“It's already too late to do anything about it since he's approached me and introduced himself as L. It doesn't matter how sure I am. Regardless of the cause of death, if L dies now, the police are going to suspect me. I underestimated him. I've never even considered the possibility that he would reveal his identity to me on purpose. He could be telling all the suspects the same thing. In fact, it doesn't even have to be him. He could've sent a double instead. For L, this strategy acts as a solid defense and it allows him to confront Kira directly. He can defend and attack. He got me. It was a good move.”
Encounter (遭遇, Sōgū) is the ninth episode of the Death Note anime series.
The day following the camera incident, Light goes to get Ryuk apples, as his withdrawal has caused him to twist his body unattractively. Light bides his time buying the apples, eventually feeding them to Ryuk as he walks home. Ryuk is impatient with Light through the ordeal and threatens to kill Light with his Death Note if he continues, but Light merely laughs it off.
Meanwhile, L reports to the Task Force that the videotapes have revealed nothing outwardly suspicious, but he remains adamant that something had to have happened in one of the households. To himself, he realizes he needs to take a direct approach to Kira, getting to know him on such a level that he will admit he is Kira. He instructs the Task Force to remove the cameras and wiretaps, keeping his personal approach secret.
The next day, Ryuk discovers the missing cameras and wiretaps. With this stress relieved of him, Light is able to take his college entrance exams without any complications. However, as the exam begins, the proctor loudly reprimands "Student 162" for sitting in his chair incorrectly. Light briefly glances back at the student and notices that Student 162, L, is staring at him.
Meanwhile, in the Shinigami Realm, the other Shinigami discuss Ryuk, who has been gone for "ages." They have since been going to the Portal themselves in order to see what he is up to, noting that it is unlike him to tie himself to a human.
Three months pass and Light has made a perfect score on the entrance exam, earning him enrollment into the prestigious To-Oh University, much to Ryuk's excitement. As the highest scorer on the test, he is asked to read a speech in front of the whole freshman class. However, he has to share the speech with another incoming student who also got a perfect score on the exam, and Light instantly recognizes him as the person who watched him during the exam—L. He is now operating under the alias of Hideki Ryuga, leading some students to confuse him with the idol of the same name. The other students quickly notice how opposite the two are despite being academically similar. On one hand, Light looks like he is groomed to be a genius; on the other, L looks like a "mad scientist," as one student puts it. After the two finish reciting their speeches and make their way back to their seats, L starts whispering to Light that he knows who Light's father is and that he has interest in the police force, much to Light's confusion. L takes a seat next to Light and tells him that he has information related to the Kira case to give to Light. When Light asks him about this information, the other rapidly reveals that he is L.
Speechless, Light simply says he respects L. L says to himself that he doubts Light is Kira. Internally, Light is panicking and questions why L would directly reveal his alias, angrily reflecting on the fact that he cannot simply kill L, since even if he knew L's real name their contact would already be known to the Task Force, leading them to Light, and if Light tried to write obvious alias "Hideki Ryuga" in the Death Note, Light could picture the idol and accidentally kill him, again exposing him. This sends Light through a further state of mental panic after realizing Raye Penber's suspects, including himself, are under suspicion. After the ceremony, L amicably bids Light goodbye and leaves in a limo (to the other students' shock) driven by Watari. Light returns home and curses himself furiously for being played into L's hand, as if he tries to kill this "fake" L he will just be asking for trouble, and that this L is probably just a mole who can attack and defend, with L doing this to all the suspects. Light calms himself with the realization that L revealed his identity because a lack of evidence had led to a standstill in the investigation, and now he's in a cat-and-mouse game with L. He happily accepts and plans to use their new relationship to get L's real name, whereupon he will kill L.
- How to Use: V #4: A god of death cannot be killed even if stabbed in his heart with a knife or shot in the head with a gun. However, there are ways to kill a Shinigami, which are not generally known to the Shinigami.
- How to Use: VI #1: The conditions for death will not be realized unless it is physically possible for that human or it is reasonably assumed to be carried out by that human.