While a wide variety of anime is available, the number of “serious” anime releases has decreased over the last few years. Now, the word “serious” can signify different things to different people. For some, it could mean mysterious or dark, while for others, it could mean psychological. Serious anime, as used in this article, refers to shows with a strong sense of atmosphere. But this doesn’t necessitate that every episode has to be grim in nature, but rather that there should be a constant sense of crisis or progress in the plot.
Even with such severe standards, this list still manages to include a wide range of diverse serious anime. Most of these performances have a solid following and a solid reputation in the community. In light of the above, here are the top ten serious anime series with compelling plots!
10. Mobile Suit Gundam 00
Unlike any other energy crisis, Mobile Suit Gundam is set in a distant future where fossil resources have been completely depleted. As a result of their dependence on the sale of fossil resources, countries were plunged into poverty and war. Those who had access to a solar power generator had unlimited energy.
Amidst the subsequent confusion, a mystery group calling itself “Celestial Being” came with mobile suits known as Gundams, which were incredibly advanced for their time. Mobile Suit Gundam 00 tells the story of Setsuna F. Seiei, Lockon Stratos, Allelujah Haptism, and Tieria Erde, the Gundam Meisters of Celestial Being, as they fight to end war and change the world in Mobile Suit Gundam 00.
To better understand why things are as they are, this show takes us on a journey through the realm of politics. Criticism is leveled at each of the factions’ goals and objectives. They are self-conscious, which makes the series more realistic and closer to a future version of Earth’s existence on this planet.
The anime series Mobile Suit Gundam 00 is a must-see for fans of serious animation and compelling storytelling.
9. Code Geass
The world of Code Geass is one in which the United Kingdom has overrun the rest of the United States. As a result, the Holy Britannian Empire rose to the position of world superpower, controlling roughly a third of the globe. After a few years as a prisoner of the emperor, Lelouch Lamperouge develops an antipathy towards the monarchy in general.
Lelouch obtains the power of Geass after a meeting with a strange young woman named C.C., giving him the ability to make anybody do what he wants. Lelouch may now begin his war against the Britannian Empire with this newfound might.
Using an arc to arc technique, a sense of mystery is gradually built up. In addition, there are enough surprises to keep the audience on the edge of their seats throughout the film. There is a fantastic sense of momentum and growth leading up to the climax.
Despite a few lighthearted episodes, the anime continues to generate a sense of urgency. Code Geass is a serious anime that we had to include on this list because of its excellent characters, blood-pumping soundtrack, political intrigue, action, drama, and strong moral concerns.
Inspired by East Asian folklore and tradition, Mushishi is a collection of short stories based on these themes. In this case, though, we’re dealing with “Mushi”: the world’s most fundamental life forms, rather than gods, devils, or spirits. “Good” and “bad” have no meaning to them, and they exist in a state of perpetual nonexistence.
When it comes to dealing with these living forms, Ginko, a “Mushishi,” does an excellent job. He travels from town to town, looking for fascinating cases, and offers assistance to individuals who have been impacted by the mushi epidemic.
Every episode of Mushishi is dramatic because the show is episodic and does not have a central plot. There is a wide range of topics covered in the short stories, but they are all expertly written and have a common thread: Ginko. Natural and exotic elements are woven into the stories of human drama and familiar emotions.
Despite their modest length, the stories in this collection are full of originality, power, and intrigue. In terms of quality, Mushishi is a serious anime that’s well worth a watch for the story, the music, and the aesthetics.
7. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu is always a safe bet! The animation is set in post-WWII Japan, at a moment of rapid social change. In this Japanese comedy series, a newly-released prisoner is obsessed with studying the art of Rakugo, a kind of storytelling that dates back to the Edo period. However, he manages to get taken under the wing of Yakumo Yuurakutei after being inspired by his performance.
Yakumo has been caring for Konatsu, a young woman who has been abandoned by her father after his death, when Yotarou begins his training. She’s drawn to the uniqueness of Sukeroku’s Rakugo because of her passion. The novel frequently shifts its attention from the apprentice’s story to the story of Yakumo and his departed companion Sukeroku’s story.
“Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju” is a narrative of friendship and family as well as sacrifice in order to achieve one’s full potential in Rakugo. It’s still a story about life, about the struggles and triumphs of two regular individuals with extraordinary talents.
Nothing could be further from the truth, despite the fact that the premise may appear onerous and tedious. There are no powerful protagonists or unnecessary fanservice, but the anime nonetheless manages to be a captivating and emotive experience while keeping a firm grip on its lofty goals. Everything moves along at a steady pace, and there is no confusion about where the story is going.
An dramatic animation, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu relies on its visuals rather than telling its plot for its comfort.
In the Future Gadget Laboratory, Okabe Rintaro and his colleagues Hashida Itaru and Shiina Mayuri are a self-described mad scientist. A “Phone Microwave” is the oddest of Okabe’s “future inventions,” which he spends his days developing.
Until a series of strange occurrences prompts the trio to take action, that is. Their lone ray of hope? Using the Phone Microwave, emails can be sent back through time, changing the course of events.
Okabe is guided by Steins;Gate through the intricacies of scientific theory as well as its everyday application. Having been sent back and forth in time, he must now bear the responsibilities that come with being in possession of the key to the world of time.
The Steins;Gate series is a lot of fun, and it doesn’t mind messing about with scientific principles. However, it also avoids addressing certain important difficulties linked to time travel, which is understandable given the work’s fictional position.
This sci-fi anime is one of the best in recent years because it doesn’t get mired down in the nitty-gritty details and instead concentrates on telling a compelling story.
5. Cowboy Bebop
Cowboy Bebop is set in 2071, a time where space is crowded with bandits, people who hope for a better future, and treasure hunters. The Bebop crew is a bounty team that police the law in space because so many people are going there. Jet Black and Spike Spiegel, two members of the Bebop crew, are bounty hunters. Spike’s past, on the other hand, stalks and threatens him more than ever.
Every episode of Cowboy Bebop is packed with action, making it a great show to watch. A scary and poignant conclusion to the series leaves many viewers with fond memories of the series’ build-up of suspense over the episodes. Cowboy Bebop is a must-see for everyone who like serious anime, especially those who enjoy action-packed stories.
4. Attack on Titan
Anime like Attack on Titan is frequently cited as proof that anime isn’t just for kids, and that’s fair enough. In spite of the fact that the series is loaded with man-eating creatures with blood and gore everywhere, the tale and characters themselves are dark and dramatic enough to keep children away.
The premise of Attack on Titan is intriguing. Humanity was on the verge of extinction a century prior to the start of the anime because of Titans, gigantic humanoids that consume humans. Their desire for human flesh isn’t motivated by hunger at all; rather, it’s pure pleasure.
After a century without a single encounter with a titan, humanity’s remaining population lives within three “heavenly” walls. A titan breaks through the outer wall and begins a bloodbath, disturbed the peace.
Our protagonist, Eren Yeager, is present throughout this tragedy and witnesses the awful death of his mother, prompting him to swear to wipe out all titans one day. Hence, he joins the Survey Corps, an elite military squad that fights the titanic foes outside civilization’s fortified boundaries. Armin Arlert, his childhood friend, and Mikasa Ackerman, the girl he adopted as a kid, assist him in the battle against the titans.
The tale of Attack on Titan is extensive, filled with bloody battles and heated exchanges of dialogue. One of the best serious anime of recent years, without a doubt.
Legendary anime Berserk is set in a medieval world plagued by conflict. Guts, a young mercenary who sees the battlefield as his only hope for survival, is the focus of the plot. To survive the slaughter, he riskes his life to make a little dollars here and there.
The Band of the Hawk, a formidable mercenary band, recruits him after a run-in with them, and he joins them under the leadership of Griffith. Guts rapidly rises through the ranks to become the offensive faction’s leader and utterly dominates Midland. While he initially thought the world was black and white, he soon finds that it isn’t.
One man’s struggle to discover his own way while supporting another’s desire for power and the unfathomable catastrophe that unfolds are the focus of this gritty story.
Berserk is one of the most intense anime out there. There is a lot of blood and gore to be found in the show’s violent combat and head-to-head confrontations. Not for the faint of heart, the Berserk universe is rife with evil and brutality.
2. Aoi Bungaku
Six short stories taken from old Japanese tales are collected in Aoi Bungaku, which is revered in Japan as a literary masterpiece. Every episode is distinctive, from the directing to the visual design to the musical selections, all of which contribute to making each story stand on its own.
Love, betrayal, melancholy and morality are all examined in this dark and realistic anime. These tales are typically reflections of the author’s own struggles and give new light on Japanese Imperial history. The series manages to maintain a constant level of tension despite the fact that each arc is unique. Deathly and dismal, you won’t want to see Aoi Bungaku.
An enjoyable diversion from the usual action, love interest, and magical girl fare. Aoi Bungaku is the perfect show to watch if you’re looking for an intense and thought-provoking look into human depravity.
The Monster is the face of dark and serious television. ‘Monster’ It’s tempting to dismiss this show as overhyped because it comes highly recommended by nearly everyone who calls themselves an intellectual, but it deserves to be at the top of the list.
“Monster” follows Dr. Tenma and his struggle to pay back his debts to society after saving the life of a youngster nine years ago. As a story about a psychiatrist trying to atone for his sins by stopping the serial killer, the anime has evolved into much more than that. Ultimately, the series explores the subject of whether or not there is a monster lurking within each of us.
As a psychological and dark anime, Monster is sure to terrify its viewers. Monster is a serious anime despite its lack of action and focus on a deep tale and compelling characters.