Outside the grounds of his high school, Light Yagami discovers a notebook that claims to be able to kill anyone whose name and face is known to its owner. He initially dismisses the so-called "Death Note" as a hoax, but, after testing its powers, he discovers that these claims are indeed real. The original owner, a shinigami named Ryuk, approaches Light and explains that the notebook now belongs to him. Since Light is the new owner, he is the only one who can see and interact with Ryuk. The shinigami also says that when Light's time to die comes, Ryuk will be the one ...
While the world's criminals continue to drop dead, L meets by computer with representatives from various nations. He requests that a task force be set up in Japan, under the direction of none other than Soichiro Yagami, Light's father.
Light-now known to the world as Kira-tests the Death Note to understand the scope of its powers by killing off six convicts in various ways-and confirms he can control his victims' actions before they die.
Soichiro Yagami demands to meet with L in person when he finds out that L has secretly brought FBI agents into Japan. Light, meanwhile, has found a way to get those very FBI agents off the case-permanently...
Matsuda, the task force member assigned to watch Misa, is eager to distinguish himself, and while on a job with Misa, he decides to do a little snooping on his own at the Yotsuba Group's Tokyo headquarters.
L's team discovers that the Yotsuba Group meet in secret to discuss the elimination of individuals who are troublesome to their company, and concludes that Kira must be one of the eight executives. Can Light posing as L ferret out the right one?
Light, his memory recovered, orders Misa to begin killing after Higuchi dies. The Shinigami Rem realizes that everything is going according to Light's plan, and that L will arrest Misa as Kira-unless Rem acts quickly.
A new investigator steps forward-Near, a central figure in the SPK, an organization that is trying to catch Kira without relying on L. Near is aware of the existence of the Death Notes and wants to get his hands on one.
Light, acting as L, reveals to Near that his sister Sayu has been kidnapped by someone wanting to trade her for the Death Note. Near finds out that the trade will happen in Los Angeles and promises to help, while secretly planning to steal the Death Note and capture Kira.
Light tries to discover where Mello and his Mafia associates are hiding and uses Misa's eyes to find the Death Note's current owner. Light writes the owner's name in the Death Note, and stealthily manipulates him into revealing the group's whereabouts.
Mello busts into SPK headquarters to retrieve a photograph of himself to make sure he won't be killed by Kira. In exchange for Near giving him the picture, Mello drops an important hint about the Death Notes: some of the rules are fake.
Near contacts the Japanese task force and determines that Kira is among their members. He asks for insider information, and Aizawa, beginning to doubt Light, responds. Near suspects that the new L is really Light Yagami and that Light is Kira.
Star newscaster Kiyomi Takada becomes Kira's spokesperson to the world, after Demegawa is deleted by Mikami, and she just so happens to have been Light's girlfriend in college. Aizawa's suspicions about Light grow.
Near, along with the SPK, meets Light and the task force at a warehouse for the final showdown. To everyone's shock, Near reveals that Kira's follower, Mikami, is at the warehouse and is writing everyone's name in the Death Note.