Anime Underground 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think  

Anna Lindwasser
17k votes 4k voters 54.6k 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
1,090 261
Psycho-Pass is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

2
789 164
Neon Genesis Evangelion is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

3
1,258 317
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherho... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

4
818 174
Ghost in the Shell is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

5
1,613 434
Death Note is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

6
955 228
Code Geass is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

7
825 227
Cowboy Bebop is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

8
496 120
Mushishi is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

9
476 117
Monster is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

10
734 236
Your Name is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

11
478 130
Ergo Proxy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

12
405 113
Serial Experiments Lain is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

13
488 169
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

14
435 147
Wolf’s Rain is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Wolf’s Rain

15
379 124
Paranoia Agent is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

16
262 109
Monogatari is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Monogatari

17
200 91
Kino’s Journey is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Kino’s Journey

18
190 97
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
249 141
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzum... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

20
150 99
Revolutionary Girl Utena is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

21
174 131
Scum's Wish is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Scum's Wish

22
127 100
Sunday Without God is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

23
131 142
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
77 94
Mawaru Penguindrum is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think

25
61 90
The Eccentric Family is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think