Volume Twelve: Finis

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Chapter 98: All Members

Near wants all members from the SPK and all members from the Kira investigation to meet face-to-face. He says because he is going to need witnesses to report on what goes on in the meeting. He will bring Mogi along but release Misa before making their way over there.

The second condition is to meet in a place where they could be completely isolated. Near suggests an abandoned warehouse called “YB Warehouse” where there is only one entrance.  Both sides can go check for any spying devices. They are also not allowed to bring any electronic devices, like cell phones that can take pictures.

The third condition is to have a member, other than L, bring the Death Note to the meeting. Near explains that it’s for precaution, in case it gets stolen at their headquarters. He promises not to steal it or touch it, as long as Aizawa confirms that it is indeed the notebook.

They decided on a date for the meeting—January 28th at 1:00 p.m.

After Light hangs up, he goes over to the hotel to meet with Takada. Aizawa is sure that he is going to tell Takada the time and location of his meeting with Near. He wonders why didn’t Near list as one of his conditions that Light must not meet Takada before the meeting. He figures it must be part of Near’s plan.

Sure enough, Light writes to Takada the date, time, and location of the meeting.

The next day, Takada is getting out of her car, surrounded by her bodyguards. Out of nowhere, Matt drives up in a car and shoots at Takada. He misses and then drives away, prompting Takada’s bodyguards to follow him.  Among the chaos, a man in a motorcycle offers Hal Linder to take Ms. Takada to safety. Linder realizes that this man is Mello. Takada gets on Mello’s motorcycle, and they speed away. However, Mello makes a little detour and takes Ms. Takada somewhere her bodyguards can’t reach her. He handcuffs himself to her.

            Chapter 99: Two People

Takada’s bodyguards finally catch up to Matt and have him surrounded. As he gets out his car, thinking that they will spare his life, the bodyguards open fire and riddle his body with bullets.

Takada recognizes Mello’s face, and she remembers his name. Mello drives his motorcycle into a delivery truck. He orders that Takada strips naked so that he can get rid of any tracking devices she might have. He gives her a towel to wear. However, she asks if she can put the towel around her first before she took off her underclothes. Mello agrees. Takada is then free to get out the piece of Death Note that she has stuck underneath her bra.

Linder tells Near that Mello has kidnapped Takada. Near orders her to stop Mello and get Takada back, or the plan will be ruined.

Mello finds out about Matt’s death on T.V. and feels remorse. Meanwhile, Takada is ready to use the piece of Death Note.

Upon hearing about Takada’s kidnapping, the investigation team wonders if Near was behind all of this. Light thinks that it would not make sense, and it sounds like something Mello would do.

Indeed, Near calls Light and tells him that he was not behind the kidnapping. He believes that Mello is using Takada to try to get to Kira. Near suggests that they work together to find Takada at any cost.

Suddenly, Takada calls Light. She describes her surrounding to him, and Light assures her that help is coming. Light orders her to do that thing that he instructed her to do in case of an “emergency.”

 When Takada hangs up, she calls Mikami telling him to keep judging as Kira as much as he can. Mikami understands that Takada had killed her kidnapper, and she is unable move for the next few days. He needs to prepare the death list for the next few days before the 28th.

As the police force goes to rescue Takada, Light is worried that Near might find the piece of Death Note with Mello’s name. He figures that Takada is now useless to him because his plans have already been set into motion. On the emergency piece of Death Note he has in his watch, he writes, “Kiyomi Takada, suicide, burns all of her belongings, her notes and herself to death.”

            Chapter 100: Face-to-Face

 As they watch the news of Takada’s death, Light wonders what Near thinks of Mello and Takada’s deaths. Aizawa, meanwhile, ponders as to how Mello could have been killed because of the fact that his face has never been seen by the public. In addition, he knows the Death Note cannot kill another person in the process.

Near gives Gevanni the orders to follow Mikami until the meeting. Hal Linder then calls Near and apologizes for leading Takada to Mello. However, Near says that it’s fine because the problem is solved. Unless Light changes the date of the meeting because of Mello, everything is going as planned.

  Light is now convinced that Mello’s actions were separate from Near’s plans. He doubts that Near will change the date now.

Indeed, Near calls Light and confirms the schedule of the meeting.

January 28th, 2010—The day has arrived!

Misa Amane is released, and Gevanni calls Near to tell him that Mikami has continued with his normal routine. Near tells him to make his way to the warehouse.

As the investigation team is getting ready, Near calls and confirms that Misa has been freed. Upon Light’s approval, Aizawa decides to take the Death Note to the warehouse.
           
      On the way to the warehouse, Light thinks that he is one step closer to the beginning of the era of Kira. After today, everyone involved in the case will die: Near, the SPK members, and his own investigation team. Only Mikami will be left alive with his shinigami eyes. He is seen carrying his suitcase, presumably on his way to take action.

The investigation team arrives and enters the warehouse. They find that the SPK members have already arrived. Near is crouching in front of them… wearing a mask of L!

Chapter 101: Guidance

Light comments to himself that Near is inferior to L and not fit to where his mask. Matsuda wonders out loud as to why everyone else is here with their faces uncovered except Near. Light is convinced that Near will take off his mask, though.

 Near explains that the mask is just a precaution. He says that it’s possible that X-Kira might have already written everyone’s name in the notebook, and if he takes off the mask, there will be no one to oppose Kira. Light agrees and comments that he can’t contain his laughter because Near is acting exactly as he predicted.

 After thirty minutes, Near takes off the mask. However, he tells everyone to wait for the appearance of X-Kira. He asks Aizawa if he saw Light make contact with Takada after they had settled on the time and location of the meeting. The fact that Takada was killed by Kira meant that he had no more use for her, which means that X-Kira was already instructed to come to the meeting. Near says that he is sure that X-Kira will see Near’s face and attempt to kill him and everyone in the room. It would be a victory for Kira. He instructs everyone to stand still and watch Kira’s plan unfold. If they do that, Near guarantees that they will not die.

Suddenly, they see Mikami peep through the door. With his shinigami eyes, he can see the real names and lifespan of everyone in the room, except Light.         (Near’s real name, by the way, is Nate River) Mikami writes down all of the names, except for Light’s, in the Death Note.

Chapter 102: Patience

Matsuda panics and tries to open fire on Mikami. However, the SPK members point a gun at Matsuda while Near tells him to calm down because they won’t die.

Near explains that he modified the Death Note. After finding out Mikami’s writing patterns of one page a day, they replaced the pages that Mikami was using to write today with fake ones. When Mikami finishes writing in the notebook, they will then seize it, read all of the names and whosever name is not on the notebook is Kira.

Light thinks to himself that this is exactly as he planned!

He believes that Near is a fool because he was so insistent of having 100% proof that he is Kira. Because Light would never admit to being Kira, Near decides to catch him in the act. However, Light comments to himself that it would have been easier for Near to just shoot him. But, Near’s pride is his downfall.

Light already knew about the modification of the Death Note. However, the Death Note that they modified was a fake, and the notebook that Mikami is now using is the real Death Note!

Mikami created a fake Death Note while he sent five pages every day of the real Death Note to Takada. Then, Takada would write the names of the criminals. When Gevanni was tailing Mikami on the subway train, he had taken a photograph of the man’s face to send to Takada who judged and killed him.

Light figured that Near would replace the pages while Mikami was in the gym. He also figured that he would take advantage of Mikami’s “one page a day” habit, in order to replace the page that he would use on the 28th. When Mikami inspected the notebook and found the modification, he called Takada who paged him with the message, “I want to see you ASAP.” That’s when he knew the victory was his.

He thinks to himself Near is far inferior to L. The former L would have tested for the possibility of a fake notebook by sacrificing human lives. Near is too soft, and it will prove to be his defeat.
Light tells Teru Mikami to come in to the room. Mikami calls him, “God!” Light is annoyed, thinking that it is too early to say that. It is the longest 40 seconds of Light’s life.

But there are now three seconds left…

Chapter 103: Declaration

At the last second, Light declares, “Near, Victory is mine!”

Everyone else braces themselves.

It’s been 40 seconds!

And no one dies…

-- which is exactly what Near had predicted all along

Mikami starts to panic and cry out about why they didn’t die. Light just wants him to shut up. He cannot believe what’s going on!

The SPK members detain Mikami and grab the notebook. Near opens the notebook and shows them the names that are written. The SPK members… The Japanese NPA members… Near… but no Light Yagami!

Light cries out that this is a trap that Near had set up to frame him! Aizawa touches his shoulder and tells him that it’s too late. Light said, “Victory is mine!” It was the same as a confession. Matsuda gets down on his knees, shocked in disbelief.

He tries to escape being cuffed by Aizawa, but he runs into a wall.

Near explains that they altered the fake notebook just as Light had predicted. However, Near also altered the real notebook and replaced all of its pages with fake ones. Then, Near pulls out the real notebook and tells him that he’s had it all along. Gevanni constructed an exact replica of the real Death Note and made a fake one. He then replaced the fake one with the real one. Near acknowledges that because he touched the real notebook, he had been able to see Ryuk all along. He greets Ryuk who is watching besides the investigators. Near asks him if someone is able to kill a person by ripping off a piece of the Death Note and writing the name down. Ryuk answers yes, and Near concludes that that’s the way Light could keep so many people fooled.

However, Light is confused as to how they could get their hands on the real notebook when Mikami always had the fake one, and he didn’t get the “real” one out until today.

Near answers that it was because of Mello.

Chapter 104: Answer

Near shows Light an interesting name written on the real Death Note: “Kiyomi Takada, commits suicide, January 26, 2: 22 p.m.”

When Mello had kidnapped Takada, Mikami went to retrieve the real Death Note and write Takada’s name.

According to his investigations, Gevanni noticed that Mikami would always go to the bank on the 25th. However, when Takada was kidnapped, he again went to the bank on the 26th. This was unusual behavior for Mikami.

It was then Near finally realized about the fake notebook.

Near states that the moment Takada was kidnapped by Mello, Light lost contact with Mikami. As an obligation to Kira, Mikami went to the bank to get the real notebook and write down Takada’s name. It was his loyalty that proved to be his undoing.

Gevanni then made copies of Mikami’s key card and soon had access to the vault where he was hiding the real Death Note.

Near continues to explain that if what Ryuk said was true, and one could really kill with just pieces of the Death Note, Light must have had a piece available. He wrote down Takada’s name, but never thought that Mikami would also do this.

He admits that if things had gone exactly as planned, Light would have won because Near would have never discovered about the fake Death Note.

However, thanks to Mello, they discovered the truth.

Then, Linder states that she realizes now that Mello may have known that this would have happened. She recalls her calling him and telling him of Near’s plans, and Mello’s only answers was “Looks, like I’m the only one that can do it.”

Near admits that both he and Mello could never surpass L… individually. But if they worked together… “Together we are as able as L. Together we can surpass L.”

And now they have finally avenged L! What is Light to do?

Light screams and puts his head down. Then, after some deranged laughter, answers, “That’s right. I am Kira.”

Chapter 105: Impossible

After his confession, Near grins, and the rest are shocked.

Light asks them if they’re going to kill them right here—if they’re going to kill the god of the new world. He tells them that the world has changed, and Kira is not considered a mass murderer anymore. In fact, they will be the ones who will suffer if they kill him.

He points out that thanks to him the crime rate has dropped 70% worldwide. However, the world is still filled with rotten people who stand in his way of creating a peaceful utopia. Those people who have strayed away from the path of righteousness do not deserve to live. Evil begets more evil and spreads around until it influences the weak of will. If evil is stopped, then the people of the world will begin to change and live in the peace and kindness that they deserve.

When Light first came to possession of the notebook, he knew that he was the only one that can stop the evil in the world. Of course, he knew that killing people is a crime in itself, but it was the only way to do it. If he killed all the rotten, despicable people in the world, the good people of the world would see that punishment that came to those who did evil. Then, the good people would never be come corrupt, thus he would establish a utopia without crime and without evil. So what is wrong with killing harmful people?

His intentions were unselfish! Not once did he think about his own personal gain!

He asks everyone if they want to go back to a world where evil can run rampant. Would arresting Kira really be in the best interest of the world? Is it really all just for the sake of Near’s ego?

Near answers, “No, you are just a murderer. And this notebook is the worst killing device ever in history.

Near continues by saying that he has no right to judge what is right and what is wrong, who is good and who is evil… because in the end, he is not truly a god. He is a human, just like Near.

Realizing that his speech had no effect on the others, Light remembers the piece of Death Note that he always has hidden in his watch.

Chapter 106: Killing Intent

Light asks Near if he thinks that the notebook Aizawa has is real. Light brings up the possibility that he himself could have switched out that notebook with a fake one and buried the real one somewhere else. Light suggests that Near would test out the Death Note by writing both Light Yagami’s and Teru Mikami’s names. However, Near answers by saying that he had no intention of killing Kira; only catching him. He will also not announce that Kira was caught, and instead, Light will be confined in a place where he will be completely isolated.

As Light tries to convince everyone that Aizawa’s notebook is a fake, he suddenly opens his watch and attempts to write Near’s name in the piece of Death Note hidden there. Near notices, and Rester screams that he has a hidden piece. Matsuda, though, shoots Light in the hand in order to stop him from writing down a name. Light is surprised that Matsuda, who was always so loyal to him, would dare shoot him. He tells him to shoot Near and the SPK members. Matsuda answers that Light drove Soichiro Yagami to his death, and he cannot forgive him.

Secretly, Light picks up the piece of Death Note and starts to write Near’s name with his blood. This time, Matsuda shoots him in the body and is successful in stopping him before he finishes writing the name. Matsuda once again points the gun to him and says that he will definitely kill him. The others, though, stop him from doing so.

The injured Light looks at Mikami and orders him to write everyone’s names in the Death Note. However, Mikami screams that Light is no god and is the lowest of scum.

When he is approached by the other members of the investigation team, he writhes in desperation and calls out for Misa. Near calmly answers that she is in a hotel.

He then calls out for Takada, but Near responds that she is dead.

Light continues to writhe frantically.

Chapter 107: Curtains

Finally, Light notices Ryuk standing there. He asks to write everyone’s names in his Death Note. Everyone is shocked, but Near tells them that if Ryuk could do that, then Light wouldn’t have had to go through all this trouble in the first place. Near is confident that Ryuk won’t help.

Light begs for Ryuk to write the names down in the notebook. Ryuk takes out his Death Note and answers, “Yeah… I’ll write.”

They all start to shoot Ryuk, but it’s all in vain. Light laughs evilly and tells them that they’re all going to die.

However, Ryuk says that it is Light who is going to die. He writes Light’s name down.

Ryuk tells him that it’s been fun, but there’s no way that Light’s going to get out of this one. He doesn’t want to wait until Light’s out of jail or until he dies a natural death in order to get the Death Note back. He warned him that he was the one that was going to write Light’s name in the Death Note. That was the deal they made when he received ownership of the Death Note.

Light is going to die in forty seconds from a heart attack.

Light flails anxiously in disbelief and screams, “I don’t want to die!” repeatedly.

A flashback sequence: Light remembers when Ryuk told him about where Death Note owners go after they die. According to Ryuk, they go the same place that everyone goes to because there is no such thing as heaven or hell. “All humans are equal in death.”

Light collapses and dies.

A total black page is now seen with the following quote: "Humans will surely die one day. Nothingness (mu) awaits them after death."

Chapter 108: Fin

It’s been one year since the events from the last chapter. The world has gone back to the way it was before the appearance of Kira.

Matsuda and Ide are walking down the street and debating whether what they did was the right thing.

The new Watari, who is the caretaker from Chapter 59, calls up Aizawa who is now the detective superintendent of the NPA. He connects him to Near who is playing with his toys as always but is now eating a chocolate bar as a tribute to Mello. He asks Aizawa to aid him in busting a drug deal that will take place in Japan three days from now. Aizawa calls up Ide and Matsuda and tells him about the drug deal bust in the YB warehouse and that they are to meet at 21:00 hours. They ponder at the coincidence that they’re meeting at the exact same place on the same day that they did a year ago.

Matsuda then proposes a theory that Near killed Mikami because Near always in possession of the real notebook, and he could have written down his name. Mikami went crazy ten days after Light’s death and killed himself. It seems a little too convenient. However, Ide says that there’s no proof anymore since all existing notebooks were burned by Near.

Matsuda then theorizes that Near may have already suspected about the fake notebook, and he simply let Linder leak the information to Mello so that he can take action. He manipulated Mello into taking action, and if he learned nothing from it, he was going to change the date. Ide, then, tells Matsuda that this is all just wishful thinking because Light was Kira, and he genuinely like Light. Matsuda then asks why he thinks he did the right thing. Ide answers because if Near had lost and Kira had won, they would all be dead.

At the NPA headquarters, all of the investigation team gathers around a TV set that shows an “L”. They receive instructions from Near.

In a place with high mountains, we see thousands of hooded people of all ages walking with candlelights in their hands. The group parts and a hooded maiden dressed in white walks to the edge of a mountain and clasps her hands in prayer. She says, “Lord Kira.”

Analysis:

This was a wonderful and truly epic end to the story of Death Note. It plays out like a Greek tragedy where the protagonist’s hubris proves to be his undoing. Light’s feelings of superiority over people and his arrogance at manipulating people like Mikami unwittingly gave Near an advantage. Like a Shakespeare play, the protagonist died a horrible death that is fitting to the way they lived.

When faced with death, Light loses his calm and collected nature and pathetically asks to be saved. No one shows him mercy just like Light never showed mercy to his victims. He begs and begs that he doesn’t want to die but is ultimately killed by Ryuk who had warned him of this back. In my opinion, it was the perfect way for Light to die—at the hands of a real death god.

In addition, after his death, Ohba suggests that Light went back to nothingness. This was the fate of not only Light, but of L, Mello, Takada, Soichiro and all of the criminals that he had killed. All humans go back to nothingness after death, and Light was no exception. It’s the final proclamation from Ohba that Light was not a god but just a human being, afraid of defeat and death just like everyone else. Therefore, it’s true that the Death Note brings nothing but misfortune to the user because the power of a god can sometimes be too powerful for a mere human.

Even though he has been dead for five years, L is the one that finally wins over Light. He left the inheritance to both Near and Mello, and by working together, they were the ones who ultimately defeated Kira. Near has realized that without Mello’s sacrifice, Light would have won.

Chapter 108 serves as an epilogue to the series. The world after Kira’s death has gone back to normal. Crime rates go back to their pre-Kira levels, and people wonder whether Kira’s influence was a good thing. Ohba leaves us with an ambiguous ending to the series, letting the reader decide whether a world without Kira was the best choice.

According to Death Note: How to Read, Volume 13, Ohba reveals that Misa Amane committed suicide after Light’s death. Therefore, the beautiful maiden with the candle in the mountain top at the end of the series is not Misa.

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Created by Carla Astudillo