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As the internet knows, in "How To Use" XXXVI, the following rule is stated: "There are male and female gods of death, but it is neither permitted, nor possible for them to have sexual relations with humans. The gods of death also cannot have sex with each other. "

Now, this rule isn't to prevent romantic interaction, as a shinigami can be in love and act like it, he will only die when he steps in to save his love interest. In other words, love isn't forbidden, purposefully saving lives is. No, the obvious would be that this rule addresses breeding. Nobody wants half-shinigami running around in either worlds. Or at least, the shinigami king doesn't.

But if something is not possible for a shinigami, why is it also forbidden? It's a pretty awkward catch: in humans (and supposedly also in creatures as sophisticated as shinigami, who have a culture and a personality) sexuality goes way beyond reproduction. We guys in the human world have hundreds of ways to spend a steamy hot night without actually doing the deed. So what is "sexual relation" supposed to mean? Here are the two options that seem obvious to me, but neither feel entirely satisfying.

1) If "sexual relations" are both forbidden AND impossible, can a shinigami behave as lewd as he wants, with humans or peers, since none of it can be called "sexual relationships" (they're impossible) therefore everything sexual he does is by default allowed? (In which case, the interdiction would only exist in case it somehow became possible for shinigami to get laid, I guess?)

2) Or, is the rule twisted/badly worded, and implies that intercourse is not possible but also that all and any sexual behaviour is forbidden, despite being completely feasible? If that was the case, it begs the question why this rule exists in the first place, since it won't cause any offspring. That would also be the first time a Death Note rule is so imprecise and ambiguous.

The whole question could be dismissed by saying that shinigami just won't be interested in it in the first place, but I ruled it out, given how diverse their personalities are and how much some of them like to mess with humans in every way possible out of sheer boredom am I right.

Both solutions seem problematic. Is there any info out there that I missed, or any thinking I got wrong? Thank you a lot for helping me solve this mystery.

  • 3
    I don't think anything has been ever said about romantic interactions between Shinigamis and humans apart from this rule. – Ikaros Sep 8 '17 at 8:55
  • It's not possible and it's also forbidden. Probably just a bit of safety redundancy on the part of the King of the Shinigamis. I would assume not (1), seeing being lewd is sexual behavior. 2) The rule might be there for other reasons than offsprings, like human perception of shinigamis. Imagine if someone met a Shinigami and then showed it to everyone and the Shinigami made advances towards all of them. People wouldn't fear Shinigamis as gods of death, but as perverts. – user24016 Sep 9 '17 at 0:20
  • If I translate from japanese: "Even though there are male and female gods of death, sexual reproduction between them and humans won't be permitted and isn't possible. Mating among gods of death won't do either." It looks like the redundancy means: offsprings aren't possible + trying to have sex even then will be punished. – user6391 Oct 25 '17 at 16:17
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I think that some of the meaning of the rule is lost in translation. Trying to translate the rule myself using my limited Japanese based of the wiki image I came down to (feel free to correct me if I am wrong)

There is a male / female in the god of death,
Human book point descendants with humans are not allowed or impossible,
The death god Same as above does not mate.

Which implicates OR rather then AND leaving the ambiguity. But also explicitly states descendants and not specifically sexual relationships.

But lets assume the translators know better what they talk a bout then I do. In that case I would assume that the rule covers the aspect of interaction using genitalia being impossible, but other sexual relationships are also not allowed.

Lets first take a look at the definition of sexual relationships

Sexual relationships: Interactions involving sexual behavior with another person, or other people including, kissing, petting, humping, making out, sex, anal sex, oral sex, rimming, t bagging, fucking, licking, hickeys, sucking.

Reading through these, lets assume that relations which requiring the genitalia are impossible. All though this never is explicitly stated, the rule does some what insinuate this.

This would leave us with things such as : Kissing, petting, humping, making out, licking etc.

A Shinigami does have a mouth, hands and perhaps a tongue. Quite a few of these sexual relationships remain possible to the Shinigami, without actual intercourse or chance of creating demi-god off-spring.

So if we interpretation it in this way, it would make sense to cover the broader aspect of sexual relationships

  • "Human book point descendants with humans are not allowed or impossible"? I would personally translate it litterally as: "Even though there are male and female gods of death, sexual reproduction between them and humans won't be permitted and isn't possible. Mating among gods of death won't do either." – user6391 Oct 25 '17 at 16:13

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