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This Villain has been Headlined on August 2009, and is considered one of the best articles of the Villains wiki.

           KeyLocker

This Villain was proposed and approved by Villains Wiki's Pure Evil Proposals Thread. Any act of removing this villain from the category without a Removal Proposal shall be considered vandalism (or a futile "heroic" attempt of redemption) and the user will have high chances of being terminated blocked. You cannot make said Removal Proposal without permission from an admin first.

Villain Overview
This world is rotten, and those who are making it rot deserve to die. Even if it means sacrificing my own mind and soul, it’s worth it. Because the world… can’t go on like this. I wonder… what if someone else had picked up this notebook? Is there anyone out there other than me who’d be willing to eliminate the vermin from the world? If I don’t do it, then who will? That’s just it: there’s no one. But I can do it. In fact, I’m the only one who can. I’ll do it. Using the Death Note, I’ll change the world.
~ Light Yagami.
If we catch Kira, he is evil. If he rules the world, he is justice.
~ Light Yagami to the Task Force.
I’m a hardworking honors student who’s considered to be one of Japan’s best and brightest. And I… I will become the God of this new world.
~ Light Yagami expressing his own goal.

Light Yagami is the main protagonist of the Death Note manga/anime series as well as its multiple adaptations.

Light was a Japanese high school senior who found a notebook called a Death Note. Anyone whose name is written in the notebook will die. At first skeptical of its power, Light tested its power on two criminals. After realizing the power of the notebook, Light went mad with power, deciding to use the notebook to rid the world of criminals and create a new world full of law abiding people he accepts. Light would then make himself the God of this new world.

The series charts his use of the notebook and his struggles with the Japanese police, the detectives L, Mello, and Near, as well as his associations with other notebook users, such as Misa Amane and Teru Mikami. His online followers dubbed him "Kira" in Japanese, based on the word "killer" in English.

Personality

Old Personality

Light did not start as a murderous vigilante at the very beginning of Death Note. He was a sympathetic and popular student who was bored of his life, with real concerns about fixing the world of its various injustices. He regained his old personality upon giving up ownership of the Death Note, but even then, he agreed with the principles of "Kira".

It's upon discovering the Death Note and seeing its deadly effects, that Light, believing himself to be the "chosen one" who would save mankind from destruction and evil (even if Ryuk explicitly stated multiple times during the story that he randomly dropped the book somewhere in the world), went mad with its power.

Current Personality

My dad? Ha.. you mean Soichiro Yagami... That's right, Matsuda. In this world, all those ernest people like him fight for justice! They always lose! You want a world where people like that are made to be fools?! I know you understand, so kill the others! Shoot them!
~ Light Yagami trying to convince Matsuda to kill the others.
Light is an unfeeling sociopath who is only driven by his immense hatred of criminals and is ready to do anything in order to become nothing less a living deity. Self-centered, he created the identity of Kira in order to lead a cult devoted to himself, even though his followers were unaware of him being their savior. He even planned to kill unhealthy or lazy people once he became a God in order to build a strong, disciplined utopian society based on an eugenist ideology, though he did not hold supremacist views.

He is an extremely clever, psychopathic and sly master manipulator, who can easily act as an innocent and friendly individual in public who would never kill someone, while secretly killing dozens or hundreds of people each night. He was able to convince Misa that he cared about her and that he was grateful for everything she'd done for him, when he only thought of her as a pawn which he'd kill once she outlived her usefulness. He was also able to fool Takada, a much more clever woman, into being his “queen” and thinking that he loved her, when it turns out, like Misa, he only thought of her as a pawn, as seen he killed her without hesitation when the opportunity arose to kill Mello and to prevent her from revealing any secrets about Kira. A criminal mastermind, he often elaborated unbelievably complicated schemes to compensate his lack of henchmen, involving pretty much nearly everyone around him.

He is also shown to be a sadist; though he is not explicitly aroused by the act of giving death, he is sometimes shown smiling devilishly, hinting his vicious tendencies. Such an instance is seen when he kills Naomi: after she prepares to commit suicide, Light mockingly tells her that his father's cellphone is available while smiling, solely doing this for pleasure. He also could barely contain his laughter during his final confrontation with Near when he thought that everyone in the room would die, demonstrating the sadistic pleasure he took in their deaths and his would-be victory.

He is also shown to be delusional in his quest, believing himself to be doing everything in the name of justice and justifying all of the deaths of criminals, police, even his closest allies such as Takada, as necessary to complete his goals and change the “rotten” world. When Ryuk claims that even after all the world's criminals are dead, Light would be the last criminal left, to which the teenager rebuked and viewed as ridiculous.

As he continued his crusade as Kira, he became an ungrateful, hypocritical and self-centered dictator, viewing people, his fanatical followers, his devoted henchmen, friends, relatives, his father or even his lover and second Kira Misa Amane who saved his life multiple times (although she almost ruined his plan due to her stupidity) as mere tools in his quest of godhood.

He doesn't express fear while speaking with Ryuk or others Shinigamis, despite their mysterious and murderous nature, as well as their immense magical powers. Light does fear instead L Lawliet, the enigmatic and genius detective from the Task Force - and the only character in Death Note who's at least as intelligent and sly as Light. Upon their first encounter, L was at first glance suspicious of Light being Kira, but soon befriended the latter (even though he kept strong suspicions about Light's “secret hobby”). Light would use this to gain the upper hand through his most extraordinary scheme involving Misa Amane, thus eventually killing him with no second thought; he went so far that he even shout on his tomb that he “won” and nothing would stop him now.

He temporarily regained his old personality when he turned amnesiac; though this did not last long, as upon recovering the Death Note as well as his memories, Light turned into an even more sadistic and manipulative Machiavelli.

Despite his heightened intelligence and calculating nature, Light's arrogance and overconfidence are his greatest weaknesses. It was seen in his final confrontation with Near, where he boastfully claimed he won before everyone was supposed to die, which only further proved his identity as Kira. Claiming to be a living divinity, Light, murdered by Ryuk, showed that he was nothing more than a loathsome serial killer at the very end, and not the god he thought he had become.

Underneath his calm, collected and intelligent demeanor also lies the heart of a coward: upon being revealed as Kira by Near, he rushes in fear upon trying to be handcuffed, and when he tries to kill everyone in the room with a piece of the Death Note, he frantically tries to get Matsuda to kill the others, even though Light was prepared to kill him just moments before. After he was shot, he flailed like a worm on the floor, and in a futile attempt told Mikami to write down the names of the detectives, even though Mikami didn't have the Death Note, and desperately calls out for Misa and Takada, even though both are not there.

Light's last act of cowardliness until his death differs between the manga and anime, in the manga, Light remorselessly sends other people to their death, but when his own death comes as Ryuk writes Light's name using the same method he uses to kill others, he gets terrified and screams that he doesn't want to die. He even tells Ryuk to reverse the process even though he knows full well that it cannot be reversed. He then died pathetically screaming and crying. In the anime, he flees when Mikami distracts everyone in the room and shows some semblance of regret for his actions, having envisioned a life he could have lived if he haven't found the Death Note in the first place. Rather than fearing for his death, He silently succumbed to his own fate when Ryuk writes Light's name and as he alone slowly pass away, he sees a figure of L looming over him.

Quotes

I want the world to know of my existence, that there's someone out there passing righteous judgment on the wicked.
~ Light explaining why he shows off Kira to Ryuk.
Just as planned.
~ Light Yagami's catchphrase.
I am justice!
~ Light Yagami
Look around you, and all you see are people the world would be better off without.
~ Light Yagami
I'll take a potato chip... and eat it!
~ Light Yagami eating potato chips.
In all things, one cannot win with defense alone. To win, you must attack.
~ Light during a tennis match against L.
In this world, there are very few people who actually trust each other, and it's no different for the police, you know. What's especially important is that L and the investigators don't trust each other at all. Think about it. Could you trust someone whose name and face you don't even know? When L discovers that I'm somehow getting confidential information, he'll be obligated to start investigating the police to find the source of the leak. When that happens, it'll only be a matter of time before the police start resenting him. On the surface, it will appear that L and the investigation team are working together to try to catch me, but in reality L will investigate the police and they will be investigating L. I'm not the one who's gonna find L. I can let the police do that for me; and when they do, that's when I'll eliminate him.
~ Light to Ryuk about L and the Task Force.
I'll arrange for her to meet L. She'll tell me his name and then I'll eliminate the entire task force; and, when that's done, I'll kill her, too. After all, she's the only person who knows Kira's true identity. The only one. I can't let her live much longer.
~ Light to himself about Misa.
Do these look like the eyes of someone who is lying?
~ Light Yagami
What're you gonna do, Rem? You may be a shinigami but you can't hide the fact that you care for Misa. There's no way you would turn your back on her now, after she's already halved her lifespan twice. Come on. Think about Misa's happiness.
~ Light Yagami to Rem.
Mr. President, I am very grateful that you and your country have sympathized with me, but I'm afraid even that much is not enough. The SPK is still trying to catch me despite your recent announcement. I want you to stop them immediately and formally disband them. At the same time, I want you to use the American police, the CIA, the FBI and all other law enforcement organizations at your disposal to find out where the SPK members are currently hiding. As soon as you've found their base of operations, I want you to forward that information to a third party. I will give you this contact shortly. Mr. President, whether you live a long life or not is up to you. Don't forget that.
~ Light to the president of the United States, disguised as Kira.
So this whole thing will be nothing more than a contest between L and me, a match of wits. On the surface we'll be two friendly classmates, but in reality we'll actually be investigating each other. This is interesting, Ryuk. If it's my friendship you want? I'll gladly accept it. In time I'll earn your trust. And once you've told me what I want to know, there'll be no point keeping you alive, then I'll kill you - with my hands if I have to.
~ Light to Ryuk regarding L.
Just as planned...
~ Light Yagami
Well, Near, looks like I win.
~ Light after thinking he beat Near.
That's right. I am Kira.
~ Light revealing himself after Near discovers his true identity.
Hear this: I'm not only Kira, but I'm also God of the new world!
~ Light Yagami to Near and the Task Force.
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.
~ Light hypocritically shaming the world.
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.
~ Light trying to justify his methods.
Damn it...
~ Light's last words (in the manga).

Trivia

  • Light's last name "Yagami" is also the last name of Hikari in the Japanese version of Digimon, whose crest is the Crest of Light. Also, his nickname "Kira" is an anagram of "Kari", which is Hikari's English name.
  • In a pair of four-panel omake chapters in the manga, Light is shown to soften his heart around Christmas time, even dressing as Santa Claus and giving out presents. However, his generosity only goes so far, as he will not get Ryuk the Gameboy Advance SP he wants because it is too expensive and Shinigami do not celebrate Christmas.
  • Both his actors Tatsuya Fujiwara and Masataka Kubota have stared in Rurnoi Kenshin movies where Fujiwara played Shishio Makoto and Kubota as ill-fated Akira Kiyosato.
  • Light's relationship with L is similar to Judas' relationship with Jesus. The scene where L massages Light's feet highlights this as it was a reference to Jesus washing Judas's feet, aware of his betrayal and that his demise was coming soon.

Navigation

            Death Note logo Villains

Light and his Allies
Light Yagami | Misa Amane | Teru Mikami | Kiyomi Takada

Shinigami
Ryuk | Rem | Shinigami King

Yotsuba Group
Kyosuke Higuchi

Criminals
Kurou Otoharada | Kiichiro Osoreda | Rod Ross

Other
Beyond Birthday | Taro Kagami | Mello | Miura

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