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September 3, 2004
January 3, 2006
- This page is for the chapter. For the manga volume, see Hard Run (volume).
“Dammit! Then I'm going over there to make them stop myself!”
Hard Run (ハード·ラン, Hādo· ran) is the twenty-third chapter of the Death Note manga series.
On the Sakura TV channel, a presenter tells the viewers that Kira has sent them a tape for them to broadcast at exactly 5:59 p.m. There is no doubt that it is from Kira since the sender of the tape predicted the deaths of two criminals and those have been confirmed. Thus, for the safety of their staff, they have no choice but to air the tape. Hitoshi Demegawa, the head of the studio, is himself watching, in anticipation of a great ratings boost.
When the tape is broadcast, the screen shows handwritten letters spelling out "Kira" recorded amateurishly on a home video camera. L notes that it looks childish and that the letters are based on the Gothic-like font he himself uses when communicating via a computer or TV screen. He wonders if Kira is trying to goad him.
A garbled voice on the tape claims to be Kira and will prove it by having a famous news anchor from another channel die at 6 p.m. They quickly switch to the channel in question and see that one of the newscasters has collapsed. Kira then announces that he will kill another commentator who has also been critical of him. A quick switch to another channel shows that that man has also fallen dead.
The Task Force members try to call Sakura TV to get them to stop the broadcast but nobody at the studio will answer on the main line or their cellphones—Aizawa having tried a contact there. Detective Ukita dashes off and races his car through the streets to Sakura TV.
Kira explains that he does not want to kill innocent people. He hates evil and wants the world to become one free of crime, a utopia. Kira wants the police to work with him in order to achieve this goal, but also warns that he will not allow public criticism of him.
At the hospital Soichiro Yagami and his wife Sachiko watch the broadcast. Sachiko then switches it off, reminding her husband that he is still recovering from a natural heart attack. Soichiro insists that she switch it back on since he is still leading the Kira investigation and she complies.
Ukita arrives at the TV studio only to find the doors locked and the security guard refusing to let anyone enter the building. Ukita draws his gun and is about to shoot the glass door when he collapses on the ground!
Back at the investigation HQ, more TVs have been bought into the room. The detectives can watch the Kira tape being broadcast and another channel which is showing live pictures of the front entrance to Sakura TV. Thus they can see Ukita lying lifeless on the pavement!
Furious, Aizawa is about to leave himself when L tells him that he will simply suffer the same fate as his colleague! It's clear that Ukita was killed by Kira. L and Watari gave the policemen fake names and ID badges in order to counter the fact that Kira requires both the names and faces of his victims in order to kill them. He now appears to have overcome this limitation!
Aizawa asks if their names were leaked, but L doubts this since they'd all be dead by now. Instead, he believes that Kira is somewhere near the studio and will kill anyone who tries to break in and stop the broadcast. Ambulancemen can be seen removing Ukita's body, but if other police officers were to go there they will simply die on the spot. At this point, L can be seen trembling! He's very afraid!
Sachiko has just been to the ladies' room. When she returns to her husband's hospital bed it is to find that he is gone. Moments later, Soichiro Yagami drives a huge police van right into the TV studio entrance!
When it came to naming this chapter, Ohba said, "What else could I have used for the chapter?"
- This is the first chapter not to feature Light Yagami, who only reappears in the final page of the next chapter, "Shield", and whose reaction to the tapes is only made clear in chapter 25, "Fool".