Sayu Yagami is a Japanese character, known for being the younger sister of the protagonist, Light Yagami, in the anime series Death Note.
Sayu Yagami was born on Sunday, June 18, 1989 (in the manga) and Thursday, June 18, 1992 (in anime) (age 15 years; pre-time skip/ 21 years; post-time skip.) Her zodiac sign is Gemini and her blood type is O. At the beginning of the story, she is shown being a third-year student, or in 9th grade, at Eishu Junior High School (英集中学校, Eishū Chūgakkō.) Post-time skip, she is shown as a university student.
Height: 4′ 10″ (pre-time skip)/ 5′ 4″ (post-time skip)
Weight: 38 kg (pre-time skip)/ 45 kg (post-time skip)
Eye Colour: Brown
Hair Colour: Brown
She belongs to the human species.
Parents & Siblings
Sayu Yagami is the youngest child of Soichiro and Sachiko Yagami. Her father, Soichiro, is the chief of the Japanese Task Force, a team dedicated to investigating and opposing Kira, a serial killer who is killing criminals with a supernatural notebook.
Sayu’s mother, Sachiko, is a homemaker.
Sayu also has an older brother, Light Yagami, who is a former student and police detective. He is also Kira, the serial killer who is using the Death Note.
Husband & Children
Sayu was still a student in the series and was not married.
Love Interest – Boyfriend
Touta Matsuda had a crush on Sayu but they were never in an official relationship.
The character Sayu Yagami, depicted as a cheerful and less scholarly counterpart to Light, was crafted by the duo of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.
Ohba, the author, regards Sayu and her mother as the most virtuous characters in the series, claiming that he couldn’t detect any malevolence or corruption in either of them. Both creators have expressed their belief that the Yagami family are the most unfortunate characters in the series, with Ohba subsequently noting his particular sympathy for Sayu and her mother.
Sayu is abducted by the Mafia and transported to the United States, where they hold her hostage in a bid to acquire the Death Note held by the Japanese Task Force. To save his daughter’s life, Sayu’s father exchanges the Death Note for her freedom. Once returned to Japan, Sayu suffers a severe mental shock, leaving her confined to a wheelchair for a period of time.
Her final appearance is at a Coming of Age Ceremony, leaving her mental condition to the reader’s interpretation. Tsugumi Ohba, the creator, suggests that she might not have “completely recovered,” but asserts that readers wouldn’t be able to discern this from her depiction.
Inspired by/Based on
The character of Sayu is based on the manga, Death Note.
Aligned with Sayu’s age and grade level, she exhibits typical behaviors of her age group, such as tuning into shows featuring Hideki Ryuga and seeking Light’s assistance with her math homework.
She appears to admire Light, acknowledging his intelligence and foreseeing a promising future for him as a skilled detective. As she transitions into her university years, Sayu’s demeanor matures and she becomes more independent in her studies, no longer relying on Light’s help. Her personality aligns with the ENFP type, which is characterized as an extraverted-introverted-feeling type. Below are the official statistics for Sayu Yagami:
Emotional Strength: 4/10
Social Skills: 8/10
In the initial part of the narrative when she is a child, Sayu sports a ponytail, with bangs cascading down her right side and locks of hair framing her face.
As the story progresses and she grows into adulthood, she lets her hair down, maintaining her signature style with her bangs swept to the right.
Appearances in Popular Media
She made her Manga debut with Chapter 3: Family.
Her anime debut was with Episode 2: Confrontation.
She was also a part of Death Note: The Last Name played by the Japanese actress Hikari Mitsushima.
She has been a character in the novel L: Change the WorLd by M, featured in the video game, Death Note: Kira Game, and the Japanese musical Death Note: The Musical played by Ami Maeshima (前島亜美, Maeshima Ami) and Karin Takahashi (髙橋果鈴, Takahashi Karin).
Sayu was also part of a Korean version of the Death Note musical where her role was portrayed by Lee Su-bin (2015 & 2017) and Ryu In-ah (류인아) (2022.) She also made her TV drama debut with the first episode of Death Note (TV Drama) played by the Japanese actress Reiko Fujiwara (藤原麗子, Fujiwara Reiko.)
She has been voiced by Haruka Kudō (工藤晴香, Kudō Haruka) in Japanese and Kelly Metzger (anime pre-time skip), Kristie Marsden (anime post-time skip and films) and Laura Osnes (2014 Musical Demo Album) in English. Following are the other voice artists who voiced Sayu Yagami:
Mandarin: Minxian Tao (陶敏嫻, Táomǐnxián)
Cantonese: Louise Ho (何璐怡, Ho4 Lo6 Ji4)
Korean: Han Sin-jeong (한신정, Sin-Jeong Han)
Spanish: Roser Vilches (Spain), Mireya Mendoza (Mexico)
Portuguese: Pamella Rodrigues
Catalan: Carmen Ambrós
Italian: Letizia Ciampa
French: Celine Rotard
German: Kirstin Hesse
Hungarian: Márta Talmács
Greek: Élena Delakoúra (Έλενα Δελακούρα)
Russian: Yekaterina Gorokhovskaya (Екатерина Гороховская)
- The name Sayu combines the meanings of “makeup” (粧) (sa) and “abundant” (裕) (yu). Her surname, Yagami, is composed of the words “night” (夜) (ya) and “god” (神) (kami/gami).
- Sayu displays proficiency as a ninja, having utilized her skills to assist her brother multiple times.
- She has a fondness for shoes and a dislike for alcohol.
- Contrary to the manga and anime, Sayu is never abducted in the two films where she appears; the mafia does not feature in these adaptations.
- In both the anime and films, Sayu remains unaware of Light’s alter ego, Kira. She is informed that he was killed due to his involvement in the investigation team.
- The creators designed the characters of Light and Sayu to highlight the stark contrast in their personalities. Sayu serves as a counterpoint to Light’s downward spiral into darkness. Both characters start the series as the beloved children of a stern police officer, but while Sayu retains her innocence, Light transforms into a monster. This comparison effectively illustrates the depths to which Light has sunk. Sayu enjoys the comfort of home and prefers to relax, unlike Light who is constantly on the move for both academics and his sinister Kira undertakings.
- The series suggests that Sayu could potentially match the profile of Kira. L accurately surmises that Kira is a well-to-do young adult and a student with access to police information. This description certainly aligns with Light’s profile, but it also fits Sayu, a fact that L brazenly mentions in front of an ailing Soichiro, to Light’s indignation. Interestingly, Light himself once speculated that someone resembling Sayu could be Kira, but Soichiro vehemently (and rightly) dismissed the idea of his daughter being Kira.
- In “Death Note: The Last Name,” Sayu attends the Sakura TV festival where she inadvertently causes a minor disturbance when Kanzo Mogi dies, temporarily startling Misa Amane. The event culminates in Soichiro and Light coming to pick her up, which results in Misa crossing paths with Light, thanks to her Shinigami Eyes.
- In “Death Note: The Musical,” Sayu is portrayed as a fan of Misa.
- When Light poses a hypothetical question to Sayu, asking what she would say to Kira, she responds that she would urge Kira to emulate her brother more. This statement transitions into the song “My Hero,” where Sayu extols Light’s virtues, causing him discomfort. Elsewhere on the stage, Misa also sings the song, though she is referring to Kira. Light, although not participating in the song, is symbolically positioned center stage with Ryuk, flanked by Misa and Sayu.
- When Misa disseminates her covert message for Kira in the song “I’ll Only Love You More,” Sayu plays the song to Light, ensuring he receives the message. She also joins in singing a few lines of the song with Misa.
- Despite both Sayu and her brother being portrayed as older in the television drama, the timeline of the drama aligns with that of the manga in the universe of the series.
- Sayu outlives the events of the series and it’s assumed that she resides with a female relative, possibly an aunt, given the absence of her immediate family. With her mother having passed away earlier, and both Soichiro and Light meeting their demise by the end of the series, Sayu is left without any close relatives. She remains uninformed about the specifics of her father’s death, believing that Kira was the perpetrator. Consistent with the original narrative, she never uncovers the truth about Light being Kira.