L was born as Lawliet, and was orphaned at an early age. Thus he was sent to the Wammy House, an orphanage. While at the Wammy House, he met Quillish Wammy, the owner of the Wammy house. He was also known as Watari - L's personal assistant. L became famous for his intelligence and amazing deductive abilities, a trait that would prove successful in the future. When L left the Wammy House, Watari went with him. Lawliet took on a job as a detective, and he had solved hundreds of police cases in which the police had dubbed "impossible". L was a reclusive character, only (at first) appearing by speaking through a computer (whereas only a mere gothic "L" would appear on the screen). Sometimes he would send Watari to speak for him, so Watari also dressed mysterious-like.
L took on other names to hide his identity, such as Eraldo Coil and Deneuve, using them to solve other cases. He eventually became the best detective the world had ever seen.Soon after, L established a greater reputation for his other aliases both Eraldo Coil & Deneuve making them the second and third ranked detectives in the world respectively.
L tends to dress very casually, even in settings where some manner of dress would be required for image or respect, such as first meetings or for school. He is almost always seen wearing a long sleeved white t-shirt with blue trousers. His hair is eternally unkempt and he tends to go without footwear, sometimes even outdoors.
L was created by writer Tsugumi Ohba, and artist Takeshi Obata for the Death Note books, and conceived as a super detective. Both creators of the books cite L as their favorite character of the series.
It becomes apparent during the course of the comic that L is autistic, more accurately he suffers from Aspergers syndrome, as he visibly shows many of the signs. It is perhaps due to this malady that he is as effective a detective as he is. He is shy and reclusive, and finds it very hard to relate to others. He spends long times pondering to himself why others act the way they do while fidgeting with something in his hands, usually a sugar product. Though he claims the amount of sugar he intakes is to 'fuel his thinking' it is more likely that this is another visible sign of his autism, as autism sufferers have a high chance of developing an eating disorder. Another sign of his autism is how he often stacks objects together, usually dining tools or sweets. He is often found creating pyramids of food while he is thinking to himself.
The last display of autism he shows is his reluctance to open up to others. And it is perhaps for this reason that he never could bring himself to openly come out with his knowledge that Light Yagami was Kira. Being autistic, he found it extremely hard to open up to others, as he could not relate to them. With Light Yagami, he had finally found someone who was on an intellectual level to himself, and over the long time they were together, he was finally able to create a bond with another person. He had finally found someone he was comfortable being around and eventually, he was able to call him a friend.. though he could only do so with his back turned to him due to his unease at social interaction.
L has always hated losing and even admits it himself in volume 2 of the Death Note manga series. He has also admitted it in the anime. This trait of L is his most child-like trait he has. He is incredibly suspicious of others - leaving him to occasionally going to the "extremes" such as planting cameras inside houses of Detective Yagami, for example. As well as being suspicious and hating to lose, L is a very blunt character yet also a liar. He exclaims verbally that his suspicions are only 4% when in reality he believes them to be well over 90% (for example, L's suspicion of Light being Kira). L does not trust anyone except for Watari and is viewed as anti-social and a loner. L also claims that if he doesn't sit in a crouched position that his reasoning abilities drop 40%.
Major Story Arcs
Many years had passed since L became a detective, thus revealing a new and difficult challenge for L. The challenge, a mass murderer, known as Kira. Before declaring Kira's name, there were numerous heart attacks occurring in Japan. Soon enough it was no longer considered "normal" for so many heart attacks to occur. So, a meeting of the ICPO was called to discover the true identity of Kira, and Watari was sent as L's ambassador.
Watari brought with him a laptop that linked the police and L for communication purposes. Watari had walked in front of the ICPO and opened up the laptop. Revealing that L has already begun to work on the case before the police were even aware. L's voice began speaking through the computer telling everyone there that he was up against what would most likely be the hardest case he would ever take on, and that he would need the cooperation of the entire ICPO. Once the cooperation was given to L he thanked them. He then asked for the distinct help of the Japanese police, and when they angrily asked why he wanted only the Japanese's help. He announced that he was certain that Kira was either Japanese or was someone who was living in Japan. They quickly asked him why, but he refused to tell them, explaining that they would learn soon enough when he had his showdown with Kira.
After arriving in Japan L sought out to narrow his search for Kira. He arranged for a death row inmate know as Lind L. Taylor to declare his pursuit of Kira publicly. L's plan was to broadcast the inmate among several regions of Japan in hopes that Kira would attack the decoy. Kira, under the impression that the message was world wide...wrote the name Lind. L Taylor in the Death Note. Lind L. Taylor then dies by a heart attack before everyone's eyes. Having played right into L's hands, Kira inadvertently reveals that he is in the Kanto region of japan. Shortly afterwards L, Challenges Kira on air, but without a face &name Kira is unable to do so. Kira, now embarrassed vows to find & kill L.
After his"confrontation" with Kira, L begins to work with police in the Kanto region of Japan. He observes that, based on the time of the day and the deaths of the criminals, its very likely that Kira is a student with a sick & twisted God complex. L then requests information about how the criminals information was made public. Since Kira is actually Light Yagami son of the chief inspector of the police department, Light was able to keep tabs on the Kira investigation. Light thought it would be a good idea to throw off the investigation by killing criminals in a manner unbecoming of a student. Light knew that L would suspect someone in the police department were Kira due to the drastic change in the method of operation. Lights plan worked but also back fired, as L began to investigate everyone who would have access to the Kira investigation files. L then arranged for the FBI to investigate the police department's operatives.
12 FBI agents are flown in from the U.S to covertly aid L in his search for Kira. Light realizes that in order to take down L he must discover the limits of the death note. Light wanted to know how much control he had over people wrote in the death note,so he beings to experiment. In the experiments, Light had prisoners try to escape or write messages" L do you know Gods of death Love apples?" before they died.But, Light was unable to get prisoners to do impossible things like draw L's face, or breaking out of prison and fleeing to France in an hour.Light learned that even the Death Note is not all that powerful.
Some time later, Ryuk discovers that someone is tailing Light. That person was FBI agent Raye Penber. Light would later scheme a plan to Kill the agent. Light's plan, not only fooled Raye Penber into giving up his identity but he also managed to get Penber to write the names of all the FBI agents in japan on pages of the death note. Light Made sure that all agents died at the same time so Penbers death couldn't draw attention to himself. The United States withraws from the Kira investigation shortly after. Meanwhile L was still trying to figure out Kira's next Move based on the message "L do you know Gods of death love apples?". The following day the media announced the deaths of the 12 FBI agents and there reason for being in japan. The Japanese police were outraged by L's mistrust. This created the turmoil and tension Light wanted within the investigation.
As a result of the deaths of the FBI agents many police officers began to quit. The renaming officers were, Soichiro Yagami, Touta Matsuda, Shuichi Aizawa, Kanzo Mogi, Hideki Ide & Hirokazu Ukita. L then organizes a secert meeting with the remaining detectives. This would be the first time anyone in japan besides Watari would meet L in person. When the detvies get to the hotel that L had been staying in they all introduce themselves by showing their badges and saying their names aloud. This prompted L's signature "bang, bang" whilst pointing his index finger as if hold a gun. L then explains to the detectives that Kira needs a face an a name to kill and they shouldn't give out theirs so willingly. L arranges Watatri to give all the six detectives fake aliases and badges. He decided that they will become the Kira task force a covert unit dedicated to stopping Kira.
The following day Light is asked to drop something off for his Father and the police station. He coincidentally runs into the fiancee of Raye Penber, the FBI agent that Light killed. She is demanding to speak to L and the front desk of police headquarters.This peaks Lights curiosity & through some careful conversation, Light is able to uncover that she has a key piece of evidence that would blow the Kira investigation out of the water. She discovers that Kira is able to control the actions of the victims before death. Light knows his next move is to kill this woman.
Light begins to methodically plan a way to get this mysterious woman's name nonchalantly. He quickly succeeds and the woman reveals her name... "Maki-san". Light writes down her name on a piece of the death note. Much to Light's surprise the woman seems unaffected by the Death Note. Light is then able to deduce that "Maki-san" is merely an alias. Ryuk then annoyingly reminds Light that he can always take the Shinigami eye deal. Light refuses. Light is then able to pull off one of his most impressive feats. He convinces a highly trained former FBI agent that knows Kira needs a name and face to kill, to give up her real name " Naomi Misora "... even after she gave him an alias in the first place. Light writes the cause of death will be a suicide, 40 seconds later... the death note takes effect and Misora walks away to take her own life.
L eventually catches wind of Misora's death. Unlike the rest of Kira's victims Misora died because of a suicide. L thought that was a little suspicious especially because he had worked with Misora in the past. L is able to deduce that Kira was likely among the families that her fiancee Raye Penber was investigating. He sets up surveillance cameras in the Yagami Household.
Light set a 3 point trap in his room in case someone were to try to enter without him knowing. First he set a piece of paper in the crack of the door . This would rule out the possibly of his sister or mother entering the room as they would likely not notice the paper and leave it on the ground. second he put the led of a mechanical pencil adjacent to the hinge of the door. He did this just to be sure someone entered the room. Lastly he tilted the door handle so if anyone entered and left the room the handle would likely be reset to the starting position.
Unfortunately for L, Lights trap worked and Light was quickly able to figure out that his entire house was tapped. Light knew he could use this opportunity to prove he wasn't Kira while L was watching. While pretending to study Light tricks the surveillance team by watching the news through a small LCD T.V hidden in a bag of Chips and continues to kill criminals being reported in the news. L decided if Kira were among the families than he wouldn't be able to prove it using the Surveillance. L, removes the cameras form the Yagami household. Light feels that he has won as a result.
Despite L not having any reason to suspect Light besides his own intuition, he decides to suspect Light as being Kira. Light, having continued his normal routine... attended a college entrance exam at To-Oh university. While testing Light notices a suspicious looking individual staring at him. The person was L, closely monitoring Light's actions. After the test, it was announced that there were two freshman class representatives both scoring 100% of the entrance exam questions correctly. Both L & Light complete opposites in morality and appearance gave their speeches and sat next to each other in the first row of the auditorium. It was there when L and Kira made their first encounter.
L starts off by introducing himself to Light as L. This was done for two reasons: If Light were Kira and killed the person who claimed to be L without knowing if it is actually L, he would fall into the same trap set by L with Lind L Taylor. If Light kills L during their first meeting than it's quite obvious that the only person L introduced himself to besides those in the Kira investigation team would be Kira. This puts Light in a situation where he can't do anything but be-friend L. Later on, Light felt humiliated by the preemptive move on L's part.Light soon gathers his composure and realizes that L has no evidence on him and he can use this opportunity to get closer to L, find out his identity and finish him off for good.
Powers and Abilities
L's most useful ability is his high level of Intelligence, deductive reasoning and intuition. L has displayed these talents multiple times through the story arcs. Some examples would be, L answering every question correctly in an entrance exam for To-Oh University of Law ( トオ 大学). L, deducing that Kira was in japan. L, knowing how to pilot a helicopter intuitively.
L is an expert in the martial art 'capoeira', and has proven his skill more than once. It is an esoteric martial art that fits L's personality and agility well. It strikes in rhythmic unexpected ways, which is perfect for his personality and way of doing things.
He is a master detective, and in fact ranks first to third top detectives in the world, due to his fake ID's. He does this in order to safeguard his position: if anyone wanted to know who he is, they would likely contact the second or third world best detective in order to go against the first.
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 130 lbs
Birth Date: October, 31 1979 ( 1982 in Anime)
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio
Death Date: November 5 2004 ( 2007 in Anime)
Age Line: 24-25
Death Note (movie)
L is depicted in the movie version of Death Note. He is portrayed by Japanese actor Kenichi Matsuyama. Movie follows a basic plot line of the books, albeit with some changes.
Death Note: The Last Name (movie)
The sequel to the first Death Note movie. Once again L is reprised by Japanese actor Kenichi Matsuyama.
L: Change the World
An original story, set after the events of the first two Death Note movies. This movie focuses on L's last days before his death, and doesn't follow the story structure of the books. L is played again by Kenichi Matsuyama.
"So, come on, kill me if you can!"
"He who strikes first wins."
"As long as it doesn't kill me, college is a lot of fun."
"That the good guys always win."
"Light-kun is my first ever friend."
"I could fall for you, you know?"
"Bang! If I were Kira, you'll be dead now..."
"If I sit normally, my powers of deduction will go down by 40%"
"Let's value our lives."
"Call it what you want, but I'm taking your cake."
"If you use your head, you won't get fat even if you eat sweets."
"Please make Misa be quiet."
"Don't be shy...don't be serious about it either."
"If you don't take this seriously, I'm going to kick you."
"Motivation...? ...No, I just don't have any. I'm depressed, actually."
"My number of friends has increased again."
"Are you annoyed that I'm the only one with cake to eat?"
"My first babysitting experience isn't working out..." (Only in L: Change the WorLd)