Mello Death Note Guide

Mello Death Note Guide: The King And The Conductor, Mihael Keehl, Mello

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Death Note is a Japanese manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata”. Constituting 108 chapters in 12 tankobon volumes, it is a mystery and psychological thriller. Death Note. It ran in the Shueisha’s manga magazine Weekly Shonen Jump from December 2003 to May 2006.

Later it was adapted into a 37 episode anime television series adaptation, staged by Madhouse and directed by Tetsuro Araki. The show was broadcasted in Japan on Nippon Television from October 2006 to June 2007. Nisio Isin, a Japanese novelist, published a light novel on Death Note in 2006. 

This Manga series mainly focuses on the conception of morality and iniquity. The proponent of Death Note, Light, is an exceedingly competent but bored 17-year-old student who envisions building a new world order by eradicating all the existing criminals from the face of Earth. L is one of the primary nemesis of the series.

He is the world’s best detective, hunting down and apprehending Light, i.e., Kira. Mihael Keehl, known as Mello, lies at the crux of the story. He is an outstanding and outrageous detective and wants to be the best in his domain. Mello is portrayed as an enduring and ongoing character in this manga.

Mello is depicted as the risk-taker; he is spirited and bold. Ohba said he believed in having Mello be the character who ultimately defeats Light.

Mihael Keehl, The “Contendor”


Mello Death Note

Mello is an enthusiastic young man with chin-length golden blonde hair and blue eyes. Mihael’s golden bangs hang down just over his eyebrows. The manga portrays him wearing a red-colored rosary and a cross-adorned bracelet. Mihael is usually seen wearing dark leather.

Mello wears a distinctive belt that has buckles in the shape of crosses. He also harbors a gun affixed to the belt in the manga. This belt has a cross fastened to a chain and dangles from its handle.  Mello later acquires a large scar, which begins between his shoulder and waist and flares just between his nose and left eye. It resulted from inciting an explosion in the Mafia hideout to escape being contained.

Mello is the elder of L’s two successors raised at Wammy’s House, Watari’s orphanage for talented children in Winchester, England. He is 21 years old in the manga at his death, and he is 171 centimeters in height and weighs around 47 kilograms.

However, there is slight controversy concerning his birthday on December 13, 1989, and 1992 in the anime series. His death also follows a dispute, i.e., on January 27, 2010, while 2013 in the anime series.

Mihael’s lean and sleek body shape makes him appear feminine. His blonde hair and bangs add to his feminine character. Mello’s build can trick a rookie’s eye into assuming him to be a female. Still, he is not and, nonetheless, a young detective full of vibrance to catch and expose Kira.

Personality and Character

To institute the assertion of Mello’s personality, I must foremost quote Mihael himself, 

“It’s not the notebook I’m after. I want to eliminate my competition. I will be the best. I don’t care what it takes.”

A Self-Centered Brainiac

From the above excerpt, it is pretty evident that Mello is a convinced and self-centered fellow. He is undoubtedly a brainiac and more competent than most people. After Near, the notion of being the second most intelligent person in Watari’s orphanage fuels the inferiority complex that defines his character.

Mello verges on indecency in his fetish of being the one to take down Kira and is inclined to do whatever it takes, including the kidnapping of the Japanese Police’s daughter Sayu Yagami. He also had a mafia member write most of the SPK members’ names in Sidoh’s Death Note.

A Resolute Sociopath

Mello Death Note

From the manga, we can further assess M’s desire to be number one when he successfully steals the Death Note. In pursuit of capturing Kira and seeking the funds from the United States of America, he threatens the President to provide him with the funds.

He even went so far as to make the President launch the nuclear warheads and start world war 3. As Mello conveys his goal in his own words, “I will be the number one.” Arguably, Mihael is not trying to defeat Kira for righteousness but because capturing Kira will prove that Mello is the deserving successor to L and the world’s best detective.

Mr. Perfect

Mihael Keehl is aggressive and detrimental, in contrast to Near’s gentle nature. After L’s demise, Mello monopolizes Near’s personality and begins to take more drastic actions to catch Kira.

Mello is a devilish child whose intelligence came from his desire and drove him to be ambitious and fueled by the passion of wanting others to like him. His admiration for L is tremendous and something that he finds encouraging.

His enterprising character led him to become the superior of a notorious gang group. He does not stress over the unknown such as the Shinigami and the death note. 

Skills and Abilities


Mello is an excellent example of persistence. There is no doubt that Mello is a genius, bold, and fiery character. When he sets his mind on something, he is keen and determined to do it. His life motto is to be the best in every aspect of life.

He surpasses Near, his counterpart, in finding the reality of Kira only through his nature of not letting go and trying again and again.


Mello Death Note

The initiative in this manga has been Mello’s strong suit from the very origin. Tsugumi Ohba, the writer of Death Note, has stated that Mello works hard for everything, unlike Near, who has natural philosophical gifts. This shows his eagerness and willingness to give his full in every aspect of life. Mello doesn’t take to wade in pitty; he flings himself like a missile at the Kira issue, confined to solve it before Near can. 

It takes no time for Mello’s enthusiasm to turn into hostility. Even Light is shocked at his extreme methods, such as botching up his own headquarters to escape Soichio’s raid team. A hint of mercy can be seen in Mello’s character when his friend Matt is killed. Mello felt unpretentious guilt and desired that Matt’s spirit would forgive him.

Administrative Skills

Mello had high-level administrative and secretarial skills. He knew how to keep his subordinates and the mafia members in line. He was a well-followed boss, and all his inferiors feared him. His ability to control and apprehend any situation according to his needs is flawless. He does whatever he wants and makes people believe in his administrative qualities.


Mello and his intellectual prowess are the only reasons Near and The SPK managed to capture Kira. Mello has no illusions as he is sharp-minded and focused on his goal. Mello consistently circumvents capture and demise despite introducing several esoteric phenomena that it would be possible for him to predict. ( such as the shinigami eyes revealing his real name).

Mello’s strategy and cleverness are shown to be way above others. He predicts, plans and implements. Mello is free of fallacies and does not hesitate to sacrifice his morals to achieve his goal. He may not be morally justifiable, but Mihael is the most influential character in the anime in achieving his goals.

The Tale of the Conductor, Mello

Mello Death Note

Mello is introduced to the story as a young teenager. From the beginning, he is shown to be vigorous and persistent. He is shown playing outside with other children and striking one in the head with a soccer ball. While his competitor Near is sitting and playing alone indoors, working on some puzzle that amazes Near. Mello is exhibited as a bully as he can be seen holding a more diminutive guy back.

The Wammy’s House is one of the several institutions or orphanages founded by Quilish Wammy known as Watari. It is a facility where gifted children are raised to be the world’s best detectives.

The most accomplished of these children was L, Lawliet. After L’s triumph as a detective, the objective of Wammy’s house became to spawn a successor to L. Later in the series, Roger Ruvie informs Mello of L’s death. Mihael is astounded and enraged by the news. He is further told that L failed to choose either Near or him as his inheritor.

Roger tries to persuade Mello and Near to work together, but Mello refuses, while Near is willing to do so. The main motive behind Mello’s refusal to work with Near, if you ask me, is his envy of him. We all know he wants to be the best of all detectives. 

Mello runs away from Wammy’s house soon after discovering N is more capable, intellectual, and calm than him. A while after leaving the orphanage, Mihael goes to America.

Three years after sprinting away, he joins forces with Rod Ross, a leading mafia mob leader. He proves his worth to the mob by annihilating bosses whom even Kira could not identify, after which Ross is persuaded to help Mello claim the Death Note.

Roughly after four years of L’s death, Mello discovers the Death Note from Ratt, a constituent of the newly formed SPK, which, under Near’s leadership, is looking for Kira. Ratt keeps Mello informed of the SPK plans.

Mello initiates to uncover ways of gaining the Death Note. At first, with the mafia’s help, he kidnaps Kanichi Takimura, the Director of Japanese NPA, to trade him for the Death Note, which is in the Japanese Task Force’s possession.

After Takimura, to increase pressure on the task force, Mello kidnaps Sayu Yagami, daughter of NPA Deputy Director Soichiro Yagami. After the death of Takimura, Mello realizes Kira of having access to police information. Mello goes to further extremes when he contacts the President of The United States Of America, David Hoope. He blackmails him into giving him information, satellite access, funds, and information on the SPK.

Mello pushes Soichiro Yagami to come to the United States Of America and hand over the Death Note, which is put in a missile that the radar cannot track. The rocket crashes into the ocean, a location pre-set by Mello and the mafia. The mafia can obtain the Death Note before the authorities can trace it.

After The Death Note is in his possession, Mello kills certain members of the SPK. He wanted to impede N’s investigation and lessen the number of his resources and kill the spy within the SPK, should N plan on getting to M through the spy.

Mihael again communicates with Soichiro. He threatens to use the Death Note to kill him and his daughter unless he passes on information regarding Kira’s real identity and L’s actual name. 

The Shinigami Sidoh, the original owner of the Death Note, which Mihael now retains, finds his location and can get there. Sidoh declares to Mello that the two rules in the Death Note, including the one noting that the user dies unless he obliterates someone in thirteen days, are faux.

Mihael begins to theorize that Kira probably used these rules to deceive the Japanese task force into thinking he was ignorant(which is what happened).

Eventually, Light Yagami, i.e., Kira, discovers the location of Mello’s mafia shelter. Taking advantage of Mihael reaching the USA’s President, Light sends a US army special forces team to raid the mafia’s hideout. Light having Miss Amane use her shinigami eyes to recognize Jack Neylon, a mafia member who owns the death note.

The mafia is ransacked again by the Kira Taskforce led by Soichiro Yagami, who presently retains Shinigami Eyes after making a deal with Ryuk. The task force manages to regain the notebook. After a deadly encounter with Soichiro, a moral man like Soichioro gives Mello an option to surrender. The upstanding law officer is shot and later succumbs to injuries.

Mello accomplishes to escape by detonating the building. However, Mello is badly scarred along the left side of his face above his mouth; the gas mask he was fraying at the time protected the rest of his face.

Mello, now joined by Matt, another boy from Wammy’s house, follows Aizawa and Mogi back to Los Angeles, and this ushers them to spy on Miss Amane. After the incident, Mello flees to New York. He later forces his way into the SPK Head Quarters to retrieve his only existing photograph from Near’s possession.

At that moment, Mello informs N of the Shinigami and the fake Death Note rules. They bet to see who finds Kira first. Later, Mello guesses that Misa is the Second Kira based on the facts attained. Miss Misa and the Task Force return to Japan. The police operatives intend to scrutinize Kiyomi Takada, a television presenter who is Kira’s new mouthpiece.

Mello and Matt follow them, concluding that Misa is not the Second Kira. (It is to be mentioned that Mello and Matt’s movements have been unknown for almost two months at this stage in the manga. The primary focus is on Light’s meeting with Takada).

Mello abducts Kiyomi Takada by having Matt raid Kiyomi’s motorcade. After a chase, Mello can circumvent Takada’s guards and locks her in a container. While driving her to a distinct location, Mello becomes aware of Matt’s execution by Takada’s guards and becomes furious.

Linder discloses Mello Near’s plan to reveal and apprehend Kira. Timing at this phase is paramount, as there are only a few days to operate before Near’s strategy is executed.

Mihael forces Takada to disrobe to get rid of any tracking devices; however, he allows her to use a blanket to undress. This proves to be his farewell, as she has a fragment of Mikami’s Death Note concealed under her clothes and the veil allows her to cover it.

Kiyomi Takuda uses the hidden piece of Death Note to obliterate Mihael Keehl as instructed by her honorable master Light Yagami, i.e., Kira. She already knew the actual name of Mello from Light. 

The Concept of Mello in the Manga

Mello Death Note

According to the author of Death Note, Mello and Near were introduced together because Lawliet individually could not defeat Kira.

The chocolate trait was added because chocolate represents all sweets, and it also means a connection between Mello and L. The scar was added as this trait would give him more depth, and these attributes give Mello a unique texture build.

Ohba wanted Mello to be the ultimate character to defeat Kira. Still, after the disappearance of Sidoh, the writer struggled with Mello’s consistency.

The idea of Mello eventually defeating Light and Near was robust in the author’s mind. But once Mello had discovered too much about the Death Note, he had to kill him to sustain the story’s intensity. The writer did not give Mello a dramatic end; instead, he made him perish plainly.

Major Characters of the Series that are Related to Mello

To further explore Mello’s character, let us see the personalities he had a close relationship with and significantly impacted his life.

L, Lawliet

L, Lawliet

In Death Note, L is an arcane, elusive, and highly-esteemed international consulting sleuth whose true identity and background are kept a secret. Mello’s character was designed after L and was initially envisioned as the son of L, but the idea was dropped.

Mello from Wammy’s house intends to become L’s successor, becoming the alpha. Mello, just like L, wants to be the finest and go to any extremes to fulfilling his goal.

In his pursuit of capturing Kira, Mello clearly indicates his regard and devotion for Lawliet. His soul’s purpose becomes to eradicate any hassle that comes their way. In my opinion, Mello is the only reason SPK managed to best Light.

We may consider Lawliet as the motivation and kick of Mello’s life. Mello’s life would be incomplete without a great goal that L has left behind for him.

L, in my opinion, is an icon and role model that he adores and precisely follows. He is also fond of sweets like L. Another thing about him that is very like Lawliet is his tendency to take drastic strategies. He does this to confuse and force his opponent to do certain things in his favor.

N, Near

Near, i.e., N is the younger of L’s two successors, raised in the Wammy’s House for special children. After L’s death, Near initiates his investigation of the Kira case. A quote from Mello would instead specify his relation with Near. ” No matter what I have to do., I will get it before Near .” Although being his elder, Mello is Near’s contender.

Mello and Near are both introduced as potential substitutes for L. However, Mello went on a different path than N to capture Kira. Mello can be seen in the manga as belittling N as his inferior. Still, Mello refuses to work with Near because of his self-centered nature.

Mello is the only reason why Near was able to capture Kira. Without his harsh steps and persuasive decisions, The SPK and Near would never have caught and identified Kira. Mello, unlike Near, has no illusions and does not hesitate to surrender his morals to achieve his goals.

Light Yagami, Kira


Light Yagami is the leading “hero become villain” of this manga series. He believes that he can eradicate all the criminals and introduces a new World Order using The Death Note. On the other hand, Mello is Kira’s nemesis, and he is inclined to put his life on the line to apprehend Light and prove that nobody is a match for him. 

Mello knows what he wants, knows that he is willing to kill and get it, and does anything in his capacity to achieve his goals. Light Yagami is similar to Mello because he goes to any extreme to achieve his ideals. Like Mello, Kira is not afraid to crush his morals and kill anyone to achieve his dreams.

Lights and Mello’s ideals of righteousness are a way of maintaining their own serenity of mind and are a coping instrument. This apparatus persuades them that their measures are the right ones to take. Due to this, Mello comes close to capturing Light Yagami, i.e., Kira, before anyone else reason being his similar nature to that of Light.

Mail Jeevas, Matt

Matt is Mello’s aide and longtime friend who assists him with the Kira issue. He is brilliant, known as the third most competent child at Wammy’s House, and the third heir to L. Mello assigns him with the task of monitoring. Mihael uses Matt to survey Misa, Mogi, and Aizawa.

Mihael uses Matt during Kiyomi Takada’s kidnapping. Matt helps by distracting her bodyguards with a smoke grenade, allowing Mello to abduct her. Matt calmly surrenders when he is circled by Takada’s motorcade. He is shot numerous times and falls to the ground, dead of Mello’s plan.

Mello is shocked to learn about Matt’s death. Matt’s death shows his love and regard for Mello both ideologically and as a friend. Without Matt, Mello would not have succeeded in his mission which soon led to his demise. Matt is characterized as Mello’s friend and his fanatic as well. 

Why I Love Mello?


Mello’s character tempts me the most in this manga. He is in the race of becoming the best, and factually that’s what we all desire. He had the courage and ability to stand up for it and claim it for himself. From the introduction of his character in Death Note till his death, he is constantly trying to be the best. He is pretty inspiring in a fashion that one must not forget his objectives no matter what.

Mello was the first one to find the real identity of Kira, which shows his anticipation prowess. He is a fan of being the number one detective and will go to any extremes to achieve his goals. Despite the hardships that come his way, Mello never puts his morals down and stands firm. He is not a proponent of diplomacy and believes in being straightforward and explicit.

In my opinion, Mello was more suited than Near to become L’s successor as he is more affiliated with the soul of the Death Note itself ideologically. If not for Mello, Near would never have been able to capture Light, i.e., Kira whatsoever.

Fascinating Facts and Trivia

Do You Know why Mello Looks Feminine?


Obata, the manga artist, initially designed Mello’s character to be more calm and feminine. On the other hand, Near was intended to be more chaotic with his tangled hair. However, Obata and Ohba later decided to switch roles to put uniqueness in both characters.

Who Conveyed to Mello that One of the Rules in the Death Note he Acquired was Fake?

The death note Mello acquired from the Japanese police originally belonged to the Shinigami Sidoh. Mello and other mafia members were first scared of Sidoh and wanted to kill him, but they could not. Sidoh then tells Mello about the rules of Death Note and that two regulations written in the notebook were fake.

Do You Know why does Mello Consider N, Near a Rival?

Mello is the eldest and more charismatic of L’s successors. He is a keen proponent of being the finest. He sees Near as is his rival because Near is somehow more deductive than Mello. Mello is enraged when he is not given power indiscriminately and chooses to separate paths from Near.

Do You Know why Mello Joins the Mafia?

Mello joins the mafia to cultivate a team in pursuit of catching Kira. Mihael realizes that catching Kira and dealing with N cannot be done by anyone. He needed resources and manpower to tackle his opposition and Kira both simultaneously. The mafia was a suitable base for Mello to accomplish his objective.

Do You Know how Mello Acquires the Death Note?

Mello contemplates the death of Takimura, who was killed by Light, but Mello takes credit for it. Mello then has Sayu Yagami kidnapped and orders her father, Soichiro Yagami, to bring the Death Note to Los Angeles within two days. As fate would have it, Sayu shares Takimura’s destiny.


Question: What is the Origin of Mihael Keehl’s Name?

Answer: Mello’s name originated from a Godly source and fitted his personality. This name derives from the Hebrew”miyka’el,” derived from the question, meaning “Who is like God”? literally, who is like “El”?. Mikha’el was an archangel associated with defending Isreal in the tribulation.

Question: Is Mello a Firm Believer in his Spiritual Attribution?

Answer: It is hard to say. In the manga, Mello, in my opinion, is exhibited as Catholic. It is so because he is seen with Catholic paraphernalia in his home and tatters a rosary necklace. 

Question: How did Mello Help Near in the End?

Answer: Mello simply helped Near by bringing Light, i.e., Kira, out of his hideout. By bringing Light out of his solace, Mello made it relatively easy for Near and the SPK to seize him and eventually put an end to his tyranny.

Question: Are Near, and Mello Considered Siblings in the Manga?

Answer: No, Mello and Near are from the same orphanage but not real brothers. Mello considers N as his rival and competitor. Mello’s ambition is to be a step ahead of Near in every element of life. Mello goes to many extremes to ascertain his worth to Near.

Mello Death Note Character Guide: Final Thoughts

The Death Note has been one of the mainstream manga, and almost every manga fan loves reading it. One of the reasons is its extensive model of super-genius characters and their efforts, Mihael Keehl being one of them. Mello plays a paramount role in the story. Mello is bold, fiery, but insecure. Mello’s intentions and plans to oust both Kira and Near are phenomenal.

There is no doubt that Mello’s a genius, but years of growing up in Near’s shadow have not been good for his mentality. Obsessive, dissatisfied, and ruthless, Mihael is an emotional powder keg- it’s only a matter of time before he explodes.

Mello’s incorporation into the story was crucial. Without his contribution and role, no one would have been able to come close to Kira. Mello’s passion for being the best drives his ambition.  Unlike L and Near, he is free of illusions and morality. He does not let decency stop him from accomplishing certain deeds to execute his goals.

Mello is undoubtedly among the best-written and perfectly executed male characters of the Death Note manga. Nevertheless, despite Mello’s efforts, he is not a very appreciated character in the Death Note series. Mello needs more devotion from his fans to get some limelight. And rightly so because he is the only reason Near could apprehend Kira and fulfill L, Lawliets destiny.

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