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What role is も playing in

犯人は死亡したもようです!

from first episode of Death Note?

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2 Answers 2

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It is not the particle も(+ようです), but 模様{もよう}(+です) is one word meaning appearance as commented.

模様

II〔有り様,様子〕

どうも彼は来ない模様だ
It looks 「as though [《米》 like] he's not coming.

火星には生物はいない模様である
「There is no sign of [There doesn't seem to be any] life on Mars.

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If I had to guess, it would be the first character of 模様 (よう) particularly for the meaning "state/condition." If I recall correctly, light is testing the death note and watching a news report? in that case, the sentence would mean

"the criminal seems to be in a dying state"

(spoilered in case you would rather translate on your own)

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  • もよう is a single word that here is basically a formal synonym of よう, you can't analyse it as 模+様
    – Angelos
    Commented Oct 29, 2022 at 23:13
  • As I see it, the problem is not so much in splitting up 模様 into も and よう as in translating 死亡した as dying. I thought a downvote is a bit harsh.
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Oct 30, 2022 at 2:50
  • @aguijonazo I downvoted it initially and reconsidered after, but it's too late to change it now, unless it gets edited. I think it would be better not to have answers that are just a guess without confirming anything, but I agree, it doesn't necessarily need to be downvoted.
    – Leebo
    Commented Oct 30, 2022 at 3:36

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