An example of a Shinigami.

Shinigami (死神) or "God of Death" (Or in the anime, Death God) are extra-dimensional beings whose only sole purpose is to end the life of a Human in order to extend their own. Although they can take the lives of a human, not every death is the work of a Shinigami; Humans will die regardless of Shinigami interference or if a Shinigami pays specific attention to an individual. However Shinigami can end their lives sooner than if they were to die naturally if it were for personal gain.

[edit] Shinigami Overview

A Shinigami can be either male or female and much like humans they're appearance differ greatly from one another, even into forms that would be impossible on Earth. Although the role of the Shinigami's existence is significantly made to end the lives of Humans, they can also save them. If a Shinigami become attached to a human they can save the life of that human before their life is terminated, however any shinigami that violates their purpose and saves a humans life will perish. Those whom choose to save the life of a human will die and turn to dust and their remaining life span shall be given to he human they save.

All Shinigami have one thing given to them upon becoming a Shinigami - The Death Note. This supernatural book is the instrument they use to end the lives of a human before their natural earthly time is up, adding the humans remaining life span to their own. Theoretically a Shinigami can never die as long as they remain killing humans. To help them kill a specific human their eyes can see the names and remaining life span of the humans by seeing the face of their victim. The Death Note is a necessity upon the Shinigami race, and every Shinigami must at all times be in possession of at least one. However if a second book is encountered ideally it should be returned to the Shingami King, but that is sometimes not the case. If a Death Note were to fall to the human world and enter the hands of a human, the Shinigami in possession of that Deathnote must accompany the human until they either die or the Death Note is willingly given back. A Shinigami can explain the rules of the Death Note to the human but can be done to his or hers own discretion.

[edit] Lifestyle

It is difficult to tell at first if a Shinigami is either male or female, because each sex has been known to have the feelings of their opposites, for example Ryuk's shyness and embarrassment towards Misa when she hugs him. Shinigami are also not permitted to have any type of Sexual relations with humans or each other, it's unclear if they are capable of reproducing or not but it was stated that they cannot reproduce for whatever reason.

Although a Shinigami possesses the sense of taste, they do not have to eat in order to survive, this is because their internal organs have rotted or evolved to a stage where they no longer absorb the nutrients from the food they eat, on-top of this they also do not need sleep and will not die or be affected from sleep deprivation. Shinigami's see sleeping as a form of laziness.

Much like Earth, the Shinigami Realm has a state of law which have to be followed by every Shinigami, and if any of the laws are broken they shall face one of nine punishments, each given a level in severity - Level 9 being being the least severe with Level one being the most severe. A shinigami will die if a level 3 or a above punishment is issued but neither the anime or manga go into any depth about the said punishments.Shinigami may not kill a Shinigami with any method outside the use of the Death Note, killing in this way will result in a level on punishment higher than that of Level one known as the "Extreme Level". Shinigami can vary in ranks, with the King of Death being the highest. However, the Shinigami's rank does not effect their daily activities very much. On a side note, each Shinigami has a different form of written communication, either opting for picture based or written based communication, it is speculated that a Shinigami can understand each other's form of communication fairly easily. Some Shinigami even opt for using Earth based written language.

[edit] Shinigami Realm

An example of a "hole" used by the Shinigami

The Shinigami Realm is a dry, barren and dark wasteland and described as Purgatory (Purgatory is the place that users of the Death Note are said to go after they die). It doesn't have any buildings, but rather a congregation of bones and/or stones as these are the places Shinigami like to meet up and "socialise". It has atleast one mountain type area where Ryuk stays in solitude in the One-Shot special manga chapter.

Dotted around the Realm are various "holes". These holes allow the Shinigami to look into the Human World from a bird's eye view. These artifacts are what allow the Shinigami to kill humans without having to travel to Earth. How and when these holes were created it still unknown.

[edit] Shinigami Eyes

The Shinigami Eye
A human can obtain the Shinigami Eye in an "eye trade" by giving up half their remaining lifespan. If a Human were to have Shinigami eyes they would be able to see the name of the victim and their remaining lifespan. (if the name the user sees with the shinigami eye is different to the one in the family directory, the one the eyes see is the one used to kill them). However, atleast part of the face muct be seen for the above information to appear, it is unclear exactly how much of the face must be seen but it's presumed to be the eyes and forehead. As the rules of the eye trade state, the human user of the Shinigami eye obtains 3.6 vision. Any person(s) whom possess the Shinigami eye cannot see their own lifespan, this rule also applied to owners of a Death Note.

[edit] Recurring Shinigami

[edit] Ryuk

Ryuk is the main Shinigami throughout the Death Note Manga and Anime. Somewhat bored with the lackadaisical Shinigami life style or lack of events happening at the current time, he decides to toss down his second Death Note to Earth for someone to fun as a way of creating something for him to do. Before tossing it down he writes down all the instructions of the Death Note on the reverse side of the front page (in English, not Japanese) so people would understand the basics what it could do. The fallen Death Note is discovered by School boy Light Yagami and Ryuk follows him around throughout the series. He finds human behaviour interesting to study, and often tells Light just how fascinating he is. Ryuk is fairly humanoid in shape - With purple hair, grey tone skin and limbs that are too long for his body. He has big bulging yellow eyes with black irises that have been known to turn red. He also has a liking for apples.

[edit] Rem

    Main Article: Rem

Rem is a female Shinigami, whom gives Misa her second Death Note; Unlike Ryuk, Rem did not obtain hers through bribery or trickery. The Shinigami Gelus had fallen in love with Misa from when she was a young girl and sacrificed himself to save her life, and was killed and turned to dust as a punishment for prolonging a humans life. Rem somewhat touched by this act of kindness and selflessness, decided to take the notebook down to Misa, since it was this notebook that saved her life. She is quite skeletal in appearance with ling arms which resemble spinal cords. Rem tells Misa that she is a female shinigami in both the anime and manga, but fails to do so in the live action films, leaving it somewhat ambiguous. In the film, she is also given a more masculine voice.

[edit] Gelus

Gelus appears during a flashback when Rem is explaining how to kill Shinigami. In appearance is s rather and small and doll looking. Originally Obata had planned on Gelus looking rather beautiful but decided to go for the more "worn" look because he felt Gelus was a pitiful shinigami and helped the audience sympathise for the sacrifice he made more than they would if he were better looking. During the flashback Rem remembers Gelus looking over a younger Misa in the human world, knowing that it was the day she was meant to die. Gelus had, however, fallen in love with Misa and using his own Death Note he kills the man that would kill Misa against the protest from Rem. Gelus is when reduced to a pile of dust as a way of punishing him for extending the life of a human and leaves behind only his Death Note. Rem then later delivers the Death Note to Misa, but in the film it is merely dropped for Misa to find.

[edit] Sidoh

Sidoh was the Shinigami in which Ryuk stole a a Death Note from. However, by the time he realises it's missing it had already been passed on several times, eventually ending up in Mello's possession. (More specifically his Subordinate, Jack Neylon). After several attempts at hounding Ryuk for it back, he eventually finds Mello, in order to get his Death Note back he has to help Mello's gang go against Near's SPK and the Kira Investigation Team, in due course he also obtains a love for chocolate. He wears clothing that covers most of his body and has bandages wrapped around his head.

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Last edited by Dragoon on 5 November 2009 at 06:36
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