I'd have to say it is not only my favorite anime, but also I would also have to say its the most open ended serise I've ever watched. What I mean by that that the outcome of the show is based upon what the viewer thinks. For example if you are a Light fan would woule agree that he did more good then bad and didn't deserve to die. If you are an L fan you would agree that he had to try and stop Kira.
That said heres what I think of the Death Note characters (in order of most favorite)
-Near: While a lot of people do not like him for either A) Stopping Kira or B) Trying to be too much like L, I have to say he is my favorite. First off he does end up catching Light (I hate him the most). Now you can say all the information was given to him but know this, He gathered the first part of the information himself (about the death note and such), Also he never did ask anyone to tell him the information so he never got a chance to fully investigate himself. Also going by Matsua's theory, Near could have known about the notebook even before Mello's actions.
Likes: Always keeps his cool and calm attitude and of course catches Kira.
Dislikes: The damn kid is too short. Also Hes 19 and plays with toys(although if any adult could get away with playing with toys like that he would.)
-L: L gets points not only trying to stop Kira but he gets the best sence in the Anime were he challenges Kira to try and kill him. L is always off in his own world thinking of how to catch kira (like Near). Also he KNEW Light was Kira. While everyone else didn't want to believe it he knew from when Misa bumped into Light that he was Kira (which is why he started laughing).
Likes: Punches light in the face and opposes Kira.
Dislikes: almost never wears shoes.
-Ryuk: ....I mean whats not to like. Hes a death god for starters. He always looks great in shadowy areas and doesn't care what happens (win or lose for Light)
-The Death Note...yeah its just a note book but the way they portray it it might as well be its own character. If the show was written by a bad writter they would have just had it as a background tool they could make reference too (think the dragonballs in DBZ) but in DN its almost always being used in its own way (especially in the L arc)
-Matusda: hes number 5 for two reasons. While from the PoV of the characters on the show hes a screw up most of the time, as a viewer I find he brings an element of comedy to the show. Also he not only shoots Light but saves Near in the process.
-Matt: Yes he is only in there for a few minuets of the show but he does do his part quite well.
-Mello: This character had a lot of potential but he loses points for a few reasons. First he dresses like a woman half the time and has the haircut of of one too. Second he always seems to be getting in the way and most of the time just inhibts everyone else with his inferority complex. He could have been good if he had been retooled to be Near's partner (dressing in that gothic style jacket instead of the one with feathers) but idk...
-Everyone else whos not Mikami Rem or Light is just scene as "meh" characters by me. (although I found Misa to be annoying)
-Mikami: I don't like this guy. While yes it wasn't his fault he was choosen he still is one crazy Mofo (think "deletegasm"). He does get some points for saying Light is scum and not god in the manga.
Rem: whats there too like....also physicly kills L.
Light:...I hate this guy. First he thinks hes god....and thats a no go. Hes just some lunitic trying to do what hes sees right (like what Near said). Second he kills L....L!!! You don't kill L and get away with it. He deserved what he got at the end.