Ryuk Death Note Guide

Ryuk Death Note Guide: Everything You Need To Know About “The Fun-Haver”

Latest posts by Asad Mehmood (see all)

I have been fascinated by mangas for as long as I can remember. Japanese authors’ crafting style and captivating plot offered me something other recreation mediums could not. Manga, just like comic books, expresses so much more, and I realized this early on through Death Note.

Death Note is a manga authored by Tsugumi Ohba and demonstrated by Takeshi Obata. This manga sequel’s primary focus is the conception of iniquity and morality. The genre of Death Note is psychological thriller and mystery. A 17-year-old bored high school student, Light Yagami, encounters the Death Note that can kill anyone. Using the notebook, he wants to eradicate all the criminals.

What keeps us fans fanatic about the series is that the story is not solely about Light. A lot of characters have played a crucial role in this manga. Some exemplary and some flawed. Some served as adversaries, while others had a different doctrine. Ohba and Obata have beautifully exhibited them in contrast with each other. It will not be an exaggeration to say that Death Note manga is a living world; each character has aim and provocation.

Ryuk is a sinister and ominous Death God. He is Shinigami, a race of extra-dimensional beings who prevail by killing humans to expand their own lives. The purpose of a Shinigami is to terminate life, not to provide it. Some Shinigami can also communicate, read and compose in Earthly languages.

To argue the history of Ryuk and what role he did play, here is a complete character guide. However, Ryuk is like a fairy ‘Death’ godmother to Kira; this guide will follow a close reference to Light Yagami.

Ryuk, “The Fun-Haver”

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Ryuk has a reasonably manlike formation. He has big, spheroidal yellow eyes, bright red irises, and retractable feather-like wings. The depiction of Ryuk is exceptionally skinny, and he has Light gray skin, almost blue-ish in color. Ryuk’s hair is spikey black, and he has thin blue-gray lips. His limbs are abnormally long, and he tatters rings on his fingers.

Ryuk is a male Shinigami by gender. He is 230cm in height. Appearance-wise, he instantly and obviously looks like someone not belonging to our planet. The feather-like wings on his back enable him to fly. Due to his always-tired appearance, some even say that he always looks like he is high on drugs.

Personality and Character

Nature-wise, Ryuk is quite diverse than most Shinigamis. He finds the Shinigami realm tedious and does not want to simply pass the time in his own kingdom. He wants to uncover something to alleviate his boredom. Ryuk is not impacted by the mocking he receives from other Shinigami for it.

Ryuk is portrayed as a curious being. Ryuk heeds Light as “intriguing,” precisely due to his investigations and finding loopholes regarding the Death Note’s rules and instructions. Ryuk is amazed by Light’s findings on specific aspects of the Death Note that even Ryuk did not know. 

He has an indifferent demeanor. Though he finds Light attractive, he does not care whether Light lives or dies. Ryuk’s assistance of Light is not significant throughout the manga. At times he withholds crucial details from Light and only aids him when he has something to attain from it.

Ryuk’s only intent in plunging the notebook to Earth is that he was bored. Most of his actions are predominantly inspired by wanting to see something mesmerizing. He keenly sees the human use of the Death Note and how other mortals react to it as genuinely amusing.

Ryuk has excellent admiration for apples, stating that obsession is equivalent to narcotics for humans. Shinigami apples are withered and flavor-like sand, as he demonstrates it to Misa at one point. He shows particular withdrawal signs if he goes too long without eating them. Ryuk is also timid around girls, revealed when Misa retrieves her memory and hugs Ryuk in excitement.

Ryuk also has a liking for video games. Ryuk asks Light to play video games with him but is refused since Light’s bedroom is bugged with microphones and cameras.

The Tale of Ryuk: The Shinigami that Got Bored

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Ryuk is a Shinigami and drained of the bored and tedious life in his own domain. He decides to acquire a second Death Note and drop it in the human world for someone else to find, hoping to soothe his boredom. He flourishes in deceiving the Shinigami King to obtaining a second Death Note.

He knowingly wrote the instruction on the cover page in English, which he assumed to be the most widespread language in the human realm. Ryuk did this so people would understand its purpose.

The Death Note is encountered by Light Yagami, and Ryuk follows him around for much of the manga, seeing how Light uses it. Ryuk is characterized by his constant delight and apathy regarding Light’s problem and his curiosity about humans. He relishes witnessing Light overpower the various challenges put to him. He is occasionally helpful, only when it comes to his interests, i.e., for amusement.

Mainly in the Manga, Ryuk jokingly asks Light about his next move. He even asks Light to explain the point of a particular action to him. Ryuk tells Kira in the first volume that he doesn’t always look at what he writes because it is more entertaining.

Ryuk constantly praises Light and actually helps him in two distinct locations. When L and his team recovered the modified Death Note with the faux rules, L asked Ryuk whether Shinigami could add fake rules to the note? Ryuk says no. This seems totally out of character for someone who wants to remain impartial and see that L and Light battle it out.

Ryuk also helped Light when he was surveyed by L and his team. Even though he was doing it to get a little something out of it but still buddy-ish for a God of death. Ryuk was needed big time when Light needed invisible Shinigami to go around his room and find the hidden cameras.

Ryuks Symbolic Role in Death Note Manga

Ryuk has a confidential, symbolic role in the series. When Light Yagami acquired the Death Note, he was keen to weaponize its power to create a new world. However, what he fails to admit is that death always wins. Ryuk himself illustrates the fact that death is on no one’s side.

Ryuk told Light that death is unbiased straight up. While Light listened at the time, as fate would have it, he totally forgot in the end. Ryuk himself is a neutral observer, and he is invisible and impossible for other people to hear. This gives him a comfy front-row seat in Light’s life.

Ryuk is just like demise itself, which can potentially be anywhere at any juncture, and no one is beyond its reach. But despite witnessing so much of Light and being so impressed, Ryuk was not Light’s ally.

All living things die, and no one can conquer death and dodge fate. No matter how righteous or hostile a person may be, the end will come to them eventually. Ryuk, as a Shinigami, can peek down from his own realm and choose humans spontaneously to kill with the Death Note to expand his own lifespan.

Civilizations worldwide tell tales of people who try in vain to escape the shackles of death. Nothing is eternal or impenetrable to breaking down. He and his kin will often kill the first human they see out of mere convenience. Death has no personal favorite and cannot be haggled with; the same is true for Ryuk. He was thrilled to see Light die when his plan failed.

Ryuk is the same as his Shinigami kin, and he can pass through solid entities at will and allow things to pass through him. And even if they smashed him, they won’t hurt him, and no one can simply shoot and kill him.


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Each Shinigami has a fantastic set of abilities and personality that makes him mighty when it comes to humans. Some of Ryuk’s capabilities are:


Using his Shinigami eyes, Ryuk can quickly obtain any information about one’s life in the human realm. Shinigami’s eyes allow Ryuk to see people’s age and names accordingly. He can see anyone’s character’s data via his unique eyes and then quickly kill them by writing their words in the Death Note. 

The first person to acquire the Shinigami eyes this way is Misa Amane, who makes a deal with Rem, another Shinigami from the Shinigami Realm. The eye agreement is first cited by Ryuk when he offers it to Light Yagami so that he can get the name of the man tracking him. Light declines because he is unwilling to give up half of his life.

Super Strength

Ryuk being a God, possessed a strength unmatchable in the human world. He is capable of self-sustenance, and he can easily pick a person with one arm.

Supernatural Vision and Light Speed

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Ryuk’s vision is so sharp that he can identify a person up to 14 kilometers away. This, combined with Shinigami’s eyes, gives Ryuk and all other Shinigamis immense leverage in the human world. They can quickly identify anyone and eradicate them from the face of Earth, expanding their own lives. 

As illustrated in the manga, Ryuk can get up to a speed of 521.9 miles per hour in a one-minute time frame. This is a speed only possessed by Gods and supernatural beings.


In the manga, his intelligence is very high. Ryuk’s official stats list his intelligence almost relative to Soichiro, the National Police Force chief. He is also shown to know multiple languages, which shows his brilliance and good use of his brain.

Durability and Range

Ryuk can pass through walls and is likely not damageable through conventional means. Intangibility also makes him difficult to harm. In Death Note, manga Shinigami are tenable to traditional damage, as shown when bullets phased through Ryuk and Sidoh. They remained unharmed. Ryuk and Sidoh also remained untouched by a large explosion that caught them off-guard.

Ryuk retains wings that allow him to travel all across the world. His range is so immense as he can readily travel through different realms. His Godly abilities and attributes will enable him to go from one place to another in a blink.

The Death Note

Ryuk has in his guardianship the most potent weapon, The Death Note. He can write anyone’s name in it, and that person will simply die of a heart attack or any reason written in the Death Note. This is Ryuk’s most detrimental capacity and makes him what he is. With the Death Note, he is invincible and can live forever if he wishes to. He can use Death Note to manipulate anyone’s conduct and make them do things he likes. After all, no one wants to die!

Bizarre Rules That Ryuk Must Follow

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Death Note is an exceptionally well-thought-out story centered around a book with a very engaging and captivating list of rules that its owner must follow. The authentic owners of these books, Shinigami (Gods of death), areas restrained by the strict rules of the book themselves. Being a Shinigami, some of the regulations Ryuk has to follow are:

If Light Gives Away the Death Note

Ryuk explains to Light almost instantly in the first chapters of the manga he must obliterate Light’s remembrance if Light were to give away the Death Note. He ascribes that the choice is Light’s, and he is free to make it. Light unquestionably rejects this offer; as they say, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Ryuk’s Inability to Interfere

Ryuk cannot meddle with anything that Light accomplishes with the Death Note until Light dies or the Death Note is complete. However, he cannot physically intrude with Light and the Death Note. Still, Ryuk can give any advice, whether authentic or deceitful and inform Light of things verbally that might interest Ryuk. Anything Ryuk says must be taken with a pinch of salt.

Ryuk Is Chained to the Human Realm

Ryuk cannot return to his own empire until Light perishes or the Death Note is demolished. This is explained by some helpful expositions by Ryuk’s friends at the beginning of episode 4 of the anime. It explains why Ryuk stays by the side of Light for the rest of the story. 

Whom Ryuk is Not Authorized to Slay

Ryuk cannot, under any affair, end the life of another Shinigami with his Death Note. That is why Shinigamis are immortal. Why exterminate a human from such a distance if he can have a front-row seat to soak up all the action?

Upon the Death of Human Bearer

Upon the demise of the mortal bearer (in our case Light Yagami), Ryuk must register the name of that human in his own notebook. Light will be sent neither to Hell nor Heaven when this is done. This is a responsibility that Ryuk, as a Shinigami, must achieve. However, It is not clear what exactly will happen to Light. Possibly he exists in an empty limbo for the rest of the time. Whatever the case is, it’s now his destiny.

Rules Regarding Ryuk’s Eyes

A Shinigami’s eyes allow them to see a mortal’s name and the remaining lifespan looming above their head. For the Death Note to work, the name and face of the prey must be known by the note’s proprietor.

Ryuk can propose whichever human finds the Death Note, the ability to see with a Shinigami’s eyes. This surprise comes with a challenging caveat. Were a human to obtain the capability of Ryuk’s eyes, that human must also agree to cut their lifespan in half.

Ryuk explains to Light that it is ” a pivotal part of the principle that all Shinigami are bound to follow.” He cannot allow Light to borrow his powers, and he must pay for them. Similarly, Light has no idea of how long he has left; but whatever it is, is anything worth relinquishing half for that?

The Laws of Physics

Ryuk’s Death Note cannot compel the prey to do the unattainable. Both the book and its owner must heed the statutes of physics. This is exemplified, analyzed, and ascertained in the manga.

When Light attempts to have the victim of Death travel from a Japanese prison, which he has locked and cannot escape, to the Eiffel tower in Paris, France, within a single hour, he fails. Since this is a material impossibility, the victim simply dies of a heart attack inside the prison. Ryuk must be a Deity, but he and his book are bound by the decrees of physics.

Characters That Impacted Ryuk’s Character


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Rem is a female Shinigami possessed by Misa Amane. Like Ryuk, Rem owns two Death Notes; however, Rem did not get her’s through deception. While Ryuk takes joy in everything in the human world, Rem is the exact contrary, viewing most humans with disdain.

Ryuk is astonished by Rem’s devotion to Misa. Rem influences Ryuk on how Shinigami, the proponent of death, can adore and have genuine emotions. Ryuk being the self-less character he is cherishes Rem’s relationship with Misa and, on certain occasions, helps Light, which opposes his Shinigami nature.

His spying on people for Light is against his personality. Still, he accomplishes this out of sympathy, which is unnatural for a Shinigami. I believe Rem’s relationship with Misa Amane introduced Ryuk to an unconventional bond that can exist between a Shinigami and a human.

Misa Amane

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Misa is a forthcoming model, actress, and supporter of Kira in the manga, who eventually becomes the Second Kira. After touching the Death Note of Light Yagami, she encounters Ryuk for the first time. She is exceptionally friendly and attached to him, and she often razzes him because he is timid around women.

After Misa Amane regains her memories as the Second Kira, Misa trades half of her remaining life for the Shinigami Eyes a second time with Ryuk. She takes the role of Kira. Ryuk backs Misa in her position of Kira, i.e., killing and eradicating criminals from the face of Earth.

Light Yagami, Kira

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Light Yagami is the proponent of Death Note. He wants to introduce a new World Order by exterminating bad people from our globe. After becoming exhausted with the Shinigami realm, Ryuk ships Light a Death Note. Light has Misa, Mikami, Takada, and several other people. Yet, Light always gravitates toward Ryuk, although Ryuk does not always help him out nor goes out of his way.

Ryuk is tied to Light. When Ryuk becomes fond of Light, he develops an element in Light’s cognitive process. If Light has to be convinced of something, he tells Ryuk about it.

Light takes Ryuk for granted in the end. So much so that, in his desperation, he considers turning to Ryuk for contribution. One might never have imagined how horrible the end of Ryuk and Light’s romance would be, with Ryuk executing Light by writing his name in the Death Note.

Trying to kill Near and SPK was Light’s most significant slip and from which he could not recuperate at all. Ryuk knew Matasuda’s frenzied shooting badly wounded him. So the fact that he experienced a heart attack clued that Ryuk wrote his name.

Ohba and Obata’s Message: Shinigami Only Eat Apples!

Ohba stated that he experienced difficulty in designing Ryuk. He said that his initial thought of Ryuk consisted of Ryuk looking like a youthful man identical to Light with black hair and wings. Obata further explained that he had the vision of Shinigami looking like an appealing rock star.

Obata felt that if Ryuk seemed to be more attractive than Light, he would appear to be the main character. Obata conveyed that he liked the monster-like formation. He further added that with his face, Obata wanted to give Ryuk an expression of him being always confused and not easy to apprehend.

When inventing Ryuk’s Death Note, Obata thought about the impression of Ryuk’s penmanship. Ryuk authored the words Death Note on the cover of his own notebook, and when he took possession of Sidoh’s book, he wrote the exact words on the front cover.

Tsugumi Ohba expressed that he always cited Apples in the thumbnails because he desired to use the dying message that Shinigami only eat apples. There he simply wanted Ryuk to hold apples and that there was no other reason.

Ohba also declared that he mainly chose apples because red goes well with Ryuk’s black body and that the apples suit Ryuk’s big mouth best. Takeshi Obata informed Ohba that apples held spiritual and psychological importance. An individual could read a lot into their inclusion and its symbolism.

Apples were utilized as a point when Light asked Ryuk to search his room for cameras in exchange for apples. Ohba simply said that he did not think about it all and that he merely thought that apples were superb, and that’s it. Ohba added that he felt including factors that could become later plot points.

How Do I View Ryuk?

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Ryuk, in my opinion, is the connotation of a selfish maniac. For instance, violence is his go-to for a fun and adventurous life. Ryuk enjoys people’s demise and collapse. He is the characterization of all the foolhardy and self-centered beings of our society. We can relate his personality to many humans in this day and age.

On the other hand, Ryuk’s unique temperament makes him lovable and humorous in my eyes. In a manga like Death note, where there is constant suspense and thrill, a character like Ryuk is paramount to lighten the mood. 

Fascinating Facts and Trivia

Do You Know Why Ryuk betrays Light at The End?

Ryuk ends the life thread of Light because having Light in prison and captured would not be fun for Ryuk. Shinigami’s are immortal, and so was he. He already said that the one to write Light’s name would be Ryuk. Waiting could be too tedious, and thus he decides to kill Light right there after the shooting, as all the fun would stale.

Do You Know Whether Ryuk Liked Or Hated Misa?

Despite emotionlessness, he is pretty fond of humans, which contrasts with how the purpose of death Gods is to end human lives (hence, the Death Note). He is shown to be easygoing and sentimental; he confesses to getting skittish around girls like Misa, which means he likes her.

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Why Did Ryuk Become Visible To Near When He Touches Rem’s Death Note?

There were three death notes retained by human beings during the manga. Those were Ryuk’s extras stolen from the other Shinigami and returned to him before the end of the series. Rem’s notebook, kept in the human world after she died, got attached to Ryuk and enabled Near to see Ryuk.

Why Did Ryuk Choose To Write The Rules Of The Death Note?

He did so to increase human interest in the notebook and let them know how to use it properly. Most Death Notes do not have the rules or words, and Ryuk registered everything he believed the new owner would need to know.

Light Does Not Fear Ryuk

Light and Ryuk’s relation shows how frightening a human can be. Despite Ryuk being close to Light for years, there were many moments when the human frightened Ryuk. Light would shout at him and get aggravated if Ryuk did anything he did not like. Light, the fearless and violent character he is, does not fear anyone.


Question: What is the origin of Ryuk’s name?

Answer: The origin of Ryuk’s name can be traced both to Japanese and Korean terminology. In Japanese, Ryuk means “Gift of God.” In Korean, it means “charm,” both definitions justify Ryuk’s character in the manga.

Question: What is Ryuk’s involvement in The Investigation?

Answer: Despite desiring to be an onlooker in the battle between Kira and L, Ryuk did get involved at times. He let Light comprehend that Ray Penber was tracking him, which helped out Light a lot. He also gets involved when Sidoh returns to get his notebook, telling the other Shinigami to let the task force kill Mello.

Question: When is a Shinigami entitled to death?

Answer: There is only one method to obliterate a Shinigami. They need to preserve a human they plunge in love with from dying. Due to the rarity of this perspective, most Shinigami don’t even know that it is possible to die this way. As Ryuk would never love a human, he can’t die.

Question: What would happen if Ryuk wrote his own name in the Death Note?

Answer: Writing his own name in the notebook would not kill him. As long as Ryuk continues to be the way he is, he will be eternal.

Ryuk Character Guide: Final Thoughts

The Death Note has been one of the mainstream manga, and almost every manga fanatic loves reading it. One of the reasons is its expansive model of likable characters and their efforts, Ryuk being one of them.

Ryuk plays a central part in the manga. He is a Shinigami who willingly drops a Death Note to the mortal realm just for fun. Ryuk’s need for satisfaction is immense and somewhat disturbing. As Ryuk himself says, 

because I was bored, that’s why.”

Ryuk is different from most Shinigami in that he does not want to simply pass the time away in his own realm but find something to lessen his blahs. Ryuks incorporation into the story is crucial because there would have been no Death Note tumbled down towards planet earth without him.

Ryuk is definitely among the best-written and perfectly accomplished male characters of the Death Note manga. And rightly so because he is the only reason Light could attain the Death Note. Furthermore, despite Ryk’s efforts, he is not a relished character in the Death Note series. He needs more appreciation from his fans to get some spotlight.

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