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As you may have already realized, the world of Death Note is home to many unbalanced characters. After all, this is a psychological anime that explores the human mind like no other. Thus, we can find characters that range from the “slightly wacky” to the “completely insane”.
Today, we’ll take a closer look at these characters. We have ranked them according to the severity of their mental disorder and we’ve provided a probable diagnosis for each of them. This is the Top 10 Craziest Death Note characters.
Let’s check what’s in their heads!
10. Kiyomi Takada
Possible pathology: Antisocial personality disorder (AKA sociopathy)
Miss To Oh, as she’s known in the media, is Kira’s spokeswoman (after Hitoshi Demegawa’s death) and Light’s former college girlfriend. She’s a very classy and beautiful woman, highly respected and admired by many, for both, her looks and her success. Of course, Kiyomi is quite aware of this and she takes much pride in it.
Being the successful and desired woman she is, Kiyomi feels superior to most people around her, often diminishing others (like deeming Amane Misa unworthy of Light), and ultimately becoming Kira’s ally with the intention of becoming the goddess of his “new world”. She displays little to no empathy, and is just as capable of using the Death Note as Yagami. She strongly believes in Kira’s ideals, a clear proof that she can’t quite differ between right and wrong.
9. Hitoshi Demegawa
Possible pathology: Greed disorder
Hitoshi Demegawa is one of those characters that are meant to be loathed. The guy is absolutely despicable. He would do anything in his power for a slightly higher rating. He doesn’t care if people’s lives are at stake as long as he can cover a good story and provide a good show.
Actually, the reason behind his great success is “because he does stories the other networks won’t touch”. He managed to profit a lot from Kira’s story, and with the passing of years, he even became Kira’s spokesman. Hitoshi also asked for donations for a temple in the honor of Kira, most likely as a scam. Eventually, his greed proved him unworthy of his position as Kira’s spokesman, and he was replaced with a more suitable candidate.
8. Kyosuke Higuchi
Possible pathology: Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)
Kyosuke Higuchi is one of the eight executive members of the Yotsuba Corporation. He was given the Death Note by Rem under Light’s instructions. Kyosuke was chosen as the new Kira for being greedy, selfish and extremely self-centered. People with NPD are excessively concerned with power, prestige and self-gain, even at the cost of others’ well-being and their own.
Kyosuke killed his rivals mercilessly with the sole purpose of becoming more and more successful. Then, when he was cornered by L’s plan to expose him as Kira, Kyosuke did not hesitate to kill an innocent cop or to trade half of his remaining life for the Shinigami Eyes to kill Matsuda and not get caught. He was definitely power-crazy.
Possible pathology: Addiction to apples (occasionally, abstinence syndrome)
One of the most beloved characters in the show and probably the most popular shinigami in the world of anime, Ryuk is one crazy god of death. As we can tell early on in the show, he is quite peculiar. We love just how odd he is, but there is one thing that makes him really crazy; apples.
Ryuk has a severe addiction to apples, to the point of following a human (Light) like a puppy in exchange for some apples. Every once in a while, when Light is unable to feed him apples for a period of time, Ryuk becomes abstinent and he experiments some nasty symptoms, like getting his body parts twisted and entangled. I hope the shinigamis have rehab centers.
Possible pathology: Megalomania & NPD
There are many things about Mello that can make us think he’s mentally unstable. First of all, he has an attitude problem. He can’t work in a team since he’s ridiculously competitive, which is why he chooses to take a different path from Near’s to catch Kira.
Then, there’s his inferiority complex; he’s permanently trying to prove he’s better than Near. Plus, he’s got some serious chocolate addiction. He’s not much different from Ryuk in that matter.
What’s really wrong with him, though, is his extremely egotistical and vain personality. He’s after Kira, not for justice, but to prove he’s the best suited to take L’s place. To achieve his goals, he is capable of doing terrible things, like joining the American mafia, kidnapping the Police Chief’s daughter, or killing people. “He doesn’t care what it takes; he’ll beat Near by any means necessary”.
5. Misa Amane
Possible pathology: Obsessive love
The adorable Misa Misa was, from the very first moment, head over heels for Yagami Light. The reason for this is because Kira had taken care of Misa’s parents’ murderers, thus earning Misa’s devotion and admiration. Of course, when she discovered that her beloved Kira was a handsome ace student, she couldn’t but fall deeply in love with him.
Sadly, this deep love turns out to be a pathological obsession, as she can’t think of anything else than being with Light. She is blinded by this obsessive love, believing Light is also in love with her and allowing him to manipulate her. Misa often messes up Light’s plans by being way too impulsive and showing up at the wrong time, always out of her need to spend more time with him.
4. Teru Mikami
Possible pathology: Grandiose religious delusions
Mikami is a criminal prosecutor and the Hand of Kira. He was selected by Light to carry on his work as Kira when it became too dangerous for him to keep the Death Note. As the Hand of Kira, Mikami shares his criteria to judge criminals and he delivers justice.
This man is convinced that he is working for a god. He actually calls Kira his god, and he deems himself the chosen one to carry out his will. Despite being an intelligent, successful and respected man, Mikami is easily manipulated by Kira and would do anything he asks of him. His belief in Kira as his god and his devotion to him led Mikami to commit suicide when he saw Kira finally getting caught.
Possible pathology: Asperger syndrome
Near is undoubtedly a very intelligent boy. He’s got the keenest mind a boy of his age could ever have. Of course, some of the greatest minds are often the most misunderstood. Near is clearly not a regular child. There are many things that make him quite different from any kid of his age. Near has certain difficulties in social interactions.
Despite being an adorable kid, he doesn’t seem to be able to establish any social bond with anyone around him. Plus, he has certain obsessive compulsive behaviors, like constantly fiddling with his hair, or his fixation with playing games (especially puzzles) and stacking things. All of these things make him really charming, but I bet any normal psychiatrist would feast on this poor little kid.
2. L Lawliet
Possible pathology: Obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD)
L is very likely the most popular and beloved anime character ever. Is it really a surprise? The guy is brilliant, he’s cute and hot at the same time, and he’s weird as we can possibly imagine. He’s always bare feet and having a piece of cake or some sweet while sitting with his feet on the chair.
He is obsessive with pretty much everything. He claims that if he sits like a normal person, his reasoning ability drops 40%. He grabs things (like papers, cellphones and guns) by the corners and only using his thumb and index finger. However, it is precisely his obsessive behavior what makes him such a good detective, as he always needs to analyze and second-guess everything.
1. Yagami Light
Possible pathology: Psychopathy
I’m sure you guessed it. Who else could be crazier than our beloved protagonist and anti-hero? Yagami Light sees the world as rotten and attempts to change it. He has the power to administer justice upon those who break the laws. He has quite a Machiavellian way of seeing things; to him “the end justifies the means”.
Light, AKA Kira, is determined to kill as many criminals as it takes, as well as anyone who stands on his way (even his own family), in order to have a new world without crime and violence. His goal is to build a peaceful utopia, where he will be the only god and ruler, judging who gets to live and who has to die.
Yagami Light is a true psychopath, a murderer who has no mercy, no empathy and no interest in anyone else but himself.
That’s it for our list of mental cases. I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and have learned a couple of things about mental illnesses. Some of these characters have some serious issues, but we still love them anyway. If they were any bit less unbalanced, Death Note would probably not be the masterpiece it’s considered nowadays. After all, the most uncommon minds are the most interesting ones.