Ryuk is a Japanese God of Death and the first side character in the popular series Death Note created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.
Ryuk (リューク, Ryūku) also known as the God of Death, Owner of Death Note, Rogue Shinigami (Boredom in Japanese) was born many years decades ago on 13 September in an unknown region of Japan. His zodiac sign is Virgo. He is shown at the beginning of the series as a bored shinigami who seeks to have some fun and throws down his Death Note on Earth intentionally to see what humans would do on acquiring its power. The book is found by a high school student Light Yagami who becomes the wielder of Ryuk’s Death Note and get him to tag along the journey.
Height (approx.): 7′ 6½”
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Yellow and Red
Wings: Black Devilish
Ryuk was stated to be most easy to understand in the Death Note series by the author Takeshi Obata. He is extremely curious and childlike when it comes to spending free time or when he is getting bored. He takes a high level of interest in human nature and wanted to see what they are capable of. He was pretty calm-minded and mature as a shinigami who would be careful as to how to not get himself in love or be killed. His MBTI personality type is ENTP, people with such personalities are curious, joyful, and love to break rules.
Parents and Sibling
Ryuk is a shinigami who has been living in the underworld for years but his origins or family were never told or discussed in any series.
Wife and Children
Ryuk a Shinigami, could never fall in love as it was a taboo in the Underworld and it would eventually lead to his death. He was careful never to fall for the sweetness of Misa Amane.
Ryuk never liked anyone until he met Light Yagami when he found the Death Note and was able to see Ryuk. Ryuk was obsessed with being around Light and seeing what he does after using the powers of Shinigami.
Ryuk has been Shinigami for many years and has been working to write people’s names in his Death Note at their time of death in order to take the life for himself. Bored from his usual job, he dropped a Death Note on Earth to get some fun from the one to find it and use it in the human world.
Ryuk appeared in the Manga as a mysterious figure in the first episode: Boredom, released on 4 October 2006.
Ryuk was introduced in the Death Note Manga chapter 1: Rebirth.
He was also featured in the film, Death Note (2006), Death Note: The Last Name (2006), L: Change the WorLd (2008), and Death Note: Light Up the New World (2016) as a CGI character with different voice actors.
Ryuk appeared in the novels L: Change the World (2007) and Death Note: Light Up the New World (2016).
Ryuk was also featured in Death Note: Kira Game (2007), Death Note: Successor to L (2007), Jump Super Stars (2006), Jump Ultimate Stars, and Jump Force (2019) as a non-playable character.
Death Note manga series was also given a stage show starting in 2014 in various countries which was translated in Japanese and Korean but not in English. It was composed by Frank Wildhorn and the lyrics were given by Jack Murphy and scripted by Ivan Menchell.
Ryuk was shown in a CGI version of the TV show and was voiced by Jun Fukushima.
Ryuk was also featured in the music video “Fighter” by Japanese singer Namie Amuro for the Death Note Movie and inserted in Death Note: Light up the New World. It was a song written from the point of view of Misa Amane (Misa Misa).
Portrayed and Voiced By
Ryuk was a dark and challenging character for various artists and could only be voiced behind the screen as a CGI character with no real actors other than a stage show.
Shidou Nakamura (二代目 中村 獅童, Nidaime Nakamura Shidō), Jun Fukushima.
Brian Drummond, Willem Dafoe, Eric Anderson(2014)
Youwen Chen (陳幼文)
Jong Gu Lee (이종구, I Jōng Gu)
Carlo Christopher Caling
Rolandeo de Castro (Mexico), Jorge Varela (Spain)
Jorge Vasconcellos, Catalan, Jordi Varela
Bernd Kuschmann (anime), Sascha Rotermund (Japanese film series), Joachim Kaps (TV drama), Reiner Schöne (Netflix film), Marlin Wick (audio drama)
Vasilis Milios (Βασίλης Μήλιος)
Sergei Parshin (Сергей Паршин)
Live Stage Actors
Ryuk was made using CGI and no real actors have portrayed him on screen. In the Death Note Musical, Ryuk has been performed by Kōtarō Yoshida, Kazutaka Ishii (Japanese Musical), Kang Hong-seok (Korean Musical), and Jason Liles (2017).
Weapons and Powers
Death Note of the King
Ryuk had manipulated the King of the Shinigami realm to obtain a second Death Note apart from his own, which he used to get some entertainment by throwing it on Earth. It was later obtained by Light Yagami who became the user of it and was thus able to see Ryuk.
Own Death Note
Ryuk already had his Death Note, which he didn’t reveal until the end of the show where he used it to write the bane of Light Yagami and kill him.
Being Shinigami gave Ryuk various powers such as Weather Manipulation, Electrokinesis, Wings, Invisibility, and Shinigami Eyes, which were used to see the life span, name, and time of death of any human. He could additionally grant these powers to other humans in exchange for half of their life span.
Banned in Many Countries
Death Note features various scenes that are rated to be very disturbing for young audiences and have been in various countries like China, South Korea, and Indonesia.
Ryuk obeying Light
Many people argue for the topic that Ryuk being a Shinigami was obeying Light’s order like a dog. He was working for Light so that he could get entertained and get apples. In one deleted scene, when Light was laughing on L’s Death, Ryuk was terrified of the look on Light’s face.
Unfair Cast of Death Note 2017
The cast of Death Note Netflix movie (2017) had an American cast which provoked various classic fans for the manga and anime which caused a lot of hate spread towards the movie and even the CGI for Ryuk was not satisfactory for the people.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film (BIFFF) – 2007
Pegasus Audience Award for Best Film to Shûsuke Kaneko
Hong Kong Film Awards (2007)
Best Asian Film
Mainichi Film Concours (2007)
Winner of Readers’ Choice Award for Most Popular Film
- Food: Apples
- Species: Human
Facts and Trivia
- Ryuk was originally designed to look like a human but was changed due to developers believing that it would impact the focus of the main protagonist, Light Yagami.
- The word “Death Note” on Ryuk’s Death Note is written in his own handwriting.
- Rankings are given to the Shinigami ranks which show the power levels and Ryuk was given the Rank 6.
- It was told in one of the chapters of extra books, Ryuk had two extra books which he lost intentionally.
- Ryuk told Light that he knows exactly when and how he will die and Ryuk would take the rest of the lifespan of Light and kill him.
- Due to Ryuk’s carelessness, he was considered a C-Class Shingami.
- In the original pilot, Ryuk had Death Eraser, which would bring the people who died from Death Note back to life assuming the body hasn’t been destroyed.
- Ryuk was willing to do anything for Light in exchange for Apples, which were considered to be his favorite.
- In the Death Note OVA, Ryuk was talking to another Shinigami and telling his story to him. He was talking to Light Yagami who had been reincarnated as a Shiningami. He brought an apple for Ryuk to remind him of his presence.
- Along with various other characters of Death Note, Ryuk was also given Nendoroid figures and plush toys made by Good Smile Company.