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I don't understand why people hate him, cuz he's not as smart as L? No, no, he's not as experienced as L, but he IS smarter than him, don't believe me? go read Death Note: how to read 13.. you can see that his IQ is 9 while L's is 8, Light is 9 as well.
cuz he defeated Light? what did you expect? Light becoming a "god" and ruling the world with what HE calls "justice"? sick! besides, it was Light's fault that he underestimated him.
He is annoying? he was annoying Light, that's good to me, since light became an idiot who thinks he's the smartest genius ever born, potato chips, yeah, what a genius.
cuz his character is boring? you gotta be kiding me! he's cute, sometimes he's creepy, that's interesting, playing with his toys or hair is interesting and cute as well.
cuz he tries to copy L? oh! he has NEVER met L!
I did not like the second part of the anime that much as the first part. After L died the anime was getting sucked. At least in a lot of ways. I have to say that the second season was not that bad at all if you look at it as a hole new story and not as a part of the serie, but if you look like it the way it is, it was pretty getting sucked from a lot of sides. We had to miss the mindfucks, and the second season had not the same mood as the first. Sometimes Near felt like a crybaby hunting for a adult, and it is hard to believe that it was that crybaby, Near, that succeeded L.
Near was not that good as L, and he had never succeeded if L had not done so much research and investigation already. Liking L, makes it hard to like N. He's trying to succeed L, and it's impossible not to compare these two with each other. It is that Near finally succeeded L, and made L's dead not go into a waste, that I loved this character. If Light had survived the second season, I had hated N really much, but since killing Light was the only way to end the story properly, I believe N wasn't that bad at all. Without the character Near, all what L had done was for nothing. And that would be really sad for a good character like L. Near was only needed to repaire the mistake of the first part: not letting kill L the bloody Kira, Light. If you could call it a mistake. After all, the serie is still going on with the same question: 'what is wrong and what isn't. Who can give the answer?'
There is no way he could have known that Mikami was the second kira, just because he sometimes came on the tv and thought that what kira did was right isn't enough in my opinion. (unless I missed something)
(Spoilers on my last comment)
Reading a lot of the comments, I totally agree with a lot of the negative points made such as his disrespect for L, lack of active investigation, and being basically a rip-off of L. And for these reasons, I would definitely hate him. The main reason why I liked him (didn't love him) was because he brought L back to the series even though the real person was gone. To me, Death Note did kind of end when L died because, of course, he was my favorite character and waay better than Light in all aspects. But Near really way a kind of reincarnation of L. I think that's why he was so similar in appearance to him. As the successor of L, it was kind of his role to bring back the....essence (for lack of a better word) of L. Another reason why I liked him was because he caught Kira. Even though his methods weren't very believable (it wasn't as carefully planned as L's investigation), at least in the end Light died. I really hated him. (But at least Light remembered L as the great detective he was. It countered Near's insults.)