In a rare interview with Ohba, whose real identity remains unknown, the manga-ka said ending the manga with Light dying was always part of the plan. Apart from this, the most important part of “Death Note” that he did not want to change on any account was the notion of “nothingness” after death in the story. Ohba said:
“One thing that I didn’t allow to be changed was the notion that ‘when you die, you become nothingness.’ Luckily, I was able to keep this part, and the series turned out almost exactly as I had originally planned…For me, one of the premises of the series was that once a person died, they could never come back to life. I really wanted to set a rule that bringing characters back to life is cheating. That’s why death equals ‘nothingness.'”
This notion is expressed in the scene where Ryuk talks about death being equal, hinting that Light would not be going to heaven or hell, as they do not exist. Instead, he must go where everyone does after death: pure nothingness, from which there is no return. Within the mythos of “Death Note,” a person’s deeds while they’re alive do not dictate the quality of life after death, as there is no life after death. Instead, justice is achieved in the realm of the living, as seen with the triumph of Near and the SPK (Special Provision for Kira) in the end. Even on the verge of death, Light puts up a childish fight, refusing to either die or go to prison, but his fate was sealed the moment he picked up Ryuk’s Death Note. Unlike the anime, where Light quietly surrenders to death, the manga shows Light in a pitiable light, unworthy of anyone’s mercy or pity.