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February 2, 2004
October 10, 2005
“First I need to see how far I can go with the 'details of the death.”
Manipulation (操作, Sōsa) is the sixth chapter of the Death Note manga series.
Light Yagami appears to be tempted into making the deal for the Shinigami Eyes with Ryuk, but he unexpectedly turns down the offer. In order to obtain the Eyes he would have to give up half of his remaining lifespan. Light intends to create a New World for decent humans to live in, a world which he will rule over like a god. If he halved his lifetime, he would be unable to rule for long or enjoy the fruits of his labors.
Light reproaches Ryuk for not telling him about the deal earlier, when they first met. Ryuk is surprised by the way that Light reproaches him and looks him straight in the eye, with none of the fear that an average human would show when meeting a monstrous Shinigami.
Light asks if there are any other deals that he ought to know about. Ryuk answers that there are none. What he does not tell Light is that he is not aware of any others at the moment.
Light jokingly admits that he would not mind a deal for Ryuk's wings since that would enable him to fly and make him look god-like. Ryuk tells him that right now, even without wings or the Eyes, Light already makes a fine Shinigami. Light states that he was only kidding and does not take Ryuk's remark as a compliment, as Ryuk has described his fellow Shinigami as lazy and unproductive. Light, on the other hand, is a hard-working human who is helping his fellow humans by turning the world into a Utopia. At that moment, Light excitedly interrupts their conversation, as he has just figured out a way of identifying the man who was following him earlier that evening. The instructions in the Death Note specify that "after writing the cause of death, details of the death should be written in the next 6 minutes and 40 seconds." Light decides that the first thing to do is to see to what extent he can go with the "details."
Later that evening, at the office of the Kira Task Force at the NPA HQ, Soichiro Yagami receives a phone call informing him that six violent criminals who were held in prison have all died of heart attacks. At the news of Kira's signature method of killing, the Task Force is alarmed and confused. Soichiro is told that this time, three of the convicts completed actions before dying, exhibiting behavior unlike previous victims. Soichiro quickly turns to his laptop in order to type out the details into a spreadsheet: Masaaki Shirami cut off one of his own fingers and used his blood to draw a pentagram inside a circle on the wall of his cell, Ken Yadanaka left behind what appears to be a suicide note expressing fear of Kira, and Tasayoshi Yoda managed to escape from prison before dying in a local public restroom.
Watari, who is also at the Task Force HQ, contacts L in another location. He passes on scanned images of the pentagram and the note. L knows that Kira can set the time his victims die, so he wonders if Kira could also be able to manipulate his victims before their deaths.
L contacts the Task Force and tells them that he believes that Kira used those victims in some sort of test. The policemen, including Soichiro, are disgusted at the idea of humans, even violent criminals, being used like guinea-pigs. L tells them to release the names of the victims to the media but to withhold the details, since they do not want Kira to know whether or not he has succeeded.
Despite their precautions, Kira already knows the results. By hacking into his father's work computer, Light has accessed the spreadsheet in which he typed out the report. He is in a hurry and deliberately performed the tests on criminals serving sentences in the same jail; in that way, all the details would be passed on at the same time to his father and himself. He is satisfied with the results: Shirami and Yadanaka died after respectively drawing the pentagram and writing the message, just as Light wrote down in the Death Note. He also wrote that Yoda was to escape jail and die in a public toilet, which is what happened. In the case of the other three convicts, Light set them impossible tasks, such as escaping prison in Japan at 17:30 and dying in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris a half hour later. This could not be done, so the man simply died of a heart attack. Another task was to draw a portrait of L before dying, but the convict was unable to draw a man whose face he does not know. The third impossible task was to write that he, the convict, knew that L suspects the Japanese police. The fact that he did not write such a message indicates that he did not actually think this. Light now knows that it is possible to use the Death Note to manipulate people before killing them, but that they can only perform tasks that are within the bounds of possibility.
For a final test, Light uses the internet in order to access the details and photo of Matsushiro Nakaokaji, a violent criminal and killer believed to be in Tokyo. He will use him in such a way that his death will not be linked to Kira. In any case, Yadanaka's message was also intended as a red herring in order to keep L occupied.
In his secret location, L is studying the message. If Kira is up to something, it is possible that he will give himself away and the FBI agents sent to Japan will catch him in the act. L notices with surprise that the first words or letters of the lines in the message actually form a coherent phrase: "L Do You Know."
The next morning is a Saturday. There is no school, but Light is up early, as he intends to go out. At breakfast, he reads the local morning paper, which reports that Matsushiro Nakaokaji attempted to rob a convenience store but was stabbed and killed by an employee, just as Light had written in the Death Note.
Light has deliberately led the authorities, including L, to believe that Kira only kills by giving people heart attacks. He does not want them to know that he can kill by other means as well. This way, Nakaokaji's death has not been linked to Kira.
The man following Light has been shadowing him to school and back over the past couple of days. Light suspects that he will want to check up on his activities during his days off as well. Light sets to work accessing the details of Kiichiro Osoreda, a drug addict wanted for shooting three people during a failed bank robbery. He writes in the Death Note before picking up his cell phone and calling a girl he knows.
- The symbol that Light has one of the criminals draw – a plain, circumscribed pentagram – is a religious symbol associated with Neopaganism (Wicca in particular). The pentagram represents the four elements and Spirit and the circle binds them together to create life. Other sources point its origin to the Chinese five-element philosophy. Because of its association with Wicca, it is often associated with witchcraft. Aside from witchcraft, due to Neopaganism's perceived association with Satanism, and also because of negative societal attitudes, the symbol is most often associated with Satanism or evil, though these assumptions are incorrect.