I recently just finished reading Ohba and Obata's other manga, Bakuman, and for a manga about two kids who write manga, it is seriously awesome. Really. It may be the best manga of any I've ever read, INCLUDING Death Note!
Now he was at home. Sitting in front of his parents, feeling like he was on trial.
"Taro, what's gotten into you?" his father demanded. "Creating a disturbance? Saying that you were looking for Kira? In fact, all of your behavior these past few months has been really strange, and I think we have the right to know why."
And so, Taro told the truth. The whole truth. About how he had picked up the Death Note, kept it in his possession for a few days, and then eventually brought back all the people he had killed, and gave the Death Note back to Ryuk, which was possibly the worst mistake he had ever made. He also told them how he had been trying to correct his mistake by finding that Death Note again, and if he could, undoing the damage Kira had done.
After he finished, there was a long moment of silence. His father looked like he was about to yell at him, say he didn't believe a word of it, and to stop telling ridiculous lies that would get him killed. But before he could say a word, Taro's mother said, "I believe you, Taro."
Taken aback, Father said, "But even if he is telling the truth, that just makes it worse. Searching for Kira? Who has made it quite clear that anyone who tries to find him will be killed?"
Mother crossed her arms. "So you think we should just bow down to the will of a mass murderer? What happened to the brave newscaster who stood up fearlessly under pressure?"
"That was before Kira held me and my colleagues as hostages," Father snapped. "And before my son became a Kira hunter!"
"Stop!" Taro shouted. His parents were silent.
"Dad, I know that looking for Kira is really dangerous. But...it's my responsibility. Because those deaths are my fault. If I hadn't given the notebook to Ryuk...if I had just kept it or destroyed it somehow, none of this would have happened.
"Do you know how that feels? I could have prevented all of this. But just because I couldn't stand to be anywhere near that horrible notebook, thousands of people are now dead! I can't just do nothing! I'm responsible! It's my fault!"
Months of repressed guilt rushed through Taro. He knew that confessing his secret would help lift the weight off of his shoulders, but bringing everything to the surface and saying it out loud was much more painful than he had imagined. His parents could see that, and his father softened his scowl.
"I'm sorry, Taro," he said. "It was wrong of me to say that. I was just scared. As I know you are too."
Taro nodded that he understood.
"But please listen to me," Father said, gripping Taro's shoulders. "Those deaths are not your fault; there was no way you could have known what the...shinigami...would do. You can't keep blaming yourself for what's happened. But I would blame myself if I let anything happen to you.
"I'm only going to say this once: please don't go looking for Kira anymore. You have your whole life ahead of you, and there are men who are much more experienced than you who are trying to bring Kira to justice. Perhaps when you're older, if Kira hasn't been found, you can resume your search. But right now, you're still a child, and it's my responsibility to make sure you're safe."
Taro wanted to protest, but he knew his father was right. "What if I just told the police about the Death Note?"
His father shook his head. "As long as the shinigami is on Kira's side, we can't be sure it won't be traced back to you. Ryuk knows your name; if the notebook becomes common knowledge, he'll be able to tell Kira exactly who you are."
He's right, Taro realized. In fact, it is a miracle I'm still alive in the first place.
Taro looked his father right in the eye. "Dad, I'm going to start training to be a police officer. Once I'm an adult and I've finished training, I'll be able to bring Kira to justice."
"And when that day comes," Father said, "I'll be very proud of you."
Unlike Kira and L, the fake Kira had vanished. Aside from one last message announcing that she had found Kira, she hadn't been seen or heard from since the apparent meeting in Aoyama. Taro just assumed it was because the two Kiras had met, and were now working together. Either that, or Kira had killed her. But in any case, there was nothing that Taro could do about it.
By 2007, the general public had begun to personally assist Kira in his quest for global cleansing. Kira internet forums invited people to post names and pictures of people who they felt deserved to be judged by Kira. In other words, anyone could put your name on the internet, and you could die. Names became a precious commodity. People were more distant and mistrustful, and almost never gave their name to anyone. It became extremely popular to use nicknames even among close friends, and in the world of business, people often used aliases.
And through it all, criminals continued to die and crime rates continued to drop. Despite the fear and mistrust, Kira had indeed brought the world peace. But it was a peace paid with the blood of thousands.
Taro Kagami continued high school, with the highest grades of anyone in his class. He had grown more introverted and isolated, as he was perhaps more fearful of Kira than anyone. By the time his class graduated in the spring of 2007, he was no longer on speaking terms with any of his former friends except Sayu, and that was only occasionally. It wasn't that he thought any of them were Kira; he was just carrying a faint hope that they might forget his name.
At the graduation ceremony, he made a very short and unmemorable speech as valedictorian. The less people remember me, the better, he thought. Still, he tried to be civil, and was sure to say a proper goodbye to his former classmates, as he didn't intend to see most of them again.
The next day, Taro went out into the working world. He applied for his first job under the name Sota Nakamura. He had always known he would use an alias when he grew up, but the instant his new boss addressed him by it, he felt odd, like he had changed. His old life was over.
The boy who was once known as Taro Kagami no longer existed.
Taro's plan was simple. He would go into the news station business, and hopefully become one of the video editors. From there, he would be able to sift through and look at all the footage and surveillance that came the news station's way. With all those cameras, he just might be able to spot Ryuk if he was flying around anywhere. And since Ryuk was following Kira around, if he found Ryuk, he would find Kira.
Of course, that still left the problem of what to do once he found Kira, but that could be sorted out later.
Taro was quickly hired by the greedy news station, but it took over two years to work his way up to Executive Video Editor. 2009...almost six whole years since Kira had first appeared. But now, Taro was the eyes and ears of one of Japan's most popular TV channels. There was no way that Kira (or rather, Ryuk) could escape him.
October 11...first day...nothing. But then, that was to be expected. Ryuk wasn't likely to show up that quickly.
Still, though, he was in a good mood. Now that he was in position to nail down Kira, he felt like celebrating as he left the TV station.
Let's see, how should I celebrate? Maybe I should ask Sayu out. Sure, it could be stressful, but they had remained close friends this whole time, and Taro thought she might like him in return.
That's what I'll do. He pulled out his phone, and dialed Sayu's number, thinking of a nice evening at The Note Blue. Or perhaps she might insist on eating at her family's house; Mrs. Yagami did make great food.
Sayu wasn't answering. That's odd.
Then Taro heard a faint ringing, he looked down and saw a cell phone lying on the ground. He picked it up, and saw Call from Sota on the screen. With a jolt, he realized that it was Sayu's phone. What was Sayu's phone doing laying in the middle of the street?
Then the phone rang again. Hands shaking, Taro answered it. "Hello?"
"Who is this?" Taro recognized the voice. It was Light, Sayu's older brother.
"Light, this is Sota. Sayu's friend?" Sayu had introduced Taro to her family under his alias, as he had never properly met them while he was in high school. She thought Taro's paranoia was kind of funny but he didn't really mind. As far as he knew, none of the Yagamis except Sayu knew what his real name was.
"Why are you answering the phone?" Light sounded angry, and also a little scared.
"I found Sayu's phone on the sidewalk, a few blocks from your house. Do you know where she is?"
Light didn't say anything. That silence filled Taro's heart with dread. Then he heard the dial tone.
"Light?" he yelled desperately into the phone, even though he knew Light couldn't hear him. "You have to tell me where Sayu is!"