Published on August 22nd, 2023
The essence of a captivating mystery lies in its setup, suspense, and the ultimate revelation. Just like a finely crafted magic trick, a poorly executed mystery can crumble before our eyes.
The world of anime follows a similar pattern, where we encounter brilliant shows with consistently engaging plots, masterful setups resolutions.
Within this list, you are bound to discover at least one anime that will undoubtedly become your new favorite.
Okabe Rintarou, a university student with chuunibyou tendencies, occasionally indulges in a mad scientist persona.
He shares a residence atop an old TV repair shop with his friends, where they conduct various experiments.
Concealing his true identity, Okabe embraces a persona filled with mystery and whimsy.
One fateful day, they stumble upon the extraordinary ability to send text messages back in time.
This discovery sets off a chain of events involving conspiracies, sinister plots, and enigmatic figures lurking in the shadows.
Whenever someone asks for a captivating time travel story, I always recommend “Steins;Gate.” Its writing is concise and possesses an enduring appeal, making it perfect for repeated viewing.
The series brilliantly combines multiverse theory, skillful character development, culminating in one of the most extraordinary stories of love and determination.
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2. From The New World
The series, “From The New World,” takes its inspiration from Yusuke Kishi’s 2008 novel.
A1-Pictures has brilliantly directed and paced this dystopic mystery, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats, questioning until the very end.
Set in a future world, the story revolves around a group of students with psychic abilities who attend a mysterious school. At its core is Saki Watanabe, a young girl whose journey begins in Kamisu 66, her hometown.
As the series unfolds, we follow Saki throughout her life, witnessing her uncover the deep mysteries that surround her community, all the way until she reaches middle age.
If you’re ready to immerse yourself in a gorgeously produced, thought-provoking adventure, “From The New World” is a must-watch.
3. Death Note
Undoubtedly one of the greatest thriller mystery anime of all time, “Death Note” presents an extraordinary tale.
Protagonist Light Yagami enters a fateful contract with a God of death, gaining the power to eliminate anyone he knows by face and name, putting his soul at stake.
As a prodigious high school genius, Light becomes disillusioned with the world and uses his newfound power to pursue his ambitious goal of establishing a new world under his shadowy rule.
The enigmatic and world-renowned detective, L, emerges as Light’s relentless pursuer, stopping at nothing until the very end.
A brilliant supernatural cat-and-mouse narrative unfolds on a global stage, weaving a tale of intrigue and suspense that captivates audiences throughout.
“Death Note” stands as a masterpiece in the realm of anime, leaving an indelible mark on the genre.
Dr. Kenzou Tenma, a highly respected neurosurgeon, possesses a promising future ahead of him.
Many colleagues admire him for his exceptional skills and character.
Pressured to switch patients, Tenma bravely chooses to prioritize saving the child’s life, disregarding the potential social consequences.
The genius mystery thriller by Naoki Urasawa is masterfully brought to life in animation by Studio Madhouse, resulting in one of the most gripping and suspenseful anime ever created.
The gripping story of “Monster” captures viewers’ hearts and minds, delivering an unforgettable experience.
Taking place in 22nd-century Japan, a profound transformation has occurred in the criminal justice system.
The enforcement of the Sibyl System, a revolutionary qualitative metric predictor known as Psycho-Pass, has become compulsory.
In a style reminiscent of a Philip K. Dick novel adapted into anime form, “Psycho-Pass” stands as an exceptional criminological mystery.
The series maintains constantly building momentum, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats, leading to an unforgettable climax that lingers in memory.
A stellar blend of futuristic themes and suspense makes “Psycho-Pass” a true gem in the world of anime.
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6. The Count Of Monte Cristo
Drawing inspiration from the Alexandre Dumas novel, “Gankutsuou” weaves a gripping tale of aristocratic revenge, capitalist disillusionment, and the dark consequences of blood money.
The story centers around Albert, a spirited youth yearning to embrace life’s fullest experiences.
However, his life takes an unexpected turn when he encounters the enigmatic Count of Monte Cristo during an opera performance.
Soon, Albert becomes the Count’s apprentice, embarking on a journey entangled in a decade-spanning revenge plot filled with opulence and misfortune.
In a stunning display of creativity, Studio Gonzo crafted this eccentric and uniquely Klimpt-inspired sci-fi mystery nearly two decades ago.
The narrative is a rollercoaster of constant twists and turns, captivating viewers with its unpredictability.
“Gankutsuou” stands as a timeless masterpiece, enchanting audiences with its rich storytelling and breathtaking visuals.
7. Land Of The Lustrous
Studio Orange has proven to be the unrivaled master of seamlessly blending CGI and drawn animation, as exemplified by their work in “Land of the Lustrous.”
Set in a mysterious and enigmatic future, the series portrays an ongoing conflict between two distinct entities.
On one side, there are the Gems, humanoid beings crafted from crystal, and on the other,
the Lunarians, a spiritual alien species with a relentless desire to annihilate the Gems and claim their bodies.
The world of “Land of the Lustrous” is unusual and strange, but it is also beautifully and masterfully illustrated,
showcasing the exceptional talent of Studio Orange.
The series stands as a testament to the studio’s skill in creating captivating and visually stunning storytelling that seamlessly combines CGI and traditional animation.
8. Mawaru Penguindrum
Mawaru Penguindrum, directed by the enigmatic Kunihiko Ikuhara, follows the Takakura family’s story.
When Himari, the young sister, is granted temporary leave from the hospital, her brothers Shouma and Kanba decide to take her to an aquarium.
Unexpectedly, she collapses, but her life is miraculously restored when a hat she purchased from the souvenir shop becomes the vessel for a mysterious entity.
Himari finds herself entwined with this entity, which demands the acquisition of a ‘Penguin Drum’ to safeguard her soul.
This sets her brothers on a destined quest to unravel the unknown and cryptic circumstances surrounding this enigmatic object.
The series is a captivating blend of metaphors, intricate narrative, and unique style, beautifully crafted by Ikuhara.
Mawaru Penguindrum promises an enthralling exploration of the human condition and the bonds of family as the protagonists delve into a world filled with symbolism and intrigue.
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9. The Garden of Sinners
The Garden of Sinners, a collection of seven achronological short films, presents distinct and impactful stories that culminate in a powerful finale.
At the center of the narrative is Shiki Ryougi, torn between her murderous instincts and her humanist restraint.
Through the progression of the films, we witness Shiki’s journey with Mikiya Kokutou from their teenage years to early adulthood.
She evolves from a girl teetering on the edge of becoming a serial killer to a capable and compassionate woman determined to make the best of her circumstances.
Personally, the fifth film holds a special place in my heart as it completely blew my mind with its depth and emotional impact.
Overall, The Garden of Sinners offers an unforgettable anime experience, exploring the intricacies of humanity and the complexities of personal growth.
10. Death Parade
In the realm between death and the unknown, a quaint little bar in limbo awaits souls to be judged before moving on to nothingness or reincarnation.
Here, the arbiters of fate hold sway, and the course of one’s afterlife hinges on a peculiar game.
Upon arrival, a random game—be it snooker, darts, or racing—is chosen, and two deceased souls become competitors.
The outcome of the game is influenced by the choices they made in life, their virtues, and flaws.
Yet, an enigmatic bureaucracy looms over the proceedings, shrouding the bar in mystery, leaving our protagonists with a riddle to solve.
Studio Madhouse, known for their brilliance, gave birth to this extraordinary series stemming from the short film “Death Billiards.”
The originality and ingenuity of the concept have captivated audiences, leaving them yearning for more anime with such thought-provoking and gripping narratives.
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11. Future Diary
Yukiteru Amano, a disheartened teenager, finds solace in documenting his daily life with a diary on his phone.
However, one fateful day, the voice in his head reveals itself as a deity hosting a deadly battle royale, declaring Yukiteru as a participant.
He, along with twelve other users, is bestowed with diaries possessing extraordinary abilities to foresee the future.
In the midst of this perilous game, Yuki is thrust into a harrowing tragedy alongside his stalker, the mysterious and ominous.
Yuno Gasai, who is also a diary owner and vows to protect Yuki at all costs.
Future Diary takes us on an enthralling rollercoaster ride, constantly twisting and turning with its unpredictable and engaging premise.
As the story unfolds, the boundaries between ally and adversary blur, leading to a suspenseful and thrilling journey filled with unexpected twists and intense character dynamics.
12. The Promised Neverland
The Grace Field House, a secluded and quaint dwelling shielded by gates and dangers, serves as a home for orphans and their seemingly caring guardians.
However, the facade is shattered when our protagonists discover a new girl being adopted.
By chance, they stumble upon her lifeless body, abducted by a horrifying Lovecraftian creature.
The orphans must unravel the secrets lurking within the house and confront the true nature of their guardians, risking everything to break free.
The first season of this thrilling series leaves many questions unanswered, leaving viewers eagerly anticipating the forthcoming season two, slated for an early 2021 release.
The intrigue, mystery, and impending danger make the wait unbearable, promising an enthralling continuation to this gripping story.
13. Attack On Titan
Attack on Titan, with its unique blend of kaiju, zombie, and mecha elements, stormed the globe and won the hearts of fans worldwide.
The story centers around Eren Jaeger, Mikasa Ackerman, and Armin Arlert, three young individuals residing within a vast enclosure protected by towering walls.
Wit Studio’s masterful creation received widespread acclaim, showcasing remarkable music by the legendary Hiroyuki Sawano, exceptional direction, and breathtaking animation.
As the highly anticipated final season approaches, set to be helmed by Studio Mappa, fans remain optimistic that it will bring this epic saga to a satisfying and thrilling conclusion.
The legacy of Attack on Titan as a cinematic tour-de-force continues to captivate audiences, leaving a lasting impact on the world of anime.
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Drawing inspiration from Stephen King’s haunting vampire novel ‘Salem’s Lot, ‘Shiki’ unfolds as a poignant tale of humanity grappling with violent decadence.
Set in the serene village of Sotoba, a young doctor is thrust into a mystery when a girl’s sudden death raises questions.
As he delves deeper into the enigma, he uncovers a horrifying truth—the village is plagued by vampires.
‘Shiki’ weaves a gripping anti-war narrative, underscored by wonderful music and compelling characters.
This anime will test your empathy and push your emotions to their limits, as it explores the human struggle between darkness and compassion in the face of unfathomable horror.
Prepare for a heart-wrenching journey that will resonate long after the final credits roll.
Prepare to be captivated by this stylistic cinematic thriller, a masterful tale with a stunning aesthetic that will keep you guessing at every turn.
Meet Fujinuma Satoru, a man wrongly accused of murder, forced to flee the scene of the crime.
However, in a twist of fate, he finds himself thrust back in time to his high school days, retaining the memories and intellect of his future self.
This thrilling anime keeps you at the edge of your seat as you delve into the intricate web of intrigue and suspense.
With powerful plot points and engaging storytelling, you’ll be entranced by the protagonist’s quest for justice and redemption.
Prepare yourself for a heart-pounding journey as you immerse into the depths of this enthralling thriller.
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Set in a distant future, thousands of years after an ecological catastrophe decimated Earth, Ergo Proxy introduces us to Re-I Mayer in the last remaining civilization, Romdo.
In this advanced city, Autorevs, robots designed to aid humanity’s recovery, suddenly face a peculiar virus that grants them consciousness and self-awareness.
Simultaneously, we meet Vincent Law, an Autorev mechanic who grapples with perplexing delusions.
In this gripping tale, reminiscent of the works of Asimov and Ghost in the Shell,
Ergo Proxy artfully blends robotics, philosophy, and mystery, leaving viewers engaged and contemplative throughout.
With its profound themes and thought-provoking narrative, Ergo Proxy is an anime that will undoubtedly strike a chord with its audience,
making it a definite must-watch for fans of the genre.
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17. Madoka Magica
In a quaint setting, where the carefree Madoka Kaname and her troubled confidante Sayaka Miki dwell, an unexpected turn of events occurs when the enigmatic and distant Homura Akemi arrives at their school.
Little did they know that their lives were about to be forever altered as they are presented with a life-changing proposition—to become magical girls.
However, there is a daunting condition attached: they must hunt and vanquish malevolent beings known as ‘witches.’
Gen Urobuchi’s masterful work deconstructs the conventional magical girl genre, unraveling a delightfully dark and tragic tale.
It is no surprise that this anime has earned near-legendary status, primarily due to its captivating narrative.
The exquisite production values further elevate this already remarkable series to unprecedented heights.
In the realm of innovation, the remarkable device ‘DC Mini’ grants its user the ability to delve into the subconscious dreams of others.
Indeed, in the right hands, the ‘DC Mini’ is a marvel of human ingenuity.
However, fate takes a dark turn as the device is stolen, disrupting the delicate balance of dreams.
Now, Atsuko, alongside Toshimi, and an extraordinary girl named Paprika, must embark on a journey to restore order and retrieve the stolen invention.
Remarkably, the parallels between “Inception” and “Paprika” are striking, but it’s important to acknowledge that
“Paprika” was the trailblazer, executing the concept first and leaving an indelible mark that sets it apart as the superior achievement.
19. Serial Experiments Lain
Serial Experiments Lain weaves a prophetic tale, exploring the Internet’s impact on social disconnection, dissociation, and the concept of a shared consciousness.
However, her life takes a haunting turn when her class receives a mysterious email from a deceased classmate.
Serving as a gateway to the enigmatic realm of the Wire, the Internet.
With this immersion, Lain’s sanity falters, and a creeping paranoia blurs the boundaries between reality and illusion.
In this concise masterpiece, Serial Experiments Lain boasts unparalleled cinematography and direction, making brilliant use of the anime medium.
A true gem that harnesses its full potential, this anime stands as a unique and visionary creation that resonates deeply with contemporary audiences.
In the Monogatari series by Nisioisin, Koyomi Araragi finds himself in a peculiar position as a half-vampire, wielding his extraordinary abilities.
To aid friends entangled with supernatural forces in their small town.
One fateful day, he witnesses Hitagi Senjougahara’s graceful descent down a staircase, but instead of catching her, he makes a startling discovery:
she is weightless, as light as a feather, and a tsundere, adept at concealing her emotions behind a tough exterior.
Navigating a complex character study, the Monogatari series unfolds in a non-linear manner.
Painting a unique and captivating narrative complemented by the stellar production prowess of Studio Shaft.
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