Death Note is one of the most widely adapted mangas ever. It has an anime, live-action drama series, spin-off manga stories, and an array of other media.
This article will focus on how old and tall the characters in the Death Note anime series are. Most characters have had their heights and ages confirmed by the manga’s creator Tsugumi Ohba.
Those who have not can be guessed based on in-show context clues.
Light Yagami is tall for his age at 5’10.5″ (179 cm). At the beginning of Death Note, he is only 17 years old but has the tactical know-how and moral stubbornness similar to those much older than him. L is a few years older than Light at 24 years old when he debuts, though he is the same height: 5’10.5″ (179 cm).
They may be similarly matched in wit and intellect, but Light and L look like complete opposites, even though they are physically built very similar. L is ragged and disheveled, while Light is business-like and serious.
Because Ryuk and Rem are Shinigamis, it is unknown exactly how old they both are. The assumption made by fans is that they are simply very old.
Based on other characters in the show, Ryuk’s and Rem’s heights can be estimated. Ryuk is thought to be 7’6.5″ (230 cm) and Rem 8″ (243.8 cm).
There is a time skip in Death Note that happens directly after L’s death in episode 25, marking the end of season 1. By the time season 2 begins, 5 years have passed and L’s replacement is introduced.
Death Note asks the question, what would happen if you could kill someone simply by writing down their name?
After a bored Shinigami drops a Death Note into the human realm, a high schooler with a sense of justice far more mature than his peers comes to wield the power of death. But the more Light Yagami uses the Death Note, the more dangerous his world becomes.
Death Note Character Height, Ages and Birthday Chart
Listed below are the heights in feet and cm, ages, and birthdays of the Death note main characters at the start of their debut in the show.
You can find the up-to-date ages and heights of any characters that change throughout the show in the text below this table.
|5’10.5″ (179 cm)
|5’10.5″ (179 cm)
|7’6.5″ (230 cm)
|4’11.8″ (152 cm)
|5’1″ (155 cm)
|5’7.3″ (171 cm)
|8″ (243.8 cm)
|5’9″ (175 cm)
|5’9″ (175 cm)
|5’11.3″ (181 cm)
|5’8.5″ (174 cm)
|6″ (183 cm)
|5’3″ (161 cm)
|6’2″ (188 cm)
|5’6.5″ (169 cm)
|6’2.5″ (189 cm)
Light Yagami – February 28th
Light Yagami (also known as Kira under the guise of the Death Note) is 17 years old when Death Note starts, making him a senior in high school. By the end of the series (and post the time skip), he is 23 years old. Light is tall for his age, measuring 5’10.5″ (179 cm). His height and astounding intelligence make Light appear much older than he is.
Light is a peculiar protagonist, pushing moral boundaries from the moment that he picks up the Death Note. He starts the show with the same wish as any decent person: to bring justice to an otherwise unjust world. However, once Light understands the Death Note’s abilities, his perception of his own moral goals falters.
Though only a high schooler at the beginning of Death Note, Light’s intelligence makes him seem more mature. He is often included in adult conversations or situations and is praised continuously.
Light’s sense of entitlement and being treated as better than others of his age quickly leads to Light’s ruthless ruling. He develops an authoritarian view of justice and is willing to do anything to see that vision come to light.
L – October 31st
L is 24 years old when first introduced as the world-renowned detective and 26 when Light kills him. He is the same height as Light at 5’10.5″ (179 cm), but he is often seen slouching or folded in obscure sitting positions, so it is not always easy to tell that the two are the same height.
Despite his crumpled, uncaring appearance, L is one of the most intelligent characters in Death Note. He is a mastermind, taking on the task of finding and stopping Kira. However, L is often underestimated due to his lack of social skills and his peculiar habits.
L knows full well how smart he is. He knows that he can be rude to government officials and those with power (such as the Japanese task force) as they need him more than he needs them. And L will stop at nothing, not even government threats, to solve a case.
Shinigamis do not age in the same way that humans do so it is unknown how old Ryuk is. But he is old enough to have become bored with the Shinigami Realm. Even for a Shinigami, Ryuk is tall at 7’6.5″ (230 cm).
It is Ryuk’s boredom that sets off the events of Death Note. After writing out direct instructions on using the Death Note, Ryuk drops it into the human realm, where Light then happens upon it.
Really, everything that follows is just entertainment for Ryuk. He is childish and likes to act as the game master for the Death Note, only telling Light something important if it will push the game along (or if he is given an apple).
Misa Amane – February 14th
Misa Amane is slightly older than Light at 19 years old but is much shorter, standing at only 4’11.8″ (152 cm). This makes her appear far younger than she is, especially as she can be impulsive, acting like an infatuated child around Light and following her heart most of the time.
It seems fitting that Misa Amane’s birthday is on Valentine’s day as she seems to quickly fall in love with Light as soon as she meets him.
She is already in possession of Shinigami eyes when she meets Light. This gives her the advantage of being able to see people’s names even if they do not tell her. Light happily exploits this ability when giving Misa demands that she is more than willing to endanger herself to meet.
Near – August 24th
Near is not introduced until after L’s death (and after the 5 year time skip) as he is the next to take over L’s position. When he succeeds L, Near is 17. He is much smaller than L at 5’1″ (155 cm). Though he may be younger and shorter than the original L, he is no less powerful.
Near’s intelligence and capabilities are often questioned by those older than him because of his age and younger appearance. As is often the case when Near is directing others, they feel humiliated to be taking orders from someone who loves to surround himself with toys.
However, Near is exactly like L in that his ability to solve a case (or puzzle, as Near prefers to think of them) is extremely impressive.
Mello – December 13th
Mello is the oldest of L’s successors at roughly 19 years old after L’s death. He is also significantly taller than Near at 5’7.3″ (171 cm). But despite his physical advantage over Near and being a few years older, Mello does not become the next L.
When L dies, Watari asks Mello and Near to take over L’s legacy together and work to catch Kira as a team. But after being second best to Near for most of his life, Mello declines the position and decides to take on the task of stopping Kira himself.
Not because he wants to bring Kira to justice but because he wants to prove that he is better than Near once and for all. However, this leads to him taking more criminal paths to achieve his goal.
Like Ryuk, it is unclear how old Rem is as she is a Shinigami. However, she does have 2 Death Notes which suggests she has been around long enough to have gained them over time. Rem is taller than Ryuk at 8″ (243.8 cm), making her the tallest main character in Death Note.
Unlike Ryuk, Rem does not find humans entertaining. Instead, she has no respect for them and thinks they are inherently bad beings. That is why Rem and Misa’s relationship is so odd.
Rem cares deeply for her, helping Misa meet her goals. She even eventually sacrifices her own life to save Misa’s. However, that is mostly because Light forced Rem to write in the Death Note, which happened to save Misa, too.
Watari – May 1st
Watari (aka Quillsh Wammy) is one of the oldest human characters in Death Note at 70 years old. He is an average 5’9″ (175 cm) which is a testament to the rest of his average appearance. Though his background and part to play in the Death Note series are not that typical.
It is Watari who is responsible for raising L, Near, Mello and a collection of other high-IQ characters. Watari sought out orphans with exceeding abilities and gave them a home at Wammy’s House (in England), where he nurtured their natural talents.
Despite being an able investigator himself at times, Watari takes on the role of a caring butler and father figure to his wards.
Teru Mikami – June 7th
Teru Mikami is introduced after the time skip and is 27 years old. He is a typical height for Death Note at 5’9″ (175 cm) and, at first, does not stand out as anything other than a businessman… which is why he is the perfect tool for Light.
Like Light at the beginning of Death Note, Teru has a strict view of how to treat criminals and tackle injustice. Mikami is one of the many Kira fans that Light has collected.
But unlike the others, Light puts enough trust in Mikami and his strong principles to carry out Light’s goals when Light is being monitored and can not use the Death Note. However, Mikami begins to take an obsessive path, killing anyone he deems a potential problem even if they have yet to commit a crime. This, Light does not agree with.
Soichiro Yagami – July 12th
Soichiro Yagami is only 48 years old when he debuts in Death Note. But the stress of being the Chief of Japan’s National Police Agency has aged him. As Light’s father, there are some notable similarities between Soichiro and Light, such as his height (5’11.3″ (181 cm)) and need for justice.
Soichiro’s experience lands him as the leader of the Japanese Task Force tasked with taking down Kira. However, it is his determination for justice that makes him carry on the task force even when the state no longer funds it.
Typically, Soichiro prioritizes his job and world justice over family, but he is insistent that Light is not Kira. He is wrong, of course, but is it one of the rare times that Soichiro puts aside his job for his family.
Touta Matsuda – December 14th
One of the youngest Japanese Task Force officers, Touta Matsuda is 25 years old when he is first introduced to Death Note with the rest of the Task Force. His shorter 5’8.5″ (174 cm) stature and shaggy hair make him appear younger. After the 5 year time skip when he is 30 years old, Touta has clearly physically matured.
As the youngest Task Force member, Touta doesn’t have as much career experience as others. He often jumps into what he thinks is the right choice, even if he gets hurt. He does have his uses, though, such as his surprisingly extensive knowledge of Misa-Misa (Misa’s show name).
The longer he is involved with the Task Force, the less naive he becomes. This is made very clear by how he acts after the time skip.
Shuichi Aizawa – May 11th
Shuichi Aizawa is roughly 34 years old when he is introduced as a member of the Japanese Task Force. He is the perfect person for the task force as he is not only smart but also a burly 6″ (183 cm) force, helping keep himself and his team members safe in the field.
Like many of the more experienced members of the Task Force, Shuichi seems older than he is due to the stress of his job. He does not hold a lot of patience for immaturity, which is why he often snaps at Touta.
Though it takes time for most members of the Task Force to trust L, Shuichi remains wary of both L and Light. However, his lawfulness is stronger than his suspicions. Despite how he questions Light, Shuichi does save his life on a few occasions.
Hirokazu Ukita – November 9th
Hirokazu Ukita is a year older than Touta at 26 years old, but he physically appears younger as he is only 5’3″ (161 cm). That being said, Hirokazu does not show the same naivety and immaturity as some of his fellow Japanese Force Members.
Hirokazu remains loyal to the Task Force even after losing its funding and transitioning into the Kira Investigation Team. He is as much an asset to the team as the rest of the members.
But while he is determined to solve the case, he can be too passionate about bringing justice to Kira. This sometimes leads to careless decisions, which then have to be fixed by the team.
Kanzo Mogi – September 13
Kanzo Mogi has enough experience behind him to be a reliable officer when he is introduced with the Japanese Task Force at 30 years old. Most would expect Kanzo to be a tough guy with his bulky 6’2″ (188 cm), but he is quite the opposite.
For the most part, Kanzo keeps to himself and does his job well. He doesn’t speak much and doesn’t often put ideas forward in the same way that other Task Force members do. But he does play important roles in the plans that are suggested.
Kanzo changes completely when he has to do fieldwork and act as Misa’s manager. He suddenly becomes boisterous and over-excited, which is quite an impressive turnaround considering how he usually is.
Kyosuke Higuchi – June 6th
Kyosuke Higuchi is quite underwhelming despite being an important figure in the Yotsuba Corporation. He is only 5’6.5″ (169 cm) and 32 years old with the typical businessman look. But as average as he may seem, Higuchi is violent and merciless.
When Light decides that using the Death Note is too risky, he makes Rem find someone awful who would only use the Death Note for their own gain to pass the Death Note onto.
This is what leads to Kyosuke becoming the third Kira. However, as Light hoped, Kyosuke is careless with his killings and soon reveals himself as Kira to the Japanese Task Force after Misa tricked him into admitting it on tape.
Aiber – July 17th
Aiber is both older and taller than L at 33 years old and 6’2.5″ (189 cm). However, like many of L’s elders, Aiber is very influenced by L’s status and power.
Aiber is a rotten crook through and through and is one of the many questionable ways that L gets what he wants. Despite his above-average height, Aiber possesses the impressive skill of forcing himself into any social group to collect information.
He only shows up in the anime a few times, but when he does appear, it is always when L needs to know something that only someone with Aiber’s charisma can obtain.