Does Light Yagami die in Death Note? Ryuk’s actions and consequences explained

Light Yagami as seen in the final episode of Death Note (Image via Madhouse)
Light Yagami as seen in the final episode of Death Note (Image via Madhouse)

Death Note is the most loved psychological thriller anime series that retains a huge fanbase all around the world. The series is loved for its peculiar plotline featuring exceptionally smart characters, capable of subduing their opponents by playing labyrinthine mind games.

The story follows Light Yagami, a genius high school student who out of the blue becomes the judge of everyone’s fate after acquiring the 'death' notebook. Although Light resorted to removing evil from the world, he became the very person he hated the most his whole life. By looking at Light’s actions had consequences, the end of Death Note was already predicted by fans.

The only question that still revolves around sporadically in every Death Note fan's mind is, does Light Yagami die for real at the end of the series.

Is Light Yagami really dead in Death Note?


Light gets exposed as the real Kira by the combined efforts of Near and Mello. Before Light could write anyone’s name on a small piece of paper inside his watch, Matsuda shoots the latter's right hand. He again shoots Light multiple times, which makes him fall to the ground. However, Light still gets up with the little strength he has and walks out of the vicinity.

Although running away with severe wounds was redundant, he still tried to get away from the place and entered an empty building, where he finally died in the middle of the staircase. But the real cause of Light’s death was a heart attack, not gunshots.

As Ryuk said in his first encounter, he will write Light’s name in his Death Note before the latter dies, whilst explaining the consequences of the notebook. Light is finally dead in the series as the shinigami himself personally wrote the former's name on his Death Note.

Ryuk also tells Light that the human owner of the notebook gets banished from the spiritual world. Light dies in the middle of the staircase, insinuating that he neither went to hell nor heaven. Light’s death symbolizes that his effort to become a God was unavailing because he was just a human being like everyone else, one who just got corrupted by power.

In his last moments, he saw a mirage of himself walking in the opposite direction with the Death Note in his hands. This moment was just his manifested thought, making him remember the day it all started and how life could have been if he had never picked up the book. He became the very cause of his father’s death, who admired him for his genius, his entire life.

Moments before writing Light’s name, Ryuk talks to himself, addressing every word to Light:

“We’ve eased each other’s boredom for quite a while. It’s been quite fun.”

As part of the deal, Ryuk had to write Light’s name. Unlike Misa Amane’s Death Note Shinigami Rem, Ryuk didn’t carry any kind of fondness towards Light Yagami. However, he was intrigued and fascinated by Light’s cunningness and infatuation with the notebook.