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If I blow it, Kira will have to kill his own family.

Light Yagami

Family (家族, Kazoku) is the third chapter of volume one and the Death Note manga series.


In the early evening, Light Yagami is seated on his bedroom balcony taking in the evening air. Ryuk the Shinigami is lying on the bed munching an apple. Light is getting a bit bored with the big "L versus Kira" debate that has been dominating the news ever since the recent confrontation on TV[1].

Ryuk is intrigued as to how relaxed Light is considering that every police force in the world is out to get him. With a smug smile, Light admits that he would never have undertaken the role of Kira and sought to purge the world of evil if he had not known that he would have a certain advantage over the authorities.

Before Ryuk can ask about this advantage, the handle of Light's door starts to rattle. Light has made it a habit of locking his door whenever he is in his room so as not to be caught writing in the Death Note. Outside, his sister Sayu asks for help with her homework. Light quickly hides the Death Note in his desk drawer before letting her in.

At 14, Sayu is three years younger than Light. As she enters the room, Ryuk, who is invisible to her, warns Light that he can be seen by anyone who touches the Death Note. Light silently curses the Shinigami for not telling him this before.

Sayu picks up a copy of "Sexy Inquirer" (an adult magazine) that is lying on the floor and believes that it is why Light keeps his door locked. Snatching it back, Light says that he only bought it for an article on L and Kira. He intends to become a detective and aims to rise to the top of Japan's National Police Agency (NPA). Sayu is quite confident that he will succeed.

Ryuk wonders if this ambition is the "advantage" Light mentioned earlier. But Light is only 17 and still in school, and it will be years before he can even join the police, let alone reach a senior position.

Meanwhile, in an unknown location, a young man stares out of the window of a room devoid of furniture aside from a computer, monitor and other related equipment. L is thinking back to the earlier TV confrontation he had with Kira. Kira had no qualms about killing Lind L. Tailor, but he did not kill L even when challenged to do so. Could it be because he knew that Tailor was a criminal who deserved to die while L is not? Or could there be more to it than that? At that moment, Watari appears on L's computer screen and announces that a briefing of the Kira Task Force is about to begin.

The Task Force occupies a large office at the headquarters of the NPA. Watari is there, along with a laptop through which L can communicate with the other investigators. Watari still wears his hat and overcoat so no one can see his face.

The officers report that the majority of known deaths were of criminals whose details were available in Japan and that most of the deaths occurred between 16:00 and 02:00 Japanese time on weekdays, but varied considerably during the weekends. They have also taken calls from the public, which include possible leads that are being checked out.

After the briefing, L requests that they investigate how the victims were reported in the Japanese media, including the internet. He especially wants to know if the reports included pictures or footage of the victims. The night shift gets down to work while the day shift officers make their way home.


Light and his father

In the Yagami household, Light finishes tutoring Sayu just as they get called down to dinner. When they get downstairs, they meet their father, who has just come home from work. He is Soichiro Yagami, the head of the Kira Task Force.

The Yagami family sits down for supper. Ryuk is also present, though Light is the only one who is aware of the presence of their death god house guest. Soichiro asks his children how they are doing at school. Light mutters that it is just routine; in other words, he is routinely getting straight As in every subject. Sayu also admits that school is routine, her embarrassment indicating average results.

Light remarks that his father is looking rather tired, and Soichiro admits that he is dealing with a particularly difficult case. However, the lead investigator has suggested that the times of death indicate that the killer could be a student. His wife objects to this kind of conversation, but Soichiro points out that Light's insights have been useful in previous investigations.

Ryuk now realizes the "advantage" Light mentioned earlier: his father is in charge of the Kira investigation and will unwittingly supply Kira, his own son, with information on its progress.

Light quickly finishes his meal. Before returning to his room, he tells his mother that he would rather clean it himself in future, so she does not need to go there anymore. He also tricks Sayu into admitting that he has again helped her with her homework, which is likely to get her into trouble with their parents.

Once they are back in Light's room, Ryuk remarks that the police are making progress. They have already narrowed Kira's whereabouts to the Kanto region and established that he is a student. Light looks unconcerned, smugly announcing that this has always been his intention.

The rules, as written in the Death Note, indicate that a victim will die of a heart attack if the writer does not specify another method of death, such as a fatal accident. If the writer does specify the cause of death, he has 6 minutes and 40 seconds to write down the details. Light reasons that if he actually does specify "heart attack" as the way a person is to die then he could also add other details and provide some variety to the killings.

Over the next couple of days, reports reach the Kira Task Force of convicted criminals dying of heart attacks, at the rate of one dying every hour on the hour. Some of the officers suggest that this blows the idea that Kira is a student, though it is possible that he is taking time off from school. Talking through Watari's laptop, L states that this is Kira's way of showing that he can set the time of death to whenever he wants.

Privately, L is also worried. This sudden development is clearly a challenge from Kira, a way of casting doubt on the student theory, and indicates that Kira has access to police information.

Meanwhile, Light and Ryuk are making their way to an old abandoned building. Light admits that he has a major dilemma. His original intention was that, in the event of anyone finding the Death Note, he would claim that it was simply full of notes he was keeping on the Kira affair. Now, if anyone does touch it, they will be able to see Ryuk. Because of this, rather than leaving it at home, Light has been keeping it with him permanently, taking it to school and back. This is a dangerous move in itself, however, and at this rate, Kira may end up having to kill his own family.


The title of the chapter "Family" was chosen because it introduces Light's father Soichiro and sister Sayu and shows a typical evening in the Yagami household. Tsugumi Ohba also said that "Family" was chosen because Light stated that he would be willing to kill members of his own family if he had to.

Chapter Guide[]