8 Great Animes Like Death Note
Death Note is a standout anime series that follows the adventures of Light Yagami, a young adult who gains possession of a death god's notebook that can kill any human who has their name written within its pages. Light goes about cleansing the world of criminals to make a 'perfect world.' Death Note is a psychological and supernatural thriller mystery with excellent character development and an amazing level of polish and atmosphere which has made it one of the most beloved animes.
This story ignited my love for anime and made me want to explore others. I watched dozens of series and included my favourites here. Let me know in the comment section which is your favourite or share one that isn't on this list.
Are you a fan of Death Note? Are you looking for an anime that can compare? Check out my list below.
Monster features 74 episodes and is considered by many fans to be one of the best animes like Death Note available.
This anime follows Dr. Kenzo Tenma, a renowned and respected brain surgeon who is truly blessed in life. One night he is faced with the tough decision of saving a young child or the town's mayor. Ultimately his ethics lead him to save the young child, but that is when his life is turned completely upside down. Soon after, he begins to lose everything and everyone close to him. All evidence for the cause of this bad luck points to the young boy that he saved.
Monster has been praised by critics as being an intelligent anime that features excellent plot weaving along with a sophisticated storyline. It does take a few episodes to really kick off, so be sure to give it the time it deserves before deciding it's not for you.
Monster Anime Review
2. Code Geass
Many people recommend Code Geass when the topic of animes like Death Note comes up. Although Code Geass is an amazing mecha-style anime, its similarities with Death Note are minimal (but it still definitely deserves inclusion).
What Code Geass does offer is a mind game adventure between the Rebels and Empire (similar to that of Light and L). Along with plenty of suspense and plot twists that make you want to keep moving through the episodes.
The tale is set in an alternative present that contains three separate superpowers (Britannia, the Chinese Federation, and the Euro Universe) fighting for control. It takes place after the conquest of Japan by the Britannia Empire which leaves the citizens without rights and freedoms.
The story follows Lelouch Lamperouge and his sister (exiled Britannia royalty) as he tries to find the person behind his mother's murder. In the process, he gains support and popularity amongst the Japanese rebellion.
The Code Geass Collection - Code Geass DVDs
Code Geass Trailer
3. Ergo Proxy
Ergo Proxy is a post-apocalyptic anime that offers a great battle of wits and a dark scientific setting filled with mystery and philosophical undertones.
The story is set in a futuristic city called Romdeau, built after a global disaster as a safe haven for humans who now live in this utopian city alongside androids known as AutoReivs.
The story takes place after a series of murders are committed by several androids infected with a virus that makes them self-aware. These murders threaten to destroy the delicate social balance and bring the city to ruin. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the government is conducting secret experiments on a humanoid-type life form known as the Proxy, which is believed to hold the key to mankind's survival.
Ergo Proxy is a top anime series that pairs a beautifully deep and dark fantasy world with a thought-provoking storyline.
Ergo Proxy (Opening)
4. One Outs
If you are a fan of sports or baseball, this anime will have particular appeal.
One Outs follows the story of a star batter and star pitcher on the same Japanese League team, known as the Lycaons. After losing a bet, the pitcher is placed in an unusual contract where he receives 5 million yen ($46,000 US) for every out he pitches but loses 50 million yen ($460,000 US) for every point he loses.
From here, you are taken on an epic battle of wits as parties try to gain the upper hand, leading to a great psychological journey. This anime is filled with suspenseful moments and character development that makes it an experience similar to that of Death Note (although in a completely different setting).
One Outs Review
5. Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning
Spiral follows the story of Ayumu Narumi as she tries to piece together the disappearance of her older brother, a well-renowned detective and pianist.
Her only clue is the words 'Blade Children' and when they are connected to a string of murders two years after her brother's disappearance, she and her school's journalist try to figure out.
The Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning anime features 25 episodes and a different ending to the original manga series. The anime itself has been highly praised for its suspense and mystery.
Spiral is a gripping anime to watch and will have you quickly hooked (and disappointed that there are only 25 episodes). While it lacks the action of other popular animes, Death Note fans will feel at home with this intelligent anime.
6. Umineko no Naku Koro ni
Umineko no Naku Koro ni is a supernatural thriller that takes place in the year 1986 on the remote island of Rokkenjima. The head of a wealthy family, Kinzo Ushiromiya is near death and his family members take an annual trip to the island to discuss how his assets will be divided upon his death, along with other family matters.
Little does his family know that Kinzo is desperate to see his deceased true love one last time. By studying various forms of black magic for the later years of his life, Kinzo discovers a ceremony by which he can revive his beloved. After beginning the ritual, a violent typhoon strikes the island and traps the eighteen inhabitants on the island.
Soon after, a string of murders takes place, leaving the residents to fight for their lives as they struggle to separate reality from fantasy.
Umineko no Naku Koro ni
Umineko no Naku Koro ni Trailer
Shiki is a small town horror anime that takes place in Sotoba, a quiet village with a population of only 1300 people. One hot summer, a particularly strange family moves in, and the village begins to experience a series of bizarre deaths. These deaths are first thought to be normal until there are too many to ignore. The cause ends up being corpse demons, or vampires, and the lone doctor of Sotoba goes about attempting to stop further deaths.
Both Death Note and Shiki examine the psychology behind murder, and both contain an incredibly dark atmosphere. Just like Death Note, this anime series presents viewers with the grey areas of morality that will have them questioning right and wrong. The psychological thriller journey that Shiki offers will not disappoint.
Shiki - (Part 1)
8. Zombie Loan
Zombie Loan focuses on Shinigami (death gods) and will feel very familiar to fans of Death Note. Unfortunately, the anime only has a total of 13 episodes and does have a full manga series.
The story follows Michiru Kita, a girl who possesses a set of Shinigami Eyes that allow her to see a person's destined time of death. She notices that two boys in her class should both be dead. They reveal that they made a 'deal with death': In order to cheat death, these boys must hunt down zombies on behalf of the loan office. After Michiru Kita joins the two boys, their journey quickly becomes more complicated.
Zombie Loan has a clever and intense plot that has several interesting twists in its short but exciting number of episodes.
The Opening of Zombie Loan
More Anime Pages
What Is Your Favourite Anime Similar to Death Note? Can You Recommend Other Animes?
yes on October 16, 2019:
I absolutely love Death Note.. Still easily my favorite anime to date and I've seen a **** ton of shows since then.
I kinda agree Monster feels similar but psychological anime are easily the best when the protagonist is a twisted but highly intelligent megalomanic like Light in Death Note or Lelouche in Code Geass. Kinda hard to find other anime like that though, the recommendations as to what's similar are pretty much the same everywhere you look and nothing I found so far, except those two, really have that characteristic.
Potato on September 08, 2017:
Not a single one can be close to death note
Eshaan Arekar on July 08, 2017:
Not even a single anime is close to a death note
no on May 24, 2017:
What? Umineko No Koro Ni instead of Higurashi?!
lel on March 22, 2017:
i agree in here with:
koko and Gitonga Mwaniki
and for this page, there is no anime that even comes close to death other than code geass. Dont get me wrong it is almost not to compare because death note really is unique but if you take away the bad art style and voice acting stuppid happyness and mind that makes no sense in code geass you have both main characters that are rlly similair to each other.
I have a seen quite alot of animes and here is my top
Death note 9/10
code geass 8/10
hunter x hunter 6/10
Fullmetal alchemist 5,5/10
I know alot of ppl will disagree with me on code geass getting 8/10 but idm the bad artistic and voice and dumbness + the ending is really well made compared to death note
hunter x hunter, no idea why i like this one so much...
out these top 4 all other animes are 5/10 or less
*sry for grammar and stuff*
Shatabdi on January 23, 2017:
Monster is the fabulous one..
00000000 on January 23, 2017:
i still love death note, even though i dont like the ending.
blue jewel on November 05, 2016:
I have finished watching Death Note, Attack on Titan and Future Diary.............what do you recommend next because I absolutely love Death Note and don't wanna get disappointed
Koko on October 28, 2016:
XYZ, child, you are so close minded. On the miniscule chance you will read this comment, I urge you to think about the stupidity of your own remark. Death Note is a physiological anime that even after my, perhaps six, years of anime, cannot be replicated and compared. I believe you're only basing your statement "the more fantasy you like, the more childish you are" on the basis that you believe only children love anime. While it is true that I indulged myself in the genre at a young age, I must disagree with your point. You are very close mindedly grouping an entire fanbase as children, I would say Naruto for example. Fantasy themes don't make shows childish. Death Note is considered a fantasy anime believe it or not, an anime you enjoy seeing as you've clicked on this page.
I truly believe you are a child yourself for claiming something without much evidence, other than yourself or maybe the other children you surrpund yourself with. thank you.
Gagan Agrawal on August 28, 2016:
Can't believe. Blood plus deserves to be in top 5. Amazing Anime...
Ryuk on August 20, 2016:
there isnt an anime like Death NoTe... but i could've been better... there were some certain things that should've changed to give the viewers a better show to Enjoy... i think they should Re-create it and change some parts of story
Daniel Castro on May 13, 2016:
THIS COMMENT GOES TO ------- XYZ
although what you say its kind of true, in the future, those "childish kids" will be the mayority of consumers of anime so... in the future those kinds of anime they like are going to become important in an economic matter so probably in a future not so far any of those animes "childish kids" like could become a MOVIE.
Near on April 16, 2016:
For me, there is no anime that is similar to Death Note. Death Note is Death Note.
skhang on February 25, 2016:
How do you guys think about Attack on Titan?
swaroop on December 23, 2015:
include full metal alchemist brotherhood
iskaminien on November 26, 2015:
oh boy, code geass is too awful to watch. The art style makes me want to puke. Ugh, I can't honestly see any image of it for more than 10 seconds without wanting to punch myself in the face.
Em on October 03, 2015:
Liar game isn't on the list because it's just a manga, and not an anime.
Ari June on August 17, 2015:
Can't help but just love DEATH NOTE!
greatest anime ever
Kimmisenpai on July 06, 2015:
Why isn't Hell Girl on here? It's basically the same thing as Death Note but instead of writing names in a notebook, you type a name in on a website (._.
Anaekin on May 11, 2015:
you should include Steins;Gate....Its thriller, suspense and Time travel..superb anime
Anaekin on May 09, 2015:
Gitonga Mwaniki on May 07, 2015:
Monster is NOTHING like death note, don't bother watching it. There was such a huge unnecessary time gap which no one even seemed to age. Also the storyline is terrible. If you’re watching the first few episodes hoping the story will pick up, it Doesn't
Demosthenes on May 07, 2015:
Why isn't Liar Game here tbh. That's the closest that I ever got to Death Note when it comes to intrigue and 'battle-of-wits' manga. There're live-action adaptations too, in Japanese and Korean. Monster, I do agree should be the #1 spot. Monster's in my top five anime of all time. The idea of post-WWII European powers and war criminals being at the beck and call of an antichrist figure (the kid in the description) and Dr. Tenma hunting him down had me so enthralled.
XYZ on April 01, 2015:
Generally speaking, the more fantasy you like, the more childish and irresponsible you are. Most mature anime here is monster. You could make a movie out of "Monster" and present it to high class elite financial businessperson (you know those guys, who can't fool around like children) and they would eat it up. Present same people with Death Note, Ergo or whatever fantasy bullshit and they will leave the room and send their kids in lol
Sad that majority of anime fans are childish. What's even more sad is that they don't even care about it. Like they saying goes "Only thing worse then imbecile is imbecile who's ok with being imbecile". Sad really...
Nikru Gasai on March 10, 2015:
Death note is one of a kind
Brandon Graham from Missoula, Montana on February 27, 2015:
I don't cry a lot but i cried at the end of Code Geass. Definitely my favorite anime of all time.
Matt on February 22, 2015:
Watch Tokyo ghoul its wayyyy better than death note, trust me.
belleart from Ireland on February 17, 2015:
Ooh such a great list! I would suggest adding Future Diary to the list. Its an amazing show, and after watching Death Note, anime like Bleach just wasn't the same, I found Future diary and it was amazing! The story, plot twists, suspense...just flawless, and with one of THE BEST anime characters ever.
Monster sounds really good, so thanks for the recommendation :)
l lawliet on February 04, 2015:
I've watched wayyyy too many of these. Ergo Proxy is best. Another is a great anime as well, that should definitely be on this list.
Sherif on December 12, 2014:
i don't know why people don't want to understand that there is no anime like death note
Peter Yexley from UK on November 24, 2014:
Srsh on November 09, 2014:
If you like mind games definitely Liar Game. I can't emphasize that enough. I doesn't have an anime but no aime nor any other manga ha ever had me on the edge of my seat so much!!!
Nice list they're all good anime but I think the only one that was close to death note is code geass (Also highly recommended).
Monster is awesome too but it's only the bad guy who is actually smart. the main character is a brilliant surgeon but he's not smart. I also recommend reading "20th century boys" which is done by Orasawa (Monster). It's brilliant.
I also like to recommend Ergo Proxy. It has a dark and mysterious theme and the storyline just takes you with it. If you do I recommend watching the English dub first and then watch it in Japanese. Some times the dialogs get so complicated that you might fall behind if you're reading suns. But the Japanese dub is so good that you should not miss.
Lolo on November 01, 2014:
Before all these, try reading the manga of Liar Game..
M on October 16, 2014:
Is there any anime that has supernatural things or has people with swords?
M on October 16, 2014:
All of this anime are good but one out isn't similar to death note
anime freak on September 17, 2014:
Monster , Ergo proxy , code geass , shiki ... Are certainly very psychological ..
But i will also recommend
KingRezo from Puerto Rico on August 06, 2014:
I think it is impossible to see every anime ever made in one lifetime there are so many good ones and I loved the psychological side of Death Note I am only beginning to discover the large world of anime.
williamslaw on April 10, 2014:
Wow... I think I might have to watch some anime movies.
Spirality on March 14, 2014:
I like One Outs. I could never get through Code Geass even though I thought some episodes were excellent
Amine from Doha, Qatar on March 08, 2014:
detective conan is great anime, you have made a beautiful list here
purplemadhatter on February 19, 2014:
zombie loan was tbe best i watched. also try Hellgirl , boogie pop phanton, and if your looking for a more cute anime try elemental gelade or fooly cooly..
Jackson Thom from West of Left South Lucky on October 26, 2013:
These are some great shows. I love them all.
EzLoanLookUp LM on August 13, 2013:
I'm definitely going to check Ergo Proxy. Thanks
anonymous on July 30, 2013:
dont forget case closed too
anonymous on July 17, 2013:
Bleach is also a death god related anime
Baskerville LM on June 18, 2013:
Some awesome anime here. Especially Shiki. My anime list has most of these too, plus a bunch of action series. Check it out, if you have some free time.
anonymous on June 05, 2013:
Awesome ! i really hoped to find an Anime like Death Note and I'm happy to see this list. Monster will be my next choice, a friend told me about this one.
selenabrandal on May 10, 2013:
Check Out My Lenses about internet security. Thanks.
anonymous on March 28, 2013:
I think this list should also include Liar Game.
opatoday on February 23, 2013:
Great info Thank you
Aja103654 on February 02, 2013:
You forgot Liar Game, It was made my Kaitani, which I suspect is also the one who made One outs? It doesn't have an anime sadly, but it does have a drama series.
onepieceiszebest on January 21, 2013:
Mirai nikki is good. BUt seriously why isnt higurashi no here. It's soooooooooo dark and aswesome
anonymous on November 24, 2012:
I want Mirai Nikki on here so bad QQ. Its way more simmilar than the rest.
Samuel Franklin (author) on November 23, 2012:
@anonymous: Thanks for the comment. I do admit it has been nearly a year since I watched Spiral, maybe its time for a re-watch!
anonymous on November 23, 2012:
Spiral deserves more credit then it was given in this review/article I feel like it just needed to be marketed better by Funimation. For example, the trailor was horrible and never once even showed the main character Ayumu Narumi (who is a guy despite what this article says). I would strongly recommend watching Spiral.
anonymous on November 11, 2012:
yeah. mirai nikki aka future diaries is the comparably identical not generally but comparably. since my taste suites very much unto both animes.
mystery. blood. psychological ANIMES rockxXx.
anonymous on October 28, 2012:
does this thing work o3o
anonymous on October 28, 2012:
Wow who ever made this page forgot the one anime that is most lik death note than all the rest. This is sad. You guys forgot Mirai Nikki.
Musicalcroc LM on July 16, 2012:
Have watched Geass, Spiral and Zombie Loan. Like them all. I've yet to watch the others.
ismeedee on July 16, 2012:
Love all Japanese anime!
digitaltree on July 14, 2012:
I found out about death note in the library, the 2 movies they made were great.
JoshK47 on July 14, 2012:
I may need to check these out - Death Note is one of very few animes I've particularly enjoyed.
samsipet on July 14, 2012:
Cool lens. i have to bookmark it since some of these animes seem very interesting.