Top 10 Philosophical Anime [Best Recommendations]

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onimonogatari wallpaper
[ Onimonogari -Monogatari Series-]

Have you ever seen an anime series that had you mind boggled and confused to the very end?
Or left you wondering if the actions that took place in the show could actually be possible, thus, showing what it would be like.

Anime can bring a variety of philosophical interpretations to its viewers in order to immerse themselves in a world of abstract visuals and wild imaginations.
Most shows that have philosophical presences are there to present an aspect of metaphysical and psychological understandings to reality.

This helps to realize what it's like to be human and the life that surrounds you.
In this Top 10 list, we have selected some of the best anime series out there that defines these characterizations. A lot of it is comprehensive, the world as we know it can eventually have similar outcomes perceived in these particular anime. But, we'll see.
Here are the “Top 10 Philosophical Anime” for you all to enjoy and rethink about the possibilities in these series. Enjoy!

10. Ghost in the Shell: Innocence

Ghost in the Shell- Innocence

Following the events that happened in the previous Ghost in the Shell, Batou and Togusa team up to investigate a series of deaths taking place due to gynoids malfunctioning (sex doll robots).
While investigating, the deaths seem to be premeditated, and Batou and Togusa pick up the clues and begin to move forward in the investigation of possible terrorist or political motives. They have to conduct their search without the help of the Major Motoko Kusanagi, as she mysteriously disappears. They both find out the gynoids are being artificially duplicated illegally, making the robots appear more lifelike and able to carry out murders.
Little did they know, as they dig deeper in their investigation, they uncover secrets that were never to be discovered.

innocence capture 02

innocence capture

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9. Serial Experiments Lain


Lain Iwakura appears to be your ordinary girl who's computer inept. But when the sudden act of suicide from a classmate occurs, along with several weird occurrences, Lain is pulled into the world of Weird, a global communications network that is similar to the internet.
This is where she soon discovers that nothing is quite what it seems, not the people around her, the places she's been.
This brings the biggest question of them all, is Lain herself really what she seems to be?!

Serial Experiments Lain

8. Mardock Scramble

Mardock Scramble DVD

Following a down and out teen who is a prostitute in the city of Mardock, she is founded by an ambitious casino manager who showers her with everything she's ever wanted. Feeling grateful for everything the manager has done for her, curiosity takes over as she searches for more information about him. What she finds is unnerving and horrible.
Soon discovered for her curiosity, she's becomes the victim of a car bombing in order to hide the truth about the manager.
But, the police have ways of finding out what really happened from such crimes They reassemble her body with state of the art synthetic fiber to find out the truth of her killer.
Although, she also learns what really happened, and soon turns to revenge; which begins her mission for redemption.

Mardock Scramble wallpaper

Mardock Scramble Trailer

7. Mawaru Penguindrum

penguindrum DVD

In this anime, once you make a decision, you question whether the universe will conspire against you. This forces you to think about your destiny and if its a matter chance, a choice or the outcome of fate.
The only thing two twins in this series know is when one was seriously ill one day, her death was adverted by the mysterious Penguin hat she had previously requested for. The hat has the ability to resurrect a person, but it comes with a price. In order to stay alive from the resurrection, the twins will need to find the Penguin Drum.
Before they can search for it, they need to solve several complex interlocking riddles, wrapped around their entire existence. Involving others in the same situation, someone else's destiny will have to change in order to live a normal life.

Mawaru Penuindrum fanart

Mawaru Penuindrum Trailer

6. Ergo Proxy

ergo proxy DVD

Taking place in a world where a methane hydrate layer explodes, the remaining survivors of mankind take to domed cities in order to live their lives in an arid and apocalyptic planet. The domes which mankind live in, is a controlled society with everyone being assisted by AutoReivs (autonomous robots).
There are several of these domes across the planet, and an investigation begins to find out why AutoReivs have been infected with a virus causing them to go mad. The only thing is, those who are conducting the investigation, are about to discover a mysterious humanoid life form called, Proxy.
They later learn that these life forms hold the key to survival for all of mankind.

ergo proxy wallpaper

5. Bakemonogatari


The story of the Monogatari series centers around character Koyomi Araragi who is a third year student and survivor of a vampire attack.
Soon after, he finds himself involved with all kinds of spiritual beings like ghosts, apparitions, gods, and mythological beasts. Most heroes in this anime have items which symbolize their spectres, such as a stapler (claw of a crab), a backpack (shell of a snail), or hat and jacket (head and skin of a snake).

This anime does question the values and integrity of one life.

[ Tsukimonogatari -Monogari Series-]

Bakemonogatari Trailer

4. Psycho-Pass

pyschopass2 dvd

This series is set in the near future where it is possible for law enforcement to measure the the state of mind of an individual, which then determines if they're qualified as a threat to society. The information is recorded and if found a threat, measures are taken in a term called Psycho-Pass. This is also a way of discovering the tendency factor to judge a criminal.

This begins the journey of a team of policemen who are dedicated to maintaining public safety, and face an insightful foe who seeks to disrupt the peace.

psycho-pass wallpaper 02

Psycho-Pass Wallpaper

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3. Monster


Renowned brain surgeon, Dr, Kenzo Tenma, highly praised by his peers as one of the greatest minds in his field, is about to start the life he's always wanted.

That all changes one day when he makes a decision which will alter his life, to save a child from death, or the mayor of the town.
Even though his superiors pressure him to save the mayor, he chooses to save the young boy instead. This leads to the end of everything he's worked hard for while believing life is equal.

Until, a series of murders occur and the evidence points to the young child he saved, which shatters his beliefs completely.

monster fanart

2. Parasyte


The anime follows a 17 year-old named Shinichi Izumi, who lives in a quiet neighborhood of Tokyo.

One night, weird looking creatures begin to surface on Earth, hosting onto humans while taking control of their brains. They become known as Parasytes, and they enter through the nose or ears in order to control the brains of their host.
One day, Shinichi encounters a Parasyte, but it was unable to enter his ear or nose and instead burrowed through his arm. Preventing it from traveling further into his body, he contained it in his arm and began to restrain its influence while being able to develop a strong bond and work together.
This helps Shinichi keep his untainted brain from being hosted by other Parasytes as he struggles to survive.

parasyte the maxim (kiseijuu) wallpaper

Parasyte Official Trailer

1. Mushishi


This anime is about the most basic form of life, Mushishi.
They exist in the world without goals or purpose, and are beyond the beliefs of good and evil. Existing in many forms and having the ability to mimic the natural occurrences of the world, only a vague description of these entities can define them.
The is due to the fact of humans being unaware of their existence. Only Mushi-shi, those who research and understand their place in the world's hierarchy of life, know about them.

One individual, Ginko, strives in knowing all about them in hopes of finding out the meaning of life.

mushishi wallpaper 03

Mushishi Official Trailer

That's it for this segment of Top 10 Philosophical Anime. I'm sure these series will really get you thinking, if not, their sure to bring excitement of imagination and the possibilities in your life. Some of the anime above, has forced me to watch it one more time so I can fully understand the message perceived in the anime. Don't ask me how many times I had to watch FLCL in order to understand it. There are some honorable mentions of other anime that didn't quite make it to the list, and they are: Black Jack, Texnolyze, Metropolis, Casshern Sins, and Sky Crawler.

I hope you all enjoyed this segment and that it helps to continue your search in finding great anime.

What series are you going to check out next? Is there an anime you would like to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!


Editor in Chief

Author: Alfonso "Fonzy" Ortiz

I'm a Geek, Nerd, Writer, and lover of all video games, anime, science, technology and the internet. I previously worked for, a contributing writer as the Japanese Corespondent at and founded a website called! I currently live in Japan as Editor in Chief of Honey's Anime and its very talented writers! I'm down for anything! What do you want to do?

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