Top 10 Best Animes Like Death Note

Animes Like Death Note
Key Art of Death Note, with death gods surrounding the faces of Light and L.

What Are The Best Animes Like Death Note?

Can’t get enough Death Note? Already scoured through the manga, movies, and live action Netflix show? If your answer is “yes,” then this list of anime is definitely for you!

We’ve gathered the 10 best anime series that echo some of the best parts of Death Note.

You’ll find geniuses outsmarting each other at every turn, and supernatural elements to add suspense.

On top of that, these shows hinge on premises that might even make you question who chooses who lives and dies, similar to Light’s use of the Death Note.

10. Another

This anime is the most aesthetically similar to Death Note on this list. Otherwise, the show is a murder mystery concerning the annual deaths of students at a certain high school. Koichi Sakibara is the new kid, and hasn't picked up on the memo that everyone pretends one classmate is dead. 

This leads him to befriend Mei Misaki, who is eventually revealed to know more about the series of deaths than she lets on. Koichi tries his best to survive his time at this school and get to the bottom of the senseless murders of students all from the same school.

9. Erased

Erased is a great thriller anime about going back in time and solving a murder before it happens. 29 year old Satoru Fujinuma has an inexplicable power called “revival” which sends him back in time to just before an accident happens. He can’t control it, but feels a responsibility to stop the accident once it happens.

Everything changes for him when he is reminded of a girl from his elementary school who died mysteriously. Satoru is sent back to when he was 11 years old, and uses this second chance to get close to her and save her from being murdered. Throughout the series, he hops back and forth through time, using information from the past and present to track down the murderer.

8. One Outs

While this might seem like just a regular high octane sports anime, One Outs is more like Death Note than it is similar to Eyeshield 21. This anime is about Toua Tokuchi, a star athlete who has a mile long gambling streak. His favorite game is “One Outs,” a simplified baseball challenge that includes only a batter and pitcher. 

The story begins when Toua is scouted by a major league baseball team. The owner of the team is skeptical however, because he may affect the team's revenue. In order to get the owner of the team to agree, he signs a contract which binds him to paying 50 million yen for every run he allows that season. On the other hand, he is paid 5 million for every time he gets an out. 

Try One Outs you like sports anime, but want to enjoy one where the central conflict is focused on something other than winning the high school championship.

7. Terror in Resonance (Zankyou no Terror)

Terror in Resonance is a lesser known work by acclaimed Cowboy Bebop director Shinichiro Watanabe. He teams up with composer Yoko Kanno again, and they weave together a challenging story about radical change and how it affects individuals. The anime focuses on two young people codenamed “9” and “12” who carry out terrorist attacks to send a message to the lab they were kept in their entire childhood.

As they continue to outsmart and outrun the Japanese government and the FBI, a high school girl named Lisa gets swept up in their plans. Throughout the story she is constantly forced to question whether she should turn in her new friends or continue to help them wreak havoc. If you love anime that challenge you to make these kinds of judgements, you’ll love Terror in Resonance.

6. Future Diary (Mirai Nikki)

Future Diary is about an even wider spread battle royale than Death Note. A god of time and space grants several disturbed people a window into the future. Each one has a different list of events that the other players will do in the future. It's up to them to outplay and kill each other for a chance at becoming a new god of time and space.

The protagonist is Yukiteru Amano, a lonely high school boy who is pursued by his slightly obsessive acquaintance Yuno. She has her own future diary which directs her to him, but she hides this in order to plan her final move.

5. Kaiji: The Ultimate Survivor

Kaiji: The Ultimate Survivor is about a regular guy who gets sucked into a situation with Death Note-level stakes. The titular Kaiji gets tricked into a crippling amount of debt by an old coworker and is forced to accept an underground gambling challenge. This takes place on a cruise ship, which serves as the setting for a freshj set of hellish struggles.

The series is a whirlwind of challenges for the characters that will make audiences sweat in anticipation. There are many times where the challenge seems completely impossible, but Kaiji is able to win even if he has to take some serious pain to get there.

4. Monster

Monster focuses on a theme of personal responsibility for doing the job you were told to do. The story focuses on a renowned surgeon who was once forced to switch patients right when he was about to perform surgery. He is able to save a famous performer’s life, but the immigrant worker he was about to help died in the process.

Later in his life he vows to stand his ground, and serve the patients he was assigned in order so as to not give anyone preferential treatment just because of their privilege. This all works out for him until he saves the life of a boy who grows up to be an inconsiderate psychopath. The doctor is dedicated to tracking down this monster of a young man and take responsibility for his choice to disobey his superiors by stopping his series of crimes.

3. Eden of the East

Eden of the East is similar to Death Note in that it is about how differing ideologies can push society in different directions. A mysterious computer system contacts a chosen few to allow them to spend 8.2 billion yen on whatever they think will save society. They also are incentivized to prevent moves from the other chosen by attacking them or otherwise thwarting their plans.

A girl named Saki meets one of these chosen, who does not remember anything about his life before waking up naked with only a gun and his phone. Saki admires him and tries to help him regain his memory while also learning more about the death game he is wrapped up in. She is eventually able to make friends with other bystanders who are looking for ways to intervene even without a special phone.

2. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

Code Geass is perhaps the most often recommended show for Death Note fans. This show features two childhood friends who become bitter enemies amidst a wartorn Japan. Suzaku becomes a general, and our protagonist Lelouch becomes a rebel gifted with a mystical power called the “Geass.” This ability allows him to issue a single command to one or more people that they cannot disobey.

Lelouch is determined to set Japan free of the fictional imperialist country of Brittania. Suzaku on the other hand wants to free Japan from the inside, instead of killing more innocents. Similarly to Death Note, the two compete on a public stage for dominance over the liberty of their home country.

1. Psycho-Pass

Psycho-Pass is essentially an anime about if everyone in the world accepted how Light from Death Note judges people. If they have any kind of felony or criminal charge, they are disposable. It's a bit bleak, but the way this works within a police procedural structure is fascinating to watch play out.

Akane Tsunemori is a newbie cop who understands the law perfectly, but in theory alone. She comes to question her ambitions as she comes face to face with the city’s use of Dominators, which are high tech handguns that calculate a person’s potential for reformation. If it does not hit a certain number, their “Psycho-Pass” is considered too low and the gun allows the holder to zap them into puddle.  

Finally, Shougo Makishima is the rebel character who has broken out of the city’s regimented system and seeks to destroy the greater systems that control how crime is punished. This leads him to coming face to face with Akane’s squad and fighting them head on without a Dominator for himself.

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Niccolo is a tenth level basement scribe from the futuristic underground of Massachusetts. Cybernetic enhancements, paragraph breaks, and new battle systems come naturally to him.
Gamer Since: 1997
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Final Fantasy 7 (Switch)
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