8 Animes Like Death Note: Try These Psychological Animes
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.
8 Animes Like Death Note
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.
Follow the journey of Dr. Kenzo Tenma in the psychological mystery adventure of Monster.
Dr. Kenzo Tenma is a brilliant Japanese surgeon working in Germany who defies his superiors to save a boy. Little does he know that this boy has a dark disregard for human life and a murderous past.
Can Dr. Kenzo Tenma stop the monster that he unleashed onto the world?
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 takes place in a utopia where humans coexist with androids. But utopias never last and the robots are infected by the Cogito virus and begin to attack people.
This Cogito virus makes androids self-aware, creating plenty of problems for the city. Is the city of Romdo doomed?
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.
After the disappearance of her brother, Ayumu Narumi is left with only one clue, that clue is merely whispered rumours of a strange group known as the Blade Children.
Two years later, a series of murders begin with all information pointing once again towards the Blade Children. Who are the Blade Children and how do they fit into this mystery?
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 (or When They Cry) is a great thriller anime.
The story takes place on the remote island of Rokkenjima as a wealthy family gathers to discuss their financial affairs. Little do they know that the head of the family has a dying wish to see his true love and plans to use black magic to achieve it.
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)
From the studio behind Fullmetal Alchemist comes Shiki, a psychological thriller involving vampires that will both scare and mystify you.
The story takes place in a small secluded village where life is calm until residents begin to die off. The head doctor of the town desperately tries to save as many patients as he can, with little success.
The dead are quickly found to blame. Will their thirst for blood destroy the town?
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.
Michiru Kita possess the power of Shinigami eyes which give her the power to see the lifespans of other humans. When she encounters two boys in her class that should be dead, she soon discovers they have made a deal to extend their life but it comes with a heavy debt.