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September 3, 2004
January 3, 2006
First Move →
“That damn L… I've never been so humiliated in my entire life.”
Humiliation (屈辱, Kutsujoku) is the nineteenth chapter of the Death Note manga series.
It's the day of the Entrance Ceremony at To-Oh University when new students are made welcome. The student with the highest exam score is to deliver the opening address on behalf of the newcomers. This time, however, it is announced that there will be two students who will deliver the address. Not only did they get the best scores, they also both got the highest possible score in the exams!
These students are Light Yagami and Hideki Ryuga. They are summoned to the platform to deliver the address. They make contrasting figures: Light is dressed in a suit and tie and nice combed hair, while Hideki has dishevelled hair, wears jeans, a light sweater and unlaced gym shoes. Light recognises him as the strange student who sat a couple of tables behind him during the entrance exam. It is also noted that Hideki Ryuga is the name of a well-known singer and pop idol.
After the address, Light and Ryuga are descending the platform when Ryuga tells light in a low voice that he knows that he is the son of Soichiro Yagami, a senior officer in the NPA and that he has been a major help in past cases. Since Light is also interested in the Kira affair, Ryuga offers to give him some information about it providing he keeps it to himself. Light is taken aback by this sudden declaration but agrees. Ryuga then says, "I am L!"
Light is shaken by this revelation. Why is this guy telling him this? Is he telling the truth? Why reveal something like that so easily? Composing himself, Light, acting as the son of Soichiro Yagami, turns and shakes hands with L, expressing great admiration for his work. L thanks him and tells him that he would like him to help solve the Kira case. They resume their seats.
Even though there is only a tiny chance that Light is Kira, L still believes that he is all the more suspicious because he is too perfect. He hopes that this sudden meeting between them will pressure Kira.
Light does feels conflicted: If this is L then he should kill him, but he can't since there must be others, such as Light's own father, who know of this meeting and killing him will make Light the number one suspect! In any case, the name "Hideki Ryuga" must be false since it is also that of a major celebrity. Writing such a name in the Death Note could result in the death of the celebrity which will also make Light a suspect. He can't even be sure if L actually does suspect him at all.
Ryuk chuckles: if this is L, then things could get fun.
After the ceremony, L exchanges some friendly words with Light before leaving in a chauffeur-driven and expensive limousine.
Light goes home, returns to his room and breaks down in a fury! L has played him for a fool! He has never felt so humiliated! He seethes at the fact that L has devised a way to shield himself by revealing his identity under a false name and attacking Light at the same time by getting closer.
Ryuk tries to tempt Light into making the deal with the Shinigami Eyes, get L's real name and thus kill him. Light explodes even further! "Hideki Ryuga" may be just a stand-in for L (like Lind L. Tailor) and if he dies then the real L will know that Light is Kira. He cannot even use the Death Note to get someone else to kill a third party.
Once he's calmed down, however, Light realizes that things aren't so bad. If L is trying the direct approach then that means he has no evidence to arrest Light. It will be a battle of wits: Both of them trying to find out who the other really is. Everyone else will see them as friends, but once Light has learned all he needs to know, he will kill L!
The title of the chapter refers to Light's feelings about not being able to do much against L.