Action and Adventure anime are in every corner of the anime world; you literally cannot escape it. Of course, everyone loves an action-filled anime with intense battle scenes, waifus, and friendship speeches. However, one does need a break from this time to time, and what better way to fill your time than with psychological anime? To assist you in your quest, we have compiled a list of the top ten psychological anime you need to watch in this guide. Our top ten list of psychological anime is in no particular order.
Death Note is one of the most classic anime out there; you could even say a vast majority of older anime enthusiasts started their journey with this anime. Death Note is a 37-episode anime in which our protagonist Yagami Light seeks to rid the world of senseless violence. But, of course, at the start of the anime, Light is nothing more than a high school student with a dream.
Until he sees a peculiar book falling from the sky called a Death Note. Interest peaked, he takes the book home and thus starts his journey of using this newfound godlike power under the alias Kira.
Re: ZERO – Starting Life in Another World
Re: Zero, originally derived from the popular Light Novel is one of the most recent psychological anime that will keep you guessing. Re: Zero has two seasons under its belt and a third on the way. It tells the story of Natsuki Subaru, a high schooler who was isekai-ed into a foreign world as he made his way to the convenience store.
In this new world, he finds himself seemingly ordinary amongst the other-worlders. Or so he believes, that is, until he comes across trouble, dies, and somehow returns by death to relive the future. Though one may think being reanimated time and time again, you will gain some resistance to the pain; this is not the case.
Another classic psychological anime, but this time with a yandere twist, is Mirai Nikki. One of the first yandere anime to ever stand out is Mirai Nikki, with 26 episodes and one OVA. The story will follow Yukiteru (Yuki) Amano, who keeps a journal on the phone of his daily activities. Although a loner, he can be seen texting his “friends” Deus Ex Machina and Mur Mur.
One day, Yuki discovers future events are displayed on his phone; believing it to be a coincidence, he soon finds out his classmate Gasai Yuno has the same events diary. Through various battles and psychological thrillers, the two must partake in a survival game to become the successor of Deus Ex Machina.
If you’re looking for gore, drama, and thriller, Elfen Lied is the psychological anime you need to watch. With 13 episodes, Elfen Lied may have you scratching your head a bit in confusion. The series is about a young girl names Lucy, a special breed of human known as Diclonius. These humans are born with a pair of horns and can use telekinetic arms.
They are often victims of human experiments by the government. As such, Lucy suffers a head injury after a breakout and develops a split personality. She then stumbles upon two college students who take her in and help her recuperate. Though this may be the worst mistake they have ever made.
Monster is one of the longer psychological anime with 74 episodes; you can probably finish during one weekend (if you don’t sleep). This psychological anime tells the tale of a human conscience that most anime enthusiasts watching will be able to relate to.
We follow Dr. Kenzou Tenma, an elite neurosurgeon who has recently been engaged to the hospital director’s daughter. As you can tell, Dr. Kenzou is slowly ascending the social hierarchy; however, one switch during surgery will change his life forever.
Serial Experiements Lain
With 13 episodes to its name, Serial Experiments Lain is an Avant-Garde, psychological anime. The anime tells the tale of a girl called Iwakura Lain, an introverted fourteen-year-old with an aversion to technology. She and many other girls in her school receive a disturbing email from their deceased classmate, and when Lain opens this email, she is transported to a virtual world called the Wired. In this anime, you can expect to see Lain possibly lose her mind as the line between reality and cyberspace becomes blurred.
Perfect Blue is a movie that can apply to the everyday life of celebrities or individuals in the media. Through her fame in the famous J-pop group CHAM! Mimi knows her career will have to change at one point. So, ready to leave the group and achieve a more mature role, she throws herself into her acting career by participating in a crime drama series.
Of course, nothing is easy for former idols; soon, her life becomes more demanding and taxing, not only from work but from a fan stalker as well. Under pressure from her work life, stalker, and dissatisfaction with her group CHAM! doing well without her, Mima slowly becomes more unhinged as she cannot distinguish reality from fantasy.
Higurashi: When They Cry
With multiple character deaths, torture, and confusing events, Higurashi will have you invested in the series before you know what hit you. The story takes place in the small village of Hinamizawa in the summer of 1983 as Keiichi Maebara becomes close friends with his schoolmates Rena Ryuuguu, Mion Sonozaki, Satoko Houjou, and Rika Furude.
As Keiichi prepares for the upcoming annual festival and learns more about the local legends, he discovers several murders in recent years. When he seeks answers to the murders, his classmates are now suspiciously quiet. Soon, more bizarre and psychological events occur around him; can he escape?
In the city of Musashino, there is an infamous criminal known as the Lil’ Slugger. Making his way through the city on rollerblades and beating people with a golden bat. His first victim Tsukiko Sagi is suspected of having orchestrated these attacks.
As Lil’ Slugger makes his way through the city, accumulating more victims, two detectives are determined to catch the assailant before more paranoia spreads through the city.
NOW READ: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Should You Watch It In Chronological Order?
Ghost Hound is a 22-episode psychological anime with supernatural themes. In the town of Suiten, the daughter of a priest soon begins to have strange visions, and spirits begin to roam the mountains. Eleven years ago, Tarou Komori was kidnapped. Due to this traumatic event, he soon represses these memories. However, as he falls asleep, these memories now resurface.
And with that, we conclude our guide on the Top Ten Psychological Anime you need to watch. If you’re looking for a new manhwa to read, check out this guide, Best Isekai Manhwa (Princess Edition).