No one can beat Death Note when it comes to shedding light on what morality is and how justice can be served, and all the characters involved in this trial often find themselves being a very lost cause. Although most of the focus in the series was on Light Yagami and L, the series also featured a bunch of characters who have attained mastery over playing mind games.
The characters in the series are known for exceptional psychological skills like concocting forethoughts, manipulation, and strategizing each action with a well-devised plan. This article will list ten characters from Death Note who are acclaimed for their genius.
Death Note characters ranked based on their intelligence
10) Shuichi Aizawa
Aizawa is very strict and stern when it comes to his job and doesn’t like anyone in the NPA or the Task Force to goof around whilst the situation is dire. He takes great pride in his work and chooses to work within the law.
Aizawa was the first person who suspected Light Yagami to be Kira, but as he had no evidence, he disregarded his suspicion. Aizawa is taken as the smartest person in the entirety of the Task Force, due to his keen intellect and quick thinking skills.
9) Halle Lidner
As a former Secret Service and CIA agent, Halle is one of the most intelligent female characters in Death Note. She joined SPK to find out the real identity of Kira, who at that time turned out to be Kyosuke Higuchi. Although she has a soft corner for Near as well as Mello, she doesn’t want to take either side in their quest to defeat Kira as well as surpassing L.
Over the course of time, Halle has come across many complex cases which makes her the most experienced person in the series. Apart from working under Near she also passes crucial pieces of information to Mello, which expands her ground where she gets surrounded with all the vital intel she could possibly gather.
8) Naomi Misora
Naomi is a former FBI agent who left her job after getting engaged to her fiance Raye Penber. She is regarded as one of the most intelligent agents in the series, who had the chance to work with L in assisting him with the LABB case. Naomi was very cautious as she noted every little detail possible like not revealing her real identity, as it was the cause of how her fiance got murdered.
If it wasn’t for her grief taking over her investigative abilities, she would have become the greatest addition to the SPK. As she had previously worked with L, together they would have devised a better strategy to catch Kira.
7) Reiji Namikawa
Reiji was the most intelligent individual among the eight members of the Yotsuba Group. He spent six years in the United States and graduated from Harvard University. He is also talented in Shogi at the 4 dan level. Reiji also possesses incredible social skills through which he can analyze his target’s attributes by digging out every little detail about them.
Pretending to be L, he even tricked mastermind Light Yagami into believing that Kyosuke Higuchi was the prime suspect of the SPK.
Throughout the series, Watari was sidelined as L's butler, whereas he was the founder of Wammy House, which produced some of the most brilliant detectives like L, Near, Mello, Matt, and Beyond Birthday. He trained all of them to their greatest extent and worked as a middleman between L and the NPA.
As a wealthy individual, Watari provided everything to the SPK for the Kira investigation. Throughout his life, he maintained L’s identity a secret, and never let even a small mistake happen that could have cost both of their lives.
5) Teru Mikami
Teru was a criminal prosecutor who played a pivotal role in shifting the suspicion from Light Yagami by taking his place as Kira and continuing the killing that had been stopped. He became the owner of Gelus’s Death Note, through which he continued Kira's work. Teru’s personality is similar to Light Yagami's as they both share the same objectives and ideals.
Although Teru was blinded by the glory of his idol, Kira, if he tried to work on his own intuitions, he would have outclassed everyone with his superior intellect.
Although Mello was counted as one of the most intelligent detectives that the House of Wammy has ever produced, he carried an inferiority complex towards Near. He didn’t want to catch Kira to stop his atrocities but to prove to everyone that he is the greatest detective of all time.
Mello could've been L’s successor but due to his egoistic disposition, he ruined everything. However, his death played a major role in revealing the real Kira. If Mello didn’t let his emotions get the better of him, he would have outsmarted Near whilst subsequently capturing Kira without dying in the process.
After the death of L, Near became his successor as well as the No. 1 detective. For Near, each and every investigation is a puzzle as he has a knack for solving complex problems. It has also been evident that Near has a pragmatic approach to life as an existentialist, which makes him more mature than L, Mello, and also Light.
He was the one who suspected that the fake L could be the real Kira. It was also the efforts of L and Mello, which brought Near to a conclusion where he found out that Light Yagami was the Kira all along.
L is hailed as the world's greatest detective, whose identity remains a secret for his own safety. He is the only one who figured out that Kira lives in the Kanto region and is a high school student who wants to play Justice.
Although no one knew the very existence of Death Note and Shinigami, L managed to join the pieces of the puzzle and successfully figured out the medium through which Kira was able to kill people. L totally believed his suspicions regarding Light Yagami. Moreover, if Light hadn't outplayed L with the help of Ryuk and Rem, the former would have got him in no time.
1) Light Yagami
Light Yagami was just a high school student, but after laying his hands on the Death Note, he started developing a god complex. From creating a fake bottom in his desk to hiding the notebook to using a shinigami to make his bids, Light exceeded everyone’s expectations with his pure genius.
It is not a child’s play to trick the world’s renowned detective like L that easily, but Light was the only individual who managed to do so. Light had backup for all of his plans and also used human subjects to act as Kira while he was under suspicion.
Light Yagami is the most intelligent person in the series, as it took three exceptional detectives and an entire team behind it to figure out his real identity.