Thrillers is a loved genre across all forms of art, TV Series, Anime, Manga, Books, etc. Anime and Manga have seen some of the best mystery thrillers out of all the literatures.
What makes a thriller so fun is that the story tries to pull you into the world of the characters. You start analyzing the clues yourself and try to find out the culprit and just when you start doing that you start investing so much into the story that it makes you wanna know more and more.
When there is a mystery there are always detectives and in this article, we are gonna explore all the thriller anime ever, only the best of them.
Let us solve this mystery of some top notch detective anime of all time.
18. Ghost Hunt
Starting off the list with a comedic and supernatural mystery about a rag tag group of investigators. Ghost Hunt is about paranormal investigators who look out for ghostly and spiritual activities.
Mai Taniyama and her classmates love to tell each other about their ghostly adventures and stories that they hear from here and there.
The anime has amazing episodic stories without and overarching storyline. Personally, I like the idea of the episodic nature of the anime but there is definitely a disadvantage to not having an overarching storyline with something big and more engaging.
Despite its shortcomings the anime never lets the suspense die out. I loved the characters especially the protagonist Mai Taniyama, she is very relatable.
17. Black Butler
Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) is an anime set in Victorian England where Ciel Phantomhive, also known as, “The Queen’s Gaurd Dog” does his majesty’s biddings for her along with his butler, Sebastian.
Black Butler is one exciting anime, it is filled with action adventure along with some quality suspenseful stories, it even has some comedic scenes to keep the viewer fresh and energetic.
But the same comedic nature of the anime sometimes played out to its own disadvantage, the cheerful aura in the fillers clashed with the base eerie aura of the anime and the storyline to create this mess of a story. It definitely would’ve been a masterpiece.
Personally, I love anime with a dark and unpredictable aura about them and thus I definitely enjoyed watching Black Butler. If you have got similar taste this anime is definitely worth your time.
16. Shinrei Tantei Yakumo
What would you do if suddenly in your high school years one of your close friends commits suicide and one of the is apparently possessed by a ghost? I would definitely be scared shitless.
On the other hand, Haruka tries to dig up the secrets of the past about these ghosts and spirits with the help of another student with a mysterious red eye, Saito. Together they try to uncover the deadliest of the mysteries.
The anime lacks action, as the ghosts and spirits Saito sees with his red eye are straight up harmless and even the investigators don’t have any skills and powers.
The anime does have a fair amount of ghosts and supernatural and some mystery too. It is definitely worthy of the number sixteen spot.
15. B: The Beginning
This anime features one of the best detective characters among al anime. B: The Beginning is about a vigilante and a seasoned but washed out detective. It is one hell of a chase.
The anime takes place on the islands of Cremona, where the mastermind behind a series of murders, Killer B walks among the crowd. The investing organization, RIS, calls upon the aid of an old detective Keith Flick to catch the culprit.
Soon what seems to be sort of an innocent game of dark chess turns out to be something even more darker.
This Netflix Anime is a must watch for all the mystery and thriller enthusiasts, it has some great twists in the plot and of course intelligent characters.
Are you a fan of detective mysteries and anime lolis? Well, Gosick is just the perfect anime for you to enjoy as it is the perfect combination of lolis and thrillers. Loli Detective!
The main protagonist of the anime, Kazuya, is a student in an extravagantly rich Southern European Boarding School. Interested in stories about ghosts and spirits he visits the school library and finds my favorite character from the show, Victorique de Blois.
Victorique is smart as hell, she can predict the future most accurately using her insights and deductions of the environment around her, she is a very smart detective.
The anime lacks a bit in the development of its episodic mysteries, the development in the mysteries almost always seems illogical and they’re solved by the insight of Victorique. Despite its shortcomings, you can enjoy this anime regardless.
13. Terror in Resonance
Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance) is an anime about a mysterious terrorist attack that leaves the country in absolute chaos. The anime shows how the system humankind has made for centuries can be collapsed in a matter of microseconds.
The attack takes place in a nuclear facility and all that’s left behind is a wall with the words “VON” on it painted in red.
The anime has an immersive story but lacks a little in the department of character design and plot execution. The storyline in the first few episodes is amazing and very catchy which later just becomes an anime about two special kids with bombs.
The anime is nonetheless enjoyable but in my opinion the story could’ve been executed much better like the premise of the same anime.
12. Bungou Stray Dogs
Bungou Stray Dogs is a great action and suspenseful anime with some mysteries elements and a little bit of comedic relief. It is perfect for seinen lovers, it has that kinda vibe to it.
The anime follows, Atsushi Nakajima a teenaged orphan boy who lives in an orphanage along with his friends. The plot advances when he finds out about a mysterious tiger that is haunting the orphanage but only he can see it.
The anime lacks direction, I mean it never fully explores what it builds on its unique premise. The anime fails to stick to a genre and tries to incorporate more than it could which ends a bit poorly.
Despite the shortcomings the anime has seen a lot of fans and is quite popular among the newest anime out there.
11. Pyscho Pass
Would you feel more or less secure in a world where crime is being monitored even before it takes place in the world? It does sound more secure but would you let the police see right inside your head?
In the world of Psycho-Pass, the government comes up with a system called the Sibyl System to check all the citizens for their threat level by examining their mental state and criminal intents.
The anime portrays the struggle between human emotions and reality. Of course on a bad day a person would think of doing something they’d not even think about doing normally but does that mean they are criminalistic?
It is one interesting premise and even a better execution of the plot with some great characters as detectives
Boku dake ga Inai Machi (Erased) is a great thriller anime. The the plot revolves around Saturo Fujinima, a hardworking mangaka with a supernatural ability which he calls, “Revival”
This mysterious ability prevents any deaths and mishaps happening around him by sending him back in time until the accident is prevented. Satoru has saved a number of lives with this supernatural ability.
The story shows how Saturo is wrongly accused and sent 18 years back in time where he uncovers a bigger even interesting mystery.
The shortcomings of Erased lies in some plot holes and character development but it covers up for these by the amazing direction, the premise, and the build-up.
Hyouka is an anime about a group of four friends clubbed together under the Classic Club in their high school. In my real life, I feel quite inspired by the protagonist’s motto, “If I don’t have to do it I won’t. If I have to do it, I’ll make it quick”
The protagonist, Oreki, is an absolute genius of a character with great deduction and observational skills but he is the most laziest character in the show.
Hyouka is an episodic anime with some mind-blowing mysteries all solved by Oreki and his three of his friends. My favorite character on the show is Eru Chitanda, the rich farmer girl with a heart full of curiosity and only one thing to say, “Watashi Kinninarimasu”.
The anime has some amazing mysteries, my favorite was the one with the comic book and the seniors of the high school.
8. The Ghost in the Shell
Kokaku Kidoutai (Ghost in the Shell) is an anime set in a futuristic environment with strong artificial intelligence elements. It is somewhat similar to the famous Hollywood movie, The Matrix.
In this anime premise, cybergenetic implants are very common and thus humans have achieved superhuman abilities. The plot revolves around Major Makoto, who tries her very best to save this world from cyber-hackers and tech terrorists.
The anime also has a solid movie you can watch called the Stand Alone Complex, which has a same setting and premise. Also the newly released Netflix Anime with the same title is pretty lit too.
If you love the 1995 movie, The Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, then make sure you check out the absolutely fantastic manga from 1989, it is the origin of it all.
7. Parasyte: The Maxim
On number seven we have a crazy popular anime that was all the talk back in 2015. The premise of the anime involves parasitic aliens that suddenly arrive on Earth and then infiltrate the minds of humans living inside human beings.
The main protagonist, Shinichi Izumi is a soft-hearted high school boy whose hand gets infected by one such parasitic alein who goes by the name, Migi.
Can Shinichi and Migi coexists? The anime shows a struggle between them as they try to keep it together an composed.
The anime has a great watching experience, I think it is because of the unique and quite an interesting premise it has.
6. Tantei Gakuen Q
Tantei Gakuen Q (Detective School Q) is an anime about a bunch of students that attend the DDS, Dan Detective School, a special school that is renowned because of the founder, Dan Morihiko.
The plot revolves around this group of friends with Ryuu Amakusa and Kyuu Renjou at the center of the group. The manga has an episodic nature with amazing stories that are definitely not short of any mysteries and thrills.
The art style is also quite immaculate and pleasant to look at, there is also a bunch of comedy in the anime which always keeps the viewer fresh and up for more.
This suspenseful supernatural detective show is heavily underrated in my opinion, it is set in a dystopian future with the main set of characters working as detectives to uncover supernatural mysteries.
The story follows Yuuki Shinjuurou, a detective that also goes by “Defeated Detective” by the name he has been given I think we can all figure out the premise of the anime and where it is about to head.
Yuuki and his mysterious assistant Inga show innate talent in uncovering homicide cases and capturing the culprits.
The anime has many twists and some are far more unpredictable and mind-blowing, watch the anime to find out what happens!
This is what I would call, The Godfather of the anime world. It is a thrilling story about a great set of characters set in a very realistic world view.
The protagonist, Dr. Kenzou Tenma is a neurosurgeon, and he is quite an excellent doctor too having saved many lives with his steady hands and composed mind until one day he saves a very significant life which then haunts him.
The plot is very slow when it comes to progress, it is quite like an fine aged wine, you have to savour it, enjoy it as it drips down your throat.
Sometimes the show gets very slow and boring but trust me it does make up for it. Whatever you do, Do NOT drop the anime halfway through the 74 episodes.
3. Death Note
No introductions are necessary for this anime, This was probably the first anime for a lot of currently seasoned weebs, still for the sake of the new ones reading this, let’s make it quick.
An anime with a genius detective, a self-righteous high school teenager, and a shinigami, the cast of this anime sounds crazy as hell and it definitely lives up to it.
Death Note follows the story of Light Yagami, a teenage boy who stumbles upon a book that supposedly has the power to kill anyone if you write their name in the book while knowing their face, the premise is certainly unique and creative.
There are definitely certain things that could’ve been better in the anime but it is still a masterpiece and an all time classic. Go watch it now if you haven’t!
2. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
One of the best thriller anime out there with mind-blowing twists and an hell of a genius as the main character of the anime.
The premise of the anime is heavily inspired by colonization and the terrors that come with it. The story shows the Britannian Empire that triumphs over Japan and renames it to Area 11 to rip the Japanese off of their identities.
Lelouch through some incidents he faces gains the Geass or “Power of The Kings” which he uses to his own advantage.
Watch this amazing masterpiece to find out how he uses this newfound power to destroy kingdoms and kings all together!
1. Detective Conan
How can I put anything else above this anime when it comes to detecitves and murder mysteries? Detective Conan is one of the longest running anime with god knows how many episodes.
It is an episodic anime that follows Shinchi Kudou, a high schooler with a knack for cracking down homicides and all types of crimes and murders.
The anime though tagged with shounen is pretty enjoyable to a vast and varies audience, this is exactly the reason it’s been airing since 1996.
Find the best Detective Conan episodes to watch in your free time!