In the popular anime Death Note, the character of L is both a fan favorite and the most unique character in the show.
L Lawliet, who goes through different aliases during the events of the series but most commonly just L, is a world-renowned detective who specializes in taking on cases that offer him a challenge.
When a string of murders begins to take place at the hands of Death Note’s protagonist Light Yagami (also called Kira), L makes his way to Japan to investigate the crimes. While there, L uses his unique deductive abilities and high-level intellect to pinpoint the location and potential suspects of who Kira could be.
When we meet L, he’s described to be a loner who was willing to do whatever necessary to solve his cases (and that he’s also a sugar addict). Throughout the series, his character evolves, even claiming to make his first friend in Light himself. Despite this friendship, the pair still play a game of cat and mouse as L attempts to confirm his suspicion of Light being Kira.
As the show unfolds, we’re introduced to more characters and more Death Notes with their associated Shinigami making the task of pinpointing a killer increasingly difficult for the renowned detective.
If you haven’t seen the show, or are just catching up on its events the fate of L is made clear at the conclusion of part one. Caution: There are major spoilers ahead.
What is L’s fate in Death Note?
Despite having a mind like no other, Kira is able to outsmart L, resulting in his death at the end of part one.
Ultimately it isn’t Light who kills L, but instead the Shinigami of the second Death Note Rem. When we are introduced to Rem, she is the Shinigami for Misa, an actress who proceeds to date Light. With the Shinigami eyes, Rem is able to see L’s real name and write it into the Death Note after being convinced by Light it was the only way to stop Misa from eventually being caught and imprisoned for being the second Kira.
As L dies, Light is there watching on, even letting out a smirk as his plan works flawlessly. And in his final moments, L looks to have realized that Light had won.
While L himself may have perished at the hands of the Death Note, his legacy lives on into part two as a pair of his protege’s take the reigns investigating the case of Kira and seeking redemption for their mentor.