordinary student looking to become the new god of his world. Originally, the book was set to have a completely different design. Death Note: The Unofficial Guide says that artist Takeshi Obata intended to create a book that would look similar to the Bible. Whatever the time it comes from, it was set to reflect the traditions and scriptures of that time, much like the scrolls in ancient Japan or like Old Testament in Medieval Europe. The idea was dropped due to the complexity and changes that were made constantly to the design finalizing on a regular looking notebook.
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2. The Illustrator And Writer Never Met In Person
The very secretive author of Death Note, Tsugumi Ohba and its illustrator Takeshi Obata never met each other during the creation of the manga. During the creation of Death Note, both the artists used their mutual editor to communicate with each other. They used thumbnails to present their art, dialogues, and settings and reviewed each other’s work. Any changes made to be done communicated through their mutual editor.
It was 2004 when Ohba and Obata finally met each other just after the publication of Death Note. The duo, who are in fact close with each other, maintained this sort of partnership for their upcoming works, including the manga Bakuman.
1. The Author Himself Has A Hidden Identity
Yes, Ohba himself is known for having a pen name instead of using his own identity. Much like L, Ohba’s real name birthday, or any personal information is still unknown to the masses. This has been kept closed since the very inception of Death Note. The author, much like L, also has a habit of bringing his knees to his chest in a chair. He does this often while thinking of a plot for his manga. People have speculated that he is a writer, Hiroshi Gamo, but there is no evident proof to determine.