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According to the wiki, when a Shinigami dies, their remaining lifespan is given to the human they saved.

Shinigami who die are reduced to dust, and their remaining lifespan is given to the human they saved.

Since Rem killed L and Watari, she gained their remaining lifespans. Additionally she probably still had some lifespan left. On top of that Misa was already given a lot of lifespan from Gelus (from which she lost 75% again). So does this mean all of this lifespan is transferred to Misa Amane?!

Yet according to her wiki page, she dies in 2011 at the age of 26, only seven years after Rem died.

Does this mean that humans are also capable of reducing their own lifespans? Or would the author have made a mistake by letting Misa die as early as she has? I know she lost 75% of her remaining lifespan through the two eye deals, but you'd think that the cumulation of L, Watari and Rem's remaining lifespans would be greater than just one year, wouldn't you?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 13 down vote accepted

It isn't a plothole. There's a rule in the Death Note that specifically covers this.

Death Note Rule XLII

The use of the Death Note in the human world sometimes affects other human's lives or shortens their original life-span, even though their names are not actually written in the Death Note itself. In these cases, no matter the cause, the god of death sees only the original life-span and not the shortened life-span.

(Source: Volume 8 of the manga)

Short Answer: It doesn't matter how much time Misa gained from the shinigami, or how much she lost from halving her lifespan. Every time someone relevant to your fate is killed by the Death Note, the future changes and your lifespan is recalculated.

Misa was living for the sake of Light. Light was killed by the Death Note. It would have been strange if her recalculated lifespan hadn't been dramatically shorter than before.

The fact she died on Valentine's Day in the year following Light's death strongly suggests she committed suicide because he was dead. This is also shown at the end of the anime.

Longer Answer: The same way killing a murderer with the Death Note can extend the lives of their future victims, killing someone with the Death Note can shorten the lives of their loved ones.

We see both of these examples take place with Misa. Her life had ended with the mugging, but she was indirectly allowed to keep living by the Death Note. Later, she had a long life ahead of her, but the Death Note indirectly gave her a premature death.

The best part of this rule is the last sentence: "In these cases, no matter the cause, the god of death sees only the original lifespan and not the shortened lifespan."

So basically, the lifespans that shinigami see aren't reliably accurate. They can only see the person's original lifespan. If the Death Note indirectly decreases someone's lifespan, that person's visible lifespan won't change.

This rule was most likely created by the author just to help ensure there wouldn't be any plotholes.

Note: This only holds true for the Death Note indirectly shortening people's lives. The user's original lifespan will still visibly decrease if they trade half their lifespan for shinigami eyes (as shown when Rem is reunited with Misa, as she is able to tell that Misa traded half her lifespan again).

The user's lifespan will also visibly increase if the Death Note indirectly lengthens someone's lifespan. Rule LIX states:

Death Note Rule LIX

A human death caused by the Death Note will indirectly lengthen some other human’s original length of life even without a specific intention to lengthen a particular person’s original life span in the human world.

(Source: Volume 10 of the manga)

The rule about shortened lifespans, rule XLII, is the only rule which states that "in these cases" the shinigami can't see the correct lifespan. There is never any mention of this regarding lengthened lifespans.

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"In these cases, the god of death sees only the original lifespan". Are you sure this is canon, because Rem can see Misa's lifespan decrease over the manga multiple times. If death gods only see the original lifespan, then Misa would have minus something by now, because originally she would have died? –  Peter Raeves Jun 23 at 16:54
    
Rem only sees Misa's lifespan decrease when she halves it in exchange for the shinigami eyes. That wasn't from use of the Death Note. Also, Misa's lifespan is never negative (nor can anyone's ever be) because the above rule says "in these cases", referring to when a human's original lifespan is indirectly shortened through use of the Death Note. There is a different rule which states that using the Death Note can indirectly lengthen the original lifespan of other humans, and nowhere does it say that "the god of death sees only the original lifespan and not the lengthened lifespan". –  Azrael Jun 24 at 20:12
    
Looked through the manga to confirm it's canon, and updated the answer accordingly. Also added some of the information from the previous comment. –  Azrael Jun 25 at 2:21
    
Rem indeed said "I know her original lifespan and if she dies before that, I will kill you, Light". But, while I like your answer, it isn't completely answering my original question being "Why did Misa die so early, since she should have gained the accumulated remaining lifespans of Rem, L and Watari?", which I assumed to be more than just 7 years. –  Peter Raeves Jun 25 at 7:05
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+1 and accepted ^^. –  Peter Raeves Jun 25 at 20:53

I don't think we're told how many years Gelus or Rem had. Ryuk said that Shinigami were lazy and only write names now to extend their life, and doing more than that would be seen as "working too hard".

If we think about it, Shinigami might be sooo lazy that they might only extend their own life when they have very little time left, then find some young person to steal a few decades off from, that said it's possible that Gelus and/or Rem only had a few years left.

Also keep in mind that Rem died preventing Misa's death which L and/or Watari would have been the cause of, one could assume before Rem killed them Misa had little time left given L apparently had hard evidence to convict Misa, L probably could undeniably prove Misa was the second Kira in a week of so and see her incarcerated (possibly solitary confinement), from there she may have been executed or took her own life from being separated from Light, I wouldn't be surprised if that was in the space of a year or 2.

This is on the basis that a Shinigami does not gain any life when preventing someone's death, so L's lifespan was never taken by Rem to then be passed onto Misa. Watari, who I remember dying first, was old so he probably didn't have much time left anyway.

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It would actually make sense that L's lifespan doesn't get added to Rem's, but that would mean his remaining lifespan would just vanish. That's rather sad :( –  Peter Raeves Jun 15 at 23:53

If you look when misa sees L's lifespan, it is roughly 57 years by the equation on switching from shinigami time to human days/years so she would gain 57 years from L alone. Watari had about a year or two left.

When rem sees misa life span after making the second eye deal it reads 56873. You divide that by 3556 and that's how many days she has left (just over 15.)

So by the theory that L and Watari's lifespan do NOT go to rem, the author would be correct on the timeline.

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Sorry, could you clarify why we're dividing by 3556? I'm not sure what that number represents. –  senshin Jun 20 at 6:09
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Could you add a source, that explain the numbers and how to calculate the age from the lifespan? –  Peter Raeves Jun 20 at 9:44

Tbh I think it is kind of a plot hole because Rem actually specifies that from Gelus saving Misa her lifespan was extended far beyond a normal human.

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Do you have a reference to when Rem said this? A chapter number or something? –  Peter Raeves Jun 24 at 8:38
    
Gelus' death was covered in episode 12, at around 18:00. Internet comments on that episode are often along the lines of “that means that she had a lifespan of hundreds of years, so the eye deal didn't matter to her”. But, as far as I can tell, that was never stated. –  James Wood Jun 25 at 17:05

I believe Near(N) used the Death note to kill MisaMisa. MisMisa had no knowledge that Light had died, and she doesn't seem like a person that would commit suicide. Near probable wanted to eliminate Misa for just in case, or as a punishment for being the second Kira.

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Do u have any proof of this from the manga? –  Peter Raeves Nov 19 at 13:11

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