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Death Note: Anime Ending Explained


Did you finish Death Note with a million unanswered questions? In this article we will go into detail what happened in the final episode of Death Note and an explaination of the ending which relates to the overall meaning of the show. Citations to DeathNoteWiki for clarification.


The Death Note Manga series was first serialized in the Japanese manga magazine Weekly Shonen Jump on December 1, 2003. It had a total of 108 chapters. The story follows teen genius Light Yagami, who stumbled upon a mysterious notebook called the “Death Note,” which belonged to the Shinigami Ryuk.


If you havent watched the series then you can do so on Crunchyroll

Warning: Spoilers


The last episode continues immediately after the previous one. Light Yagami and Teru Mikami are both shocked that no one has died after 40 seconds have passed, with the latter questioning “God” as to why. It is then that Near reveals that while the pages in Mikami’s notebook had been replaced by fake pages created by the SPK, they had replaced the actual notebook. When Takada was kidnapped, Mikami inadvertently revealed the location of the real notebook to kill her despite Light doing so already without his knowledge. Near attributes his success to Mello‘s actions. The notebook is confiscated, and as Light’s name is the only one not written, Light is exposed as Kira.

Terrified, Light first tries to claim the entire scene is a set-up. As everyone present heard him declare his victory just before the 40-second mark, no one on either the task force or the SPK accepts this claim. Out of options, Light confesses to being Kira and attempts to acquit himself by justifying his use of the notebook. When that fails, he tries to convince Near that the notebook the task force brought with them is a fake, creating a distraction so he can write Near’s real name on a piece of the Death Note hidden in his watch. Furious, betrayed, and angered by Light’s apathy toward his father’s death, Matsuda shoots Light several times, leaving him badly injured and completely cornered. 

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Moments later, Mikami stabs himself with his pen, and he quickly bleeds to death. His suicide creates a diversion, allowing an injured Light to take advantage of the commotion and escape the Yellowbox Warehouse. Near suggests that the task force does not go after Light, as it is unlikely he has other hidden scraps from the notebook and his wounds will probably stop him soon, but Aizawa decides to go after him anyway. 

As Light runs away, he hallucinates passing a younger version of himself without the notebook. Ryuk, from atop a tower, reminds Light of his promise from the beginning: that he would be the one to write Light’s name in his notebook. Ryuk understands that he would be bored waiting for Light to die in prison and admits that their years together were interesting. When Light, possibly out of exhaustion, decides to hide in another warehouse, Ryuk writes Light’s name down.

In the ending, the fate of all remaining Kiras are shown. Mikami’s corpse is left alone in the warehouse. Misa Amane, dressed in her maid attire, goes back to the old Task Force building by rail-car and is implied that she jumps off the roof. And Light dies of cardiac arrest halfway up a flight of stairs, seeing a figure of L looming over him.


Light lost because he wasnt in control. Ryuk was pulling the strings at that point and whose to say that he didn’t write in his Death Note the chains of events that would lead to Light’s demise. Ryuk also stated in the first episode that watching humans was entertaining. It’s clear that Ryuk used his Death Note to control Mikami and Light into killing Takada at the same time respectively.  Light’s illusions of gradeur made him fell like a God becuase he was acting as the judge, jury, and executioner. Turns out that Light was nothing compared to Ryuk who was an actual God of Death. Everything that happened was simply entertainment for Ryuk because the Shinigami Realm was boring.

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