Death Note is a shonen crime thriller series unlike any other. Its combat system is based not on martial arts, swords, or ninjutsu, but on cunning intellect and the supernatural power of the Death Note itself. The story focuses mainly on antihero Light Yagami’s battle of wits against the super-detective L, and not just any anime character is up to this challenge.
The most successful Death Note characters are the smartest, most cunning, and most ruthless. They at least have skills pertaining to investigation and deception. A combat system like this one rewards anyone who can craftily crack a mystery or use the Death Note to get rich quickly. Plenty of shonen characters would thrive in that environment, either as a hero,villain, or something in between.
10 Loid Forger Could Help L Find The Third Kira (Spy X Family)
In the original story of Death Note, L hired two criminals known as Aiber and Wedy to help him investigate the Yotsuba corporation and uncover the greedy Kira who was operating there. Wedy was like James Bond, while Aiber was a tricky con man, able to pass himself off as absolutely anyone. Spy x Family’s superspy lead, Twilight/Loid Forger, is on the job. He can use his expert spy skills, including his use of convincing disguises, to cozy up to Yotsuba’s eight Kira suspects and get some much-needed intel out of them. And if things get dicey, Loid knows how to make a quick escape.
9 Ran Akagi Is A Clever Hacker (Tokyo 24th Ward)
Tokyo 24h Ward is a short but intriguing cyberpunk anime series where the three heroes need more than laser pistols or martial arts to save the day. An example is the red-headed hacker Ran Akagi, who learned much from his brilliant mentor known as 0th. Ran would do well in Death Note either as a wannabe Kira, Light’s newest minion, or even as an assistant to L, depending on who pays him the most and gives him the most intriguing challenges. Ran’s hacking skills would allow him to easily tip the scales for whichever side he joins, and he would wipe all his digital footprints. Neither L nor Kira will catch him.
maes hughes in uniform
Colonel Maes Hughes is not a state alchemist, so he wouldn’t lose much if he got reincarnated in the Death Note universe following his death at Envy’s hands. In fact, Maes Hughes truly shone as an investigator and researcher, not as a front-line soldier or martial artist. He’s a thinker. Even though Father the villain spent centuries crafting his plan and keeping society unaware of his presence, Maes Hughes still figured out his plan, and that is saying a lot. He could join L’s investigation team and help him figure out what Kira is up to, no alchemy required.
7 Professor Gaku Yoneda Can Calculate Anything (Platinum End)
Platinum End is the newest series by Death Note’s creators, and it has some loosely similar themes and storytelling conventions as well, such as the main characters having winged, supernatural allies who grant them special powers. The pacifist hero Mirai Kakehashi wouldn’t do well in Death Note, but Professor Yoneda might. Professor Gaku Yoneda is a brilliant and reclusive researcher who figured out all kinds of ways to use or exploit the angels’ powers, and he also has a strong background in science. He could definitely help L and Soichiro Yagami find any of the Kiras and figure out how their powers work.
6 Balalaika Would Become The Fourth Kira (Black Lagoon)
The crime thriller seinen anime Black Lagoon features more than a few rogues, outlaws, and criminals who would love to get their hands on a Death Note. Roanapur’s nastiest villains would use it to wipe out the leaders of rival gangs or smuggling rings, but one lady, in particular, would really make the most of it. Balalaika proved herself a cunning, resourceful, and insightful schemer who can always one-up her enemies, no matter how they try to take her down. In the Death Note universe, Balalaika would use her notebook to become Southeast Asia’s #1 crime boss, and L would have a tough time tracking her down.
5 Blank Would Play A Deadly Game (No Game No Life)
The foster brother/sister duo consider themselves a single entity when playing online games, calling themselves “blank,” represented by quotation marks with empty spaces in between. Apart, Sora and Shiro don’t do so well, but as a duo, they can beat anyone in any game. Battles of wits are their nature. Naturally, characters like Sora and Shiro are tailor-made for the Death Note universe, where schemes and investigations usually take the place of gun battles and martial arts. They would either get their own Death Note and slay their bitterest enemies, or just become investigators for hire who even L would consider recruiting.
4 Diavolo Would Become A Kingpin Kira (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)
Plenty of crime bosses in anime would do well in the Death Note world if they either obtained the Death Note or took a risk by forming an alliance with Kira in exchange for favors. Another example of that is the stylish mob overlord Diavolo, who is even more cautious than L himself. Diavolo would gladly get his hands on a Death Note and completely dominate Italy’s underworld with it, slaughtering his enemies and threatening everyone else with sudden heart attacks. Even Italian politicians, judges, and police leaders would feel the pressure before long.
3 Principal Nezu Is Going After Kira (My Hero Academia)
Principal Nezu is one of My Hero Academia’s smartest characters of all, and even if he didn’t sniff out the UA traitor, he still has what it takes to survive in Death Note. His Quirk is High Spec, granting him a formidable intellect that both Kira and L must respect. Principal Nezu, as an upstanding citizen, would refuse to aid Kira or use the Death Note for himself, even if he had the chance to write down Tomura Shigaraki’s name with it. Instead, he would join L’s anti-Kira investigation team and make some serious headway in finding the world’s worst serial killer.
2 Lelouch Lamperouge Could Support Either Kira Or L (Code Geass)
The infamous schemer Lelouch Lamperouge took on the entire Brittannia Empire and won, and he even gave up his own life to inspire the people of Japan/Area 11 for all time, creating an everlasting legacy. Lelouch certainly ranks among anime’s best masterminds and deception experts. Whether Lelouch takes Kira’s side or L’s side depends on his own needs, and it’s possible he might end up taking both sides, one after the other, to advance his own goals. Lelouch might end up playing both Kira and L to get what he wants, especially with his own Death Note to control/kill people.
1 Shikamaru Nara Has Already Caught Kira (Naruto)
It’s true that Shikamaru Nara the lazy genius would have little use for his shadow possession jutsu if he ended up in Death Note’s world, and he’d have to get used to computers and cars quickly. Other than that, though, he would do well in that universe as an independent investigator. Shikamaru would be like a more successful Naomi Misora, tracking down Light Yagami’s movements to figure out who exactly Kira is supposed to be. If he’s careful, Shikamaru could corner Light before long and stand back to let L deal the finishing blow with NPA support.