best anime like death note

25 Best Anime Like Death Note Worth Watching

Did you fall in love with anime after watching Death Note? It is one of the most popular anime the world has ever seen. The anime series has a thrilling story, clever plot, and mind-games that itch your brain. Anime series are known for their engaging and meaningful story in addition to the stunning animations – even better than some of the best animated movies. So, it makes sense that you’re in search of more anime like Death Note after watching the series. However, it can be tedious to find anime with a mysterious plot and psychological warfare similar to Death Note. Well, you don’t need to worry, as I did the grunt work and compiled a list of the best anime like Death Note that you will love. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.

Best Anime Similar to Death Note (2022)

The common points among the anime series in this list are the gripping episodes and fast-paced storytelling. That said, the anime series in the list below range from a mini-series consisting of just 12 episodes to long-running anime with more than a thousand episodes. And some anime series are yet to be concluded, and their sequel can hit the market anytime.

Plus, I have included all the necessary details like the number of seasons and episodes, ratings, and more for each anime. This information will help you choose the series that suits your liking and time constraints. That said, here’s a list of top anime like Death Note (unranked):

1. Code Geass (2006 – 2008)

  • Genre: Alternate history, Mecha, Military
  • IMDb: 8.7
  • MyAnimeList: 8.7
  • Created by: Gorō Taniguchi, Ichirō Ōkouchi
  • Studio: Sunrise
  • Episodes: 2 seasons, 50 episodes

Code Geass takes place in an alternate timeline where the Holy Empire of Britannia is becoming a dominant military nation. One fine day, Lelouch Lamperouge, a Britannian student, finds himself in the middle of the Area 11 resistance group and the Britannian military. He is saved by a mysterious woman named C.C., who bestows Lelouch with Geass, the power of obsolete obedience, which helps him escape.

After understanding the true potential of his newly found powers, Lelouch decides to take revenge against the rule of the Holy Britannian Empire. The story follows a series of mecha battles among the forces. Code Geass has been adapted into various manga and light novels, a film trilogy, a separate movie named “Lelouch of the Re;surrection“, and a new TV anime series named “Code Geass: Z of the Recapture” currently in production.

Watch trailer here

2. Death Parade (2015)

  • Genre: Psychological thriller
  • IMDb: 7.9
  • MyAnimeList: 8.2
  • Created by: Yuzuru Tachikawa
  • Studio: Madhouse
  • Episodes: 1 season, 12 episodes

Death Parade presents us with one of the most ambiguous concepts you can expect from an anime series. This anime series takes place in the afterlife, where people’s souls are sent after death. We follow a bar named Quindecim, which is run by a bartender named Decim. This specific bar hosts people who died at the same time.

The hosts then play a series of matches, and the bartender decides which soul gets a reincarnation and which one is sent to the void, never to be seen again. Death Parade is a psychological thriller similar to Death Note. Meanwhile, do look out for a cameo from someone special while watching this series.

Watch trailer here

3. Kaiji (2007 – 2011)

  • Genre: Action thriller
  • IMDb: 8.3
  • MyAnimeList: 8.3
  • Created by: Nobuyuki Fukumoto.
  • Studio: Madhouse
  • Episodes: 2 seasons, 52 episodes

Kaiji is full of mind games, death threats, and action you wouldn’t want to miss. The series revolves around the titular character Kaiji Itou, a good-for-nothing gambler who drinks and steals in his life. After a deal goes wrong, he finds himself owing a huge debt, which leads him to a cruise ship playing underground gambling.

The rest of the series follows Kaiji’s clever ways of bringing himself out of dangerous situations. In addition to the anime series, Kaiji also has several manga volumes and live-action movies. If you enjoyed the mind games between L and Kira in Death Note, you will surely love Kaiji.

Watch trailer here

4. Monster (2004 – 2005)

  • Genre: Crime drama
  • IMDb: 8.7
  • MyAnimeList: 8.8
  • Created by: Masayuki Kojima
  • Studio: Madhouse
  • Episodes: 1 season, 74 episodes

Monster is a crime drama involving a charming Japanese doctor who resides in Germany. Dr. Kenzou Tenma, an elite neurosurgeon, is climbing his way through the hospital’s hierarchy. However, everything changes after a few mysterious deaths. The plot intensifies when Johan Liebert, a serial killer and Tenma’s former patient, comes back into his life.

Much like Death Note, Monster is regarded as one of the best anime series of the decade, and the manga has received similar love from readers.

Watch trailer here

5. The Future Diary/ Mirai Nikki (2011 – 2012)

  • Genre: Mystery, Psychological thriller
  • IMDb: 7.6
  • MyAnimeList: 7.4
  • Created by: Naoto Hosoda
  • Studio: Asread
  • Episodes: 1 season, 26 episodes

The Future Diary is a psychological thriller anime with clever plot points like Death Note. The series revolves around a shy middle schooler named Yukiteru Amano. He keeps a digital diary of his daily happenings habitually. The story takes a wild turn when Yukiteru discovers his digital diary mentions events that will happen in the near future.

Soon, Deus Ex Machina, the God of Time and Space, reveals himself and tells Yukitero about being chosen as one of the 12 participants in a survival game. Each participant holds a future diary, and the last survivor of the dangerous game will become Deus’s successor. A short 11-episode live-action drama is also adapted from Future Diary manga comics.

Watch trailer here

6. Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002-2005)

  • Genre: Cyberpunk, Spy, Thriller
  • IMDb: 8.5
  • MyAnimeList: 8.4
  • Created by: Kenji Kamiyama
  • Studio: Production I.G.
  • Episodes: 2 seasons, 52 episodes

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is a part of a well-known franchise. The story takes place in a future setting where humans can use robotic limbs, and the world is technologically advanced. This particular series comprises two seasons and revolves around the members of an elite law enforcement unit known as Public Security Section 9. They are responsible for tackling threats relating to terrorism and cyber-crime. The team is in pursuit of a dangerous hacker and corporate terrorist whose actions raise several philosophical questions throughout the series. The franchise consists of multiple books, TV series, and movies.

Watch trailer here

7. Steins; Gate (2011)

  • Genre: Psychological thriller, Science fiction
  • IMDb: 8.8
  • MyAnimeList: 9.1
  • Created by: Hiroshi Hamasaki, Takuya Satō
  • Studio: White Fox
  • Episodes: 1 season, 24 episodes

Steins; Gate is one of the best anime with interesting characters and a thrilling plot, much like Death Note. It revolves around an eccentric scientist Rintarou Okabe, who founded a science lab along with his friends. His goal is to create mind-boggling inventions doesn’t seem to work well for him. Until one day, Okabe discovers he has accidentally invented the time machine that can send messages in the past. Thus, changing the present.

In this anime TV series, Okabe finds himself in a continuous struggle to save his loved ones while coping with his degrading sanity. The series is part of a more extensive franchise called Science Adventure, consisting of several sci-fi animes, movies, and graphic novels.  

Watch trailer here

8. Parasyte: The Maxim (2014 – 2015)

  • Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • IMDb: 8.4
  • MyAnimeList: 8.4
  • Created by: Kenichi Shimizu, Yang Byeong-Gil, Hitoshi Haga, Yoshihiro Kanno, Masayuki Mizutani
  • Studio: Madhouse
  • Episodes: 1 season, 24 episodes

Parasyte: The Maxim is an alien invasion story with a horror element. The story begins after a parasitic race of aliens attack the Earth and attach themselves to humans. We follow Shinichi Izumi, a high school student who has a parasite in his right hand. Since the parasite could not control his brain and couldn’t relocate, they both are forced to have an uneasy coexistence. The series follows their adventure while they save themselves from other parasites. 

Watch trailer here

9. Ergo Proxy (2006)

  • Genre: Cyberpunk, Post-apocalyptic, Psychological thriller
  • IMDb: 7.9
  • MyAnimeList: 7.9
  • Created by: Shūkō Murase
  • Studio: Manglobe
  • Episodes: 1 season, 23 episodes

Ergo Proxy is a post-apocalyptic series that takes place thousands of years after a global catastrophe made the Earth inhabitable. Humans have created android robots to help them in their daily tasks to survive in harsh conditions. However, things go south when a virus infects the robots, giving them self-awareness. We follow Re-l Mayer and her robot partner Iggy as they try to solve the mystery. 

Watch trailer here

10. Terror In Resonance/ Zankyou no Terror (2014)

  • Genre: Psychological thriller
  • IMDb: 7.9
  • MyAnimeList: 8.1
  • Created by: Shinichirō Watanabe
  • Studio: MAPPA
  • Episodes: 1 season, 11 episodes

Terror In Resonance is a mini anime series that takes place in an alternate reality. The world is shattered after an attack on a nuclear power plant in Japan. After six months, a video makes its way to the internet where two boys who call themselves Sphinx threaten to wreak havoc in Tokyo unless the authorities solve a cryptic riddle. We come to know the two boys, nine and twelve, were a part of a secret experiment by Rising Peace Academy to create human weapons. 

Watch trailer here

11. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009 – 2010)

  • Genre: Adventure, Dark fantasy, Steampunk
  • IMDb: 9.1
  • MyAnimeList: 9.1
  • Created by: Yasuhiro Irie
  • Studio: Bones
  • Episodes: 1 season, 64 episodes

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is an adventure series that revolved around the concept of alchemy. The story follows two brothers, Edward and Alphonse, who bear a massive loss in an attempt to bring their deceased mother back to life. After the neighbors save their lives, they go on to become certified alchemists.

Still trying to cure themselves, the brothers go on a mission to find the Philosopher’s Stone, which can help an alchemist defy the standard rules of alchemy and provide eternal life. However, we come to know about some harsh realities surrounding the stone. This is one of the best anime like Death Note.

Watch trailer here

12. The Promised Neverland (2019 – 2021)

  • Genre: Dark fantasy, Science fiction, Thriller
  • IMDb: 8.3
  • MyAnimeList: 8.5
  • Created by: Mamoru Kanbe
  • Studio: CloverWorks
  • Episodes: 2 seasons, 23 episodes

The Promised Neverland is a wicked tale of living in harmony. The story revolves around the Grace Field House orphanage, where several children live as a big family. They can spend their time as they want while following a single rule, which is not to leave the campus. Most of the children spend their time playing in the fields.

All the children are overseen by their foster mother named, Isabella, who takes daily tests to ensure the children are sharp. But three of the eldest siblings become suspicious when they realize that people adopt a child every few months, but they never hear from them again. The first season was well-received, but the second season doesn’t have a good rating. The second season felt rushed and left out a major chunk of the story.

Watch trailer here

13. Psycho-Pass (2012 – 2019)

  • Genre: Crime, Cyberpunk, Psychological thriller
  • IMDb: 8.2
  • MyAnimeList: 8.4
  • Created by: Naoyoshi Shiotani, Katsuyuki Motohiro
  • Studio: Production I.G.
  • Episodes: 3 seasons, 41 episodes

Psycho-Pass is an anime series revolving around law and order taking place in a dystopian future. The world has changed, and citizens are judged as criminals even before committing a crime based on their criminal intent. Only those who pass the test known as psycho-pass are allowed to live everyday life.

The story follows Akane Tsunemori, a young woman who desires to uphold justice. She finds out that the system enforced to determine the citizen’s threat level might not be dependable. Therefore, she takes it upon herself to bring proper justice to the world. The series blurs the line between good and evil, making it similar to anime like Death Note.

Watch trailer here

14. Shiki (2010)

  • Genre: Mystery, Psychological thriller
  • IMDb: 7.7
  • MyAnimeList: 7.8
  • Created by: Tetsurō Amino
  • Studio: Daume
  • Episodes: 1 season, 22 episodes

Shiki is one of the best psychological thriller anime like Death Note on this list. The series takes place in a small town named Sotoba, where everyone knows everyone. A young girl with high aspirations dies of an unknown disease, followed by several similar instances. The town’s doctor, Toshio Ozaki suspects that something more sinister is going on than a mere disease. Ozaki investigates the situation with a group of youngsters, revealing a frightening secret about a new family in town. 

Watch trailer here

15. Kakegurui (2017-)

  • Genre: Gambling, Psychological thriller
  • IMDb: 7.2
  • MyAnimeList: 7.3
  • Created by: Yuichiro Hayashi
  • Studio: MAPPA
  • Episodes: 2 seasons, 24 episodes

If you enjoy watching anime like Death Note with clever mind games, Kakegurui on Netflix is a must-watch. The series revolves around an elite school for wealthy students named Hyakkaou Private Academy. The school prepares the students for the world by teaching them the importance and power of money and manipulating people. Apart from the regular curriculum like history and science during the day, the school becomes a gambling den at night.

The story follows a naive and beautiful transfer student who tries her hand at this exceptional school. She plays not for winning but for the thrill of gambling, which introduces some new cards to the game and the overall story. Kakegurui is one of the few animes like Death Note that deals with psychological games, and it is one of my favorites on this list. No official date for the third season has been announced yet, but we still hope for renewal soon.

Watch trailer here

16. Tokyo Ghoul (2014 – 2018)

  • Genre: Horror, Dark fantasy, Supernatural thriller
  • IMDb: 7.8
  • MyAnimeList: 7.8
  • Created by: Shuhei Morita
  • Studio: Pierrot
  • Episodes: 4 seasons, 48 episodes

Tokyo Ghoul is a horror series revolving around flesh-eating ghouls. The story follows Ken Kaneki, a reserved college student who ignores the news about ghouls looking like humans being present in the world. He comes out of his solitude when a beautiful girl named Rize asks him on a date. However, he realizes Rize has a sinister intent when she attacks him and reveals herself to be a ghoul. Rize dies, but Kaneki is saved after her organs are transplanted into his body. It changes his body in horrifying ways, but he chooses to stick with humanity while protecting himself from other ghouls and government agents hunting them.

A lot happens over the initial two seasons, with the story taking a two-year leap in Tokyo Ghoul: re and presenting us with a Kaneki who has forgotten about the past. While the initial seasons are well-received, the re-series doesn’t have a lot of fans. But we would suggest watching the whole thing for a conclusion to this saga.

Watch trailer here

17. Detective Conan (1996-)

  • Genre: Mystery, thriller
  • IMDb
  • MyAnimeList
  • Created by: Kenji Kodama, Yasuichiro Yamamoto, Masato Satō, Kōjin Ochi, Nobuharu Kamanaka
  • Studio: TMS Entertainment
  • Episodes: 31 seasons, 1044 episodes

Detective Conan, also known as Case Closed, is one of the longest-running anime series. The mystery thriller follows Shinichi Kudou, well-known for his detective skills and who has solved many challenging mysteries. But, while investigating two suspicious men, he witnesses a crime and is forcefully given an experimental drug, which turns him into a seven-year-old. Shinichi picks up a new identity named Conan Edogawa and helps his childhood friend and her father, a private detective, solve cases from behind the scenes. 

Watch trailer here

18. One Outs (2008 – 2009)

  • Genre: Gambling, Psychological, Sports
  • IMDb: 8.3
  • MyAnimeList: 8.3
  • Created by: Yuzo Sato
  • Studio: Madhouse
  • Episodes: 1 season, 25 episodes

One Outs is a psychological sports anime series like Death Note, but one that revolves around baseball and gambling. The story here follows Toua Tokuchi, a baseball prodigy having equally high intellect in gambling. Despite his enormous talent, Toua sees the game as nothing but a way to earn quick money. He is approached by Hiromichi Kojima, who defeats Tokuchi and asks him to join his team.

After entering the team and having a troubled discussion on salary, Tokuchi proposes a special contract — 5 million yen for pitching an out and 50 million if he gives up a run. Every episode becomes interesting as each game has the potential to make or break Tokuchi’s bank.

Watch trailer here

19. No Game, No Life (2014)

  • Genre: Isekai, Fantasy, Science fiction
  • IMDb: 7.8
  • MyAnimeList: 8.1
  • Created by: Atsuko Ishizuka
  • Studio: Madhouse
  • Episodes: 1 season, 12 episodes

No Game, No Life is a mini-series taking place in a fantasy world of games. The story takes place in Disboard, a world overseen by Tet, the One True God. It inhabits sixteen sentient species, out of which humans are the only ones without any affinity to magic. Their unfortunate destiny seems to pose a change after the arrival of two outsiders.

Sora and Shiro are two stepsiblings who go by the name Blank and have won most of the online games on Earth. Tet challenges them in a chess game and brings them to his realm after they win it. The rest of the TV series revolves around their adventures in Disboard and their attempt to replace the superior god.

Watch trailer here

20. Darker Than Black (2007-2010)

  • Genre: Mystery, Science fiction, Supernatural thriller
  • IMDb: 7.7
  • MyAnimeList: 8.1
  • Created by: Tensai Okamura
  • Studio: Bones
  • Episodes: 2 seasons, 42 episodes

Darker Than Black is a supernatural anime TV series that takes place ten years after the appearance of Heaven’s Gate in South America and Hell’s Gate in Japan. The gates do not bend to any physical laws, and no one knows why they exist in the first place. With the gate’s sudden appearance emerged contractors who are provided with supernatural powers in exchange for their humanity. The plot revolves around a contractor named agent Hei and his comrades investigating the true nature of these gates.

Watch trailer here

21. Hell Girl/ Jigoku Shoujo (2005 – 2017)

  • Genre: Dark fantasy, Supernatural thriller
  • IMDb: 7.4
  • MyAnimeList: 7.6
  • Created by: Takahiro Omori, Hiroshi Watanabe
  • Studio: Studio Deen
  • Episodes: 4 seasons, 90 episodes

Hell Girl is a dark fantasy TV series that is weaved around a simple concept of the repercussions coming with revenge and fits right in your watchlist if you enjoy anime like Death Note. The series is built around a website that opens at midnight. Whoever seeks revenge can input the name of their enemy, and the hell girl will take their souls to hell. However, the rule says that the person writing the name will also end up in hell after death. The franchise consists of several anime seasons, live-action series, and a movie in addition to the manga comics.

Watch trailer here

22. Blast of Tempest (2012-)

  • Genre: Dark fantasy, Mystery
  • IMDb: 7.5
  • MyAnimeList: 7.9
  • Created by: Masahiro Andō
  • Studio: Bones
  • Episodes: 1 season, 24 episodes

Blast of Tempest is a fantasy thriller anime TV series that revolves around the death of a girl. The plot follows Yoshino Takigawa, a teenager secretly dating his best friend Mahiro’s sister, Aika. After her mysterious death, Mahiro pledges to find the one responsible and teach them a lesson. Mahiro takes help from a witch who is later banished to a deserted island. Now, it comes to Yoshino and Mahiro to save the world from the witch’s evil brother while getting close to Aika’s mysterious death.

Watch trailer here

23. Erased (2016)

  • Genre: Mystery, Science fiction, Thriller
  • IMDb: 8.5
  • MyAnimeList: 8.3
  • Created by: Tomohiko Itō
  • Studio: A-1 Pictures
  • Episodes: 1 season, 12 episodes

Erased is a mystery thriller weaved around the concept of recreating the present. The anime’s story is slightly similar to best science fiction movies like Source Code and Deja Vu. It follows Satoru Fujinuma, a young man who is sent in the past moments before a life-threatening incident. He calls this power “Revival” and uses it to save innocent lives.

However, things change when he’s sent eighteen years in the past after his mother is murdered. He realizes the death must be connected to the kidnapping incident, which took the lives of three of his classmates in childhood. It is thrilling to see how Satoru deciphers the mystery and saves his loved ones. 

Watch trailer here

24. Paranoia Agent (2004)

  • Genre: Mystery, Psychological thriller, Supernatural
  • IMDb: 8.0
  • MyAnimeList: 7.7
  • Created by: Satoshi Kon
  • Studio: Madhouse
  • Episodes: 1 season, 13 episodes

Here’s another anime similar to Death Note, Paranoia Agent tells a story of a serial killer who has made children and adults paranoid with his actions. The story begins with an attack on the famous Tsukiko Sagi, a shy character designer who has created a popular character. The attacker is known as Lil’ Slugger, who appears like a middle school boy on roller skates with a golden baseball bat. After a series of similar attacks where the victims can not recall the attacker’s face, two detectives, Keiichi Ikari and Mitsuhiro Maniwa, start investigating the case. 

Watch trailer here

25. Platinum End (2021-)

  • Genre: Dark fantasy, Supernatural thriller
  • IMDb: 6.2
  • MyAnimeList: 6.1
  • Created by: Hideya Takahashi, Kazuchika Kise
  • Studio: Signal. M.D.
  • Episodes: 1 season, 24 episodes

Platinum End follows the life of Mirai Kakehashi, a young orphaned high school student who is daily abused by his relatives who took him in. When Mirai is about to commit suicide, he witnesses a winged figure introducing herself as his guardian angel named Nasse. The angel provides Mirai with two priceless abilities. Later, she informs about a game being played among 13 participants having similar powers to compete against each other and become the next god after 999 days. 

And if you haven’t yet noticed, Platinum End is from the creators of Death Note. Yeah, the anime series is based on the 2015 manga of the same name created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.

Watch trailer here

Watch the Top Anime Like Death Note

Death Note is one of the most famous anime globally, and it is hard to compete with such popularity. However, that does not mean it is the only good anime available online. There is plenty of anime series with unique and engaging stories and characters you will love the instant you watch them. I have mentioned such anime falling mainly in the category of psychological thrillers and mysteries. With a guarantee you will love the series on this list, I hope you have already picked your favorites. If you have anime suggestions that should be on this list, feel free to comment below. 

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