My favorite thing about Mikami is that he has "kami" in his name
His name is very, very cool, agreed!
I absolutely love the way they made the sound of his name play at both Light’s name and the name of Taro Kagami from the pilot. In pronunciation, he is closer to Kagami but in given name meaning (Teru means Illumination) he’s a lot closer to Light. Since his intro chapter, 84, was meant to introduce him as similar to Light, this adds onto the parallel as well as the parallels his backstory shares with the pilot. It’s super nice.
(Worthy of note for those who don’t know is that the “-kami” in Mikami is not the same Kami as “God” or the “-gami” in Yagami. Teru’s “-kami” (魅上照) is ‘above, on’. Meanwhile Taro’s ‘-gami’ (鏡太郎) is just part of the whole word “kagami” (mirror), if I am not mistaken. Only Light’s “-gami” (夜神月) is actually written with the Kanji for ‘God’, haha.)
I’m also of course never getting over how Light is called ‘Light’ out loud but written as ‘moon’, so he is perceived as a source of light but actually only reflects it, matching with Teru’s ‘illumination’ name. He sees what he wants to see, his own beliefs reflected back at him etc etc etc. Cool stuff!!
Something the Japanese fandom figured out is that Teru Mikami is actually very very close to the pronunciation of “Tell me, Kami” in Japanese, which I am still amazed by. THERE IS JUST A LOT TO THESE NAMES.
If we’re already on Kira names, Misa’s name is also really nice because she’s spelled as 弥海砂 (‘increasingly’, ‘sea’, ‘sand’). The sea being attracted by the moon is obviously a very nice match to Light’s name-spelling and the sand is a great allusion to the shinigami who die for her and turn to sand. (And then of course the whole thing Obata said about her name pronunciation ‘Misa’ being an allusion to ‘Kuromisa’ which means black mass, that’s there, too.)
It is really sad that Kiyomi’s name (高田清美 - high field pure beauty, I think) leaves the moon imagery, because she was named before it was decided that she was going to be relevant in the plot….. SUCH A MISSED CHANCE….