Raoh's death. He sends his fist towards the heavens, says "I HAVE NO REGRETS!" and projects all his energy into the sky, bringing light to the desolate waste lands and becoming a statue in the process. He commits a Heroic Sacrifice for the whole world. He becomes the God of it!
Kaioh's death is nothing to scoff at either. He kills himself by standing in the middle of a volcano with his brother Hyo's corpse in his arms, says "Farewell" to Kenshiro and is engulfed by lava, turning them both into fossilised statues.
And then there's Rei's death. While it is the most Cruel and Unusual Death any of the heroes suffers in Fist of the North Star, inflicted as it was by Raoh and his Hokuto Shinken, his final three days on the planet were just enough for him to finally take down his longtime rival and nemesis Juda and pull one of the most awesome Screw Destiny moments in the entire series on behalf of Mamiya, the only woman he's ever loved, giving his life so that the Star of Death (which is normally an inexorable Portent of Doom for anyone who sees it in the Fist of the North Star universe) no longer appears for her.
In Valvrave the Liberator Marie's backstory is given all in one episode, explaining her amnesia, which had been brought up only a few episodes before to, in turn, explain her strange behavior. With the Valvraves pinned down and the heroes on the verge of being completely wiped out, she pilots Valvrave Unit 1 and kicks lots of ass-but the Valvrave is absorbing Runes from her in the form of information-her memories. By the time its over, her memories, and then her life have been completely drained.
Kyuma Inuzuka who solos three advanced mechs with his machine being blown apart to save his friends in Episode 21, after being betrayed by their other friends who sold them out.
In Pandora Hearts, two honorable mentions go to Elliot and Alice. Elliot is mean and aloof to the main character, Oz, However, when Elliot has a Tomato in the Mirror moment where he realizes HE is the one who murdered his family and his chain controls him into murdering them, he realizes he has to do something, so he rejects Humpty Dumpty within him altogether, which eventually kills him. His last words are about his servant.
Almost all the deaths in Ginga Densetsu Weed and Ginga Nagareboshi Gin-the dogs almost always Died Standing Up in a way, at least the good ones, a few of them fulfilling the aforementioned trope very literally. Most of them die in some kind of kamikaze attack, flat out saying that they don't mind dying at all, so long as their enemies go down with them.
YuYu Hakusho's main character Yusuke dies rescuing a child from being hit by a car (doesn't seem much on this page, but the Powers That Be were so completely thrown for a loop that he received the chance to be resurrected), Kuwabara fakes one in the Dark Tournament Saga, and then Yusuke takes one for the team in the Chapter Black arc. He gets better, but he didn't know that he would. Raizen's death is pretty cool too.
Specifically Yusuke wasn't supposed to do anything AT ALL that first time. He actually defied fate to die helping the child who would have been fine without his intervention...not that he knew any of that. In fact, his actions only served to make the accident worse and to give the child a bunch of scrapes from being pushed out of the way.
Zabuza Momochi in Naruto. His arms are useless, he's exhausted, and there's an army of mercenaries between him and his goal. What does he do? He takes a kunai in his teeth, cuts a path through the army while getting impaled, and proceeds to behead his target. With a kunai in his teeth.
Sarutobi Hiruzen, the Third Hokage died fighting the ressurected First Hokage, Hashirama, his younger brother and Second Hokage Tobirama, and their summonerOrochimaru. And he won. While the battle appeared to have become Overshadowed by Awesome as the series progressed and fights got ever increasingly epic, the fightsagainst the likewisely revivedMadara Uchiha, who was supposedly Always Second Best to Hashirama (at least pre- edo tensei), and the one against the King-Gin brothers, who killed Tobirama, put that battle to a new perspective.
Deidara used a jutsu which transformed him in a Fantastic Nuke in his fight with Sasuke, who had no intent to kill Deidara. Deidara didn't kill himself for a Heroic Sacrifice or Taking You with Me, but to spite the Uchiha and make himself his final work of art.
Kisame bit through his tongue, trapped himself in a water prison, and summoned three sharks which he let eat him alive so that he wouldn't divulge any information on Akatsuki to the good guys.
Minato Namikaze, the Fourth Hokage and his wife Kushina Uzumaki sealing the Nine-Tailed Fox in Narutoand themselves into his seal. They do this after successfully forcing Tobi and the Fox back. And just to ensure their death was as spectacular as possible, the fatal wound wasn't any of the other crap that happened, but them willingly using their own bodies to slow and then catch the claw of the Nine-Tails, saving their son's life.
Konan being the first person since Minato to give Tobi a run for his money to the point that he has to bring out the big guns just to insure she didn't blow him TO BITS.
Kakashi using the last bit of his chakra to stop Pain from killing Chouji. He gets better though
Jiraiya managed to disable one of the paths of Pain and sent a dying message that was crucial to his defeat. Some of this occurred after he had already briefly died.
Shikaku and Inoichi, knowing that a blast from the Ten-Tails will kill them shortly are less afraid of death and more angry about not being able to do more. Even as the attack is closing in, they use their remaining time to forward their final strategy to the Shinobi Alliance.
Maito Gai, resident Bunny-Ears LawyerBadass Normal of Konoha, has just opened the Eight Gates to fight Madara. We don't yet know how the fight will turn out, but the buildup alone already makes it one of these.
What makes this all the more awesome is that, at the time, the only thing that could possibly hurt Madara was taijutsu/physical attacks or Sage chakra enhanced attacks, and Maito Gai was the single greatest hand-to-hand fighter of them all.
Turns out, Gai lost the fight only because he ran out of time, even though he came within inches of winning. This trope is subverted, however, in that he didn't die... Naruto saved him. Somehow.
Kittan takes this even further, not only giving out a badass speech, but managing to pull off the spiral eye level of power (which only Lord Genome and Simon, at their heights, pull off otherwise) and the signature move of Gurren Lagann...with a broken drill.
Bleach: Several of the Espada die in awesome ways. Barragan's death in particular would make Starscream himself shed a tear. In short, he throws his axe at his Big Bad boss Aizen, while slowly disintegrating as a result of his own powers. He even manages to get Aizen to turn around and notice the attempted assassination, which is saying quite a bit. Ulquiorra probably counts as well, and Stark had a nice send off.
Most of the crowning moments in Darker Than Black are these. For example, November 11 taking down a room full of heavily-armed guards with a bottle of brandy before succumbing to a bullet wound, Huang luring The Syndicate enforcers chasing him into a car chase so he could blow them all up once he'd gotten the pursuit away from Hei, and Amber Ret Gone-ing herself to let Hei Take a Third Option and stop the genocide the villains were planning without erasing Japan from the map.
Walker too gets one, despite being just the Red Shirt of the day, he shows himself repeatedly to be an extremely honorable soldier. He even goes on fighting against Heavyarms without any chance of winning: "COME GET ME, YOU MONSTERRRRRRRR!!!!!"
And in the original Mobile Suit Gundam the episode "Big Zam's Last Stand" serves as one for Anti-VillainDozleZabi. With The Federation closing in, and his troops cornered, Dozle sorties in the Big Zam, goes One-Man Army on The Federation and buys his men time to escape. Then as the Gundam tears the Big Zam apart, he climbs out, pulls out an assault rifle and continues shooting at it until he's killed. Defiant to the End indeed.
Not just Dozle Zabi, but a lot of characters in the original Gundam went out in blazes of glory. Dozle's little brother Garma was first, piloting a crashing Gaw in an attempt to destroy the White Base despite being drawn into a trap by Char. A wounded Ryu Jose slammed a Core Fighter into the Dopp of Crowley Hamon when she went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge for Ramba Ral's death, Matilda Ajan knocking a Dom away to save Amuro and the rest of the White Base from the Black Tri-Stars, Sleggar Law damaging the Big Zam enough for Amuro to break through... there's plenty there.
Natarle smiled to her terrified Bridge Bunnies as she sent them away from Azrael's madness, was shot 4 times by him, and when then she wasn't able to stop Flaga's Heroic Sacrifice, she still got Azrael trapped in the Dominion as Murrue finished both of them off.
In Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, Commander Bruzar gets one in episode 3. Already badly injured and with the colony falling apart around him, Bruzar makes it to the emergency controls and turns the colony core loose. Unfortunately, it's jammed by wreckage. So Bruzar climbs into a spaceship and crashes himself into the wreckage, freeing the colony, and preventing protagonist Flit from having to risk his own life to do so. All this, despite dealing with a sucking chest wound from about five minutes it.
The next one is Don Boyage's in episode ten. He ends up doing a Self-Destructive Charge right into the UE's battleship. Subverted in that it didn't even scratch the paint...then double subverted when it turns out his Rousing Speech galvanized the rest of the pilots fighting to the point where they won the battle.
Yurin L'Ciel has one in episode 14. After finally freeing her mobile suit from Desil's mind control, she sees Desil preparing the final blow against Flit. In what is quite possibly the most heroic (and heartbreaking) scene in the series thus far, she takes the hit and saves Flit's life at the cost of her own.
Even a minor villain gets one! Daz Roden, who had previously embarrassed himself in the eyes of the fans for losing to three old men, a sprinkler, and a rocket launcher while in a Dorado, proves that he wasn't harmless after all by overloading his mu-szell and ramming what was left of his Dorado L into the Gundam AGE-1. The Gundam survived, but it was severely crippled, and so Flit was taken out of the fight.
Two words: Obright Lorain. He kills Leil and then engages Fram, well aware that he's within the Digmazenon Cannon's line of fire, and that it'll be able to fire soon. He's doing this to buy time for the Gundams to escape. And as if that weren't awesome enough, he manages to defeat Fram after being mortally wounded, by being quick on the uptake with a reverse-gripped beam saber. And finally, he goes out with a smile as the Digmazenon Cannon envelops the two mobile suits.
The crew of the Reinforce Jr. in Mobile Suit Victory Gundam, all of them old men who know they are going to die anyway and, with their ship badly damaged, they decide to go out in a blaze of glory: armed with a damaged battleship and a damaged Gunblaster, they fight their way towards the Motorad Squad, telling the young ones to get out and live.
Only Wizardmon? Upon returning to the Digital World, the Digidestined found themselves up against all four Dark Masters at once. After a Heroic Sacrifice by Chuumon buys them one free pass, there is seemingly no hope...until Piximon shows up, puts the Digidestined in a bubble and sends them flying as far away as possible, and performs a You Shall Not Pass to prevent the Dark Masters from pursuing them. That's one Ultimate trying to hold off four Megas.
Grani in Digimon Tamers. Originally a simple program made to transport the kids and their Digimon in the Digital World, he gained a new appearance and served as Gallantmon's steed when the conflict with the D-Reaper crossed over into the real world. When too badly damaged by the D-Reaper to continue, Grani reminds the protagonists that they're his friends, and deconstructs himself to enable Gallantmon to enter Crimson Mode.
Grani: Do you want to fly? I will give you my wings.
Cowboy Bebop: Spike Spiegel's one-man assault on the Red Dragon building and his final duel with Vicious, all the way to the end. "Bang." See you, space cowboy...
Misato's death in End of Evangelion wasn't the most dignified way to go, despite being heartbreaking. She gets a new, decidedly more awesome send-off in the manga adaptation: After sending Shinji off in the elevator with a heartfelt pep-talk, she waits calmly for SEELE's soldiers. When they break through the door Misato sealed off earlier, they prepare to fire, and Misato... gives them a small smile, and holds up a pinless grenade.
Also, special mention should go to Asuka's death, which occurs less than twenty minutes later. After her Last Stand against the MP Evas, she finally runs out of power, gets stabbed through the skull, disemboweled, harpooned, dismembered, and finally eaten. The entire time, not only is she still alive, but she's still trying to fight back! This is either one of the most kick-ass moments in the series or one of the most disturbing... She gets better 'tho... If waking up in a ruined post-Apocalyptic world as one of possibly the only two people alive can be called "better".
Similiar to Misato, Ritsuko's death in the anime was even sadder and more undignified, because at least Misato accomplished something with her's. In the Manga, Gendo tells her that he really did love her before shooting her. It's revealed that she didn't die a few issues later and she manages to shoot him in the throat telling him that he never loved anyone before dying.
Rei II death was awesome as well and cute and quite disturbing all the same.
Vegeta's spectacular death scene during the Buu Saga, arguably the best part of the entire saga. Nearly completely breaking down from his back-to-back catastrophic losses, he reflects soberly on his life and, for the first time, hugs his son. He asks Piccolo if he'll meet Goku in the afterlife, and Piccolo candidly tells Vegeta that he will very likely not go to the same afterlife as the heroic and selfless Goku. Vegeta shrugs and sends his son away with Piccolo, gives a Big Scream, and consumes himself in an apocalyptic inferno (that can be seen from space) that reduces Buu to vapor.
Vegeta almost gets another one near the end. Kid Buu has just finished pounding Vegeta into the dirt, Goku can barely hold his own, and no one else is powerful enough to even scratch Buu. Goku, the rival who Vegeta has been trying to prove is inferior for 200+ episodes, says he can win but he'll need an undistracted minute to gather power. "I've got it covered." "What?" "Your minute. I've got it covered." Vegeta steps back into the fight, knowing quite well he'll get his ass handed to him, just to buy time for the man he has finally admitted is the better fighter.
Even in Dragon Ball GT, Goku's death is awesome. Once his power runs out COMPLETELY, meaning he no longer has the ability to maintain his SSJ4 form, let alone fuse back into Gogeta, Omega Shenron kills him. Goku stands up (still dead) and contacts King Kai to make the biggest Spirit Bomb of all, one powered by the entire freakingUNIVERSE. Then Shenron carries him to Heaven. Even GT had it's Crowning Moment of Awesome as a series.
Android 16. Unlike the other characters in this series, this ginger had no soul, and almost certainly knew it. Yet his reassuring smile to Gohan never leaves his face even as Cell crushes him.
In Shadow Skill, Blackwing's last stand against Darkness is so impressive, he's actually posthumously awarded the title of champion of his magical kingdom, which is the highest honor a warrior of his nationality can attain, which includes resurrection and transformation into an unkillable immortal.
Samurai 7 loves to play this trope to the samurai. Gorobei dies from protecting the farmers, and when Kanbei asks if he fulfilled his task, he merely replies "You gotta be kidding!"
Also when Kikuchiyo holds the falling capital from crushing the village with only his BARE HANDS, he manages to stop the capital though it destroys his entire body in the process, leaving only his feet behind.
Another "person" was, strangely, the Going Merry. After having its keel damaged beyond repair, dropped into the sea during a typhoon from several feet, and getting washed up onto the rocks, it still manages to show up to save all the heroes at Enies Lobby during the largest bombardment that is capable by the Marines, and sailing through about a dozen battleships, finally falling apart after getting the crew to safety. It manages to make the following scene one of the biggest tear jerkers in the series.
The Pirate King, Gold Roger. The man spent the last few years of his pirating days with a terminal illness. Rather than letting the disease take its course, he finished exploring the Grand Line, and allowed himself to be captured by the World Government. Obviously, they sent him to be executed, publicly, with the spectacle transmitted to the entire world, just to warn aspiring pirates what awaits them. Roger took advantage of this, and the moment comes with his Famous Last Words, which turned his execution from a warning, to the moment that sparked the golden age of piracy. And then, he simply laughed as they took his head.
"My wealth and treasures? If you want it, it's yours. I left everything I gathered in one place. But you'll have to search the entire world!"
Alot of the posthumous characters in the series get some heroic and/or heartwearming send offs. To name a few, Belle-mere takes her death with dignity as she tells Nami and Nojiko she loves them. Dr. Hiriluk gives a great speech about his view on life as he faces down Wapol's guards, before he suicides via an explosive elixir. And Brook's crew, including himself, spend their final moments singing their favorite song, Binks' Sake, as they slowly die from poisoned arrows.
Lucius Artorious Castas in Vinland Saga, cuts off the head of King Sweyn then challenges the entire assembly of Viking nobles, is finally taken down after killing dozens of soldiers. As bloody as it was, it was also the first selfless act the man had ever committed in his life.
Let's tell the whole story here! Sweyn was going to have Lucius, AKA: Askeladd's beloved homeland of Wales attacked as a diversion and blackmailed him with the offer: Kill Prince Canute or Wales is invaded. In front of EVERYONE, Askeladd draws his sword, declares his true name and beheads Sweyn. He only dies when he allows CANUTE to stab him, making Canute a respected king and saving his homeland at the same time, as he knows Canute will protect it. Magnificent!
Wolfwood in the Trigun manga. After a massively badass fight against his former mentor and the triple-Punisher-wielding Livio/Razlo that forced him to chemically push his body past all limits, Wolfwood sees the children from the orphanage to safety, shares one last, quiet drink with Vash in the ruins of December and dies.
Al's death. He sacrifices his own life and body (which is now a living Philosopher's Stone) to resurrect his brother.
Ed possibly tops this when, just after being brought back, he makes the exact same sacrifice, reviving Al (and giving his brother his body back, no less)... without the use of a Philosopher's Stone.
Even Kimblee's (er, Kimbley's) death counts. Shortly after Scar blasts a fatal hole through his chest, he grabs onto Al and turns him into a bomb. When an outraged Scar demands to know what he has done, Kimbley smiles maliciously and says "I want him to think about how useless his efforts have been," before dying.
The death of Scar. At this point in the series, Scar's grand plan was to realize his revenge against the Amestrian military by turning the town of Liore into a Philosopher Stone transmutation circle, intending to use the soldiers as sacrifices for the stone. Before he is able to do so, Kimbley engages him, and blows off Scar's right arm. Scar still kills him, but as mentioned above, he turns Al's body into a bomb. Scar decides that the only way to save him is to transfer the tattoo on his arm to Al's body, not only making Al the recipient for the Philosopher Stone he intends to create, but destroying his OTHER ARM in the process. Shortly thereafter, he lures the military into the town by dropping Kimbley's body from the top of a building. Stop and think about that one for a second. Scar has NO ARMS, and managed to somehow bring Kimbley's body onto the ROOF OF A BUILDING and DROP HIM OFF IT. After sustaining gunshot wounds, he finally collapses on the gap between the lines of the transmutation circle he's carved, completing and activating the circle using his OWN BODY. In the end, Al becomes a Philosopher Stone, setting the rest of the plot into motion. Scar originally intended to use the Stone he created. But he still goes through with the plan even when it's clear he's not going to make it OUT OF PURE SPITE. And also to save Al, which is also pretty badass.
Buccaneer and Fu's deaths, since they did wound Wrath for the first time.
Lust also deserves a special mention here. She gets the most badass death out of the homunculi by sheer aesthetics, and her finger lance wasn't even an inch away from Roy's head. As she goes down, she just taunts him that there's going to be hell later.
The Promised Day Arc was one for King Bradley. He manages to cause serious issues for the heroes, gets Father his last sacrifice by working with Pride (Utterly Curbstomping Mustang in the progress), and almost indirectly stopped Hohenhiem's Spanner in the Works (If he killed Scar, he wouldn't have been able to activate the reverse transmutation circle). All while taking increasingly savage injuries. By the time he fights Scar, he's half dead. And he manages to almost kill him despite Scar being at his best. It culminates with him giving a near fatal wound to Scar after his arms were blown off (Using a sword held in his teeth no less!), before contemplating his life, getting one last laugh against Lan Fan, and Go Out with a Smile.
Solf J. Kimblee, who had previously had his throat ripped out and the rest of him devoured by Pride, calmly emerges from Pride's internal torrent of lost souls to interrupt the homunculus's Grand Theft Me on Ed, tells it off, and then strolls off into oblivion as Ed takes the opportunity to crush Pride's head. The man's got class.
Used repeatedly on Umineko no Naku Koro ni, throughout the series, although obviously none of them stick (from the audience perspective anyways). Also used at least once in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni with Rika in the Shion arc, though there even she wasn't expecting it to stick.
Rosa's stand against the army of Goatmen in the second arc. Made even more awesome in that anime by the fact that she wasn't forced to take a final stand (in the Visual Novel she broke her ankle and had to stay), but chose to.
Mirai Nikki: There's no doubt about Akise's badass status when in chapter 51 despite having just been stabbed by Yuno and sliced across the throat, he gets back up out of sheer determination and texts an important message to Yukiteru even though Yuno ends up cutting off his head completely.
Captain Falcon in F-Zero: GP Legenddefinitely gets one of these. FALCON PUNCHHHHH!!!
Joe "The Condor" Asakura in Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. When told that thanks to a terminal sickness he had ten days left to live, he rushed into Galactor's HQ and fought them, then saved the world from destruction before he died at the feet of his teammates.
Speed Grapher: Despite being the Big Bad, Suitengu goes out of his way to save the hero, then blows up the world economy.
RahXephon: Kunugi pulls this off in episode 23 against a dolem controlled by Kuki. He arms a device that can create a second Tokyo Jupiter around Nirai-Kanai.
Kaiser's death in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. He quadruples the attack points of his greatest monster, and despite his losing the duel, snaps Protagonist Judai out of his Heroic BSOD, something that three other Heroic Sacrifices had failed to do previously.
Guld Goa-Bowman in Macross Plus. After realizing that he was the one who assaulted Myung, Guld sacrifices himself to stop the Ghost unmanned fighter, by cutting out the limiter on the YF-21 and ramming it at such speed that in the movie version, we see his head explode from the G-force.
Mikhail Blanche of Macross Frontier went out like a man. In order to save the woman he loves from being killed while he was vulnerable he charged into the enemy Vajira and got impaled, he then proceeded to open up a Can of More Dakka on the enemy while chocking on his own blood and was finally able to admit his feelings to the woman he loved before he succumbed to his wounds and was sucked out into open space.
Kirschwasser gets one in the Xenosaga anime, when she stays behind on the crashing space station Merkabah to make sure it falls apart and burns up in the atmosphere, preventing a global catastrophe. With a massive Tear Jerker song playing in the background. "Although the darkness may prevail..."
Also, almost immediately thereafter, KOS-MOS subverts this trope beautifully by saving the heroes' spaceship from disintegration in a manner awesome enough for ten death scenes... and surviving. Which makes it even more awesome.
After Shizuru takes out Yukino's Child in Mai-HiME, condemning Haruka to destruction, Haruka takes one last chance to headbutt her in the face for everything she's done.
Natsuki goes fight Shizuru, gives her a Cooldown Hug, a kiss and a little speech that calms her down...and then commands her Child to destroy Shizuru's, fully knowing that since they're each other's Most Valuable Persons, they will go down together. They do.
Uchuu Senkan Yamato. In 'Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato', a giant space fortress assaults the surface of the Earth with ferocious energy blasts. With the Earth Defense Forces wiped out and most of Yamato's crew dead or evacuated, Kodai seeks advice from the spirit of Captain Okita and, surrounded by the spirits of the dead or still living crew, pilots the Yamato into a collision course with the Comet Empire ship to end the movie.
The recent live-action movie ends in an almost identical way: the Wave Motion Gun's muzzle is jammed so firing it will blow up the Yamato. After evacuating the ship's remaining crew, Kodai stays behind on the bridge and does a Self-Destructive Charge at the Gamilas Meteor Bomb, finally firing the WMG that blows them both out of the sky while the old Yamato Overture from the original anime's first season plays in the background.
Masami Iwasawa plays her last song, the summation of everything she ever wanted to say and do, and passes on in peace.
And then there's how Otanashi died in real life. A rather horrible train wreck leaves him and multiple other passengers trapped in a tunnel, and many are injured pretty badly. Despite having some serious internal injuries himself and severely limited resources, Otanashi, being fresh out of medical school, steps up and uses what he learned to keep the rest of the passengers alive for a week. Then, once he's reached his limit, he, as his final act, fills out a card to become an organ donor, in hopes that, should he not make it, he'd still be able to save someone's life, which inspires the others to do the same. When help finally arrives, he succumbs to his injuries and dies.
The Reveal at the end of the series turns this into one of the most powerful series-encompassing Dying Moment of Awesome. "You gave me your heart." Which means that after Otonashi's death, his harvested heart is what allowed Kanade aka "Angel" to live a little longer, then setting almost everything in the series since her Ghostly Goal was to find whoever did such a kind act for her... Also one of the biggest tearjerkers of all time.
Musashi in Getter Robo gets one in every single alternate version he is. In the manga and in the beginning of Shin Getter VS Neo Getter, he pilots the Getter Robo in its three forms alone and fights the entire Dinosaur Army, and when the titular robot can no longer take it, he makes it pull out its reactor and make it blow up, pulverizing him and the rest of his enemies. In the 70's animated series, he pilots one of the aircrafts with a bomb strapped to it, and crash it in the core of the Dinosaur Army base. While sustaining heavy fire and piloting through narrower and narrower corridors.
Gemini Aspros, who manages to defeat and seal the god of time who's been responsible for all the major events in the series, definitely earning his redemption.
In The Twelve Kingdoms we have a teenage girl named Rangyaku huddled in a corner, shivering and crying Tears of Fear as she mentally begs her Action Girl friend Youshi (actually the Queen of Kei, Youko, in disguise) to help the Kei kingdom before she's stabbed to death. Not very awesome, you say? Think twice. When Yoshi/Youko arrives and finds Rangyaku's lifeless body, she sees that Rangyaku hid something among her clothes... The Seal of Kei, which is vital whenever Youko needs to show her authority. So the poor girl couldn't fight her killers back, but managed to protect something that the heroine of the story cannot act with in the end.
We later meet another lady who died even more awesomely: Ribi, one of King Shoryuu's counselors. She and the "Sacred beast" Enki have been captured by the enemy and are forced to wear magical red cords that react to one another: if one tries to take their cord off, it'll create a fatal backlash that will kill him/her. For worse, Enki's cord actually sealshis beastly powers, making him completely helpless. What does Ribi do? As soon as she and Enki are alone, she cuts off Enki's cord herself, clearly knowing that she will be hit and killed by the backlash. And yup, Ribi has her head sliced in half and dies, but Enki is released and escapes from their prision.
In the last episode of Gungrave when the dying Brandon Heat and Harry Macdowell went into an all out fight with Millennion's forces. Even with the odds against them, they still put up a massive fight only for them to kill each other in the end.
Urabe sacrifices himself to save Lelouch (and from Rolo, one may add.)
Shin Angyo Onshi's protagonist Munsu has this at the very end. It really has to be seen to be believed. Missing an arm, he finally confronts the Physical GodBig Bad Aji Tae. Aji Tae subsequently decides to take Munsus other arm and an eye. All that does is make Munsu taunt Aji Tae to try and crush his heart and continuing to walk towards him. Aji Tae, who was previously presented as by far the most powerful being in the story, nearly shits himself in fear until he notices Munsu has finally died. Still standing, staring at Aji Tae. The relief doesn't last long, as a very angry Sando attacks Aji Tae from behind. Now, Aji Tae would have vaporized her, except, the dead Munsu is standing on his cape, preventing him from turning around fast enough.
Ondal dies to stop a bullet, the awesome part is Ondal is not real.
Jonathan Joestar from Part I of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is ultimately slain by Dio Brando, but he doesn't go down easily. After Dio pierces his throat, Jonathan uses the last faint Ripple in his body to cause the ship they are on to explode. Then he uses his own body to shield Erina from incoming shrapnel. Finally, when Dio desperately tries to claim Jonathan's body, Jonathan rips out shrapnel from his back and stabs Dio with it, giving Erina the opportunity to escape. He dies Peaceful in Death, secure in the knowledge that Erina will survive while hugging Dio, whom he always considered a brother.
Elder Jang-Il Jeong from the the Manhwa series, The Breaker :New Waves, he shields the main character, Shi-Woon, from a bomb blast with his body. Elder Jeong is Only Mostly Dead but everyone thinks he is prompting Shi-Woon to go into a Unstoppable Rage while his own injuries get worst in the fighting. Just as Shi-Woon is close to killing himself against his opponent and no one can reach him, Elder Jeong springs up to restrain and talk him down and in the end impart the last of his strength so that Shi-Woon's body could recover from the damage he took in the fight knowing it was the only thing keeping him alive.
Crest of the Stars has the Gosroth go down with all hands fighting against ten enemy spaceships of approximately the same class. They destroy nine of them.