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In Death Note, the Shinigami (death gods) need the use of the Death Note to kill people, especially in order to continue their lives, so if they won't use it, they will die, their only means of killing is the Death Note, and that is the source of my question.

If for example, the Shinigami loses their Death Note, what to use of him to be called Shinigami? What is so special about the Shinigami in the world of Death Note, their only means to kill is the Death Note, but we see that even humans can use them, so what is so special about the Shinigami to differentiate them from humans who are referred to as Shinigami?

Just to clarify, the main question is not about their rule but on their species, their rule has been hinted in the manga that in the past the Shinigami were more mixed with the human world for some special reasons but in the time of the story of Death Note they have no real reason to exist as Ryuk tells Light (and I thinks also Rem tells Misa why in the past so many Shinigami were dead because of that).

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