Death note is an intense thriller anime with elements of the supernatural, suspense, crime, and morality. The story places the power of judgment in the hands of Light Yagami. This anime is a manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obama.
It began airing in Japan on 3rd October 2006 and came to a close on 20th June 2007. The series ended after 37 episodes leaving fans craving for more. So if you’re an anime-hungry fellow, I present to you a list of the 20 best anime like Death Note you can’t skip.
Satoru Fujinuma is a 29 years old manga artist living in Chiba. He is endowed with the “revival” ability. Before any tragic event, Satoru would be sent a few minutes back in time to prevent the occurrence.
With an unprecedented attack on his mother, Satoru is sent back 18 years into the past to save his mother. However, he is also given a chance to prevent an incident that claimed the lives of three of his childhood buddies.
19. 91 Days
This anime is about Angelo Lagusa, whose parents and brother were slaughtered by the Vanetti family mafia. So he runs far away and changes his identity, bearing the new name Avilio Bruno.
Years later, Avilio Bruno receives a letter inviting him back to his childhood town. Quickly, he obliges the invitation as he sees in it the long-awaited opportunity to avenge his family. Consequently, Avilo Bruno befriends Nero, the son of the Vanetti mafia’s don. He uses this friendship as a guise to gain their trust. He infiltrates the mafia and slowly kills everyone who has a hand in his family’s misfortune.
18. Death Parade
A dark, mysterious anime that raises questions about death and the afterlife: there is no heaven or hell in this series. Instead, the souls of humans are sent to a bar where they meet Decim, the bartender, and Ginti, his executioner.
The souls are given a chance to play a random game with Decim. Winners get to be reincarnated while losers cease to exist. Its similarities with Death Notes lie in the suspense as well as the themes of death and judgment. No, This is a great choice to re-live the same kind of tension brought by the death note.
17. One Out
This anime is based on a manga series written and edited by Shinobu Kaiteni. However, One Out is a baseball anime for fans of mind games and psychological prowess. Toua Tokuchi- a gambling pitcher, meets Hiromichi Kojima, the Lycaons star batter, in one out game.
Kojima wants Toua on his team, but the manager doesn’t. However, Kojima feels Toua can help the team break free of the streak of failure which plagued them. So Toua offers to gain 5 million yen on every out he pitches and loses 50 million yen on every point he gives up.
The selfish Lycaons manager is only interested in money, so he searches for ways of making his team lose. This results in a game of wits, strategic calculation, and a tense mental battle between the manager and Toua
16. Paranoia Agent
A psychopath terrorizes the city of Musashino. Unknown to all, the culprit is an elementary school kid nicknamed Shounen Bat. He paroles the town on his rollerblades and bludgeons victims with a golden baseball bat.
He cautiously conceals his identity and keeps up with the assault spreading paranoia all over the town.
With detectives Keiichi Ikari and Mitsushiro Maniwa hot on his heels, it is a question if they can accost him before he strikes a blow on his next victim.
15. Zankyou No Terror: Terror in Resonance
Two witty kids “nine and twelve” who are survivors of the Rising Peace Academy form a terrorist group called the “Sphinx.” The Rising Peace Academy is an organization that collects children suffering from the Savant syndrome. At the academy, these children are trained as human warfare weapons.
Nine and twelve steal a prototype atomic bomb in a terrorist attack and upload a cryptic video online. They threaten to destroy Tokyo if their riddles are not solved. While at school, they meet Lisa and consequently defend her against bullies. She becomes their friend and gets drawn into the plan to expose the nefarious activities of the organization.
Meanwhile, the Sphinx proves to be a challenge to the police. A detective takes it upon himself to crack the riddles and uncover the masterminds. Will nine and twelve be apprehended? Watch this thrilling crime anime to uncover!
14. Jikogu Shoujo: Hell Girl
This anime is scary and dark with a touch of horror. In addition, it deals with death, judgment, and hell. Also, there is a covert website accessible only to those harboring grudges.
This secret website is called hell correspondence and can be accessed only at midnight. Those bearing grudges can input the name of their offender, and offenders will go straight to hell.
Ai Enma is the hell girl responsible for the vengeful task. She has three straw dolls as assistants, all fully groomed on the art of torture. Ai Enma sends souls straight to hell without confirming if they are guilty or not.
As it is often said, nothing goes for nothing. I’m sure you’d be interested in discovering the ultimate price for sending a soul to hell. I won’t be a spoiler. Watch the anime to find out.
13. Parasyte the Maxim
The survival of humanity lies on the shoulders of a 16-year-old high school student- Shinichi Izumi Aka Migi. This is because Earth suffers an invasion of monster aliens called Parasytes who crawl into people’s noses and ears to take over their bodies. Migi gets infected by a Parasyte who succeeded in controlling his right hand. They both co-exist to survive in Migi’s body. He tries to fight off insanity while protecting the world from this alien invasion. This anime is filled with gore, carnage, and distortion, but will Migi succeed?
Monster is a crime, mystery, and psychological drama written by Naoki Urasawa and illustrated by Takashi Nagasaki. It was published in the manga magazine great comic spirits from 1994-2001. The story revolves around a Japanese neurosurgeon Kenzou Tenma who works at Eisler Memorial Hospital.
Sickened by the political bias in the hospital, he disobeys orders and operates on a little boy named Johan. Unfortunately, his actions lead to the death of mayor Roedecker. This leaves Dr. Kenzou in shambles.
Mysteriously, whoever opposes Kenzou dies. This makes Kenzou a suspect, although there isn’t any incriminating evidence on him. Johan Liebert turns out to be the monster serial killer.
Kenzou, being hunted, embarks on a quest to make amends for the havoc being wrecked by the monster he saved. Will the odds be stacked in his Favour or against him?
11. Kuro no Keiyakusha: Darker Than Black
In this mysterious sci-fi, two gates suddenly appear in the sky. The first one in South America followed by the other in Japan ten years later. In South America, it is heaven’s gate, while in Japan it is hell’s gate.
These gates alter the sky, wreaking havoc on the environment, and serve as portals for contractors to emerge. Contractors are humans who have exchanged their humanity for special abilities and powers.
Governments are hiring unemotional contractors for confidential tasks. This leads to war and bloodshed, which humans are ignorant of. Hei, also known as “black reaper,” is a contractor who partook in heavens war; he searches for his sister while working for the syndicate.
He seeks to uncover the mysteries behind hell’s gate.
For lovers of thrill, suspense, and the paranormal, this is one anime you have got to watch. The secrets contained are darker than black.
10. No Game No Life (NGNL)
Two siblings- Sora and Shiro, are skilled gamers who form a duo. They unknowingly attract the attention of Tet- the god of games. After he notices their wits, Tet approaches them online and challenges them to a chess bout. They play the game and defeat the god of games. In anger, Tet sends them away to the dashboard world, where high-stake games are played. The games determine all actions and activities in the dashboard.
Sora and Shiro secretly conspire. They set out to conquer all civilizations in the dashboard, thereby becoming rulers of the world. Sora and Shiro also plan on defeating Tet and taking over as the new gods of the game.
9. Black Butler
Written by Yana Toboso, Black Butler tells the tales of 12-year old orphan Ciel Phantom. He lost his parents in an assailant attack on their manor. Ciel is popularly known as the Queen’s watchdog, and he dutifully solves heinous crimes of the underworld.
While being held captive by a cult group, he meets Sebastian Michaelis, a demon disguised as a butler. Sebastian was summoned by the cult in a ritual but appeared, claiming Ciel summoned him.
To exert vengeance on his abductors and his parent’s murderers, Ciel trades his soul to Sebastian, the cruel demon. They establish a contract, and Sebastian brands Ciel with the Faustacian symbol, and Sebastian murders Ciel’s captors
Doesn’t this sound like a death note to you? A mortal and a demon are working together to kill individuals. This anime is a dark and intense drama. Ciel works with Sebastian, just like Light and Ryuk Shinigami.
8. Ergo Proxy
Ergo Proxy is a cyberpunk anime set in a post-apocalyptic utopian future. After an ecological disaster wiped out the earth, people built domed cities to sustain life for habitation.
In one of these cities called Rondeau, humans, and robots (Auto-Revis) co-exist peacefully until a virus erupts.
The cogito virus spread rapidly and infected the robots. Unfortunately, this virus makes them self-aware and deranged. As a result, the Auto-Revis begin committing a series of murders.
When inspector Re-l Mayer begins an investigation, the grand mastermind behind the virus is revealed. This anime is a mind-blowing work of art.
7. Psycho Pass
Psycho pass is an exciting sci-fi and a psychological thriller. In the year 2113, Japanese law enforcement progressed from apprehending crime by arresting the culprit. Then, they implement the sibyl system whereby each individual’s criminal intent or psycho pass is determined based on their overall actions.
If citizens’ actions are considered pleasant, they pass. Meanwhile, If they are found capable of threat or evil, they are taken care of before the crime is even committed.
When Akane Tsunemori becomes a law enforcement officer, she notices the system’s injustice and is lunged into a constant tussle. I bet you’re interested in watching this so you can decipher the thin line between justice and judgment.
6. Ghost in the Shell
In the 21st century Japanese city of Niihama-ken. Technological advancement has led to cybernization. Humans adopt the use of prosthetic body parts, thus becoming cyborgs with cyber brains.
There are deadly hackers with malicious intent who seek to manipulate cyborgs. The main character is Motoko Kusanagi, a public security section 9 who is a full cyborg.
Problems arise when criminal hackers begin to hack cyber brains and outsmart section 9. Who will fight against the hackers? Who can take down the most heinous hacker known as laughing man?
5. Mirai Nikki: The Future diary
Mirai Nikki: The future diary is an anime based on a manga consisting of 26 episodes (an episode per day). Yukiteru Amano is a high school introvert and loner. His only friend is Deus Ex Machina, who he thinks is a figment of his imagination.
He realizes Deus Ex Machina is real. What’s more? Deus is the god of time and space. Yukiteru finds a diary empowered to reveal the future.
Future details from the god of time and space are in the diary, “Deus Ex Machina.” Yukiteru is given a task to find eleven other people with similar diaries and kill them. The exact instructions were given to all in possession of the book.
The last man standing would wield power to prevent the apocalypse and inherit the god’s position.
4. Code Geass
Code Geass is a touching dystopian thriller anime. Japan is conquered by the Holy Britannian Empire who rules the citizens with an iron fist. The Japanese are forced to rebel and fight against oppression.
Lelouch Lamperouge is a Britannian student caught up in a clash between the rebels and the Britannian force. He meets a strange girl, CC, who helps save his life and gives him the power of Kings called Geass. Albeit of different kinds, Lelouch gets the Geass of absolute obedience.
He was saved, but his family wasn’t so lucky; he lost his mom, and his sister got blind and disabled. He intends to use this supernatural power to save Japan and destroy the Holy Britannian Empire but encounters limitations. Watch and discover if the selfless Lelouch triumphs in this daunting mission.
3. The Promised Neverland
This tells the story of a young orphan named Emma. Years before this story, demons made a pact with humans in which they agreed to dwell separately. So eleven years old, Emma grows up in an orphanage housing 37 other children.
The Grace Field House is run by Lady Mary (fondly referred to as mom), who supposedly caters to orphans. Brilliant Emma and her friends- Norman and Ray, always excel academically.
When a child is adopted one day, Emma goes after her with her forgotten toy only to meet her lifeless body. Intrigued, she begins to piece details together and discovers a gruesome fact.
It happens Lady Mary was grooming the children as meat for high-ranking demons. These wicked spirits feast on children to sustain themselves. After learning this dark truth, Emma and her friends plan an escape. But, with demons all around, can they gain freedom?
2. Steins; Gate
This anime deals with time travel, science, and conspiracy theories. Steins; Gate is based on the story of Rintaro Okabe- a self-proclaimed mad scientist, residing in Akihabara, Tokyo. He has a hobby of inventing possible future gadgets and runs the “Future Gadget Laboratory.”
His shabby home doubles as his office, where he drinks with his friends while discussing theories. One day, Okabe invents “the phone microwave” through an experiment. This machine can send messages to the past and alter the flow of history.
In his bid to change the world (like light), he must bear the brunt that comes with holding the key to the reality of time.
1. Full-Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Coming in at number one is Full-Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. This anime has an edgy feel to it. Two brothers Edward and Alphonse, learn the forbidden art of alchemy with which they attempt to raise their mother from the dead. Unfortunately, Alphonse loses his entire body in the process, while Edward loses an arm and a leg.
In a bid to regain their bodies, they need to get hold of the philosopher’s stone. So they embark on a quest to find the philosopher’s stone. Watch this intriguing anime about the quest of Alphonse and Edward. Apart from alchemy, this thriller holds other buzzard elements.