In fact, Matt Lagan as Lind L. Tailor (live action) was kind of hilarious for seasoned Survival Horror gamers - he dubs the majority of the male ghosts in Fatal Frame's first instalment, and Leonard in Silent Hill 3.
Banned in China: They're 'a poison which creates wicked hearts', apparently.
The theme playing at the very beginning of the pilot is a chanted variation of the taize prayer Kyrie Eleison, which is Greek for "Lord have mercy."
The theme that plays at various key moments - the "I am Justice" duet, the capture of the Yotsuba Kira, the revelation of Light's final gambit against Near, and the timeskip montage (where it plays in full) - is a Dies Irae. Oddly, it does not include the fifth verse of said apocalyptic choral number ("The written book will be brought/In which all is contained/Whereby the world will be judged"), but that is covered in "Teleology of Death", which plays when less overblown Ominous Latin Chanting is called for.
In the first episode (blink and you miss it) one of the names written in the Death Note is Uwe Bnote oll?...
One subtle indication of Light and L's opposition: Light uses a PC whereas L uses an Apple Macintosh.
In episode 24, when L pilots a helicopter, he sits normally. There's an in-universe reason for this, as helicopter controls cannot be used from L's usual sitting position.
During the English dub scene in the helicopter in episode 24, when L is holding the Death Note and giving a stream of thoughts showing how this notebook proves that Light is Kira, that last thing he says at the end of the stream is 'Yellow Box'. As this is the name of the abandonned warehouse mentionned and used in episodes 36 and 37, this can either be considered an accidental spoiler or epic Foreshadowing. In original audio he just says "two notebooks".
The "13th" issue of the manga (basically a Death Note encyclopedia) notes that any time L gave a percentage of the likelyhood that Light was Kira, he was lying— it was always 100% - in fact, "any time L throws out a percentage, it basically means that he suspects that person by over 90 percent." It also notes that he was lying when he called Light his friend.
L has enough symptoms to be diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. Same with Near, but he doesn't have enough symptoms to be albino.
Even though he is shown mostly sitting, Near is shown standing while meeting with the President.
Minus Takada if you count her as the fifth Kira, the Kiras die in alphabetical order. Higuchi is killed by Light, Light is killed by Ryuk, Mikami dies by Near's actions (I follow the Near manipulated Mikami with the DN theory) and a year after Light's and Mikami's deaths, Misa commits suicide. H,..L, Mik, Mis... Clever, eh?
It's the same with L and his successors. L, then Mello, and eventually Near. So it's L, M, N.
Mello and Near's character designs were accidentally switched during character creation explaining why they have Ironic Codenames-they were originally going to be Meaningful Names-Mello was intended to be the "mello" one and Near was intended to be the Axe Crazy one who was drawing "near."
What Could Have Been: The author originally intended to use Mogi for an awesome and epic plot development, but could never figure out what that would be (beyond it being awesome and epic).
According to How To Read 13, the entire task force were going to die in heroic ways. In the actual story Matsuda, Aizawa, Mogi and Ide all survive.
Ryuk was originally going to look like this: ◊ but the creators were worried that if he looked cooler or more attractive than Light then the fans wouldn't pay attention to Light.
According to How To Read 13 for that scene where Light and L are "getting to know each other better" the creators were originally thinking of having Light and L do a fencing duel before ultimately settling for tennis instead.
Also according to the How to Read 13, Mello was suppose to be the one who defeated Light, not Near. Ohba ended up killing him off though due to him learning too much about the Death Note, meaning if he were kept alive much of the tension in the series would have went kablooie. Both Ohba and Obata admitted to liking Mello better than Near, with Ohba saying that being told Obata also preferred Mello probably would have been enough to change the ending back to Mello winning.
Naomi Misora was also originally going to be more of a major character, but Ohba had to kill her off quickly as it was felt she'd complicate the story by being too smart and figuring things out fast.
How To Read also mentions that in the planning stages it was briefly considered that Mello and Near would be L's twin sons but that idea was scrapped, likely as it would mean someone like L actually managed to have sex with a girl and the author just couldn't see that ever happeningnote as well as with L being 25 at the time of his death and Mello and Near being young teenagers when they're introduced, that would have brought up some uncomfortable implications about the age of their "father", so Mello and Near became Tykebomb orphans instead. Mello was also going to have white hair, as seen in an early color poster featuring the younger versions of him and Near (on the main page), but had his hair changed to blond by the time Obata started doing color images with his adult self.
Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: Ohba admitted to doing this in an interview; Obata, who was present at the time, was shocked and thought Ohba was joking at first.