Death Note Cosplay – 10+ tips to achieve each character

Death Note Cosplay @raylucosplay as Misa, @jeanppcosplay as Ryuk, @gascoveredhands as L img: haileymcwphotography

Death Note is pretty dark, so it’s a popular one for cosplayers who want to express some of the morbid, semi-gothic energy they have within!

In this article, I’ll go through the most popular Death Note characters to cosplay, show some images of people that have cosplayed Death Note before you, and list the key points that make or break each character’s outfit. I also link out to many of the best options for where you can get the necessary items for each outfit.

#1 L Cosplay

L Cosplay by pink.cossplay

L is a relatively simple character to Cosplay. But, for this very reason, each element of the costume accounts for a lot.

L’s tremendous intellect and pithy quotes also make him a popoular candidate to try and recreate.

You won’t need to purchase a lot, so everything you do purchase, or use, needs to give you good value. For the full look at what is available for L cosplay look here.

Key points for achieving a good L cosplay outfit

The two things you really need to get right to achieve a convincing L look are the eyes and the hair.

Death Note L eyes

L has dark, gaunt eyes. He looks like he hasn’t slept for a week and has been living on coffee. From his personality, you kind of guess this is probably the case.

To achieve this effect, the darker the better.

You see L Cosplayers sometimes going for a light shading rather than an intense depth. This is is usually a mistake.

The darker eyes, aside from anything else, really make the eyes pop. L’s eyes are piercing and striking in the anime, so don’t skimp on the eyeshadow and eyeliner.

L Cosplay by ju.steban.4
L Cosplay by anthonycujoh

Death Note L hair

The second key to achieving an effective L cosplay outfit is to get the hair right.

Realistically, this is pretty hard to achieve without a wig.

Sure, if you have a big ol’ head of hair and plenty of money to invest in a collection of hairspray, you might get some of the way there. But if you want to achieve the patently jagged hair that juts out in an aerodynamic-looking swoosh, then getting something pre-made is your best bet.

Anogol Hair Cap+ Short Wavy Layered Black Cosplay Wig Synthetic Hair Full Wigs for Costume

S-noilite Unisex Short Cosplay Hair Wig Women Men Male Fluffy Straight Cartoon Anime Con Party Costume Pixie Wigs Black

Beyond that, all you really need is a white shirt and some blue pants (jeans will do, although if you look closely at L’s trousers, they look closer to tracksuit pants).

MJ Soffe Men's Long-Sleeve Cotton T-Shirt, White, Medium

Tansozer Men's Lightweight Joggers Casual Slim Sweatpants Track Pants with Zipper Pockets (Navy Blue, Large)

Nice purchase Fake Slice Cake Fake Food Bakery Shop Cake Display Model Party Decoration 4 inch Slice Faux Replica Cake

#2 Misa Cosplay

Misa is perhaps the most popular Death Note character for females to do.

With her sexy iconic black gothic outfit, you can see why so many people are drawn to doing Misa cosplay.

In contrast to doing L as a Cosplay outfit, there are a lot more bits and pieces that you need to assemble to put together a Misa outfit.

In some ways, this is both a plus and a minus.

It is a plus because it is relatively easy to get a Misa Cosplay outfit set that includes the majority of the most important bits. It is a minus because Misa is pretty hard to do unless you already have an extensive gothic-influenced wardrobe, or are willing to put a lot of time and effort into sourcing and putting together those bits and pieces yourself.

Key points for achieving a good Misa cosplay outfit

Misa by lostinerwin

Misa Hair

Misa by killercuite_cosplay Outfit from: @miccostumes.official Photographer: @luminoussoulphoto

Probably the biggest part (apart from the attitude of the wearer!) that sets a convincing Misa cosplay away from a less convincing one is the hair.

Misa has distinctive straight, long blond hair that is tied in two pigtails at the top, front part of her head with two long side fringes. So that is basically five elements:

  • straight
  • long
  • blonde
  • pigtails at front/top of head
  • Side fringe

Get any of these elements wrong, and the effect just isn’t right.

In reality, once again, for most people, this means a wig is going to be the best way to go. Even then, you see a lot of Misa outfits that don’t quite hit the mark. To really get the effect, you need to get a wig that matches all these criteria.

Here are a couple of examples:

Is it impossible to get this effect with your natural hair? No, you might have the perfect hair for pulling off a Misa, but it is unlikely.

Some people do opt to do a cosplay outfit that injects something of their own natural look and personality into it, with wavy or curly hair, and this can be a fun way to do things if that is what you are looking for.

Really, it depends whether you are going for something that is absolutely authentic, or more an expression of your personality.

WKS Misa Amane wig,Anime Death 60cm Note Long Straight Golden Yellow Hair Costume Accessory

Coskidz Women's Goth Lolita Dress Dark Gothic Cosplay Costume Dress with Stockings Black Dress Steampunk Halloween (Black, X-Large)

Jewelry & accessories

The other key to creating a convincing Misa is to complete the outfit with the appropriate accessories.

First and foremost amongst these is a choker. Misa is almost always depicted with this neck accessory in the Death Note series.

The most common one you see in the show is a simple thin black number, but she actually wears quite a few choker variations over the course of the story.

The second most iconic accessory she wears in the show is a crucifix necklace. She doesn’t wear this as much as her various chokers, but it’s such an instantly recognizable image that many cosplayers incorporate this into their costumes.

Here is a good example:

Alilang Black & Slive Gold Plated Rhinestone Flower Cross Cubic Zirconia Pendant Necklace

More details about Misa cosplay outfits and accessories here.

#3 Ryuk Cosplay

Ryuk by sammy_kun_

Of all the Death Note Cosplay outfits you can tackle, Ryuk is the toughest.

Ryuk is such an entertaining and idiosyncratic character, with the Death Note Death God being known for his pithy quotes and one-liners, that people are willing to put in the effort to recreate his look – with various degrees of success.

The two keys to pulling off a decent Ryuk cosplay costume are the face makeup and the wings.

Key points for achieving a good Ryuk cosplay outfit

Ryuk by sammy_kun_

Ryuk Makeup

The specific challenge for creating the Ryuk facial effect are the mouth and the eyes. Within this, probably the toughest challenge for creating your Ryuk is what to do about the Death God’s googly bug eyes.

Unfortunately, there is no ready-made solution that is just right for achieving this effect. One approach is to take a couple of ping pong balls, cut them in half, cut out a center hole and apply coloring. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but it is doable.

You can see an illustration of the approach here.

As for the makeup, the key to making this work is to get some proper monster makeup. Whatever is hanging around the bottom of the house makeup drawer isn’t going to cut it.

Mehron Makeup Resident Evil 2 Zombie All-Pro Makeup Kit

The best Ryuk makeup creations generally work with gradations, smudging, and blurring. This lets you achieve greyish tones and various degrees of darkness. This tends to look better than straight-out hard black on white.

Ryuk Wings

The other key to a Ryuk outfit with impact is the wings and roughage. A good quality pair of large wings is huge for recreating Ryuk.

But Ryuk doesn’t just have a clear cut set of wings on his back. He also has feathers around his shoulders and other areas.

Luckily, there are a few good pre-made options out there that will save you from having to do too much cutting and gluing!

Another thing to note is that it is actually common for women to cosplay ryuk:

ZUCKER Large Gothic Vixen Style Maleficent Inspired Black Angel Feather Wings

ZUCKER Large Gothic Vixen Style Maleficent Inspired Black Angel Feather Wings

Ryuk by tarlatrent

Touch of Nature Black Adult Angel Wings - 52" by 36" - Halo Included - Black Feather Wing - Costume Wings - Large Angel Wings

HOMELEX Gothic Black Natural Feather Cape Shawl with Choker Collar Halloween Costumes

See a 15 second video of x_shellina_x putting together her Ryuk face here.

#4 Light Yagami Cosplay

Light Yagami is a relatively simple Death Note Cosplay to pull off.

The main challenge is making sure everything really crisp and looking well done.

Light’s life is all about immaculate planning and execution (in every sense of the word!). You can hear malice that lies behind his facade when you analyse Light’s quotes. His clothing should reflect that if you want to get the proper effect.

There is no shortage of off-the-shelf full Light cosplay outfits that you can buy with an appropriate suit, trousers, shirt, and tie – like this one:

Anime Cosplay Death Note Yagami Light Killer Anime Cosplay Costume Uniform Sets (Male L)

This is obviously the easiest way to go.

Given that light’s clothing is based on everyday wear, you can also go the assemble-it-yourself by raiding a few thrift stores. The hardest piece to find is light’s distinctive beige jacket.

But you can get away with a suit top that approximates the look, as long it is in good nick!

Key points for achieving a good Yagami Light cosplay outfit

Given that you have assembled the basic elements above, the key things that really make or break a Light cosplay outfit are hair and makeup.

Light Hair

Light has distinctive straight brown hair that is best achieved with a wig like this one:

MapofBeauty Fashion Men's Short Straight Wig (Brown)

Light Makeup

The other element that really adds to the Light look is makeup.

In many ways, other than his dark interior, Yagami Light is the “perfect” individual, physically and mentally.

In particular, he is depicted as having an exceedingly handsome face, the kind that hooks women like Misa straight away.

To achieve this perfect face, it really adds a lot to use foundation to smooth out the skin and blush to accentuate Light’s pretty-boy cheekbones.

Anything you can do to accentuate his “perfect” features helps, adding some definition to the eyebrows, etc.

Some people even go as far as wearing red contact lenses to accentuate his evil eyes.

Light with red eyes by mae.senpai

Death Note Cosplay in Pairs

There are several great couples or pair relationships in Death note. This makes it a logical candidate for duo cosplay.

The most popular option is Misa and Yagami Light:

Light and Misa by bubaspinola andshonen.tsu

The other logical option is Yagami light and Ryuk.

Death Note Accessories

Of course, there is pretty much one must have Death Note Cosplay accessory that goes across all of the characters you dress up as. That is of course the Death Notebook iteself!

Death Notebook Anime Cosplay Feather Pen L Necklace Book Chain Set Anime Accessories 4 PCS Black

Death Note Cosplay in Conclusion

This article has highlighted the important points of Death Note cosplay. Death Note’s popularity has prompted many people to cosplay one character from the show.

The article also discusses some of the difficulties a person may have when trying to dress up as a character from this anime. Overall, it can be difficult to find good-quality outfits but there are creative alternatives that exist.

Death note cosplay can be creative, challenging, and productive. It is also a good way to make friends with other fans.

Death Note is a great show for anyone interested in the dark side of human nature.

I hope you enjoyed this article and will try death note cosplay out for yourself!