Mello is quite shocked to learn that L is dead, but Near hardly shows any emotion to the news. When Roger suggests that the two boys combine their abilities for the Kira case, Mello insists that it’s impossible because he and Near don’t get along. Instead, he lets Near succeed L and decides to pursue his own path. A little over four years later, in the March of 2012, Near meets with the president of the United States to discuss Higuchi and the Death Note. Near knows that the Japanese police possess this notebook and that the real L is dead. With the support of the president, Near joins the newly formed Special Provision for Kira (SPK) group. Back in Japan, Light’s plan has gone exceptionally well, though not much of his family life has changed over the years. He and Misa are still together, but they still haven’t gotten married yet even though she wants to. On one particular day, Light’s father learns that the director of the police has been kidnapped and is being ransomed for the Death Note. Soon after, Souichirou gets visited by an FBI agent who asks for the notebook. Souichirou assumes that the FBI were the ones who kidnapped the director, but as Near – who is listening in on the conversation through the agent – soon figures out, there’s another faction at work.
The kidnappers are actually Mello and his gang, and Mello in particular really wants to get the Death Note before Near does. In fact, he and his men want both the Japanese investigation team’s Death Note and Kira’s Death Note, and they learn from the director that Souichirou, Matsuda, and Mogi were on that team. However, soon after, they discover that the director has committed suicide, though Mello concludes that it must have been Kira who killed him. Regardless, he remains unfazed and decides on his next target: Yagami Sayu. Light and the rest of the investigation team are in his apartment working on the kidnapping case when they get a phone call. On the other end is Mello, and he explains that the director is dead, so the ransom exchange of the notebook will now be for Sayu. Mello warns Souichirou to move on his own without the police or else Sayu will die. A few quick phone calls later, Light and his father realize that Sayu is indeed missing. Light decides to reveal that he thinks the director wasn’t killed by the kidnappers, but rather by Kira so that the notebook wouldn’t be handed over. .
At the same time, Near’s men report the same thing to him, and Near also suspects that Kira is the one who killed the director. He is also curious about the whereabouts of Mello and finds out that there have been no signs of him. Thinking to himself, Near feels that Mello is too emotional and neglects the important things. Back at Light’s apartment, the investigation team gets another call from Mello giving instructions for Souichirou to come to Los Angeles. To prove that Sayu is still alive, Mello transmits an image of her tied up in front of a TV airing a cartoon that’s currently on. Because of this, Souichirou decides to bring the Death Note to L.A. Having come up with a plan, Light calls up the director of the FBI and pretends to be L. He requests their help in investigating the murder of the Japanese police director, but Near then asks for the phone from the FBI director. Near refers to Light as the second L and explains that the SPK are trying to capture Kira without relying on L because they know L is dead. When Near introduces himself as N, Light can’t believe it, but deep down, he is reminded of the real L.
The feel of the show is still the same (complex happenings with multiple side plotting), but the style changed quite a bit with this new arc. As you can see, they’re now using red backgrounds with the title screen, eye-catches, and preview, and it also felt like there was some new music. I do admit that I miss hearing L’s voice all the time, and I still need to get used to Near and Mello. At least Light, Misa, and the rest are still the same (Sayu’s grown up quite a bit though).
Pace-wise, it’s looking a bit more promising than I thought. They managed to cover three and a half chapters with this week’s episode, including a very long introduction chapter to the new arc, so I’m much more willing to believe now that they might just be able to finish this in 37 episodes. Assuming they keep the pace up, then I’ll probably stop talking about this all the time.