Anime Underground 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think  

Anna Lindwasser
18.2k votes 4.3k voters 59.7k 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
1,735 455
Death Note is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

2
1,165 279
Psycho-Pass is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

3
848 178
Neon Genesis Evangelion is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

4
1,032 239
Code Geass is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

5
872 188
Ghost in the Shell is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

6
1,342 341
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherho... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

7
880 240
Cowboy Bebop is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

8
537 119
Monster is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

9
528 129
Mushishi is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

10
510 138
Ergo Proxy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

11
772 264
Your Name is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

12
439 119
Serial Experiments Lain is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

13
517 176
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

14
461 153
Wolf’s Rain is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Wolf’s Rain

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

16
285 112
Monogatari is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Monogatari

17
212 93
Kino’s Journey is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Kino’s Journey

18
205 99
March Comes In Like A Lion is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
March Comes In Like A Lion

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