Whenever we hear about detective anime or manga, the iconic storyline of Detective Conan hits our memories. However, anime lovers are left with an ocean of options when it comes to detective anime dramas.
The backbone of many anime and manga premises are based on mystery elements. Many mystery mangas have been adapted from existing properties like Sherlock but the original Japanese detective properties are equally binge-worthy!
If you are looking for recommendations in the detective genre of manga and anime, then you have landed at the right place. Now let’s check out 8 unusual and genre-bending anime and manga premises that are sure a make a spot on your watchlist.
List of Detective Anime
- Death Note
- Bungo Stray Dogs
- Psychic Detective Yakumo
- Case Closed
- MPD Psycho
- The Millionaire Detective Balance: Unlimited
1. Death Note
The Death Note anime is an adaptation of the original 2003 manga series. It is undoubtedly an exceptional anime that poses deep questions about murder and justice. Both the manga and anime are highly admired for their mind games and complex characters.
The story centers around a high school student named Light Yagami who stumbled upon the notebook of a Shinigami (death god), called the Death Note. Feeling strong disapproval of the current state of the world, Light Yagami tests the Death Note by writing the name of a criminal on it. Light is highly surprised when the criminal dies soon after his experiment, and he decides to put an end to all criminals in the world.
However, when the Japanese investigators realize the presence of a serial killer behind the death of criminals, they seek the assistance of L – the best investigator in the world.
2. Bungo Stray Dogs
If you want something different from the regular mystery manga, the Bungo Stray Dogs is right up your alley. The story hinges on a detective agency of individuals possessing supernatural powers.
Many of the characters of this series are named after the literary personalities of famous writers. Literary nerds will get instantly hooked onto this series after seeing characters named after Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain.
3. Psychic Detective Yakumo
Psychic Detective Yakumo revolves around the story of Haruka Ozawa and Yakumo Saitou. When supernatural events and mysterious phenomena start to threaten the safety of the two main characters they decide to join hands to seek answers to these events.
This anime combines supernatural elements with horror premises to produce a one-of-a-kind mystery drama. If you are an avid lover of supernatural and detective drama, Psychic Detective Yakumo is cut out for you!
Yakumo is gifted with the power to communicate with the supernatural and seeks Haruka’s assistance to make his way through dangerous investigations.
4. Case Closed By Gosho Aoyama
Case Closed (titled Detective Conan in Japan) by Gosho Aoyama is a long-running manga under the genre of mystery. The story is about an amateur teen detective who surprisingly gets transformed into the body of a child while investigating the case of a crime syndicate.
As a top best-selling manga series, the story offers a unique twist to your regular detective plots. The main character sets out on a mission to find out the person behind his transformation while assisting the police with several unsolved cases.
The storyline of this manga may seem absurd at first but eventually, you will start enjoying the series.
5. Another by Yukito Ayatsuji
Interested in a blend of investigative and horror? This series is not your usual detective manga but the horror element will surely hook you on the storyline.
It may seem like a light novel at first, but the more you read the more the horror and mystery elements overlap. The plot centers around a cursed class that gets haunted by a vindictive spirit.
The class established a series of defenses to do away with the curse. However, the efforts go into vain when a transfer student comes into play who is unaware of mysterious conditions and unintentionally nullifies the defense measures.
The story then follows a thrilling turn with the main character being forced to investigate the cause of the curse. He must lift the curse to prevent his classmates from dying one after another. The novel has been adapted into both manga and anime to please all the horror fans out there!
6. Pluto By Naoki Urasawa
If you are a devoted fan of Naoki Urasawa and follow most of his manga works, you must be familiar with Monster. However, let’s check out a different series of Naoki that offers the experience of a futuristic thriller.
Pluto is an underrated detective masterpiece that reimagines Astro Boy, the classic manga piece of Osamu Tezuka. The plot is set against robots who can qualify as humans and easily live among them. These robots can work in regular offices, get married, and raise children.
However, the story turns dark when a serial killer sets on a mission to kill the seven eminent robots in the world. Now arrives Detective Gesicht who had been given the job of investigating the infamous murders. Well, to make it more thrilling for the readers, the story makes Detective Gesicht one of the primary targets.
7. MPD Psycho By Eiji Otsuka and Shou Tajima
If you are a sucker for disturbing and brutal mystery manga, MPD Psycho will blow your mind. As the title suggests the story is based on dissociative identity disorder. The plot starts with an investigator working on an alarming serial killer case.
However, the story soon follows a series of murders and madness when the serial killer fixes his interest in the detective. He starts a series of twisted events to puzzle the detective.
Takashi Miike even directed a brutally disturbing TV miniseries on this manga storyline.
8. The Millionaire Detective Balance: Unlimited
Coming eighth on our list, this series is a detective comedy anime where two unlikely personalities are made to work together. Haru Katou and Daisuke Kanbe investigate a case together despite having differences in their morals and personalities.
While Haru believes in protocols, Daisuke tries to get his answers in no time by using his wealth and power. You will enjoy solving the cases together despite their character differences.
Watching or reading a good detective story is interesting and thrilling at the same time as you try to connect the missing links. There is something on our list for all types of mystery lovers. Happy binging! If you’re looking for more anime recs, be sure to check out our list of anime with the most complex storylines.
About the Author: No Filler Anime
This article was written by No Filler Anime, a leading anime blog that posts incredibly useful guides on which episodes you can skip, and still enjoy the anime series as a whole. For example, you can read this Tokyo Ghoul Filler guide and skip the episodes that aren’t worth watching. The website also posts anime quotes and more. Be sure to check us out!
Do you want to write for Japan Bound too? Apply here.