Anime Underground 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think  

Anna Lindwasser
16.9k votes 4k voters 54.1k 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
1,084 261
Psycho-Pass is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

2
783 163
Neon Genesis Evangelion is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

3
815 174
Ghost in the Shell is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

4
1,250 317
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherho... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

5
1,604 433
Death Note is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

6
948 228
Code Geass is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

7
823 227
Cowboy Bebop is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

8
494 120
Mushishi is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

9
472 117
Monster is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

10
730 235
Your Name is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

11
473 130
Ergo Proxy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

12
402 112
Serial Experiments Lain is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

13
486 169
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

14
433 147
Wolf’s Rain is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Wolf’s Rain

15
377 124
Paranoia Agent is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

16
261 108
Monogatari is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Monogatari

17
199 91
Kino’s Journey is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Kino’s Journey

18
248 139
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzum... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

19
189 97
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
148 99
Revolutionary Girl Utena is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

21
172 130
Scum's Wish is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Scum's Wish

22
125 99
Sunday Without God is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

23
131 142
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
77 94
Mawaru Penguindrum is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

25
61 90
The Eccentric Family is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think