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Best Crime Thriller Anime of All Time

by Archana Ganapathy
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Best crime thriller anime

No matter what, thriller content is the most sought out genre people indulge in. Be it a book, film, or anime, this genre excites us and have us on the edge of our seats. The adrenaline rush induced by shocking narrative always hits our senses in untethered ways. So, here is a list of best thriller crime anime that you will not want to miss in your lifetime.  


Monster is a manga series written and illustrated by Naoki Urasawa and was animated by Madhouse studio. It consists of 74 episodes.

Plot: The story follows the journey of Dr. Kenzo Tenma, a brain surgeon working at the Eisler Memorial Hospital in West Germany. He decides to rebel against the political bias of the hospital and treats a child over a mayor, both of whom are in critical condition. The mayor ends up dying which starts a charade of hospital management turning against Kenzo. The situation swiftly turns from bad to worse when the child he treated goes missing. Dr. Kenzo’s life turns hellish when he learns the child he saved is a serial killer. In a bid for redemption, Kenzo sets out to stop the killer.

This anime is in a league of its own and has won numerous accolades and critical acclaim and remains to be one of the best crime thrillers and unparalleled in its narration.

Death Parade

Death Parade is a 2015 Japanese anime series written and directed by Yuzuru Tachikawa. The series was brought to life by Madhouse studio with just 12 episodes long, conveying its message with ease.

Plot: Ever wondered what happens after death? Hell or heaven? There are many interpretations. Some might believe in reincarnation. If you want to ponder on this, well, Death Parade might be right up your alley. When someone dies, they go to the mysterious bars in the tower of the afterlife. Greeted by the arbiters serving as bartenders, they have to play a game, the outcome of which will decide the fate of their souls.

With a unique insight into the afterlife (which might be true, who knows?) accompanied by a kind of grim setting coupled with music so melancholic, it’s no surprise that few stray tears will fall. 

NOTE: This thriller anime is directed by the director of Mob Psycho 100 II.

Terror in Resonance

A 2014 MAPPA studio production, this thriller anime series was directed by  Shinichirō Watanabe of the famed Cowboy Bebop series. Terror in Tokyo consists of 11 episodes of nail-biting sequences and plot lines.

Plot: A theft of plutonium at the Aomori nuclear facility in Japan raises concerns all over the country. The only clue left by the perpetrators is the letters VON. Months later, a mysterious video appears on the internet with two masked people, who threaten to destroy the city of Tokyo unless a cryptic riddle is solved. It is now up to the jaded detective Kenjirō Shibazaki to solve the mystery to protect the city and reveal their motives. Who stole the plutonium? Who are the terrorists? Are they connected, and what is their motive?

This fast-paced crime anime will keep you hooked until the very end. With a great storyline and very ambiguous characters, this underrated gem hits you straight in the face.

Death note

Death Note was written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. The series was animated by Madhouse and aired from the year 2006 to 2007. This unmissable anime is a masterpiece with 37 episodes. 

Plot: The story unfolds when Light Yagami stumbles upon a strange book named Death note and learns about its powers. It leads him into killing all the people he believes do not deserve to live, in an attempt to build a society free of crime. As the world reels with his actions, an elite task force of law enforcement officers are brought in, led by a highly eccentric and mysterious detective L to catch him.

Death Note is considered to be the best crime-thriller anime; an authority in genre and rightfully so. For, it is one of the most intriguing series with a bunch of enigmatic characters vying for your attention. 


Known as Boku Dake Inai Machi in Japanese, the 12 episodes series is animated by A-1 Pictures. It is one of the best crime anime, which deals with some dark issues like child abuse and negligence.

Plot: Get ready for some time-travel buckle up! Erased is the story of 29-yr old manga artist Satoru Fujinuma, possessed by a power that allows him to go back in time to prevent any life-threatening event from happening that he aptly names as Revival. His journey begins when his mother gets murdered, and his power takes him back to his high school days, when one of his classmates goes missing.

Who is the killer? What is the connection between the disappearance of his classmate and the murder of his mother? Go, watch it if you have not!


Another is a supernatural thriller consisting of 12 episodes is adapted from the manga and produced by P.A.Works studio.

Plot: The story revolves around a boy named Kōichi Sakakibara, transferred to Yomiyama Middle School. He finds himself in a frightening situation wherein the students and people related to his class get randomly killed. Mei Misaki is a student from his class who seems to have some sort of connection to their deaths. This crime anime contains some disturbing scenes. Can Koichi unfold the mystery? Why are people from his class getting killed? 

With shocking twists and turns, this anime will haunt you for sometime after you complete it.

Future Diary

The Future Diary was written and illustrated by Sakae Esuno and animated by the Asread studios. This 26 episodes long mystery thriller anime is one you should not miss.

Plot: Yukiteru Amano is a shy loner, 14-yr-old who likes to jot down his daily life observations or events on his cell phone. His only friends are Deus Ex Machina, the God of Space and Time, and his assistant Muru Muru. One day Deus transforms Yukiteru’s phone into a Future Diary capable of predicting the future up to 90 days. Soon he finds out that he and 11 others have been inducted in this survival game by Deus. The only way to survive is to kill the others before they prevent an impending apocalypse. Yuno Gasai, a psychotic yet charming girl, joins him on this dangerous journey.

What happens next? Go, watch it to know!

Banana Fish

Animated by studio MAPPA, written and illustrated by Akimi Yoshida, Banana Fish is a highly underrated crime-thriller gem. This anime holds no barrels back and portrays mature and dark themes unabashedly. 

Plot:  In the Vietnam war, a soldier Griffin Callenreese starts attacking his comrades suddenly but is quickly subdued by them. Before falling unconscious, he utters Banana Fish. Somewhere in New York City, Ash Lynx, a teenage gang leader, and Eji Okamura, an assistant photographer world collide. After some unexpected events occur they both start their journey of uncovering truths. The anime handles gang wars, mafia, abuse, abandonment, friendships, etc.

Have a great time watching these masterpieces that tell you more about life’s philosophy. Comment your favourite animes below, weebs!


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