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8 Best Anime To Watch If You Love Death Note

Light Yagami and other key characters in Death Note (Image via Madhouse)
Light Yagami and other key characters in Death Note (Image via Madhouse)
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Praveen Kumar

Death Note is hailed as the best psychological thriller anime that has garnered a lot of appreciation from anime fans and non-anime viewers alike. The story follows Light Yagami, a 17-year-old genius student who comes across a strange book called the Death Note.

The notebook has the power to kill anyone in the world if the user writes the exact name of the target while visualizing their face.

Death Note has won everyone’s hearts with its suspense and spine-chilling revelations. Fans have been wondering if there’s any anime that could give the amount of thrill as Death Note did. Fortunately, there are some anime carry the psychological thriller aspect that you should binge on right away if you are craving good thriller anime.

Note: This article is subjective and solely reflects the writer's opinions.


Anime to Watch if you like Death Note

8) 91 Days

Angelo Lagusa and Nero Vanetti as seen in 91 Days (Image via Shuka)
Angelo Lagusa and Nero Vanetti as seen in 91 Days (Image via Shuka)

91 Days follows Angelo Lagusa, whose entire family gets brutally massacred in a mafia dispute by Vincent Vanetti, a Mafiosi who controls a lawless district for his illegal business. Angelo somehow manages to escape from his hometown and changes his identity to Avilio Bruno. Seven years later, he receives an anonymous letter prompting him to return to his hometown to take his revenge.

After Avilio infilters his hometown, he soon manages to befriend one of Vincent’s sons, Nero and starts killing each of the Vanetti family one after the other. Like Death Note, the characters of 91 Days are also known for their crooked mind games and complex personalities.


7) Steins Gate

All critical characters in Steins Gate (Image via White Fox)
All critical characters in Steins Gate (Image via White Fox)

Steins Gate follows Rintaro Okabe, a self-proclaimed mad scientist known for inventing gadgets that are ultimately worthless. He runs his experiments in his laboratory, which he calls The Future Gadget Lab. Although his experiments have failed relentlessly, his phone-operated microwave gadget was a game-changer.

His invention was Okabe's breakthrough, but it also came with the cost of the people's lives he held dear. The protagonists of Death Note and Steins Gate share the similarity of changing the world by altering the consequences. However, unlike Light Yagami, Rintaro Okabe’s purpose was to save the people he loved.


6) Darker than Black

Hei as seen in the Darker Than Black (Image via Bones)
Hei as seen in the Darker Than Black (Image via Bones)

The series follows the events that unfold after two mysterious dimensional portals called Gates opened out of the blue in two places, a Heaven’s Gate in America and a Hell’s Gate in Japan. The purpose of the gate is still a puzzle, but one thing is clear: these portals defy the very law of physics. These Gates started offering supernatural powers to humans in exchange for their humanity.

Like his associates, Hei, a contractor in the underground world, undertakes the missions and fulfills his task to use his abilities. The sudden killings of the Contractors raise suspicion against the Syndicate, which puts Hei on his mission to uncover the truth.

Like Death Note, Darker Than Black also has the Detective vs. the Plotter concept. Another similarity is that each episode ends with a cliffhanger.


5) Ergo Proxy

Re-L Mayer as seen in Ergo Proxy (Image via Manglobe studios)
Re-L Mayer as seen in Ergo Proxy (Image via Manglobe studios)

Ergo Proxy occurs in a world where humans and androids called Auto Reivs coexist peacefully. Ergo Proxy follows Re-L Mayer, an investigator with the Intelligence Bureau in Romdeau. She is assigned a task to find out about the sudden killings in Romdeau and to find out the origination of the “Cogito Virus” that grants AutoRievs self-awareness.

Ergo Proxy is an underrated psychological thriller gem that revolves around unveiling mysteries and finding out the real perpetrators. Like Death Note, Ergo Proxy has also proved that intelligence is the greatest weapon in battles.


4) Inuyashiki

Hiro Shishigami and Ichiro Inuyashiki as seen in Inuyashiki (Image via MAPPA)
Hiro Shishigami and Ichiro Inuyashiki as seen in Inuyashiki (Image via MAPPA)

Ichiro was a frail, timid man who used to turn a blind eye to everything wrong and unethical. However, he became more courageous after his entire body turned into a cyborg. With his newfound powers, he decides to help others in need.

However, a cyborg counterpart named Shishigami Hiro starts making Inuyashiki’s life more troublesome by going on a killing spree to seek its thrill. The series features two people who receive the same powers, but as one uses them to favor humanity, the other does just the opposite.

Hiro Shishigami of Inuyashiki resembles Light Yagami of Death Note, as both of them, after receiving supernatural powers, have developed a god complex.


3) Death Parade

Decim as seen in Death Parade (Image via Madhouse)
Decim as seen in Death Parade (Image via Madhouse)

Death Parade takes place in an afterlife world where specific individuals, after their death, are sent to Quindecim. It is a place where they can either redeem their soul and be reborn again or be thrown into the void. Quendecim may look like a modern European bar, but in reality, it is a place where the lost souls are gathered to decide their fate by a bartender named Decim, whose main job is an arbiter.

Each soul has to play a game that will be given to them by the arbiter. Those souls who manage to win the game will be reborn, and the failing souls will be drowned into nothingness. Death Parade and Death Note have been praised for putting out the very nature of humans and showcasing aspects of morality and deception.


2) Monster

Kenzo Tenma as seen in Monster (Image via Madhouse)
Kenzo Tenma as seen in Monster (Image via Madhouse)

Kenzo Tenma is a brilliant neurosurgeon and is hailed as one of the best in the hospital he works in. When it comes to saving someone’s life, Tenma won’t hesitate if he has to prioritize the life of an ordinary individual over influential personalities like ministers or generals.

However, the ethical aspect of his life became a curse as Tenma came to know that the young boy whose life he saved was once the acclaimed Monster. This young boy was the reason behind all the killings around the city. Tenma sets out on his path to make amends for what he did.

Like Death Note, Monster also comprises characters who grapple with aspects of morality by bringing forth what is ethical and what is not.


1) Psycho-Pass

Akane Tsunemori as seen in Psycho-Pass (Image via Production I.G)
Akane Tsunemori as seen in Psycho-Pass (Image via Production I.G)

Psycho-Pass takes place in a world where criminal intent within an individual can be easily judged through a Sibyl System that gives a threat level of a person by measuring their Psycho-Pass. People who exceed the threshold of criminality in their minds eventually get subjugated or killed by the field officers of the Crime Investigation Department.

Psycho-Pass follows Akane Tsunemori, a rookie inspector who has a strong sense of justice. Working alongside her partner Shinya Kougami, she realizes that the Psycho-Pass is not a reliable source to judge someone’s future actions. Like Death Note, the characters in Psycho-Pass are also wrestling with the question of what is the true nature of righteousness.


Edited by Suchitra
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