Since he’s following Light around, Ryuk has to sit through a day’s worth of boring class. After school, he watches as Light turns down his friends because he’s got something to do. That something is of course writing in the Death Note. Light works very hard on this when he gets home because he only has from then until when he goes to bed to write names. He wants to achieve his ideal world without evil, but he lacks the time. As he finishes telling Ryuk this, Light hears his little sister Sayu trying to get into his room because she wants help with her homework. He lets her in, but Ryuk warns him to be careful because a person touching the Death Note means that he or she will be able to see Ryuk.
Meanwhile, at the ICPO headquarters, the various national representatives are meeting to discuss the situation with all of the criminals dying mysteriously of heart attacks. There is disagreement between the countries about if those people deserved to die anyway and whether or not this was murder. With tensions flaring, accusations flying, and people starting to argue, one of the leading men declares that they need to call on “L” to resolve this. As the room quiets down to discuss this, the rookie Japanese representative asks his chief who L is. The chief explains that although no one knows L’s name, his location, or his face, L can solve any crime and is their last resort.
In fact, L is already investigating this, according to a mysterious man who suddenly appears in front of the Interpol body. The Japanese chief recognizes this man as Watari, L’s contact with the outside world. Watari asks everyone to be quiet and proceeds to produce a laptop through which L communicates with the group. L calls this an unforgivable, brutal murder and specifically asks for the cooperation of the Japanese police. This is because he believes that the culprit is Japanese or is hiding in Japan. As for why L feels this way, he thinks that it’ll become clear in the upcoming showdown.
During all this, Light is taking steps to ensure that no one else touches the Death Note other than himself so that he doesn’t end up having to kill his own family. When he returns to his room, he rigs up a system to hide the Death Note that involves a secret compartment in his desk. This compartment can only be opened with the ink cartridge of a pen used to lift up the cover from below via a small hole. What’s more, Light has booby trapped it so that it must be opened via the pen or else it will ignite the gasoline and destroy the Death Note. When Ryuk calls it dangerous work, Light suggests that he’s been risking danger from the very beginning and thinks that the danger has instead kept him safe.
With news of the criminal killings quickly spreading publicly, a legend of the killer – Kira – develops. Light even shows Ryuk a website proclaiming the legend of the savior Kira. Light thinks that Kira is probably from “Killer” and accepts it as his new identity, feeling that people know there exists a person serving justice. He tells Ryuk of a topic of discussion from school about if it’s okay to kill bad people. Like good children, everyone agreed that they couldn’t do that. Light believes that this is the way correct way people act in public, but how they really feel is represented by the websites. People who don’t have sins cheer on Kira and people who have sins fear divine punishment.
All of this makes Light quite happy because everything is going according to plan. But then an unexpected surprise that interrupts his fun appears on TV: a message from the ICPO. The man on TV, who is identified as L, introduces himself as Lind. L. Taylor and vows to capture Kira. Light’s not too worried because he doesn’t think that they have any evidence on him without the Death Note. What drives Light over the edge is when L claims that what Kira’s done is evil. Light believes that he is justice – the man who became god for everyone’s ideal new world to save the weak from evil. The people who go against this god are the evil ones.
Light then opens the Death Note and writes in large letters “Lind. L. Taylor.” He waits out the 40 seconds and happily watches as L dies on screen of a heart attack exactly as expected. To his shock though, the screen is replaced by a single “L” letter and a distorted voice proclaiming that he can’t believe what just happened. The voice realizes that Kira can kill without acting directly, but wouldn’t have believed it without seeing it for himself. It seems that the Lind. L. Taylor that Light killed was a decoy who was originally sentenced to be executed today anyway. In other words, it wasn’t L.
The real L now challenges Kira to kill him, but Light can’t do anything since he doesn’t know L’s real name or face. L realizes that there are people that Kira can’t kill, which he takes as a hint. But there was more to L’s plan than this: L had actually only broadcast this in the Kanto region of Japan, and since Kira had reacted, L now knows that Kira is in this area. L explains that the first victim had been the killer from Shinjuku and that this had only been reported in the news in Japan, which is how L narrowed it down. He is very interested in how Kira commits these murders and vows to figure it out when he catches Kira.
Ryuk finds this situation very amusing because both sides are looking for someone they don’t know the face or name of, and the person who’s found out first dies. Both L and Kira vow to find and deal with the other because each of them thinks of himself as justice.
They appear to be mixing things up a bit from the manga, cutting and pasting all the stuff around L’s introduction. This skips a lot of the police related stuff, but I assume that’s what the next episode will cover. Actually, one thing I noticed, which was true for the first episode too, is that this allows them to do away with the flashback scenes. Doing so takes away the pacing of the manga, and creates a new feel for the animated version, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
I find it very interesting that L is the hero, yet since Light is the main character, L also feels like the villain. But that same logic applies to Light too. For now, it’s all about the fundamentals of who’s good and who’s evil. Still, watching L outwit Light made me smile. L is voiced by Yamaguchi Kappei, though his voice didn’t ring any bells for me (no, it didn’t remind me of Inuyasha). On the other hand, Light’s sister Sayu is voiced by Kudou Haruka, whose voice does remind me of Hagu-chan from H&C.