Here’s everything about L loving Light and vice versa:
It’s unlikely that Light ever loved L or was even capable of loving another person.
L clearly thought of Light as a valued friend and probably did love him in at least some way.
As for a romantic relationship, such a thing is never explicitly stated in the original manga and is unlikely considering Light’s character.
So if you want to learn all about L and Light love each other, then this is the article for you.
Let’s jump right into it!
Spoiler Warning for Death Note
This is a very interesting question, and it’s worthy of deep discussion, but in order to have such a discussion, we have to get deep into the plot points of Death Note.
If you have never read or watched any version of Death Note, then I need to warn you.
There are massive spoilers ahead.
I’m going to be discussing the most crucial plot points in the original manga and anime.
If you want to avoid any spoilers, you need to stop right here.
That’s the only spoiler warning you’re going to get.
Who Is Light in Death Note?
Now that you have been sufficiently warned of impending spoilers for a story that finished in 2006, let’s talk about some of the things you need to understand.
If you’re already intimately familiar with the series, you can jump down a couple of sections to see the discussion on whether or not L and Light loved each other.
If you’re not an expert, then we need to start with a recap of who Light is and what he’s all about.
Light is the main character of the story.
Arguably, you can call him the protagonist, but he’s also clearly a villain in his own world.
Light was in high school when he came across the Death Note, a supernatural book that will kill anyone whose name is written in it.
When Light comes to understand the power of the book, he instantly forms a plan to remake the world.
Light claims to be serving justice, but he unceremoniously kills criminals using the power of the Death Note.
He plans to create a crime-free society, and along the way, he develops a sense of megalomania.
Light works hard to keep anyone from knowing that he is responsible for the mass death of criminals around the world.
So, the people of the world start referring to the “god” that is killing off criminals as “Kira.”
Kira ends up becoming something of an alter ego for Light, and he eventually thinks that he should rule the world that he is remaking.
It’s a dark spiral, and it ends with Light being caught and killed for his own crimes.
But, along the way, Light meets an arch nemesis who goes by “L.”
The thing about Light and L is that they are unparalleled geniuses in the world, and their interactions are what really drive the story.
That’s enough background on Light for us to move forward, so we can next discuss L.
Who Is L in Death Note?
L is introduced very early in the Death Note series.
When we meet him, he is already the best and most renowned detective in the world, even though he’s very young.
L is an eccentric character who uses his brain so much that he constantly has to consume large quantities of sugar just to fuel his thought process.
L is someone who was taken into an orphanage at a young age and tested and trained to be smarter than everyone else.
Before he is handed the Kira case, he has a perfect record as a detective.
Early in his dealings with Light and Kira, L outclasses Light and rapidly puts pressure on him.
Despite that, L is never able to conclusively prove that Light is in fact Kira.
They have many back and forths, and at one point, L even comes to say that Light is his best and only friend.
It’s an interesting dynamic, to say the least.
Ultimately, Light kills L, fully revealing his identity after it’s too late for L to respond.
This ultimately makes L a tragic character in the series, and it’s tied to why people think that there may have been a romance hidden in the subtexts of Death Note.
What Is the Love Rumor Between Light and L?
Now that we’ve covered enough background, we can get into the rumor.
First, let me make this clear.
There is never any explicit romance between L and Light in either the original manga or the anime series that followed it.
There have been a few other incarnations of the story since, but even then, the idea of a romance between the characters is not explicitly stated.
Despite that, a lot of fans have speculated that the two characters do develop a romance through the series.
There are largely two reasons for this.
First, they are both clearly much smarter than anyone else in the series.
They are the only people capable of understanding each other, even if they are on opposite sides.
It lends itself toward a forbidden romance, even if it isn’t directly explored in the original media.
The second reason people make this speculation is that there is a period of time where L and Light are handcuffed together.
This doesn’t just last for an afternoon.
They stay handcuffed for an undefined period of time that is probably multiple months.
The handcuffs never come off.
That means the two characters eat together, sleep together, bathe together, and all of the rest for that entire duration.
More than that, the entire time they share the handcuffs, they work together to try to catch Kira.
Light, during this period, has no memories of being Kira, so it’s in his best interests to help Light catch the “real” Kira to gain his freedom.
The two grow closer during the period where they are handcuffed, and you can see how people reach certain conclusions.
If they do literally everything together and grow closer, maybe there’s a romance there.
That leads to an inevitable question.
Is there a romance? Do they fall in love?
I think the best way to explore this is to look at it from each character’s perspective.
Does L Love Light?
Let’s consider L’s point of view first.
This is a character who has been isolated by his intelligence his entire life.
Until he takes the Kira case and meets Light, L has no reason to believe that he has a peer anywhere in the world.
It’s not entirely surprising that L takes a liking to Light, especially since by all appearances, Light is a stand up guy.
At the same time, L suspects Light from the very beginning.
L isn’t so much looking for evidence that Light is Kira; he’s looking for proof enough that he can make an arrest.
What this really boils down to is whether or not L can love someone he suspects is a mass killer.
It’s a debatable question, and I would argue in favor of yes.
L is probably not romantically in love with Light.
He’s probably not capable of such feelings.
But, he clearly feels deep-seated respect for Light, and the two do appear to become friends while they are working together.
L even makes a statement to the effect of Light being his first and only friend.
From L’s perspective, there is a bond, and it is a valuable one at that.
L probably does love Light as a friend, even though his suspicions never go away.
As a consequence of these feelings, learning of Light’s betrayal right before his death is probably devastating to him in a way that even Light doesn’t understand.
All of this is to say that I think L probably did love Light, if only in his eccentric way.
Does Light Love L?
What about the other perspective?
Does Light ever come to love L?
I think that in this case, the answer is no.
Light might be the protagonist, but he’s also clearly a villain in the story.
While Light justifies his actions with statements of justice, peace, and other virtues, it’s made clear in the story that he feels no remorse for killing.
Light is perfectly willing to use and discard absolutely anyone if it furthers his aims.
He even kills innocent people just to protect his own identity.
It’s pretty clear in the story that Light is incapable of truly loving anyone.
On top of that, Light does exhibit classic heterosexual tendencies throughout the series.
He has multiple girlfriends and is clearly attracted to women.
He doesn’t love the women in his life any more than he loves anyone else, but from Light’s perspective, a homosexual relationship seems unlikely at best.
What about platonic love?
Light probably does perceive L as his genuine best friend.
He definitely sees L as a worthy adversary.
When Light loses his memories, he and L bond in a way that wasn’t possible while Light was knowingly acting as Kira.
Even then, Light instantly returned to his sociopathic ways as soon as his memories were restored.
This suggests that Light was settling for a friendship with L when his true desire was to be Kira all along.
Ultimately, he never really loved L.
He might have respected and valued L in a way, but love would never be the right word to describe it.