Like many series, Death Note is open to myths. They can come from mistranslations, fan speculations or jokes being taken seriously. They can range from an absurd notion to being highly probable. Many of these myths still exist, and they will be explained on this page to avoid further confusion. Such myths when sighted on any other page should be corrected. This can be done by clearly stating what the problem is, placing a link to this page, and informing the editor as to what they did wrong.
In the Series
The Unnamed Shinigami is Light Yagami
Fact: The Unnamed Shinigami only appears in the anime Relight films, which take place in their own continuity. The Relight films are essentially rewrites of the original anime series, and make several alterations to the plot.
See Light's Reincarnation Theory on the Death Note Fanon Wiki for more details.
The Shinigami Realm is Purgatory
Myth: In Death Note, Purgatory can be acknowledged as being analogous with the Shinigami Realm. Both are grey realms where beings exist in a cold world, filled with grunge and grime, absent of any light. It is not known how Shinigami are created but they still all seem to mainly be humanoid, leading to the belief that they could have once been human.
Fact: It has never been mentioned in the manga or anime that the Shinigami Realm serves as purgatory. In fact, it is specifically stated that humans simply cease to exist upon dying. The only exception to this possibly occurs in Death Note Relight 1: Visions of a God.
Shinigami Realm was once like Earth
Myth: The Shinigami Realm is sometimes seen filled with massive skeletons of long-gone creatures (like dinosaurs or other creatures) indicating that the Realm may have once been more environmental like Earth.
Fact: There is currently no known knowledge about how the Shinigami Realm was created.
Near killed Mikami with the Death Note
Fact: This theory has never been proven true or false. The creators of Death Note have stated that they would like for the readers to come up with their own opinions regarding this matter.
Misa was killed with a Death Note
Myth: Taking into account the long lifespan Misa inherited from Rem, who also possessed the lifespans taken from L, Watari and Ginzo Kaneboshi as well as the original half Misa exchanged for the eyes, along with the lifespan Misa inherited from Gelus and the fact that she inherited Rem's lifespan after halving her own lifespan again, Misa should have lived a long life. Contrarily, Misa died only seven years after Rem’s death, suggesting the likelihood that she was somehow killed by a Death Note.
Fact: It has never been stated that Misa was killed by a Death Note; Tsugumi Ohba only ever suggested that Misa likely fell into depression and committed suicide after learning of Light's death.
Near killed Misa with the Death Note
Myth: In addition to the beliefs that Near had used the Death Note, and that Misa was killed by a Death Note. It is probable that Near had killed Misa using the Death Note to punish her for the crimes she committed alongside Kira. This would be because there was no formal evidence to have her legally imprisoned, so the Death Note would be the only way for Near to deliver justice.
Fact: It is never officially confirmed that Near used the Death Note or that Misa died by one. A person can be controlled by a Death Note for no more than 23 days, and Misa died more than a year later when there were no remaining Death Notes to be used to kill her, so this scenario is unlikely.
L's Spirit appears
Myth: L's spirit is seen in the final anime episode as Light is passing away.
Fact: It is confirmed by Tsugumi Ohba that there is no Heaven and Hell in the Death Note universe and humans just go to Mu (nothingness) when they die, meaning the image of L that was seen was more likely just Light hallucinating.
See L's Spirit on the Death Note Fanon Wiki for more details.
A and B appear in Death Note Relight 2: L's Successors
Myth: In the second TV special Death Note Relight 2: L's Successors, the first generation students A and Beyond Birthday are shown at Wammy's.
Fact: Though a character who looks similar to L appears in a small montage (only shown from behind), and a similar (but blond) child is shown watching the laptop in the scene where L speaks to the kids, there is no indication by the anime creative team that either are meant to be A or Beyond Birthday, and by this point in time A would have been deceased and Beyond would be in jail due to the LABB case. It should be noted that in the post-series oneshot, (which the mentioned scene is loosely based on), the blond child was originally a younger Matt. The reason behind the change remains unknown, along with other story changes in the special.
Soichiro Yagami had two days left to live
Myth: Soichiro Yagami made the Shinigami Eye deal and halved his lifespan. He then died one day later in a hospital because he was shot. This means that if he hadn't cut his lifespan in half, he would have had only two days left to live.
Fact: A main refute against this theory is that every human has a specific amount of time to live. From then on, directly or not, their lifespan can be altered by the Death Note, which is what happens to Soichiro, as he invaded the mafia's base thanks to the Death Note in the first place, so his death was still caused by the Death Note, albeit indirectly.
Various characters and disabilities
Myth: Near and L have Asperger Syndrome, with the former also having albinism, evident by his pale skin and lack of being outside. L and Near having Asperger Syndrome could be evident through their dismissal of social norms, extreme intelligence, wearing the same clothes, and intense staring. Furthermore, L has Marfan Syndrome, whose symptoms are 'spidery hands', which are shown throughout the anime, and scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, and a slender figure. It is also commonly assumed Light has a case of ASPD (anti-social personality disorder), whether it be natural or developed over time thanks to the Death Note, evident by his constant lying and him having no problem killing people.
Fact: This has never been suggested or confirmed to be a fact in any piece of work in the Death Note franchise, nor has it ever been addressed by Tsugumi Ohba or Takeshi Obata. Furthermore, Light having ASPD does not make sense, as he does not fully fit the criteria, as he was always someone who behaved well and he also shows empathy. For more rebuttals to that theory, see an analysis on the matter here.
See "What is Albinism?", from The National Organization for Albinism and Hypo-pigmentation for more details.
See "Asperger Syndrome Facts Sheet," from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for more details.
See "What is Marfan Syndrome?," from The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute for more details.
In popular culture
Tsugumi Ohba is Hiroshi Gamou
Myth: Tsugumi Ohba is the alias of Hiroshi Gamou, author of Tottemo! Luckyman.
Fact: Some speculate this, but there is little to no evidence to support this. The rumor apparently started due to a sign the campus of To-Oh University that reads "Gamou Seminar" (manga). However, there are many stories with references to seminars and other things named Gamou, that have no relation to Death Note.
Alternative Ending to Death Note
Fact: The alternative ending is not attached to anything in the official Death Note franchise. There is good evidence of the nanga being fake because the ending has really only been seen circulated on the internet and only English versions of the ending exist, there are no known Japanese versions. If the manga was really published then English would not be the first language it would be printed in. It is also important to note that all of the panels in the alternate ending were used at some point in the official manga, with some only having minor editing.
See Alternative Ending on the Death Note Fanon Wiki for more details.