Anime Underground 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think  

Anna Lindwasser
16.5k votes 3.8k voters 52.1k views 26 items

List Rules Vote up the cerebral anime that made you put your thinking cap on.

Though the anime genre comes in cartoon form, plenty of deep anime tackles subjects that cannot be solved in a single Toonami sitting. So what sets this kind of cerebral anime apart from the usual fare? Anime that makes you think raises serious moral and philosophical questions to make you think, nothing as simple as mecha fights or fan-service. In many cases, smart anime utilizes outlandish supernatural and sci-fi elements to address real-life-issues of morality, justice, and philosophy. Godlike schoolgirls and bionic alchemists may not appear to be gurus of wisdom, but you'd be surprised how mature these anime series can be.

Don't worry, though, because these series aren't just relentless intellectualizing - that would be boring. Rather than be daunted by anime for smart people, instead try to sit down and see what you can learn from them. In fact, the intellectualization in these deep anime below led to some of them to be declared the best anime of all time.
 

list ordered by

1
1,564 418
Death Note is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

2
1,220 308
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherho... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

3
1,051 255
Psycho-Pass is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

4
795 171
Ghost in the Shell is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

5
753 160
Neon Genesis Evangelion is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

6
922 222
Code Geass is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

7
809 225
Cowboy Bebop is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

8
481 118
Mushishi is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

9
712 229
Your Name is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

10
451 116
Monster is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

11
456 126
Ergo Proxy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

12
389 109
Serial Experiments Lain is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

13
472 167
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

14
425 146
Wolf’s Rain is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Wolf’s Rain

15
370 121
Paranoia Agent is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

16
249 106
Monogatari is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Monogatari

17
189 90
Kino’s Journey is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Kino’s Journey

18
243 138
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzum... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

19
184 96
March Comes In Like A Lion is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
March Comes In Like A Lion

20
145 99
Revolutionary Girl Utena is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

21
168 127
Scum's Wish is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Scum's Wish

22
119 99
Sunday Without God is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

23
129 142
Interviews With Monster Girls is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Interviews With Monster Girls

24
73 93
Mawaru Penguindrum is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

25
60 90
The Eccentric Family is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

26
43 93
Earth Maiden Arjuna is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Earth Maiden Arjuna