When you settle down to watch an anime with a title like Death Note, it's easy to predict that some pretty scary and gruesome scenes lie ahead. Indeed, Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata's supernatural crime thriller franchise boasts scenes of manipulation, insidious plots, death gods, serial killers in action, and most of all, grisly deaths of all sorts.
As with any anime franchise, Death Note moderates itself, and it has some rather ordinary scenes or even funny ones to balance out the dark and chilling ones. But when this anime is on full throttle, some truly frightening things will take place, and the depths of human cruelty will be put on full display. Between Death Note's anime and manga, which 10 scenes are the creepiest of all? If you haven't finished watching the series, watch out: the ending is spoiled ahead!
10 Higuchi and Misa in the car
A scene can be creepy in subtle ways, and when a memory-wiped Misa started getting closer to Kyosuke Higuchi to investigate him, we find out how vile this Yotsuba employee can be. No-one dies or gets hurt in scenes like this, but then again, Misa is casually sitting in a car with a heartless killer while it looks like a casual date.
Appearances can be very deceiving, and Misa is really putting herself in harm's way. Plus, it's a bit chilling how they both talk about killing people so casually and using the notebook. Higuchi is no ordinary corporate stooge!
9 Light's fake hug
In the grim world of Death Note, even an innocent hug is actually a monster in disguise! Misa tracks down Light's address and identity, and she invites herself into his home to meet her hero. She's distraught when Light is cold to her and isn't quite the knight in shining armor she was hoping for.
Light, being manipulative and seeing the potential of Misa's eyes, changes tack. He embraces her and promised that they can at least pretend to be boyfriend and girlfriend. It's a total lie, though, and Light's full manipulation is on full display. Misa can't see it, but the viewer witnesses Light's cruel smile as he holds his new sidekick. That's not the face of a doting boyfriend.
8 Light regains his memories
Sometimes in a media franchise, a character temporarily loses some of their powers, and they seem ordinary and harmless... until those powers come flooding back. Both heroes and villains have done this, and that includes Light.
When Higuchi is captured, Light gets his hands on the notebook and instantly reverts to his ice-cold, ruthless persona right there next to L. At once, he kills Higuchi with a scrap of notebook paper in his watch, and then glances at L, savoring the thought of killing him at last. It's a total 180 in just a few seconds' time.
7 Misa and Sakura TV
Light may the bone-chilling serial killer antihero of Death Note, but some other characters can be cold, too. Before Misa fully appears on screen, she uses Sakura TV to call out to the real Kira, and this girl won't put up with police interference. She approaches Sakura TV's studio, and when the innocent policeman Ukita approaches, Misa kills him in cold blood.
This creates a death zone around Sakura TV that everyone is afraid to go near. After Soichiro Yagami recovers Misa's tapes and leaves, we see a window where Misa's silhouette is watching... then vanishes like a ghost.
6 Kidnap ransom
The plot of Death Note's second arc launches with the kidnapping of Sayu Yagami, and Mello is determined to get that notebook. To this end, he calls the new L's headquarters, and over the phone, he explains the situation and demands the notebook.
Soichiro is shaken when Mello places that call, and Soichiro has no real way to call him back or negotiate. All this worrying father can do is wait for Mello to call again, and he and the other investigators are up all night on the job.
5 False gunshot
This eerie scene takes place for righteous reasons, but it's chilling to watch all the same. L is reluctant to let Light and Misa out of confinement out of sheer stubbornness, so he and Soichiro devise a plan. Mr. Yagami drives his son and Misa to a made-up execution site, but he stops halfway and pulls a gun on them!
He coldly declares that he will shoot Light right there, and take his own life to escape the guilt. It's only an act, but Soichiro does it well, and the lighting and Soichiro's face really sell it. For a moment, he looks like a heartless killer himself!
4 Naomi Misora's death
This is one of the most memorable scenes in all of Death Note, and it will haunt a viewer long after it's over. Naomi Misora is grieving after Raye Penber was killed, and she's determined to approach the police and help them apprehend Kira. Ironically, she meets Light Yagami, Kira himself, and explains herself.
After a false start, Light learns Naomi's real name and writes it down. At the last moment, Light declares himself Kira just for fun, and Naomi, bound by the notebook, wanders off to end her own life by unknown means. We last see her striding away in the cold, headed right for oblivion. She was so close to catching Kira!
3 Light's laugh
The final scenes of Death Note contain some of the most horrifying scenes of all, and the manga and anime really sell the idea that Light has become evil incarnate. Light hopes to vanquish Near and the other investigators, but a mishap on Teru Mikami's part means that Light's plan fizzles and he's outed as Kira at last.
Light is cornered, and he suffers a mental break. Instead of falling apart, though, he breaks into wild laughter and gleefully proclaims himself as Kira. The looks on everyone else's faces shows what they really think of him, and Near isn't impressed when Light tries to justify his Kira career.
2 The faithful
This scene, and the next, are in fact unique to the manga, and arguably they're even more chilling than the anime's ending. After all is said and done, and Near secures himself as the next L at last, we find out that the idea of Kira did not die with Light.
In fact, countless white-robed worshipers are in a candlelit procession across some mountains, and they are forever faithful to Kira and everything he stood for. An anonymous young woman prays to the sky in Kira's memory, and calls him their savor. People die... but ideas don't!
1 Ryuk finishes it
This is another scene where the manga (arguably) delivers a scarier ending than the anime did. Ryuk, who watches Light be cornered as Kira, decides that enough is enough. Like Light, this monster finally awakens from its slumber and shows its full power. Ryuk has served as a guide, comic relief, and even a helper until now, but he never stopped being a death god.
Light is helpless when Ryuk writes his name into a notebook, and Light's doom is assured. Even the police try to stop him, but Ryuk, being a supernatural being, allows the bullets to phase right through him and his notebook alike. His eyes are blank white, and any vague sense of humanity he might have had is gone. Once a Shinigami, always a Shinigami!