10 TV Shows/Anime Like Death Note | TheReviewGeek Recommends

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Death Note is a gripping, thought-provoking work that’s declared as one of the best stories to come out of Shonen Jump’s catalog. Unlike other works from the magazine, this one features intelligent characters clashing in satisfying mental battles.

It centers around a high schooler named Light who finds a mysterious notebook called the Death Note. Light uses this book to murder criminals under the alias Kira. His killings catch the attention of the police and a proficient young detective named L. Thus, a fun cat-and-mouse game ensues.

Fear not if you’re having trouble finding anime similar to Death Note! We’ve discovered 10 alternate shows that’ll give you a similar experience as Death Note.

Additionally, for each anime we’ve reviewed, we’ve included a link that allows you to view our full thoughts about the series to see if it’s worth your time.

So without further ado, we present 10 TV shows that should whet your appetite when you’ve finished streaming Death Note!

Code Geass Feature Image

Code Geass

Similarities – Themes & Characters 

Code Geass is an anime original classic. Like Death Note, it’s popular for its thrilling mind games, enjoyable characters, and glorious plot. Both anime have their protagonists use their intellect to plan and manipulate people to achieve their goals. Code Geass’s Lelouch is as clever, charismatic, and ambiguous as Death Note’s Light Yagami.

You’ll find yourself wondering why they weren’t the antagonists by the end of both shows. Code Geass is set during a battle between the Britannian Empire and Japanese refugees. Lelouch is in the middle of this war and finds himself ambushed by a group of Britannians. Fortunately, a woman named C.C. gives Lelouch the Geass, allowing him to command anyone through proper eye contact.

Lelouch vows to use this supernatural gift to defeat Britannia’s king due to his wronging Lelouch and his sister in the past. Viewers will adore seeing Lelouch manipulate his way to reaching the king. It won’t be an easy feat, but it makes his inevitable meeting with the ruler satisfying and rewarding. With its similar themes, protagonists, and atmosphere, Code Geass is a great anime to follow up on after you’ve finished Death Note.


Similarities – Crime, Thriller, Character Dynamics

For those who loved the battles between Light and L, you’ll enjoy the confrontation between Dr. Kenzou Tenma and his adversary Johan Liebert. Monster contains in-depth characters, a gripping plot, and excellent animation techniques. It has everything a fan could want from the crime genre with its intruiging plot. Monster follows Kenzou, who is being accused of a murder he didn’t commit.

The one responsible is Johan Liebert, a child-now-man Kenzou saved in the past. To rewrite his mistake, Kenzou abandons his current life and pursues Johan in hopes of bringing him to justice. Naoki Urasawa is a genius storyteller who knows how to make every interaction matter in this tale. Every character, regardless of their screen time, has a great personality and reason for their inclusion.

The anime’s a slow-burner and Johan doesn’t appear that often in the tale. Regardless, Monster has enough exciting twists, characters, and shocking moments to keep you glued to your screen. Give this a watch if you’re craving another satisfying crime thriller like Death Note.

Terror In Resonance

Similarities – Setting, Action, Characters

Terror In Resonance is a great work from Studio Mappa. It has intelligent characters, phenomenal story elements, and great animation. Like Death Note, Terror In Resonance explores the darker aspects of humanity. Its protagonists Nine and Twelve are enigmatic and morally ambiguous like Light. Furthermore, both anime have dark, suspenseful atmospheres that are chilling and engaging.

Nine and Twelve have strong desires to change the world and attempt their plans through violent means like Light. Nine and Twelve are determined to expose the disgusting truth behind the government’s actions while Light wants to create a world free of crime. Both contain a battle of wits between good and evil and you’ll wind up enjoying every minute of it.

Justice morality, and ethics are themes shared between these works. They both feature countless twists and turns that keep viewers on the edge of their seats, and the gradual unraveling of their plots and characters’ inner motives will intrigue them further. Give Terror In Resonance a shot if you’re after another anime that can balance drama, twists, and character development well.

The Promised Neverland

Similarities – Characters, Action, Comedy

Many considered The Promised Neverland to be a new-age Death Note. It’s about a group of children who live in an enclosed orphanage with their caretaker, Isabella. One day, two children named Emma and Norman flee the place to give their friend Conney her stuffed animal. What they find shocks them to their core, enticing Emma and Norman to form a plan to help their fellow orphans.

Emma, Norman, and the other children in this series are intelligent and crafty. Many of their strategic battles with Isabella and her acquaintances will remind folks of the mind battles L and Light had in Death Note. The Promised Neverland tends to conclude several episodes with gripping cliffhangers that will urge viewers to watch the next episode regardless of their schedule.

The second season isn’t praised as much as its first season. This is due to the anime taking on more of an adventurous route and for the staff cutting out notable characters and arcs from the source material. If you’re okay with the premise change and its unlikable second season, The Promised Neverland is a must-watch.

You can read our thoughts on The Promised Neverland in our full-season review here!

Parasyte: The Maxim

Similarities – Characters & Psychological

Parayste: The Maxim is a great sci-fi series known for its intelligent characters, incredible action, and psychological concepts. In it, we follow Shinichi as he wakes up one morning to discover an alien named Migi has taken refuge in his hand. Migi warns Shinichi that other species like himself will be arriving on Earth soon. It’s up to Shinichi to help Migi defeat his brethren to save humanity.

Shinichi and Migi are well-rounded characters like those you’d find in Death Note. They undergo personal growth after each parasitic encounter and you’ll be amazed to see how well they work together. The anime delves into themes about what it means to be human.

Despite being a supernatural organism, Migi will feel the most human out of everyone by the end of this narrative. For those looking for another series with intense thrills and chills, check out Parasyte: The Maxim.

You can read our thoughts on Parasyte The Maxim in our full-season review here!

Moriarity The Patriot

Similarities – Mystery, Psychological, Characters

Need another anime following a masterful intellectual person, Moriarity the Patriot should satisfy you. It follows William, a man who likes composing countless heists and schemes to disrupt the corrupt and unequal society of Victorian England. Like Light Yagami, Willaim is a complex individual who is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve his goals.

His character possesses high levels of intelligence and uses his intellect to outsmart his opponents. He’s equally charismatic too and uses his charm to gain others’ trust. Whether it be a member of society or the authorities, Willaim knows his way around a situation. That’s not all as Moriarty the Patriot also features an intense cat-and-mouse game between the protagonist and the authorities.

William and his associates are pursued by Sherlock Holmes and the Scotland Yard. The tension and excitement that comes from their mind games create a sense of urgency and tension, making events feel engaging for viewers. Give this anime a shot if you’re after another suspenseful mystery with excellent characters.


Similarities – Exorcism, Action, Characters

Psycho-Pass is a great police-themed anime with stellar characters, thought-provoking themes, and an intricate world. It takes place in futuristic Japan, which is monitored by a system that can identify a person’s threat level. Akane, our protagonist, uncovers the fallacies of this system and vows to report it to the world. While her journey will be tough, she’s determined to bring this system to its end.

Psycho-Pass can be equally dark as Death Note and involves detectives attempting to bring criminals to justice. Psycho-Pass presents viewers with incredible unpredictable twists that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Psycho-Pass’s Enforcer Shinya Kogami is a highly-skilled detective who is willing to take drastic measures to achieve his goals like Light.

He’ll lose sight of the moral code after his family’s tragic demise, and many of his peers will question his decisions. Furthermore, both anime feature locales that can feel dark and ominous. Psycho-Pass portrays its futuristic landscape in a bleak and unsettling manner. Give this a watch if you’re looking for an anime that’ll make you feel uneasy and tense.

One Outs

Similarities – Characters & Psychological Warfare

Despite being a sports anime, this series’s protagonist feels and acts similarly to Light. In One Outs, the protagonist Tokuchi is a great strategist who meets a baseball player named Kojima. Kojima needs someone to fill in for his pitcher, and he asks Tokuchi to join after losing to him in a match. After settling a deal with a contract, we monitor Tokuchi’s progress with this team.

Although it has its characters participate in baseball, this series is known for its psychological warfare. Every action in this anime transforms into a match of life and death, leading to many intense scenarios among its cast. Tokuchi must contend with people sabotaging his efforts from opposing players to members of his team.

It’s these mental hurdles that make the anime an alluring show for anyone, not just sports fanatics. However, if you’re not knowledgeable about baseball, don’t worry. You’ll wind up enjoying its absurd take on the sport.

Bungo Stray Dogs

Similarities – Characters, Story, Violence

In Bungo Stray Dogs, we follow Atsushi, an orphan who befriends a mythical higher who gets him removed from the orphanage. The two meet Osamu, a supernatural detective who requires their assistance to solve a case. After resolving the situation, Atsushi joins Osamu and his companions on various supernatural-themed cases involving fights and amusing hijinks.

Unlike Light, Atsushi likes helping others in need. However, viewers will realize he’s the one who needs it the most. This anime features a lot more action than Death Note, too. These sequences offer spectacular choreography and animation. The anime’s soundtrack adds to the anime’s exhilarating atmosphere, leading to many scenes that you’ll find entertaining and memorable.

Despite their differences, both anime are crime-themed and feature a cast of characters who are well-developed and skilled. Some characters in Bungo Stray Dogs have dark sides, and their actions are not always in line with traditional notions of justice. Their actions and decisions may entice certain viewers to question their own beliefs about what is right and wrong.

Detective Conan

Similarities – Characters & Action

Imagine Sherlock Holmes getting drugged by crooks one night and learning he’s become a toddler the following day. That’s what occurs with Detective Conan’s protagonist Edogawa Conan. Although its plot is episodic, Detective Conan features multiple arcs that center around Conan’s search for the truth involving the criminals who turned him into a child.

The crimes Conan comes across can be dark. He’ll be dealing with cases involving murder, abuse, and other forms of torture. He’s an intelligent person like Light and L and has a strong sense of justice. He’ll be joined by other characters and will meet crafty individuals who’ll make Conan ponder his next moves heavily. This is a long-running anime series though.

If you’re interested, then you’ll have to sit through 1,000+ episodes and several films. Fortunately, most episodes have captivating premises and satisfying twists to hold you over. If you’re looking for a crime series with intelligent characters and a variety of mysteries, check out Detective Conan.

So there we have it, our 10 anime/TV show alternatives to watch when you’ve caught up with Death Note!

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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