Anime Underground

25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think 

Anna Lindwasser
Updated June 14, 2019 23.2k votes 5.7k voters 87.9k 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
Death Note is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
2
Fullmetal Alchemist: Bro... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
3
Psycho-Pass is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
4
Code Geass is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
5
Neon Genesis Evangelion ... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
6
Ghost in the Shell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
7
Cowboy Bebop is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
8
Monster is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
9
Mushishi is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
10
Ergo Proxy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
11
Your Name is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
12
Serial Experiments Lain ... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
13
Puella Magi Madoka Magic... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
14
Wolf's Rain is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
15
Paranoia Agent is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
16
Bakemonogatari is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
17
Kino's Journey is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
18
March Comes in like a Li... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
19
The Melancholy of Haruhi... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
20
Scum's Wish is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Scum's Wish
21
Revolutionary Girl Utena... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
22
Sunday Without God is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
23
Interviews With Monster ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Interviews With Monster Girls
24
Mawaru Penguindrum is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
25
The Eccentric Family is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think