Anime Underground 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think  

Anna Lindwasser
13.2k votes 3k voters 39.5k 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 adult these anime series can be.

Don't worry, though, because these series aren't just relentless intellectualizing - that would be boring. Though Death Note tackles serious issues about being a moral arbiter, it's also an anime with sakujo-gasms and jokes about cake. That being said, anime for smart people gets even more fun when you're stoned: the visuals look better, and you gain new perspective. 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
839 189
Psycho-Pass is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

2
1,236 331
Death Note is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

3
970 242
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherho... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

4
646 134
Ghost in the Shell is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

5
740 170
Code Geass is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

6
580 120
Neon Genesis Evangelion is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

7
680 177
Cowboy Bebop is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

8
581 172
Your Name is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

9
360 96
Mushishi is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

10
332 90
Monster is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

11
354 106
Ergo Proxy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

12
376 123
Wolf’s Rain is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Wolf’s Rain

13
396 137
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

14
314 99
Paranoia Agent is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

Anime Guaranteed To Make You Physically Nauseous

15
295 89
Serial Experiments Lain is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

16
182 90
Monogatari is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Monogatari

17
207 115
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzum... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

18
143 76
Kino’s Journey is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Kino’s Journey

19
137 78
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
119 77
Revolutionary Girl Utena is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

21
133 96
Scum's Wish is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Scum's Wish

22
95 84
Sunday Without God is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

23
111 111
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
60 75
Mawaru Penguindrum is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

25
52 76
The Eccentric Family is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

26
35 77
Earth Maiden Arjuna is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Earth Maiden Arjuna