April 4, 2005
June 5, 2006
“I don't have time...”
Split-Second (寸止, Sundome) is the fifty-second chapter of the Death Note manga series.
The fact that Higuchi now has the power of the Second Kira and can kill by looking at people prompts L to order his arrest but also to take precautions. He alerts the head of the Japanese police and informs him that the Kira Task Force has identified Kira but that it resulted in the death of an officer. He gives a description of Kira's car but also insists that the police must stay away from it or suffer the same fate and leave it to him and his team!
Meanwhile, Light calls his father who is at Sakura TV supervising "Matsui's" interview. Light tells him to proceed to an emergency stage of their plan: during the next commercial break, while "Matsui" and the interviewer are off-air, they will be replaced by mannequins and a prerecorded conversation will be broadcast. Because they are being filmed sitting behind tinted glass panels, no viewers will be able to tell the difference.
Light and L then prepare to leave the Kira Task Force HQ but beforehand L handcuffs Misa and chains her to a chair since she will be left behind unsupervised. Misa at first protests but then cooperates at Light's insistence and wishes the two boys luck as they leave.
Light and L go to the building rooftop where they take off in a helicopter, piloted by L! Also on board is Watari who is armed with a rifle. Using a GPS system which is linked to the tracking device in Higuchi's car, they realize that he is actually making his way to the Yotsuba building. Wedy, on her motorbike, makes her way to the Sakura TV studio while Mogi and Aiber keep following the suspect in their car.
Higuchi arrives at the Yotsuba building where he is given access to the security room. However, he cannot find the tape for the day when "Matsui" broke into the Yotsuba building (the tape having been stolen by Wedy). Deciding that he has no other option, Higuchi finally sets off for the Sakura TV building!
At Sakura TV, Soichiro and Wedy are waiting in the studio, hidden behind some wooden screens. Wedy gives Soichiro a helmet with a visor of tinted glass with which to cover his face. She also offers him a gun but he refuses to take it stating that as an ex-cop and a civilian they are not permitted to use them in Japan.
The program is still being broadcast. Higuchi arrives at Sakura TV only to find the building deserted. He believes that there is only a skeleton staff due to the nature of the program. He makes his way to the studio where the program is being filmed.
Entering the apparently deserted studio, he glances behind the tinted panels only to see that the guest and the interviewer have been replaced by mannequins dressed in suits and ties! At that moment he finds himself surrounded by four people, all wearing helmets with glass that hides their faces! One of them, a woman, is even armed with a gun and tells him to surrender!
Trying to stay calm, Higuchi claims to be here for a meeting with Hitoshi Demegawa, the head of the TV station. He reaches into his bag, saying that he has a business card on him, but pulls out a gun and fires at the woman!
Soichiro dashes in front of Wedy and gets hit by the bullet! As panic erupts, Higuchi makes his escape with Aiber reluctantly taking Wedy's gun and going after him!
Soichiro is grazed but insists that he is fine. He, Mogi, Aiber and Wedy get into their cars and set off in pursuit of Higuchi who is already getting away in his own. Told over the radio of what has happened, L manoeuvres the helicopter down towards the streets!
Higuchi speeds away, even crashing through a barrier, but at that moment he suddenly sees a whole squad of police cars coming towards him, all sirens blazing! They also have tinted windscreens, making it impossible to see the faces of the people inside!
Watching from the helicopter, Watari is surprised since the police were told to stay away, but L and Light appear to have a pretty shrewd idea of who is involved!
In the lead car are Hideki Ide and Shuichi Aizawa. Both were members of the Kira Task Force and wanted to stay on the case but Ide left because he didn't trust L and Aizawa later quit due to his own differences with L as well! Since then, however, they've been running their own investigation, even after it was unofficially called off by the NPA, and gathered other like-minded officers into a discreet unit. When they saw Matsuda, whom they assumed was dead, appear alive on TV as "Matsui", they knew that something was up and the order to stay away from a suspect car only compelled them to act. Now, with plenty of safety measures and other officers in support, they are determined to regain their pride and assist in the capture of Kira!
Surrounded, Higuchi slams his foot on the accelerator in a desperate attempt to force his way through, but Watari, from the helicopter, fires his rifle and hits a tire causing the car to skid and crash against a wall! The police cars surround him!
Holding his gun to his head, Higuchi threatens to shoot himself! But then he realizes that, whatever happens, his life is over anyway. He is about to pull the trigger when Watari shoots again and the gun is knocked out of his hand!
L lands the helicopter!
- Although he has been involved in the Yotsuba investigation since chapter 39 "Separation" by communicating with L via computer, this chapter marks the first appearance of Watari since chapter 33, "Removal", when he gagged Misa in order to prevent her biting her tongue. This is also the first time in the manga that he and Light have actually met face-to-face.
Ohba said the chapter's title "Split-Second" relates to Watari preventing Higuchi from committing suicide by shooting his gun out of his hand. It also refers to when Soichiro jumped in front of Wedy to take Higuchi's bullet.