List of Must-See Smart Anime Series - The Top Best Intelligent Anime Shows


Get ready to challenge your mind with our top intelligent anime series list. From complex plotlines to thought-provoking themes, these shows stimulate your brain and keep you on the edge of your seat. These must-watch classics are perfect for fans of intelligent entertainment. So sit back, grab some snacks, and get ready to dive into the mind-bending world of brilliant anime.

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1. Steins-Gate

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Genre: Sci-Fi, Mystery, Thriller, Comedy
Episodes: 24 | Related: has an Alternative sequel
Release: 2011
Status: Finished Airing

My Take:

Steins;Gate is considered one of the best time travel anime of all time. As a fan of the sci-fi genre, I can confidently say that this is one of the best in the genre. The series follows a group of friends who discover that their experiments with time travel have real-world consequences, leading them on a thrilling journey through different timelines.

It’s the choice of Steins Gate. El Psy Congroo

The series begins with Rintaro Okabe, an eccentric college student, and his lab assistant, Mayuri Shiina, discovering that they can send text messages back in time using a device they’ve built. As they experiment with their newfound ability, they are drawn into a conspiracy involving SERN, an organization that has been secretly conducting time travel research for years. The story takes many twists and turns and timelines, and it can be slow in some episodes, but that changes as the series continues.

One of the strengths of Steins;Gate is how everything connects with each episode and how rewatching the series makes it even more enjoyable as you can pick up on things you missed the first time around. The series is fascinating and amusing and has a unique storytelling way. It also uses real-time travel theories published by scientists

The anime was produced by White Fox studio, known for creating critically acclaimed anime such as Re:Zero and Katanagatari. The series also has a sequel series and a movie adaptation.

Just bear the five episodes; you’ll see why it’s called the greatest sci-fi series. Steins;Gate is a must-watch for time travel fans and sci-fi anime fans. Its unique storytelling style and well-crafted plotlines create an engaging and thought-provoking experience. It’s a great series to binge-watch, and it will keep you on the edge of your seat.

2. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

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Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Drama
Episodes: 50 (Two Seasons)
Release: 2006
Status: Finished Airing

My Take:

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion spans two seasons and tells an epic story of political intrigue, action, and consequences. From the start, it had a great cast of characters, with Lelouch being my all-time favorite anime character. He is smart and charismatic, and his struggle throughout the series is well portrayed. He has a clear goal, and his character development throughout the series was fantastic.

To defeat evil, I must become a greater evil

The series is set in an alternate world where the Britannian Empire conquered Japan and was renamed Area 11. Lelouch, a former prince of Britannia, gains the power of “Geass,” which enables him to command anyone to do as he wishes. He then uses his newfound ability to defeat the Britannian Empire and create a better world for his people. Lelouch’s ultimate goal is noble, but his actions and motivations are not always clear, making for a complex and dynamic character. And the series explores themes of power, politics, and the nature of war.

Both seasons of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion is intelligent, well-written, and well-crafted, with excellent character development and an intriguing plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The show has a very well-thought-out and executed story that spans the two seasons and ties all the events and consequences logically and satisfactorily.

The anime was produced by Sunrise studio, known for creating critically acclaimed anime such as Cowboy Bebop and Inuyasha.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion is an outstanding anime series that I would highly recommend to anyone fan of action, politics, and philosophy. The series is full of drama, action, and suspense, and it’s an unforgettable story that will keep you engaged until the very end. Code Geass will always hold a special place in my heart.

3. Death Note

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Genre: Mystery, Psychological, Thriller
Episodes: 37
Release: 2006
Status: Finished

My take:

In Death Note, a gripping anime series, the story unfolds around a high-stakes battle of wits between two masterminds, Light Yagami and L. Light, a disillusioned high school student, discovers a mysterious notebook that grants him the power to kill anyone by writing their name in it. As he takes on the persona of a self-proclaimed "god" of justice, L, an eccentric and unorthodox detective, becomes determined to stop him. The constant cat-and-mouse game between the two characters forms the heart of the intense and thrilling plot.

You can’t ever win if you’re always on the defensive. To win, you have to attack!

The anime is elevated by its intellectual characters, each with unique motivations and abilities that contribute to the psychological depth of the narrative. Light's transformation from a brilliant student to a morally complex and calculating figure adds layers of complexity to the story. On the other hand, L's eccentricities and unyielding pursuit of justice make him a compelling and enigmatic rival.

Death Note's atmosphere and music contribute significantly to its intense and suspenseful tone, heightening the sense of tension as the battle between Light and L escalates. The show also excels in its ability to keep the audience guessing, presenting mysteries about the true nature of the Death Note and the characters' identities.

Death Note's enduring appeal lies in its ability to captivate viewers with its psychological intricacies and morally ambiguous characters, making it a standout anime that continues to leave a lasting impression on its audience. Its ability to immerse the audience in a gripping and intellectual battle between two masterminds has earned it a well-deserved reputation as one of the best anime series ever.

4. Steins-Gate 0

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Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller
Episodes: 23 (Sequel to Steins Gate)
Release: 2018 I Status- Finished

My Take:

Steins;Gate 0 is a great sequel to the original Steins;Gate anime, which explores an alternate reality and provides a missing piece of the puzzle for fans of the series. The story follows in an alternate reality where the characters struggle with the aftermath of their failed attempt to change the past. The story is told through flashbacks and past events of an alternative timeline, which helps deepen our understanding of the characters and their motivations.

One of the series’ strong points is the development of the characters, particularly the protagonist Rintaro Okabe. He has a more complex and nuanced personality compared to his first anime, as he is trying to cope with the guilt and trauma caused by the failed experiment.

The series explores a darker and sadder story compared to the first series, as we see the characters struggle with the weight of their actions and the consequences of their choices. The show delves into the psychological and emotional toll of time travel and the complex ethical questions that it raises. It’s a series that is not for the faint of heart, as it does have a few darker themes.

In general, fans of time travel series and sci-fi will find plenty to enjoy in Steins;Gate 0. It stands along with the first series as one of the best time-travel anime series. The Sci-fi elements are well-developed and blend well with the story, providing a unique and entertaining experience.

Steins;Gate 0 is a great sequel that provides a missing piece of the puzzle for fans of the series while also standing well on its own. It’s a satisfying, emotionally complex, well-crafted story that explores the darker side of time travel. The series also explores the psychology and ethical issues that arise from it, making it a must-watch for sci-fi and time-travel genre fans.

5. Boku dake ga Inai Machi (ERASED)

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Genre: Mystery, Psychological, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Episodes: 12
Release: 2016
Status: Finished

My Take:

Erased, also known as “Boku dake ga Inai Machi,” is a must-watch anime series for fans of the mystery and thriller genres. The series captivates viewers from the start with its suspenseful plot.

“The future is always blank. Only your willpower can leave footsteps there.”

The story follows a struggling manga artist, Satoru, who discovers that he can travel back in time moments before a life-threatening incident, allowing him to prevent it from happening. As the series progresses, Satoru begins to uncover a series of events that are connected to his past, including the murder of his childhood friend, and he starts using his power to prevent this tragedy from happening.

The plot is intense, full of twists and turns that keep the audience guessing, and the pacing is well-done, making it easy to become fully engrossed in the story. The characters are also well-developed, each with their own unique motivations and backstories. Satoru, the protagonist, is a relatable and likable character, and the supporting characters are also well-written and add depth to the story.

"Erased" has received acclaim for its expert storytelling, skillfully combining elements of mystery and thriller genres. The series effortlessly blends captivating narrative with profound themes, prompting viewers to reflect on the power of fate, the significance of choices, and the sacrifices required to protect those we care about. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that "Erased" is not merely a mystery-thriller anime but an exploration of human resilience and the unwavering determination to rewrite destinies.

6. Dr. Stone

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Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Episodes: 24+11( Two Seasons)
Release: 2021
Status: Finished

My Take:

In the post-apocalyptic world of Dr. Stone, a mysterious phenomenon turns all of humanity into stone statues. The story centers around Senku Ishigami, a brilliant high school student who miraculously breaks free from his stony prison after 3700 years. With an insatiable passion for science, Senku sets out on a remarkable journey to rebuild civilization from scratch, using his scientific expertise to revive others and confront the challenges of this new world.

"I'm not stupid. I'm just too lazy to show how smart I am."

The series incorporates real scientific principles and theories, with the creator, Riichiro Inagaki, collaborating with scientists to ensure that the portrayal of scientific concepts is as authentic as possible. This unique blend of fantasy and accurate science adds depth to the story and captivates audiences, leaving them both entertained and enlightened.

As Senku strives to revive civilization, the anime explores themes of human ingenuity, perseverance, and the transformative power of knowledge. It showcases the wonders of science and technology and emphasizes their crucial role in shaping the world. This thought-provoking aspect of Dr. Stone resonates with viewers, encouraging them to contemplate the impact of science on society and the potential it holds for both progress and destruction.

Dr. Stone stands as a shining example of an anime series that not only captivates with its unique blend of science and adventure but also educates and inspires through its accurate representation of scientific principles. Dr. Stone is a triumph in both entertainment and education, a series that sparks curiosity and appreciation for the wonders of science while taking its viewers on a thrilling and enlightening journey through a post-apocalyptic world.

7. Hyouka

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Genre: Mystery, Slice of Life
Episodes: 22
Release: 2012
Status– Finished

My Take:

Hyouka is a captivating anime series that follows the story of Houtarou Oreki, a seemingly indifferent high school student who joins the Classic Literature Club. Alongside his fellow club members, Houtarou finds himself entangled in various mysteries and enigmas, using his sharp mind and deductive skills to uncover the truth behind each puzzling situation.

“The more inexperienced you are, the more you want to show off.”

At the heart of the series lies the enigmatic protagonist, Houtarou Oreki, whose character development is a true marvel. Initially portrayed as apathetic and energy-saving, Houtarou undergoes a remarkable transformation throughout the series. As curiosity sparks within him, he becomes more passionate and engaged, creating a deeply satisfying character arc that resonates with the audience.

Hyouka is an exceptional anime that stands as a true gem in the mystery genre. Its thrilling enigmas, coupled with Kyoto Animation's exceptional animation, deliver a visual and intellectual treat for the viewers. The character development of Houtarou Oreki and the well-rounded ensemble cast make the series a delightful journey of self-discovery, friendship, and personal growth. Hyouka's ability to seamlessly blend mystery, slice-of-life, and romance into a cohesive and engaging narrative ensures that it leaves a lasting impression on its audience, making it a must-watch.

8. No Game No Life

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Genre: Adventure, Comedy
Episodes: 12
Release: 2014
Status: Finished

My Take:

No Game No Life is an anime series that follows two step-siblings, Sora and Shiro, who are known as the gaming duo “Blank” and are considered to be the strongest players of a massively multiplayer online game. They are summoned to a parallel world, where all disputes are settled through games, and the story follows their journey to become the world’s rulers.

The Disboard world created in the anime is fascinating and entertaining, and the characters are smart and strategic players. The series explores themes of strategy, game theory, and the importance of teamwork as the characters learn to navigate the complex rules of the Disboard world and compete in various games.

The series has a unique and creative art style, and the animation is well done, providing an excellent visual representation of the various games in the series. However, it has unnecessary fanservice that might be considered distracting to some viewers.

No Game No Life is an anime series that is entertaining, smart, and strategic. The Disboard world created in the anime is fascinating, and the characters are intelligent and intriguing to watch. Despite some needless fanservice, the series is worth watching for its clever exploration of game theory and strategy and its unique and creative art style.

9. Summertime rendering

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Genre: Mystery, Scifi, Suspense

Episodes: 11

Release: 2022

Status: Finished

My Take:

Summertime rendering is an anime that will keep you on the edge of your seat with its use of a time-loop narrative. The story follows Shinpei Ajiro, who returns to his hometown after hearing about the death of his childhood friend. While uncovering the truth behind her death, he realizes he is stuck in the time loop repeating the same day after...

The story keeps the audience on their toes as Ajiro is forced to relive the same events repeatedly but with slight variations each time. This creates a sense of intrigue and mystery as the audience is left wondering what will happen next and how the characters will escape the loop. The characters' relationships with each other and the main storylines and twists evolve over time, adding an extra layer of depth to the story.

Summertime rendering is a short anime with only 12 episodes, but every episode is worth it, as it packs a punch in terms of storytelling and character development. The anime is intriguing and emotionally engaging, and it's a must-watch for anyone who enjoys a good time-loop story. And it's a great choice for those who want a short but satisfying watch.


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