Anime Underground 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think  

Anna Lindwasser
14.8k votes 3.4k voters 45k 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.
 

1
1,097 271
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherho... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

2
1,393 369
Death Note is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

3
947 224
Psycho-Pass is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

4
722 155
Ghost in the Shell is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

5
823 194
Code Geass is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

6
656 138
Neon Genesis Evangelion is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

7
747 201
Cowboy Bebop is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

8
640 198
Your Name is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

9
426 109
Mushishi is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

10
396 106
Monster is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

11
401 116
Ergo Proxy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

12
342 98
Serial Experiments Lain is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

13
434 152
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

14
398 137
Wolf’s Rain is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Wolf’s Rain

15
341 112
Paranoia Agent is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

16
211 98
Monogatari is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Monogatari

17
223 127
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzum... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

18
163 84
Kino’s Journey is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Kino’s Journey

19
154 87
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
130 90
Revolutionary Girl Utena is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

21
146 117
Scum's Wish is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Scum's Wish

22
109 93
Sunday Without God is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

23
116 128
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
65 87
Mawaru Penguindrum is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

25
57 85
The Eccentric Family is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

26
39 86
Earth Maiden Arjuna is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Earth Maiden Arjuna