6 Anime Like Death Note [Updated Recommendations]

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Nothing feels more satisfying than taking out your favorite notebook and jotting down your daily schedule, or coming up with a great idea for your next novel. That gratification you get once it's all completed feels a lot like overcoming one major obstacle. What if however, all of a sudden those ideas you started to write down all became a reality? What if you had all of that control over the world around you just by picking up your pencil and writing down a few words? This brings us to the spectacular world that is Death Note. This psychological thriller is packed full of twists and turns that will have you scratching your head. The suspense paired with wonderful character design give Death Note provide an incredible experience that carries you along the way.

We also loved the fact that you could never tell what Light would do next, leaving doors either wide open, or completely shut for us to guess. The scope of the story captivates you to watch more and so we thought we'd list another six anime that provide that same experience. This is our updated version of the original six anime like Death Note, so if you'd like to see our previous listing, be sure to check it out below. So with all that being said, let us grab our notebooks and write down Honey's Anime's best six.

Similar Anime to Death Note

1. Joker Game

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 5, 2016 to June 21, 2016

Light was a character who was extremely intelligent with his plans, and used magnificent manipulation tactics in order to get his way. Light’s sadistic yet extremely crafty schemes would always give him the advantage in the chase, leading his foes in all different directions. Joker Game provides that same depth in its story where it leads you in a variety of different directions, leaving you pondering what could happen next. It takes place in the era surrounding World War II, where eight agents have been assigned to infiltrate and observe some of the world's most powerful nations, and report on any activities that are associated with the war. Each agent's supreme strength lies in their ability to manipulate people in order to obtain information that is necessary to get the upper hand.

Death Note and Joker Game share very similar plots where the main goal is to lead your enemy so far away from the truth as much as possible, that it leads them into various dead ends. Light is very manipulative in his actions, ensuring that he leaves no trace of evidence behind. The same can be said for Colonel Yuuki's team of skilled agents where they go in empty handed, but come out with a handful of pivotal information that tips the scale dramatically.

Joker Game PV


2. Zankyou no Terror [Terror in Resonance]

  • Episodes: 11
  • Aired: July 11, 2014 - September 26, 2014

Zankyou no Terror tells a story of two boys who plan to steal extremely potent plutonium from a nuclear plant in Japan. This leads to the two plotting dangerous schemes to terrorize the city of Tokyo, which end up putting thousands of innocent lives in danger. We learn throughout the story that Nine and Twelve were used as pawns in an experiment conducted on young children. This had a long lasting effect on the boys which compelled them to retaliate by planting bombs, and destroying buildings. They also use videos as a way to taunt and threaten police who are trying to uncover the truth behind it all. All of these lead to the police using specific clues in order to solve the puzzles that these two boys have created.

As you've just read this story shares a twisted plot that leads the investigator in every single direction, much like Light did. The two boys were very crafty in their plans, using swift judgment and thinking two steps ahead of their opponent to create traps. This led to a number of deadly scenarios where many lives were taken due to their sadistic tactics which only added more terror to the people of the city. Light was very calm and stoic in his approach which made it very difficult to track him down, since he never panicked under severe pressure by the police. Similarly, the two boys made it quite clear that they didn't fear anyone who stood in their way, mocking them at every opportunity and laughing while doing so.

Zankyou no Terror [Terror in Resonance]


3. Shiki

  • Episodes: 22
  • Aired: July 9, 2010 to December 31, 2010

There's something truly mysterious taking place in the small town of Sotoba, as a young woman named Megumi was found lifeless due to what police presumed to be disease, which sparked a deadly epidemic and spread like wildfire. Doctor Toshio Ozaki comes to his own conclusion that there's more to this epidemic than it seems, and so he decides to abandon his work to find out more. Meanwhile, Megumi's friend Yuuki receives the tragic news of Megumi's death and must come to terms with the reality of the situation. Both Toshio and Yuuki must work together to unravel the truth behind the spooky town and put a close to the mysterious deaths that are plaguing Sotoba.

From the very start you're invited into a town that, by first impression, seems to be like your ordinary country side. What we don't realize is that there's a lot of deception happening right in front of our very own eyes. The Kirishiki family are extremely tight lipped about their agenda and keep us guessing about their motive. The way they plan out their killings are extremely clever, since they leave everything unblemished after doing it. The evidence is wiped clean leaving Toshio with no direction to choose. Light was the same in that he carried his Death Note around, so it was extremely difficult to point a finger when there were no fingerprints to point at. Both anime at first give the impression that the enemies are in fact the victims, but in the end we find out how that all changes instantly.

Shiki Trailer


Any Anime Like Death Note?

4. Hellsing

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: October 11, 2001 - January 17, 2002

Hellsing revolves around Alucard and an organization who are dedicated to destroying supernatural creatures who threaten the existence of humanity. At the head of the pack is Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, who leads her own military while devoting her time to fighting the deadly creatures that lurk in the dark. Alucard serves as the organization's greatest asset as he is the most powerful vampire to ever set foot in the organization, along with his vampire assistant Seras. The objective that everyone must accomplish is to ensure that no one stands in the way of Hellsing despite being good or evil.

Alucard is just an all around terror as he inflicts pain on his enemies using various methods of mind games, in order to get his way. Alucard is ruthless in his actions, taking no prisoners and showing no mercy for anyone that stands in his way. Both Light and Alucard at first seem like heroes at first glance, since the two seem to be fighting for justice and saving mankind from evil. However what we don't see is that these two are extremely persuasive in their movement, making sure that every mind is controlled, and ensuring that no one can find any traces that lead to them. They both also have to serve allegiance to someone higher than them, with Light having being observed by Ryuk, and Alucard by Integra. Despite that small setback, they both build an incredible story that will always have you on the edge of your seat.


5. Umineko no Naku Koro ni [Umineko: When They Cry]

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: July 2, 2009 - December 24, 2009

Umineko no Naku Koro ni tells the story of the Ushiromiya family, who every year, gather on the island of Rokkenjima to look over financial matters regarding their inheritance. Problems arise however, when the head of the family Kinzo, confesses that his life is fading and that his wish is to be with his true love Beatrice, who is the golden witch. Kinzo has had a fascination for the dark arts for years and insists that the family conduct a ritual to revive Beatrice. Things turn ugly fast when suddenly, a typhoon hits the very island they're on, trapping all of them without much assistance to rescue them. Mysterious murders begin to pop up and so now the family must fight for their lives.

Umineko uses the form of witch craft to perform mind manipulation, inflicting pain and suffering onto others. Psychological witchcraft is used frequently to commit murders throughout the series, leaving you wondering who will be next. Death Note is very much the same where unexpected events occur at every turn, leaving you with clues that either lead you somewhere or end up getting you killed. Both main characters use abilities that stretch far beyond the human capability, adding more elements to the story giving us a challenge to work with.

Umineko no Naku Koro ni [When They Cry] Trailer


6. No Game No Life

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 9, 2014 - June 25, 2014

No Game No Life stars two NEET siblings who find themselves plunged into a video game realm, who then come face to face with Tet, the god of games. Prior to this encounter, the two had formed a strong partnership and used the name “Kuuhaku” to defeat their opponents online. It was at that moment they received an email from an unknown source, challenging them to a chess match. From there, their lives evolved into something unimaginable. Tet welcomes the two to Disboard, a world where disputes are not solved by wars and trivial quarrels, but rather high stake games. Their new goal now is to unite all of the gamers in Disboard, defeat Tet, and become the new reigning champions of the gaming world.

The whole premise around Death Note was that Light created a game with the world around him, to the point that it was hard to stop playing. He became addicted to the sensation of having absolute control, overpowering his enemies with his supreme logic and reasoning, while leaving us in wonderment every time. Sora plays a similar role in No Game No Life, where he has to get himself out of the game he became addicted to, and must use sound judgment along with manipulation to get what he wants. Both revolve around the gamble of life and death, rolling the imaginary dice to see where it lands in order to know the final verdict.

No Game No Life Trailer


Final Thoughts

Mystery anime always provide a wonderful game that the viewer can participate in, because there's so much depth to it. You're often led in various directions that can either lead you closer to the end, or have you starting back from the beginning. Death Note is a fantastic anime that give us all different pieces of the puzzle, and we just need to somehow fit them all together to reveal everything. Our list was a tough one to choose, but if you have any other anime that you feel should make the list, be sure to let us know in the comments section down below! And also follow us on twitter for the latest article updates and tweets!

As always for all of your sweet anime needs, keep it locked here on Honey's Anime.

Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

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Original Article Below

These types of articles usually focus on similar animes based on genre, supernatural abilities, or characters who start out “pure” and become corrupted by power.

Instead, We want to focus your attention on anime that have central characters which are essentially villains or anti-heroes. For some, it's due to their nature, and for others, it's their lack of a moral compass.

But whatever the reason, like Light, these characters are magnetic. Their unpredictable narratives are strikingly memorable and entertaining.
So, let's get started.

Similar Anime to Death Note

1. Golgo 13

  • Episodes: 50
  • Aired: Apr. 2008 - Mar. 2009

A hired assassin would seem like good choice for a villain, right? Well, in this anime, he is our protagonist.

He is a cold-blooded killer who takes on jobs from anyone willing to pay the right price. He is calculated, cool, always takes down his mark, and has no moral qualms about his line of work. He goes by many aliases, including Duke Tougou and Tougo Rodriguez. His moniker, Golgo 13, is derived from the Bible. It refers to the death of Jesus Christ.

The original manga was first released in 1968 and is still in publication today (as of Dec. 2014). He is definitely, not someone you would consider a hero.
Instead, Golgo is basically a "bad guy" who assassinates "worse guys".

* "The Professional: Golgo 13" is a movie which aired in 1983.


2. Hellsing Ultimate

  • Episodes: 10
  • Aired: Feb. 2006 - Dec. 2012

This OVA is an anime adaptation that is closer to the manga than previous versions. The central character's name is Alucard, or Dracula, spelled backwards. He's an immensely powerful vampire who works for the Hellsing Organization. He's their strongest agent, with the sole mission to destroy any and all supernatural threats to Great Britain.
He is an arrogant fiend who enjoys fighting and destroying his enemies. He ruthlessly attacks his victims through the use of supernatural abilities, which include: superhuman strength and speed, weather manipulation, telekinesis, mind control, shape-shifting, teleportation, and many others.
His only real allegiance is to his master, and head of the Hellsing Organization, Sir Integra Hellsing.

Hellsing Ultimate - IX & X - Coming Soon - Trailer


3. Bastard!!

  • Episodes: 6
  • Aired: Aug. 1992 - Jun. 1993

The story of Bastard!! takes place in a post-apocalyptic world ruled by magic and demons. In that world, Dark Schneider is the most powerful sorcerer. Schneider had been conquering kingdoms and destroying countries in hopes of eventually ruling the entire world. He and his four “Riders of Havoc” were close to realizing their goal when Dark Schneider was defeated by the Prince of Meta-Licana. Though greatly weakened, he was able to reincarnate himself into the form of a young child. However, the high priest of Meta-Licana sealed Schneider's powers within the boy in order to prevent him from ever returning to his true form.

The story takes place 15 years after that occurrence. He is released by the high priest when the Riders begin to break the seals that are keeping the evil god Anthrax in slumber. Dark Schneider’s power is needed to prevent his former comrades from completing their task. So, Schneider is once again released onto the world. Though the anime series is only 6 episodes, the manga is still in publication (as of Dec. 2014). The manga actually delves deeper in Dark Schneider’s past and reveals him to have a much darker nature than the anime is able to portray.


Any Animes Like Death Note ?

4. Terror in Resonance
[Japanese Name: Zankyou no Terror]

  • Episodes: 11
  • Aired: Jul. 2014 - Sep. 2014

The central story of this anime revolves around two teenage boys who steal plutonium from a nuclear power plant in Japan. They then begin enacting seemingly random acts of terrorism throughout Tokyo.
Early on in the storyline you learn that these two boys, named Nine and Twelve, were part of some kind of experiment done on young children. In the present, the boys continue to plant bombs and destroy buildings, all the while, releasing videos that taunt and challenge the various divisions of the police force who are investigating the incidents.
It’s up to the police to solve the riddles, search for clues, and figure out what the boys are after.

Terror in Resonance (JPN: Zankyou no Terror) Official PV


5. Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: Apr. 2009 - Sep. 2009

Ein. Zwei. The German numbers for one and two. They are also the names given to this anime’s two main characters. Ein is a young woman who is the #1 assassin for an organization called Inferno. Inferno’s goal is to create a new world that is not governed by laws. Instead, it would be controlled by a global mafia-type syndicate. Due to her superb killing abilities, she is given the title of the world’s best assassin, along with the nickname Phantom.

However, the anime begins with the introduction of Zwei. He is a male Japanese tourist who wakes up in a warehouse with no memory of who he is or how he got there. He is immediately attacked by Ein. His fighting and survival skills are tested to see if he is capable of becoming the next Phantom. He undergoes training and convinces himself that he must become a murderer in order to survive and figure out who he really is.

Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom Official PV


6. Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: Oct. 2004 - Mar. 2005

This anime is loosely based on Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo. However, the setting is very different and the story is told from the perspective of Albert Morcerf as opposed to the Count’s. Edmond Dantes was a sailor who was wrongfully imprisoned in the Chateau d’lf. While there, he met the Gankutsuou (King of the Cavern), a demon, who granted him the power to exact revenge on those who had him locked up. However, with this new power came a price. He allowed himself to be possessed by the demon and his body became crystalline.

The Count, himself, is a very mysterious character. Because you are given the narrative through Albert’s perspective, you don’t know the Count’s motives or what type of person he is. Sometimes he seems like an alien who tries to control people like puppets, and other times he is seen as a powerful ally.

The Count of Monte Cristo: Gankutsuou - 1 - At Journey's End, We Meet (Funimation Channel)



Javier Garcia

Writer

Author: Javier Garcia

Hey guys! I'm a huge fan of anime and video games. I used to be a competitive fighting game player (search my name in YouTube). So, I guess it was natural for me to make my way over here to Japan. I teach English, write anime articles, and put together videos when I have time. I hope you enjoy the content we've created for you here at Honey's Anime!

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