L – Death Note: INTP

Guest post by whatisfreethen, INTP

Death Note

L INTP| Death Note #MBTI #INTP

Introverted Thinking (Ti): One of the defining characteristics of L’s personality is his unbeaten ability to reason. He can make very long logical connections between two seemingly unrelated events (Ne), and come to conclusions which would not be easy to come by without deep thinking abilities (for instance, that the Kira they were looking for must be in Japan, or that he was a student). One of his main motivations is the desire to know. Although his schemes usually expose many facts, he is rarely 100% sure of anything.

L INTP| Death Note #MBTI #INTP

Extraverted Intuition (Ne): L is an innovator. His method of gathering information from the outside world mainly depends on him making some scheme which would drive Kira out, such as the TV broadcast which he first used to pinpoint his location further. Even while investigating directly he would visualise many different possibilities at once, using his Ti to critically analyse and assign different probabilities for each scenario. Although his schemes usually exposed many facts, he would still not be 100% sure of anything. His hesitancy to jump to conclusions leads him to never dismiss Light Yagami as a suspect in the case, even when his own experiments indicate otherwise.

L INTP| Death Note #MBTI #INTP

Introverted Sensing (Si): L isn’t the kind of detective one would usually expect to find in fiction. He prefers letting someone else do the police work over physically observing crime scenes himself and instead, concentrates on and concentrate on analysing the clues they gather (Ti). He often refers to his past experience to predict or form theories about outcomes or causes, (such as predicting that Naomi Misora was killed by Kira, and did not commit suicide).

L INTP| Death Note #MBTI #INTP

Extraverted Feeling (Fe): Although L is primarily motivated by his curiosity, he often makes it evident that there are emotional reasons for his interest in the Kira case. He doesn’t believe that a world controlled by fear can be better than the more liberal but less ideal world that exists. Despite the police and every other organisation eventually stopping his funding, he still continues on the case. It is his intent to help people that makes him one of the greatest detective in his world.


Note:  Lawliet is supposed to be his true name, but I don’t know where it was told.

9 thoughts on “L – Death Note: INTP

  1. Greetings,
    The name “L. Lawliet” has been revealed in the thirtheenth “Death Note”, a bonus data volume.
    Also, thank you for this analysis, especially on the parts that show how L uses Ne and his Fe expresses itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. L Lawliet – Death Note: INTJ

    Dominant Ni: As the number one detective in the world, L uses his Introverted Intuition first and foremost to solve a case, intuitively coming to a conclusion near the outset and afterwards spending time and effort to prove his impressively accurate hunches. In a ploy to determine Kira’s whereabouts, a ploy L is prepared to use worldwide one zone at a time, L succeeds on his first try. When L states that he is 5% sure that Light is the real Kira, he is actually 100% sure (Ohba, Tsugumi (2008). Death Note 13: How to Read) but he lacks the proof to convince others. In spite of proof to the contrary, L continues to suspect Light when everyone else has moved on. L has a single-minded determination to catch Kira, putting other cases aside and going to extreme lengths to catch him, to the point that he has an entire sky scraper built to serve for this single case. In general, his lifestyle is built around solving cases and his surroundings are often Spartan despite his affluence. He tends to ignore his appearance, as well as the general perception people have of him, but he typically has an explanation for his odd behaviour (he claims his habit of crouching increases his mental faculties, and he continues in that posture even though Japanese culture highly values proper posture).

    Auxiliary Te: L’s actions are calculated to provide him with information that is relevant to his goal. The countless traps, large and small, that he sets for Light are all centred on empirically proving what he already suspects to be true. L prefers to outsource field work unless it becomes absolutely necessary for him to be present. Although reclusive, L is capable of organizing multiple task-forces at once, without each group knowing of the existence of the others (and if the boots on the ground are unaware of his involvement, so much the better). He likes to keep his cards close to his chest (his identity is a total secret), but he is extremely blunt when he needs to be. L values people that make themselves useful, and he is often rude to those he sees as acting irrationally (e.g. Matsuda). His decisions are based in logic and he repeatedly disregards the feelings of those he works with for the sake of taking the logical course of action; for this and other of the above reasons L is alienated from many of those in law enforcement who worked with or for him.

    Tertiary Fi: L has a strong moral code that is hard for others to detect, since he seems to show a disregard for the rules. In his pursuit of catching the real Kira, L pushes many boundaries that make those working with him uncomfortable, to the point that some abandon the case (or at least L’s part in it). While L’s actions can appear to stem from a cold desire for expediency, he indicates more than once that his motives are based in his own conception of justice, and there are some boundaries that he won’t cross. He occasionally breaks actual laws in his efforts to catch Kira, and he makes it clear, too clear on occasion, that he is willing to sacrifice his own life, and the lives of those who volunteer, for results. L is not particularly in touch with others’ feelings. He has few friends, the only people close to him being Watari and, in an ironic way, Light Yagami. However, even those team members that didn’t get along with L the best eventually earned a surprising degree of his loyalty once they had been around long enough (e.g. Matsuda).

    Inferior Se: L’s Extroverted Sensing is relatively well developed (though not in every way). He is adept at tennis, has the surprising capacity to kick someone in the face while hand-cuffed to them, and he can even pick pockets when the need arises. The room that L is first seen in seems to be designed to cut out as much distracting sensory input as possible, there is no light beyond that produced by his monitor and there are no decorations or furnishings in sight. L is the first to suspect that there may be a supernatural element to the case, at which point he did not respond well (Ni), and when he actually meets with proof of a Shinigami (death-god) he was mentally prepared to some extent, and was among the quickest to accommodate this new way of thinking into his worldview. While L’s diet consists almost entirely of sugar and sweets, his food choices noticeably decline in nutrition and increase in amount and extravagance as the case more and more gridlocks and leads to dead ends. As soon as the case makes a turn for the better, and L feels reconnected to his purpose, his diet markedly improves.


  3. I knew it! Awesome. I’m an INTP and I can see how it would be easy to stereotype that willingness to be proven wrong, and more than once. I do feel like it’s rare for people to care more about getting the truth than being right, especially if they’ve decided that they are in a contest.


  4. As I watched the show, my Ni immediately told me that L was an INTP. As the show went on, I developed a theory and gathered evidence of why this was, and now I am glad to have that theory validated. This explains why I like the character so much. (As an INTJ, I’ve noticed that most of my friends are INTP’s -48% of them actually.)

    All in all, Ryuzaki is one of the most interesting characters I’ve seen in a while.

    Thank you for the analysis.


  5. Whatisfreethen, this is an excellent typing and analysis! I have been thinking about this character a lot and there is a question that I have that may be of interest. Here is my question: would you consider L a stereotype of an INTP in some ways? I thought he could be due to the difference in development between his Fe and his other functions. Another reason I bring this up is because L is sometimes considered a model of the INTP (in the way that some consider Sherlock the model of an INTJ).


    • I myself sometimes consider him an INTP stereotype in some ways, and I suspect that his creators meant him to be so. But that’s not because he doesn’t have a well developed Fe. He does have a very developed Fe and it shows through several ways though I missed writing that part before having it published, and evidently it isn’t easy to have it edited.

      I’ll probably take a day or two before submitting my subsequent contributions, just to be sure I’m not missing anything.


      • Thank you for your response! I asked about your opinion on the Fe because other typers I have seen wrote that L had a weak Fe. Since you were an INTP, I wanted to know your perspective.


  6. Aw, you know my favorite show. I’m flattered. ^-^ And I agree with all 4 letters (which is rare; usually when other people type characters I only agree with 2).


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