Anime Underground 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think  

Anna Lindwasser
19.7k votes 4.7k voters 67.9k 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
1,885 500
Death Note is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
2
944 204
Ghost in the Shell is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
3
1,264 305
Psycho-Pass is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
4
953 208
Neon Genesis Evangelion is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
5
1,120 266
Code Geass is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
6
1,428 372
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherho... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
7
611 129
Monster is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
8
942 253
Cowboy Bebop is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
9
571 136
Mushishi is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
10
561 144
Ergo Proxy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
11
489 127
Serial Experiments Lain is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
12
824 303
Your Name is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
13
557 186
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
14
482 157
Wolf's Rain is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
15
431 135
Paranoia Agent is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
16
307 119
Bakemonogatari is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
17
236 98
Kino's Journey is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
18
221 105
March Comes in like a Lion is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
19
278 157
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzum... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
20
167 105
Revolutionary Girl Utena is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
21
208 148
Scum's Wish is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Scum's Wish
22
142 111
Sunday Without God is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
23
143 163
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
88 105
Mawaru Penguindrum is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
25
73 96
The Eccentric Family is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think