There’s nothing more exciting than journeying through a good mystery, finding any secret and solving the unexplained or unknown. Anime series and films have provided us with these obscurities and we can’t help but be curious and draw multiple speculations until the very end. So if you are puzzled about where to start, don’t fret! Honey will give you a mega clue to the best recommendations for the top 10 mystery anime movies. Keep reading!
10. Hana to Alice: Satsujin Jiken (The Case of Hana & Alice)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: February 20, 2015
“Did you hear about the murder case?!” In the film, The Case of Hana and Alice, the story follows a girl named Alice who recently moved into town with her mother. On her first day of middle school, Alice arrives to the class and already her classmates are throwing a lot of shade. One reason is because she’s the new kid, and two is the mystery surrounding her seat assignment. The rumor is that the original occupant disappeared over a year ago and no one has any idea whether he is alive or dead. As she dusts them haters off, Alice -the brash, sassy, and confident gal-, shows them that it takes more to bring her down. As time goes by, Alice notices that her neighbor is constantly peeping her from her window. Learning that this girl is named Hana, Alice soon discovers that she is the last witness to that rumored disappearance. Growing intrigued by the second, we observe Alice and Hana unlock the account of “Judas’” disappearance.
As we watch this film, we unearth the fact that Hana and Alice’s friendship is a main factor to the story. The development and depth of the pair together complements the compelling mystery component. All of the characters bring movement and life to the film, as it is well structured with a relatable and authentic quality. Doing without elements of the supernatural or crazy glitzy features, this film is able to spark intrigue, intertwined with everyday experiences.
9. Layton Kyouju to Eien no Utahime (Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: December 19, 2009
Stemming its roots as a puzzle-based game, and fresh off of their last adventure, Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva is a fantastic detective film documenting the story of the lost kingdom of Ambrosia. Word on the street is that Ambrosia is rumored to give its inhabitants eternal life! After receiving an invite from the famous opera singer Janice Quatlane, who is also the Professor’s old acquaintance, we accompany him, his apprentice Luke, and Remi off to another endeavor. Following their meeting and watching her performance, Janice then proceeds to explain that an oddity has occurred with her friend, Marina, who died a year ago, but has come back as a seven year old girl. Moreover, Marina exclaims that she has found the secret to eternal life! Sparked with interest, Professor Layton and his crew are down to figuring this mystery out! No more ‘splaining, just watch it!
Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva has so many wonderful features, including comedy, mystery, adventure and the like, and it balances them well in sizable portions. The array of great characters and gorgeous backgrounds are all displayed with beautiful and colorful animation. As the film introduces its origin stemming from a video game, it does a fantastic job jumping into the mysterious story without having prior knowledge of gameplay. Moreover, it is a great film appropriate for any and every age!
8. Gyakusatsu Kikan (Genocidal Organ)
- Episodes: 1
- Air Date: February 3, 2017
The war on terror is threatening the planet, with democratic states transforming into total surveillance control and developing states plagued with genocides. Charges against these terrorists include crimes against humanity, use of child soldiers, and genocide. From this, it seems that a man named John Paul stands in the center of all the chaos. So, in order to stop a new wave of genocides, an American Assassin, Clavis Shepard, is tasked to take him down.
Genocidal Organ is different in theme compared to the prior two, but nonetheless, an action-packed, mystery, sci-fi and psychological film. A thrilling chase between a fugitive and his assassin, Genocidal Organ focuses on the bigger mystery of why the war on terror exists, figuring out whether its cause is actually due to this one individual. Underlining issues in current comparative criminology, it is unfortunate to say that these problems still remain in our world today, with mystery surrounding its complete extermination.
7. UN-GO: Inga-ron (UN-GO: Chapter of Inga)
- Episodes: 1
- Air Date: November 19, 2011
UN-GO: Inga-ron is a prequel to the anime UN-GO (2011). The film details Detective Shinjuurou Yuuki, also known as the “Defeated Detective”, and his peculiar partner, Inga, their first encounter, and various events that lead up to their current predicament. The setting is a war-torn, near-future Tokyo, Japan. The uneasiness and hostilities of this time have forced the Japanese government to utilize more extreme measures to control its citizens. From this, Shinjuurou and Inga have employed themselves in solving crimes. Although Shinjuurou’s insights and skills have lead him to solve many cases and nabbing the bad guys, Inga seems to have something more in mind when catching these killers. What more could Inga want and could it be linked to his strange behavior?
If you have not seen the UN-GO series, you should definitely check it out, as we observe how this unlikely duo work together in countless, stand-alone mysteries. After you’ve gone through all 11 episodes, you can then wonder, “How did these two meet?” Well, the answer is here in this film, as we dig into Shinjuurou’s past, the birth of Inga and how these two ultimately link up. Comparably the Sherlock and Watson of anime, or at least one of many duos, it is intriguing to see how these brilliant minds perform interchangeably.
6. Omoide no Marnie (When Marnie Was There)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: July 19, 2014
The film, When Marnie Was There, follows the tale of orphan Anna Sasaki, an awkward, unsociable girl who has trouble making friends. On top of this issue, Anna suffers from severe asthma attacks. At the request of her physician, it is suggested that Anna moves to the country with her aunt and uncle in an attempt to alleviate her attacks and improve her health. With an interest in the arts and sketching, Anna hopes that this change of scenery will inspire more ideas for her work. While exploring the area, Anna discovers an abandoned mansion called the Marsh House, only finding that it is not so abandoned, as she encounters a lovely and mysterious girl named Marnie. Marnie demonstrates to be very opposite from Anna, but over a short period, we notice that the two bond well together. As they spend more time with one another, Anna is shown that there is more to Marnie and the Marsh House than what is actually seen at first glance.
Another fantastic work by Studio Ghibli, When Marnie Was There does not disappoint! The story has a solid, slowly paced foundation that is built upon and is absolutely heartwarming. The characters in this story, particularly Anna and Marnie, are strongly crafted elements, having viewers grow more involved with their friendship and connection as we move further into the film. The overall mystery surrounding Marnie and her household shows that everything is not always black and white. As Anna’s personality indicates that she isn’t quite the social butterfly, it has us wondering how these two girls are able to hit it off so quickly.
5. Higashi no Eden Movie I: The King of Eden (Eden of the East the Movie I: The King of Eden)
- Episodes: 1
- Air Date: November 28, 2009
Eden of the East the Movie I: The King of Eden begins six months after the anime series.
In search of Akira Takizawa, Saki Morimi arrives in New York City with only one clue stating that the two will meet where their journey started. Whatever that means…. In order to prevent Japan’s ultimate destruction, Akira brainwashed himself once again before Saki receives this message. Furthermore, Saki isn’t alone in her quest to recover him, as the Seleção are closely tracking him as well. With many followers envisioning a serene Japan, other opponents have more devious ideas in mind and are on the move to eliminate Akira and his prospects.
As this film is a continued story of the series, it is hard to follow through without watching the 11 episodes, so do that first! So where in the world is Akira Takizawa?! Due to his amnesia, viewers are held in suspense as we collectively try to figure out where the heck he is and the reasoning behind his actions. Being a successor to Japan and holding those rights, it is no wonder why he is a wanted man! Amongst the flashbacks and “fill-in-the-blanks”, Eden of the East Movie I is a film that’ll keep you on your toes, with bits of mystery to fill into the whole.
4. Death Billiards
- Episodes: 1
- Air Date: March 2, 2013
Death Billiards is a short mystery film about two men, Otoko and Roujin, who happened to have passed on the same day. Having no recollection of how they arrived at Quindecim, they soon learn that they must compete in a game of billiards to determine who gets to pass into paradise and who into the inferno. As a young woman escorts them to a bar area, the men have no route of escape, forced to a round of pocketing balls in a game like nothing they’ve ever played. It’s amaze-balls, lol!
When it comes to destiny, fate, and death, those subjects in and of themselves are a complete mystery! This film highlights the 50/50 odds of who will be dealt the more favorable outcome over the other. Demonstrating two vastly different individuals from opposite ends of the spectrum, it is difficult to say who deserves what depending on how they’ve lived their lives and how they’ve died. Overall, determining the results from start to end is a mysterious afterlife excursion.
3. Psycho-Pass Movie
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: January 9, 2015
Peace has a price. In Psycho-Pass Movie, Akane Tsunemori is on a quest to solve the mystery of terrorists invading Japan, lead by ex-Enforcer, Shinya Kougami. In this time, the Sibyl System has become extremely successful in exporting and implementing technology throughout various locations, and in turn, maintaining peace within the states. This peace, however, is disturbed, as the praised system is actually flawed because it’s clandestinely harming society, but nonetheless, this flaw is overlooked. As Akane is tasked to the South East Asian Union (SEAUn) to apprehend Shinya, their prior history may make current engagements incredibly complex.
Psycho-Pass Movie is absolutely brilliant because it touches on a dilemma running currently in news broadcasts today: the issue of duty and sense of justice versus morality and doing what’s right. We see Akane and Kougami struggle with this left and right and the line is often blurred depending on the circumstances. The setting of this film is entrenched in technology, as citizens of this time heavily rely on machine to perform common, effortless tasks. Essentially, the overall mysterious quality that Psycho-Pass Movie constitutes is the question of how far responsibility takes an individual and if the line of ethics needs to be crossed.
2. Steins; Gate Movie: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu (Steins;Gate: The Movie – Load Region of Deja Vu)
- Episodes: 1
- Air Date: April 20, 2013
“Would you remember me if I never existed?” Steins;Gate is an intriguing and intricate anime documenting a group of people who stumble upon a time machine. Tampering with time is a fickle thing and these characters will face the consequences and repercussions that follow the disturbance of temporal space. “By changing the past, you change the future.” After spending a year in the states, Kurisu Makise returns to Akihabara, reuniting with Rintarou Okabe. When their reunion is halted, they both will soon learn the seriousness of time disruption, as Rintarou is slowly erasing out of existence. Chasing theories and following her heart, Kurisu learns that memories created are the essential foundation of being human.
Steins;Gate: The Movie – Load Region of Déjà vu contains a very involved storyline with countless twists and climaxes. The sensation of “something tugging at the back of my mind” is a present feeling for most while watching this film. A scary and unsettling feeling of vanishing from memory and reality as we watch Kurisu strives to unlock the problem of why Rintarou is fading from time. More than that, we can’t sit right with Rintarou’s resolve in “all is as it should be.”
1. Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu (The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya)
- Episodes: 1
- Air Date: February 6, 2010
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is a continuation of the anime series, documenting…the disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. It’s winter holiday and with Christmas fast approaching, the SOS Brigade decide to have a hot pot party. After finalizing these plans, a few days later, Kyon goes to school only to find that Haruhi has gone missing, in addition to normal supernatural elements becoming nonexistent. When more strange occurrences succeed another, Kyon is desperate to figure out what is happening. Heading back to the clubroom, Kyon then spots a message and clue from Yuki Nagato that can substantially change things back to the way they should be.
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya clocks in at 2 hours and 42 minutes, but we can say that there are no dull moments whatsoever! In understanding and finding the solution to how and why Haruhi vanished, the story sinks further than that apparent issue, where we become aware of Kyon’s urgency and desolation. The element of time travel and alternate universes is super exciting, always offering uncertainty, and with this provides a thrilling viewing experience!
We hope you enjoyed our choices of top 10 mystery anime movies! If you haven’t already, make sure to check out all of these great titles! Another film we would like to mention that also falls under the mystery category, as well as some others, is Paprika (2006). Following that trail and picking up the clues, mystery anime is a great challenge in helping to exercise the mind, constantly keeping you guessing, and wowed when the results are revealed! As such, let us know if we’ve missed any other great mystery movies! Comment below! See ya!