In Death Note there are plenty of characters with their own unique backstory. But one of the more intriguing is the one behind detective Nate River, more commonly referred to as Near.
Near is introduced in part two of Death Note after the four-year time skip and is one of two orphans that L took under his tutelage. While all the children in the Wammy’s House orphanage are exceptionally smart, Near and Mello stood out above the rest and in turn received special guidance from L.
His goals throughout the series are to become the new L and defeat the famed mass murderer Kira. Throughout the show, the connections to L are prevalent from his appearance, posture, personality, and decision-making.
One thing that isn’t clear in the show is exactly how old Near is. While he looks to be a child, having just his time in an orphanage to gauge from determining the character’s correct age isn’t easy.
How old is Near in Death Note?
According to the manga, Near was born in 1991, while the anime is set a few years later making Near’s birth 1994. This would mean that at the conclusion of part one, when L is defeated by Kira, Near is 13 years old.
In part two, once L’s successors have taken over and we are formally introduced to Near, he’s around 17 and ages at normal for the remainder of the series. In the anime, the series concludes in 2013 leading us to believe that Near is 18 years old at the end.
While the anime closes the series with the death of Kira, the manga does continue with a few chapters set post-Kira investigation. These chapters are set a few years further into the future again and when the manga came to a close Near would have been around 20 years old.
In 2020, Death Note received its first new chapters in over a decade with the one-shot, “Tha a-Kira Story.” While there are some characters in these chapters returning from the original series, namely Ryuk, whose Death Note is at the center of its plot, Near also makes a return.
Having achieved his goal and taking the place of the new L, in these one-shots Near is far older. During the first chapter, it is four years after the end of the main series’ manga. With a two-year time skip before the next chapter Near is around 26 years old at the end of all current stories set in the world of Death Note.