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“Yeah, but... to me, Light is more important than the world.”
Misa Amane (弥 海砂, Amane Misa) is an up-and-coming model and supporter of Kira who eventually becomes the Second Kira. After gaining a Death Note, she seeks out Kira in order to thank him for killing the man who murdered her family and to offer him her help. Having made the trade for the Shinigami Eyes, Misa learns that the identity of Kira is Light Yagami. After a meeting with Light, she decides to dedicate her life to helping Light however she can, and becomes determined to use her eyes to uncover L's real name.
Misa is a short, slender, attractive young woman with long, straight, golden-blonde hair, most commonly styled with a portion of her hair in pigtails tied with red bands, but occasionally worn loose as well. In the anime, it seems that she was a brunette at one point. In the manga, her eyes are predominantly light brown; however, they have also been shown as green. In the anime, they alternate between light brown and blue. Her eyes turn bright red while using the power of the Shinigami Eyes, which allow her to see a person's name and lifespan above their head. In the games, her eyes are usually light brown but have also been seen as pink. Misa also appears to have black hair in the movie, which she was wearing in pigtails throughout the film.
Misa often dresses in a Gothic and Punk fashion, though noticeably less after the time skip. She also typically paints her nails bright red or dark purple and wears bright red lipstick.
Misa tends to wear cross jewelry, though the crosses were changed to "fleurs-de-lis" in the anime adaptations (most notably on the Misa finger puppet). Despite this, Misa is depicted with a cross in the first anime opening and in her model sheet image in the liner notes of the third anime soundtrack. She also has a cross on the collector's figure included with volume 5 of the DVD sets.
Misa is very outgoing and is shown to be quite popular due to her career. She attracts a large crowd while visiting Light near his school. She is hyperactive, impulsive, and otherwise childlike, evidenced by her tendency to speak in the third person. Despite being considered idiotic by many, Misa is shown to have moments of intelligence, when she successfully tricks Kyosuke Higuchi into revealing himself to be the Yotsuba Kira. However, even though she is more powerful than Light as Kira, she is very careless in her acts as the Second Kira, which leads to her being arrested and put in confinement on suspicion that she is is the second Kira.
Although she is generally nice to those she meets, she can also be quite cruel: she tells Light that she would kill any other girls he dates, despite said girls being part of his plan to appear as a normal young man to the investigators and deflect suspicion from himself and Misa.
Despite her typically cheerful personality, Misa has been mentally afflicted by seeing her parents murdered right before her eyes. It is unclear how much the trauma has affected Misa psychologically, but in the films, Rem indicates that Misa went through a deep depression immediately after she discovered the murderer was acquitted of the crime. After the murderer is later killed by Kira, Misa is incredibly grateful, and her intense appreciation and hero-worship initially fuels her actions as the Second Kira. After she becomes emotionally attached to Light, her behavior is strongly motivated by love.
Light Yagami is an important figure in Misa's life, and she frequently comments on him being so, often declaring her love for him despite little reciprocation. She is faithful to Light to the point of refusing to perform a kiss with fellow actor Hideki Ryuga while making a film out of her fidelity. After losing her memories of the Death Note for the first time, she even decides to help catch Kira, whom she views as the avenger of her family, for Light (who has joined the Task Force and also has no memories of the Death Note).
A year before the start of the series, Misa witnessed the murder of her family during an attempted home robbery. The trial against her parents' murderer continued over a long stretch of time, during which opinions that he was falsely accused began to surface. After he was killed by Kira, Misa felt justice had been served, prompting her to become a loyal Kira supporter.
One night, shortly after beginning her modeling career, Misa met an obsessed, knife-wielding stalker. He confessed his feelings to Misa, but upon her rejection he attacked and attempted to kill her. A Shinigami named Gelus, who had been watching Misa from the Shinigami Realm and had fallen in love with her, wrote down the name of her stalker and killed him, ultimately saving Misa's life.
Since Shinigami are meant to shorten human lifespans and not extend them, Gelus himself died, turning to dust and leaving behind only his Death Note. Since Misa was meant to die, but was saved by Gelus, the years of Gelus's lifespan were given to Misa's, extending her lifespan greatly past the average lifespan of a human being. Another Shinigami, Rem, witnessed the sacrifice and decided that Gelus' notebook should belong to Misa in accordance with Gelus's wishes. After giving Misa the Death Note, Rem was obligated to stay with her (as Ryuk is with Light), and Rem eventually develops feelings for he over time as Gelus did. In the hope of meeting and thanking Kira for avenging her parents, Misa made the eye deal with Rem, making her actually more powerful than Light was as Kira, and making it much more easier to kill people with the Death Note.
Misa begins trying to contact Kira using video tapes. She sends four tapes to Sakura TV, and the station reports live that they have received the tapes four days later. A host at the station says that there is no doubt that the tapes are real and certainly not a hoax. He reports that the first tape contains a voice recording which predicted the death of two arrested criminals. That night, the criminals both die of heart failure at 7:00 pm. The host states that since only Kira could perform such an act, they were sure that the tapes are from Kira. He also states that they were told to broadcast the second tape at 5:59 pm, and that they had not watched the tape themselves. The broadcast begins and a picture of the word "KIRA" appears on the screen in the Old English MT/Cloister Black font that L uses for his letter 'L,' although the letters that Misa uses are hand written. The broadcast is viewed by the Japanese Task Force, and L begins wondering if the font was meant to taunt him. A voice states "I am Kira" and says that if this tape is aired at exactly 5:59 pm on April 18, then it should be 5:59:38 right now, and then begins counting seconds. The voice says to change the channel to Taiyou TV, and that the news anchor will die of a heart attack at exactly 6:00 pm. L has the channel changed to Taiyou TV and the Task Force witnesses the anchor's death. L says to switch the channel back to Sakura TV, and the voice states that the death of the news anchor was punishment for speaking out against Kira on television. The voice recording says that one death is surely not enough to prove that they are Kira, so they will sacrifice another commentator from Taiyou TV for speaking against Kira as well. L has two more televisions brought into the room, and one is put on NHN. While watching the broadcast, L expresses his belief that Kira is manipulating the public, and that the broadcast needs to be stopped soon. Matsuda attempts to call Sakura TV, but finds that the line is busy, while Aizawa tries to call a contact at the TV station who unfortunately had his cell phone turned off. Ukita rushes to stop the broadcast himself. As the broadcast continues, the voice says that they do not wish to kill innocent people and that the police do not have to be considered enemies, and that Kira's goal is to create a world without crime. "Kira" continues by stating that even if you disagree with Kira, as long as you do not go against Kira in public, you will not be killed. Meanwhile, Soichiro Yagami watches the broadcast while in the hospital.
Ukita arrives at Sakura TV station, and finds that the door has been locked. He sees a guard inside and says to unlock the entrance, then pulls out his gun before dying of a heart attack. As L watches the broadcast, the voice encourages the public to imagine a world where Kira and the police work together to rid the world of evil. NHN news reports that someone was found lying in front of Sakura TV stations doors, and Aizawa recognizes Ukita. Aizawa attempts to leave but L advises him to stay. Aizawa questions if their identities had been leaked, but L says that it's possible but unlikely because Kira hasn't killed all of them yet. L repeats that Kira needs a name and face to kill, but that it is now possible that Kira only needs a face. He continues, saying that there's no doubt that Ukita died because he went to Sakura TV station, and it is possible that Kira is inside or near the station and using cameras to monitor the area.
As the NHN broadcast continues to monitor Sakura TV station, they report that it appears to be calm immediately before Soichiro Yagami drives a bus through the front doors. "Kira" continues by asking the police to give an answer four days from now, on April 22 if they will help Kira create a better world, and that "Kira" has tapes to be aired at 6pm of the same day in response to their answer. Meanwhile NHN reports that an armored vehicle has crashed into Sakura TV station as the Task Force watches in amazement. Soichiro exits the vehicle with his jacket covering the area around his face, and asks a security guard for the location of the studio which is broadcasting the Kira tapes. He makes it to the room and immediately demands that the broadcast be stopped. Demegawa says that if the broadcast is stopped they will be killed, and Soichiro replies, saying that there are more people to think about than just them. Soichiro confronts Demegawa by pulling out a gun (after Demegawa continues to deny him the tapes) and says that he will return the tapes the tapes to him after he deems them acceptable for broadcast. Demegawa finally gives in after first attempting to hand over copies of the tapes without the originals.
As the Task Force watches the broadcasts, Sakura TV's broadcast is cut while two other stations continue to report on the incident happening in front of Sakura TV station. L calls Vice-Director Kitamura and Soichiro, and arranges for a large number of police officers to block Soichiro from Kira's view using their bodies and armored police vehicles as cover. The officer in charge of the team shouts to the others to not leave any gaps, and that Kira is watching from the outside of the TV station. NHN reports that the police have taken a stance against Kira.
The next day the Task Force arrives at headquarters, and L explains that tapes three and four had arrived with instructions. If the police agreed to work with Kira, tape number three should be aired; if they did not, tape number four should be aired. The third tape contains details of the agreement, saying that the police are to release all details of criminals so that Kira can deal judgement unto them. To seal the agreement, those in the upper ranks of the police along with L must reveal their identities. The fourth tape is more or less the same, although it is worded differently. L tells the Task Force to inform Sakura TV that they can air the fourth tape. On April 22, the tape is aired. "Kira" states that if criminal reports stop, Kira will kill police officers and reporters, and then demands that the life of someone in charge of the Kira investigation be handed over—the Director's or L's. "Kira" says to choose one and reveal them in four days and that, because Kira knows the Directors face, there are no special requirements; however if they should choose L, he must appear on Sakura TV's 6 o'clock news and give a ten minute speech. "Kira" says that he or she will decide if the person on the news is L, and if Kira decides that he isn't, Kira will take the lives of several police officers as compensation. "Kira" says to be truthful as Kira does not wish to kill those who have not sinned, and to think carefully over the next four days.
Meanwhile, Light Yagami and Ryuk watch the broadcast, amused, while Ryuk confirms that the tapes are likely the work of another Shinigami. Light responds positively to the idea that the fake Kira is supportive of his ideals, but is irritated by how "his" actions have been damaging Kira's reputation and recognizes "him" a a potential liability if captured. Realizing that the new Kira likely has the Shinigami Eyes based on how "he" killed the police officers, Light decides that he can use "him" to prove his own innocence and get rid of L at the same time. Light decides to find a way to get on the Task Force to keep an eye on L and the new Kira, a simple task considering L did not reject to his joining the Task Force earlier. If the new Kira ever messes up, Light rationalizes, he can just kill "him" and take "his" notebook before L does. Light decides to find a way to contact and subsequently manipulate the new Kira without revealing his own identity.
On April 24th, Soichiro Yagami informs L that the ICPO has decided that the detective should appear on TV. Though Matsuda protests, L asserts that the decision was correct, and even if he were to appear on TV, Kira might not believe that he is L. L says that if it comes to that, he will reveal himself to save the lives of the other officers, although he isn't sure how he would prove his identity to Kira. L says that besides that, he would rather die by Kira's hand than by the hand of someone being used by Kira. The Task Force reacts in surprise, and L explains that after watching the tapes, he believes that they are the work of a second Kira.
L reveals that the first tape was never aired on television, and was used to prove to Sakura TV that Kira sent the tapes. L says the postage stamp on the envelope holding the tapes shows that the tapes were mailed on April 13, and it reached the television station the next day. Three days later, the first predicted murder occurred. Matsuda says it sounds like Kira's work, but L says that he still doesn't think it's the same Kira. L says that the victims of the Second Kira are very different from the ones killed by the real Kira; they were convicted of minor crimes, and one of them was charged with drug possession and only reported in a women's magazine. L says it is also strange that two employees of Taiyou TV were killed for only criticizing Kira, something Kira would not approve of, as that's not his idea of justice. L theorizes that the Second Kira killed those that were unlikely to be killed by Kira in order to avoid the risk of the predicted deaths taking place before the tapes reached the station; if the criminals died ahead of the time predicted, the Second Kira would not be believed. Matsuda says that it may be stretching it a bit, since the Second Kira killed innocent people. Aizawa asks if they can really conclude this the work of another Kira, and Soichiro asks L how high the probability is, to which he responds "seventy percent". He explains that everything has been done differently, and points out the poor sound quality of the tapes and the hand drawn letters as being inferior to what Kira would have done. He says that Kira would have used better equipment because of his juvenile mind.
L continues, stating that the real Kira would not use scare tactics that look like acts of terrorism, and was carefully introducing the idea of Kira to the public. Aizawa says that fingerprints were found on the tapes and envelopes, and they don't belong to anyone working at the television station. Matsuda says he thinks the real Kira wouldn't be so careless, and Aizawa theorizes that Kira is trying to frame someone. L says that Kira has no reason to frame anyone and wouldn't want to, and that the intelligence of the Second Kira is below that of Kira for leaving a fingerprint behind. L says that they can't begin a worldwide fingerprint check with only the Japanese police backing them, and they can only use the fingerprints when they have a suspect. L points out that the fingerprint is rather small, and like that of a child's or a woman's. Soichiro says that his son told him while in the hospital that Kira could be a kid from a rich family, and L says that he thinks his son could be correct.
L says that there is a possibility that the Second Kira can kill under different criteria than Kira, and catching one Kira could definitely lead to clues about the other. L says that there's no doubt that the first Kira is smarter than the Second Kira, and if he were Kira he would want to find the impostor and see how useful he could be before eliminating him. He then says that a battle has begun between them and Kira to find the Second Kira first, and that there is a chance that they will uncover the real Kira in the process. L asks Soichiro if there's a possibility that his son could work with them again, citing him as good at profiling people and having a good chance at helping them find the Second Kira. Soichiro says he will not object to having Light join the force, to which the others agree. L asks to keep the suspicions of there being a Second Kira secret from Light, and act like they think there is only one Kira.
Meanwhile, Rem asks Misa if it's a good idea to not use the Death Note for herself, and Misa says that she is using it for herself; she wants to meet Kira, talk to him and find out what kind of person he is. Misa explains that she moved here to live by herself and sent the tapes to the TV station so she could catch Kira's attention. She tells Rem that Kira must be interested in her by now, and could want to meet her as much as she wants to meet him. Rem says that Misa is playing a dangerous game and could get killed, and Misa replies that it will be fine as Kira is probably nice to girls, and she has the Shinigami Eyes and therefor, the upper hand.
L decides that Light will officially join the Task Force, and tells to the others that he wants to get Light's opinion of the tapes, and that Light will likely reach the same conclusion as himself because he has strong investigative abilities. L says that he wants Light's opinion of the tapes and papers, and Matsuda says he thought L got his conclusion of a Second Kira from the victims being different than the others, to which L replies that he had other reasons as well. L explains that the Second Kira seemed to imply that "he" could kill with sight alone, a feat that is very different from the Kira they were originally investigating. Aizawa suggests that their previous idea was wrong or Kira has become more powerful, and Soichiro responds that if that were true, the criminals with incorrect database entries would be dead already.
L says that he wants to observe Light's response, and if Light says there could be a second Kira, Light will basically be cleared of suspicion. Because Kira has been wanting to get L since the "Lind L. Tailor incident", he won't let a chance like this pass. Aizawa says that regardless of how Light responds L will still die, and asks L how suggesting the idea of a Second Kira could clear Light of being Kira. L replies that there is a way to stop the Second Kira because the Second Kira idolizes Kira, and can be stopped by making a fake video telling "him" to do so. L says that if Light is Kira, he won't help them make the fake video. Soichiro asks if Light becomes more suspicious if he doesn't suggest a Second Kira and L responds that it doesn't, and that even if Light doesn't help with the videos he will still ask Light to help with the investigation. L tells everyone to refer to each other using the fake names on their badges as a safety precaution, and tells Watari to remain outside of the room and only speak to L through the computer. L tells Soichiro to tell Light to come immediately if Light agrees to join them, and Soichiro calls Light.
Light arrives at the hotel and appears surprised at the small size of the Task Force, and L tells Light that there are a few outsiders who know what happens within the investigation and only one can contact L directly. Light thinks to himself that if everyone in the Task Force dies but one, the killer is revealed. Therefore, he must find out who the outsider with the information is. Light is told to look over the papers of the investigation and then watch the tape, and to not take notes or remove anything. As Light watches the tapes he begins thinking that he wants to throw up, and wonders if it's because he is the real Kira. After watching the tapes Light says that there may be someone else with Kira's abilities, citing the difference in criminals killed, as well as the fact that some were killed immediately after revealing their faces.
L reveals that he came to the same conclusion, and Light asks if L was testing him. L denies that he was, and tells Light that he was the only one who thought there could be an another Kira, and needed Light to think of the same idea without his opinion. Light realizes that L would have told him his plan regardless of what he told L, and that L set things up so that if he didn't say there was another Kira he would look suspicious, and if he did, he would help prove L's theory to the Task Force. L asks Light to help their case by pretending to be Kira, and tells Light that only he is able to play this role and tells him to begin writing a draft for the speech. When Light is through he asks L if his draft is good, and L says that it is, but if he doesn't remove the part about it being okay to kill L, he'll die. Light laughs and says that he was kidding, and that it's fine to remove it, and L gives the draft Aizawa to take care of. Later, the tape is created and sent to various TV stations. As the tape is broadcasted Misa watches with excitement from her bedroom, and says she has some back-up tapes that she saved and is going to dub the sound over them. Rem asks her what she plans to do, and Misa says that she is going to reply to Kira, and then wonders what she's going to say to him.
Misa succeeds in enticing Kira to Aoyama through videos she sends to Sakura TV, which contain indirect, and some rather direct, comments about Death Notes, Shinigami and how they can meet. Knowing that Light is Kira, due to the fact that her Shinigami Eyes can see his name, but not his life span, Misa sees and falls in love with him immediately.
After finding out his address, Misa arrives at Light's house, telling his mother and sister that she has his notebook. When she is in private with him, she explains what has happened, and asks to be his girlfriend and partner in crime, admitting that she wouldn't even mind if he simply uses her. Light agrees, intending to kill her after she outlives her usefulness. However, Rem in turn promises to kill him if he ever harms Misa.
Soon after, Misa is captured by L under suspicion of being the second Kira. The Task Force found several pieces of evidence in her apartment: stamps like the ones used to mail the Kira tapes to Sakura TV, a pen with the same ink, and a notebook with paper like the paper sent with the tapes. They also found receipts for train tickets from Nagano and Tokyo (the places the tapes were sent from), as well as flower pollen from flowers that grew in the area Misa previously lived in (the flowers happen to be a type that is not found in Kantou). L is convinced that Misa is the Second Kira, not only because of the physical evidence, but because of her connection to Light. Misa is put into confinement, unable to move her body or see due to L's restraints. Because Misa refuses to talk, L tells Watari to do everything possible to make her, and to even resort to torture if necessary. Misa eventually asks Rem to kill her. L and the others watching, who are unable to see Rem since they haven't touched Misa's Death Note, believe Misa is talking to them. As an alternate solution, Rem eventually convinces Misa, who had originally refused, not wanting to forget her love for Light, to give up ownership of the Death Note. Rem assures Misa that her feelings for Light Yagami will not go away and that she will simply forget that Light is Kira. Misa gives up ownership of her Death Note, causing Misa to lose all of her memories of the Death Note, being the Second Kira, and having met the Kira. After losing her memories, and thus forth not sure as to how she got into her situation in the first place, she assumes that a stalker fan of her modeling work as kidnapped her, and starts to talk aloud to convince "the stalker" to let her go. L and the Task Force think she is playing dumb, but eventually conclude that it is not an act.
Light is eventually able to create a situation in which she is free, but still under surveillance. Misa proves to be a surprising asset to the investigation by uncovering the identity of the Third Kira.
She also establishes an alliance with L, whom she only knew as Ryuzaki. This unlikely friendship begins when L tells Misa that he understands her feelings for Light, and, touched by this, Misa kisses him and offers to be his friend. According to what L says, this made her the first and only person to ever do so.
After regaining her memories as the Second Kira, Misa trades for the Shinigami Eyes a second time with Ryuk, and, once again, takes on the role of Kira. When L notes that the murders continued once Misa was released, Rem realizes that Misa will doubtlessly be discovered by L, and the only way to prevent this would be to kill L. Disgusted with Light, but willing to save Misa's life, Rem writes down Watari and L's real names. After Watari and L die, Rem turns to dust, having saved Misa's life and expanding her lifespan.
Misa assists Light in the years during the timeskip until she forfeits her ownership of the notebook a second time, having become a liability. By this time, several years after her introduction, Misa's career has really taken off, and she has become a famous actress, appearing even in American films. She retires from her career at Light's request so that she can marry him. However, Misa soon returns to the entertainment world by taking part in the New Year's pop music festival. After her memories are gone, Misa ends up spending the remainder of Light's life (about two months) in the company of Kanzo Mogi, as he investigates her.
At the end of the series, shortly after Light's death, Misa is seen standing on the ledge of a tall building alone. Although it is not shown, it is theorized that she committed suicide following Light's death.
In other media
Misa is portrayed in the Death Note film series by Erika Toda. Misa's role is very similar to her canon self in that she uses her Death Note to support Kira and she falls in love with Light. Her career is also further developed with her being an actress, TV personality, and singer. In addition to her parents, she had a younger brother who was also murdered, and their murderer is named as Yoichi Tamura.
In the first film, Misa has a recurring background role as a popular idol. An ad for her is printed on the side and back of the bus that Light, Shiori Akino, and Raye Iwamatsu are on when it is hijacked by Kiichiro Osoreda.
Misa notably has a TV show called "Misa-Misa's Happy Sweets" in which she bakes treats, playfully planning to make her love-rivals fat but then saying that they're so good that she ends up eating the treats herself. Light has her show on while in his bedroom. During the program, Ryuk laughs upon seeing Misa, probably foreshadowing that he knows she is going to die soon.
After filming a segment of her show, she expresses support for Kira to a journalist during an interview. A supervisor states that the section will be cut due to controversies.
Ryotaro Sakajo, the assistant director for her show, develops an obsession with her. Misa once blows her nose into a tissue and throws it away, and Sakajo takes it out of the trash to keep. At the end of the first film, Sakajo follows Misa one night with a knife, and she runs from him screaming for help, but ends up at a dead end. He plans to kill her and himself so she can be with her parents again, but he collapses before he's able to do so. A Death note falls beside his dead body.
The second film, Death Note: The Last Name, begins during this same scene, but it shows Gelus watching the events from the Shinigami Realm and he writes Sakajo's name in his Death Note. Gelus's Death Note then falls in front of Misa, who picks it up and meets Rem.
Misa sends her envelopes to Sakura TV from Kita-ku, Osaka. Her message airs while she is in her private dressing room at the station. It's also during a TV festival attended by Sayu Yagami. Instead of Ukita, Kanzo Mogi runs to the station to get the broadcast to stop, and Misa kills him with her Death Note. Witnessing Mogi's Death Note, Sayu becomes upset and calls her a "murderer", which causes Misa to freeze with a flashback to her murdered family, and she stops. When Light comes to the station for Sayu, Misa sees him on her way out, which is how she discovers his name.
After confinement, it appears that she and Light share a room at headquarters, and she comments that it's like being married.
At the end of the second film, her memories of the Death Note are still intact when Light dies, and she witnesses the final showdown between Light and L. Misa cries in anguish as she can do nothing but watch as Ryuk kills Light. Misa was likely taken into custody, but L burned the Death Notes and Misa lost her memories. Misa is not prosecuted and is eventually released.
Unlike in the original series, Misa does not commit suicide following Light's death. Instead, she is seen wishing Light a happy birthday before a family shrine, which holds Light's picture and a picture of Misa's family. She feels that a part of her life is somehow missing, or that she has forgotten something important. However, she doesn't remember what it is.
The fourth film, Death Note: Light Up the NEW World, is set ten years later. Misa is a successful model and actress. Although nothing suspicious has happened with her, she remains under surveillance by the police. Yuki Shien gives her one of the Death Notes, and her memories of events come back to her. Shien meets her secretly in her car in the parking garage, where the cameras can't see them talk. Shien wants Misa's help, but she isn't interested. She tells him to take the Death Note, but he leaves it with her saying it's hers.
Shien later texts Misa for help, and she arrives. She again makes the eye deal with Ryuk, and she writes down Ryuzaki's name, apparently killing him. When Shien starts to get them out of there, Misa tells him to go on alone because she can't. She tells him the location he was looking for and she gives him her Death Note, and she stays behind. With scraps of Death Note paper, she kills Kuromoto and Uragami, members of the Task Force, to help Shien get away.
Misa then goes outside, having written her own name and the circumstances of her death on a scrap of Death Note paper. As written, she dies on December 18th at 2:40pm "in the arms of Light Yagami."
It is also revealed in the fourth film that Light had a child who would be nine years old. The child was being raised by Teru Mikami, who was Misa's prosecutor after the Kira case. Although the child's mother isn't directly named, the age of the child and the connection between Misa and the child's guardian implies that Misa is the mother.
Conception of Misa in the films
Erika Toda said that, prior to filming, she felt "a lot of pressure" due to the character's popularity with audiences. She said the pressure vanished when filming began. Toda said that undoing the straight jacket took a lot of time, and at times she waited in the jacket between takes. Toda also said that on one occasion, she wore a blindfold for an hour during filming.
Erika Toda said that she views Misa as "complicated and fascinating." Toda added that she does not comprehend why a person would willingly use a Death Note; Toda said that she admired the fact that Misa "does everything she sets out to do" and that the actions of Light and Misa are "criminal."
Misa is mentioned several times in the novel, L: Change the WorLd, and L's obsession with her seems to be much greater. She is extremely famous by now, even working as a singer.
Maki Nikaido reveals that she grew up in Osaka, in the same neighborhood as Misa Amane and her family. Misa was well known in the neighborhood for her beauty, and her family was very close with the Nikaido family. The two families even used to go on vacations together. Maki keeps a computer chip containing photos of the Amane's and her family on vacation to her, which she holds very precious, though agrees to give it to L after he offers to trade her for his notebook, which he values greater than his own life.
Misa and Maki have a close relationship, Maki viewing Misa as an older sister, even after she became famous. Misa cares about Maki as well, going out of her way to help Maki escape, despite it being all over the news that Maki was carrying a deadly and highly contagious virus.
It is revealed by L that Misa only has a few years left to live.
Misa’s role in the TV drama is largely the same as in the manga; she is a popular idol who falls in love with Light after he punishes her parents' murderer. However, the dynamics of Light and Misa’s relationship are different because Light in the drama adaption is a fan of Misa, causing him to have romantic feelings for her as well. Misa also proves to be much useful to Light than in the manga, being the one to finish Raye Penber when Light's plan to kill the FBI agents is botched. Nevertheless, Light still views Misa as a liability and even threatens to write her name in his Death Note should he ever suspect her of implicating him.
Misa is portrayed by Hinako Sano (佐野ひなこ, Sano Hinako).
Misa is a popular singer in the Musical. Just as in canon, she's grateful to Kira and wants to meet him, and she trades for the Shinigami eyes to do so. Unlike in other versions, Misa isn't shown killing anyone, leaving it unclear if she actually uses her Death Note.
Sayu is a fan of Misa, and she takes Light along to one of Misa's concerts, during which Misa openly supports and gives thanks to Kira. When Misa encounters Rem, she insists on finding Kira, so Rem reluctantly offers her the eye deal, which Misa accepts. Misa comes up with a song with a secret message to Kira, which Sayu shares with Light. Misa also sends tapes to a TV station as the Second Kira. From the song and tapes, Light gets her message and they're able to secretly meet. Misa suggests they date, and Light agrees, but he gets her to give him the name of the man following him, which Misa does despite her reluctance. Misa later goes to visit Light on campus where she meets L and sees his name, but L has her apprehended immediately after. After several days in confinement, she gives up her ownership of the notebook and loses her memories. Rem laments that Misa has forgotten her as well, and sacrifices herself so that Light can defeat L and save Misa. Misa's fate is unknown. During the ending song, she comes out on stage and sand runs from her hands in a symbol of Rem's remains and of time running out.
Misa is portrayed by various actresses for the different musical productions. Fuka Yuzuki (唯月ふうか, Yudzuki Fuuka) portrayed her in the 2015 Japanese production, and reprised the role in 2017. Jeong Sun-Ah (정선아) portrayed her in the 2015 Korean production, and Ben (벤) took on the role in the 2017 Korean production. Adrienne Warren portrayed the character in 2014 for the English-language workshop in New York and for the New York studio demo recordings.
Misa performs the following songs in the Musical:
- "I'm Ready" is Misa's introductory song, performed at her concert. She dedicates the song to her hero Kira.
- "We All Need a Hero" is a song Sayu sings for Light. Misa joins in to sing for Kira.
- "Mortals and Fools" is a song Misa and Rem sing when they first meet and Misa requests the eye trade.
- "Stalemate is song mainly between L and Light at the Todai University entrance ceremony. Misa sings a verse about her plans to compose a song with a message to Kira.
- "I'll Only Love You More," aka "A Secret Message," is a song that Misa writes and performs with a message to Kira.
- "Borrowed Time" is a song Misa sings while held in confinement.
2017 American film
In Netflix's American Death Note film, Misa's name is changed to Mia Sutton and she is played by Margaret Qualley.
Mia is a high-school student and classmate of Light Turner, and she helps him after he finds the Death Note.
The following information is from Death Note 13: How to Read.
Tsugumi Ohba: Writer
Takeshi Obata: Artist
Tsugumi Ohba, writer of Death Note, decided to create Misa to be the second Kira before the serialization began. They felt that having the story solely consist of males would be "boring" and that they wanted "a cute female."
Ohba, intending to introduce Misa with the Shinigami Eyes, described her as having to be "spontaneous and not too bright" and that they determined her personality "from the start." Since Light Yagami would never want to trade for the Shinigami Eyes, Ohba wanted another character to use to trade for the eyes, so they decided to use Misa.
Ohba said that the conception of the name Misa "was kind of random but I think it was from "kuromisa" (Black Mass).
Ohba and Takeshi Obata, artist of Death Note, wanted to use the Gothic Lolita design to convey "Gothic imagery of the Shinigami and that world". Ohba said that they were "into that fashion" and that having Misa first appear in unusual clothing would be "more interesting". Obata said that he remembered "having a lot of fun" while looking through Gothic Lolita magazines and drawing Misa. Obata said that he felt "apprehension" regarding the length of Misa's hair; personally he wanted her fringe (bangs) to be "straight across" but believed that creating Misa completely within the bounds of Gothic Lolita style would be "too much". Therefore Obata designed her so she looked "a little more natural" and to appear "cute" to people who "weren't into the Gothic Lolita style". Obata, imagining a mix of an "energetic Japanese artist" and a "foreign rock and roll singer", felt "set" when he drew Misa for the first time. When the Near and Mello story arc began and Misa became a top idol, Obata decided to make her look like "a popular actress".
When designing color book covers, Obata assigned colors to characters to "get the atmosphere right." Obata assigned pink and black to Misa.
In response to a question inquiring about which characters the creators faced the most difficulty in creating, Obata selected Misa. Obata said that he had difficulty comprehending the concept of "doing anything for the person you love" and that he felt like the character controlled him when he drew her. Death Note 13: How to Read also states that Misa "required a lot of artistic variation" because of her "many expressions" that ranged "from goofy to serious."
- Although Ohba came up with Misa's name from something based on "kuromisa," "Misa" is in fact a female Japanese name. The female Japanese name "Amane" means "sound of the heavens."
- In the manga, Misa mentions her older sister, and due to the context of what she said, it is safe to assume that she was alive at the time. Her sister is never mentioned again, and so, it should be assumed that she is still alive, since there is nothing else which proves otherwise.
- Ohba and Obata have stated that the cloaked woman who appears at the end of Finis (the last chapter of the Death Note manga) is not Misa, but a "random follower" of Kira.
- Misa was born in Kyoto, Japan.
- Misa's date of birth, December 25, is Christmas, and her date of death, February 14, is Saint Valentine's Day.
- In the anime, the ringtone on Misa's phone is Alumina.
- In the anime, certain characters take on stylized hair colors while the viewer hears their thoughts; Misa's color is a deep blue. However, when Misa's thoughts are heard in the series, such as in episodes 21: Performance and 22: Guidance, her colors do not change.
- Misa is one of the Death Note characters that were made into Nendoroid figures. The Misa Nendoroid comes with a purse, a doll, and four faces, a shocked face, a laughing face, love struck face, and a normal face.
- “I hate evil and love justice. I do not consider the police as my enemies, but my allies against evil.” (Chapter 23)
- “What a wonderful way to kill…” (Chapter 27)
- (To Light Yagami) “I'm satisfied with just being used by you. Trust me.” (Chapter 29)
- (To Light Yagami) “A pretend boyfriend, right? That's a good start. I'm sure you'll fall in love with me for real one day.” (Chapter 30)
- (To Light Yagami) “There's no way I'll stand for you seeing other girls. If I see that, I'll kill them.” (Chapter 30)
- “Thanks to Rem, Light really became Misa's knight… but… don't actually kill him, okay?” (Chapter 30)
- “Rem… I wish Light would love me… I want Light to be happy…” (Chapter 31)
- “If I die now, I'll be happy… kill me while I'm still young and pretty…” (Chapter 33)
- (To Rem while being held captive by L) “Kill me!! Kill me now!!! I was suppose to die on that day, right? Please. Just. Kill. Me.” (Chapter 33)
- “I couldn't live in a world without Light.” (Chapter 45)
- “You can't buy peace or love with money.” (Chapter 80)
- “To me… Kira is an absolute being!”
- (To L) “If Light were Kira… awesome. I've always been grateful to Kira for punishing the man who killed my parents. If Light was Kira, then I'd love him even more.”
- “What do you mean I use my sexual charm?!”
Misa has five themes, two of which are found on Death Note Original Soundtrack II. Misa's themes are "Misa's Theme A" (ミサのテーマA Misa no Tēma A) and "Misa's Theme B" (ミサのテーマB Misa no Tēma B). Three more are found on Death Note Original Soundtrack III. Her themes are "Misa" (ミサ Misa), "Misa's Loneliness" (ミサの孤独 Misa no Kodoku), and "Misa's Feelings" (ミサの気持ち Misa no Kimochi).
Also worth noting is "Misa's Song" (Misa no Uta), which Misa sings in the anime prior to L's death. "Misa's Song" appears on the soundtrack three times. There is one track with vocals, a piano version titled "'Misa's Song' (Piano Solo)", and an orchestra version simply titled "'Misa's Song' (Orchestra Version)". The vocals are performed by Misa's voice actresses for the different dubs. Some dubs, however, such as the German dub, keep the original version sung by Aya Hirano.