Anime Underground 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think  

Anna Lindwasser
18.7k votes 4.4k voters 62.1k 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
886 185
Neon Genesis Evangelion is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
2
1,782 471
Death Note is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
3
1,193 285
Psycho-Pass is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
4
900 193
Ghost in the Shell is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
5
1,059 252
Code Geass is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
6
1,371 355
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherho... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
7
564 123
Monster is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
8
895 247
Cowboy Bebop is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
9
544 133
Mushishi is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
10
534 141
Ergo Proxy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
11
462 124
Serial Experiments Lain is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
12
795 275
Your Name is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
13
533 177
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
14
465 153
Wolf's Rain is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
15
409 130
Paranoia Agent is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
16
294 114
Bakemonogatari is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
17
219 94
Kino's Journey is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Kino’s Journey
18
208 101
March Comes in like a Lion is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
19
267 150
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzum... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
20
157 103
Revolutionary Girl Utena is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
21
195 143
Scum's Wish is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Scum's Wish
22
136 107
Sunday Without God is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
23
139 155
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
84 100
Mawaru Penguindrum is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
25
70 93
The Eccentric Family is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think