Whether it’s supernatural forces or gruesome murders, mystery anime focuses on the unresolved questions surrounding characters and their efforts to find answers. From deadly diseases and events to someone’s sinister past, these anime characters are on the path to learn the truth and nothing will get in their way. So, here are 13 mystery anime series that would even make Sherlock jealous.
Bodyguard of the Wind
When George Kodama blows into the small town Kimujuku, he quickly realizes that his presence is not welcomed. Some of the people in Kimujuka feel uneasy with an outsider wondering the streets. But, most of all they are scared that someone may find out the town’s secret. However, with the Kimujuku split in half, George has to find another way to expose this dark truth.
Mouryou no Hako
The horror mystery anime Mouryou no Hako is set during the summer of 1952 when a string of grisly murders plague the towns of Musashino and Mitaka. So, news editor Morihiko Toriguchi and crime fiction writer Tatsumi Sekiguchi set out to investigate these horrible crimes. The grandfather of one of the abductees has also hired a private investigator to look into the horrific murders. During their investigation, they uncover the sinister truth behind the mutilated bodies.
29-year-old manga artist, Satoru Fujinuma is disenchanted with his career, or rather, lack thereof. As a result, he has to take a job as a pizza delivery guy to make a living. But, Fujinuma’s life is not all that bad as he has the power to travel several minutes back in time, which he dubs “Revival.” He uses his ability to save people and prevent costly mishaps, but when he ends up the prime suspect in his mother’s murder investigation, he accidentally transports himself to 1988: the same year three young girls were mysteriously kidnapped and murdered. Why did he go 18 years into the past and how does he return to the present?
In the slice-of-life mystery anime series, Hyouka, The Classic Literature Club has only four numbers: the energy-conservative Houtarou Oreki, the knowledgeable Satoshi Fukube, the stern but friendly Mayaka Ibara, and the ever-curious Eru Chitanda. But a 45-year-old mystery that surrounds their club brings the four closer together. During their time in the club, the quartet solves cases ranging from a missing earring to the fabricated death of a student.
The File of Young Kindaichi
Hajime Kindaichi may not look like your typical detective. However, he is one of the smartest investigators there is. In honor of his grandfather, who was a great detective, Hajime vows to solve every mystery that he encounters.
The File of Young Kindaichi manga first started serialization in 1992 making it one of the earliest manga works in the mystery genre. As well as an anime series, it has since been turned into a live-action movie and TV show, light novels, CD books, and video games. The series caught a second wind in 2014 after more than 20 years since it first aired, with The Kindaichi Case Files R which completed a second season in 2016.
In the mystery thriller anime, Monster, when a young boy is shot in the head, it’s up to renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Kenzou Tenma to save his life. However, Tenma’s peers pressure the young neurosurgeon to perform surgery on the Mayor instead of the young child. Despite their insistence, Tenma chooses to operate on the most critical patient, the young boy.
When a string of murders surrounds Tenma’sneurosurgeon and hospital colleagues, all evidence point to the boy he saved and these mysterious murders shake his beliefs and morals. So, Tenma sets out to reveal the true identity of his former patient and discovers the true evil that hides behind this monster.
When They Cry – Higurashi
During the hot summer of 1983, a young boy named Keiichi and his family move to the quiet village of Hinamizawa. Although Keiichi longs for the adventures of the big city, he soon discovers that Hinamizawa has a dark sinister mystery surrounding murders and disappearances that coincide with a village festival and points to the village’s guardian, Oyashiro-sama.
The Garden of Sinners
Also featured in our 13 must-see scary anime movies list, the seven-part movie series, The Garden of Sinners follows the knife-wielding Shiki Ryougi and her only friend and classmate Mikiya Kokutou. Besides being schoolmates, the pair is also investigators for the detective agency Garan no Dou.
Although the movie series has many paranormal themes, there’s an underlying mystery element to each of them, which come together in one collective narrative.
Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace
Almost everything distracts Kobayashi and he pays no attention to his school work. However, things get interesting when he is framed for his teacher’s murder. To prove his innocence and solve this horrifying crime he partners up with Kogorou Akechi, the high school detective who’s investigating him.
Amazed by the world of crime solving, Kobayashi becomes Akechi’s assistant, and Kobayashi is determined to see if he is up to the challenge.
When high school student Mai Taniyama meets detective Kazuya Shibuya, she would have never imagined that her ordinary world would take a turn for the supernatural. Throughout the series, the duo, along with other supernatural inspectors, solve paranormal mysteries across Japan.
The mystery anime series, Un-Go, is set in post-war Japan where crime is rampant and a lot of gruesome cases are going unsolved. Detective Shinjuurou Yuuki, also known as the “The Defeated Detective,” travels throughout Japan with his enigmatic colleague, Inga, and the pair solves mysteries along the way.
Regardless of his reputation, Shinjuuro skills and Inga’s powers manage to crack every case that’s in front of them. But, it seems Inga has some sinister purpose for the criminals that they catch. This leaves many unanswered questions, like what’s Inga’s true identity and what are his true motives.
Terror in Resonance
Terror in Resonance is a detective mystery anime about the aftermath of a terrorist attack that has struck Tokyo. Although the attack devastates the city, the only thing left behind is the word “VON” painted in red. Six months later, the police receive their first clue — a video that has mysteriously made its way on the internet. The video shows two teenage boys who identify themselves as “Sphinx,” and they challenge the police with a series of deadly riddles.
With the government unable to stop the mass panic that spreads through Tokyo, it is up to detective Kenjirou Shibazaki to solve these riddles and find out the real motive behind these attacks.
Taking place in the early 20th century, Gosick follows Kazuya Kujou, a foreign student at Saint Marguerite Academy. The academy is a posh boarding school in the fictional Southern European country of Sauville. Originally from Japan, Kazuya’s appearance causes an uproar among the students, with many giving Kujou the nickname the “Black Reaper.”
Despite his somewhat unique moniker, Kazuya manages to become friends with Victorique, a mysterious yet beautiful and brilliant young girl who spends her time reading the contents of the library. With her wellspring of knowledge and Kazuya’s boldness, they set out to solve mysteries that even detectives can’t explain.