There are a lot of TV shows out there and in this golden age of TV streaming, the choices have never been greater. So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic? Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest and unforgettable shows through the years.
For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best anime, our attention this time turns to crime. From psychological mind games to fun mysteries, there’s a good choice to whet your appetite.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll get them added on!
While many viewers are fans of anime that fully adapt the source material, some don’t. However, Gunsmith Cats leans more on the former than the latter. With its cast of quirky characters and a neat mixture of action and comedy, these cops will keep you entertained.
The story follows bounty hunter Rally Vincent and her sidekick May Hopkins who run a firearms store. They get blackmailed by a bureau agent to work on a case with him. Though Rally’s gunslinging skills and May’s background with explosions are top-notch, they’ll realize this case isn’t an easy task.
Rally and May’s chemistry together rivals many iconic duos in anime. The criminals they tangle with range from street thugs to assassins, which will keep fans engaged with how they plan to defeat them.
While Gunsmith Cats’ storyline isn’t complex, it’ll be pleasing for those that want to watch an anime akin to a popcorn flick.
An anime so classic that Netflix created a live-action adaptation, Cowboy Bebop holds up and is adored by many retro fans. With its iconic and diverse characters to its well-animated action-centric scenes, Cowboy Bebop’s an anime that’ll grant you an experience you’d want to relive twice.
The story follows the adventures of bounty hunter Spike Spiegel and his partner Jet Black who travel across space to search for new assignments and collect payment. A mixture of Slice of Life and action, the story slowly unravels the dark mystery behind Spike and his friends.
The anime never dumps information all in one episode. Cowboy Bebop has a habit of revealing intricate details about the past lives of its characters in every episode. The music amplifies the mood and elevates specific emotions for certain scenes.
All in all, Cowboy Bebop is a well-crafted space western adventure with enough crime and punishment to keep you entertained.
Paranoia Agent is a supernatural, suspenseful, and dramatic anime with twists and turns that’ll pique fans’ curiosity. With its varied cast of characters and several mysteries, it’ll keep you wondering how it’ll all unfold in the end.
Paranoia Agent follows a boy named Lil’ Slugger who attacks helpless citizens and disappears from each scene unscathed. When two detectives investigate his crime, Lil’ Slugger racks up more beatings. Faced with paranoia, the two detectives must catch Lil’ Slugger before it’s too late.
The story may leave most fans confused about how each story arc or a character fits into Paranoia Agent’s overall narrative. However, this weird structure adds a layer of uncertainty and fun that many crime fans seek.
The art style and animation are vastly unique and different from most anime. Sometimes the character’s facial features are exaggerated, and environments become abstract to amplify feelings of paranoia and stress.
It’s a series with much depth, suspense, and mystery to soothe even the smartest of fans.
Sometimes the saddest tragedies go unsolved, and most investigators live with grief that they couldn’t prevent a situation from happening sooner. However, what if they could time travel to said occurrence and save the victim?
Enter Erased, a story that follows Satoru Fujinuma, a boy who has the power to travel back to specific moments of his life. He is the main suspect in a case involving the murder of a relative. After discovering this murder ties into a missing-person case from the past, Satoru aims to use his power to bring this criminal to justice.
While the story is enticing, the culprit’s identity is way too predictable after the first few episodes. However, the anime introduces small cases for Satoru to solve that have some mystery regarding how he plans to save those victims.
It’s a time travel and crime anime that’ll make you cry with its characters and enjoy the happy moments they share. If you’re looking for a crime-based anime that’ll hit you in the heart, Erased’s worth watching.
Some crime shows adore having the resolution appear in the first episode of their series. Furthermore, the episodes that follow showcase the events happening before the incident to show viewers what went down. Baccano follows that pattern.
The story follows multiple protagonists, all differing in background and appearance. Their short tales intertwine into the anime’s overarching mystery. However, fans may need to re-watch the series two times as the story arcs feel like puzzle pieces.
Despite having a large cast, Baccano gives every character enough depth and distinct traits to allow viewers to remember them. No one overstays their welcome, and all of them serve their purpose. The action and comedy feel balanced too.
Like filling in a crossword puzzle, Baccano will keep you occupied with its jumbling plot.
While death is inevitable, there’s much mystery surrounding the afterlife. An anime that explores a possible route would be Death Parade. From its twisted moral-defined games to its gloomy tone, this series examines the darkly hidden side of human nature.
The story follows a bartender named Decim, an arbitrator who manages a bar in the afterlife. Only two people who’ve died at similar times will arrive and participate in his different death games. These games won’t only bring out their darker sides but will help Decim conclude who gets another chance at life and who doesn’t.
As one can tell, Death Parade’s filled with intense and dramatic dialog and visuals. Characters will undergo psychological breakdowns over the horrible actions they committed while alive. Viewers will find multiple twists in the anime’s plot involving Decim himself.
If you’re looking for an anime that tackles concepts of death, murder, and grief with snippets of mystery, Death Parade welcomes your attendance.
What if there was a world with technology that could define a person’s likelihood to commit crimes and accurately assess the occupation that’s right for them? Psycho-Pass is a unique crime anime that addresses that possibility.
The story occurs in futuristic Japan, where the Sibyl System determines a person’s threat level by analyzing their mental states. However, Akane Tsunemori, a young woman who stands for justice, discovers the system’s flaws and wants to convince the world of her discovery.
At its core, the anime uses the Sibyl System as the device that ties everything together regarding characters’ different ideologies and actions to uphold justice. Characters are well-developed and must overcome situations that challenge their principles.
With its phenomenal characters and various twists, Psycho-Pass will keep you alerted and engaged to the very end.
Death Note is a mystery and crime-focused anime that harbors well-developed characters, clever writing, and scenes that’ll have you on the edge of your seat. With doom and gloom around every corner, clutching for hope isn’t an option.
The story follows Light Yagami, who wants to rid the world of criminals by using the Death Note. Despite having a shinigami at his side, Light must throw down with a detective named L to achieve his mission.
Each episode will leave you craving more, and the mind games L and Light endure are icing on the cake. Fans can expect a lot of murder, twists, and wicked scenes in this anime despite knowing Light’s behind it all.
Imagine taking Sherlock Holmes and transforming him into an anime character who solves many cases before trained professionals can. You’ll end up with Shinichi Kudo, the main protagonist of the long-running anime, Cased Closed.
Shinichi Kudo is a boy with the talent to solve challenging cases before professionals can get a stab at them. One day, he encounters two men who ambush and drug him with a concoction that transforms him into a child.
Having to hide his identity from his friend and her father, he changes his name to Conan Edogawa. Therefore, the anime follows Conan solving his friend’s father’s mysteries and crimes behind the scenes while trying to find the cure that’ll return him to normal.
Though Conan’s case hasn’t been closed, the many crimes he investigates involve dark topics regarding abuse, sexual assault, gun violence, and an assortment of others. The story’s quite episodic, but some episodes pertain to Conan’s original case regarding the mysterious gentlemen and their organization.
While Conan is the main star of the series, the other characters also have standout traits that’ll appeal to many, especially the higher-ranked villains Conan encounters. If you’re looking for an anime that’s like Scooby-Doo, CSI, and others of the like, Case Closed’s worth binging.
If you liked the mind games between Light and L from Death Note but want a more dramatic and psychological take engulfed in realism, Monster is the way to go. It’s an anime with in-depth characters, a shockingly powerful storyline, and excellent animation techniques. It has everything a fan of the crime genre would want in one tightly packed story.
Monster follows Dr. Kenzou Tenma, who can’t rid himself of the endless torture in his mind because he saved a random child instead of his mayor. The boy grows up to become a criminal mastermind, causing Tenma more pain. To make amends for his mistake, Tenma plans to bring that boy to justice.
While the story is a slow-burner, there are enough mysteries, twists, and shock factors to keep viewers entertained. They’ll never feel like they missed an important detail as the anime spends time explaining and showing what Tenma and friends uncover.
The soundtrack amplifies the expected emotions for specific scenes involving angst and power, and feels necessary to the scene it’s incorporated into. If you’re looking for a crime anime that’ll leave an intense and long-lasting impression on you, Monster’s worth a watch.
So, there we have it, our picks for the best anime through the years about crime!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!