- Ryuk Background
- Ryuk Quote Top 10
- 1. “There’s no heaven, no hell. No matter what you do in life, everyone goes to the same place. Death plays no favourites.”
- 2. “C’mon Light! There’s no one home. Why don’t we hit the Mario Golf again?”
- 3. “The Death Gods just have some kind of vague sense of not wanting to die. So they collect human lives and live on vaguely. The Gods of Death these days, they’re really just rotting away. Noone even remembers the very reason that they exist. I don’t think they have anything that you would call a reason for being.”
- 4. “I was just bored. It’s a strange thing for a God of Death to say, but I had no sense of “being alive”…”
- 5. “Don’t worry your little head, Light. You’re already quite the God of Death yourself!”
- 6. “(Ryuk to Light) You really are an evil beast.”
- 7. “Don’t think that those that have used the Death Notebook are able to go to heaven or hell. Just remember that. Look forward to the afterlife!”
- 8. “The special cost of a God of Death is half a person’s natural life-span.”
- 9. “Whether you will be happy or sad, Light, is not something that I care about. But, you know, I’ve heard that, as a general rule, people that are visited by the Gods of Death don’t end up having a lot of fun.”
- 10. “Apples for me are like, well, booze or tobacco for humans. I get withdrawal symptoms if I go without them too long.”
- What can we learn from the Ryuk quotes from Death Note?
The Character or Ryuk in Death Note provides a much-needed element of comic relief. That this comic relief comes in the form of a Shinigami God of Death is, well, kind of ironic.
Far from coming across as an all-powerful deity, Ryuk gives the impression of a somewhat clown-like, after-life buffoon.
This is not the mysterious, shadow-shrouded, character that we often see depicted in the Western figure of the Grim Reaper.
In many way, Ryuk’s quotes act as a foil to Light Yagami’s quotes, which are, contrary to his name, incredibly dark,
But Ryuk’s humor is often tinged with a kind of all-knowing wisdom that hints at a greater knowledge than his almost child-like demeanor lets on.
In fact, the way Ryuk sometimes comes across like a big kid is sometimes actually quite similar to the tone of the L quotes we hear.
Both have the habit of releasing truth bombs besides, and interspersed with, otherwise innocuous comments.
Contrast these with the more fiery quotes from Mello.
Ryuk is the Shinigami who introduces himself to Light a.k.a. Kira in volume one of the manga “Death Note.” He lives in the Shinigami realm and his only way home is if he finds a living person’s name and writes it down in their Death Note, which will then kill that person.
He is a demon who has been charged with taking away the souls of humans in the land of the living.
Ryuk in particular is one of few demons that have been allowed to move between both worlds.
He loves humans and enjoys toying with them. That being said, he is not shy about taking their souls when they come to an end.
Ryuk tends to become attached to humans and often watches their lives for years before coming back for their souls.
Ryuk Quote Top 10
Sometimes the best quotes come from the villains of a story, and in this list, we’ll be looking at Ryuk’s best ones from Death Note.
He has some very interesting quotes that will both make you think and laugh.
He gives us insights into the nature of reality and the afterlife, like this:
1. “There’s no heaven, no hell. No matter what you do in life, everyone goes to the same place. Death plays no favourites.”
“天国も地獄もない 生前何をしようが死んだ奴のいくところは同じ 死は平等だ
tengoku mo jigoku mo nai seizen nani o shiyōga shinda yatsu no iku tokoro wa onaji shi wa byōdōda”
In this way, Ryuk’s worldview is surprisingly secular, even atheistic. Perhaps this view is related to the predominant Japanese view of the world as being without a single, interventionist god. Rather, they tend to see the world through the prism of Shinto belief, which asserts that there are gods everywhere.
Perhaps this is why songs such as John Lennon’s atheistic anthem “Imagine” with lines like “Imagine there’s no heaven, no hell below us, above us only sky” are so popular in Japan.
Certainly, the idea that “Death plays no favorites” or “All are equal in death” has an allure to it. Who wants there to be a social order on the other side? Isn’t the idea that the good go one way, and the bad another, a classist system to begin with?
Ryuk punctuates these big picture philosophical ideas with child-like comments like:
2. “C’mon Light! There’s no one home. Why don’t we hit the Mario Golf again?”
“なあライト 家に誰もいない様だし 久しぶりに二人でマリオゴルフしない？
nā raito ie ni dare mo inai yōdashi hisashiburi ni ni nin de mario gorufu shinai ？”
And this is what makes the character or Ryuk so endearing! A God of Death from the afterlife that wants to sit down with you on the couch and play some Nintendo? What’s not to like?
Indeed Ryuk often gives us the sense that the Gods of Death are really, well, kinda just like you or I.
The Gods of Death even exhibit a certain existentialist ennui. They seem to question their own existence, just like we do:
3. “The Death Gods just have some kind of vague sense of not wanting to die. So they collect human lives and live on vaguely. The Gods of Death these days, they’re really just rotting away. Noone even remembers the very reason that they exist. I don’t think they have anything that you would call a reason for being.”
“ただ漠然と 死にたくないから人の寿命をいただき 漠然と生きている…本当に今の死神界っていうのは腐っている。何の為に存在しているのかすら もう誰にもわからない。たぶん存在してる意味なんて ないんだろう…”
shinitakunaikara hito no jumyō o itadaki bakuzento ikiteiru … hontōni ima no shinigamikai tteiu no wa kusatteiru . nani no tame ni sonzai shiteiru no ka sura mō dare ni mo wakaranai . tabun sonzai shiteru imi nante nai ndarō …
Ryuk himself certainly doesn’t seem to be immune from this sense of not knowing what has been put on, or above, this planet for. He seems to be searching for a meaning for life (or is that death?) any more than the next, um, god.
He actually seems thankful to Light for spicing up his life a little:
4. “I was just bored. It’s a strange thing for a God of Death to say, but I had no sense of “being alive”…”
taikutsudattakara . shinigami ga konna koto iu no mo okashīga ikiteru tte ki ga shinakutena …”
In fact Ryuk actually compliments Light quite a lot. In comments like this, he seems to be simultaneously respectful and matter of fact:
5. “Don’t worry your little head, Light. You’re already quite the God of Death yourself!”
anshin shiro . sonna koto shinakute mo , tsuki . omae wa mō , rippana shinigamida”
Ryuk often pays Light the “complement” of being quasi God of Death, or demon-like figure:
6. “(Ryuk to Light) You really are an evil beast.”
omae , akumadana”
But, even while obviously respecting Light’s stunning intellect and inherently “dastardly” (and there’s a word you don’t often get to use these days) nature, Ryuk often reminds Light of his limitations, especially his limited knowledge of the Beyond, as in this quote:
7. “Don’t think that those that have used the Death Notebook are able to go to heaven or hell. Just remember that. Look forward to the afterlife!”
desunōto o tsukatta ningen ga tengoku ya jigoku e ikeru to omōna .
sore dakeda . shinde kara no o tanoshimida”
Ryuk also makes sure to make the cost that Light is paying clear to him:
8. “The special cost of a God of Death is half a person’s natural life-span.”
shinigami no medama no nedan wa , sono ningen no nokori no jumyō no , hanbunda”
Indeed, Ryuk switches back and forth between sounding kind of in awe of Light, and being quite matter-of-fact about him:
9. “Whether you will be happy or sad, Light, is not something that I care about. But, you know, I’ve heard that, as a general rule, people that are visited by the Gods of Death don’t end up having a lot of fun.”
” nōto o motta kotode , tsuki ga shiawase ni narōga fukō ni narōga , sonna koto wa ore wa dō demo ī . tada , futsū wa shinigami ni tsukareta ningen wa , fukō ni narurashī “
Perhaps the most fun aspect of Ryuk is his ongoing obsession with apples, of all things. Surely a God of Death should get off on, oh I don’t know, goat’s heads, or beating hearts from baby lambs, or writhing snakes or toads or spiders or pretty much anything you would imagine a witch chucking into a cauldron to make a potion.
But, no, it’s apples. Like the same apples that students are traditionally meant to gift to teachers.
Whatever the reason behind this, it seems that the apple is actually almost like a drug to Light’s shinigami, as evidenced by this Ryuk quote:
10. “Apples for me are like, well, booze or tobacco for humans. I get withdrawal symptoms if I go without them too long.”
“俺にとってのリンゴっていうのは… そ そうだな……
ore nitotte no ringo tteiu no wa … so sōdana … …
ningen de iu sake ya tabako mitaina mono de … zutto naito kindanshōjō ga … … …”
What can we learn from the Ryuk quotes from Death Note?
So, through these Ryuk quotes, we can see that the Death Note God of Death, far from being an other-worldly being of mystery and omnipresence, is actually a relatable character with a sense of humor.
Ryuk’s quotes are intriguing because of the questions they provoke about the nature of good and evil.
Ryuk is one of the most unpleasantly hilarious characters that pops up across the anime realm. The same can be said for his jokes, which are both dark, and light-hearted. He’s that character that nobody would want to have around but who everyone wants to know what he’ll say next.
Ultimately, it’s hard not to love a creature that loves apples and Mario Golf!