EXACTLY as planned. (This is the official translation in the manga and anime.)
He gets another one during his Memory Gambit. After watching the Yotsuba meeting, L is prepared to allow innocent people to die just to get evidence on them. Light then comes up with a brilliant bit of Xanatos Speed Chess: He calls up Namikawa (having deduced he likely isn't the new Kira), flawlessly manipulates him into switching sides, and gets him to delay the killings long enough for the task force to get evidence. Even L acknowledges it as awesome. While it's mostly to set up foreshadowing, that doesn't detract from it.
What about Light using a murderous bank robber, exploitation of the Death Note rules, and even Ryuk himself in order to find out the name of the person tailing him and then killing off the entire FBI task force by manipulating said tail. Long term, it was a huge mistake on Light's part but overall still worthy of a Moment of Awesome.
When that tail's fiancee is about to reveal something crucial to the Kira Investigation, and has given Light a false name, Light's calm exterior and quick planning are impressive.
For Light, when he explains every detail of his memory gambit in perfect detail in episode 24 followed by threateningly thinking "You're next" about L after murdering the current Kira constitutes a Moment of Awesome.
How about Light's father, Soichiro, crashing through the front doors of Sakura TV in an armored van? Also his Shinigami eye deal was pretty Badass.
The Sakura TV incident is made more awesome by the fact that he did it after sneaking out of the hospital where he was recovering from a heart attack. Pulling out a revolver and scaring the crap out Demegawa was just icing on the cake.
He has another Awesome Moment during the first act of "Execution", in which a seemingly crazed Soichiro convinces Light and Misa (as well as much of the audience) that he's about to kill them both.
Can we also mention that Soichiro is played by Chairman Kaga from Iron Chef in the Death Note Movie? That alone is worthy of a Crowning Moment.
Considering I only watched Death Note in the first place BECAUSE of him, YES.
For Soichirou's personal Moment of Awesome, what about his dying words? Seriously, even though he always tried to play Light's advocate in front of L, at the end, he revealed that even three years after L's death, he, as the only one in the team, always seriously considered the possibility that L was right and his own son is Kira.
The most awesome moment for Light, of course, is when he manages to eliminate two of the biggest threats to him (at the time) in one single go—he manipulates Rem, a Shinigami who absolutely despises him, into killing L on the pretense that Misa being in L's custody puts her in mortal jeopardy. Since Rem did it to protect Misa, she herself is killed for violating the rules of the Shinigami, and Light is free and clear.
L using a prisoner sentenced to die to pinpoint Kira's location within the Kanto was jaw-droppingly awesome. This is the first thing we see that really makes our favourite Magnificent BastardVillain Protagonist mad, and sets the tone for their relationship to follow...
For me, that was the Crowning Moment of Awesome of the series. Seeing L make his grand entrance by wiping the smug smile off of Light's face and then thoroughly owning him on national television was incredibly satisfying. But then again, so was seeing Light being reduced to fleeing from a warehouse whimpering and sobbing and riddled with bullet holes...Eh, forget what I said earlier. I have two personal Crowning Moments.
He gets another one when he meets the investigation team face to face for the first time. After a moment, they all introduce themselves by name. His greeting: Points finger like a gun at head investigator. "Bang. If I was Kira, you would be dead now. Please be more careful."
L introducing himself to Light. Light's Oh, Crap! reaction, although delayed, is priceless.
While L and Light are mentally sparring shortly after L introduces himself, Light starts to get quite confident he's easily evading L's attempts to make him slip and look suspicious until L nails him about the meaningless taunt he'd sent L by controlling people.
Light: "But if there were only three, my analysis was perfect."
L: "Not so. It is only perfect if you predicted the existence of a fourth message. But Yagami-kun, you were so sure there were only three messages, so it's inevitable that you didn't consider the possibility of a fourth."
Light: (Thinking) ...You son of a bitch.
"I understand. But still, whatever the reason..." Followed by kicking Light across the room. Particularly awesome given that L didn't seem like much of a physical threat until now.
L putting at least a dozen sweets on a spike dipping them in more sugar and then offering it to someone.
Pretty sure this one only happens in the live-action version. "Donut kebab?"
L's using the prisoner and tricking Light into killing him to prove his whereabouts was the epitome of awesome.
After Soichiro confiscated Kira's tapes and was on the phone with L. L tells him to hold, holds up the other phone he's talking on, and proceeds to Xanatos Speed Chess their way out of a very sticky situation. Not a particularly big one, but, more than the actual Xanatos Speed Chess, was just seeing L with the two phones.
L explains that "if you know how to do it right" you can eat anything and stay in good shape. That's right, L is so friggin' brilliant he can even outsmart his food.
Hair...hair...Mr Yagami if I die in the next few days your son is Kira...mmm, another hair.
L gets another Moment of Awesome, but it comes after you've seen the whole thing and realized that while Light may have lived to the end, it was L who knew his limits as a human being, and prepared for his death accordingly by appointing apprentices. Crazy-Prepared anyone? But I suppose Your Milage May Vary.
Matsuda shooting Light multiple times.
Especially since he was the closest thing the task force had to a Kira supporter, the one most likely to be swayed by Light's Motive Rant / Hannibal Lecture, but instead shot him just after it.
Earlier on, when Matsuda faked his own death by falling off a balcony. That takes balls.
The handstand on the rail was pure awesome.
And considering that L came up with the plan in the first place, within a few minutes, it's a Moment of Awesome for him as well.
Don't forget Matsuda hijacking Light's computer and instructing Soichiro to tell Mello that he's the new L to protect Light and Sayu.
Agreed. Matsuda was so much cooler than Light.
Also the TV interview about Yotsuba!Kira took some nerve too.
What about Matsuda pretty much being Soichiro's Lancer during the raid on Mello's hideout? He pretty much owns the mafia thugs by shooting them in the kneecaps and then shooting the gun out of one's hand. He certainly Took a Level in Badass during those three years.
Mello and Matt's Crowning Moment of Awesome has to be the suicidal plot to kidnap Takada, which they both knew they wouldn't survive. Especially since it was 'just as planned' as well.
I think Mello's crowning moment of awesome is actually when he blew up his building to avoid capture - while he was still inside the building. But then again, Mello is pretty much made up of moments of awesome.
I can't decide between when Mello had the Death Note loaded onto a frickin' missile, or when he got the President of the United States to not only rat out the SPK, but actually start funding Mello's mafia group, by threatening to mind control the him into causing a nuclear apocalypse.
Actually Mello expected Matt to survive, so his part in the plot wasn't meant to be suicidal. He still put himself at significant risk, though, and paid for that with his life, so it was definitely his Crowning Moment of Awesome.
Aizawa: "WOULD YOU CUT IT OUT WITH ALL THIS DATING, KISSING, AND MISA-MISA TALK ALREADY?!! THIS IS THE KIRA INVESTIGATION!!! STOP MESSING AROUND!!!"
There's another good moment for him in the last episode, when Near tells him not to go after the mortally wounded Light, but Aizawa refuses to follow that instruction. Also, that trick with the hotel room paper was quite good.
Aizawa has another one earlier in the finale; after Near has exposed Light as Kira and Light is absolutely freaking out, it's Aizawa who approaches him and basically tells him, " It's over." Think about that: Aizawa has just found out that Light is responsible for the greatest singlehanded homicide in history, and Light is royally pissed, and Aizawa still has the balls to step up and do something to calm him down. And it works, at least until one of the SPK freaks him out again.
Near missed out on the loyalty because the fanbase still hated him for replacing L, but gets points by distracting a mob tearing his base apart by dropping millions of dollars outside.
Which also counts as a posthumous crowning moment for L - it was his money Near used.
Alternately, being the one to finally beat Light. And then delivering a Shut Up, Hannibal! speech to him about how Light is "just a murderer" and that his Death Note is "the deadliest weapon in the history of mankind."
While squishing a finger puppet of him. There's no arguing that Near won, and he won hard.
" Together, we are as able as L. Together, we can surpass L! And now... the Kira that L lost to... the Kira that L could never find concrete evidence against... we have cornered him." As he says this you can practically see the ghosts of L and Mello standing behind Near in his condemnation of Light.
While we're thinking of Near, how about in the manga when he defeats C-Kira without even having to deduce his/her identity, by simply calling them an 'abominable murderer' and guilting them into suicide?
He didn't do anything. Near chose not to take action when asked what he would do, and C-Kira broke under the pressure of taking lives.
Awesome, yes. But are we sure that's canon?
Why wouldn't it be?
Because Takeshi Obata certainly didn't draw it - take the change back to Cloister Black font, Near hitting the puberty train at like age nineteen, and the overall Off Model nature - and I refuse to believe Tsugumi Ohba would write a story where Mello becomes a contender by winning an apathy contest, on a subject he's shaken the living daylights out of the elderly over.
Another thing that makes it seem fake is that Medora was able to go to the human world without giving a human a Death Note and was not punished for it. However, Death Note Relight 2 came out after the one-shot and features a scene based on part of the one-shot in which L talks to the Wammy's children. So the only way it could be fake would be if everyone involved in official adaptations was tricked/not paying attention to the creation process and nobody contacted Ohba about it.
Near's first conversation with Light. Never mind that, Near's first line to Light. Getting Light that worried using such a casual tone...excellent.
OK, Memetic Mutation aside, the reason for that scene was nothing less than awesome. See, L has just put video cameras in Light's room, right? Well, Light knows that if the killings stop while he's under surveillance, that's some pretty damning evidence that he's Kira. Well, to get around said surveillance, he uses a food-sealing machine to seal a mini-TV into a bag of chips, thereby allowing him to continue his clandestine killings/keep L guessing.
This definitely counts. Trust me, fifty years from now, people will still be saying, "Hey, remember that show where a guy kills someone with a notebook while eating potato chips? That was pretty badass!"
In the live action movie the potato chip related Moment of Awesome goes to L. At the climax of the first movie Light pulls a particularly vicious and complicated plan with the dual aims of removing himself from suspicion and getting onto the Kira task force. This is apparently successful until L introduces himself to Light while very conspicuously and portentously eating a pack of chips of the same flavor and brand as Light used to conceal the mini-TV. The implicit message, that L knows exactly who Light is and what he did, just can't prove it yet, is not lost on Light who pulls a wonderful "oh shit" face. The fact that this is the only time in the entire series we see L eat anything other than sweets just adds to the awesomeness.
You see, he had to pick a brand of potato chips that was so horrible that there was no chance anyone else would grab them before he did. And in the movie at least, L caught it, and bought a bag of those exact same horrible chips.
Well lets go over things. He really did have to kill her, because she was seriously onto something. Sure, she was working on paranoia, but just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you. He plays one very mean game of Xanatos Speed Chess, and arguably does what he has to do with a minimum loss of his humanity, refusing to use physical force when it would have probably worked. But the truly awesome part is that he manages to give her a believable motive for the suicide to work. It only works because he reveals himself when it's too late for her. (it's established later that she's not the type to take that way out EVER)
The fact that the Live-Action Adaptation completely changed the Misora scene was initially disappointing, but after The Reveal it felt right and showed Light just as much a genius, just as manipulative and evil.
Misa may be The Ditz, but she can be very sneaky. Not only does she one-up Kira by finding out his identity before he can find out hers, she one-ups both him and L later on by escaping from Mogi long enough to meet Yotsuba's Kira and confirm (making brilliant use of Rem) that he's the one with the Death Note. She then presents a tape of that conversation to the investigation team with well-earned pride.
Near's lackey Gevanni gets one in the final episode: after Near realizes that the real Death Note is hidden in the bank, he has Gevanni make an absolutely perfect replica, complete with duplicating all the entries, in one night. And it was good enough that someone as detail-oriented as Mikami didn't notice.
What's wrong with just using a photocopier?
The type of ink used in Mikami's pen is different to ones used in copying. There's also the risk of visible grain on the copy.
Actually might not be. Matsuda theorized in the manga's end that Near wrote Mikami's name in the Death Note and set the conditions as him not realizing the change. This also explained why he died so soon after being imprisoned. It all fits, but is never proven right or wrong.
Teru Mikami. His introduction itself was purely awesome, by killing off Demegawa and his supporters in a very dramatic way, by using his pen like a sword.
AndTHIS epic scene from the penultimate episode. Mikami unleashed awesome for every delete he said. Too bad it didn't kill Near though,]
The taking down of Higuchi is a crowning moment for the task force as a whole.
A special mention should go to Watari and his sniper rifle, though. Does he count as a Badass Longcoat?
Aizawa and Ide deserve some kudos especially, as they secretly managed to organize a police barricade to stop the fleeing Higuchi. It was pretty epic watching Light and L realize who had come to back them up.
Possibly the most awesome moment in the entire series is in episode 11, when, with Misa!Kira threatening the entire city, and holding Sakura TV to ransom, Soichiro enters the station to get the tapes, as described above. However, he knows that the current Kira can kill having only seen a face, so if he tries to leave, there's a good chance he'll die. L calls Kitamura and requests the help of the police (who all bowed out of the Kira case). Kitamura is reluctant, until he sees that some of the police are already taking matters into their own hands, and getting killed as a result. He agrees with L's plan, and L calls Soichiro telling him that it's safe to leave. When Soichiro does leave, the entire police force has shown up to help him out. This is then followed by a Crowning Moment of Awesome for a random TV reporter, with the magnificent line:
As much as I fear for my own life in saying this...this is right.
He followed up by saying "Alright. My name is..." and saying his full name and where he worked/lived.
Note that he didn't die for saying that. Kira still had standards then, and the reporter was not in any actual danger. He wasn't actually trying to capture Kira, and thus Kira had no need to kill him. But he sure as heck didn't know that.
Possibly e the single most awesome moment for any person in the entire series. He has one line in one minute of the series and yet he manages to be one of the most courageous people in the entire show. Knowing that Kira will kill people for disagreeing with him, knowing that Kira needs a face and name, he gives his name and face on television and publicly denounces Kira. Now if the president of the US in the show had had the same courage, that would have been nice.
The reporter's lines deserve to be read in full - this is his only appearance in the entire series, and he manages to top off what might as well be called a Crowning Episode of Awesome:
"There you have it; the police refuse to cooperate with Kira. Instead they are preparing to fight and, as much as I fear for my own life in saying so, this is right. And it must be done. Kira has become a threat to our very constitution, and as citizens, we must fight back. I am NHN's Golden news anchor, Koki Tanakabara."
Soichiro is the most noble character in the show, but Rem was one of the few characters in the show gutsy enough to die for someone she cared about, and did so by taking down L, one of the most intelligent characters in the series and Watari single-handedly in one fell swoop. Mama Bearindeed.
Ryuk. The entirety of Death Note happened because Ryuk was bored. The whole series, to him, must have been like some demented soap opera.
After spending the whole series eating apples and acting like a fool, Ryuk has a Moment of Awesome when he reminds viewers that he is still a friggin ''god of death'' by writing down Light's name in his Death Note. The same Death Note that he hasn't used until then in the series and was only mentioned in the first episode. Bonus points in the manga and film when he writes down Light's name right in front of him and even shows Light his own name written in the Death Note.
The epic Tennis Match between Light and L. Just... watching them play tennis while doing a cat-and-mouse psychoanalysis of the other with the creepy music playing easily makes it one of the best scenes.
Light and L getting into a fist fight, WHILE HANDCUFFED TO EACH OTHER.
It's also one for Matsuda. He's the one who figures out how to quickly stop the fight while the other task force members just watch.
The most awesome bit about that was L resisting Light's punch, before turning it on him with a kick.
Light at episode 26 when he says that he will build a new world and start killing people with the Death Note. The music on the background plus the scenes that made it seem like an orchestra was pure awesomeness.
Light realising that if he phones Misa, he has won - gloatingly he dials... only for L to nonchalantly answer her phone just down the path from him. Cue much grinning from the viewing audience.
Mikami's countdown scene at the end of the anime. With both Near and Light's plans explained, everything is stake (for the characters and the viewer), and the powerful scene with the X-Kira standing like a referee between Light's team and the SPK, the series builds up a feeling of aniticipation worthy of ending the story.
The invasion of the Mafia's base. I can't wait to see it in the 2011 series.
Another fairly awesome moment occurred when Takada invites Misa out to dinner to brag about sleeping with her fiancee. Misa shows up, gets pissed, and basically tells Takada her days alive are numbered. Oh Misa, how accurate you were... Even Lidner seems to be on Misa's side.
"Exactly as planned."
In addition, the events immediately following the death of Lind L. Tailor firmly establish L as a Bad Ass.
Episode 11 is like drinking a full pitcher of awesome juice made from concentrate, because we get all four of these potential crowning moments in rapid succession:
Light's father, after seeing a fellow task force member die trying to enter Sakura TV, escaped from his hospital bed, commandeered a bus, and rammed the station's entrance to get in, despite the fact that he was recovering from a near-fatal heart attack.
L first displays his Xanatos Speed Chess talents by organizing cooperation from the Japanese police to get Soichiro out safely.
Said police show up by the hundreds in riot gear and form a living wall outside the station to keep Soichiro's face hidden as he escapes.
The entire incident wraps up with NHN news anchor and One-Scene Wonder Koki Tanakabara, as he implores the people of Japan to stand up for true law and justice, fully aware that he could be next on Kira's hit list for saying so.
Other members have noted bits and pieces, but the Crowning Moment of Awesome in then entire franchise is the original handling of Light's complete and utter defeat at the hands on L's successors, Matsuda growing a beard by shooting Light, and Ryuk's use of his notebook (in front of everyone), added with the reveal that after all the things he did, all the people (criminal and innocent alike) he's murdered and manipulated, he was really just a sniveling coward who in his last moments screams "I DON'T WANT TO DIE!" to deaf ears. I'm VERY disappointed the cartoon outright AVOIDS this part, and makes some parts in the sequence just outright stupid. Mikami's suicide is the worst offender.
What about Matsuda's infiltration of Yotsuba? Just because he got caught doesn't mean it wasn't awesome. In fact, I was really impressed with his fast thinking. Really, any time he risks his life to help was awesome.
The one scenenote Barring the cameo appearance in which Matt appears; doubles up as a Tear Jerker with a side of Narm "You won't shoot-" BANGBANGBANGBANGBANG! It's awesome because, although his death was so blunt and anticlimactic, he still got a remarkable fan following to show for it.
Light's epic return to his old self after his Batman Gambit involving his memory. After some time with nice Light, getting conniving evil Light back with a badass creepy smile had me cheering.
No one has mentioned Rem's killing of Watari and L? The scene in the anime was just such an EPIC Crowning Moment of Awesome for Rem. The blackout, her flashing red eyes, and just...sheer EVILNESS from someone who I thought was one of the most benign characters in the show/manga. Watch it here and tell me this isn't epic! Spoiler! Even more epic, she did it KNOWING she was going to die and still managed to look epically PISSED OFF the entire time.
Namikawa tricking Light in the Yotsuba arc. It's honestly pretty cool seeing an ordinary person outsmart one fo the show's resident geniuses.
Volume twelve of the manga. I have a whole bunch of various manga on the shelf but if there is one single book that is the best of them all it's the apotheosis of Death Note All the slow buildup of the second major arc finally explodes right in Light's face. Now don't get me wrong: Light is a classic character, but his VillainSue shenanigans had been going on for far too long and his rapid downward spiral from "God of the new world" to "Bleeding pile of meat begging not to die" was ABSOLUTELY PRICELESS. Going down like that is a fate no one deserved... except Light. Never did I see a manga come this close to perfection as in this single volume.