Anime Underground 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think  

Anna Lindwasser
19.2k votes 4.6k voters 64.6k 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
1,233 294
Psycho-Pass is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
2
1,836 485
Death Note is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
3
914 195
Neon Genesis Evangelion is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
4
922 199
Ghost in the Shell is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
5
1,090 258
Code Geass is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
6
1,403 364
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherho... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
7
590 126
Monster is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
8
924 250
Cowboy Bebop is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
9
558 134
Mushishi is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
10
549 141
Ergo Proxy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
11
478 125
Serial Experiments Lain is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
12
810 290
Your Name is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
13
549 180
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
14
475 154
Wolf's Rain is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
15
426 131
Paranoia Agent is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
16
301 115
Bakemonogatari is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
17
228 95
Kino's Journey is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
18
212 103
March Comes in like a Lion is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
19
272 154
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzum... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
20
162 105
Revolutionary Girl Utena is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
21
201 147
Scum's Wish is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Scum's Wish
22
138 109
Sunday Without God is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
23
141 159
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
86 103
Mawaru Penguindrum is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
25
71 95
The Eccentric Family is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think