Death Note is a manga series written by Tsugumi Ōba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata, whose anime adaptation was directed by Tetsurō Araki. Since its debut, Death Note has become one of the most important anime and manga series. Its thrilling plot, combined with its great characters, is what made the series great, and even now, many years since its debut, fans are still vehemently debating it, the characters, and its ending. One of the characters that is most often discussed, aside from L and Light, is L’s successor Near (N), who managed to bring Light down and end the whole saga. In this article, we will tell you what happened after Light died and whether Near survived the events of Death Note.
Having defeated Light Yagami, Near survived the thrilling finale of the Death Note manga. He would go on to succeed L as the world’s greatest detective, solving cases worldwide and even stopping a Kira copycat later on. He is also seen, heard, or mentioned in numerous derived works, which confirm that he is alive and well in the series.
The rest of this article will focus on Near, L’s controversial successor, who became the only person who managed to outwit and bring down Yagami Light. We will tell you what happened at the end of Death Note and what happened to Near after the thrilling ending. If you haven’t read or seen Death Note, we advise you to stay away because this article will be one large spoiler.
What happened to Near?
As we have said, our goal is to reveal what happened to Near during and after the final moments of the Death Note manga and anime. This is why we will bring you a recap of what happened in the end, so you know the whole story.
When the SPK kidnaps Misa just before the New Year, her bodyguard offers no resistance. Meanwhile, Mello decides to kidnap Kiyomi. Light, who previously told her Mello’s real name, orders her over a phone call to kill Mello. Afterward, Light kills him with the help of a note he kept on his watch. Light and Near agree on a meeting of all members of the investigative team as well as the SPK—Light plans for Teru to take part with the real Death Note to kill everyone.
Near reveals to Light that Gevanni swapped pages from the book so they wouldn’t die. However, he believes that Near is not assuming the book is forged and shouts his victory just before the point at which the investigators and the SPK team are supposed to die. However, when no one dies, Near informs Light that he not only swapped out pages from the fake but also the original Teru had hidden on the bench.
Because Teru thought that Light’s hands were tied, he went to the real Death Note’s hiding place and wrote Kiyomi’s name there as well. Gevanni noticed that Teru was worried for the first time that someone was tailing him. He then managed to take the real book and exchange it for another fake. Teru is then arrested, and the book that was in his possession is confiscated. It contained all the names of the people present except for Light’s. The missing name is the final proof of his guilt.
Light then admits everything and explains why he wanted a better world. He tries to use the hidden note in his watch to kill Near, but Matsuda manages to shoot him. Desperate, Light tries to escape again, eventually begging Ryuk to help him. It becomes clear that Light has finally lost and will be imprisoned. Finding it boring to stay by Light’s side in prison until Light’s death, Ryuk decides to kill Light. He writes the name Light Yagami in his own Death Note and then dies.
A year later, normality has returned. Near now goes by the name “L” and works with the police. A new Kira-centered cult has emerged, led by a woman – who, according to an author’s interview, is not Misa despite all the similarities. At the end of the director’s cut of the anime, after the death of Light Yagami, a mysterious shinigami similar to Light is seen searching for Ryuk to learn more about the human world. Ryuk tells the unknown Shinigami the story of Light, after which the unknown Shinigami makes his own way to the human world.
So, what happened to Near later on? We have now established that Near survived the final clash with Light and that Light died after being defeated by Near. We also know a little bit about the future, and we know that Near became the new “L,” working with the police on solving numerous crimes, which was a great feat for a child, but also proof that Near really is one of the smartest characters in the whole series.
We know that Death Note officially ended with the manga, but numerous derived stories and spin-offs followed Near’s career and story after the manga’s conclusion. Officially, we know that Near is still alive and well at the age of 27 in The a-Kira Story, which is an official one-shot sequel written by the original authors. Near also appears in several other derivative works, both printed and filmed.
He is still portrayed as the great detective he was, but since these stories were mostly focused on other characters, mostly new ones created for that specific work, we never saw much of Near in the first place, save for a mention or some short appearance. Near is a character that most die-hard Death Note fans hated, to be honest, and this is an issue yours truly has discussed in an earlier article focusing on the ending of Death Note and its reception by the fans of the series.
Still, Near has, at least in the eyes of the authors, proven himself to be a highly intelligent and resilient character, someone who was able to outwit everyone in the series, becoming a superior character who endured everything that was put in front of him.
And this is why we are actually glad that he is still alive. Yours truly is a big fan of Near, and we can say with a smile that he is still alive and well and that he has not died as of the time of writing this article.