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In Episode 29, the NPA tries to capture/kill Mello. Soichiro Yagami gets the Shinigami Eyes and tells Light that Mello's real name is Mihael Keehl. So, Mello escapes because Soichiro Yagami couldn't kill him. But didn't Light know Mello's face?

It's mentioned that no matter how exact the drawings are, you can't see the names of the person with the Shinigami Eyes. But Light knew Mello's name was Mihael Keehl, he also knew how he looked like because of that girl who draws Mello's and Near's faces.

Also, one of the first rules of the death note states:

This note will not take effect unless the writer has the person's face in their mind when writing his/her name. Therefore, people sharing the same name will not be affected.

Light knew how Mello looked like. He also knew his name was Mihael Keehl.

Why didn't Light kill Mello?

  • Not an answer but, going by Light's personality I doubt he would rely on a drawing of someone to determine what they looked like. – user2716766 Aug 11 '14 at 5:09
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Some rule state that the eye of the shinigami did not work on drawings, no matter how perfect. It could apply a similar rule to the "face in mind".

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    One could argue a drawing is someone elses representation of their face; not their face. Since he is looking for sources: the rule is XX part 2: If the conditions are met, names and life spans can be seen through photos and pictures, no matter how old they are. But this is sometimes influenced by the vividness and size. Also, names and life spans cannot be seen by face drawings, however realistic they may be. – kaine Sep 26 '14 at 13:16
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Light did see Mihael's face when his dad Soichiro confronted Mello at the mafia place (episode 29 in the anime). The Japanese task force had cameras on them when they infiltrated Mello's hideout. Since Light knew his name and saw his face, he could've killed Mello at any given time.

However, this would make Light seem more suspicious as the only person with a death note at the time was his father and the only people who knew how Mello looked like were the people on the mission.

On the other hand, Near said he couldn't contact Mello because he didn't know where he was, so Light could've conceivably made Mello disappear in the same way he did with the Naomi Misora.

  • No. Light did not see Mello's face - the only person who saw him was Light's father - Light was at his command center and did not see what his father saw. (Anime/Manga difference: in the manga, the Japanese police had cameras, but Mello was able to force the destruction of these cameras before Light's father could see Mello - in the anime, there is no indication that the Japanese police had cameras at all) – neothoron Jan 31 '15 at 9:40
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In the anime there is evidence there were cameras when the police intervened in the Mafia place. Light tells police at the scene they have to keep searching for Mello because none of the gangsters at the scene looks like the drawing of Mello's face made by the girl. It didn't look like they were sending phone pictures. There must have been cameras, and when the building explodes, we can see Light watching the screens with the transmission interrupted. The only way to justify that Light didn't know Mello's face is because his father takes off his helmet (where the camera most probably was placed) in front of Mello, a strange decision since he didn't need to do that to recognize Mello's face and his name and lifespan. Another explanation can be that Soichiro didn't want his action of killing a criminal through the Death Note recorded in his helmet's camera.

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