Anime Underground 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think  

Anna Lindwasser
15.5k votes 3.6k voters 48.3k 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
1,465 386
Death Note is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

2
993 237
Psycho-Pass is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

3
1,144 293
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherho... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

4
696 145
Neon Genesis Evangelion is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

5
748 163
Ghost in the Shell is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

6
868 206
Code Geass is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

7
769 214
Cowboy Bebop is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

8
671 211
Your Name is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

9
447 116
Mushishi is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

10
422 111
Monster is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

11
423 121
Ergo Proxy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

12
363 106
Serial Experiments Lain is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

13
451 160
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

14
406 143
Wolf’s Rain is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Wolf’s Rain

15
354 117
Paranoia Agent is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

16
229 100
Monogatari is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Monogatari

17
233 131
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzum... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

18
170 88
Kino’s Journey is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Kino’s Journey

19
167 92
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
134 95
Revolutionary Girl Utena is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

21
159 125
Scum's Wish is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Scum's Wish

22
114 96
Sunday Without God is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

23
124 136
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
68 92
Mawaru Penguindrum is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

25
58 90
The Eccentric Family is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

26
39 91
Earth Maiden Arjuna is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Earth Maiden Arjuna