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[[caption-width-right:350:Even [[PluckyComicRelief Matsuda]] can get pushed to despair.]]

When you have a notebook that can kill people in 40 seconds flat, you know that there will be plenty of heart-wrenching moments in ''Manga/DeathNote''.

Entries for the Japanese live-action film series go [[TearJerker/DeathNoteSeries here]].

[[folder:Main Series]]

[[folder: General ]]

* Light has no idea what he's getting into when he picks up the notebook. [[HarsherInHindsight Just imagining what his life would have been like had he not been staring out the window.]]
** That's one of the saddest things about Death Note. Light was so smart and could have done anything he wanted, but when he found the Death Note it basically ruined his life. He was never as bad a person when he didn't have the Death Note.
** WordOfGod is that if Light had never become Kira, he would have become a successful detective who would have worked closely with L on many cases.
* In a sad version of FridgeHorror, the [[spoiler:survivors of the]] Yagami family. And if thinking about it wasn't bad enough, then [[FanFicRecs/DeathNote some really good fanfic writers got ahold of it...]] '''Not. Fair.''' Light ruined the lives of the people he should have loved most in the world and ''they did nothing wrong''. And the bastard STILL didn't realize what he was doing!
** ...and the manga:
---> '''Light (on the phone):''' Sorry mom, I can't come home again this year. Tell Sayu that I promise I'll find time to come back home next year so we can spend some real family time together.
** HarsherInHindsight knowing that [[spoiler: there will be no next year…]]
* To a more minor level, Yuri, the oft-forgotten girl from Light's high school class that he was taking on a date to Space Land, when their bus was hijacked by some maniac with a gun. Of course it was all Light's manipulations, but Yuri never knew that, and never appears again after that episode. After all that she saw happen though, and how scared she was, it's a wonder if she'll ever be okay again


[[folder: Light/L Arc ]]

* Episode 4: Raye Penber uses the Death Note unknowingly when [[spoiler: Light holds him hostage and forces him to write down the names of the FBI agents investigating Kira. Penber's allies die by his own hand.]]
** Even worse when you remember that [[spoiler: that for anyone who has ever used a death note they cannot go to Heaven or Hell, and anyone who dies faces a CessationOfExistence. Light essentially forced Raye Penbar to murder his allies and gave him a FateWorseThanDeath for good measure]].
** And to top it off: [[spoiler:in a sense, the execution was pointless. Penber was planning to cite Light as innocent after tailing him for a bit, with the day of the busjacking being the last day. If Light hadn't enacted his plan that day, Penber would've told the others Light was clean, all the agents and Naomi would still be alive (at least, for now), and Light would be above suspicion. But since Light killed Penber and the agents, that just began his unraveling as the task force and L got even more serious and Naomi started to suspect Light.]]
* The death of Naomi Misora in episode 7. [[spoiler: She comes so close to bringing Raye's killer to justice, and this is what ends up being the death of her. The small, metaphorical scene with the noose, the music... so sad.]]
** The fact that Light actually revealed to her that he was Kira makes it even sadder. If you think about it, she's basically destined to [[spoiler: commit suicide]], but for the last moments of her life, she has to live with the fact that she just gave her fiancé's killer all the information she had, trusted him and let him kill her without her knowledge. And now she knows who killed her fiancé, but she can't do anything about it because of the Death Note.
** Not only does Light reveal he's Kira, he proceeds to ''mock'' her, asking Naomi if she wants to talk to his father now, knowing that thanks to the Death Note, she's lost all her free will and is about to [[spoiler:commit suicide]], and they ''both'' know she can't do a damn thing about it. And he does it all with a smirk on his face. Light, you utter ''bastard''.
** The worst thing about it? Light gives her an out. He tells her how young and beautiful she is and that she has her whole life ahead of her, and she responds that she doesn't have anything to lose anymore. She had her own life to lose, but she was too blinded by her desire for revenge to think of that.
** Even ''worse'', [[spoiler: Light specifies in the notebook that she kills herself in such a way [[NeverFoundTheBody that her body is never discovered]], [[AdultFear robbing Naomi's loved ones of closure]] and the [[DueToTheDead opportunity to lay her remains to rest]]. ''Goddamn you, Light''.]]
* [[spoiler: Ukita's death]] in Episode 11. When Aizawa and Matsuda see his body on the TV, Aizawa tries to go after him, but L argues that it's too dangerous and that they need to think rationally. Aizawa accuses him of not caring until he notices that L is shaking and trying to keep himself calm.
-->'''L:''' Please control yourself. We've lost [[spoiler: Ukita]].
* Episode 12: Gelus is just so sad-looking and [[spoiler:his death to save Misa's life was pretty heartwrenching]]. Especially [[spoiler:for poor Rem who was couldn't do anything but watch.]] Especially since it was basically [[spoiler: one StalkerWithACrush sacrificing himself to save the object of his affections from ''another'' stalker.]]
** This exchange, right before [[spoiler:Gelus' HeroicSacrifice]]. Rem even sounded like she felt sorry for poor Gelus.
-->'''Rem:''' Today's her last day, isn't it?\\
'''Gelus:''' ''(on the edge of tears)'' She looks so full of life... it's just not fair...
* Episode 14: L calling Light his only friend. For a moment this actually seems to get to Light, given how shocked he looks, but then in the next scene he's still resolved to kill L.
** This one appears to have been undone by WordOfGod. ''How To Read 13'' says L has ''no friends at all'' and that it was just a lie he told Light, even though he knew he'd hardly believe it. Whether you take that as a FanonDiscontinuity is up to you.
*** The How To Read profiles were listed somewhat like interviews, meaning some of the definitions were altered somewhat to match the characters. So Light being L's only friend was true, and L was lying, to the audience and himself, so that he wouldn't grow attached to his only true friend. This only makes [[spoiler: L's death and confirmation that Light was responsible for it]] all the more heart wrenching.
* There's also Misa Amane's strongest scene in Episode 15. [[spoiler: She's in restraints, begging Rem to kill her, and even tries to bite her own tongue off. Of course, she doesn't succeed]], but it was a real turning point for her character. [[spoiler: Well, it seemed so at the time...]]
* Episode 16: ''[[OffingTheOffspring "When I leave here, it will be with my son!"]]'' Horrible.
** [[spoiler:When Light loses his memories, he goes from sinisterly calm to outright desperate. Afterwards, Higuchi continues killing criminals, but L decides to lie to Light and say that no killings have happened. Not only that, he was confined for 50 days straight, he's seen on the ground and by the looks of it, he looks like he was dying of starvation. What makes it worse was when L tricked Light into believing that his father was going to kill him. Right when his father pulled the trigger and the gunshot was heard, it seemed that Light died and his father crossed the MoralEventHorizon for doing this. But then we see that it was a test to see if Light was Kira or not and gun was just a blank.]]


[[folder: Yotsuba Arc ]]

* The first scene we see of Aizawa after [[spoiler:he leaves the task force]]. He's sitting alone in a park and his family turns up [[spoiler:he breaks down crying because he missed out on so much of his daughter's life]] made worse with her coy confusion and the questions "[[spoiler:What's wrong dad? Mommy, why is daddy crying]]?"
** There is the possibly more heartbreaking alternative reaction that he's not crying because [[spoiler:he's missed out on being with his family]], but rather [[spoiler:out of shame that he believes himself to have been the weak link in the task force and was not strong enough to stick out the hunt for Kira with his respected friends and peers, guilty that he gets to enjoy a normal family life again while his comrades have to continue their mission without him.]]
* [[spoiler: Hatori's death]] in Episode 20. HeelFaceDoorSlam, anyone?
* In Episode 24, Light [[spoiler:regains his memories.]] What's the first thing he says? [[spoiler:"[[WhamLine Exactly as planned.]]", indicating that he was behind it all along. From that point on, the innocent and pure Light Yagami was no more, replaced by the homicidal killing machine he has become.]]
** [[spoiler:It's the fucking ''scream''. It isn't just Light getting his memories back. It's the innocent, cheerful boy he's become over the last few episodes, watching and reacting in horror as he realizes that he's Kira - the very person he swore to hunt down - ''knowing'' that he's going to "die" and that the monster he truly is, is going to reassert himself, and it will be as if the idealist - the Light he could have been if he hadn't found that fucking book or if he'd gotten over his boredom - never existed.]]
* The moment when [[spoiler:Misa made the deal for the Shinigami eyes for the second time.]]
** Also consider that his notebook was [[spoiler:given to Misa by Rem, as she believed it belonged to her, given that Gelus died to save her with it. And then after that, Light gets a hold of it, uses Misa, gives the notebook away to some evil bastard called Mikami and it ends up getting burned by Near. Especially sad when you consider Rem's line of the notebook being the only reminder of Gelus' existence and the scene in which Rem tells Misa that the notebook belongs to her and she clutches it to her chest. Try not to wish that Light and Misa had never met after looking over that scene again]].
* The preview for Episode 25. Scenes of heavy rain, completely silent, except the very end, which features one word.
--> [[spoiler:'''L:''' Goodbye.]]
* And Episode 25 was as tearful as its preview hinted. One of the most heart-wrenching moments of the entire series, of course, was [[spoiler: the deaths of L and Watari at the coerced hands of Rem, who, because of the rules of the {{Shinigami}}, was also killed in the process.]]
** And don't forget [[spoiler: L died failing to bring down Kira]]. However, the Movie's version of this where [[spoiler: L prevents himself from being killed by Rem by writing his own name into the note, but adding that he would die 23 days later. Sadly Watari and Rem don't make it out alive. And you see a few shots of Rem crumbling into dust. Finally, there is the scene at the end where Light's entire family mourn his death, his father only having told them that he was killed by Kira.]]
** As for [[spoiler:L's death,]] the scene of [[spoiler: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcvIxTVafkM L's funeral]]]] goes from TearJerker with Soichiro promising to him that he'd make his death worth it and Matsuda crying, to rage-inducing with Light making up lies about how he'll avenge [[spoiler:L's death]] by killing Kira himself. It quickly turns to terrifying with Light going absolutely berserk with his laugh and screaming at [[spoiler:L's grave]] that he has won. In a deleted scene, he even '''humps it'''.

** L and Watari looking at one another through the computer monitors and L calling Watari's name, first quietly, and then loudly [[spoiler:just before Watari cuts the transmission and erases the datbase due to his death]]. Particularly sad since that episode implied that Watari was the closest thing L had to a father, and the angle and wide-eyed look he has in the monitor Watari looks at makes him look particulalry childlike. It's also the first time L's voice seems to have tender emotion and vulnerability in it.
** Just [[spoiler:L's death,]] full stop. He's just seen [[spoiler:Watari]] go, and the whole scene is incredibly tense anyway. [[spoiler:Then we see the spoon fall...]]
** It's even more depressing since most people are so upset by [[spoiler:L's death]] that they completely forget the fact that [[spoiler:Watari died too]]. [[spoiler:L's death]] wasn't as bad (though still was terribly horrible) since [[spoiler:he was actively fighting against Kira and in the end one of those two had to die]], but [[spoiler:Watari's death]] wasn't necessary, and that just makes it all the more heartbreaking.
* And then there's Rem's reaction upon realizing what Light wants her to do. And then [[spoiler: after L's death, the camera pan to reveal that there's nothing left of her but a pile of sand]] is one of the most gut-wrenching shots in the show.
** Worse, this happens just when Rem has genuinely begun to ''sympathize'' with Light... [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness and that's what she gets.]]
* The really simple scene added in Episode 25 of the anime where [[spoiler:you see Watari bring a child L into Wammy's House for the first time]]. Not just the way the scene was shot, and the haunting music playing, but the fact that it shows that L was just as human as anyone and how Watari was probably the only person who really cared about him.
* Some of the dialogue in the added foot massage scene in Episode 25 was really subtle and moving. Specifically, in the Japanese version when L says ”寂しいですねえ。もうすぐ分かる。”, which roughly translates to, "I'm lonely. You'll understand soon." This could be read as either [[spoiler:L implying that once he proves the 13-day rule is fake, Light will be convicted as Kira]] or [[spoiler:L foreseeing his own death and implying that Light will miss him when he's gone.]]
** Not to mention the soft piano music and sunlight streaming into the room during the scene.
* In the final episode of the Yotsuba Arc, all the remaining Yotsuba members getting killed off, [[HeelFaceDoorSlam just when they've resolved to turn their lives around.]]
** [[spoiler: Aber's death in front of his family. It's a little hard to side with Kira on that one, especially when said family includes a kid who came in to see his own father slumped over and unresponsive.]]


[[folder: Near/Mello Arc ]]

* Episode 29: Seeing Sayu [[spoiler: traumatized from the events of the previous episodes to the point that she becomes depressed and immobile.]]
** In a scene in the manga, where Sachiko tells Soichiro that Sayu won't come out of her room, and suggests they move to the countryside.
** Not to mention, before she was [[spoiler:kidnapped]], we see her as a happy and confident young girl, who playfully teases Matsuda and Misa.
* [[spoiler:The death of Deputy Director Yagami. The saddest part about that was that thanks to Light's relinquishment of the Death Note, the Shinigami-eye-wielding Director saw Light's lifespan, so he died genuinely believing that his son wasn't Kira.]]
** In the manga, Soichiro's [[spoiler:last words, beginning with "Light, I'm counting on you to..." are cut off by Light trying to get him to kill Mello with the notebook! Light's panicking is understandable but it's an example of how badly Light's humanity had to suffer.]]
*** And the moment in the hospital just after his [[spoiler:non-Kira heart attack]], when, in full knowledge that Light is a suspect, he quietly explains to him that it isn't Kira himself who's evil, but the power he's using. Utterly tragic - especially since Light, while briefly affected, is a brick wall, and because that distinction between people and their acts is something Light will never grasp.
* The shot of Light's mother Sachiko slumped at her table. [[spoiler:Her son Light has all but disappeared from her life, her daughter Sayu is [[HeroicBSOD confined to a wheelchair and catatonic]], and her husband Soichirou has just died trying to stop Kira.]] And [[spoiler:Soichiro's ashes]] are on the table in front of her. That's what that neatly wrapped box she's contemplating is.
* Mikami's horribly depressing backstory in Episode 32 and Chapter 84. Especially when the boy he protected thanks him and adult Mikami says "as long as I heard that word, it made me want to help them every time". The contrast between what a sweet kid he was and the way he is now is just so ''stark''.
* Seven words: "Matt... [[spoiler: I got you killed...]] I'm sorry." Not just for Matt, but because it's the one time in the series that we see Mello as something ''other'' than a HotBlooded, CantCatchUp InsufferableGenius.
** Worse with FridgeHorror when you realise like L, Mello only had one friend.
** [[spoiler: Matt's death]] in general due to the way it is shot, which seems to imply he was meant to be a lot more important character, as he had such a minor role yet there is the lingering shot of his cigarette.
* [[spoiler: Kiyomi Takada's]] death in Episode 35. To review: [[spoiler: poor Takada had been kidnapped by Mello and killed him, causing Mello to crash the truck. Takada survived, naked, in the back of the truck. She called Light, and was clearly frightened. Light had her just keep killing, while she's in the back of this truck, cold, naked, frightened, and alone, and out of her devotion to him, she trusts him and keeps killing, and what happens? Light makes her burn herself to death.]]
* The final episode: the moments before [[spoiler:Light's death in the anime are particularly sad. Specifically when he's running away from the warehouse and we start seeing flashbacks to the first episode showing him walking along the same road just after finding the Death Note, and ''he looks so young''. It was surprisingly heartbreaking, considering he's, y'know, a sociopath.]]
** [[WordOfGod Even Ohba said]] that Light was, in many ways, [[spoiler:the Death Note's first victim]]. Given that the DracoInLeatherPants trope is about fan misinterpretation of canon, is it even possible to present one within canon? This case seems more like AlasPoorVillain or a BrokenAesop.
** [[spoiler: Light losing it was bad, ''Matsuda'' losing it was horrible. He so ''genuinely'' seemed to admire Light, and seeing this nice, happy-go-lucky guy shoot Light repeatedly with tears streaming down his face (which provides the page image), then having to be stopped from killing Light by the other officers — only to break down into wracking sobs — was some seriously upsetting stuff.]]
--->[[spoiler:'''Matsuda:''' I'll kill him... I'll kill him! HE HAS TO DIE!]]
*** And of course, [[spoiler:Light]]'s reaction to this is tear jerking as well, because he sounds not only angry but ''betrayed'':
----> [[spoiler:'''Light:''' Matsuda, ''you '''idiot'''!'' ''Who '''the hell''' do you think you're shooting at?!'']]
** [[spoiler:When Light realized that there was no one left to help him, and him still not realizing it was largely his fault.]]
*** This -- especially in the anime where [[spoiler: he's lying on the ground in the moments after being shot, calling out to Takada and Misa, asking what he should do in a voice like that of a little lost child, but nobody answers. Light dies bleeding out cold and alone, all of his allies dead, everyone who trusted him now seeing the monster he has become, every effort completely in vain as crime returns to its usual rates only a few months after his death.]]
* The final music that plays in the anime version during [[spoiler:Light Yagami starting to slowly die and when he sees an image of L looking over him]].
* Misa Amane's last scene in the anime, where [[spoiler: she sadly stands atop of a building, dressed up in her ElegantGothicLolita garb, eyes closed. This comes with the ''very'' strong implication that she committed suicide just moments later. Especially with this incredibly sad music playing in place of the normal heavy-metal ending, the credits rolling over, jerking back and forth between shots of her and {{Woobie}}-ified Light...]] Worst part? How To Read cites [[spoiler:her death date as ''Valentine's Day.'']]
** Consider also that this is not [[spoiler:the 2nd Kira, Misa in full CuteAndPsycho mode that dies, it's an innocent woman who has been jerked around all her life without her knowledge by the power of the Death Note. Rather than the insane, evil Kira persona being the one that died, Misa committed suicide after she'd gotten her life as a normal human back. Even without Light around to use her, she just couldn't win.]]
** There's some FridgeHorror at work too: consider that [[spoiler:she traded half her remaining life ''twice'' for Shinigami eyes, and she dies only a year after the main story -- that means she would have only had four years left to live even had she not found her own Death Note. The poor girl never had even half a shot at a normal life.]]
** [[spoiler:How 'bout the fact that she's given up her memories of the Death Note by the time she dies? That means Misa doesn't remember Rem, or Rem's story about how Gelus sacrificed himself to save her. ''Misa has no memories of the two that loved her most''.]]
* [[spoiler:Light's last conversation with Misa]] in the manga is just ... heartbreaking. [[spoiler:Misa is cheerful and glad that she's gotten a chance to talk to Light, telling him happily about the hotel room. And Light is completely "Yeah, good, she's not something I need to worry about at the moment." And he hangs up -- if he even bothered to say goodbye to her, the reader doesn't see it. And ''that's'' their last. Conversation. Ever. After Misa gave her life and soul to Light, suffered L's torture for him, begged Rem to ''kill her'' when she couldn't take it any longer, and let his control dominate her life completely -- ''that'' was their last conversation. They were engaged to be married, for the love of God; yes, it was only a pretense on Light's part, but they had been together for years, and Misa finally had the family that she had lost when her parents died. And she ''kills herself'' after Light dies. AND THAT WAS THEIR LAST CONVERSATION.]]
* At the very end. [[spoiler:Near is surrounded by a bunch of toys, doing what he does best... and eating a bar of chocolate.]]
* The fact that at the end of it all, the people left behind still couldn't decide whether Kira's actions were right or wrong.
* Evil as Light may have been, his actions as Kira ''ended war and reduced crime by 70%'' — [[spoiler:a result that didn't survive more than a few months past his death]] — and positively affected thousands, perhaps ''millions'' of good people around the world. [[spoiler:Now their savior, the man who brought them justice where no one else could, is gone]].
* There's something incredibly sad in the last two rules of the Death Note: "All humans, without exception, will eventually die" and [[spoiler: "After the user of a Death Note dies, the place they go is Mu (Nothingness)."]] Even if we all know that death is unavoidable, it's still a gloomy, laconic reminder of human inability to control life and death.
** And as if to drive this point home, the manga has one final rule to add: [[Main/AllDeathsFinal "Once dead, they can never come back to life."]]

[[folder:The Musical]]
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYSJUoBI8C0 "When Love Comes,"]] sung by Rem, about Misa. ''Right after Misa gives up her memories''. Rem is so, ''so'' heartbroken to have lost Misa forever, and the fact that she now understands love is only a small consolation.