If you want to feel emotions you haven’t felt before, or explore how far the human brain can go, emotionally mature psychological anime is the greatest method to do that.
Finding a decent psychological anime is tricky because the majority of popular psychological anime is monotonous and lacking in depth.
All of the popular psychological anime is overdone and not all that serious in nature. I have handpicked 12 psychological anime that will give you goosebumps when you watch them.
In this post, I have handpicked 12 of the best psychological anime that will leave you with a strange feeling after watching them.
- 8 Anime Where The MC Dies
- 10 Anime Where the Mc is Depressed
- 6 Anime That Starts Good but Becomes Dark
Classroom of the Elite
This anime revolves around Kiyotaka Ayanokouji, a student of Class D, where the school dumps its worst. There he meets the unsociable Suzune Horikita, who believes she was placed in Class D by mistake and desires to climb all the way to Class A, and the seemingly amicable class idol Kikyou Kushida, whose aim is to make as many friends as possible.
Monster is one of the most popular and well-liked psychological anime on our list, and one of its most appealing aspects is how deeply it delves into the human psyche.
The storyline centres around Kenzo Tenma, a Japanese surgeon working in Düsseldorf, Germany, whose life is turned upside down as he becomes engaged with one of his former patients, Johan Liebert, who is discovered to be a violent serial murderer.
Future Diary is also one of my favorites on this list, this anime has a lot of gore elements.
Lonely high school boy, Yukiteru Amano, spends his days writing a diary on his cellphone while talking to his two fictional friends, Deus Ex Machina, the god of time and space, and Murmur, the servant of God.
Revealing himself to be an actual being, Deus grants Yukiteru a “Random Diary,” which reveals highly descriptive entries focusing on the future and drives him into a bloody royal war with 11 other holders of equally potent future diaries.
For the last person to stand as the new god of time and space, Yukiteru must locate and destroy the other 11 to survive.
Steins; Gate is one of the finest travel anime on our list, taking place in 2010 in Akihabara, Tokyo, and following Rintaro Okabe, a self-proclaimed “mad scientist” who runs the “Future Gadget Laboratory” in an apartment with his pals Mayuri Shiina and Itaru “Daru” Hashida.
When attending a time travel meeting, Okabe sees the dead body of Kurisu Makise, a neuroscience researcher; sends a text message about it to Daru and then learns that Kurisu is alive and that the message has arrived before he sends it.
Laboratory members discover that a mobile phone – a microwave oven they are designing – will transmit text messages back in time; they enter Kurisu and study, sending text messages – referred to as “D-mails” – to the past to alter the current. Eventually, Kurisu makes a gadget that can send memories via the microwave oven, essentially enabling the user to travel time.
Psycho-Pass is a Psychological cyberpunk anime series, which is set in a world authoritarian future dystopia where omnipresent public sensors continuously scan the mental states of every passing citizen.
The story revolves on the young woman Akane Tsunemori. She is introduced as a new Inspector assigned to Division One of the Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Division, where she is in charge of investigating crimes with latent offenders known as Enforcers.
When They Cry
When They Cry is another psychological anime that is extremely gory and dark in both its aesthetics and its storey.
In the summer of 1983, Keiichi Maebara has just arrived to the quiet small town of Hinamizawa and rapidly becomes close friends with classmates Rena Ryuuguu, Mion Sonozaki, Satoko Houjou, and Rika Furude. However, danger lurks beneath the surface of their seemingly beautiful existence.
Keiichi learns about the local stories surrounding the village’s yearly celebration as it prepares for its annual festival. To his surprise, he finds that other killings and disappearances have occurred in the village in recent years, and that they all appear to be linked to the festival and the community’s patron god, Oyashiro.
Keiichi attempts to question his new friends about these instances, but they remain curiously silent and refuse to provide him with the information he needs. As strange incidents continue to occur, he wonders what more his friends are hiding from him, and whether he can really trust them at all.
Kaiji – Ultimate Survivor
Kaiji – Ultimate Survivor is another another psychological anime that delves deeply into the human mind.
Kaiji Itou is a lazy who spends his days drinking beer and collecting hubcaps—until he is fooled by a former coworker. Kaiji, unable to repay his friend’s large debt on his own, is offered a shady arrangement to participate in illegal underground gambling aboard a cruise ship. This proves to be the beginning of his new terrible life, as he is taken headlong into a life-threatening roller coaster of mind games, deceit, and lies.
Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor is based on the first instalment of Nobuyuki Fukumoto’s popular gambling manga series, and follows our unlucky protagonist as he is forced to battle not only other individuals, but also the mysteries of their psyches.
Kaiji learns the hard way that when people’s backs are against the wall, the darkest elements of human nature emerge, and that the most terrifying dangers of all are greed, paranoia, and the human survival instinct itself.
Flowers of Evil
The story and the dark, tense atmosphere are the real centerpoints of the series. Basically everyday characters and situations are slowly moving in an increasingly darker, sicker direction.
The anime paints a very realistic picture of the characters, Takao’s intelligent but immature and weak personality is as believable as the naive, average Nanako, or the truly antisocial, rebellious, deliberately provocative Nakamura. The boy is in love with Nanako and acts on his impulse and steals her gym clothes – Nakamura sees this. The series is a great illustration of Nakuga’s antisocial behavior as Kasuga gradually sinks toward deterioration.
Pupa is a underrated psychological anime that goes into very Taboo topics like cannibalism and somewhat Incest.
Pupa depicts the storey of a caring brother’s desperate attempts to save his sister while also safeguarding the world from her insatiable hunger.
Utsutsu and Yume Hasegawa, abandoned by their harsh parents and with only each other to rely on, are lured astray by gorgeous red butterflies that have materialised in their world. Unbeknownst to them, these crimson-winged heralds mark the start of a cannibalistic nightmare—a mystery virus called Pupa is about to hatch.
After succumbing to the full effects of Pupa, Yume undergoes a grotesque metamorphosis into a monstrous creature with an insatiable desire for flesh; Utsutsu, on the other hand, is only partially affected, gaining remarkable regenerative powers instead. Reaffirming the resolve to keep the promise he made to himself years ago, Utsutsu is willing to sacrifice everything in order to always be there for his precious little sister.
The Lost Village
A busload of 30 young men and women travel to Nanaki Village, a gloomy village with the urban reputation of being a utopia. Many people want to start a new life or get away from the problems of their old one. When they arrive, they realise the village is deserted, with only a few signs of life that are slowly fading. The truth of Nanaki Village has yet to be disclosed.
Another lesser-known psychological anime that, like some of the others on this list, goes quite hard on the violence.
Tsukiko Sagi, a bashful character designer who developed the enormously famous pink dog Maromi, is under pressure to replicate her success.
An elementary school guy on inline skates attacks her as she goes home one night. The case has been handed to two police investigators, Keiichi Ikari and Mitsuhiro Maniwa. They believe Tsukiko is lying about the incident until they learn about a second victim.
Soon the attacker, dubbed Lil’ Slugger (Shōnen Batto in Japanese, meaning “Bat Boy”), is blamed for a series of street assaults in Tokyo. None of the victims can recall the boy’s face and only three distinct details are left in their memories: golden inline skates, a baseball cap, and the weapon: a bent golden baseball bat. Ikari and Maniwa set out to track down the perpetrator and put an end to his crimes.
Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom
In America, the mafia is prevalent, and killings are commonplace on the streets. Inferno, a mystery business, is responsible for the majority of these deals through the deployment of its near-invincible human weapon, “Phantom.” A Japanese visitor unintentionally sees Phantom’s latest murder one day.
Desperate to escape, the tourist seeks refuge in an isolated building. Phantom, however, is revealed to be a young lady named Ein, and the commander of Inferno, “Scythe Master,” catches and brainwashes the traveller.