So BB was born with the Shinigami eyes because a Shinigami dropped it's eyeballs. But how is this even possible? Did the Shinigami ripped out his eyes and then let them fall down to Earth? I just don't get it.

Also, if a human touched the eyes of a Shinigami, would he then also get Shinigami eyes?

2 Answers 2


a Shinigami dropping it's eyeballs is just something Mello thought of

It is unknown how he could have possibly been "born" with the eyes, though Mello wonders if a Shinigami dropped its eyeballs to Earth (instead of a Death Note)

Source - Character, 3rd Paragraph, 3rd Sentence

and since Beyond Birthday only appeared in Death Note: Another Note which occurs before the manga (L's first encounter with Naomi Misora during the Los Angeles "BB Serial Murder Case" mentioned in volume 2 of the manga) i can really only answer this from logical evidence, absent of any official statement and assuming that Mello is correct.

I would suspect but rather than a Shinigami taking it's eyes out on it's own (which are used to allow Shinigami to work out how much life they will gain from taking a life), we can make the assumption that a Shinigami died.

How we know of 2 ways a Shinigami can die

  • they fail to extend their own life by taking names
  • they save the life of a human who's death date had arrived

When a Shinigami dies they turn to sand/dust however this isn't instantaneous,

as we can see from the links above, Rem began to crumble first however Gelus's eye disappeared first

we also know that there is a Portal which allows travel between the Shinigami Realm and earth. i theorize 2 ways that the Shinigami Beyond Birthday got the eyes from died

  1. said Shinigami saved a human which would explain why they were at the portal

  2. said Shinigami was sooo lazy that it waited to the last minute to take a name to add more life and couldn't take a life quick enough before it died

now while we are told that Shinigami are lazy i don't think they are that lazy not to write names (though Ryuk does note this to Light) so i'm going to assume 1)

regardless, the Shinigami's eyes could have dropped out of it's head and rolled out of the portal which could explain why the eyeballs were dropped and not the Death Note (as we see in The Last Name Gelus's Death Note fell to earth however in the anime it didn't).

So then how did Beyond Birthday get the eyeballs? well it was either by coincidence or since Beyond Birthday was at Wammy's House said Shinigami saved Beyond Birthday at birth by saving his mother who may have been pregnant and was about to be murdered.

Also, if a human touched the eyes of a Shinigami, would he then also get Shinigami eyes?

this i can't answer, i would assume the timeframe is very small because the eyeballs would have turned into sand/dust and Beyond Birthday was just very lucky to have gotten them before hand because if it was a living Shinigami's eyes, well the sight of Light running around with a bag of apples trying to get Ryuk top allow him to poke his eyes, or Misa looking all cute and asking Ryuk if she can doesn't quite match the tone of the series

  • So it isnt impossible for light to get the shinigami eyes by touching ryuks eyes? @Memor-X
    – DarkYagami
    Oct 27, 2014 at 17:19
  • @DarkYagami possibly however as to my assumption Ryuk would have to die first. i can't find any official evidence about how Beyond Birthday was born with Shinigami eyes and we only have a thought by Mello to go on, for we know he is incorrect and maybe one of Beyond Birthday's parents is actually a Shinigami. however i didn't touch on this as there is no reasonable logic to prove this (apart from Perseus however Greek Gods are just general assholes)
    – Memor-X
    Oct 27, 2014 at 21:44
  • It is worth mentioning that BB was able to read the time till death while someone who makes the eye deal cannot. This does support the idea that these could have been "real" Shinigami eyes like this answer says rather than someone somehow somereason doing the eye deal for the baby.
    – kaine
    Oct 28, 2014 at 13:28
  • Maybe a shinigami just threw his eyes into the human world and then BB touched it while he still was a baby. Also i think BB could read it because he first noticed a low number above his parents head and then the more deaths he experienced the more he could learn how he could use the shinigami eyes. @kaine
    – DarkYagami
    Oct 28, 2014 at 15:58
  • @DarkYagami I agree that he could possibly have learned how to read it by constant exposure which would imply it could somehow be the eye deal. My point though was that this seems to be a clear difference between the "eye deal" and whatever happened to BB. This means the "thrown eyes" (or shinigami dad) makes more sense than it initially seems.
    – kaine
    Oct 28, 2014 at 16:11

Another interpretation: Mello was just embellishing, and B didn't really have the Shinigami Eyes.

There's an analysis about Another Note in this blog post that touches on this subject. The analysis doesn't particularly argue for or against the position of whether B really had the Shinigami Eyes (both are canon compliant), but it should be noted:

As a narrator, Mello is unreliable. He states opinions as though they are fact – incidentally I think this is IC for him based on his characterization in the manga – which is what leads to a lot of confusion that we, the readers, have to sort through.

Some observations from that analysis:

  • If B didn't have the Shinigami Eyes, that wouldn't change a single objective fact about the LABB case.
  • Details like B practicing laughing in a mirror or him experimenting with internal hemorrhage are something that Mello could only know from speaking to B himself. But, it's doubtful that Mello personally interviewed B or Naomi given the canon timeline. So, it's more likely that Mello just took a lot of creative license when writing the characters for this story.
  • Given that Shinigami are not allowed to interfere with human lives except by Death Note, and given that the Shinigami were shown to be extremely apathetic and indifferent to the human world, it's seems unlikely that Shinigami would feel inclined to (somehow) give some human on Earth the Shinigami Eyes.

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