“If only I could see the death of the world.”
Beyond Birthday (ビヨンド・バースデイ, Biyondo Bāsudei) is a character from the novel Death Note: Another Note: The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases. He is a former successor for L from Wammy's House and the serial killer behind the Los Angeles BB Murder Case.
Beyond Birthday does not appear in the manga or any adaptation, although the Los Angeles BB Murder Case is briefly mentioned in the manga, anime, and film series.
Beyond Birthday appears only in the novel Death Note: Another Note - The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases.
The novel is narrated by Mello and is a recollection of a story told to him by L of one of L's exploits. Mello's goal with recording these notes is to demonstrate that Kira is "not even worth the dirt beneath L's shoes" and to flaunt his greater knowledge of L over Near. Mello uses different techniques while narrating: he begins as a typical narrator but drops it to acquire a way of speech that is usually associated with a live storytelling. The novel also switches from Mello's first-person view and opinions to Naomi Misora's point of view.
Throughout the novel, the reader is initially unaware that Rue Ryuzaki, whom Naomi is suspicious of, is Beyond Birthday. Readers are led to believe that he is L in person. This is because of his mannerisms and description (black hair, dark bags beneath the eyes, clothes, bad posture, love for sweets, and sitting position). It is, in fact, Beyond pretending to be L, using his acting skills to pass as a copy of the L he possibly knew or heard about. It is unknown if he has ever seen L in person. The undisguised Beyond Birthday is mentioned by Mello at points in the novel.
Beyond is described as a young man with black hair and shadows under his eyes. He wears long-sleeved white shirt and faded jeans. He is thin and fairly tall but always walks hunched over. Much like L, Beyond often sits with his knees pulled up against his chest.
However, he does not actually look like this. Beyond Birthday was said to have worn many layers of make-up in order to disguise himself.
Little is known about Beyond, though he and A were the first two children in line to succeed L. The pressure of Wammy's House proved to be too great for A, which caused A to commit suicide, while B left Wammy's House at some unknown point.
Throughout the novel, Beyond imitates L. Given that, it is unknown which actions are a charade and which actions are genuine traits of his personality. Beyond is once seen eating strawberry jam out of a jar with his hands. He appears to crave jam, as he has multiple jars of it in a victim's fridge. He also has a habit of crawling around on all fours and biting on his thumbnail.
Although mentioned only once in the book, it is implied that Beyond practices laughing quite often. Also, it is interesting to note that his laughter is referred to by Mello as a "Shinigami's laugh."
Beyond was, congenitally, born with the eyes of a Shinigami, which allowed him to see and know when exactly people around him would die, as well as knowing their full names. He uses this ability to pick his victims and kill them when they would have been destined to die. Because of constant visual reminders of death, "Beyond Birthday" is a name he gave himself and is unknown by anyone at Wammy's House. It is unknown how he could have possibly been "born" with the eyes, though Mello wonders if a Shinigami dropped its eyeballs to Earth much like dropping a Death Note.
- Note: The events from this Death Note novel occur before the storyline of both the manga and anime.
Beyond's whereabouts remain unknown from May 2002, when he left Wammy's House, to July, when the first murder takes place in Los Angeles. L has spent that time tracking cases around the world to search for him. Beyond came up with a plan to surpass L, as the "World's Greatest Criminal," giving L a case that he hoped L would be unable to solve.
He meets Naomi Misora on August 15th at the scene of the first murder, where they are both investigating the victim's home. During the week they investigate together, he tests Naomi to see if she is a worthy replacement for L while he subtly leads her through the clues he left behind.
On August 22nd, Naomi is lying in wait at the location where the fourth BB murder will be committed and comes to realize that Rue Ryuzaki, the mysterious private investigator she has been working with, is not what he seems. After putting together the last remaining clues, she discovers that the final murder is actually his attempted suicide. She manages to stop Beyond from burning himself to death and arrests him.
On January 21, 2004, less than a year and a half after his arrest, Beyond Birthday dies of a mysterious heart attack.
Beyond Birthday's first known victim was 44-year-old freelance writer Believe Bridesmaid, whom he killed July 31, 2002, after drugging him and choking him with a rope. Four Wara Ningyo (straw dolls) were left at the crime scene, and in post-mortem mutilation, Bridesmaid's chest was slashed several times; the killer also took the time to re-dress him. When looking at the autopsy photos, Naomi Misora found that the wounds were made to resemble letters (in actuality, a Roman numeral code spelling out the name of the next victim).
The second murder occurred four days later, on August 4th. The victim, Quarter Queen, a 13-year-old girl, was also drugged before her death, the cause of which was blunt force trauma to her skull. Her eyes were also crushed in further post-mortem mutilation and glasses placed on her face in reference to Glass Station, within the neighborhood of the next victim. Three Wara Ningyo were left at the scene of the crime.
The third killing happened nine days after Quarter Queen's murder. Backyard Bottomslash was a 28-year-old bank worker who had also been drugged before her death. Beyond Birthday's goal was to find out if a human can die of an internal hemorrhage without rupturing any organs, and he conducted this experiment by drugging and then beating Backyard Bottomslash's left arm without breaking the skin. When this did not work, her death was caused by loss of blood, with her right leg and left arm cut off. The right leg was discovered in the bathtub later. The left arm was taken by Beyond Birthday and never recovered, and her right arm and left leg splayed out in a way that resembled hands of a clock. Two Wara Ningyo were found nailed to the walls.
Beyond Birthday's final victim was himself, or rather, his fake persona, "Rue Ryuzaki." By killing himself, he hoped to leave the case unsolvable. He knows that his body will be identified as Beyond Birthday, in fitting with the alliterative pattern of victims, but because he kept his name a secret from Wammy's House, he does not expect his body to be identified as B. Beyond sets himself on fire in a locked room, but his plan is thwarted by Naomi Misora, who shoots open the door and sets out the fire before he dies.
Due to his resemblance to L, it is unknown if the artwork featured in Another Note is Beyond Birthday or L. Some fans believe it to be L, especially since he does not have red eyes, which the fans have connected with Shinigami Eyes. However, it was mentioned in the manga that it is impossible for a human to see if another human has "the Eyes" or not, making Shinigami Eyes appear normal.
Others have pointed out that it is unlikely that there would be two protagonists in the artwork, as opposed to the protagonist as well as the antagonist. In addition to that, there is a distinguishable "B" in between the two characters, implying that the character may very well, in fact, be Beyond Birthday. However, there is no way of knowing until it is either confirmed or denied by Nisio Isin.
In other media
B exists in the Death Note film series continuity, but he has not been directly introduced. In the movie L: Change the WorLd, when L is on his laptop and sending the message that Watari is dead to the members of Wammy's House, B is on L's mailing list. It is unknown if this is Beyond or not, but the letter is greyed out to indicate that he is inactive, as B would be at this point. L also references that the LABB murder cases occurred, and he works with Naomi Misora on a second case in a flashback prior to the events of the first two Death Note films.
In the drama series Death Note: New Generation and the film Death Note: Light Up the NEW World, L's successor Ryuzaki shares several traits with Beyond Birthday. He even solves two a "locked room mysteries" in the second episode of the drama series which are reminiscent of Beyond's work in the novel. However, Ryuzaki is not a direct adaptation of Beyond, and it is not suggested that he was involved with the LABB case that took place in the film series timeline. His real name is Masayuki Arai.
- Beyond mentions that he was a fan of the manga Akazukin Chacha when he was younger.
- Beyond's alias Rue (ルエ) is a Japanese anagram of L (エル, Eru), a reference that Beyond is passing himself off as L at the time he uses the name.
- Ryuzaki: (to Naomi Misora) "I feel the word 'private' carries with it an excess of neurotic egotism...you might say I am an unprivate detective-a detective without ego" (44).
- Ryuzaki: "Don't worry. I'm a top."
- Naomi: "A top?"
- Ryuzaki: "An aggressive top. I have never once been submissive. One of the few things I can boast about. I have never even been submissive to a traffic signal."
- Naomi: "You really should."
- Ryuzaki: "Never" (82).
- Beyond: "If L's a genius, then B's an extreme genius. If L's a freak, then B's an extreme freak" (96).
- Ryuzaki: (to Naomi Misora) "So far this was merely a detective war with the killer, but from here on our lives are on the line. You should be ready for anything, Misora" (138).