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 mystery anime. From Odd Taxi to Death Note, 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!
Odd Taxi is an incredibly-written anime with an anthropomorphic cast. To many folks, this feels like an adult iteration of Animal Crossing. It tackles multiple adult subjects from gambling to addiction. Every topic is handled with respect. It’s an anime that’s not afraid to show the consequences that occur for individuals who participate in these activities either.
As stated earlier, this anime takes place in a world full of anthropomorphic creatures. They take part in many human activities from watching films to working in government offices. We examine the life of a walrus named Horisho. Horisho works as a taxi driver in his city and didn’t grow up in the best situation. He goes about his day picking up strangers and hearing their never-ending tales.
There’s beauty in the tales these animals share with Horisho. Some may be lighthearted while others may be darker than they’re letting on. Many viewers may resonate with the issues that crop up in these animals’ lives. While there is some comedy thrown into the story, it’s an incredible tale that’ll make you ponder. Give this anime a shot if you’re looking for a deep and memorable viewing experience.
You can read our thoughts on Odd Taxi in our full-season review here!
Baccano is a complex anime with a unique story structure. This anime features multiple protagonists who have different backgrounds and personalities. Their short tales will come together to form something astonishing by the series’s conclusion. Viewers don’t need to rewatch the show to understand its resolution.
In contrast, you’ll find yourself rewatching the anime to locate its puzzle pieces. Once you find these pieces, you’ll gain a newfound appreciation for Baccano’s storytelling. Story aside, this anime has astonishing visuals and great animation. Despite being drenched in mystery, the show contains some entertaining action sequences and comedic scenes.
Like filling in a crossword puzzle, Baccano will keep you occupied with its jumbling yet engaging plot.
Monster is a well-crafted work of art. Everything from its characters to its storytelling feels grand and familiar. Whether a character appears in one or multiple episodes, everyone receives great development. You’ll be blown away by this world and wonder why its author Naoki Urasawa other works haven’t received anime adaptations yet.
In Monster, we follow Dr. Kenzou Tenma. He chose to save a boy’s life over his mayor’s. The child is named Johan Liebert. He grows up to become a cold-hearted and manipulative serial killer. To make amends for his mistake, Kenzou goes on a journey to bring Johan to justice by his own hands.
Monster has minor flaws in its pacing and there are some events that many viewers may find boring. However, the show delivers an endless amount of twists and turns to keep viewers interested. With its gloomy setting, realistic villain, and mind-numbing plot developments, Monster is a worthwhile series that will surprise you.
If Sherlock Holmes were a young boy, he’d be someone like Conan Edogawa. Detective Conan (Cased Closed in the west) is a semi-episodic detective series about a boy named Shinichi Kudo. Kudo is a popular teenager known for his incredible intellect and ability for solving any crime officers throw at him. One day, Kudo meets two men who ambush and drug him with a concoction.
He wakes up and learns he’s transformed into a child. Having to hide his identity from his friend and her father, Kudo changes his name to Conan Edogawa. He travels with his friend and her father, helping them solve multiple cries without their knowledge. His goal is to return to normal while bringing the people who did this to him to justice.
Detective Conan is a mature work, despite the show following a childlike protagonist. Conan tackles numerous cases involving sexual assault, gun violence, drug abuse, and other things. Although it’s mainly episodic, the series does dabble into its main plot involving Conan’s mysterious enemies occasionally. It has many seasons and episodes to its name. However, that shouldn’t stop you from checking it out if you’re a huge fan of mystery shows.
Mononoke is a strange horror mystery series. It offers a unique story structure, distinct art style, and intriguing mystery. It’s broken up into five distinct tales, some inspired by famed Japanese folklore. It’s up to our protagonist, the Medicine Seller, to uncover the shape, truth, and reason, behind each spirit he meets.
Mononoke knows how to make each tale refreshing and interesting to follow. Nothing feels repetitive as it makes sure to include several unexpected twists to keep you engaged with each one. These tales contain deep messages and provide interesting commentary surrounding human nature. This is because humanity’s actions led to the spirit’s horrid natures in this show.
The show’s art style helps it stand out. However, it can be jarring to people who are akin to watching seasonal anime. Nonetheless, those who are tired of shows looking the same every season will enjoy Mononoke’s refreshing and distinct art styles. Fans looking for a complex and symbolic anime to watch with an irregular art style should check out Mononoke.
The Tatami Galaxy
This artistic, mind-boggling tale follows a third-year college student named Watashi. He meets an eggplant-shaped head who calls himself the god of matrimony. This excursion reminds Watashi that he never asked his crush, Akashi, out on a date. As this thought seeps its way into his head, Watashi gets sent into the past.
He receives another shot at life after being sent to his college years. Hoping to start anew, Watashi vows to make friends and ask his lover on a date. This anime is brought to you by Masaaki Yuasa, the same mind behind Cat Soup, Kaiba, and Mind Game. Many anime fans consider this his greatest work due to the thought-provoking concepts riddled within it.
This anime introduces fans to many interesting characters, who all have a vital role to play in its plot. This anime can feel daunting to some folks who don’t adore dialogue-heavy set pieces. However, if you’re willing to sit through this anime, you’re guaranteed to appreciate it for what it achieves in the medium.
Death Note is a remarkable detective series. It mixes its supernatural and mystery elements well to create something worth watching. Fans shouldn’t expect much action from this series. It’s best to go into this one expecting some delightful back-and-forth tactical battles between our protagonist Light and his rival L Lawliet.
Our story follows Light, a boy who finds a book called Death Note. It allows its wielder to murder anyone they want as long as they write their name and cause of death in it. Light goes on a killing spree as his alias Kira. With the book’s creator, Ryuk, at his side, Light feels invincible. Nonetheless, L Lawliet, a young detective, challenges Light, resulting in a never-ending mental battle between them.
This anime boasts a gloomy ambiance, a melancholic environment, and a competent cast. You’ll be amazed by the numerous tricks Light and L have up their sleeves. More people will find themselves rooting for L more than Light, though. Regardless, if you’re looking for a fantastic ghostly series with nail-biting chaos, check out Death Note.
You can read our thoughts on Death Note in our full-season review here!
Mushishi is a wonderful work with a great ambiance. This gorgeous fantasy anime is great for its simplistic yet atmospheric nature. With a likable protagonist, relaxing vibes, and an adventurous aura, you’ll find yourself adoring what this charming world offers. \In it, we follow Ginko. He’s a traveler that loves visiting multiple locations.
At these locales, Ginko shares his appreciation for nature and does everything he can to make others share a similar stance on it. He’ll meet many whimsical people and creatures on his quest. Ginko will influence them with his calm demeanor and kind heart. Viewers searching for an anime with a nonchalant tone and a comfortable presence should look no further than Mushishi.
The Monogatari franchise can be tough to sit down and follow. It contains multiple storylines featuring new protagonists with stories to share. Nonetheless, each chapter in the franchise includes excellent characters, beautiful settings, and worthwhile interactions. Owarimonogatri is one of the best chapters in the series due to its mysterious lore.
In it, we explore the life of a transfer student named Ougi. She’s introduced to a person named Koyomi, who happens to be a senior at her new high school. Upon investigating this school, Ougi finds a classroom that shouldn’t exist. She teams up with Koyomi to uncover the truth about this situation. This’ll unlock a deep memory Koyomi never knew existed.
Ougi is one of the most mysterious protagonists in the Monogatari franchise. Her past is shrouded in mystery and fans will love receiving more details about her gradually throughout Owarimonogatari. With its beautiful visuals, fascinating protagonist, and fun narrative, this is a must-watch entry in the franchise.
Ergo Proxy is a tough anime to get into the mood for. It’s dialogue-heavy and requires viewers to watch it numerous times to get the genuine gist of what it’s conveying. Once you attain a proper understanding of its world, characters, and plot, you’ll grow to appreciate the format it chose to present its information in.
With numerous plot twists and a dark take on futuristic societies, Ergo Proxy is a hidden gem that’s worth your time. It takes place in an isolated city called Romdo. Humanity resides in this locale and can’t go past the walls set up around it. To counter this issue, Romdo’s scientists create AutoReivs (robots) to aid humanity.
Unfortunately, the AutoReivs become self-aware and start causing a fuss. Iggy and Re-1 Mayer, the granddaughter of Romdo’s ruler, investigate the anomaly. As Re-1 uncovers the hidden conspiracy surrounding Romdo’s predicament, her investigation takes a turn for the worse. Give this anime a shot if you’re up for getting your mind blown.
So, there we have it, our picks for the best mystery anime through the years!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!