Shinigami from Death Note

If you’re a fan of anime, you’ve probably watched or heard of Death Note.

Shinigami means death spirit also known as Gods of Death or Grim Reapers in the Western Hemisphere, whom survive in the series by killing humans using their Death Note. They write the name of the human they wish to kill but people will still die even if they aren’t added to the book.

The Shinigami had a major role in the series, although there’s a lot of great Death Note characters, the Shinigami do really stand out.

The main Shinigami Ryuk gets bored in his realm and decides to steal a death note and give it to a human to see what would happen if you give the power of death to a human which starts off the series of events.

So, did you know these facts on the Shinigami in the Death Note series?


The replacement

There was originally meant to be a Shinigami called Daril Ghiroza and she was meant to be a highly intelligent female Shinigami but, in the end, got replaced by Sidoh the original owner of the death note Ryuk stole.

The rule of three

The Shinigami are only allowed to pass the death note to humans three times, its not known what happens if it is passed for a fourth, but it can’t be good for the Shinigami who does so.

There is no gender difference between Shinigami

There is no specific difference between Shinigami to decipher their gender, even their voices and appearance don’t have a specific gender as the Shinigami are genderless beings in the series.

Shinigami looked like humans at first

The Shinigami were originally designed to look more human-like but got changed since they looked too much like they could be the main characters of the show, so they got changed to what they are now.

The rags of Shinigami

The Shinigami are dressed in rags which links to older designs, Takeshi Obata had the idea of making the Shinigami look more like wizards but decided against the design but still included the rags.

The Shinigami punishments

If the Shinigami break one of the rules, they will be punished. There are nine different punishment and depending on which rule is broken, they’ll get one of the nine punishment. For example, killing a human without using the death note, would be breaking a rule. The punishments have different levels depending on how bad the rule they have broken is. Anything above the third level – the Shinigami will die.

The creator’s favourite

The creator, Tsugumi Ohba, has a favourite Shinigami which is Rem because Rem has a moral compose and has some good character traits.

Rem’s mythology

The idea behind the design of Rem’s head came from Medusa of the Greek mythology.

Shinigami hierarchy

The Shinigami hierarchy is decided by power. The more powerful the Shinigami possesses, the higher they are in the hierarchy. I wonder where they put Ryuk? There is a Shinigami king who rules the Shinigami Realm, so he must be very powerful.


What would you do if a Shinigami give you a Death Note? You better have some apples nearby!


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