What are the best psychological anime?

Calling all the anime lovers! Have you ever tried watching mind-bending shows that make you think deeply for days? If you are fond of thought-provoking stories, psychological anime is definitely for you! Vote up for the highly-engaging anime and let the community know why it deserves to be on top!

262 contributors
23 solutions
  1. 59

    #1Death Note

    Death Note
    Death Note is Japanese animated series directed by Tetsurō Araki and animated by Madhouse. Before turning into an anime, Death Notes was originally a manga of the same name written by Tsugumi Ohba.
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    Albert Munoz
    Written on January 11, 2017
    "This blue ray anime series does include phychological questions about good and evil and power. It has a 5 star rating on amazon with 169 reviews. I am looking forward to watching it and updating my review further."
  2. 24



    Psycho-Pass is an anime series directed by Naoyoshi Shiotani and Katsuyuki Motohiro and written by Gen Urobuchi. The anime show follows the story of Akane Tsunemori and working with the police and the Sibyl System.

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    Christopher Harper
    Written on March 26, 2017
    "Loved Psycho-Pass, but it's definitely got its flaws. It's no Serial Experiments Lain or NGE, but it's fairly interesting in its pop-psychology. It won't make you think that seriously, but it's pretty enjoyable. "
  3. 19

    #3Parasyte: The Maxim

    Parasyte: The Maxim

    Parasyte: The Maxim is a science fiction Japanese anime series directed by Kenichi Shimizu and written by Shōji Yonemura. It follows the story of a 17-year-old Shinichi Izumi as he gets partially infected by a Parasyte, monsters that butcher and consume humans.

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    Abel Baltazar
    Written on March 2, 2017
    "Parasyte - the maxim, is an amazingly drawn Japanese anime series, with a disgusting and scary sensibility. The story is disturbing and the visuals match - in the best way possible. The blu ray is a good transfer, English subs, and has dual audio with terrific voice acing. "


Did you know that most widely considered psychological novel was written in Japan? The Tale of Genji, a classic work of Japanese literature, was written during the early years of the 11th century by noblewoman and lady-in-waiting Murasaki Shikibu. Although plenty of translations have been attempted, with much difficulty since it was written in archaic language and a poetic and confusing style that would make it unreadable to the average Japanese without dedicated study, the work is a unique depiction of the lifestyles of high courtiers during the Heian period. In 1882, the first English translation was attempted, but was lacking in quality and was incomplete. During the early 20th century, The Tale of Genji was finally translated into modern Japanese by the poet Akiko Yosano.

In the Western Hemisphere, meanwhile, the origins of the psychological themes in novels can be traced as far back as Giovanni Boccaccio’s Elegia di Madonna Fiammetta, The Elegy of Lady Fiammetta in English, which was written in 1344, before the term psychology was even coined. Boccaccio’s work is written in the form of a first-person confessional monologue describing the protagonist, Fiammetta, and her passion and tragic love affair with a Florentine merchant named Panfilo.

  1. 18


    Paprika is an animated, drama, fantasy, and crime movie directed by Satoshi Kon. It is based on the novel of the same name written by Yasutaka Tsutsui. It follows the story of a young female therapist Paprika.

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    Walter Allen
    Written on March 15, 2017
    "This show is described as "...where reality and dreams collide in a kaleidoscopic mindscape of sheer visual genius". If you are looking for a psychological anime series this is probably a good bet."
  2. 16

    #5Ergo Proxy

    Ergo Proxy
    In a post-apocalyptic future, humans live in peace with androids in a domed city. However, a strange series of murders has intruded into bored inspector Re-l Mayer's life.
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    Vincent Walsh
    Written on January 25, 2017
    "This is a great Anime release from Funimation! The transfer is top notch and looks rather stellar on a big screen TV. It appears to have been sourced from a Japanese high-def master! Even at a lower bitrate, this presentation still shines revealing well saturated colors and exquisitely sharp line detail. The cinematic camera shots are sure to satisfy sci-fi cinema buffs. All in all this is a first rate Blu-ray release for a first rate Anime! Very highly recommended!"
  3. 16

    #6Code Geass

    Code Geass

    Code Geass (Lelouch of the Rebellion) is an anime series created by Sunrise. It tells the story of The Holy Empire of Britannia as it conquers the country known as Japan and now call it Area 11.

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    Aaron Bell
    Written on March 15, 2017
    ""In 2017, parts of the world are under the control of the Holy Britannian Empire. Japan is now known as Area 11..." and it just keeps getting better. This anime is required watching. Great artwork, 25 episodes on six discs. Cannot beat the price for some of the best anime out there. I consider it a must have."
  4. 14

    #7Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

    Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

    The futuristic adventures of a female cyborg counter-intelligence agent and her support team.  

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    Richard Hicks
    Written on February 22, 2017
    "If I was looking into buying it, I would go to this page. However, it doesn't really help with the problem I'm looking into. "
  5. 13

    #8Puella Magi Madoka Magica

    Puella Magi Madoka Magica

    A creature named Kyubey offers to grant Madoka a wish if she becomes a 'magical girl' and fights grotesque witches. A magical girl named Homura tries to stop this agreement, and the true nature of the contract with Kyubey is revealed.

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    Bryan Williams
    Written on March 15, 2017
    "Puella Magi Madoka Magica is an interesting and fun psychological anime. The stories easily grab your attention and are exciting to watch. The entire series is included in this purchase so it's also a great value."
  6. 10

    #9Serial Experiments Lain

    Serial Experiments Lain
    An adolescent girl develops a unique connection to a virtual reality network known as The Wired. Serial Experiments Lain It has been subject to commentary in the literary and academic worlds such as the Asian Horror Encyclopedia and The Problem of Existence in Japanese Animation by the American Philosophical Society.
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    Joseph Collins
    Written on May 15, 2017
    "If you are looking for a psychological anime Serial Experiments Lain is a great choice and one of my favorite animes. It is a wonderful world and just in general a classic that is worth watching."
  7. 9

    #10Death Parade

    Death Parade
    The Quindecim Bar hosts games between the recently deceased that determine the fate of their souls. Death Parade spawned from the short film Death Billiards, which was part of the Young Animator Training Project's Anime Mirai 2013.
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    Anime Love
    Written on October 29, 2018
    "Death parade is a psychological anime similiar to death note and also it has some references to death note."
  8. 8

    #11Aku No Hana (Flowers of Evil)

    Aku No Hana (Flowers of Evil)

    Aku No Hana (Flowers of Evil) is a shonen, coming-of-age fiction, and thriller manga series created and illustrated by Shuzo Oshimi. This manga was serialized by Kodansha's Bessatsu Shonen Magazine.

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    Alejandro Blanco
    Written on January 12, 2017
    "I was looking for a psychological anime to watch, and I was recommended Flowers of Evil. I had never heard of the anime before, nor read the manga that the film is based on. The film is excellent, and is different than many others that I've watched. There's nothing supernatural in it, just human characters with human feelings having human interactions. A must see."
  9. 5

    #12Ping Pong the Animation

    Ping Pong the Animation
    Ping Pong The Animation is an anime in 2014 and an adaptation of the manga Ping Pong. The anime is about the growth of ping-pong players Peco and Smile as they enter competitive table tennis competition. 
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    Christian Price
    Written on March 10, 2017
    "I'm a big anime fan, and by big, I mean I keep up with the latest releases each season. This one, Ping Pong the Animation, I didn't think looked too impressive right out of the box. I'm not one for sports-related animes, but the studio made this REALLY interesting. What really blew me out of the water, was that this anime didn't just focus on the sport itself - I mean, how interesting could popping a small, plastic ball back and forth be? Instead, you're introduced to the characters as they build friendships, overcome challenges, even live their everyday lives revolving around ping pong. Playing the game is one thing, but seeing how Smile's ability on the table reflects him at home with his family is something completely special. A must watch."
  10. 3

    #13Future Diary

    Future Diary
    A young man competes with people around the world for a chance to become the successor of God, with a diary that is able to tell the future. Future Diary (Mirai Nikki) also spawned a live-action television show with a different plot from the manga and anime, as well as a visual novel.
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    Written on May 11, 2019
    "A great anime with the best yandere girl ever"
  11. 3

    #14Attack on Titan

    Attack on Titan
    Attack on Titan is an anime adaptation of the manga series of the same name, written and animated by Hajime Isayama. This post-apocalyptic TV series follows the story of Eren Jaegar as he vows to cleanse the earth.
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  12. 3



    Kakegurui is a gambling thriller anime based on a manga series of the same name. This tells the story of Yumeko Jabami at Hyakkaou Private Academy, a school where students are evaluated on their gambling skills.

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    Written on May 11, 2019
    "It is exhilarating."
  13. 1

    #16No Game No Life

    No Game No Life

    No Game No Life is a Japanese anime television series directed by Atsuko Ishizuka. It first aired on April 9, 2014, until June 24, 2014 closing with 12 episodes. It is based on a light novel series by Yū Kamiya.

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    Terry Hunter
    Written on September 22, 2019
    "In my opinion, No Game No Life is the best psychological anime! the strategies and tactics in this series are extremely awesome and mind-blowing, also, this is not just about the story of gamers. I suggest you see how evvrything gets solved in a game!!!"
  14. 0



    Steins;Gate is a Japanese animated series with 24 episodes and an OVA released by White Fox studio. It follows the story of a group of friends creates a machine to send messages across time. 

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    Ivy Wang
    Written on September 22, 2019
    "This psychological horror anime is my favorite because of the idea of the time travel in the series. YEah it may be common to some, but once getting to watch the series. you'll find out why this thriller has an intriguing story "
  15. 0



    Monster is a 75-episode anime TV series that was released back in 2004. It recounts the story of a neurosurgeon named Kenzo Tenma living in Germany finding himself in danger when he gets involved with a former psychopathic patient of his. 

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    Huang Cai
    Written on September 22, 2019
    "Monster's story is very interesting and catchy. IMO this is also one of the greatest psychological anime I've seen, the part where Kenzou has to make that decision would make you want to watch the show even more because of wanting to know what would happen next"
  16. 0

    #19Terror in Resonance

    Terror in Resonance
    Terror in Resonance (Zankyou no Terror) tells the story of Nine and Twelve, the two boys behind the masked figures of Sphinx. They should not exist, yet they stand strong in a world of deception and secrets while they make the city fall around them, all in the hopes of burying their own tragic truth.
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    Angela Lee
    Written on September 22, 2019
    "I just started watching it becoz according to my friend, it is a psychological anime thriller, and Im into those kinds of anime. Anyway all I can say is, it's not boring, in fact, Im almost done with the Helter Skelter episode"
  17. 0

    #20Neon Genesis Evangelion

    Neon Genesis Evangelion

    Neon Genesis Evangelion is an action drama mecha anime released in 1995 which was created by Hideaki Anno by the studios Gainax and Tatsunoko Production. It centers on Shinji Ikari who was recruited as a member of an elite team of pilots. 

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    Jenny Lu
    Written on September 22, 2019
    "Got to see it on Netflix, and yeah I agree that this is a psychological anime fiction since its focus on the psychological development of the characters. I wasn't able to finish the entire series yet but once I get the chance to finish it, I'll probably be able to tell more about it."
  18. 0

    #21Tokyo Ghoul

    Tokyo Ghoul

    Tokyo Ghoul is a dark fantasy anime series that aired on 2015 with 12 episodes. It was based on the manga of the same name by Sui Ishida and licensed under Madman Entertainment, Funimation, and Anime Limited.

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    Harry Chapman
    Written on September 22, 2019
    "One of the best psychological horror anime of all time!!!!I recommend checking this out first before any other psychological anime on this list. Sure dont want to spoil but it's basically about ghouls eating flesh of humans.........."
  19. 0

    #22Grisaia no Kajitsu

    Grisaia no Kajitsu

    Grisaia no Kajitsu or The Fruit of Grisaia is a psychological romance and harem series that aired from October to December 2014. It has 13 episodes animated by 8-Bit and produced by NBC Universal.

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    Ying Yang
    Written on September 22, 2019
    "I still didnt get the chance to see the anime version but got to read the novel. I think it can be considered a psychological anime in a way that the school that the characters study at is more of like a prison, and students get there for certain reasons, don't exactly remember the details coz I was high school when I read it..."
  20. -18

    #23Fairy Tail

    Fairy Tail

    Fairy Tail is a Japanese animated series that takes place in a fictional world populated by wizards who coalesce into guilds. Lucy joins Fairy Tail, a guild famous for its destructive antics and her adventure begins.

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    Written on May 11, 2019
    "A good story about the importance of friendship."


Best What are the best psychological anime
1Death NoteTV Shows 59 Paid
2Psycho-PassTV Shows 24 Paid
3Parasyte: The MaximTV Shows 19 Paid
4PaprikaMovies 18 Paid
5Ergo ProxyTV Shows 16 Paid
6Code GeassTV Shows 16 Paid
7Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone ComplexTV Shows 14 Paid
8Puella Magi Madoka MagicaTV Shows 13 Free
9Serial Experiments LainTV Shows 10 Paid
10Death ParadeTV Shows 9 Paid

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