L (Eru) is a character in the Death Note series. In the series, he serves as a deuteragonist and antagonist, intent on stopping Kira through any means necessary. Though his identity is alluded to from the end of chapter 5 he first appears in person in chapter 11, volume two of the manga. In the live action films, he is played by Ken'ichi Matsuyama. He is also one of the only characters in the series to appear in all of the movies.
 Character Overview
L is described as "the world's greatest detective", it is also revealed that he also keeps aliases which bare the ranks of world's 2nd and 3rd best detective. He is extremely secretive, to the point where he rarely appears in public, preferring to use Watari as a go between in most of his cases. He found the Kira case demanded that he show his face to the task force. Still, he keeps his real name a secret, insisting that the members of the task force address him as Ryuzaki. His real name is unknown throughout the whole series, only to be revealed in the series compendium, Death Note: How to Read 13.
He is extremely intelligent, to the point of matching, even surpassing Light. Despite this, he seems unable to adapt to many social norms. He seems to lack an understanding of others on an emotional level, often making offensive remarks in innocence. He always slouches and adapts strange postures in simple situations, such as squatting on a chair as opposed to sitting in it. A major character trait of his is his constant consumption of confectioneries.
Despite his obvious lack of exercise, he is shown to have good fighting skills. He excels in tennis, revealing that he was the Junior Champion of the sport while he lived in England. This mirrors Light's affinity and skill level (junior national champion) for the sport.
Though L takes a strong stance on the subject of justice, and lives a law abiding lifestyle, some of his methods are dubious. He puts lives at risk and often goes to extreme lengths for the sake of his cases. As far as morality is concerned, an interview with series creator Tsugumi Ohba, states that "Light is evil, L is slightly evil, and only Soichiro Yagami is good."
Throughout the course of the series, L serves as Light Yagami's main obstacle and aggressor.
 L in the Movie Adaptations
This section is in need of extreme expansion
 L in the Novel Adaptations
 Death Note: Another Note
In Death Note: Another Note, L stays hidden until the end of the novel. The novel takes place before the events of Death Note and involves a case that if briefly mentioned in the anime and manga series. The novel is mentioned when Naomi Misora says that she had worked with L in the past. At the beginning of the novel, Misora temporarily turns in her badge for the FBI. She is then contacted by L who says that he would like her to assist him in a case--The BB Murder Cases. Naomi agrees to collaborate with L and they attempt to hunt down a man who kills in patterns and a failed attempt to be L's Successor, Beyond Birthday, a man who was born with the eyes of a Shinigami. Beyond Birthday takes the name Ryuzaki and poses as a detective to "help" Misora locate the killer. He makes multiple accurate guesses, and Naomi grows suspicious. In the end, Misora and Beyond Birthday split up and wait for the fourth, or last, murder to end the cases. During this time, Naomi Misora thinks about Ryuzaki and wonders how he knew of her fighting technique that she only uses against the murderer in the alley. She realizes that Ryuzaki is the murderer and finds him lighting himself on fire, attempting suicide, to conclude the un-solvable case. He, however, does not die as anticipated. During the epilogue, Misora meets a man who looks very similar to Beyond Birthday. The man attacks her and she tries to fight back and the man stops after seeing her fighting technique. He introduces himself as Ryuzaki, and Naomi grows curious due to his resemblance. The man, however, is L.
L is seen for the most part of the series, in a plain white shirt and blue jeans. He lacks footwear at all times, and seems to have a certain disliking for socks. He has a plain, impassive face, with eyes that bare deep shadows beneath them. His hair is black and he wears it long and to the back, with spikes. Physically, he is slim and pale. He is around the same height as Light, standing at 5 foot 8, though he never stands straight so it would be impossible to tell for sure. Because he is equal to Light's height (which is probable) it would make him relatively short, considering the seven year age gap between the two characters.
L reveals later on that his brain uses up a majority of his calorie intake, and claims that this is the reason why he can eat so many sweets, yet still retain his impoverished and thin appearance. He makes this comment offhandedly, suggesting that if Misa used her brain, she too would be thinner.
L also looks almost identical to his would-be successor, B. Though it is possible that B deliberately modeled himself on the former.
The live action films stayed true to L's appearance in their adaption, though he is notably less pale.
|Death Note Characters|
|Main:||Light Yagami | L Lawliet | Misa Amane | Near | Soichiro Yagami | Ryuk | Rem|
|Other Characters:||Kiyomi Takada | Matt | Mello | Sachiko Yagami | Sayu Yagami | Teru Mikami | Watari|
|Kira Investigation Team:||Hideki Ide | Hirokazu Ukita | Kanzo Mogi | Shuichi Aizawa | Touta Matsuda|
|Yotsuba Group:||Arayoshi Hatori | Eiichi Takahashi | Kyosuke Higuchi | Masahiko Kida | Reiji Namikawa | Shingo Mido | Suguru Shimura | Takeshi Ooi|