In terms of Death Note characters, Light Yagami, also known as Kira, certainly gets one of the top spots in every category imaginable. The popular antagonist of the series, who acts as a protagonist based on the time he gets in the spotlight, is one of the most popular and best-known anime and manga characters in history. Since his debut, Light Yagami has become an integral part of the series and has appeared in all relevant media adaptations. To honor Light’s legacy, here is a list of the best Light Yagami quotes from Death Note, including both the anime and manga.
The list is going to include a total of 15 quotes from both of the relevant sources – the anime series and the manga that inspired it. The quotes are taken from various contexts and situations, and we have decided to simply list them for your enjoyment.
1. “I’m going to make the world know I’m here… that somebody is passing righteous judgement on them.”
This quote is from Chapter one of the original Death Note manga and it is, in a way, a summary of what Light Yagami wanted to be before he became a power-obsessed serial murdered with a God complex. Light Yagami wanted to be righteous, he wanted to punish bad people, but he actually showed that when you give too much power to one person, the power will corrupt them and turn them into monsters. Tough luck.
2. “I’m a hardworking honors student who’s considered to be one of Japan’s best and brightest. And I… I will become the God of this new world.”
A similar quote, but this one was taken from Episode 1 of the anime series. Light Yagami has always been a narcissist and he was given an opportunity to become God, to be above the humans he was surrounded with. It made perfect sense that he would opt to become a monster, which was an expected turn of events for him.
3. “This is interesting, Ryuga. If it’s my friendship you want, I’ll gladly accept it. In time, I’ll earn your trust. And once you’ve told me what I want to know, there’ll be no point in keeping you alive, then I’ll kill you. With my hands if I have to.”
Taken from Episode 9, this quote shows the dynamics of the relationship between Light and Ryuga, better known as L. The two of them had a very interesting relationship, which escalated when L threatened Light’s plan. L was a genius in his own right and he would ultimately figure out Light’s secret, which, of course, led to L’s death, but was also the starting point of Light’s own demise.
4. “You can’t ever win if you’re always on the defensive, to win, you have to attack.”
This quote was uttered by Light Yagami in Chapter 20 of the manga. This actually shows just how different Light became when he became Kira. A calm, polite honor student, he turned into a monster once he became God. This was reflected in his philosophy, which shows just how much he wanted to defeat any threat to his idea of a perfect world.
5. “I’ve never considered finding that notebook and gaining that power a misfortune. In fact, it’s made me happier than I’ve ever been.”
Getting the Death Note was an interesting turn of events for Light. In Chapter 22, he told his shinigami Ryuk that he actually considered himself lucky for finding the notebook. As a narcissist, Light Yagami considered himself born to be better than others and destined to become a leader or a ruler, and the Death Note simply reflected that, giving him the ultimate role even he never thought he would have – that of God.
6. “This… is the first time that I actually want to punch a girl.”
Well, manners are something, even if you’re a God. Girls should not be punched and in Chapter 31, Light Yagami actually reflects that, albeit in a very intriguing turn of events and within a very specific context.
7. “I’m going to get more intimate with Misa and make her fall helplessly in love with me.”
On the other hand, when you cannot punch a girl, you can manipulate her and use her as a puppet, obviously, as Chapter 32 tells us. Light Yagami was an evil character. Had he not found the Death Note, he might have, perhaps, been different, or better. But knowing that he is as powerful has he was, he simply did not care for being a normal human being anymore, and that was best-reflected through his relationship with Misa, which showed just how big of an asshole he was.
8. “The thing I hate the most is to trample on other people’s good will.”
Well, this quote from Chapter 37 has somewhat of an ironic tone to is, since it’s not really something Light would say, unless the good will he is referring to is his own. Light didn’t really care about other people, so we don’t really think that he would care that much if he trampled on someone’s good will or not, but hey – who are we to judge?
9. “I’ve won… Exactly as planned!”
By the time Near kicked his ass in one of the most thrilling “duels” in the history of anime, Light Yagami’s exclamation from Chapter 53 had already aged poorly. Light managed to defeat L through a series of fortunate events, but he did not win. L was definitely smarter than that and he made sure that Kira would be taken down, which Near took care of in the second part of the manga.
10. “Under normal circumstances, humans should have continued to evolve as the greatest creatures upon this earth, but we were actually regressing. A rotten world. Politics, law, education… Was there anybody around who could correct this world? But someone had to do it.”
Heading over to Chapter 105, we see more of Light’s philosophy and how he actually rationalized his behavior. Reflecting on modern society, he deduced that someone made a mistake at one point and that the human race was going back, becoming less advanced and more disgusting. That is why he was there to take care of it. The world was a rotten place and he needed to fix it. Whatever it took, obviously.
11. This world is rotten, and those who are making it rot deserve to die. Someone has to do it, so why not me? Even if it means sacrificing my own mind and soul, it’s worth it. Because the world… can’t go on like this. I wonder… what if someone else had picked up this notebook? Is there anyone out there other than me who’d be willing to eliminate the vermin from the world? If I don’t do it, then who will? That’s just it: there’s no one. But I can do it. In fact, I’m the only one who can. I’ll do it. Using the Death Note, I’ll change the world.”
This is the moment from Episode 1 in which Light realized just how powerful he was. This is the moment when Light Yagami disappeared and Kira entered; this is when Light Yagami realized that he had become a God. Now, there is something fundamentally evil in changing the world by means of an individualistic and arbitrary system of justice run by a maniacal narcissist, but hey, it gave us one of the best anime plots in history!
12. “I’ll solve equations with my right hand and write names with my left. I’ll take a potato chip… and eat it!”
Well, this quote from Episode 8 of the anime series is both practical and not. It reflects Light’s determination to do things quickly and to become a God as quickly as possible, but also his overzealousness, which was actually a reflection of his shattered psyche. Be that as it may, he really did do things in such a manner, but it all ended up being quite useless for him in the end.
13. “Kira has become law in the world we now live. He’s the one who’s maintaining order. I have become justice. The only hope for mankind. Kill me? Is that really the right thing to do? Since Kira’s appearance six years ago, wars have stopped, and global crime rates have been reduced by over seventy percent. But it’s not enough, this world is still rotten, with too many rotten people. Somebody has to do this! And when I first got that notebook all those years ago, I knew I had to do it. No, I was the only one who could. I understood that killing people was a crime. There was no other way, the world had to be fixed! A purpose given to me! Only I could do it. Who else could have done it?! And come this far?! Would they have kept going?! The only one… who can create a new world… is me.”
We suppose all the monsters that have walked on this planet said such things to rationalize their monstrosities. Light had become a proper horror for the human race and he had to be stopped. Although he did try to explain himself in this lunatic tantrum, he did nor realize how fundamentally wrong that was and how people would be less enthusiastic about such a world, fixed or not, than they are with their current one.
14. “Dad, write his name! Use all the strength you’ve got left and write his name! Don’t let him keep getting the better of you like this!”
Spoken to his father in his dying moments, these word reflect Light’s pain and his desire for revenge. Mello’s name was the one his father should have written, but never did. He died, smiling and believing his son was not Kira, the infamous serial murderer. Light had a soul, but we’re still not sure that’s enough.
15. “There is no heaven or hell. No matter what you do while you’re alive, everybody goes to the same place once you die. Death is Equal.”
It should be. Death is the one fair thing in our world. It grabs everyone and never lets go, no. This is what Light Yagami realized at one point near his end, as he was losing the game against Near. Life should not be a test, what we do shouldn’t be determining anything but the moment itself and this quote reflects that worldview.