Soichiro Yagami is one of the two secondary antagonists of the Death Note manga/anime series (alongside Near). He is the father of protagonist Light Yagami, the chief of the National Police Agency, and leads the Japanese task force and is the leader of the Kira investigation.
He is the head of the Japanese police and has decided to arrest Kira (who, ironically is none other than his own son) and put an end to his mass murders in Japan and around the world.
As the agency begins to investigate Kira, he becomes upset at the lack of police cooperation in capturing Kira, eventually joining forces with L to form a special investigation team. When L starts to suspect that Light is Kira, Soichiro refuses to believe that his own son would be capable of such a thing. Although he eventually suffers from stress related to a heart attack, he insists on remaining useful to the team, going as far as breaking into the Sakura TV station using a police bus in order to stop Demegawa of broadcast the tape sent by Misa Amane to the TV station.
Much later, after L is killed and replaced by Light, he is instrumental in recovering the Death Note that Mello had pressed to give up, threatening Soichiro's daughter, Sayu Yagami. Using Kira's Death Note, which Misa offers him under Light's instruction, Soichiro makes the Shinigami Eye Deal with Ryuk.
Using his eyes, he is able to see Mello's real name (Mihael Kheel), although he is mortally wounded by one of Mello's gang members and his bomb. Because Light gave up his Death Note and, therefore, its useful life is visible, Soichiro dies happily believing that Light is not Kira, which although untrue, made him die in peace. The rest of the task force then continues to respect their desire to the end in pursuit of Kira, like the likes of Aizawa, Matsuda and Ide.
What Makes Him Pure Good?
- While he does often spend time away from his family and instead devoting most of his energy to work, he still loves his family dearly and is greatly disturbed by the possibility that Light could be Kira.
- He vehemently repudiates Kira's actions and even went so far as to say that no matter what purpose you commit murder for, it will never be possible to achieve happiness or peace with the death of others and saying anyone who had this type of power was cursed.
- He scolds L for using Lind L. Tailor as a decoy as a means of discover Kira's locations, of which resulted in the latter being killed by Light in a live TV broadcast (even though he was a convicted criminal).
- Even after the deaths of multiple FBI agents and seeing multiple police officers resign out of fear of being killed, Soichiro was one of the few who refused to give up on the case and was always willing to put his life on the line to catch Kira, showing his selflessness.
- Continuously worked to catch Kira to the point of collapsing from exhaustion.
- Even when hospitalized, Soichiro rushes to the tv station to stop the broadcast sent by Kira.
- While Soichiro did threaten Demegawa with a gun to force him to hand over the tapes, he only did this after attempting to reason with him, only resorting to violence when it was made clear Demegawa wouldn't hand them over due to the fear of Kira killing him. Furthermore, this was done in order to prevent anyone else from being killed by Kira.
- He had himself imprisoned in order to make sure his emotions didn't get in the way of the investigation.
- While he does participate in a plot to have Light and Misa killed out of suspicion of them being the two Kiras, it's revealed only to be a ruse to confirm whether Light was truly Kira since he would resort to killing even his father if his life was at stake. Soichiro also felt extremely conflicted about participating in this plot.
- When given the dilemma of quitting the police force to continue investigating Kira due to the police being threatened into submission, Soichiro decides to continue the investigation, determined to stop Kira even at the cost of his job.
- Jumped in front of a gunshot by Higuchi to protect Wedy.
- Captured Higuchi alongside the other police force members.
- Showed concern for Higuchi as he was killed by Light (unknowingly for Soichiro).
- Mourned L's death alongside the other officers, even holding a private funeral for him.
- Offered his wife to divorce him if she wanted to due to the stress of the Kira investigation.
- Rescued his daughter, Sayu from Mello's clutches, reluctantly handing over the Death Note to save her.
- When handing the notebook over, he initially refused to let it be tested to see if it was real, unwilling to let someone die and only relented under the threat his daughter would be killed otherwise.
- He made the Shinigami Eye Deal with Ryuk in order to get the death note back from the Mafia (even though his lifespan would be reduced by doing so).
- Even when given the opportunity to write Mello's name down, despite him having kidnapped his daughter and having every reason to hate him, he hesitates and ultimately does not go through with it. As Near once noted, a truly good person wouldn't consider using the Death Note, proving Soichiro's worth.
- On his deathbed, Soichiro expresses happiness in believing that Light was never Kira.
- Unlike practically all of the other characters, Soichiro never displays any corrupting factors, solely driven by his sense of justice.
- Soichiro is the only character in the Death Notes series to be Pure Good, and ironically his son, Light Yagami, is the only Pure Evil in the Death Note series.