Anime Underground 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think  

Anna Lindwasser
18.2k votes 4.3k voters 60.1k 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
1,738 457
Death Note is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

2
1,167 280
Psycho-Pass is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

3
854 180
Neon Genesis Evangelion is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

4
1,035 240
Code Geass is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

5
874 189
Ghost in the Shell is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

6
1,344 342
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherho... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

7
880 241
Cowboy Bebop is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

8
538 120
Monster is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

9
530 130
Mushishi is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

10
513 139
Ergo Proxy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

11
773 265
Your Name is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

12
442 121
Serial Experiments Lain is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

13
519 176
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

14
459 152
Wolf's Rain is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

15
402 127
Paranoia Agent is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

16
283 112
Bakemonogatari is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

17
213 93
Kino's Journey is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Kino’s Journey

18
204 99
March Comes in like a Lion is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

19
266 147
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzum... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

20
156 102
Revolutionary Girl Utena is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

21
187 140
Scum's Wish is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Scum's Wish

22
135 104
Sunday Without God is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

23
137 151
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
83 98
Mawaru Penguindrum is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

25
68 92
The Eccentric Family is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think