Psychological Anime can turn any concept into something lively and thrilling. We all enjoy this genre, so here are the 30 Best Psychological Anime To Watch
Whatever the case, I’ve learned to value anime that thoughtfully considers and depicts some very extreme emotional states. Finding even one solid title for each new season of anime can be challenging because psychological anime is less prevalent than other genres.
Yet, finding excellent psychological anime isn’t impossible; you simply need to know where to search! And a few of the best are just below. Therefore here are the 30 Best Psychological Anime To Watch.
Also Read, 30 Best Slice Of Life Anime
30. Steins; Gate
Without a doubt Steins; Gate, this science fiction thriller is a masterpiece. But sci-fi and thrillers are where it really shines.
I really appreciate how it explores the psychological effects of time travel. It has the ability to make spectators feel the same level of absolute misery as the characters, much like Re: Zero did.
And as I already indicated, Steins; Gate established White Fox as a major player by displaying its tenacity for both music and aesthetics.
It seems as though Gankutsuou and Mushishi were the parents of this 12-episode Toei Animation series. That is to say, it has an art style that is genuinely unique and an episodic framework designed to investigate the mind and the soul.
But don’t misunderstand me; Mononoke isn’t as serene as Mushishi to the extent that it could treat insomnia. It also includes ghost and horror aspects.
Mononoke seems to be the exact opposite of needless violence if anything. The MC must first comprehend the Form, Truth, and Reason of spirits in order to begin exorcising them, according to the book’s premise.
28. When Marnie was There
Is it strange that there is a Studio Ghibli film here? Studio Ghibli movies never disappoint us. Studio Ghibli movies, in contrast to Disney movies, have always been more about being human and less about being cute.
A psychological drama that has won awards is called While Marie Was There. It features Anna, a young girl with social anxiety.
She briefly relocates to the country, as you might anticipate, to help her relax. Then, though, Marnie emerges from a purportedly deserted mansion. The two then go on a captivating, endearing journey of friendship and in-depth self-discovery.
We adore Kakegurui because it has such intricate character development. The craftsmanship and designs are excellent. The theme song is also among the best we’ve heard for a psychological anime. A group of obsessive gamblers are the focus of the narrative as a whole.
They have moments of victory and exhilaration followed by moments of hopelessness. Kakegurui isn’t a flawless show. But I really do enjoy it (and the same goes for the second season).
Characters like Mary Saotome, Kirari Momobami, Itsuki Sumeragi, and Yumemi Yumemite have striking designs that are difficult to ignore. It’s a guilty joy to see characters experience highs and then plummet to the lowest points of misery.
The next Best Psychological Anime is FLCL, a cult classic. The younger anime viewers haven’t paid much attention to the amusing and unquestionably original FLCL (pronounced “Fooly Cooly”).
This was odd because, in 2016 and 2018, two new seasons debuted. They debuted on the American cable channel Cartoon Network. The first time I saw FLCL is one of my favourite memories.
It’s basically a coming-of-age series with heightened facial emotions, guitar slamming, mecha (it’s a Gainax production, after all), and unquestionably one of the best OSTs ever.
25. Tekkon Kinkreet
The next Best Psychological Anime is Tekkon Kinkreet. Despite not having the typical anime appearance, it was given enough financing for a movie.
Maybe the storyline and storyboard were something remarkable that Aniplex and its co-producers saw, and they were right. Moreover, Studio 4°C once again outdid themselves with god-level animation.
A slice-of-life story with psychological elements, Tekkon Kinkreet focuses on the life of two orphan boys who experience highs and lows emotionally. Even though Tekkon Kinkreet is extremely vibrant, the doldrums are never far from the city and its residents.
24. Death Parade
Producing unique stories is a risky decision in a market where anime studios and producers sometimes don’t make a lot of money since they don’t already have a fan base. But Madhouse took a chance and chose Death Parade, one of the most original anime shows in the last ten years.
It didn’t exactly have a satisfying conclusion. Yet that doesn’t take away from the fun I felt when watching Episode 1. Death Parade makes two recently deceased individuals play a game in which the outcome will determine whether they are reincarnated or consigned to the hereafter.
It’s full of difficult moral decisions and frequently causes regret and suffering. Yet, the players still have to make decisions swiftly.
Bakemonogatari, sometimes known as Head Tilt: The Animation (The Shaft series), may appear to be nothing more than a display of fashion. Nonetheless, the Monogatari series has always combined strange occurrences with character analysis. Indeed, there are a lot of ecchi components.
But, even those don’t seem out of the ordinary. When it is at its best, Bakemonogatari offers a sophisticated perspective on love. It’s fascinating how the anime develops this bond between Araragi and Senjougahara starting with Episode 1.
The next Best Psychological Anime is Erased. The sci-fi anime ERASED examines time travel, relationships in childhood, and domestic abuse. You can count on dark thrillers in this series to keep you glued to your seat.
With a thorough adaptation of the science fiction anime ERASED, which also had the cinematic grace of Zankyou no Terror, A-1 Pictures got the year off to a solid start.
Often the mystery and suspense scenes come out as cliched or forced. Yet, anime shines in other areas. I especially appreciate the emphasis on domestic violence and childhood friendship. The latter is a very worrying and actual problem, yet ERASED effectively solves it.
21. The Promised Neverland
The Promised Neverland had a brilliant first episode that swiftly jumped from 0 to 100, similar to Shingeki no Kyojin and ERASED. It also featured young individuals who were forced to confront the harsh truth all too soon, exactly like those television series.
It’s gloomy in The Promised Neverland. Yet it’s also a monument to the youth’s tenacity and idealistic spirit. It is simple to understand why the main characters constantly struggle with their inner selves and question whether the fight is still worthwhile.
Even when these factors are combined, In this mysterious world some humans are raised to be nothing more than food for monsters. However, the second season didn’t satisfy our expectations.
20. Ping Pong the Animation
While shounen is typically linked with sports anime, some of these work well as psychological animation. Ping Pong the Animation was also destined to become a modern masterpiece under the direction of master director Masaaki Yuasa.
Ping Pong the Animation, which was released the same year as Zankyou no Terror, only had 11 episodes to tell the tale of Makoto Tsukimoto, Yutaka Hoshino, Wenge Kong, and Ryuuichi Kazama.
Even so, the anime was a success. Viewers quickly came to understand the characters’ motivations for their actions and how they may improve.
One of the best psychological anime that we have seen is Paprika. It examines human dreams, in contrast to the previous series. As a result, it is both relatable and energizing. Atsuko and Kosaku are the centres of the story.
The device that the two geniuses created probes patients’ minds to treat psychiatric problems. The same assistance, though, may become evil in the wrong hands. Paprika is unique for a variety of reasons. For starters, it’s the final movie directed by the late Satoshi Kon, a master animator in the contemporary day.
Second, the discussion about Christopher Nolan’s cherished Inception frequently includes the sci-fi movie. After all, Paprika is interested in dreams and how they represent people’s aspirations, drives, and restraints.
18. Terror in Resonance
With only 11 episodes, Zankyou is one of the shorter shows on this list. In any case, it extensively explores the psychological stories of the characters.
An unidentified group attacked various sites, which set off the conspiracy. This team carefully completed the details, only leaving a painted word: VON. Later, the group would be revealed to be a combination of two anonymous and masked youths. Yet why? What would such young minds gain by terrorizing the country so badly?
The animation features spectacular visuals, superb Music from the illustrious Yoko Kanno, and ambitious storytelling throughout. Terror in Resonance, however, continues to be a masterpiece of animated depictions of troubled youth and intricate world politics.
17. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
Madoka Magica is one of the few anime series that successfully combines friendship, optimism, drama, and sadness. Nonetheless, the psychological tension and thriller elements of this series remain. There is also magic.
Two schoolgirls named Madoka and Sayaka are the main characters in the Madoka Magica theme. Prior to the “encounter,” they were typical students going about their daily lives.
Sayaka and Madoka faced the mystical beings Kyuubey and Nomura. Kyuubey offered to give the two girls the abilities of powerful fairy creatures. On the other hand, Nomura warned them against accepting the proposal.
At the Japan Media Arts Festival in 2008, Kaiba won the Excellence Award for Animation. That was a well-deserved honour, not just because Madhouse dominated, but also because Kaiba showed that investing in original animation can be worthwhile.
In Kaiba, individuals have access to external memory storage. like recollections were just another digital file. They can live eternally because of this.
Nonetheless, these externally stored memories can be changed just like any other file. And are you still the same person if your recollection is false? Kaiba provides viewers with a method to consider what identity means to them and how to find their “true selves.”
15. Perfect Blue
Perfect Blue, which ranks as the top standalone movie on my list, exemplifies the power of anime storytelling. The fact that this was Satoshi Kon’s debut picture baffles me. At its 1997 premiere, Perfect Blue took home the Best Asian Feature and Best Animated Film awards at the Fant-Asia Film Festival in Montreal.
Even after more than two decades, the movie has social and cultural significance. And I’m delighted that critics and academics are still delving into the importance and symbolism of it now.
It’s brilliant how this movie addresses topics like objectification, exploitation, and the monetization of the female body. Perfect Blue is the only anime movie to accurately portray the psychological thriller subgenre.
14. Rebuild of Evangelion
Thrice Upon a Time was originally scheduled to premiere in June 2020, however, that date has been postponed (and has been postponed since 2015).
Rebuild of Evangelion is still a ground-breaking work from the illustrious Hideaki Anno and his firm Khara, Inc., even without the fourth feature.
New locales, circumstances, and characters are all introduced in the films. With Anno addressing Jungian notions and scholars including Freud in the conversation, it was always accompanied by deep character studies, topics of mental health, and inner difficulties in addition to its enormous mecha fights and symbolism.
13. Mind Game
Given that this was Masaaki Yuasa’s first picture, I wonder what the judges must have thought as they watched it. Even then, it was clear that he had a natural talent for surreal storytelling.
In the Mainichi Film Awards in 2004 and 2005, Mind Game won awards for Best Feature and Best Director. Mind Game is a bizarre approach to inspiring people to live life to the fullest. It was animated by like-minded visionaries at Studio 4°C.
I mean, the MC is killed by the yakuza who previously tried to rape his sweetheart in high school. It is profound. After being resurrected, our MC embarks on a wild quest to take control of his life and not look back.
The next Best Psychological Anime is Mushishi. The story of Mushishi centres on Ginko, a polite researcher who seeks to learn more about the intriguing mushi. Of course, Mushishi has a lot more to offer in terms of philosophy.
But, it is difficult to find its psychological significance, especially given how it depicts the various psychological states that people experience when they are exposed to mushi.
And while watching Mushishi may feel like a mental palate cleanser for the spectator, the show itself is rife with divergent ideas about how to handle problems. But I’d strongly suggest this to those who wish to unwind while thinking back on their lives.
11. Ergo Proxy
Nothing is more mind-blowing than a confluence of nuclear blasts and sinister schemes. Ergo Proxy beautifully combines the two qualities. Science fiction and psychological elements permeate every episode of this series.
Ergo Proxy began with an explosion that forced people to live in remote cities. The stated communities employ robots called AutoReivs to keep the peace.
Similar to Texhnolyze, Ergo Proxy was a series whose aesthetic appealed to me. But in addition to its title, I was intrigued by the numerous stylish GIFs of Re-l Mayer.
10. Welcome to the NHK
Next, the Best Psychological Anime is NHK. Welcome to the NHK is a moving exploration of existential crises and mental health problems including addiction, despair, suicide, and failures/regrets in life. For this, I will always be grateful to Studio Gonzo.
NHK ni Youkoso! never felt like its characters were created to lead to their talks, despite the numerous important subjects it addresses. Tatsuhiro and the others, in contrast, are fully realized characters that raise these themes through genuine interactions and circumstances.
9. Yuri Kuma Arashi
In order to protect themselves from the bears, which turned hostile and started attacking people after a planet called Kumaria burst and turned into a meteor shower that hit the earth, Humanity has built a Wall of Severance.
Arashigaoka Academy is attended by Kureha Tsubaki, a human girl who despises bears because her mother was slain and eaten by one. Two bears, Ginko Yurishiro and Lulu Yurigasaki sneak past the Wall of Separation and disguise themselves as humans. They enrol there.
Yuri Kuma Arashi, like previous works by Kunihiko Ikuhara, is proud of its symbolism. Yet to fully experience the show, you don’t have to pause each shot and pay attention to every detail.
8. Death Note
Death Note had an unrealistic quality to it. combining psychology and everything from police procedures. The idea of a death wish-granting notepad is so straightforward, but it also leaves so much space for investigation.
The narrative centres on genius Light Yagami, who unearths the enigmatic “Death Note,” once owned by the shinigami Ryuk and endowed with the mystical power to murder anybody whose name is written within its pages.
The plot of the series revolves around Light’s later attempts to utilize the Death Note to commit mass murder of criminals and establish a society free from crime, adopting the alias of a godlike vigilante named “Kira,” and the pursuit of him by an elite Japanese police task squad led by detective L.
7. From the New World
If you’re used to watching anime kids engage in massive supernatural fights, the 25-episode A-1 Pictures version isn’t exactly “exciting” either. The universe of Shinsekai Yori, however, is so rich that it feels as though the main character is the world, making it an ultimately enjoyable watch.
In the anime, psychokinesis is present among some people in a futuristic Japan. You just know that something sinister is hiding behind any seemingly perfect situation. There are several incredibly harsh yet humane moments in Shinsekai Yori that successfully portray dread. Yet it’s also a voyage of maturation and creating or figuring out one’s own personality.
6. Spinning Penguindrum
The next Best Psychological Anime is Spinning Penguindrum (Mawaru Penguindrum). The 24-episode Brain’s Base production, which debuted in the Summer of 2011 (at the same time Usagi Drop and Natsume’s Book of Friends were also airing), has gained cult status.
Yet it’s not bizarre just for the purpose of being bizarre. Mawaru Penguindrum is a purposefully clumsy examination of its characters’ motivations and a remark on the psychological struggles of Japanese adolescents.
5. Parasyte – The Maxim
Parasyte – The Maxim is the ideal game if you want action with a psychological undertone. This thrilling anime masterfully combines drama, horror, and action. Parasyte is More than just blood and violence.
Migi is more than just an invading, shape-shifting extraterrestrial. I became enthralled by the end. The growth of Shinichi Izumi’s character is incredible. I was on the verge of tears reading Ryouko Tamiya’s arc.
As Parasyte asks its protagonists what they are prepared to give up in order to achieve their lofty objectives, it encourages them to examine their way of thinking. while introducing philosophical ideas like the purpose of existence and humanity’s place in the cosmos.
Some of the most horrifying scenes in any psychological series may be found in this anime. The stories are some of the greatest we have seen, despite being traditional. If you mention that you enjoyed Ghost in the Shell, people will probably suggest the Monster series.
Yet, Monster also involves the investigation of crimes and features compellingly moral villains who are well-designed. It’s rewarding to watch the good folks navigate morally challenging situations and confront their own biases.
Life isn’t always clear-cut, and Monster accepts this. Similarly, Monster has 74 episodes. It, therefore, provides more than enough content to frighten and amaze audiences.
3. Ghost in the Shell
There are flaws in the Ghost in the Shell series. However, the positive aspects much outweigh the negative. The classic 1995 movie or both Stand Alone Complex seasons are excellent choices.
Think of The Matrix, which combined elements of science fiction, philosophy, and psychology notions of the self and the unconscious to change Hollywood forever. But without Ghost in the Shell, that movie wouldn’t even be what it is.
However, the most prominent entries in the franchise place a strong emphasis on identity development. Also, it gives viewers a glimpse of the psychological result of residing in a dystopia with advanced technology, where the lines between man and machine are hazy.
2. Neon Genesis Evangelion
Others see it as a work of art replete with holy iconography, a critique of the mecha genre, and Gainax’s most significant contribution. Other people find it pretentious.
The Evangelion franchise will always be well-liked, even if I never learn the real reason behind why it is the way it is. Particularly now that it’s available on Netflix. It’s comparable to Bladerunner, a flawed sci-fi classic that is nonetheless worth seeing multiple times because it never gets old.
The 26-episode series, paired with the legendary film The End of Evangelion, will take you through paranoia, existential crises, teen concerns, familial obligations, and angels who don’t seem like ordinary angels.
1. The Tatami Galaxy
Tatami Galaxy emphasizes regrets and the benefits of letting go of life’s restrictions. We adore this anime because of how amazingly it incorporates friendship and love into a mystery-themed story.
It’s a movie that shines in its psychological components and has a novel structure. The Tatami Galaxy, a critically acclaimed series, has just 11 episodes. Nonetheless, it’s jam-packed with exquisite animation and unparalleled storytelling.
The MC regrets things in life, just like everyone else. So, every episode of the anime presents him with a variety of “what-ifs” by transporting him to alternative universes. Will he make one decision in life that he won’t regret? Or do all roads—no matter how divergent they may appear—lead to the same destination?
You can watch anime for free on Crunchyroll.
The No 1 psychological anime is Death Note. Death Note is one the top popular animes.