“I'm Kira. And... the god of this new world. In this world, I am the law, and I am the one maintaining order. That is the truth. Now, I am justice. The world's... only hope.”
Kira (キラ) is the figure attributed with causing the epidemic heart attack deaths of criminals. The name Kira was created by the public in response to Light Yagami's initial use of the Death Note, and various members of the public view Kira as a god. Various Death Note users act as Kira, but their identities are unknown to the public so their actions are viewed as being committed by one entity.
In the Kira investigation, several differences in methods of killing are profiled, so the groups that oppose Kira determine that more than one person is acting as Kira. The different Kiras are given nicknames to differentiate them.
Public view of Kira
After Light Yagami begins killing criminals with the Death Note, the large number of deaths attracts attention from the general public as well as law enforcement.
As the deaths of criminals continue to increase, people begin voicing their opinions of the situation and dub these deaths as the work of "Kira," derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the word "killer." The word itself originates in Japan, but later carries throughout the world as Kira continues to gain fame.
It seems that the figure Kira may have been around before Light Yagami obtained the Death Note. After suspicion had begun to arise about the mysterious deaths by heart attack of criminals worldwide, members of the public refer to it as "The Legend of the Savior Kira," saying "Kira is among us again," and that he is a "messenger from hell."
As the number of criminal deaths rises and no reason for these deaths are found (the only connection between them being heart attacks), law enforcement begins to strongly take notice. An Interpol conference is finally held between the representatives of the world's law enforcement agencies. The ultimate course of action decided upon is to bring in L, who is considered to be the world's greatest detective, having solved over many other difficult cases.
L decides to address Kira through TV, hoping to gain a reaction and discover Kira's location. He uses a decoy named Lind L. Tailor, a criminal on death row, who announces on live television that he is searching for Kira and that what Kira is doing is wrong. This causes Light to impulsively kill him in rage with the Death Note, narrowing his location to Japan's Kanto region.
Kira quickly becomes news, and various TV stations begin broadcasting anything related to Kira. A very notable station is Sakura TV, which airs the program Kira's Kingdom.
Within the six years of Kira's existence, the public takes strong sides. Some view Kira as a murderer, while others think of Kira as "God." Kira becomes a religious figure to a large portion of the public. Many people who have been wronged by others largely view Kira as their savior and praise him, thanking him for bringing criminals to justice. Misa Amane is such an example, since her parents' murder is avenged by Kira, and she relentlessly pursues him. Others view Kira as a criminal, for differing reasons. These include Near, the Japanese Task Force, and the SPK. Kira's influence becomes such that governments, including the United States under the weak-willed President George Sairas, give in to his influence and call off all attempts to capture him.
After Light Yagami's death, the Kira killings stop and the world seemingly returns to normal; however, Kira worshipers remain. In the last chapter of the manga, a rather large group of cloaked worshipers is shown, each one carrying a candle. They are traveling through mountains, heading towards a place beneath the moonlight. As they reach their destination, a young woman emerges in the middle of the group and comes to the front. Near the edge of a cliff, she kneels down and places a candle before looking towards the moon.
Characters who act as Kira
This is the list of Kiras, in order, with a description of their time as Kira. All of these individuals are viewed as one "Kira" by the public. They are only referred to as these alternate titles by various individuals investigating the Kira case.
Also known as: Kira
Light was the first human to use a Death Note within the series. Soon after finding it he decides to use it to cleanse the world of evil. He begins killing off criminals with the Death Note, an act which begins to draw attention from local law enforcement and later on, the world. The detective known as L begins a search for "Kira" and eventually suspects Light Yagami as the killer he is looking for. However, there is no physical evidence to prove Light is Kira, a fact that keeps L from ever capturing Light. After L dies, Light assumes the title of L, and his activities remain unchallenged for five years. Then when Near and Mello come onto the scene, their combined efforts expose Light as Kira. Light seemingly loses his sanity after Near tells him he has "lost", having to be shot several times by Matsuda. Light's name is then written by Ryuk in his Death Note, and he dies of a heart attack.
Also known as: Second Kira
Misa was the second human to use a Death Note, and obtained her notebook from the Shinigami Rem. Misa was initially an extreme Kira supporter, due to the fact that Kira passed judgment on a man who murdered her parents. She makes several attempts to communicate to Kira through the use of the media, and eventually tracks down Light Yagami by using her Shinigami Eyes. Misa begins to follow Light's orders after she reveals her identity to him, and becomes a tool to Light, losing her memory and making Kira's judgments many different times to draw suspicion away from him. Although she remains committed to the original Kira's goal, her devotion largely subsides in favor of simply helping Light Yagami, who she falls in love with.
After coming to the conclusion that the Second Kira had met the first, and being unable to prove that Misa Amane was guilty, the Kira investigation refocuses its attention on the first Kira.
Misa was the only living Kira after Light's death. She had relinquished her memories of the Death Notes shortly before Light died, and since the SPK was now in possession of both notebooks, there was no way for her to ever regain her memories. In the manga, she commits suicide one year later, on Valentine's Day. In the anime's finale, Misa is last seen standing outside the safety rail on the edge of a skyscraper looking into the sunset.
Also known as: Yotsuba Kira
Higuchi is an executive of Yotsuba Corporations and the only person, besides C-Kira, to hold the title of Kira who is in no way connected to the original Kira, Light Yagami. He obtained a Death Note from Rem after Light and Misa relinquished their Death Notes and their memories to avoid conviction. He only judged criminals for a short time, until Light and Misa were freed from imprisonment due to the deal Rem was told to offer: "kill criminals and you may write any other names you wish".
He later used the Death Note for selfish reasons such as promotion and furthering the business of Yotsuba. For that, he arranged for various colleagues to hold secret meetings in order to discuss how to further their company's fortunes by using Kira's powers, though they were not told that he himself was Kira. He also continued to kill criminals, though Light notes that he also killed people who had caused death unintentionally, such as a driver who had caused an accidental fatality in a car crash, something that the original Kira would never have done since he targeted hardened, established and bloodthirsty criminals.
Higuchi was later exposed as the new Kira and was arrested. His Death Note was given to Light, who recovered his memories as Kira and killed Higuchi before he was even put in a police car.
Also known as: X-Kira
Mikami has always had a strong sense of justice and is the most understanding and committed to Kira's goals. After suspicion of Misa rose again, Light mailed Mikami her Death Note. Mikami carried out Light's orders as perfectly as possible, seeing him as God. Despite this devotion, it was a mistake made by Mikami that exposed Light as Kira. In the manga, he dies in prison, though in the anime he stabs himself in the chest with his pen and bleeds to death.
Also known as: Cheap Kira
Their true identity never revealed, C-Kira appears in the one-shot set three years after the end of the series. C-Kira's Shinigami was Midora, and the origin of the Death Note which C-Kira used is unknown. C-Kira would kill the elderly, suicidal, immobile and any others who wished to die. C-Kira gained these sources via the Internet, and once by killing the members of the audience of a live television program who begged him to kill them. C-Kira's reign was short. He was talked down by Near (now known as L) who made it clear that he was not going to even bother to investigate the case. C-Kira then wrote his own name down in his Death Note and died. The name of C-Kira was used by Near to mean "Cheap Kira," as Near has a very low opinion of the person.
Also known as: A-Kira
Minoru appears in the Never Complete One-shot set ten years after the end of the series. He is given a Death Note by Ryuk, who hopes to find a human similar to Light who will use the Death Note, entertain him, and feed him apples. Rather than use the notebook himself, Minoru elects to hold an international auction and sell it to the highest bidder. He dies of a heart attack after selling the notebook to the United States of America, unaware that the King of Death has after-the-fact created a new rule that anyone who tries to sell a Death Note will be killed.
While active as Kira, Minoru is given the nickname "a-Kira" by Near, referring to his intention of auctioning off the Death Note.
In other media
In the Death Note film series, Light and Misa act as Kira and the Second Kira in much the same way they did in the original.
After Light's death, Ryuk brings a Death Note to Light's son Hikari Yagami, who begins acting as the new Kira with the help of his guardian Teru Mikami. They go mad and Mikami kills Hikari with the Death Note, and he is then killed by Tsukuru Mishima who has tracked Mikami down. The Death Note then falls to Mishima's possession, who continues the work of Kira.
Mishima passes the Death Note to Yuki Shien to continue his work as part of a plot to kill the Task Force and L's successor Ryuzaki. Shien continues to act as Kira, tracking down the other Death Notes, but he plans on finding and killing the new Kira (Mishima) because they are not the original Kira Light Yagami. He recruits Misa to help him by giving her possession of her old Death Note.
Sakura Aoi, Alexey Ivanov, Roger Irving, and Kenichi Mikuriya also possess and use Death Notes in the film series, but they do not act as Kira. Sakura kills people indiscriminately. Ivanov assists people with suicide, similar to C-Kira. Irving is a wall-street broker who kills his clients so he can make money. Mikuriya is a supreme court justice who kills Kira-supporters.
In the Death Note television drama, Light and Misa act as Kira and the Second Kira in much the same way they did in the original.
Teru Mikami obtains Misa's Death Note by having her followed and her Death Note stolen. When Light realizes Mikami is behind it, he contacts him and Mikami begins working with Light, carrying out Kira's justice. Misa later rejoins them as well, carrying a scrap of Death Note paper on herself to retain her memories.
In the end, Light dies and the Death Notes burn. Misa and Mikami both lose their memories but survive. It's unknown what becomes of the surviving Kiras, but Mikami is last seen in custody and Misa is last seen with her idol group Ichigo Berry.
In Death Note: The Musical, Light and Misa are the only two Kiras.
In the end, Light dies of a heart attack when Ryuk writes his name in the Death Note. Misa is last seen in confinement without her memories, and her fate is unknown.
- In the six years of Kira's existence in the manga series, no one was ever convicted of being Kira. Although Higuchi, Mikami, and Light were arrested for their roles as Kira, they all died before they were officially sentenced.
- Kiyomi Takada is notably excluded from this list of Kiras in the manga series. Although she played a pivotal role in the latter half of the series and killed several people with pages of the Death Note, neither ownership of a notebook nor possession by a Shinigami ever happened to her. Taking this into consideration, Misa is, therefore, the only female Kira in the list.
- Due to Kira's presence, criminals began using aliases to protect themselves. Organized crime syndicates seemed to be left alone as long as they didn't commit violent crimes; despite Light having access to police records around the world and Misa's shinigami eyes, one wasn't wiped out until the mission to get the notebook back from Mello.