Death Note's reception and praise have garnered the franchise much attention in both Japan and overseas. This has led to Death Note references and parodies in various other media such as television shows, anime, and even comic books and video games.
In anime and manga
Written and illustrated by the same duo that created Death Note, Bakuman has a few Death Note references littered throughout the series.
When Masahiro appears visibly frightened by the sight of Akito with his notebook, Akito calms him by saying, "It's not like it's a Death Note." Another example is in chapter four, when Akito says he feels like a a detective and compares himself to Stephen Gevanni.
In chapter seventeen/episode twelve, there is a short scene of L's death and the scene where L fights with Light at the hotel while being chained to each other, wherein the role of L is Ichiko while Light is Momiji, and the rest play the roles of the Task Force members and Rem.
In chapter two, Tae pulls out a notebook that says "Homo Note" and makes a pose similar to Light Yagami.
Full Metal Panic
Episode twenty-five of the anime is entirely "Death Note-themed." Ryuk even makes a cameo at the end of the episode. A notable line is: "You should hate me more, curse me, and detest me! Then you should take the power of that hatred and use it to survive this rotten world."
Hajimete no Gal
In episode 2, after successfully completing a task, Junichi smirks and says, "Just as planned." This is a reference to chapter 53 and episode 24, in which Light regains his memory, smirks, and says, "Just as planned."
Hayate the Combat Butler
Chapter seven makes a reference to Watari and later a girl holds the Death Note. There is also a poster that has the caption Birth Note on it and an apple.
After a crisis, Germany tells France that he kind of predicted (with emphasis on the predicted, similar to Light's "Just as planned") the current crisis. France gets suspicious and imagines Germany writing in a notebook, similar to the Death Note, which has "Budget" on the front and shows Germany thinking "Just as planned."
Hunter × Hunter
In chapter 377, during one of the Phantom Troupe's meetings, Chrollo says he cannot tell them their fortunes due to the name being off, implying the girl had died. After hearing this, Shizuku compares his book to a Death Note.
Kurohime has a cameo appearance of a shinigami, who is supposed to be similar to Ryuk.
In episode six, the character Ringo has a book labeled "Death Note" on her desk.
Miss Not-So Sidekick
In chapter 138 of the Korean webtoon, when it is mentioned that anyone who insults Latte in front of her husband would immediately be killed by him, an aside is shown of Latte holding a Death Note to symbolize the imminent death of anyone who badmouths her.
In chapter 118 of the Korean webtoon, one of the people at the fair is cosplaying as Ryuk.
Masuzu came to possess an old notebook of Eito's from junior high that is filled with embarrassing content. In the anime, the notebook is seen on several occasions and bears a resemblance to a Death Note. Though the color is not the same as a typical Death Note, the style of the text is similar to Ryuk's handwriting, specifically the letter "o" having a dot in the middle of it.
The plot is based around an item known as the Kiss Note. If you write the names of two people in it, they will immediately fall in love with each other and kiss. Guri is an angel who is supposed to act as a cupid, but she unintentionally endangers a human named Seiji with her Kiss Note. Now, if Seiji doesn't kiss anyone within the next 24 hours, he will die.
Guri sits Seiji down to explain the situation to him, and she asks him if he knows with the notebook is, handing it to him. Having no clue what it is, Seiji guesses that it is a Death Note.
Seitokai No Ichizon
Seitokai No Ichizon has a scene that parodies Death Note with a notebook that shouldn't be touched and something unseen with the silhouette of Ryuk eating an apple out of midair.
They Are My Noble Masters
In one episode, the character Yume (which means "dream" in Japanese) acquires a notebook titled the "Yume Note". The scene where she uses it is a parody of a scene in episode eight of the anime.
In the first episode, Tomoko starts scrolling through websites on how to be appealing to boys. She begins to have a montage of camera angles that match the scene when Light begins to write in his Death Note.
In Western television
The Amazing World of Gumball
In season 6, episode 14, there are a couple of scenes that parody Death Note. When the title card is shown at the beginning of the episode, the background music played is a parody of L's theme. Sarah finds a magic notebook that she sees fall on the ground. Everything she writes in the notebook comes true, and when she is writing in it towards the end of the episode, she has an evil facial expression similar to those Light and Mikami sometimes have when writing in the notebook. Towards the end of the episode, when Gumball and Darwin try to undo the love stories, the parody of L's theme plays again.
Bart Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror
Volume fourteen of the annual Treehouse of Horror comic books features a parody of Death Note titled "Murder, He Wrote".
- The comic starts with Bart showing Milhouse a notebook that he just found. Jimbo steals the book from him because it "totally matches [his] shirt". Bart yells at him to give it back, but Jimbo says that he already's written his name in it. Bart goes to complain to Principle Skinner, but Jimbo is already hanging dead on the monkey bars.
- Later in the day, Bart is sitting in his room. He looks through the notebook and notices that Jimbo isn't the only person to put their name in the notebook, along with Harry Houdini, Amelia Earhart, and Buddy Holly. Just as he is about to put his name in the notebook, Krusty the clown appears and tells him that he shouldn't. Bart exclaims that he should be dead when he died in the middle of one of his sketches from a heart attack. Krusty tells Bart that he is now a ghost and that if Bart writes a name in the book that they will die, and that if he doesn't write how they die, the notebook will choose their death.
- Krusty tells Bart that he found the book a year prior. He thought it would make a good little black book, but the girls whose names he wrote in the book would never be home. He found out later that the girls had all died in strange ways. He didn't use the book anymore but kept it in his dressing room. One day, a fan, Bart, asked him for his autograph. He then found out that it works, even if you rip out the page.
- Krusty asks Bart who he is going to kill. Bart, surprised, tells Krusty that he won't write any name in the notebook. Krusty insists that some people deserve to die, but Bart decides to just ignore him. Watching TV instead.
- On the news, a man named Bob has been released from prison and plans to kill Bart. Bart quickly writes Bob's name in the notebook. Bob is instantly attacked by a swarm of bees, falls into a Pika Dogs hot dog cart, and stumbles into the street, where a steamroller, from Springfield's Annual Steamroller Parade, runs him over. Bart exclaims that that's exactly what he had written in the book.
- Chief Wiggum is now on the Tv along with Kent, the news reporter. Wiggum tells Kent that Bob's death wasn't an accident, as he just received a text message from a super detective, who goes by the code-name of L, that it was actually a murder. Bart wonders who it could be, as Lisa walks by on a cellphone. Bart throws the book away, telling him that it's too dangerous, and Krusty says that he's no fun.
- Later that day, Bart's mother is looking through Bart's room. She notices the notebook and is annoyed that he would throw out a perfectly good notebook. She keeps it and decides that she will use one page for her shopping list and leave the rest for someone else to use it. Later, Bart and his father are watching TV. Betty Crocker, Uncle Ben, and Sir Francis had all dies under mysterious circumstances, Homer is upset, claiming that Sir Francis cracked the Cookie to cream code. Marge walks in the house and asks who would like to help her bring in the groceries. Homer tells her that Bart will help.
- While in the kitchen, Bart looks over his mother's shopping list. Betty Crocker Cake Mix, Uncle Ben's Wild Rice, Oreo Cookies, Mell-o gelatin, "Eat It!" potato chips, and apples. Bart realizes that all the products that she bought are named after people that had died that day. He then realizes that the page is from the notebook.
- In the living room, Ned runs into the Simpson's house while being caught on fire, with a dress with sharks biting his butt. Homer, holding the notebook, tells Bart that's what he wrote today. Bart asks why he would write something like that, and Homer says that it's Kill Flanders Fan-fiction, and he writes it to relax.
- Chief Wiggum shows up at their door, claiming that "[They] had a report of a flaming Flanders running through here." He looks at the body and tells Marge and Homer that L is on the case and that the series of deaths are very close to being solved.
- Bart runs up to his room and Krusty tells Bart that he must kill Wigguma and L if he wants to stay out of jail for the rest of his life, and anyone else who has seen him with the notebook. Bart says out loud that that would be Principle Skinner, Dolph, Kearny and Milhouse. Just then, his mother appears in the doorway. She thanks Bart, telling him that she was just going to ask him who he would like to invite to his birthday party and that she would just add those names, and they would be having coconut cake. Bart screams no as she writes, but she just mistakes it for complaining about the cake.
- A few seconds later, Dolph and Learny have both died by giving each other wedgies. A freak windstorm accident caused Principle Skinner to be impaled by his own mother. Milhouse was told by his parents that they were getting back together, and just froze with a wide grin on his face. Dr. Hibert tells his parents that his body wasn't used to the emotion and it shut down.
- Back at the Simpson's house, Bart goes into Lisa's room to ask her what she's doing. She tells him that she is getting all the updates about the deaths. Bart tells her that they'll probably never find out what caused all of the deaths, and that it's probably just a coincidence. Lisa disagrees and tells Bart that it probably isn't a coincidence and that the killer has probably made a fatal mistake, as criminals always do. Bart thinks that she knows and wonders if she could be L. Krusty replies to Bart, and he says out loud to stop reading his thoughts. Krusty tells Bart that he has to write her name, but he tells him, out loud, that he can't. Lisa turns away from her computer and asks Bart if he said something. She wasn't listening as she was about to send an email to the police. Krusty tells Bart again that he should do it now, as he won't be able to do it later. Bart throws the book at Lisa and says that he can't hurt his sister. Bart admits to causing Sideshow Bob and being the reason for the other deaths. Lisa is surprised, as she had no idea.
- Chief Wiggum steps in the room and tells Bart that he heard everything and that he is going to jail for murder. Bart tells Lisa that she emailed the police. She tells Bart that she was just going to email about another notebook she had found. There are instructions inside that say that it's part of a set and that it could bring dead back to life. Bart takes the book and brings Krusty back to life. Krusty is annoyed though because he had just found a way to heaven, and was about to make out with Shelly Winters.
- Bart tells Lisa that he thought she was L. Ralph, who just entered the room, says that it was him. His father explains that he likes to help to solve crimes, but never gets anything right, but enjoys getting mentioned on TV. Bart asks why he didn't use "R" instead of "L", and Chief Wiggum replies that Ralph isn't too good with the alphabet and tells Ralph to recite the alphabet. Ralph says "A, B, C, D, Blue, Five, Cow..." Bart asks what is going to happen to him now, but Wiggum says that, since it's his first offense, he won't go to jail as long as he brings his victims back to life.
- In the next few days, Bart has his party. His victims attend and they are still injured, but alive, like Sideshow Bob is still flat, Milhouse is still smiling and Principle Skinner is still impaled. Meanwhile, Marge discovers that Ned Flanders is laying dead, as penguins had pecked him to death. She asks Homer if he had caused it, and he tells her that he was going to bring him back to life. Marge tells him to be sure that he does. Homer throws the book in the recycling bin and joins the rest for ice cream.
- Krusty the clown takes on a role similar to Ryuk.
- There is a parody of Jello, called Mell-o, a reference to Mello.
- There is a bag of chips called "Eat It! Potato Chips," a reference to when Light says, "I'll take a potato chip…AND EAT IT!"
Death Joke is a parody dōjinshi of Death Note written by Amano Kaito and illustrated by Sakano Hiro. In it, an unemployed man named Puduk finds the "Death Book." Posing as a God of Death, he gives the notebook to Larv, a popular and intelligent student. Larv decides to use the notebook to combat stupid television shows, tormenting poor Puduk all the while. An organization known as the Council of Heroes sends in Q, a drug addict detective, to solve the case and stop the unknown criminal.
The series was successful, spanning a total of three volumes. It also won several local awards.
REAL DEATH NOTE!
A video created by Smosh where Ian Hecox (a stand-in for Light Yagami) finds the Death Note (in which the cause of death is by suffocation after 5 seconds rather than heart attacks after 40 seconds) and is defeated by Anthony Padilla (a stand-in for L), who finds the "Life Note" that brings people back to life after being killed by the Death Note and functions in the same way as the Death Eraser.
Deathly God Parents!
Upon the revelation that the protagonist of the Netflix Death Note film would have a name change, changing "Yagami" to "Turner," jokes about the adaptation resembling The Fairly OddParents! (where the main character is named Timmy Turner) became popular. A comic parody of the opening theme for The Fairly OddParents! being replaced with Death Note by Andy Kluthe was animated by NipahDUBS quickly went viral.
"Shinigami Eyes" by Grimes
In early 2022, Grimes released the song "Shinigami Eyes", in which she sings about obtaining the eyes for herself to cause the deaths of others. Her "shinigami eyes" glow red, and the font of the title in the intro and the end credits is reminiscent of Ryuk's handwriting. In an interview, when asked about the deeper meaning of the song, Grimes said, "Nino Angelo had just watched Death Note and really liked it."
"Shinigami" by Machinae Supremacy
The song seems to be about Ryuk watching Light.
"Watch Out, You're Being Watched" by Rachel Macwhirter
A song that appears to be from a civilian point of view, although it becomes from Kira's point of view talking to a criminal. The shift in perspective could represent the singer revealing that she is Kira.
"Death Note Rap" by Shiv Frost
A rap from Light's point of view, re-telling his story.
"If Books Could Kill" by Richie Branson
A rap about if Branson found a Death Note and how he would use it. It is very similar to the story of Light, until after the first chorus.
"Shi No Barado" by Area 11 feat. Beckii Cruel
A song written from Misa's point of view, talking about her love for Light.
"Death Note" by Speedy Ortiz
The song is named after the anime. Frontwoman Sadie Dupuis said, "The song is about writing through your depression as a way to get better, and how in that way a death note can be kind of love letter to yourself." The song is the lead single off the Foiled Again EP, a collection of outtakes and remixes from Speedy Ortiz' 2015 album Foil Deer.
"Play With Me" by Cross Gene
In 2015, the K-pop group Cross Gene released a music video for their song "Play With Me" (나하고 놀자, nahago nolja) which depicts two of the members as L (portrayed by Shin) and Light (Takuya). The two have a table tennis match reminiscent of L and Light's tennis match.
There are references to Death Note made by multiple characters throughout the series. In chapter 5 of Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, Kazuichi Soda says that the world ending is "crazier than a notebook where everyone whose name written inside ends up dying." In chapter 1 of Dangonronpa V3: Killing Harmony, Monokuma jokes about a notebook that can kill anyone whose name is written in it.
The Sims 4
In the game, when a Sim dies, a grim reaper comes to take his soul. The reaper holds a note on his waist by a chain, similar to how Ryuk holds his Death Note. In the game pack Parenthood, one of the skins for the "Private Journal" item highly resembles the Death Note.
A series called "Life Note" exists within the game. "Life Note" so far has five manga volumes and one anime episode, the latter of which instructs the game's protagonist in electrocution. The main character of Life Note is named Yamiko, a play on Light Yagami's family name, and she has red bright eyes, dresses in a Gothic style, and wears cross jewelry similar to Misa Amane.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019
An equipable watch called Death Note was released in the game's fifth season with the description: Time your opponent's demise with the Death Note Watch.
- Vol.1 Death Joke (FR). Retrieved on February 13, 2019.
- (2008). Autour de Death Note... (FR). Japanink, vol. 1, p 53. Retrieved on February 13, 2019.
- "Grimes shares manga-inspired new song ‘Shinigami Eyes’". Retrieved on April 11, 2022.
- (May 11, 2015). CROSS GENE – Play With Me (나하고 놀자).