Light Yagami's life was heavily influenced by the Death Note. The journey from being a genius high school student to the maniacal criminal known as "Kira" was all dictated by the diabolical book. Light was unfortunate enough to pick it up. The book inevitably brought the psychopath out of him, leading him into a darker world of crime.
However, many fans speculated on how his life would have been if he had never picked up the Death Note. Given Light's intelligence, it would be interesting to explore a path where he is not the antagonist.
Note: This article represents the author's personal views.
Death Note: Light Yagami could've had a better life
How Death Note ruined Light Yagami's life
To explore Light's life without the Death Note, it would be better to start by looking at his tragic life whilst he had it. Light was a bright student with perfect scores in all of his subjects. However, he grew bored and exasperated by the world's situation.
During one of his classes, he saw a book descend from the sky. He later picked up the book for the first time. This is when everything started to fall down.
Initially ignorant of the book's abilities, he tested it on two criminals who ultimately died. This was the moment when Light Yagami became a megalomaniac.
He continued to use the abilites of the Death Note. However, it was meant to exercise justice in the beginning. Light wanted to create a world with no crimes, even if it meant having to sully his own hands. However, his arrogance got the best of him, as he developed a god complex.
Justice not being the goal anymore, he killed anyone who threatened to come close to learning about his real identity. At this point, he was just a psychopathic criminal. He was completely blinded by his arrogance, which led to him being caught. Thus, he met a tragic and humiliating end, as he was shot down by one of his peers and ultimately killed by Ryuk.
How Light Yagami's life would have been without the Death Note
Despite his arrogance, Light was an intelligent and diligent student. He was at the top of his class and even hit a perfect score on his entrance exams. If Light had never come across Death Note, he would have continued to excel at his studies.
Similar to Light, L hit a perfect score in the entrances as well. They would eventually have noticed each other, but this time, not as rivals but as friends. Light would have graduated from college and become a great detective or police officer.
Even if L hadn't revealed his identity, they would have eventually crossed paths given their field of work. Light might have teamed up with him to catch criminals.
One of the most important changes is that Light Yagami might never have met Misa. She became closer to him because of his alias, Kira. Misa did not have a strong sense of justice as she killed people to impress and support Light.
So, there is a strong possibility that she wouldn't have become the second Kira again, even if she had a Death Note of her own. However, if she had chosen to be the new Kira, it would have been a matter of time before she was caught by Light and L.
Light would have had a much better life without the Death Note. His sister might never have been kidnapped or traumatized. Furthermore, his father could've been alive as well. There is also a slight possibility that he could have dated Kiyomi Takada.
In summation, he would have been living a normal life with his family. While his arrogant behaviour might have been persistent, he would've become anything but a psychopathic criminal.
The above is, however, pure speculation made on some facts. There are many possibilities on how Light Yagami's life would have turned out without the Death Note. What's certain, however, is that his life would never have taken a dark turn.