5 anime to watch if you like Death Note

Savannah Howard
Light and Shinigami Ryuk in Death Note

From supernatural thrillers to historical gore fests, here are five anime to watch for fans of Death Note.

Death Note, based on the 2003-2006 Japanese manga series by Tsugumi Ohba, took the world by storm almost two decades ago when it first graced our screens.

With its epic battle of wits between Light and L, dark undertones, and thought-provoking commentary on society, it’s no wonder that Death Note is often hailed as one of the greatest anime of all time.

However, the highs, lows and nail-biting suspense provided by Death Note can only be experienced once. So, if you’re seeking something to satisfy the hole the iconic series left, here are five fantastic anime to delve into.

5 anime to watch if you like Death Note


Nina Fortner, a character in Monster.

Our list kicks off with the timeless classic Monster, an award-winning anime adaptation of Naoki Urasawa’s manga, which aired in Japan between 2004 and 2005.

Set in Central Europe, its captivating narrative seamlessly weaves the rich tapestry of European history and culture into a psychological thriller that grapples with one of philosophy’s oldest questions: is all human life truly equal?

The series begins by introducing us to elite neurosurgeon Dr. Kenzo Tenma, whose life takes a dramatic turn after he rescues the life of a young boy. Years later, the doctor’s past comes back to haunt him when he comes face to face with the monster he operated on and vows to fix the mistake he made.

Parasyte: The Maxim

Izumi Shinichi in Parasyte: The Maxim

Based on Hitoshi Iwaaki’s science-fiction horror manga, Parasyte: The Maxim is regarded as one of the standout series of the 21st century. It tells the story of Shinichi Izumi, who becomes a host to an intelligent parasite named Migi.

As they navigate their shared existence, the series explores profound questions about human nature, survival, and moral choices. Though different in premise, it shares a common appeal with Death Note in its examination of complex relationships between protagonists and seemingly parasitic entities.

Regarded as one of the stand-out anime of the 21st century, Parasyte: The Maxim is a must-watch for fans everywhere and is currently streaming on Netflix.

Death Parade

Death parade

Dark and thought-provoking, Death Parade is a 2015 anime created by Yuzuru Tachikawa, based on the 2013 short film Death Billiards. With just 12 episodes, it’s ideal for those seeking a series to scratch their Death Note itch. So let’s take a closer look…

In the world of Death Parade, most people head to either heaven or hell after they die. However, a select few end up at the mysterious bar, Quindecim. Here, they encounter a unique proposition: if they win a game, they’ll win the chance of another life via reincarnation. But if they lose, they’ll simply cease to exist.

Just like Death Note, it delves deep into questions about human nature and morality and lingers with you long after the final episode has ended. Which is why this series could be the perfect choice to scratch your itch for a new psychological thriller.


The cast of Psycho-Pass

This cyberpunk anime made a significant impact in 2012, earning a nomination for the Seiun Award and a place on Crunchyroll‘s Top 100 Anime of the Decade list. It’s perfect for fans of Death Note who crave suspense with mind-bending plot twists.

Set in the 22nd century, Psycho-Pass explores a world where law enforcement focuses on preventing crimes rather than solving them. However, despite the concept’s good intentions, things take an unexpected turn with disastrous consequences – much like Light Yagami’s use of Shinigami Ryuk’s death note.


Sunako Kirishiki from the cast of Shiki

Finally on our list is the lesser-known anime Shiki. Adapted from Ryu Fujisaki’s manga, Shiki is a supernatural vampire thriller that provides a perfect entry point into the horror genre. If you enjoyed Death Note but aren’t sure if you want to branch into the horror genre, this anime could be the perfect one for you.

This timeless classic explores a clash of philosophical ideologies in a universe that mirrors the real world and challenges the moral compass of the viewer – much like Death Note.

The series unfolds in the remote town of Sotoba, Japan, where several mysterious deaths coincide with the arrival of the Kirishiki family. Hospital dean Toshio Ozaki begins an investigation that unveils the existence of a family of vampires known as shiki or corpse demons.

While it lacks Death Note’s prolific mind games, Shiki delivers a chilling experience with its graphic scenes and an easy-to-follow storyline that will captivate fans.

And that concludes our list of five anime series to dive into after Death Note. While the 2006 anime remains a cultural phenomenon (and arguably the best anime of all time), these series offer captivating stories, thought-provoking themes and enough terrifying twists to keep you entertained for months.

How to watch Crunchyroll from outside your location in 2023

Crunchyroll is the world’s best hub for streaming anime, whether it’s One PieceAttack on Titan, or Jujutsu Kaisen – and thanks to ExpressVPN, you can access the platform’s full library even if you’re outside the US.

If you’re abroad, here’s what you need to do to access Crunchyroll’s full selection – and it really is this simple:

  1. Sign up for ExpressVPN, which has ultra-fast servers and offers a secure, private connection wherever you are in the world
  2.  Connect to a location anywhere in the US; Express VPN allows you to choose from 24 different spots, from New Jersey to Santa Monica
  3.  Visit Crunchyroll online and start streaming all of your favorite animes – and perhaps some you’ve never watched

Accessing Crunchyroll’s US roster makes a difference; for example, Hong Kong users only have access to less than 100 titles, while the US has nearly 1,000 movies and TV shows.

You can also stream anime on Crunchyroll for free with an ad-supported plan, or you can pay for a subscription – there’s even a 14-day free trial if you can’t quite make up your mind.

You can check out our other anime coverage below:

10 best horror anime series to watch this Halloween | Highspeed Etoile: Everything we know so far | Top 5 mangas getting anime adaptations in 2024 | One Punch Man Season 3: Everything we know | Dragon Ball Daima: Everything we know

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