How Many Episodes of Death Note: A Comprehensive Guide

I. Introduction

Death Note is widely considered to be one of the greatest anime series of all time, known for its intricate plot, complex characters, and suspenseful storytelling. However, with different versions of the series and conflicting information online, it can be tough to know just how many episodes of Death Note there actually are. In this article, we’ll break down the complete episode guide, analyze the top 10 most exciting and memorable episodes, provide character analysis, and explore alternative anime series for fans of Death Note.

II. Episode Guide

Death Note is a psychological thriller anime series that follows Light Yagami, a high school student who finds a mysterious notebook that can kill anyone whose name is written in it, as he becomes a vigilante determined to rid the world of criminals. The series is split into two arcs: The first 20 episodes focus on Light’s battle of wits against the enigmatic detective known as “L,” while the second half deals with the introduction of a new antagonistic force known as Near and his team.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to every episode of Death Note:

Arc 1: Episodes 1-20

Episode 1: “Rebirth”

Episode 2: “Confrontation”

Episode 3: “Dealings”

Episode 4: “Pursuit”

Episode 5: “Tactics”

Episode 6: “Unraveling”

Episode 7: “Overcast”

Episode 8: “Glare”

Episode 9: “Contact”

Episode 10: “Doubt”

Episode 11: “Assault”

Episode 12: “Love”

Episode 13: “Confession”

Episode 14: “Friend”

Episode 15: “Wager”

Episode 16: “Decision”

Episode 17: “Execution”

Episode 18: “Ally”

Episode 19: “Matsuda”

Episode 20: “Makeshift”

Arc 2: Episodes 21-37

Episode 21: “Performance”

Episode 22: “Guidance”

Episode 23: “Frenzy”

Episode 24: “Revival”

Episode 25: “Silence”

Episode 26: “Renewal”

Episode 27: “Abduction”

Episode 28: “Impatience”

Episode 29: “Father”

Episode 30: “Justice”

Episode 31: “Transfer”

Episode 32: “Selection”

Episode 33: “Scorn”

Episode 34: “Vigilance”

Episode 35: “Malice”

Episode 36: “1.28”

Episode 37: “New World”

In each episode of Death Note, viewers are treated to a compelling and suspenseful narrative, with plenty of twists, turns, and intense moments that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

III. Top 10 Episodes

While every episode of Death Note is worth watching, there are some that stand out due to their thrilling storytelling, complex characters, and shocking moments. Here are our picks for the top 10 episodes of Death Note:

10. “Makeshift” (Episode 20)

Light makes a risky move to escape suspicion, but it may come at a high cost.

9. “Frenzy” (Episode 23)

The investigation into Kira heats up as the task force works to uncover his identity.

8. “Execution” (Episode 17)

The stakes get higher as L puts a plan into motion to capture Kira.

7. “Malice” (Episode 35)

A tense showdown between Light and Near brings the series to a thrilling finale.

6. “Silence” (Episode 25)

As the investigation closes in on Light, tensions rise and things start to fall apart.

5. “Revival” (Episode 24)

Light and L engage in a psychological battle of wits that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

4. “New World” (Episode 37)

The conclusion to the series is a masterful blend of action and drama, with plenty of twists and surprises to keep fans guessing.

3. “Performance” (Episode 21)

Kira becomes even more bold and ruthless, putting everyone in danger.

2. “Renewal” (Episode 26)

The investigation gets personal as Light tries to outwit L.

1. “Tactics” (Episode 5)

This early episode sets the tone for the rest of the series, with an intense chess-like battle between Light and L that will hook you from the start.

These 10 episodes represent the best of what Death Note has to offer, with thrilling moments, shocking twists, and complex character development that will keep you invested from start to finish.

IV. Character Analysis Through Episodes

One of the main strengths of Death Note is its well-developed and complex characters, each with their own motivations, personalities, and relationships that drive the plot forward. Here’s a breakdown of the main characters and their arcs throughout the series:

Light Yagami

The protagonist and main antagonist of the series, Light is a high school student who finds the Death Note and becomes Kira, a vigilante determined to rid the world of criminals. Over the course of the series, he becomes more cold and calculating, willing to do whatever it takes to maintain his power and outsmart those who are trying to catch him.

Key episodes: Episodes 1, 7, 12, 25, 37


The enigmatic detective tasked with figuring out who Kira is, L is a quirky and eccentric genius who is always one step ahead of his opponents. He forms an unusual bond with Light, leading to some of the series’ most compelling moments.

Key episodes: Episodes 2, 8, 18, 25, 37

Misa Amane

A model and actress who uses the Death Note to gain power and fame, Misa becomes entangled with Light and the investigation into Kira. While she initially seems like a shallow and vapid character, she proves to be more complex than meets the eye.

Key episodes: Episodes 15, 18, 21, 25


The leader of the SPK, an organization trying to catch Kira, Near is introduced in the second half of the series as a worthy adversary to Light. He is a calm and analytical strategist who is constantly working to uncover the truth.

Key episodes: Episodes 28, 32, 35, 37

Through these key episodes and more, Death Note delivers nuanced and memorable character development that will keep you engaged in these characters’ journeys from start to finish.

V. Highlights and Lowlights

While Death Note is widely regarded as a masterpiece, there are some episodes that stand out as being particularly good or particularly bad. Here are some of the highlights and lowlights of the series:


“Tactics” (Episode 5) – This episode is a masterclass in suspenseful storytelling.

“Renewal” (Episode 26) – The cat-and-mouse game between Light and L reaches new heights in this episode.

“New World” (Episode 37) – A satisfying and thrilling conclusion to the series.


“Love” (Episode 12) – A filler episode that doesn’t do much to advance the plot.

“Malice” (Episode 35) – While it’s a great episode overall, some fans were disappointed with the ending.

Overall, however, Death Note delivers a consistently thrilling and engaging experience, with very few episodes that feel like filler or wasted time.

VI. Episode Retrospective

For fans who want an even deeper dive into the world of Death Note, there’s the episode commentary series, which provides behind-the-scenes details, analysis, and commentary on each episode of the series. Here are some key moments and insights from the commentary:

Episode 1: “Rebirth”

The creators wanted to start the series off with a bang, and set the tone for what was to come with this intense and suspenseful opening episode.

Episode 8: “Glare”

The rain and overall atmosphere of this episode were meant to convey a sense of unease and tension, as L and Light both realize just how important this case is.

Episode 24: “Revival”

This episode was a turning point for both Light and L, as they both came to realize just how far the other was willing to go to win.

These commentaries provide a unique and fascinating look at the creation of the series, as well as new insights into what makes Death Note so compelling.

VII. Alternatives to Death Note

For fans who have already seen all of Death Note and are looking for similar anime series to explore, here are some recommendations:

Code Geass

Set in an alternate universe where the Holy Britannian Empire has taken over most of the world, Code Geass follows the journey of Lelouch, a former prince who becomes a revolutionary leader fighting against Britannia. Like Death Note, the series involves strategic battles and a protagonist who is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals.

Recommended episodes: Episodes 1-10, 21-25


Set in a dystopian future where people’s mental states are constantly monitored and analyzed, Psycho-Pass follows Akane Tsunemori, a police officer tasked with keeping the peace. The series explores themes of morality and the nature of justice, as well as featuring intense action and suspenseful storytelling.

Recommended episodes: Episodes 1-10, 20-22


Following a Japanese brain surgeon living in Germany, Monster revolves around the doctor’s hunt for a young boy who may or may not be a serial killer. Like Death Note, the series is filled with suspense and psychological drama, as well as complex characters who are not always what they seem.

Recommended episodes: Episodes 1-4, 10-15, 45-50

These series offer similar themes and storytelling techniques as Death Note, while still providing enough unique elements to stand on their own.

VIII. Conclusion

With its complex characters, intense suspense, and thrilling storyline, Death Note is a true masterpiece of the anime medium. Whether you’re a long-time fan or just discovering the series for the first time, this comprehensive guide should help you navigate all 37 episodes and gain a deeper appreciation for what makes it such a beloved work of art.

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