You know!? You are cursed by the mystery of what, why, when, where and who, if these questions fill your mind while watching an anime. And the only way to get this curse off is to get to the end of the story. The mystery is a genre that dominates other genres. Be they movies, anime, manga or books, Spies and ghosts make the best of thrillers and trigger nerve-racking mystery vibes.
Mystery anime have been popular from day one, not just because they are thrilling but because they urge you to rack your brains and polish your hidden detective skills. They leave dangerous after effects because one unintentionally sees the mystery behind everything. Sometimes, the aftereffects can make one a cunning detective like Sherlock.
Hence, below presented is a list of 30+ mystery anime of all times that cover a wide area of genres.
31. Fantastic Detective Labyrinth
Be it past, present or future; detectives will live in every era and every form. The Fantastic Detective Labyrinth tells a tale of a young genius detective named Hyuga Mayuki. It may be like watching a young Sherlock aside from the sci-fi aspect of the anime.
The plot is set 30 years after a disaster hits the plane. The inevitable catastrophe left many mysteries and supernatural creatures. Strange incidents take place, and the entire city is fear-struck. However, our young lead Hyuga is unaffected by any of this.
His calm and composed thinking are more than enough to solve these mysteries. Hence, he decides to use his brain to resolve the mysterious stories with his friends. It might give you shojo vibes out of nowhere, but it isn’t.
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30. Nightwalker: The Midnight Detective
Although the name is all about detectives in the middle of the night, it may give out dark vibes. It is true. The anime is dark, with a bit of horror and more of a mystery. But the detective is only a title given to the lead for his work, including severe risk and scary tasks.
The world is full of all sorts of creatures; some call these weird creatures the Nightbreed. Keeping them in check and terminating them are two separate things. Our hero Shido Tatsukihiko, a vampire himself, is tasked to keep the Nightbreed in check and terminate them if needed.
Not to mention he is a pro in his work. In this episodic anime, Shido has to do many jobs, including finding his lost memories and finding the purpose behind his creator’s movements in recent times. So, mysteries will keep you busy throughout the series.
School mysteries with a splash of fantasy would be fun and add a little romance; it’s a blast. Gleipnir is one such anime. Although it is not as famous as other mysteries, it is intriguing with a light mystery and thrill.
The story revolves around Shuuichi Kagaya. Unwillingly and unknowingly, he turns into a monster. When it started, why it’s happening and how to stop it are the answers Shuuichi has been searching for till today.
Although he hates his monster self, he protects a girl named Aoki thanks to his monster self. His encounter with Aoki triggers a chain of events where they decide to unravel the mysteries of monsters. However, like a cliche, such secrets always attract mysterious people. It’s a light mystery that you can binge-watch.
28. Higurashi: When They Cry
One should always check before moving to another place. Horror and mystery often begin in new areas with happy people all around. With such a typical setting, the next anime is not so typical.
The story starts with all happy-go-lucky school-going fellas as they welcome a new student Keiichi. He feels a little awkward at the over-the-top behavior of the group. As the story progresses, Keiichi realizes there are secrets behind all these happy faces.
The story becomes more horror than a mystery when a third-person perspective is delivered. The brutal deaths, untimely disasters and dark secrets must be unraveled, but will Keiichi do it, or will it be someone else’s job?
Add a little shojo, supernatural touch and a sprinkle of horror, and you get the perfect mystery anime. In/ Spectre is one such series with more fantasy than you could imagine.
The world is filled with unimaginable beings that are yet to be discovered. In/ Spectre introduces Youkai as the one that lives among humans. To help Yokai communicate with humans and live a decent life Kotoko, a lovely girl, decides to become their mediator. With the help of her crush Kurou, who has some hidden abilities, Kotoko solves the little mysteries.
But there is more. When a faceless Youkai appears and starts spreading chaos, the duo must find the reason behind all the happenings and stop it. Obviously, the heroic duo will stop the Youkai, but how, when and at what cost are a different story.
Tokyo Downtown, gangs and a headless black rider, all checks are there for a perfect thriller mystery. Durara is one of the few thriller mysteries that brings urban legends to life.
Mikado is at the center of this mystery as he enters Tokyo and witnesses the Black Rider on his first day. Fear doesn’t strike him; instead, he is excited to see and know more about this Black Rider.
However, many strange happenings arise, and chaos covers the city in the dark. Mikado meets the striking gangs and shining characters to get this mystery solved, surviving all the chaos. Having a lively lead in a serious and mysterious anime always makes the show worth watching.
25. Death Parade
Like it’s named, this anime is not dark, but it has a parade, more or less likely a game. It introduces a new concept after death that is pure fantasy. Each episode brings new stories centered on the same idea.
The anime is developed on the idea that it contradicts heaven or hell. After two people die at the same time they form a pair. They don’t go to heaven or hell. Instead, they enter a bar, and the bartender throws them a trial.
The results of that trial will determine if you will have a new life or you will be thrown into nothingness. Death Parade is undoubtedly your pick if you are looking for a controversial concept for fun.
24. MIRAI NIKKI
Mirai Nikki is a brilliant mix of psychological, thriller and romance with mystery strings. It follows the most hyped trend of survival games and introduces a thriller survival game yet again.
Yukiteru is an introvert, and he likes to write in his diary. It would be boring if that is just it, but his diary is a way to communicate with his seemingly invisible friends, including a God and his aide. His life went smoothly until he found that Yuno from his class had the same diary. As the story progresses after events, it is revealed that there are ten other diary holders with power.
A game begins where the survivor will be chosen as the successor of God. Yukiteru is automatically a contestant in the contest. When it says survivor, it means the game has nothing to do with winning. And surviving a game is a lot more troublesome than simply winning it.
What makes a mystery worth watching? Time! A mystery that spans decades is always worth solving because the outcomes are unimaginable.
Another makes such a mystery. The story begins with Kouichi, a transfer student. He joins the school late for reasons and is only interested in making Mei Misaki his friend. As per the other students, the girl in question is weird and non-existent. They also warn Kouichi, but it doesn’t work for him.
Side by side, the mystery grows where a death of a certain student occurred decades ago. Mei is considered to be an omen of this horror. Kouichi decides to solve this mystery and clear Mei’s name to put a rest on the puzzle. But can they do so?
Spirits, exorcisms, swords and the scary stories of ghosts always make exceptional horror mysteries. Mononoke is one of these mysteries that brings a deep understanding of spirits and exorcisms.
The horror mystery centers on a certain medicine seller. His purpose is to locate the spirits and perform exorcism. However, he can not simply do the deed. The prerequisites include for him to know the form of the spirit—the truth behind the spirit and nature before slashing them with his sword.
Getting to know a spirit is what it states. It is a scary and deadly task, and this time, this medicine seller has decided to save the pregnant woman from a tainted spirit. Watch him and learn some tricks to deal with such spirits if you have to perform an exorcism someday.
21. Kara no Kyuokai: The Garden of Sinners
Mental health is a severe topic not openly discussed in any culture. However, anime is free of all cultures and traditions. Hence Garden of Sinners introduces awareness and knowledge about mental health and the problems that arise from it.
The story is a complex one with a strangely complex character Shiki. She had a dissociative identity disorder. To be exact, it was a family thing where everyone had two personalities generation-wise. In an accident, Shiki loses her dormant character, and in pursuit of terminating the loneliness left by the dormant personality, she awakens a third one.
On top of it, after the accident and a two-year comma, her eyes can now see the death of every entity. The mysteries keep piling up with all these things in play, and Shiki is in the center. Watch this if you want a restless brain with frustratingly messed-up mysteries.
20. ID: Invaded
This one is a highly underrated anime. With all the avant-garde aspects introduced and the next-level mysteries, this one has to be known well. You will have to turn your brains to understand this one.
In this fantasy mystery, there are happenings everywhere. However, the fun part is that you can see the links to the particular murder or happening, and you can enter the minds of the culprit. Best right! Just like you are on a giant puzzle board, and every piece is there for you to make a perfect picture.
But that is not just it. No, a big no! There are terms and conditions. To enter another’s mind, you have to have killed someone. Our Akihito, aka Detective Sakaido, seems to fulfill all prerequisites. But with a horror story of chain murders, how long can he keep up with the sinister deaths?
Trusting someone blindly is never a good move. Psycho-Pass reinforces this fact with an evolved concept. Its name only makes this anime stand out. Each character puts life into their role, and it seems more accurate than any other mystery anime.
The anime is set in a futuristic world where Japan always ensures justice by using a technologically advanced system. Things were normal as ever, but things started to change when our lead, Akane, joined this quest. Her faith in Japan’s justice-keeping system is shaken when she meets Shinya.
The ex-criminal, now working to uphold justice, helps Akane uncover the darker secrets of their higher-ups and the faults in their system. It may sound like a typical mystery thriller, but it has more than you can imagine. Try it for action, adventure and some mind-boggling mysteries.
18. The Perfect Insider
Being a detective takes a lot of guts and tactics. Your brain takes everything from a different perspective. And yet it is challenging for anyone to become a good one. However, this anime shows that genius can be anything as long as they want.
Shiki Magata lives as a programmer on a secluded island in a secure facility. Living alone and saving her from any trouble is her policy; however, when Souhei, a professor, and Moe, a student come looking for her, the problem begins.
A specific crime occurs behind locked doors, and the three are left to solve the mystery. Locked room mysteries are the best because they are the most nerve-racking ones, so get on with it. What’s the wait?
It is a collection of the simplest yet most entertaining slow-build mysteries that will lead you to enlightenment. Mushi-shi is an episodic anime, each with a new story but with a single familiar character.
The plot has a unique constant, “Mushi”. They are often considered an entity or being, but they are formless. They can mimic, and their limits to mimic reach beyond rainbows and even diseases. The center of the anime, Ginko, has one goal in life.
To discover and learn more about Mushi and their existence and to understand this phenomenon. It may sound superficial, but watching it will broaden your perspective.
16. Psychic Detective Yakumo
Possessions, suicide, psychic powers and detectives are a strange but lethal combination. This detective anime is among the best with its mysterious plot twists.
The story begins with a girl named Haruka. Her troubles keep on rising when one after another, her friends face misfortune. Her only hope is the famous and unusual Yakumo. His unique red eye allows him to see and communicate with the dead.
This abnormal duo is ready to talk with the dead to seek out the reality. However, even the dead guys are killed again to keep their secrets with them. In such an ordeal, the tale of our duo is a mystery thriller and a must-watch.
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Did someone say, high school detectives? Hyouka it is!!! This anime is just too pure and straightforward and has graceful mysteries. It is bright and hilarious with a touch of romance and, at the same time, will level up your geniuses.
Being lazy is always a virtue of great geniuses. Oreki is no exception. Nothing attracts him. A certain invitation lets him meet a group of three gullible friends in school. Oreki gets along with them like a fish in a pond.
However, what motivated Oreki were the several mysteries on the school ground. Oreki and his friends from the club solve these mysteries with a lot of fun and suspense. One that should not be missed!
A historical anime with a continental presentation would be the perfect intro for Gosick, yet it has mysteries right from the start. This is your pick if you want a slow-paced historical anime with mysteries.
The plot is set in a city in South Europe and introduces Kazuya Kujou. He is the lead and an international student often ignored and named a Black Reaper. The reason is nothing but his black hair. His coincidental meeting with the golden-haired girl Vctorique becomes the turning point of his life.
His everyday life becomes a thriller when the talks of a mysterious ghost ship and an alchemist become popular. The duo decides to solve these mysteries but discovers more than expected.
Mysteries and detective stories will never lose their fame. Instead, they will evolve more in the distant future, and UN-GO is one such anime that predicts that future. A perfect entertainer and classic anime to binge, UN-GO is a must-watch.
Set in a dystopian world, it is the story of an excellent detective named Yuuki. His only interest is to solve the countless mysteries of all sorts in Tokyo with his teammate Inga. Everything was going perfectly, even the mysteries and their unraveled results.
However, things become a little suspenseful for Yuuki when he notices the cracks in Inga’s behavior and character. This mystery becomes a critical point in their lives as they venture on to uncover more.
12. Himitsu: Top Secret-The Revelation
How far will you go to solve a mystery if the victims die? It would be best if one could take a peek at the eyewitness and the dead victims. Well, fret not. This anime has presented the concept of a technology that can do the deed.
Solving a case is always a priority; however, if the means challenge ethical norms, it becomes complicated. This anime is a complex representation of such a technology and the effects it creates. In all this complex and mystery-filled environment enters, the fresh graduate Aoki.
His motive is to find the culprit behind his colleague’s murder. However, he wants to do it legally and without any hindrance of not following the ethical norms. Can he do that? Well, you will see if you watch the anime.
11. Vampire Knight
Is there ever a mystery with romance? Vampire Knight is your pick for a dark anime or mystery with some bloody love. It indeed triggers untimely thrill and suspense followed by mystery. Because vampires and vampire hunters always make the best of a story regardless of the genre
The story spans over different lives of humans, vampire hunters and Vampires. However, Yuki, the human, Zero, the vampire hunter and Kaname, the Vampire, are the center of it. The anime begins with Yuki’s perspective and her distorted memories of the past. As the story progresses, she discovers that not only is her crush Kaname but she also is a vampire.
The trio is entangled in a love triangle, but they have enemies and politics around them. Why does Kaname seek power? Why Zero can’t control his thirst for Yuki, and why Yuki has her heart aching for Kaname? They are a few little mysteries followed by dark secrets you will only get to unravel when you binge this.
10. Serial Experiments Lain
Technology can be dramatically mysterious, mind-bending and diverse at the same time. To make a thriller mystery with technology at the center is truly a feat, and Serial Experiments Lain is proof of it.
The anime unveils the life of Lain, a high school girl surrounded by technology and a virtual world. Her ordinary and dull life becomes a roller coaster when she gets an email in real-time from her hypothetically dead classmate Chisa. Her claim to be alive in the virtual world/ the internet world shook Lain.
Strange men appearing, her discoveries about this vastly spreading technology and bizarre events are now her daily life. But how can one be alive after death, and why is everyone after Lian? If nothing, then this one will make you a detective, at the very least. So are you up for it?
9. Ergo Proxy
A mystery is always intriguing to watch, but with the crown of sci-fi, it becomes a Magnum opus. Ergo Proxy is a mystery anime that is exceptionally well described and portrayed. The anime is set in a futuristic dystopian world where the last of humans and human-like robots co-exist.
Human robots, aka Autorevis, catch on to a fast-growing virus that makes them more human in every way. There enters the lead of the anime, Re-I Mayer, a rich girl with an outstanding IQ. She decided to unravel the mystery of the virus. Her encounter with Vincent Law, an expert on Autorevis, becomes a turning point.
Each discovers the harsh reality of the world they live in. While doing so, they face their monsters. One can’t guess who is good or bad in this one. It’s a nail-biting mystery till the end.
A slow-paced anime with a building mystery becomes more attractive with handsome and robust leads. K is one of those dawdling mysteries where you cannot guess the trick till the end.
The anime is set in a futuristic and fantasy world where a few selected humans are granted supernatural powers giving them the title of King. A mysterious homicide, a viral video and a sudden 90-degree behavior flip of a kind and silent King trigger uproar.
The center of all this is Yashiro Isana, a high schooler with lost memories. However, he has Kurou, an assassin/ butler, on his tail and a few other Kings to hunt him down. Why he is being chased, why he doesn’t remember his past, and how a video of him killing his fellow went viral are mysteries for you to unravel.
7. Made in Abyss
A dystopian world, human look-alike robots, mysterious creatures and a bizarre domain to venture into are perfect for making an engaging mystery. Made in Abyss is one of those anime that is all cute and attractive at the start but turns interestingly puzzling and thrilling as they go on.
The story begins atypically in a mysterious world filled with bizarre creatures called the Abyss. To discover the mystery of how and why it is, people travel down this Abyss. Riko is a young girl who aspires to be like her mother, who was one of the adventurers lost in the Abyss. She starts her journey with the uppermost layer of the Abyss.
However, her encounter with Reg, the human-like robot, urges her to explore the wonders more. But what lies ahead is not what Riko is ready for. The secrets of her past, her mother and Reg are in line to give you a thrilling and mysterious adventure.
6. Steins; Gate
Many will question how this is a mystery. But making a unique time machine, altering fates and avoiding the officials raises questions that are no less than a mystery. Steins; Gate is undoubtedly one of the anime that is made especially for geniuses and science freaks.
Rintarou is a scientist, and he only wants to make a life-changing discovery with his colleagues. However, the only thing they could make in the lab was a bizarre microwave that could send messages to the past. How they made it was either a tragedy or fate, but this little fun thing alters the course of their life.
With the rising attention of a mysterious organization, Rintarou struggles to save his fellow scientists. In his battle, he must uncover the mysteries of the texting microwave and the secret organization. Can he manage all this?
5. Detective Conan
If you are a mystery lover, you must know about this to prove your claim. After all, what is a mystery without a detective? Inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this anime will surely bring the hidden detective out of you.
Shinichi Kudou is a genius high school student. His popularity is mainly for his exceptional cases where he outsmarted many and brought justice as a detective. However, in a deadly chase, he becomes a seven-year-old kid. Let’s skip the how for later!
He becomes Conan to find the culprits responsible for his state and to unravel the mystery behind that very case. Hence the birth of Detective Conan! Suspense, thrill and mystery only increase when the seven-year-old genius shows off his brains. Can you keep up with him?
Is there anything better than a mystery that spans over years just for you to crack it down? Erased is undoubtedly one of the gems in the mystery genre because it has all the checks with a bit of fantasy. Erased brings in Satoru Fujinuma, a 26-year-old manga artist.
Call it a stroke of luck or his destiny, but Satoru gets the ability to travel back in time. Like any other good guy, he uses this ability to stop any lousy occurrence. However, his brain is jumbled when he spans decades back to 1988.
Satoru discovers that the murder of the future is connected with the abduction and killing of his childhood in 1988. But who is responsible and why he is the only one with this enlightenment is a mystery for you to crack.
Hospitals are known best for making exceptional thriller and horror stories. However, Monster adds charms to this fact to create a unique mystery. It is in no way near a horror story, but at many points, it will scare the guts out of you. The story introduces Dr Tenma, a neurosurgeon, intelligent and best at his work.
Tenma has to be the one to do his work diligently because he has gotten many eyes on him. However, after going against all directives, he saves a young unknown child instead of the well-known city mayor. This hints at his downfall. Yet on the same premises, the mysterious deaths of the mayor and other doctors bring his life back to its original path.
Years later, he discovers that the young kid he saved has turned into a monster who kills without a hint of humanity. Dr. Tenma decides to uncover the mystery of the past and face the actual Monster. Who is the real Monster?
2: The Promised Neverland
Has a mystery anime ever made you cry your lungs out? This one will undoubtedly give you a versatile experience starting from thrill, fear, excitement, joy, a nerve-racking mystery and many tears. This mystery anime held the viewers captive right from the get-go.
The Promised Neverland, this roller coaster of an anime, begins with three orphans, Emma, Norman and Ray, living peacefully in their home under the watch of Mama Isabella. Their serene life turns deadly when they get to know the secrets of the basement of their home. Monsters, sacrificing children and bloodshed become their new reality.
The three children decide to save everyone from this darkened date. However, easier said than done, Isabella picks up on their plan. But the trio is exceptional, they trick the evil mama by figuring out the pattern of things and other details that are genuinely motivating. Their trial to free themselves with the rest comes with sacrifices, tears and geniuses. It will keep you spellbound till the last second like a witch’s curse.
1: Death Note
“The name of the person written on this note will die”. If you don’t know what this means, you fellas live in the stone age. The Kira fever and L’s aura are everlasting. Death Note is not just a mystery but a tale of two geniuses that instills suspense and thrill with every minute.
The anime focuses on Light Yagami, a high schooler who lives for justice. His hate for criminals is such that he would kill them rather than simply punish them. When fate plays its part, he gets a mysterious notebook that kills instantly and a Shinigami. He executes his plan and kills hundreds of criminals using the Death Note.
However, another genius pinpoints that they are brutal murders rather than justice. This genius L has a face-off with Kira. Now, who survives is a mystery because, with a Death Note in hands, death is just one step away. This one is a Chess game with every move as a checkmate.
Give your brain a little exercise and tease it with all the mysterious and puzzling mysteries of all the above anime. Enhancing your knowledge is one thing, and gaining experience is another. All these mystery anime with a lot more in them will make you stand out in the lot.
Also, there are several different and more fantastic anime with classic mysteries, but they are our top picks. So, you can always add more to the list or alter it. All in all, these mysteries will indeed channel your internal detective. Adios!!!
Frequently Asked Questions
In the list above, all anime, in one way or another, have a pile of mysteries that will arise either with a horror background or as a thriller mystery and sometimes as a romantic mystery. However, our top three picks would be Detective Conan, Death Note and Monster.
That is a difficult question because we have a list of top-tier detectives for whom no mystery is a mystery. After all, they have the brains to crack them all down. Still, anyone would name L, Conan and Victorique as the best of the best detectives anime world could ever have.