Anime Underground

25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think  

Anna Lindwasser
21k votes 5.1k voters 74.4k 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
Ghost in the Shell is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
2
Neon Genesis Evangelion is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
3
Monster is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
4
Psycho-Pass is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
5
Code Geass is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
6
Mushishi is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
7
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherho... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
8
Death Note is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
9
Ergo Proxy is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
10
Cowboy Bebop is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
11
Serial Experiments Lain is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
12
Paranoia Agent is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
13
Puella Magi Madoka Magica 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
Your Name 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 Lion is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
19
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzum... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
20
Revolutionary Girl Utena is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
21
Scum's Wish is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
Scum's Wish
22
Sunday Without God is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 25+ Philosophical Anime That Will Make You Think
23
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
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