Anime like Naruto and Death Note have carved out a place in the mainstream media of the Western world. Fans of Death Note had a complex encounter with the two main characters, Light Yagami and L. It crafted a story that captivated both new and experienced anime viewers. The series also demonstrated maturity, as the events of the show called into question various ‘normal’ ethics and raised pertinent moral and philosophical issues.
With so much to unpack from the show, fans were left with a sense of dread when the series ended. It gave people a desire for anime shows that kept them on their toes and made them question life itself. Fortunately, while there will never be another Death Note, there are a few shows that maintain a high level of visuals and storytelling.
Death Note is both an excellent entry-level anime and a largely unique experience. The anime is thrilling, ridiculous, well-written, iconic, and endearingly cheesy all at the same time. Death Note is a rare anime, but there are a number of series with similar tones, pacing, or plot ideas. Psychological thrillers can take many forms, and this is the best place to start if you want to find experiences similar to Madhouse’s classic series. So here are 10 Anime You Should Watch If You Like Death Note!
Anime Like Death Note
Justice and its administration have evolved. Japan enforces the Sibyl System in the 22nd century, an objective method of determining each citizen’s threat level by examining their mental state for signs of criminal intent, known as their Psycho-Pass. Inspectors uphold the law by subjugating, often with lethal force, anyone harboring the slightest ill-will; alongside them are Enforcers, jaded Inspectors who have turned into latent criminals and have been granted relative freedom in exchange for carrying out the Inspectors’ dirty work.
Akane Tsunemori, a young woman with a genuine desire to uphold justice, enters this world. However, as she works alongside veteran Enforcer Shinya Kougami, she quickly discovers that the Sibyl System’s judgments are not as perfect as her colleagues believe. With everything she’s ever known turned upside down, Akane questions what justice truly is and whether it can be upheld through the use of a corrupt system.
9. Parasyte: The Maxim
They appeared out of nowhere: parasitic aliens who descended on Earth and quickly infiltrated humanity by burrowing into vulnerable targets’ brains. In order to feed on unsuspecting prey, these insatiable beings gain complete control of their host and can morph into a variety of forms.
Shinichi Izumi, a sixteen-year-old high school student, becomes infected with one of these parasites, but it does not take over his brain, instead landing in his right hand. Because it is unable to relocate, the parasite, now known as Migi, must rely on Shinichi to survive. As a result, the pair is forced to coexist in an uneasy manner and must defend themselves from hostile parasites hoping to eradicate this new threat to their species.
8. Ergo Proxy
One of the last human civilizations on Earth can be found within the domed city of Romdo. A global ecological disaster doomed the planet thousands of years ago; now, life outside these domes is nearly impossible. To help humanity recover faster, “AutoReivs,” humanoid-like robots, have been created to assist people in their daily lives. AutoReivs, on the other hand, have begun to contract an enigmatic disease known as the “Cogito Virus,” which grants them self-awareness. Re-l Mayer, the granddaughter of Romdo’s ruler, is tasked with investigating this occurrence with her AutoReiv partner, Iggy. But what starts out as a routine investigation quickly turns into a conspiracy as Re-l confronts humanity’s darkest sins.
In Romdo, an AutoReiv specialist named Vincent Law must confront his demons when strange events begin to occur around him. Re-l, Iggy, Vincent, and a young AutoReiv named Pino will form an unlikely alliance as they try to solve Romdo’s mysteries and learn the true purpose of the mythical beings known as “Proxies.”
7. Death Parade
Most people will either go to Heaven or Hell after they die. Death, however, brings a select few to Quindecim—a bar where only pairs of people who die at the same time can enter. Decim, an enigmatic figure who also serves as the arbiter, is present at the bar. He judges those who end up at Quindecim by challenging them to a life-or-death game. These games determine whether or not the patron’s soul will be reincarnated into a new life or be sent into the void, never to be seen again.
From darts and bowling to fighting games, each patron’s true nature slowly emerges as they wager their souls. Though his methods remain unchanged, the sudden appearance of a black-haired amnesiac causes Decim to reevaluate his own rulings.
6. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
In the not-too-distant future, humanity will have advanced to the point where complete body transplants from flesh to machine will be possible. This allows for significant gains in both physical and cybernetic prowess, blurring the distinction between the two worlds. However, criminals can fully exploit such technology, leading to new and sometimes extremely dangerous crimes. In response to such innovative new methods, the Japanese government established Section 9, a self-contained police unit that deals with such sensitive crimes.
Section 9, led by Daisuke Aramaki and Motoko Kusanagi, deals with such crimes across the entire social spectrum, with varying degrees of success. When confronted with a new A-level hacker dubbed “The Laughing Man,” the team is forced to play a dangerous cat-and-mouse game, following the hacker’s trail as it leaves its mark on Japan.
5. The Future Diary
Yukiteru Amano is a shy middle schooler who keeps a digital diary of his daily activities by writing down everything he does on his phone. Despite the fact that he has no classmates, Yukiteru is frequently seen conversing with his ostensibly imaginary friends Deus Ex Machina, the god of time and space, and Deus’ servant, Mur Mur.
Yukiteru awakens one day to find that certain events from his day have been preemptively displayed on his cell phone. While he initially dismisses it as a coincidence, he gradually realizes that the incidents recorded on his phone actually occur in the near future. Yukiteru discovers that his classmate Yuno Gasai has a similar diary after spending the day utilizing this new asset.
As the two work together to defeat an unusual pursuer and return to their respective homes, Deus Ex Machina explains that they, along with ten other contestants, have been drawn into a survival game, the winner of which will become the deity’s successor. With no other choice, Yukiteru and Yuno must rely on their cellphones, now dubbed “Future Diaries,” to survive this merciless battle royale.
4. Terror in Resonance
The word “VON” in red is all that remains after a terrorist attack on a nuclear facility in Japan. The government is shattered by its inability to act, and the police are frantically looking for ways to punish the perpetrators. The general public is unaware—until a strange video appears on the internet six months later. In it, two teenage boys known only as “Sphinx” confront the police, threatening to cause destruction and mayhem throughout Tokyo. The police struggle to act effectively against these terrorists, unable to stop the widespread panic that is spreading throughout the city and desperate for any leads in their investigation, with Detective Kenjirou Shibazaki, caught in the middle of it all.
Terror in Resonance tells the story of Nine and Twelve, the two boys behind the masked figures of the Sphinx. They should not exist, yet they stand strong in a world of deception and secrets while they make the city fall around them, all in the hopes of burying their own tragic truth.
Dr. Kenzou Tenma, an elite neurosurgeon who recently married the daughter of his hospital’s director, is well on his way up the hospital’s hierarchy. That is, until one night when a seemingly insignificant event alters Dr. Tenma’s life forever. He receives a call from the hospital director telling him to switch patients and instead perform life-saving brain surgery on a famous performer while preparing to perform surgery on someone. His colleagues, fiancée, and the hospital director applaud his achievement; however, as a result of the switch, a poor immigrant worker dies, causing Dr. Tenma to have a moral crisis.
When a similar situation arises, Dr. Tenma stands firm and chooses to operate on the young boy Johan Liebert rather than the town’s mayor. Unfortunately, Dr. Tenma’s decision has serious consequences, including the loss of his social standing. Dr. Tenma’s position is restored following the mysterious death of the director and two other doctors. He is released because there is no evidence to convict him, and he goes on to become the hospital director.
When Dr. Tenma saves the life of a criminal nine years later, his past returns to haunt him—once again, he is confronted with the monster he operated on. He must now embark on a pursuit to atone for the devastation caused by the one he saved.
2. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
The Holy Empire of Britannia is establishing itself as a dominant military nation in 2010, beginning with the conquest of Japan. After being renamed Area 11 following its swift defeat, Japan has seen significant resistance against these tyrants in an attempt to regain independence.
Lelouch Lamperouge, a Britannian student, is caught in the crossfire between the Britannian and Area 11 rebel armed forces. He escapes, however, thanks to the timely appearance of a mysterious girl named C.C., who bestows Geass, the “Power of Kings,” on him. Realizing the vast potential of his newfound “power of absolute obedience,” Lelouch embarks upon a perilous journey as the masked vigilante known as Zero, leading a merciless onslaught against Britannia in order to get revenge once and for all.
Rintarou Okabe, an eccentric scientist, has a never-ending thirst for scientific discovery. Rintarou establishes the Future Gadget Laboratory with his ditzy but well-meaning friend Mayuri Shiina and his roommate Itaru Hashida in the hopes of creating technological innovations that perplex the human psyche. Despite their lofty claims, the trio’s only notable “gadget” is a microwave with the mysterious ability to turn bananas into green goo.
However, when Rintarou decides to attend neuroscientist Kurisu Makise’s time travel conference, he encounters a series of strange events that lead him to believe that the “Phone Microwave” gadget is more than meets the eye. Rintarou, who appears to be able to send text messages into the past using the microwave, experiments with the “time machine,” attracting the ire and attention of the mysterious organization SERN.
Due to the novel discovery, Rintarou and his friends find themselves in ever-present danger. As he works to mitigate the damage his invention has caused to the timeline, he is not only fighting a battle to save his loved ones, but also one against his degrading sanity.
That was it for the list, let us know what’s your favorite anime on this list in the comments below!
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