If you have any experience watching anime, you know they often have good storylines, and some of them are even novel adaptations. With time and experience watching anime, you’ll realize that you will already have an idea of what the story is about, including the scope and plot, after just a few episodes. If the story follows an action thrill set up, it’s likely going to carry on that way, or if it’s a high school setting, it follows through to the end.
However, there is always that one anime show that goes differently from the others. These stories defy all your expectations, delve into deep realms, might even redefine their respective genres entirely; they would generally leave your mouth agape. Anime shows like these seem to have very complex storylines, but in the end, you will see that the storylines are very logical.
Several anime shows stand out from the rest in this way, and this article takes a look at 6 of these kinds of shows.
1. Hunter x Hunter (2011)
While it started simple, the Hunter x Hunter plot became much more complex with time. Just like the other shounen series before, it also follows a similar pattern of complexity. The start of the Hunter Exam Arc introduced the majority of the cast to the significant challenges some of them encountered and would struggle with until the end of the show. One thing that stands out with this series is how deep it goes into the characters’ minds. This series’s depth is such that you can’t define the cast from the first few episodes. Gon, for instance, gives you the vibe of a typical Japanese kid hero, but in reality, he has a bag of boundless and self-destructive determination, and he also suffers from the psychological abuse that the villain Hisoka often shows him.
2. Neon Genesis Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion is regarded as one of the all-time best anime to be produced and seems to have inspired the creation of many others. What makes this show unique is the fact that it changes the paradigm for our perception of anime. Now anime is viewed not just as a medium but an art form that can be used to express a philosophy and a message. While watching Evangelion, you can never be sure of what the storyline is driving at or what it is about. The labyrinth structure of the plot means that you have to second-guess throughout while you watch the show. The plot is mind distorting, and the show is genuine masterpiece for all psychologists out there.
3. Kami no Tou (Tower of God)
This Tower of God show takes a cue from Hunter x Hunter with the way it went about with the opening arc and introducing the cast members. The tournament arc was a standard one that took place within a huge tower which the mysterious King Jahad ruled. For people that are used to anime, this means that things went south really quickly from there.
This show comes with many surprises, with mind-boggling revelations about their world, the presence of shadowy organizations, as well as shifting alliances. However, the surprises of the first
season are nothing compared to what the following seasons hold – prepare for a wild journey. And it isn’t even Japanese.
4. Serial Experiments Lain
Serial Experiments Lain is a quite niche anime, and many regard it as one anime that has a very challenging narrative and is visually experimental. The plot of this show is very complex and well crafted, but it is hidden behind several veils of abstraction. So, you might need to watch it more than once before you understand the storyline or the backstory. Similar to Evangelion, Lain is also described as a very deep anime, difficult to understand, with themes reaching down into the subconscious. If you are watching this series, get yourself set to embark on an unmatched psychological trip.
5. Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)
At the start of this show, you have a clear ride through the walled-off steampunk world with Titans (man-eating humanoid monsters) ravaging humanity. The animation is fantastic, with all the beautiful and well-detailed imagery such as mechanisms for flight equipment powered by gas and another mechanism for equipment to be lifted over walls. The plot from the start appears underwhelming and does not reach the expected standards with all of these. However, all of that changes as you move farther into the show with the introduction of conspiracies, politics, connections to the supernatural. And that’s just the first half of the plot. These also came with the wealth of developed characters. You would not think they can pull off something like this, considering how the show started. But if you just watch the trailer for season 1 and compare it with the trailer of season 4, it is hard to believe that it’s still the same show.
6. Perfect Blue
This was the first long film that allowed director Satoshi Kom to show his prowess. Perfect Blue shows that an anime can be amazing and do genuinely artful twists of plot, but only if the creator has all the creative freedom that they need over the story. This film’s storyline is quite distorted and strides the fine line between reality and fantasy, so the viewer is left to find out which one they think is real. It’s a psychological thriller about an actress who is being stalked by someone terrible, eventually she loses grip on reality. We will leave it to you to find out what happens then.
This film is so good it inspired other works from Darren Aronofsky, so much that he bought the rights to this movie to recreate a scene on one of his works: Requiem for a Dream. He also had other films with themes and scenes similar to ones from Perfect Blue.
These are six anime that you would not be able to predict any part because of how complicated yet logical the storyline is. No single article can do them full justice, so you have to watch and rewatch them to fish out all the details.
Looking for more anime articles? Check out our list of the best anime of 2020!
This article was written by Flann Ham.
Flann Ham is a professional journalist and content manager. He is also an avid anime/manga lover with ten years of experience in watching and analyzing anime. Flann is available on Facebook and LinkedIn. Currently, he is working as an essay writer at A-writer.