Anime Characters That Could Beat Light Yagami

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For a while now, Light Yagami has been the benchmark for brilliant characters.

His cat and mouse chaise with L was truly legendary, as even the smallest blunder could swing the tides of battle.

But what about other shows?

Could someone else have beaten Light? That’s what we’ll be trying to answer today as we check out some anime characters that could (probably) beat Light Yagami!

And just for fairness sake, let’s make the starting point when Light was already suspected, as not every character has the same influence as L.

Prepare for a lot of head canon and meta gaming!


10. Akane Tsunemori

Akane Tsunemori from Psycho-Pass anime

Anime: Psycho-Pass

I want to start with an easy but interesting battle: Akane.

The determining factor of this fight would of course be Dominator and whether it would pick up on Light’s crime coefficient. Because if it does, Akane doesn’t even need to bust him for anything. She can just shoot.

In fact, if it’s at all accurate in terms of his crime coefficient, Light is getting reduced to a pulp.

But what if Light slips through the cracks like Makishima?

Well, then the show would get a lot more interesting.

Although Light would have the advantage in this case, I still think that Akane and Shinya have a fighting chance, as Shougo was arguably comparable to Light in terms of intelligence.


9. Kusuo Saiki

Kusuo Saiki in The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.

Anime: The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.

This one would be very anti-climactic, but also very hilarious.

You see, Saiki could solve this case even if he had no intention of doing so.

The dude can’t turn off his mind-reading ability. And since it has a pretty big range, it would only be a matter of time.

Especially when you consider how frantic Light is inside of his own head.

Furthermore, there’s even a chance that Reita would just see Ryuk and go crying to Saiki for assistance.

No matter how you look at it, Saiki is just stacked. And I think it goes without saying that a physical battle would be as one-sided as you can get.


8. Ai Enma

Ai Enma Hell Girl anime

Anime: Hell Girl

I honestly just think that this would be a bomb crossover.

In case you haven’t seen this mid-2000s gem, it’s basically Death Note but more modern.

In this universe, you simply have to type in the name of someone you hate and Hell Girl will go over and end their life. Although it is worth mentioning that the person who typed the name would also die shortly after.

So if literally anyone thinks that Light might be behind the killings, they could just type his name in and call it a draw, at the very least.

Also, could you just imagine how awkward it would be if Hell Girl appeared and just saw Ryuk?

I mean, they’re basically business rivals from where I’m sitting.


7. Kakuzu

Kakuzu Naruto: Shippuden anime screenshot

Anime: Naruto: Shippuden

I want to talk about this one next, as I just find it hilarious.

Why would Kakuzu beat Light?

Is he extremely intelligent? I mean he’s okay, but nowhere near Light’s level.

Does he have some hacks ability that allows him to find Light? Also no.

So, how will he do it? Well, more often than not, Light kills his targets through the means of a heart attack.

And well, Kakuzu kind of has five hearts.

So all he would really have to do is wait to become a target and then see who’s the most surprised when he shows up.

I doubt even Light would be able to hide his shock if one of his victims just walked up to him the following day as if nothing ever happened.


6. Ryuuji Maesaka

Ryuuji Maesaka in Darwin’s Game

Anime: Darwin’s Game

I think there are two main reasons Ryuuji would win this battle.

The less important advantage that Ryuuji possesses is the fact that he wears a skull mask most of the time, so Light would not be able to imagine his face and kill him off immediately.

But the real kicker is Ryuuji’s ability to tell if someone is lying.

At that point, the interrogation would just boil down to a very tense game of 20 questions.

And if people object to this, Ryuuji also carries a machinegun around. So he can be quite persuasive.


5. Nana Hiiragi

Nana Hiiragi from Talentless Nana anime

Anime: Talentless Nana

This is one of the few picks on here that I think is just a plain skill difference.

You see, Nana is basically doing the same thing as Light:

Hanging around people that suspect her, and yet killing people without getting caught.

However, I think the games Nana was playing were a bit more serious than Light’s.

Not only did she kill the people with her own bare hands, but she was also the only person there without superhuman abilities, where the exact opposite was true for Light.

Now I don’t want to downplay my boy Light and say that he would lose 100%.

But I do think that there’s a chance he might get outclasses by this pink-haired assassin.


4. Lelouch Lamperouge

Lelouch Lamperouge in Code Geass anime

Anime: Code Geass

This is one of the most common matchups when it comes to Light – and it’s for good reason:

Both characters are absolutely brilliant.

However, I do think Lelouch has the upper hand in this battle.

First, if he’s under his guise of Zero, Light can’t even touch him.

Second, his Geass is a lot more versatile than the Death Note in my opinion. He could simply use it to make Light confess, or he might even take inspiration from L and send death-row inmates at Light until he can figure out how the Death Note works and how to counter it.

And let’s not forget, Lelouch staged an entire revolution as opposed to just killing off criminals without getting caught. So I think his strategy game is a bit sharper.


3. Rohan Kishibe

Rohan Kishibe from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable

Anime: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable

I wanted to follow up Lelouch with Rohan, as I think this certain mangaka has an even better arsenal than our revolution leader.

Rohan can just turn anyone into a book and not only learn everything about them, but even write in specific commands, much like the Geass.

So all it would really take for Rohan to claim victory is for Light to be in the same room as him.

You can’t really hide anything from his Stand. And from that point on he can either make you confess to your crimes, or even make you forget about the Death Note and just take it for his own collection.

In this notebook vs notebook battle, Rohan would come out on top.


2. Subaru Natsuki

Subaru Natsuki from Re: Zero anime

Anime: Re: Zero

It’s hard to say that this would be an easy win for Subaru, but it would be a guaranteed victory nevertheless.

In case you haven’t watched the show (somehow), just know that Subaru gets sent back in time a certain distance whenever he’s killed.

And that can happen infinitely.

So, from that point, Subaru basically just has to keep running at the wall known as Light’s intellect and he’s bound to win at some point.

Ironically, the only way that Subaru loses this battle is if Light never kills him (or anyone he knows) in the first place.

But realistically what are the odds of that happening? Especially when you consider the troublesome crowd Subaru is in.


1. Johan Liebert

Johan Liebert from Monster anime

Anime: Monster

I want to end this list with Johan, as I unironically think it would be the most interesting battle to ever unfold in anime.

Johan is a straight genius. And having him mentally battle it out with Light would be of the same tenseness and quality as Light’s original battle with L.

Hell, I dare say it would be even more interesting.

However, I do also think that Johan would come out on top.

This is because very few people see Johan’s face and live for very long – and more importantly, because nearly no one knows his real name.

God, I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about this showdown!

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Alec P.

A dedicated weeb and Isekai fanboy who's been stuck in Silver since 2013.