At school, Light and L embark on a tennis game to supposedly deepen their friendship. L admits to having been a junior champion in England where he lived for five years, though he is also quick to say that this won’t reveal his identity. Knowing that Kira hates to lose, L serves first and aces Light. While those two are playing, Light’s father is at the police station unable to tell his superior about the investigation because of the nature of the case. Nevertheless, he stands up for the investigation and voices his trust for L. Back on the tennis court, a crowd has started to gather to watch the match. Light is debating between playing seriously and losing on purpose, and since he feels that L must have an objective other than just profiling him, he decides to give it his all to win. Word starts spreading in the crowd that Light was actually a junior high champion at tennis who stopped playing. In any case, both L and Light know that this match will lead to Light asking to be taken to the investigation headquarters.
Light ends up winning the tennis match, causing L to mention that he suspects Light to be Kira, even though it’s only at 1%. L also claims to want Light’s deductive powers to help in the investigation, but Light knows that as long as there’s a little suspicion, he can’t ask to meet the investigation team. The two then go to a cafe where L proceeds to test Light’s deductive capabilities by producing the three notes that Kira had his victims write before they died. These are ones that have a secret message asking if L knows that the Shinigami only eat apples. Light pretends to deduce his way to the message, but then L produces a fourth one that Light knows is a fake. When L then suggests that Light didn’t consider the possibility of a fourth one, Light figures out that this is an attempt to draw out a reaction from him and dismisses it off as something that doesn’t matter since there are no Shinigami. In response, L questions what Light would do to figure out if a person was Kira. Light answers that he would have the suspect talk about something that only Kira would know, just like L is trying to do right now.
L is quite impressed by all this, but at the same time, his suspicion level of Light being Kira has risen to 3%. He claims that even if Light were Kira, he’d want Light on the investigation. Light recognizes that this would allow the investigation to benefit from his skills yet also allow L to keep an eye on him should he expose himself. To counter this, he declares that he’s not Kira and doesn’t want to be killed by Kira, so he wants evidence that L isn’t Kira. What surprises Light is when L decides to admit that he’s working with Light’s father and offers to bring Light to the investigation headquarters. But before this conversation can proceed any further, both of them receive phone calls at the same time. L’s is from Watari and Light’s is from his mother, but both are reporting the same thing: Light’s father has suffered a heart attack. The pair rushes to the hospital where Light’s father is resting from apparently overworking. L notes that Light’s father also had the possibility of his son being Kira weighing on his mind, and Light’s father corroborates the fact that L is who he says he is. Even though Light trusts his father on this, he knows that he can’t rush taking care of L and instead decides to play the part of the caring son for now.
L’s explanation about still suspecting Light is that Light was in the group the now-dead Ray Penbar was investigating. Light in turn pledges to help with the investigation and capture Kira to prove his own innocence. His father protests because of Light’s studies, but Light reiterates his promise of sending Kira to his death if something happened to his father. This makes his father believe that Light isn’t Kira, and at the same time, L thinks that this is too corny to be acting on Light’s part. Light’s father then tells his son that he’s recently felt that Kira isn’t the evil one – what’s evil is the power to kill people. He believe that the person who wields this power isn’t happy and cannot get true happiness from killing others. Their discussion, however, is soon cut short because the hospital’s visiting hours are over. On the way out, Light offers to be locked up somewhere without a television for a month in order to prove that he’s not Kira. L shoots down this idea and says that they’ll know sooner or later if Light isn’t Kira, though Light’s earlier conversation with his father makes L think that he’s not Kira. After L is driven off, Light tells Ryuk that he has never felt unhappy about picking up the Death Note and gaining this power. In fact, this power has made him the happiest he could be, and he’s going to create the best world. Ryuk doesn’t care about happiness or unhappiness, but he does say that it is normally a misfortune for a person to be possessed by a Shinigami.
Around this time, a director is lecturing his staff at a TV station about getting high ratings from running Kira stories. Fortunately for him, he receives an envelope with several tapes inside and also a note claiming to be from Kira with a message to spread to the world.
Lots of interesting back and forth this week on
Prince of TennisDeath Note as Light and L jostle to one-up each other. I’d still say that Light has the upper hand, but L is proving time and time again that he can match Light and even catch Light off guard. Perhaps most interesting this episode though was Light’s father’s assertion that the power to kill is evil, not the person who has it. In one sense, that’s acknowledging that even if his son was Kira, he wouldn’t consider Light to be evil. On the other hand, it also says a lot about the Death Note and the Shinigami system – something akin to “power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
They skipped over a good bit of dialogue this week, particularly during the L/Light interview scene and during the hospital scene. I think it would have been interesting to hear Light’s answer to the kind of person Kira is (and L’s subsequent conclusion), but they didn’t show that. In any case, next week should be the first episode with Misa voiced by Hirano Aya. Definitely something to look forward to since we haven’t gotten any major new characters or twists lately.