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Heroine Overview
Yeah, but…to me, Light is more important than the world.
~ Misa Amane.
What a wonderful way to kill…
~ Misa upon learning that falling in love with a human is the only way to kill a Shinigami

Misa Amane is the tritagonist of the anime/manga series Death Note. Misa is the lover of Light Yagami, and is a famous model and actress whose parents were murdered when she was little girl. Upon Kira's punisment of her parents' killer, she fell in love with Kira. Afterwards she discovered Kira's identity was Light.

In the film, she was portrayed by Erika Toda. In the drama, she was voiced by Hinako Sano.

Appearance

Misa has long blonde hair, most commonly worn in pigtails, although she occasionally wears it loose as well. In the manga, her eyes are predominantly light brown. However, they have been shown as green. In the anime, they alternate between light brown and blue.

Misa often dresses in Lolita styled clothing, though noticeably less so after the time skip. In artwork drawn by Ohba, she is often seen wearing a wide range of Lolita-styled clothing.

Misa tends to wear cross jewelry, though the crosses were changed to 'fleur de lis' symbols 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 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 usually refers to herself in the third person by calling herself "Misa-Misa".

Conception and development

Tsugumi Ohba, writer of Death Note, decided to create Misa to be the second Kira before the serialization began. Ohba felt that having the story solely consist of males would be "boring" and wanted "a cute female." Ohba, intending to introduce her with the Shinigami Eyes, described her as having to be "spontaneous and not too bright" and that he 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 Ohba 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). It must have been based on something".

Ohba ultimately decided to introduce Misa after the death of Naomi Misora. 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're "into that fashion" and that having Misa first appear in unusual clothing would be "more interesting". 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. Ohaberenbata 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".

When the Near and Mello story arc began and Misa became a top idol, Obata decided to make her look like "a popular actress". Obata said that he remembered "having a lot of fun" while looking through gothic lolita magazines and drawing 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".

In the manga, Misa wears jewelry with a crucifix theme; in the anime adaptation, she wears fleur de lis jewelry, although the cross is retained on the collector's figure included with Volume 5 of the DVD series.

When designing color book covers, Obata assigned colors to characters to "get the atmosphere right". Obata assigned pink and black to Misa.

Personality

Misa is very outgoing and demonstrative, and she is a model, an actress, and a singer. She is shown to be quite popular, prevalent, and ubiquitous, and attracts a large crowd around her while visiting Light near his school. While she often appears obstreperous, uncontrollable, and impulsive, she is also shown to be extremely intelligent and knowledgeable, specifically when she creates her plan to trick Higuchi into revealing himself to be a Kira, and successfully carries her plan out.

Although she is generally nice and empathetic to those she meets, she can also be quite vituperative and cruel, as seen when she tells Light that she would "probably kill" any of the girls he dates, despite Light's dating them being part of his plan to appear as a normal young man to the investigators.

Despite her typically cheerful and effervescent personality, Misa has been mentally afflicted by seeing her parent's murdered right before her eyes. It is unclear how much her trauma has affected Misa psychologically, but in the films, Rem indicates that Misa went through a deep depression immediately after she discovered that the murderer was acquitted of the crime. The murderer was later killed by Kira, an act that Misa has been grateful for ever since. Misa's appreciation to Kira is what initially fuels her actions as the Second Kira. Later, after she becomes emotionally attached to Light, her actions are strongly motivated by love.

Light Yagami is an important figure in Misa's life, and she frequently comments on him being so. She often declares her love for him. She is quite dedicated, purposeful, and enthusiastic to Light, and even refuses to perform a kiss with fellow actor, Hideki Ryuga, while making a film because she is dating Light. After losing her memories of the Death Note for the first time, she even decides to help catch Kira for Light (who has joined the Task Force, and also has no memories of the Death Note and ever being Kira).

Misa usually refers to herself in the third person by calling herself "Misa-Misa".

Within the Death Note universe, Misa is a famous model, singer, and actress who is infatuated with Light Yagami. He has been shown to slightly consider feeling some type of affection for her when first meeting as she blushes at him when he compliments her on explaining, however, he feels that "developing feelings is how most idiots screw up" as he says in his head. She usually refers to herself in the third person by calling herself "Misa-Misa" to be cute, although this is omitted in the English dub of the anime, and she tends to be extremely agitated and hyperactive. Despite her hyperactivity, she rarely (if ever) allows her personal feelings about anyone to interfere with Light's plans, showing her unflinching loyalty to him. Like Light, she is corrupted by the power that comes with owning a Death Note. However, unlike Light, she neither wishes to become a god, nor loses her original personality. However, despite this her playfulness hides a deeply twisted and disturbed girl. Because of Light's nasty, sarcastic, and manipulative nature, she is just another one of his victims, albeit a very dangerous one.

Douglas Wolk of Salon describes Misa as being drawn in a "Japanese comics's tradition of cute, tiny, airhead girls with big eyes" and being a "lot cannier than she pretends to be". Wolk adds that the reader could "watch her measuring how much quasi-innocent charm to pour on in every situation".

She decides to devote her life to Light because he punished the criminal that killed her parents when she was younger in front of her eyes. Misa, unable to forgive the killer and wanting to kill the burglar herself, saw multiple delays in the killer's trial and the possibility he could get off before Kira killed him. According to Ohba, Light sees Misa as a "bad person" who killed innocent people, so he acts emotionally unsympathetic and cold towards her and manipulates her. Light and Misa both act together as Kira for over five years, until Light decides that it is too dangerous for Misa to be Kira with members of the taskforce suspecting him and tells her to give up the notebook. During the series, Misa performs two eye trades, cutting her lifespan in half twice: the first, with Rem; the second, with Ryuk. That is to say that if her original lifespan was to live to be a hundred, after trading for the eyes twice, her lifespan is shortened to 25 years.

The Shinigami who follows her is Rem. Not long before Misa's introduction to the series, Misa was attacked by an obsessed stalker. Unknown to her, a Shinigami named Gelus had fallen in love with her, and was watching her during the attack. In order to save her life, Gelus wrote her stalker's name into his notebook, killing him. Consequently, Gelus himself died, since shinigami exist only to take human life, not extend it. Rem, who witnessed the whole event, then took Gelus's notebook which had been left behind and gave it to Misa. The two eventually grew to care for each other.

According to 13: How to Read, Misa loses her memories related to using the Death Note at Light's orders and retains her love for Light. Misa falls into despair after someone "like Matsuda" "probably let it slip" that Light died. Misa's fate is not shown in the manga at all; she was last seen staying at the Teito Hotel. Ohba stated that this was simply because he did not have a situation to fit her in. Misa commits suicide a year after Light dies.

At the anime's finale, Misa appears dressed in Gothic Lolita clothing, standing outside the safety rail on the edge of a skyscraper and looking into the sunset. The official manga guidebook lists her date of death as Valentine's Day, leaving fans to wonder whether or not she really committed suicide. Misa, born on December 25, 1984, in Kyoto.

Film

Misa is portrayed in the films by Erika Toda. In the film continuity, Misa has a brother, who is murdered along with her parents. Misa's personality is altered slightly from the manga. In addition, her appearance is slightly modified: while Misa has blonde hair in the manga and anime, she has black hair in the films.

She is first seen filming a dorama called "Misa-Misa's Happy Sweets", where she states that she is baking treats to make her enemies fat. After filming of that section ends, she expresses support for Kira to a journalist. Her supervisor asks that the statement be cut due to controversies. Misa's attacker, Ryotaro Sakajo, the assistant director for "Happy Sweets", dies from a heart attack when Gelus writes his name inside of his Death Note. Gelus' Death Note then falls in front of Misa, who immediately picks it up. After reading the notebook, she finds Rem.

In the second film, Mogi replaces Ukita as Misa's victim during the Sakura TV incident. Additionally, Misa first learns of Light's identity as Kira when Soichiro rescues Sayu.

Misa is present at the final confrontation between Light and the police force, though she is handcuffed and restrained by another officer. When Light dies after Ryuk writes his name down in the Death Note, Misa breaks down emotionally. Her memory of the Death Note is erased, but she retains her obsession with Light, wishing him a happy birthday through a mini-shrine dedicated to him.

Actress's portrayal of Misa

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. In an article in The Star, a Malaysian newspaper, writer Kitty Sensei theorized that Toda did not have "the time to think much about how fans would react", citing film shoots that Kitty Sensei described as "physically and mentally exhausting" such as the straitjacket scene. Toda said that undoing the straitjacket 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.

Yonkoma

Death Note 13: How to Read describes Misa's "sexiness" in the Death Note yonkoma as receiving a "power boost compared to the main series".

She is voiced by Erika Toda in the movies

Tv Drama

In Drama Version where Misa is member of idol group which Light Yagami and his best friend were fans. only Light and Misa fallen in love.

Reception

Tom S. Pepirium, an editor of IGN website, describes Misa in a review of the Death Note anime episode "Performance" as being the "show's weakest and most annoying character". Pepirium cites "the tone in which she is written". He feels that her motivation and obsession with Kira are "in league with Death Note's dark sensibilities". He says that when Misa "spouts" her "deep and fully realized" affection for Kira in "her wacky, excited, poodle-like way" the information "loses all impact". The reviewer uses "girly sophomoric pink fluff" and "Jar Jar" (a reference to Jar Jar Binks) as figurative descriptors for Misa. He also had compared Misa to Dot from Animaniacs. Pepirium said that he wished that Misa spent more time in a "somewhat serious state" instead of a "silly lovesick, big-eyed anime characterization". In a Salon.com article Douglas Wolk includes Misa in a grouping of characters that he describes as "neatly wrought".

Reception of the film version of the character

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" but that the actions of Light and Misa are "criminal".

Christy Lee S.W. of The Star said that Toda's portrayal of Misa in the second film "may seem rather annoying for being overly bubbly and cute at first" and that the character "grows" on the viewer "after a while". Lee said that at the end of the film she saw Misa as "quite endearing".

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."

Conception

The following information is from How to Read. Tsugumi Ohba: Writer and Artist.

Overview

Tsugumi Ohba, writer of Death Note, decided to create Misa to be the second Kira before the serialization began. He felt that having the story solely consist of males would be "boring" and that he wanted "a cute female."

Ohba, intending to introduce her with the Shinigami Eyes, described her as having to be "spontaneous and not too bright" and that he 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 he 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).

Character Design

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 he is "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".

Gallery

Trivia

  • Although Ohba came up with Misa's name from something based on "kuromisa", "Misa" is in fact an actual female, Japanese name. The female Japanese name "Amane" means "sound of the heavens".
  • In the anime, the ringtone on Misa’s phone is Alumina.
  • 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's date of death, February 14, is Saint Valentine's Day.
  • Misa was born in Kyoto, Japan.
  • Misa is known to trigger large amounts of emotion from normally reserved characters. This is displayed by: Rem developing a crush on Misa from watching her and L visibly shaking when she killed Ukita and sceaming when she mentioned Shinigami in her reply to the fabricated Kira.

Navigation

           Death Note logo Heroes

Japanese Task Force
L Lawliet | Soichiro Yagami | Shuichi Aizawa | Kanzo Mogi | Touta Matsuda | Hideki Ide | Hirokazu Ukita | Watari

Special Provision for Kira
Near | Anthony Rester | Stephen Gevanni | Halle Lidner | Steve Mason | Ellickson Gardner | John McEnroe | Ill Ratt

Other
Misa Amane | Rem | Naomi Misora | Mello | Matt Jeevas | Gelus | Taro Kagami

2017 Film
Light Turner | L

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