Death Note Theory: Is L POSSIBLY Alive?


This theory has been updated!

The new theory only covers the plot holes that this theory brings up, so stick around to the end of the post so that you’ll be caught up to speed when you read the second one.



I hope to god my viewers are familiar with Death Note lore, because this post will be FULL of spoilers.

Heck, this title is a spoiler in itself.

Anyway- let’s dive in!


Meet Beyond Birthday: A Psychotic Doppleganger Of L Who’s The Lynch Pin To My Theory.

Beyond Birthday – Bloodangelhime from Glogster

For those of you who are scratching the back of their heads going, “Who the heck is Beyond Birthday and why does he have such a strange name?” He is the man behind the Los Angeles B.B. Murder Case that the manga and anime referred to when they introduced former F.B.I agent Naomi Misori. As for his name, I’m just as confused as you are.


And so to completely get my entire story, you’re going to have to sit through some annoying background stuff.


Into The Backflashes And Far, Far Away

During the time of the Kira case, L had 2 possible successors. Their names were Near and Mellow. But back even before then, there were two others who were seriously being considered as L’s new successors. The first one, A (that’s legit how they were called), committed suicide from the pressure from Whammy’s House. The second, BB (Beyond Birthday), said, “Bye, Felicia,” and disappeared to go have some fun as a homicidal maniac in L.A.

BB planned for his suicide to be the last murder in the case to make it too difficult for L to solve- becoming “The World’s Greatest Criminal” in the process.

It didn’t work, though.

Naomi figured it out and shut his show down, keeping BB from setting himself on fire and slapped him in cuffs.

…You could say that Naomi kept the party from getting lit. I regret nothing

I believe it’s also stated at the end of the novel that BB dies in his jail cell.

The Death Note fan wiki page never really made it clear if L made contact with Beyond Birthday after he was arrested or if his only contact with BB was before his crazy murder streak. The page also states that it is unknown if L and BB actually ever met in real life, though BB did his best to copy L.

So now that you know the brass facts, it’s time to get theorizing.


Was L During The Kira Case ACTUALLY Beyond Birthday?

My theory is based on L contacting Beyond Birthday after the murders.

L recognizes BB’s super intelligence, so he offers BB a deal: Help solve cases of L’s choosing with him under tight surveilence, or rot in jail and wait for a bitter prisoner or old age take him out first. Beyond chose working with L under the tight leash, does his best, and becomes a clone of L.

Then Kira happened.

Once both became aware of how the Death Note worked (needing a name and face to kill), L ordered (or BB himself) to change his name to L Lawliet. When they understood the Death Note, they realized it would be a suicide mission. So of the two, BB was the criminal who would act as the decoy.

BB became the “public” figure (term used loosely) for L like Lind L. Taylor was for BB.

When BB and Watari died, L disappeared for awhile to give the illusion that he was actually dead. Near thought that he was the only remnant of L left, and accepted the Kira case.

Whether that was out of the realization that Kira could take over the world or out of selfish intrest in the case, it didn’t really matter. Near finished and closed the Kira case.

It was also L’s test for Near.

So right afterwards when everything was said and done with, L contacted Near to see if he would be interested in working more closely together in the future.


-And that’s a wrap!


Woah, Wait- Do You Have Any Evidence For this Theory?

Actually, I kinda do.

  • “L,” or in my theory, Beyond Birthday asks the police officers when they first meet at a hotel to call him Ryuzaki for safety reasons. Rue Ryuzaki was the name of the alias that BB used when he was pretending to work as a Private Investigator alongside of Naomi Misori.
  • For my theory to work, it would make sense for Beyond Birthday to “officially” die before L did. My reasoning behind this is that L and Beyond would most likely decide to write BB off as dead so that no one would suspect him playing as L’s decoy… And he did. According to the Death Note wikipage, BB died in January of 2004 of a “mysterious heart attack” and L died in November of 2004. Even if my theory doesn’t pan out completely, I have no doubt in my mind that BB was a victim of Kira. (also, it’s an 11 month difference, but that’s definitely something)
  • L has one of the biggest fanbases there is, and fan dedication is the strongest plot armor I know of. L can’t be dead, dangit!

-also, this theory can be used as a scapegoat for anyone who was bothered by “L’s” relaxed morals and ruthless way of solving cases-


But Wait- There’s More!

Anyone who’s read the L.A. B.B. Murder Case story is probably hopping in their seat and screaming at their computer, “You’re forgeting something SUPER important that proabably could make or break this theory!”

Don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten.


But once again, please don’t worry. I did some research on the shinigami eyes and found out that- surprisingly- it doesn’t throw an entire monkey wrench into my theory.

Questions I had:

  • Wouldn’t have Misa or Rem noticed and told Light that BB’s lifespan wasn’t showing?
  • Would BB really have freaked out that badly when he first heard of Shinigamis?


  • The wiki page only said that Death Note users with Shinigami eyes can see other Death Note users. Beyond Birthday was never a Death Note user, so he never would’ve known that Light or Misa had a Death Note and visa versa.
  • Shinigamis only cannot see each other’s lifespans. They can see every human’s lifespan and full name even if they own a Death Note. Therefore, Rem and Ryuk wouldn’t know by looking at BB that he had Shinigami eyes.
  • FUN FACT: It’s also stated in the wikipage that, in real life, there is no way for a human to tell a regular person VS a person with shinigami eyes apart- even scientifically. The yellow cat eyes in the manga and the red eyes in the anime were just for the viewer’s benefit to tell them apart.
  • Since BB was born with Shinigami eyes, he would be used to the eyes- he wouldn’t, however, be used to the actual shinigami.

Another little side bit that helps me accept my theory even more is that BB found out VERY QUICKLY how the Death Note worked…

Probably because he himself had Shinigami eyes?


Houston, We Still Have a Few Problems..

Even a seemingly flawless theory has at least a few issues that can’t be easily explained away. And I’m even nice enough to lay them all out in a list for you to see and nitpick for yourself.

  • Why on earth L would keep such an unstable serial killer by his side in the first place?
  • If it was truly Beyond Birthday during the Kira case, he seemed a lot more mentally stable and composed than BB probably should’ve been.
  • If it was also seriously BB during the case, Watari and him seemed to share a friendship and bond that only L and Watari probably would’ve had.
  • The writer and creator behind Death Note basically confirms that L died- and he even went into great detail on how “there’s only one life and there’s no coming back once you’re dead.”


It’s yours to choose if these problems are just too big in your mind for you to accept this theory fully. I, however, cling to this theory and hope that he’s eating strawberry cake and annoying a local justice department somewhere out there. ♥


So what do you think about this theory? Let me know what you think! And as always, thanks for reading to the end of my post!

~Felicity Annora




-Death Note: anime television adaption, 2006-2007.

-Death Note fan Wiki; “Shinigami eyes”, “Beyond Birthday” (and “L”):

-Death Note Wikipedia page:

-“Death Note Another Note: The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases” by Nisio Isin, 2006- adapted to english by Viz (light novel)




This link will bring you straight to the second post as promised if you’re interested in more fun Death Note theory to go around!



24 thoughts on “Death Note Theory: Is L POSSIBLY Alive?

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    1. *begrudgingly shoves L away into a safe corner* I’m not giving up on L yet! xD

      Also, was it stated from official sources that he died from being burned? Because in stated in the official fan-wiki that the FBI agent found him before he could actually fufill the age old meme of “KILL IT WITH FIRE.” I don’t know because I haven’t finished the light novel myself.


  1. This is such a wonderful bunch of theories! I read it all with attention and it could work very well. Personally I really like L’s Character and reading these things left me saying “holy hell, this is amazing”. Great work again!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I believe that after the yamanote arc, when L fully understood the death note, then he switched places with BB and forced him to legally change his name to L Lawliet, so it would be more believable that BB was really L. He also felt just a little ooc after the yamanote arc, so that might explain it. I can’t put my finger on just what was odd, though. Also, the definitely could have been switching places whenever they were working on the investigation or not. When they weren’t, L probably figured it was safe enough to switch back so he could keep a close eye on light. A very, very close eye XD. It would explain why Watari also seemed to have a friendly bond with L, because it really was him most of the time. It would also explain why L was hearing bells all day, because he knew his friend/fellow wammy kid was in danger and probably guessed he was going to die soon. I don’t think BB would have been the one hearing the bells because it showed L and Watari standing at a funeral or something and I doubt he did that with BB. Also, I believe that BB explained his shinigami eyes to L, which is why he freaked out when he heard that word used to describe an object or living thing. Also, I think L isn’t exactly relaxed when it comes to morals, it’s just that everything is black and white. I strongly believe L, and possibly BB, were autistic. That would contribute to BB cracking under pressure and going insane, turning into a serial killer. L didn’t think his methods were wrong, because he had his own set of rules in his mind. Good or bad, nevermind legal or right. He also didn’t exactly understand how other people worked, and didn’t realize they felt he was invading their privacy. Back to the day L was hearing bells, it probably really was L in the rain that talked to Light, and dried his feet as a symbol of understanding and forgivness. He understood how too much pressure on the mind could make a person go insane, and he wanted to help Light with his mental sickness and keep being lov- ahem I mean friends. I think BB could definitely have been as composed and stable as he appeared to be because of medicine and therapy. That was really what he needed to avoid going insane in the first place, and L figured that would also help Light. He knew almost everything, but the only thing that kept him from arresting Light was lack of evidence. When it was time to get back to the case after L got the call, he sent in BB so he could be safe and perhaps watch from the shadows. It would also explain why L seemed to eat less straberry cake as time went on. Towards the end of his screentime, he seemed to be eating less cake and more finger food sweets like macaroons and the panda crackers. The only thing wrong with this is that I would think BB would be scarfing down Jam- I don’t know if this is canon but I heard his food fetish was strawberry jam- but it would make sense if watari banned it since this strange eating habbit might give him away. When light was dying, he actually saw BB’s ghost. I don’t really know if he was there just to enjoy watching him die, to mock him, or to try to take him down to hell with him. -But I really hope BB didn’t go there he can’t help what wammy’s did to him D: Sorry for the super long post I know this criticism(?) can be kind of rude but your post helped me form this theory so thank you very much! Now that L is working with Near I’m sure he’s happily eating cake and solving cases as a silent partner so the world thinks l is dead, and the new greatest detective is N. The only reason he stayed out of the rest of the Kira case was to 1) test his three top succesors 2) if he wasn’t careful the task force and Light might figure out he is alive so it would be best to lie low till Light was convicted.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This was a great theory! I think I believe yours than I believe my original theory- it makes a lot more sense. I definitely didn’t take your comment as a criticism. I knew my post was flawed at the beginning when I was writing it, so I was hoping someone would see this and make try to make more sense of my theory so it would become more believable. And that’s exactly what you did! (And I wasn’t overwhelmed with how long your comment was- I was grinning ear to ear that you took the thought and time to not only think about it, but write it out!)

      It’s so good at explaining things that I would love to use your comment as a basis, and rewrite this post and update the theory with your permission. 😀

      I also want to apologize for getting back to you late. I had written another comment like the day you posted, but it somehow didn’t go through. I was upset I lost the original comment that I had to come back and write it at another time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OML I would be honored if you used my comment as a basis to update your theory. : ) I love to read between the lines and find enough evidence to make it seem like the things I want to be true really are. Don’t worry at all about getting back to me late, I wasn’t expecting a semi-long thoughtful reply to my comment, so this really made my day. Once again, feel free to use my comment however you want. You are the one with the origional idea of BB and L switching, so you have all the rights to anything to do with that theory. Although, I’m a little worried about your sleeping scedule if you’re posting comments at four in the morning. *sweatdrops* anywho, thanks so much for liking my post! Stay faBBulous!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yayyy! Thank you~ I’ll definitely credit you in the post. Your well thought out details needs to be mentioned!

        And you’re welcome! I like to support those who show interest in my posts and take the time to write a mini novel in my comments section. I know that this is one of my most viewed posts, but it makes me a little sad when no one reaches out to like or comment if they enjoyed it, or share their thoughts if they think the theory wasn’t plausible.

        And… I thought I didn’t write that comment at 4:00am? Though, honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised. My sleep the last couple of days has been a bit whacked. I’m finally starting to take less naps and sleep normally again. (lol, my evolution into our favorite insomniac detective has begun. XD)

        Thanks again! I’ll definitely stay fabulous~~~ stay sweet, and stay tuned! 😀

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I agree with you. I’ve been doing thorough research on this topic too. My theory is that obviously when L found out that a second Kira existed, she asked Kira publicly to meet her and show each other their Shinigamis. Now, keeping in mind the nature of L, there’s no doubt that he would’ve thought of this as a threat, because If he knows Kira wants his head after how he challenged him, Kira would use this “shinigami” to get rid of L. He knew that Kira needed a face and a name to kill, he assumed that shinigamis needed the same. He would’ve switched himself with a look-alike at this point. now, We all saw that Rem was in the room where Misa was captured by L. Even if L hadn’t switched himself then, it wouldn’t matter now because Misa and Rem are in a room with a camera and no sign of L, which means Rem can’t see L’s face anyway and can’t kill him. Now, Watari’s death might’ve been true because everyone including Light knew his Watari’s true past and name. That way L couldn’t have done anything to save him, or else his fake identity would be disclosed. So, when Rem freaked out for Misa Amane, she killed who she saw, that is, the fake L and the real Watari. We saw that L put all his work together on a computer after Watari died, that’s where the theory from the post comes to play.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Even I have a theory that bb is indeed Ls doppelganger if you remember before/after (I forgot as I had seen long time back) Ls /Bbs death u remember L having conversations with orphans where he described himself as a monster but in beginning I guess in the cafe u could see a person like L with Mello going to somewhere right who was that fellow I doubt it to be L as he was talking with children and the only possible reason might be Bb although even I am in a dilemma but I f u know who he was could you enlighten me?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting! I wasn’t aware that there was someone who looked like L in the background when Mellow and his gang was going to a cafe. I’m currently trying to rewatch Death Note because it reminds me of fall– if I bump into what you’re talking about, I’ll let you know!


  5. hey, but if that wasn’t the real L, why should i care about the real L? we never knew him, right? who knows if he even actually likes strawberry cake TvT

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good question! I guess the best answer is: since BB had to turn into L’s doppelganger (and if we assume that the person that we saw onscreen WASN’T BB all the time), we already kinda know who L is. He’s not an unknown. We already care about who L is and his story!

      But you really did bring up an interesting point– maybe all of his habits aren’t exactly like the “L” we came to know in Death Note, but personally for me, that actually adds interest to the story. It means that whatever story or plotline from this point has the opportunity to get to know the true L, and it isn’t a re-hash of the same-old story in Death Note.


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