10 Best Death Note Episodes, Ranked (2023)

Based on a manga series by Tsugumi Ohba, Death Note is a remarkable story that features one of the most complex characters in anime history, Light Yagami. The complex story of Ohba's series forces you to think about ethics and morals, and makes you wonder if anyone could really create an ideal world without taking innocent lives.

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The anime community loves the series for its mind-blowing twists and the legendary rivalry between Light and his nemesis L. Studio Madhouse closed Death Note in 2007 after delivering us a masterful 37 episodes. Since then, various production companies have attempted to capitalize on the show's popularity through live-action adaptations. The Duffer brothers, creators of Stranger Things, recently announced that they were bringing another oneDeath Note Live-Action-Seriefor Netflix. So while you wait for the new adaptation, here is a list of the best Death Note episodes that you must revisit to experience the brilliance of this anime classic.

1010. Goodbye (E9)

10 Best Death Note Episodes, Ranked (1)

"Encounter" holds a special place in the hearts of fans because it was the episode where L met Light Yagami for the first time. At first everyone thought that L enrolled in college just to see Light from afar. However, L decides to take an unexpected turn by revealing his identity to Light.

L was aware of the fact that if Light were Kira, he wouldn't risk killing the best detective in the world right after they met. However, that doesn't change the fact that it was an incredibly brave move by L. Watching Kira and L, opposite sides of the same coin, sit together and predict each other's next move had everyone on edge.

99. Attack (E11)

10 Best Death Note Episodes, Ranked (2)

In this episode we see an alleged tape of Kira being broadcast on national television. In the scrambled audio, Kira says he's going to kill some prominent TV personalities with a history of scandals. When various hosts and TV personalities drop dead on live television, the task force's Hirokazu Ukita goes to Sakura TV's headquarters to stop the broadcast. However, Ukita is killed along with several other officers before they can enter the building.

(Video) Top 10 Death Note Episodes

At this point we learn that it wasn't Light who killed all those people on Sakura TV; instead it was Misa Amane. Like Light, Misa possessed a Death Note and had another Shinigami by her side. Honestly, the introduction of the second Kira was a twist no one expected, and it made Assault one of the best Death Note episodes.

88. Chase (E4)

Light has always wanted to clean up the seedy world by getting rid of criminals, and Ryuk's Death Note allowed him to work on that dream. Light knew some people would object to his methods, but he never thought the FBI would come after him. Raye Penber, an FBI agent, begins stalking Light to confirm that the teen is really Kira. Light quickly realizes he is being watched, and instead of panicking or hiding, he uses the power of the Death Note to reveal the identity of this mysterious stalker.

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"Pursuit" is a pivotal episode in the Death Note series as it proves that Light really is the best (or worst) person to ever receive a Death Note. He can do anything to achieve his ideal world, even if it costs countless innocent lives.

77. Frenzy (E23)

10 Best Death Note Episodes, Ranked (4)

"Frenzy" was definitely one of the most exciting and action-packed episodes of the entire Death Note series. After failing to kill Matsuda, Higuchi makes a deal with Rem to get the Shinigami's eyes. L is also confident that Higuchi is the real Kira, and since Light has no recollection of being a selfish maniac with a god complex, he teams up with L to hunt down Higuchi.

(Video) Top 5 Smartest Death Note Moments

The existence of L and Light as the ultimate cerebral duo was the highlight of the episode, and it was truly mesmerizing to see the good and compassionate side of Light. In fact, the episode proves that Light isn't all that bad after all, and it's the power of the Death Note that has corrupted his mind.

66. Law (E15)

10 Best Death Note Episodes, Ranked (5)

Throughout the series, Light struggles to find out L's real name, and when Misa contacts L, Light sees this as the perfect opportunity to kill the detective. However, when Light calls Misa to ask L's name, he learns that the task force has arrested his girlfriend. Despite being captured, Misa chooses not to betray Light, showing that she is genuinely in love with Kira. Light, on the other hand, sees Misa as nothing more than a tool to defeat L.

Light accepts his downfall for a while, but eventually devises a strategy to save Misa and kill L. Honestly, Light pulling himself together and turning a crisis into an opportunity makes "Wager" one of Death Note's most emotional episodes.

55. Cloudy (E7)

10 Best Death Note Episodes, Ranked (6)

"Overcast" features the final confrontation between Light and Naomi Misora, Raye Penber's fiancée. Every second of this masterful episode left us feeling edgy, with nothing more than a lengthy conversation between the two characters. After learning that Naomi is using an alias, Light convinces her to believe he works for the task force. Light promises Naomi that he will lead her to L, but only if he reveals his true identity.

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By this time, almost everyone has supported Naomi, but Raye's fiancé eventually falls victim to Light's communication skills and reveals her real name. Of course, Light wastes no time sending Naomi to her death.

44. 1.28 (E36)

10 Best Death Note Episodes, Ranked (7)

Near and Light's confrontation in the penultimate episodes was one of the most intenseiconic moments from the series. On the one hand we have Light waiting for his admirer Mikami to write the names of all SPK members in the notebook. However, Near is confident that the Death Note used by Mikami is nothing more than a fake.

Light waits for everyone to die with a lopsided smile, leaving fans wondering who will make it out alive. Near thinks Mikami will write down everyone's name except for his teacher, Light. But obviously it doesn't matter if everyone in the SPK is dead. Things get even more tense when the episode ends with Light declaring himself the winner and confirming to everyone that he is in fact the god of the new world.

33. Comparison (E2)

10 Best Death Note Episodes, Ranked (8)

"Confrontation" is a notable installment in the Death Note series simply for the introduction of L. The world's top detective manipulates Light to kill a criminal on a live broadcast. After this, L immediately deduces that Kira is operating in Japan, which of course brings Light back to Earth.

(Video) IQ Level of Death Note Characters

L broadcasts the event in the Kanto region of Japan and narrows his search for Kira. Light realizes he has an opponent to match his intellect, and the two characters consider themselves the epitome of "justice". The episode is a treat for all fans because it starts the best rivalry we've seen in anime history.

22. Revival (E25)

10 Best Death Note Episodes, Ranked (9)

After Light relinquishes possession of the Death Note, the series introduces the protagonist's pleasant side. Light, who has no memory of being Kira, works with L to defeat Higuchi. However, when Light plays the Death Note, fans witness Kira's grand return.

Although the task force learns of the notebook's existence, everything goes according to Light's plan. He proves his innocence to L by capturing Higuchi and winning Misa Amani's freedom. We see Light go from a pure hearted guy to a ruthless killer in a matter of seconds, and that single moment makes "Revival" one of the show's best episodes.

11. Quiet (E25)

10 Best Death Note Episodes, Ranked (10)

"Silence" marked the end of Death Note for most fans as it marks the death of the series' most popular character, L. As planned by Kira, Misa's Shinigami, Rem, sacrifices her life to kill Watari and L. Watching L fall out of his chair was possibly one of the most heartbreaking things we've ever seen on TV. Light holds L in his arms and gives him a mischievous smile to confirm L that it's really Kira.

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Fans couldn't believe that the series' most beloved protagonist actually died at the hands of Kira. The episode proves that Tsugumi Ohba didn't care about fanservice. No matter how many fans wanted L to win the fight, the mangaka decided to use the detective's death as a means to complete Light's transformation into a villain.

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