Volume Three: Hard Run

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Chapter 17: Trash

Light is reading a sexy magazine spread in his room in front of the camera. L divulges to Soichiro that it’s almost as if Light was simply playing the part of a normal 17-year old. Soichiro is still frustrated that his son has been placed under suspicion.

Ryuk finds cameras all around the room. Meanwhile, Light has to figure out what to do. If he sees new perpetrators on T.V., and they die, he will still be under suspicion.  If he doesn’t turn on the T.V. and criminals stop dying, he will still be under suspicion as well. Light figures that he needs to find someway of gaining information on criminals and killing them, but without turning on the T.V. or looking them up on the Internet.

Light goes downstairs to eat dinner where his family is watching T.V. Director Kitamura’s family is also watching T.V. L tells Watari to run the fake special bulletin saying that 1,500 detectives have been sent to Japan to hunt down Kira. Light figures L did this on purpose to see his reaction. Upon hearing the report, Light tells his family that he thinks that this bulletin is fake because Interpol would never be so stupid as to publicly announce a secret investigation. Light says that this was probably done to put pressure on Kira. L smiles and tells Soichiro that his son is very intelligent. After dinner, Light goes back to his room with a bag of potato chips.

Ryuk tells Light of the location of each camera in his room. Light then sets up the potato chips to open up facing a blind spot among the cameras. Earlier that day, he put a tiny T.V. into the potato chip bag where he could see it. He pretends to do homework problems with his right hand while reaching into the potato chip bag with his left and writing down the names of criminals he sees on T.V. When he’s done, he throws away the potato chip bag.

Immediately afterwards, Watari enters and tells L that two minor criminals that were reported on the 9’o clock news that night have died of heart attacks.  Watari notes that the wife of Deputy Director Kitamura and her daughter watched the reports while the Yagami family was watching a drama at that time. Soichiro exclaims that this is enough proof to end any suspicion on his family, but L remarks that the Yagami family’s behavior was a little too clean for comfort.

Chapter 18: Gaze

Light watches the news report and sees the results. To his dismay, he only killed two minor criminals because the text was small, and the sound was off.  Light figures that L might still suspect him if only minor criminals are killed when he is not getting any news. He decides to openly watch T.V. in front of the cameras, and discretely kill minor criminals. This way, minor criminals are killed when he either watching or not watching T.V. He will also remember the face and names of major criminals that he could kill outside.

Two days later, L tells the investigation force that he has found no suspicious activity in both houses under investigation. He allows the cameras and bugs to be taken down. However, L remarks that it doesn’t clear all of the suspicions because if Kira was among the families, he simply hasn’t made any mistakes yet.

L wonders how someone could commit murder in front of the camera without exhibiting any normal human reaction. He reasons that if Kira was among them, he can kill people without batting eye and judge sinners like some sort of God. However, L concludes, “This isn’t divine judgment. It’s the work of some childish killer who’s playing at divine retribution.” L decides that the best thing to do would be to get him to confess that he is Kira and carry out a murder in front of him. And he knows exactly how to do it.

Ryuk tells him that the cameras are gone, but Light doesn’t respond because he suspects the bugs are still there. Light wonders if his father is working closely with L on this investigation and if there was any way to use his father to get rid of L.

The day of the university entrance exams has arrived, and Light goes to take them at the prestigious To-Oh University. He is inside the facility taking his exams when a test proctor tells person two desks behind him to “sit properly.” Light looks behind him and sees an odd, disheveled guy sitting with his legs on his desk. It is L.

Chapter 19: Humiliation

At the To-Oh University Entrance Ceremony, Light is the freshman representative for the incoming freshman class because he scored a perfect score on his test. This year, however, there is another freshman representative named Hideki Ryuga, who also scored a perfect score on the test. They must both deliver the freshman address at the freshman ceremony. The students at the ceremony note that Hideki Ryuga has the same name as a famous singer, and his odd, disheveled appearance is quite different from the pop idol’s.  Light wonders who this bizarre character from the testing site is.

After the address, Ryuga tells Light that he knows that he is the son of Soichiro Yagami, the Detective Superintendent of the NPA, and that he has shown great interest in the Kira case. He tells him that he has something of great importance to tell him. Ryuga then says, “I am L.”

Although he is shocked and unsure of what to believe, Light tries to compose himself and shake his hand while L asks Light to help his team solve the Kira case.

Even though there is a less than five percent chance that Light is not Kira, L still believes that Light is the most suspicious because he is too perfect. He hopes that a meeting between the two will pressure Kira.

To his dismay, Light quickly figures out his plan. Even if he’s not the real L, he can’t kill him. Because he revealed himself as L to Light, if he dies, he is immediately under suspicion. Light realizes that L used the name Hideki Ryuga on purpose because it was the name of a famous pop idol. If the real Hideki Ryuga dies, Light is once again under immediate suspicion. Light wonders if this guy who is allegedly L believes that he is Kira.

After the ceremony, Light goes back to his room and breaks down in anger. He seethes at the fact that L devised a way to shield himself by revealing that he was L and attacking him at the same time by getting closer. However, Light quickly realizes that Ryuga has no proof that Light is Kira. He is determined to make friends with Ryuga and then, when the time’s right, kill him.

Chapter 20: First Move

At To-Oh University, L challenges Light to a friendly game of tennis. Light wonders if L is planning to analyze him by observing the way he plays tennis. Meanwhile, L believes that this is just a simple tennis match, however he can’t rule out the fact that Kira hates losing. L tries a cheap first move and tells Light, “He who moves first always wins.” Even though Light is now determined to win this match, he wonders if it’ll make him seem like Kira if he’s adamant about winning. However, he notes that losing the match would make L think that Light was trying too hard to lose the match so that he wouldn’t be suspected as Kira.

A crowd gathers around the intense tennis match. They both think about their next moves. Light plans to have L tell him as much about the Kira investigation as possible so that he could decrease the risk of blurting out things only the real Kira would know. L plans to bring Light closer to him so that he could thoroughly investigate him.

Light wins the tennis match and invites L to get some drinks.  L, however, reveals to Light that he suspects that he may be Kira.

Chapter 21: Duplicity

L elaborates by telling Light that his suspicion is only one percent as of now. For Light, that’s still dangerous.

Soichiro Yagami meets with an angry Deputy Director Kitamura who is becoming frustrated with the increasing secrecy surrounding L and the Kira investigation. He is especially mad at the fact that someone came up to his daughter and revealed that he was L. Kitamura asks him if his daughter is a suspect, and Yagami admits this. However, he also sadly notes that the real suspect might be his son, Light.

At a coffee shop, Light tells L that he wants to make sure is completely free of suspicion. L asks him if he could test his reasoning skills. Light is confident that he will not slip up as Kira because he knows exactly what’s been reported on the news and what has not. Then, L shows Light a list of twelve FBI agent who were murdered by Kira, with the order in which they received the file, and the order in which they died. Light sees through this trick and asks L what the exact file they received was. L also hands Light three notes written by prisoners before they were killed by Kira. Light notices that the notes have print numbers printed on the back are purposely out of order, and if he deduces that there’s a hidden message saying “L, do you know gods of death love apples?”, he will be a suspect. Light tells L that there is indeed a hidden message for L in the notes, but rather than saying the phrase that makes the most sense, “L, do you know gods of death love apples?”, if you take into account the printed numbers on the back, it actually says “L, do you know love apples? Gods of death.” However, L tells him that he is incorrect because there’s actually a fourth note, which Light realizes is fake, and the message says, “L do you know love apples? Gods of death have read hands.” L tells Light that he just decided that there were only three notes and didn’t think of the possibility of another one.

L asks Light what he would do if he was L and face-to-face with someone suspected of being Kira. Light answers that he would ask him questions only the real Kira would know. L comments that Light is very intelligent, but that his suspicion of him is now up to three percent. Nevertheless, in order to keep him close and further investigate him, L invites Light to join the Kira investigation. However, Light refuses because he has still not been convinced that Ryuga is truly L.

Suddenly, both L and Light receive a call telling them that Soichiro Yagami has collapsed from a heart attack.

Chapter 22: Misfortune

At the hospital, an upset Light asks if this was the work of Kira. However, Soichiro thinks that it was just a normal heart attack caused by too much stress. After Soichiro confirms to Light that Ryuga is the real L, L tells the bed-ridden Soichiro that his suspicions about his son have increased. Then, L continues to ask Light about what he thinks of the case. Light says that he thinks that Kira must be an affluent child, and L is impressed because he was thinking the exact same thing. As L and Light leave the hospital, Soichiro tells them that he doesn’t think that Kira himself evil, but having the power of killing people is what made him evil.

Light, once again, confronts L about his suspicions that he is Kira. L tells him that he is confident that the truth will come out, whether he is Kira or not.

After L leaves, Light tells Ryuk, in regard to what Soichiro said earlier, that he has never considered gaining the power of the Death Note a misfortune. Ryuk answers by telling him of another shinigami rule:

Humans haunted by shinigami have nothing but misfortune.

Light simply answers that Ryuk is about to see an exception to the rule.

Chapter 23: Hard Run

The Kira investigation task force is discussing with L the connection between Kira and Naomi Misora’s disappearance when Watari tells them to turn on the TV

On the channel Sakura TV, a man tells the viewers that Kira sent them a tape to show on their TV station at exactly 5:59 p.m., and for the safety of their workers, they have no choice but to air it. The screen shows handwritten letters spelling out “Kira” recorded amateurishly on a home video camera. L notes that it looks childish. A garbled voice tells them that he is Kira and that he will prove it by having a famous news anchor from another channel die at 6 p.m. They turn the channel and see that the news anchor has collapse. When they turn back to Sakura TV, he says that he will kill other commentators who have proclaimed Kira to be “evil”.

The task force is determined to stop the killings by stopping Sakura TV from airing the videotape. Investigator Ukita gets in his car and goes to the Sakura TV station to personally stop this.

The voice of Kira explains that he does not want to kill innocent people. He hates evil and wants justice. His goal is to change the world into one free of crime. Ukita arrives at the station, and instantly collapses from a heart attack. The investigation task force sees this and is willing to go down to the station. However, L stops them, telling them that they will be killed if they do so. He deduces that, somehow, Kira can now kill people by only looking at their face.

Meanwhile, a recovering Soichiro gets up from his hospital bed and drives a huge police van into the TV station.

Chapter 24: Shield

As Soichiro crashes the van into Sakura TV, the Kira in the videotape asks the police to cooperate with him in building his crime-free utopia. He has sent two additionally tapes to Sakura TV, one to show if the police say yes, and one to show if the police say no.

Meanwhile, Soichiro, with his head partially covered by his coat, goes to where the tape was being broadcast and confronts the director. He demands that they stop the tape and hand in all of the evidence to the police.

L calls Deputy Director Kitamura and asks him to use the police force to stop the broadcast of the tape before more officers decide to go down to the station and die by Kira’s hand.

Soichiro calls L and tells him that he was the one in the armored van, and he has obtained all of the Kira tapes. L instructs him to wait for five minutes inside of the studios and then walk out of the station. Soichiro does so, and a police force with their shields covering their faces escorts him out of harm’s way.

Soichiro gives the investigation team the packages with the tapes. The envelope is sent to the forensic lab for DNA samples.

Meanwhile, L watches the video tape that they were to broadcast if the police were to say yes. Kira says in that tape that not only should the police continue showing the faces and names of criminals, but should also make the top NPA officials along with L appear on TV. In the tape that they were to show if the police said no, Kira threatens that he will either take the life of the Director-General of the NPA or the life of L. If the police is to sacrifice L, they should make him appear on TV for a ten minute period.

Chapter 25: Fool

An amused Light has been watching the ordeal on TV and comments that there must be a second Death Note owner. Coupled with the fact that police officers were killed as they walked into the Sakura TV station, Light believes that this person has traded half of their life for the shinigami eyes. Light is trying to see if he can take advantage of the situation that the fake Kira has created. However, he is bothered by the fact that the fake Kira has tarnished the image of the real Kira by threatening to kill police officers. Light decides to join the Kira investigation in order to keep an eye on both L and the fake Kira. If the fake Kira messes up, he will make sure to catch him before L does and get his Death Note.

At the investigation headquarters, L decides to show himself on TV, but he is curious as to how he will convince Kira that he is the real L. L says that he doesn’t want to die, either, especially at the hands of a pale imitation of Kira. He has deduced that this Kira is fake because the victims that he decided to kill were only minor criminal, unlike the hard-core criminals that Kira usually kills. Kira also never kills innocent police officers like the way the fake Kira just did. The way the video was put together was also too sloppy to have come from the real Kira. L suggest that they are in a race to find the second Kira before the real Kira does.

L asks Soichiro to invite Light to work with them in catching the second Kira. However, he doesn’t want him to reveal to Light that this second Kira is a fake.

Meanwhile, in the streets of Tokyo, a blond girl named “Misa” walks around with her shinigami determined to meet the real Kira.

Analysis:

Throughout this volume, we see Light becoming increasingly more comfortable in playing his dual role. He has no difficulties being Kira and then switching to being Light Yagami when people are watching. There is no outside change in his behavior. He is calm, cool and collected. It really speaks to his genius how he can deal with the most trying situations without breaking a sweat.

We see the first of many bold moves by L when he reveals himself to Light. He is risking his life to get closer to catching Kira. This shows that even though L may second-guess himself until he has all the evidence, he is not afraid to take action.

Like Light, L hates to lose, and it is his determination to win over Kira that drives him. It’s almost child-like how he insists he’s right, and it is fitting for a guy who likes to eat nothing but sweets all day.

We also see how blunt and unemotional L can be when not even Light Yagami’s brilliant acting can deter him from investigating him. L never believes Light’s act, even for a second.

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