name Near
Ture name Nate River (ネイト=リバー,Neito Ribā)
Also known as N
(Third) L
Next (L: Change the WorLd)
B (TV drama)
Mello (TV drama)
Series debut Death Note manga
Species Human
Gender Male
Date of Birth August 24,1991 (1944) in
1997 (film series)
155cm g'1"
Weight 40kg (88 lbs)
Occupation Detective
Organization Wammy's House
Special Provision for Kira
Near (ニア, Nia) is the younger of L's two successors, raised in Wammy's House—Watari's orphanage for gifted children in Winchester, England. After L's death, Near begins his investigation of the Kira case, gathering evidence over a period of four years. Near takes his findings to the President of the United States and reveals himself to be the true successor of L. Soon after, Near becomes the head of the Special Provision for Kira and continues the hunt for Kira. After making contact with "L" (Light Yagami), Near begins to suspect that the current L is also Kira.
Near is a young man with white hair and gray eyes. He is only seen wearing a white, long-sleeved pajama top and white pajama pants. In the anime, Near's pants are light blue. In the Death Note One-Shot Special, which takes place three years after the end of the Kira case, Near is shown to have sharp bags under his eyes, slightly longer hair, and to have undergone a growth spurt. He sits in a posture similar to L's and is often seen being expressionless.
Near is very intelligent, although his childish appearance and demeanor can cause others, such as David Hoope, to question his abilities. He has an obsession with solving complex problems and views the investigation as like solving a puzzle. He is highly observational and was once seen piecing together a puzzle that was almost entirely colored white. He is proficient when it comes to multitasking and is able to monitor multiple computer screens at once. Near also appears to be ambidextrous, playing darts with his left hand and stacking dice with his right.

Despite his genius abilities, Near has a low social knowledge and is bad at interacting with others. As stated in Death Note 13: How to Read, "he is only able to display his true deductive powers when he has the support of his members." The book also states that Near is distant from people because he is sensitive. Near is rather codependent, as seen when he asks Rester to accompany him on his flight to Japan due to having never flown alone.
Near is very calm and stable, a trait that is described in Death Note 13: How to Read as being "above that of L's." He is also rather devious and isn't above using tactics that are "barely within the law," as he "values results above all else." Although a seemingly straight-faced individual, Near will often smirk when getting something right and does so many times while trying to corner Light during their conversations. He is also shown to have a sense of humor, stating that Light was "popular with the ladies" while discussing with Rester the roles of Misa Amane and Kiyomi Takada in the Kira case. Near shows much more emotion and displays far more facial expressions in the manga than he does in the anime. For example, when the SPK members were killed around him in the anime, Near keeps a stern look, but he is visibly upset in the manga.
Tsugumi Ohba, the writer of Death Note, said that Near becomes less likable as the story progresses, citing the upcoming plan to have the notebook at a later point in history. Ohba added that Near's cheeky behavior, intended to reinforce his childishness, had been construed as annoying. The author said that a negative reaction led to a difference in their attitudes and that people may have seen Near as a cheat or wannabe L
In the post-series one-shot chapter, Near is shown to have a great respect for L, basing much of how he solves crime on L's methods, even to the point where he only takes cases that he has a personal interest in rather than trying to pursue justice. Much like L, Near shows various unusual mannerisms during his day-to-day life. He is usually seen hunched over rather than sitting, and he also constantly plays with various toys, which he uses in his theories.
With extremely childlike interests, his surroundings always have toys, dice, or darts strewn about. Even though he is only playing, piecing together a patterned puzzle starting out of nowhere and the like easily shows a sample of his abilities and intelligence. Normally, his fixation with toys is light, but he does seem to have favorites, such as the toys he took with him when escaping the SPK headquarters while it was under attack by Hitoshi Demegawa and other Kira supporters. Three years after the main story, Near takes an interest in building Tarot card stacks. Of course, these structures are far beyond normal size, easily covering an entire room. It appears that Near would despise anyone who knocks down these structures, accidentally or intentionally. He also seems to have a love for dice. Although Near is always surrounded with toys, few of them are electronic. Most of his toys are the types that need to be moved manually, such as his action figures, darts, and dolls. His electronic toys include his remote-control rubber ducks and a battery-powered train.
While L uses the Old English Text MT/Cloister Black font text "L," Near uses the Wedding Text BT/ClerestorySSK font text "N" to represent himself during the Kira investigation. In the one-shot chapter, he is shown conducting investigations as "L", and uses the Old English Text MT/Cloister Black font text "L."
Near is introduced to the story as a child at Wammy's House. He is first seen sitting alone in a room piecing together a white puzzle, with the puzzle's only design being a black letter 'L' in the corner. As some children run by the room, a young girl named Linda asks Near if he wants to play with them. Near replies, "No, thank you, Linda," and continues to put together his puzzle. Soon after, Roger Ruvie comes by the room with Mello and brings the two children to his office. There, Roger informs the two boys that L has died.
Although Mello reacts rather violently to the news, Near remains quiet, sitting on the floor piecing together his puzzle. Mello begins questioning Roger, asking how L could say that he would catch Kira but end up dead himself. Near picks up his completed puzzle and turns it upside down, causing the pieces to fall about. He states, "If you can't win the game, if you can't solve the puzzle, you are just a loser." He immediately begins putting his puzzle back together. Mello asks Roger if he or Near was chosen as L's successor, and Roger replies that L had not decided yet. Roger asks if the two boys could work together. Near responds with a positive "alright," while Mello says it will never work because they "don't get along." Mello decides that Near should take the position of L because of his ability to stay calm and refrain from getting emotional, saying Near "uses his head" to solve the puzzle. Mello leaves the orphanage, and Near stays at Wammy's House for an unknown period of time.

In the time between learning of L's death and the creation of the SPK, Near gathers evidence related to the Kira case. Because all of the data gathered by L had been deleted, Near starts from scratch.