The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Light form Death Note is evil

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 8/11/2016 Category: TV
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 167 times Debate No: 94619
Debate Rounds (5)
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Death Note is my all time favorite TV show. Looking forward to an investigating argument with my fellow fan.
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Opening argument
counter rebuttal
closing argument
Pleas use your first argument to respond and nothing else


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Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for responding.
For those of you who don't know Death Note is a show about a young man named Light who finds a note book that lets him kill anyone he wants by writing there name in it. He uses this power in order to kill people he deems evil in the hopes that he can build, "a perfect would" that he will, "rule over like a god."
There are many things wrong with Lights actions. For one he kills people who were already imprisoned and were going to be punished for there crimes. He also kills FBI agents who were trying to figure out who he was, people who were just doing there jobs. When one of the FBI agents fiance comes after him, he force her to commit suicide and taunts her as she walks to her death. He also manipulates a young girl who loves him name Mesa in order do is dark deeds, manipulating her in order to get what he wants. Light seems to take joy in his killing laughing as he kills hundreds. One of the major problems with Lights actions is brought up in the first episode when Light, tells Ruyk how he wants to kill all the bad people in the would.

Light: At first I wrote the names of the worst criminals I could think of, like I was cleaning up the world one name at a time, so that eventually no one will ever do anything evil again. And while the truly guilty ones who deserve to be punished for their crimes die of heart attacks, the people who are less guilty but who still make trouble for others will slowly be erased through disease and accidental death. Then and only then the world will start moving in the right direction. It'll be new world free of injustice and populated by people who I've judged to be honest, kind, and hardworking.
Ryuk: But if you did that, it'd make you the only bad person left.
Light: Huh? I have no idea what you're talking about. I'm a hardworking honors student who's considered to be one of Japan's best and brightest. And I... I will become the God of this new world.

Light see's himself as a good person. On the outside it seems so. He gets good grades in school, complements his mom, and helps his little sister with her homework. He dress nicely and is pilot to everyone around him. But even before he got the Death Note, Light had a darkness inside him, a darkness that drove him to kill thousands of people. It makes you wonder if Light had the darkness concealed inside him, then how many others do? Do we are selves have this darkness? If ever one has some evil inside them, then wouldn't the world free of bad people Light described be a would with no people at all? If all of us have a darkness inside of us, then who can really clam to worthy to judge the would as a god?


Since this round of debate isn't meant to be used for rebuttals I shall leave Pro's arguments untouched but let it be known that there are many flaws with Pro's case whcih I shall be promptly addressing in Round 3.

Overall Case: Light Yagami wasn't evil, he was a mentally ill hero.

Point 1: Light is not a psychopath, he is a passionate Narcissist.

When it comes to determining the good from the evil in this world, the motive behind their actions is an essential component since a person meaning to do good could end up appearing evil if the results of their actions were not what they intended and vice versa. In the case of Light Yagami, I believe he suffers from a horde of mental disorders including narcissistic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder.

I shall go into these three mental disorders (1 of which is a mental illness) and explain why I believe that Light, in a court of Law would be committed to a mental hospital, not to prison. Following this, I shall elaborate on why Light @Yagami is not a psychopath but simply a deluded narcissist.

Narcissitic personality disorder has the following symptoms (Hallmarks of narcissistic personality disorder, 2016):

"A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

  • Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  • Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  • Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  • Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  • Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
  • Requires excessive admiration
  • Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
  • Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  • Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love"

Light Yagami is a textbook narcissist. He has all symptoms to the highest degree possible in a human being. Does this make him evil? No, it does not. Either an overly complimenting or overly negligent style of parenting can resul tin a narcissistic child. (Goldberg, 2015) Since Light had no say in his upbringing, we cannot blame him for this overly sensitive ego that he has.

So, what of borderline personality disorder? This is clinically referred to as a mental illness, not just a mental disorder.(Borderline personality disorder, 2013)

Symptoms include (Mayo Clinic, 2015):

  • "An intense fear of abandonment, even going to extreme measures to avoid real or imagined separation or rejection
  • A pattern of unstable intense relationships, such as idealizing someone one moment and then suddenly believing the person doesn't care enough or is cruel
  • Rapid changes in self-identity and self-image that include shifting goals and values, and seeing yourself as bad or as if you don't exist at all
  • Periods of stress-related paranoia and loss of contact with reality, lasting from a few minutes to a few hours
  • Impulsive and risky behavior, such as gambling, reckless driving, unsafe sex, spending sprees, binge eating or drug abuse, or sabotaging success by suddenly quitting a good job or ending a positive relationship
  • Suicidal threats or behavior or self-injury, often in response to fear of separation or rejection
  • Wide mood swings lasting from a few hours to a few days, which can include intense happiness, irritability, shame or anxiety
  • Ongoing feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate, intense anger, such as frequently losing your temper, being sarcastic or bitter, or having physical fights"

Although Light is never shown to be directly suicidal, he is often shown to choose to more harmful of two options to himself when he could go about things a safer way. This includes gion up to an armed FBI agent who he did end up successfully killing as he'd already written the man's name in his death note. Other examples include when he intentionally gets imprisoned to 'prove his innocence' and when he goes to great lengths to get L's name when he never needed to kill L in order to 'win'. Another time is how he ends up losing to N; he never had to agree to meet him and on top of that he intentionally was in the building that Mello was going to bomb just to prove that he was superior. There are many examples of Light's thrillseeking ways including him making himself forget the Death Note in the hopes of somehow ending up to get hold of it again.

Suicide aside, he shows clear signs of all other symptoms. Once Misa shows him affection, he simply can't help but givein. Sure, he's a narcissist so the realtionship was always about him but he still did genuinely love Misa. When he and L were together with her, he showed clear rage whenever Misa woudl be nice to L or anyone else of rthat matter, this is because Boderline sufferers struggle with the thought of ababndonment even in the slightest form. He goes form idolizing L and his father to loathing them to then idolizing them once again all in the space of a few episodes. He then ends up hating L again and hating his father but then just as his father dies he feels bad and regrets the abandonment that is happenign so he lies ot his father to make him feel better (no one was listening so he had no reason to lie to his father about being Kira, yet he did it to make his father die happy).

So, why isn't Light a psychopath? Narcissism and psychopathy can often be closely combined, so can Boderline and psychopathy but Light is not psychopathic. While he has a very warped mind and feels emotions in odd ways, he feels them nonetheless. He doesn't kill just because he can, he kills with a clear selfless goal in mind and the only selfish aspect of it is his attention seeking narcissism coming into play.

While Light's past is never directly shown in the show, it is hinted many times that he grew up a child prodigy who was showered with praise his entire childhood (one of the two typical triggers for narcissism). On the other hand, it is never shown that either of his parents are remotely psychopathic (which would imply that Light himself never had the geneti cpredisposition to become a psychopath) and furthermore, Light is never shown to be cruel to those he kills, I will go into the case Pro brings about the woman who he convinces to commit suicide in Round 3.

Point 2: Light consistently brings joy to those who come accross him.

Apart from the FBI agents, anyone who meets and greets Light, even L himself almost immediatley liken to him. He has a 'way about him' that makes anyone who meets him adore him. This is because he is very charming and very good at making people feel better as they depart from him than they were when they came across him. It isn't a case of manipulation. Apart from Misa (who was a threat to Light as if she got caught with the death note, he'd soon be caught) Light never fakes liking someone for a greater gain. Even the brunette who he later has an affair with, he doesn't fake liking her, he only fakes that on top of liking her he is using her. Light is compelled to use people because of how dangerous what he does is. He is a fugitive on the run but has to be 'on the run' in pain sight of those who investigate him for his own safety and the fact that he is one of the team memers' son.

Someone who was 'evil' would relish in the pain of others yet Light not only kills people instead of torturing them but not even once is shown to write a painful method of death. He is shown to be merciful at all times other than with the woman Pro mentioned. Even L, who Light had every reason to kill mercilessly, he kills in a very sudden and relatively painless fashion. L only realized Light had won an instant before he was deceased.

Light is consistently shown to make others feel better while very very rarely ever relishing in another's suffering and this is simply not what an evil person does.

Hallmarks of narcissistic personality disorder (2014) Available at: (Accessed: 11 August 2016).

Goldberg, J. (2015) What is Narcissism? Available at: (Accessed: 11 August 2016).

Borderline personality disorder (2013) Available at: (Accessed: 11 August 2016).

Mayo Clinic (2015) Borderline personality disorder symptoms. Available at: (Accessed: 11 August 2016).
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you
Point one Light is not psychopath, he is a narcissist
It is without a doubt that Light is a very disturbed young man. However I still think that he may have ended up in prison. Look at the case of Anders Behring Breivik. Anders who killed at least 70 people. He is also has a narcissistic personality disorder. He was imprisoned in high security prison in total Isolation. Latter on he received slightly less harsh treatment d but he remains imprisoned to his day. (I could be wrong about all this but what I read seemed to point to it.)
Beyond that this is a very good point.
Point two: Light brings joy to those around him.
To some extent Light dose bring joy to those around him. He is kind a pilot to those around him. However there is very specific group of people who he is not so nice to. Those whom he murders. The fact that Light has a likeable personality dose not excuse his crimes against thousands of people. Light dose often fake pleasantness in order to get what he wants. For example in Episode 9 when Light and L first meet face to face Light pretends to be pleased with meeting him, saying he is happy to meet, and immediately befriending him, however as soon has he gets home, Light goes into a rage. Anther good example is Lights relationship with Misa. In episode 13 around 17 minutes in Light right out admits to using Misa, using the exact word "manipulation" in his internal dialog Also in episode 17 when L asks Light if he's serious about Mesa Light responds with "No way, like I told you earlier its completely one sided." Light has no affection for Misa. You say Light dose not relish the pain of others but I disagree. Whenever Light kills he often gets that creepy smile on his face, sometimes fallowed by that bone chilling laugh. Its clear he enjoys using the death note. Also, when he kills Rye Penbers fianc"e in episode 7, he mocks her as she walks to go comet suicide.
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
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