14 Best Psychological-Themed Anime
Anime has been an ever-evolving medium that explores the depths of human emotion and psychology. From the intricacies of the human mind to complex relationships, anime has created a world where anything is possible.
With a vast array of psychological anime series available, it can be overwhelming to choose which ones to watch. To help narrow it down, we have curated a list of the best psychological anime series that delve into the human psyche, exploring themes such as mental illness, trauma, and human relationships in captivating and thought-provoking ways.
Without further ado, these are our picks for the best psychological anime series.
Wonder Egg Priority
Four girls, some eggs, and a whole lot of action. Wonder Egg Priority introduces a never-seen-before story concept, following the lives of four teenage girls, each with their own personal struggles, who come across mysterious eggs that transport them to a dream world filled with cryptic and dangerous creatures.
The girls must navigate their way through these dreams in order to confront their deepest fears and traumatic experiences, as they uncover the truth behind the eggs and their connection to reality.
Banana Fish is a crime and drama anime series set in New York City in the 1980s. The main character, Ash Lynx, is a street-smart and charismatic gang leader who finds himself caught up in a dangerous conspiracy involving a mysterious drug called “Banana Fish”.
With the help of a photojournalist named Eiji Okumura, Ash sets out to uncover the truth behind Banana Fish and the forces behind its distribution. Along the way, they must navigate through the dangerous underworld of organized crime, political corruption, and personal betrayals, as Ash’s past begins to catch up with him.
Talentless Nana follows the life of Hiiragi Nana, who arrives at a remote island school for young superhumans. The school’s purpose is to train these talented individuals to use their abilities for the betterment of society.
We think not much should be said about this series. Instead, we encourage you to go check out the first episode. This is a must-watch for anyone looking for themes of psychological warfare and suspense.
Parasyte: The Maxim
How would you feel if you woke up to an intelligent alien parasite making an attempt at infiltrating your skull and taking over your brain? Unfortunately for Shinichi Izumi, that is a reality he had to face. Parasyte: The Maxim follows a story about a high school student named Shinichi, whose right hand becomes inhabited by a parasite named Migi.
Together they must navigate through the challenges of coexisting while also fighting off other parasites who seek to take over the human race. As the series progresses, Shinichi and Migi develop a strong bond, leading to complex moral dilemmas as they try to determine the best course of action for both their species.
Kaguya-sama: Love is War
In Kaguya-sama: Love is War, love really is war. This series follows the lives of two elite students at a prestigious academy, Miyuki Shirogane and Kaguya Shinomiya, who are both in love with each other but too proud to confess their feelings.
Instead, they engage in a battle of wits, using their intelligence and cunning to try and make the other confess first. The result is a series of hilarious and absurd situations, as both students attempt to outsmart each other and gain the upper hand.
Death Parade is a psychological thriller anime series that explores the nature of life, death, and morality. The story takes place in a mysterious bar called Quindecim, where souls are brought after death to participate in a game that will determine their fate.
The bar is run by a mysterious figure known as the Decimator, who uses the games to judge the souls and decide their ultimate fate. The series follows Decimator as he interacts with a variety of souls, each with their own unique story and motivations. As the games unfold, the audience is taken on a journey through the depths of the human psyche, exploring themes of morality, justice, and redemption.
Gambling can be a fun way to enjoy your time with friends. But what if your life is at stake? Kakegurui is a psychological anime series that explores the world of high-stakes gambling. The story takes place at the Hyakkaou Private Academy, a prestigious school where students are born into wealth and privilege. However, the academy operates on a unique system where students must gamble to determine their social status and future prospects.
The series follows a transfer student named Yumeko Jabami, who is an enigmatic and talented gambler. As she navigates the treacherous world of high-stakes gambling, she challenges the dominant students and uncovers the dark secrets of the academy.
The Promised Neverland
The story of The Promised Neverland takes place at a seemingly idyllic orphanage where a group of children live together and are raised by the loving “Mom”. However, their world is turned upside down when they discover the terrible truth about their existence and the fate that awaits them.
The children must band together and use their intelligence and resourcefulness to escape the clutches of their captors and find the promised land that gives the series its name.
Classroom of the Elite
Classroom of the Elite is the quintessential psychological anime series that explores the cut-throat world of academia and the lengths people will go to achieve success. The story takes place at a prestigious high school where students are ranked based on their academic and social status.
The series follows a group of students as they navigate this ruthless system and compete for the top spot. With its intricate plot and complex characters, Classroom of the Elite is a thought-provoking anime series that challenges the viewer to consider the morality of ambition and the consequences of success at all costs.
ERASED is a widely loved series that follows a story about a struggling manga artist named Satoru Fujinuma who possesses the unique ability to “erase” time and return to the past in order to prevent tragedies.
When he is sent back 18 years to his childhood, he must solve the mystery surrounding a serial killer in order to prevent future tragedy and save those closest to him.
Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-
Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- is a fantasy-drama anime series that explores the concept of life, death, and second chances. The story follows a young man named Natsuki Subaru who is transported to a parallel world filled with magic and danger.
After dying and being resurrected multiple times, he learns that he has the ability to “return by death” and use his experiences to change the course of events. The series follows Subaru as he navigates the challenges of this new world, makes powerful allies and enemies, and battles against fate to protect those he loves.
Looking for a series to really leave you perplexed in thought? Steins;Gate has got you covered. Exploring the consequences of time travel and the power of choices, Steins;Gate perfectly highlights the risks that come with time manipulation. The story follows a group of friends who run a gadget-filled basement lab in Akihabara and stumble upon a way to send text messages back in time.
As they experiment with their newfound power, they attract the attention of dangerous organizations and must navigate the unpredictable consequences of their actions. The series follows the protagonist, Okabe Rintaro, as he struggles to save the life of a loved one and prevent a disastrous future, all while grappling with the psychological toll of time travel.
Tokyo Ghoul has been glorified as one of the best series ever, with its thought-provoking themes, intense action, and intricate plot. The story follows Ken Kaneki, a college student who becomes half-ghoul after a freak accident and must navigate the dangerous world of ghouls and humans while trying to maintain his humanity.
As he learns the truth about the world he lives in and the people he thought he knew, he must choose between his old life as a human and his new life as a ghoul.
If you’re looking for psychological warfare and nerve-racking suspense, Death Note is the series for you. This highly praised series follows a high school student named Light Yagami who finds a mysterious notebook that has the power to kill anyone whose name is written in it.
As he uses the Death Note to rid the world of criminals, he attracts the attention of a genius detective named L who is determined to capture him. The series follows the cat-and-mouse game between Light and L as they try to outwit each other and uncover the other’s true identity.
Death Note series explores themes of justice, morality, and the consequences of power, making it a must-see for fans of psychological thrillers.
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