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Humans are such ugly creatures.
~ Rem

Rem is a major antagonist from the Death Note manga/anime series as well as its multiple adaptations. She is a Shinigami that protects and aids Misa Amane, though her stance is mainly amoral and she just wants to help Misa, no matter how evil her actions may get.

She was voiced by Kimiko Saitō in Japanese and Colleen Wheeler in English.


Rem was a normal Shinigami living in the Shinigami Realm and answering to the Shinigami King. She would use her Death Note to kill humans when it was their time in order to prolong her own life, while watching and observing humans in her downtime.

She became particularly interested in the goings-on of fellow Shinigami Gelus, who watched model/actress Misa Amane from the Shinigami Realm and fell in love with her. However, she was scheduled to die soon, and he did not know why. He and Rem watched her for a long time until the day she was set to die; she was attacked by a mugger. Betraying the Shinigami rules, Gelus wrote down the mugger's name in his Death Note and saved Misa's life. However, in doing so, he effectively gave his life to her, as she was not supposed to continue to live, and turned to ash and died. Rem watched the whole ordeal and retrieved Gelus' notebook, now knowing the only way to kill a Shinigami.

Rem felt protective of Misa now that Gelus was dead, so she went to the human world and dropped his old Death Note for her to find it, allowing Misa to see her and use the notebook for any purpose she wanted. Misa was in fact a supporter of the criminal-killing messiah figure known as "Kira" and used her Death Note and Rem's help (along with the trade of Shinigami eyes) to aid him in his fight against both crime and the law seeking to bring him to justice. While Rem was impartial to what Misa was doing and simply aided her in her work, this changed when Misa finally met Kira: Light Yagami.

Light agrees to let Misa and Rem help him and his Shinigami follower Ryuk with his hegemonic conquest, but does not want to share his power and sees Misa more as a liability that will have to be taken care of once he has exhausted his use for her. Sensing this, Rem finally steps in, warning Light that she will help him and Misa, but if he tries to hurt her, she will kill him.

Later, Misa is arrested, and Light has a plan to get both he and Misa cleared of suspicions. He conducts a trade and has Rem discard the Death Notes, taking away his and Misa's memories of them and rendering them innocent in their own minds. Before the plan is executed, he orders her to give the Death Note to a criminal individual, and she picks Kyosuke Higuchi, a member of the Yotsuba Group. She trails him as his Shinigami follower as Light and Misa are mostly cleared of suspicion and work with detective L to help catch the new Kira.

Eventually, Light's plan concludes when they catch Higuchi and Light grabs his Death Note, regaining his memories. Misa later regained her memories as well. Additionally, L, Soichiro Yagami, Touta Matsuda, Shuichi Aizawa, and Kanzo Mogi touch the Death Note as well, and see her, though she really cannot tell them anything without endangering Misa.

Seeing Rem as an obstacle due to her protection of Misa, Light decides to get rid of her. He puts Misa in danger of being caught and killed by having her write criminal names in the Death Note. He asks Rem to make the ultimate sacrifice to save Misa by killing Watari and L, saving her life. Rem sadly agrees and kills the two, but dies in the process for saving a human; the same fate that Gelus suffered. She fades into ash, with nothing but her Death Note remaining.

In other media

Japanese Film Series


Rem appears later as a more minor character in the live-action Death Note film series, but only appearing in the second film Death Note: The Last Name. She was voiced by Shinnosuke Ikehata in Japanese and Michael Dobson in English. It is the only times she was voiced by male actors.

The film's events play out similarly to the anime and manga, with Rem having witnessed Gelus' death and becoming protective of Misa. She helps Misa in killing criminals and police by teaching her how to use the Death Note, but hates Light because of his evil plans for Misa. When Light tricks Rem into killing herself to save Misa, she admits her love for Misa and hate for Light before using her Death Note to kill Watari and L. In her final moments, she burns her Death Note so Light can never use it.

However this contributes to Light's downfall as L had written his own name within the book earlier conditioning that he wouldn't die for another 23 days, thereby preventing anyone else from using a Death Note to kill him sooner. When Rem writes L's name in her Death Note he only pretends to die prompting Light to admit he's Kira. This allows L to get the confession needed and defeat Light.

TV Drama

Drama Rem.jpg

In the live-action television drama series Death Note, Rem returns as a helper for Misa. She was voiced by Ayumi Tsunematsu.

The series' events play out similarly to the ones in the anime and manga, with Rem coming to Earth to help Misa, and trading her life for the Shinigami eyes. She aids Misa in her killings and despises Light for his plans for her. However, unlike the other versions, Rem survives when L defeats Light instead of Light tricking her into killing L.

Death Note: The Musical

Musical 2017 Misa Rem 2.jpg

Rem plays roughly the same role as her anime/manga counterpart in the Japanese and Korean stage musical adaptations. She looks after Misa, helps her in her killings, makes the eye deal with her, and reluctantly aids Light. She harbors a deeper affection for Misa, and also dies when she is tricked into giving L's name to Light. Later, Misa mourns her.

She sings four songs in the show: They're Only Human, Mortals and Fools, Mortals and Fools (Reprise), and When Love Comes.


Othellonia is a Japanese mobile strategy game that did a collaboration with Death Note, and featured many characters including Rem.


           Death Note logo.png Villains

Light Yagami and Allies
Light Yagami (film series | TV Drama) | Misa Amane | Teru Mikami | Kiyomi Takada

Ryuk | Rem | Shinigami King

Yotsuba Group
Kyosuke Higuchi | Shingo Mido | Reiji Namikawa | Eiichi Takahashi | Suguru Shimura | Masahiko Kida | Takeshi Ooi | Arayoshi Hatori

Kurou Otoharada | Lind L. Tailor | Kiichiro Osoreda | Rod Ross

Beyond Birthday | Taro Kagami | Mello | Miura