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Top 50 Best Detective Anime [Must-Watch List]

Sambhavi MishraSambhavi-Posted Jan 18, 2021


 

We all love a good mystery. The thrills, twists, and turns of a detective story are enjoyed by all. Everyone wants a story that keeps them at the edge of their seats. 

 

Nail-biting suspense, labyrinth-like plots, and a cunning detective to solve the mystery- what is there to not enjoy in a good detective story? 

 

Following is a list of 50 must-watch detective anime series for every mystery lover. 

 

From elements of science fiction to dystopian universes and adventures with the paranormal, these series spans across a number of genres and settings. 

 

 

50. Woodpecker Detective’s Office 

 

 

Woodpecker Detective's Office is a 12 episodes long detective anime that aired between April 13, 2020, and June 29, 2020. The anime is set against a historical background of the Meiji Era. 

 

The anime presents fictionalized versions of historical figures Takuboku Ishikawa and Kyosuke Kindaichi. A ghost was allegedly spotted on the 14th floor of the Asakusa Juunikai building.

 

Ishikawa, presenting as an investigator, must solve this mystery. He is assisted by Kindaichi, his assistant. 

 

 

49. Flint: The Time Detective 

 

 

 

Flint The Time Detective is a 39 episodes long detective anime that aired between October 1, 1998, and June 24, 1999. The anime follows the adventures of Flint Hammerhead, a boy from the Prehistoric Era who ends up alive in the 25th century. 

 

The 25th century saw the 'infection' of the concept of time by the dark lord. As a result, the very course of human history is threatened. 

 

Meanwhile, the fossils of a Prehistoric man and his child are discovered. Of these, the child- Flint- is resurrected fully, while his father is only partially resurrected. 

 

With the help of his friends and Inspector Gadget, Flint and his father aid in solving many mysteries. 

 

 

48. Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace 

 

 

Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace is an 11 episodes long detective anime that aired between July 3, 2015, and September 18, 2015. It follows a young boy's entry into the world of detectives. 

 

Yoshio Kobayashi is an ordinary middle school student. His life turns upside down when a teacher of his school is found murdered and dismembered. 

 

Narrowed down as the prime suspect in the case, Yoshio must prove his innocence. This is where a high school student who is a sleuthing prodigy comes into help. 

 

With the help of Akechi's extraordinary skills, Yoshio's name is cleared. 

 

The murder mystery draws Yoshio to Akechi and he decides to become the genius's assistant. The young boy is soon introduced to a world full of gruesome crimes and labyrinth-like mysteries. 

 

 

47. Steam Detectives

 

 

Steam Detectives is a mecha detective anime consisting of 26 episodes. The series aired between October 7, 1998, and March 31, 1999. 

 

Steam Detectives is set in a London-like civilisation called Steam City. The unique feature of Steam City is that it is completely run on coal and steam engines. 

 

The city has many Megamatons- large robots powered by the steam engine. The excess use of coal led to the city's sky is covered with smoke and fog. Taking advantage of this, many criminals get up to illegal activities. 

 

This is where the Steam Detectives come in. Using their wit and cunning, they try to put a stop to the criminals operating in Steam City. 

 

 

46. Fantastic Detective Labyrinth 

 

 

Fantastic Detective Labyrinth is a 25 episodes long detective anime. It aired between October 3, 2007, and March 26, 2008. The anime is set in the fictional megalopolis Kyoto. 

 

Thirty years prior to the time of the anime, a massive earthquake reduced the city of Tokyo to rubble. From this wreckage, the megalopolis Kyoto had emerged. 

 

The anime begins with the megalopolis being plagued by mysterious murders. They all seem to have some paranormal reasons behind them. 

 

The only person who can stop these murders and solve the mystery behind them is Hyuga Mayuki- a young detective with psychic abilities. 

 

 

45. Agatha Christie’s Great Detectives Poirot and Marple

 

 

Agatha Christie’s Great Detectives Poirot and Marple are a 39 episodes long detective anime. The series aired between July 4, 2004, and May 15, 2005. 

 

This anime brings the most classic detectives of all times to life. The Queen of Crime's brilliant creations, Poirot and Marple, can be seen solving mysteries in this anime. 

 

The anime provides faithful renditions of stories originally written by Agatha Christie. The only difference is the addition of the character of Mabel. 

 

A rebellious teen hellbent on becoming a detective, Mabel comes into contact with the great detectives Hercule Poiret and Mrs Marple. 

 

 

44. Futakoi Alternative 

 

 

Futakoi Alternative is a 12 episodes long detective anime that aired between April 7, 2005, and June 30, 2005. 

 

The anime provides a detective story against a backdrop of romantic comedy. It is perfect for all those who want to savour some cute moments as a respite from the mystery on hand. 

 

Three weeks ago, Rentarou's father passed away. Now in charge of the detective agency his family runs, his sleuth work is interrupted by the arrival of twins. 

 

Sara and Soju decide to move in with Rentarou and become assistants at his agency. 

 

Against the backdrop of romance and comedy, we see Rentarou's sleuthing adventures as he runs afoul the local gangster. 

 

 

43. CLAMP School Detectives 

 

 

CLAMP School Detectives is a shoujo detective anime spread across 26 episodes. The series aired between May 3, 1997, and October 25, 1997. 

 

It follows the sleuthing adventures of three young boys from the CLAMP School. 

 

The CLAMP school was set up by the largest Japanese business empire- the House of Imonoyama. Starting from kindergarten to postgraduate, the school provides opportunities to students from all backgrounds. 

 

While the brightest minds can be found in CLAMP, so do the evilest ones. With the notorious murders and other crimes happening on campus, it is up to Nokoru, Suoh, and Akira to take care of them. 

 

 

42. Tantei Opera Milky Holmes 

 

 

Tantei Opera Milky Holmes is a 12 episodes long detective anime that aired between October 7, 2010, and December 23, 2010. The anime is set in a future era called the Great Era of Detectives.

 

In the world of Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, humans are born with a special ability called Toys. 

 

The humans which misuse this ability go on to become criminal masterminds. In order to catch these criminals, detectives possessing the ability of Toys are employed. 

 

'Milky Holmes' is a successful detective group led by Sherlock Shellingford. However, the group falls on hard times when all of its four members lose the ability of Toys. 

 

The anime follows the adventures of the four members as they continue solving mysteries even after losing their ability of Toys. 

 

 

41. Nightwalker: The Midnight Detective 

 

 

Nightwalker: Midnight Detective is a 12 episodes long detective anime. The series aired between July 9, 1998, and September 23, 1998. The anime is quite different from the classic detective mystery due to the comedic elements sprinkled in it. 

 

Nightwalker: Midnight Detective follows the investigations of Shido Tatsuhiko, a vampire. The world of Nightwalker is plagued by the nightbreed- demonic creatures that attack humans. 

 

These attacks are fairly frequent and cause the attacked humans to commit crimes. Shido is a part of N.O.S., the organization responsible for handling nightbreed attacks.

 

The anime takes us through Shido's exciting investigations. The story intensifies as the person who turned him into a vampire, Cain, is also after Shido. 

 

 

40. Ryoko’s Case File 

 

 

Ryoko's Case File is a 13 episodes long detective anime that aired between July 6, 2008, and September 28, 2008. The series is definitely underrated. 

 

Despite a highly enjoyable storyline, even the most diehard anime fans might not have heard of it. 

 

Ryoko's Case Files follows the investigations of 27-year-old detective Ryouko Yakushiji. In her work under the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, Ryouka comes across many bizarre mysteries. 

 

Many of them even bring her into contact with the world of the supernatural. However, the real challenge in Ryouko's life is Yukiko Muromachi, her rival at work. 

 

 

39. Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning 

 

 

Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning is a shounen detective anime that spans across 25 episodes. The series aired between October 1, 2002, and March 25, 2003. 

 

Two years ago, Ayumu Narumi's elder brother disappeared without a trace. A talented detective and pianist, Kiyotaka had uttered the phrase "Blade Children" in his last phone call to Ayumu.

 

Disturbed over the disappearance of his brother, Ayumu starts detective work the moment he joins the high school. Soon he finds himself stuck in a slew of mysteries surrounding the Blade Children. 

 

As the anime progresses, the enigma surrounding this mysterious group of children is finally dispersed. 

 

 

38. Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok 

 

 

Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok is a shounen detective anime spread across 26 episodes. The series aired between April 5, 2003, and September 27, 2003. 

 

Loki is the Norse God of Mischief. After a prank goes particularly wrong, Loki is exiled to the world of humans in the human form of a young boy. 

 

He must collect enough of the auras which drive humans to commit evil acts in order to return. As a result, Loki decides to start a detective agency and investigate various crimes. 

 

Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok follows the various mysteries that Loki solves. However, things take a much worse turn when other Norse Gods start taking form in the human world. All of them have one intention- to kill Loki. 

 

 

37. Cuticle Detective Inaba

 

 

Cuticle Detective Inaba is a shounen detective anime spread across 12 episodes. The anime aired between January 4, 2013, and March 22, 2013. It is set in a universe where half-human, half-animal chimeras coexist with humans. 

 

The anime follows the adventures of one such chimera who is also a detective. Hiroshi Inaba is half-wolf, half-human, and has the strange talent of extracting information about a person by tasting their hair. 

 

Hiroshi is accompanied by a cross-dresser called Yuuta and a teenager called Kei. Together, the trio work towards catching the criminal mastermind- a half-goat, half-human chimera called Don Valentino who eats money. 

 

 

36. Danganronpa: The Animation

 

 

Danganronpa: The Animation is a 13 episodes long detective anime. The anime aired between July 5, 2013, and September 27, 2013. It is based on the storyline of a video game called 'Danganronpa'. 

 

The anime is set in Hope's Peak Academy, a prestigious academy that only accepts the best students. Makoto Naegi is one such talented student admitted to the academy. 

 

However, the real mystery unfolds when students realize the teaching methods at the academy. Each one of them must murder a schoolmate and get away with it in the subsequent trial. If convicted, the killer would be executed. This deathmatch would continue until a sole victor is left.

 

 

35. Himitsu: Top Secret-The Revelation 

 

 

Top Secret: The Revelation is a shoujo detective anime consisting of 26 episodes. The series aired between April 9, 2008, and October 1, 2008. It is set somewhere around the year 2050 when humans have perfected brain scanning. 

 

The technology shown in the anime allows forensic experts to delve into the minds of the person whose brain is being scanned, even if the person is dead. 

 

Scanning through the memories of the past five years helps in solving many unsolved mysteries. 

 

However, using this technology comes at a heavy cost. Can forensic experts handle witnessing the last moments of the deceased? 

 

What about looking through the mind of a psychopathic killer and the emotions he felt as he murdered? 

 

 

34. Psychic Detective Yakumo 

 

 

Psychic Detective Yakumo is a 13 episodes long detective anime. It aired between October 3, 2010, and December 26, 2010. 

 

The series puts a paranormal twist on the classic detective story. 

 

Yakumo Saitou is a quiet college student with a special ability. His red left eye allows him to perceive the supernatural. Yakumo believes that helping the spirits would allow them to move on to the afterlife. 

 

However, the main story begins when another college student Haruka Ozawa decides to ask for Yakumo's help. 

 

Haruka believes that his friend is being possessed by a spirit. This case leads Yakumo down a path of solving many more such supernatural mysteries. 

 

 

33. B: The Beginning

 

 

B: The Beginning is a 12 episodes long mini detective anime that was released on March 2, 2018. It is set in a world swept up with advanced technology as well as crime. 

 

The events of the anime take place in the island country of Cremona. 

 

B: The Beginning follows the mysterious events surrounding the vigilante 'Killer B'. Tired of his habit of taking the law into his own hand, the Royal Investigation Service (RIS) decides to call upon the eccentric detective Keith Flick for help. 

 

Keith is accompanied by his hot-headed sidekick Lily Hoshina. However, things are not as simple as they seem. 

 

As the series progresses, the plot thickens with elements of terrorism, corruption, and human experimentations. 

 

 

32. UN-GO 

 

 

UN-GO is an 11 episodes long detective anime that aired between October 14, 2011, and December 23, 2011. The anime has a dystopian setting of a war-struck Japan with a system of heavy regulation of the internet. 

 

UN-GO captures a universe where Japan had sent peacekeeping forces abroad during a war situation. This instigated terrorists to attack and ravage the country. Against this gruesome backdrop, we have our protagonist Shinjuurou Yuuki. 

 

Known as the Defeated Detective, Shinjuurou goes around Tokyo solving mysteries. He is accompanied by his odd associate Inga. 

 

However, things are not as simple as they seem. As the story progresses, many sinister truths surrounding Inga are unravelled. 

 

 

31. Karakurizoshi Ayatsuri Sakon

 

 

Karakurizoshi Ayatsuri Sakon is a shounen detective anime spanning across 26 episodes. The series aired between October 8, 1999, and March 31, 2000. 

 

Karakurizoshi Ayatsuri Sakon follows the adventures of a master puppeteer Sakon Tachibana. Sakon is accompanied everywhere by his favourite puppet and best friend Ukon. 

 

The anime opens with Sakon being invited to a meetup. It is a reunion of his primary school's puppeteer club in the now-abandoned building. However, things take a turn for the worst when one among them is killed. 

 

Karakurizoshi Ayatsuri Sakon builds up good murder mysteries which the odd duo of puppeteer and puppet solve together. 

 

 

30. Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation

 

 

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation is a 12 episodes long detective. It aired between October 8, 2015, and December 24, 2015, and follows the life of Sakurako and her assistant Shotaro. 

 

Sakurako Kujou has an odd interest- she likes to examine bones all day. Much to the vexation of those around her, Sakurako wishes she had more specimens of human bones. 

 

High school student Shotaro Tatewaki becomes her new assistant. Soon, the teenage boy is accompanying the eccentric girl everywhere. 

 

The mystery intensifies when the duo finds itself in the middle of unsolved cases again and again. All of the cases involve decomposing corpses. With so many coincidences, suspicions soon arise that something is amiss. 

 

 

29. Ajin: Demi-Human 

 

 

Ajin: Demi-Human is a seinen detective anime that spans across 13 episodes. The series aired between January 16, 2016, and April 9, 2016. 

 

Nagai Kei is an ordinary student who meets a fatal traffic accident one day. Coming out of it unscathed, Kei realizes he is an 'Ajin'. 

 

Ajins are superhumans with extreme regenerative abilities and immortality. They also have the ability to spawn 'black ghosts', creatures with high combat skills. 

 

Considered dangerous by the public, most Ajins are captured by the government for inhuman experimentation. Ajin: Demi-Human follows the fight between Kei and Satou. 

 

Satou is an Ajin who escaped government experiments and is hellbent on exacting revenge. Kei is granted immunity by the government should he be able to stop Satou's terrors. 

 

 

28. Persona 4: The Animation 

 

 

Persona 4: The Animation is a 25 episodes long detective anime series that aired between October 7, 2011, and March 30, 2012. It is based on the PlayStation 2 video game called 'Persona 4'. 

 

Persona 4: The Animation follows Yu Narukami, a quiet teenager who has just moved to the town of Inaba. Shortly after Yu's arrival, a spree of killings takes place across the town.

 

 Meanwhile, strange rumours erupt about an enigmatic television channel that can only be viewed at midnight. Dubbed as 'The Midnight Channel', the rumours state that a person can see their soulmate while watching the channel. 

 

However, Yu soon realizes that the channel foretells future murder victims. Shockingly, Yu realizes the television opens to a different dimension overrun by 'Shadows'. 

 

Yu soon realizes that there is a connection between the killings and the mysterious dimension. Throughout the series, we see Yu's efforts as he tries to stop the killings. 

 

 

27. Heaven’s Memo Pad

 

 

Heaven's Memo Pad is a 12 episodes long detective anime that aired between July 2, 2011, and September 24, 2011. It follows the story of an introverted teen who joins a detective agency led by a reclusive genius. 

 

Narumi Fujishima never learnt to make friends due to constantly transferring schools because of his father's work. He leads the life of a usual introvert until circumstances push him to be a part of NEET. 

 

NEET is an amateur detective agency led by a reclusive genius. Alice is very childish and quite eccentric with her antisocial behaviour and her stuffed animals. However, her astounding detective and hacking skills demand respect from all. 

 

Heaven's Memo Pad follows the adventures of NEET detectives as they solve cases with the help of Alice's talent.

 

 

26. Fantastic Children

 

 

Fantastic Children is a 26 episodes long detective anime that aired between October 5, 2004, and March 29, 2004. 

 

The series follows a group of strange children as they try to find an unknown girl based on one vague clue. 

 

The Befort Children are a group of mysterious, white-haired children. Spotted across many places in Europe, the group has been around for 500 years. 

 

Though they have always looked like 11-year-olds, they exhibit maturity far beyond their age. 

 

The Befort Children have been in search of a girl through all these years. The only clue that they have is the picture of a crescent moon. 

 

The real story unfolds in 2012 when an 11-year-old orphan is seen drawing pictures of land with a crescent moon, which she calls her home. 

 

 

25. The Millionaire Detective: Balance-Unlimited

 

 

The Millionaire Detective: Balance-Unlimited is an 11 episodes long detective anime. The series aired between April 10, 2020, and September 25, 2020. It follows the adventures of a detective duo with conflicting personalities.

 

Daisuke Kambe is a wealthy man who is hired by the Modern Crime Prevention Headquarters. He is paired up with Haru Kato, a simple man with many noble notions of justice. 

 

Initially, Haru is disgusted by Daisuke's method of using his wealth to solve cases quickly. 

 

However, as the series progresses, we see the duo is forced to come together as mysteries become harder to solve. 

 

 

24. Neuro: Supernatural Detective 

 

 

Neuro: Supernatural Detective is a shounen detective anime spread across 25 episodes. The series aired between October 3, 2007, and March 26, 2008. 

 

Yako Katsuragi is a detective prodigy who has solved every mystery she has come across. But her exceptional sleuth skills hide a secret- the mysteries are actually solved by Yako's assistant Neuro. 

 

Neuro is a demon who came in the human world looking for the ultimate mystery. Through each mystery he solves, he devours the negative energy released by the culprit. 

 

Neuro: Supernatural Detective follows the adventures of the strange duo as they solve one mystery after another. 

 

 

23. Lupin the 3rd

 

 

Lupin the 3rd is a seinen detective anime that spans across 23 episodes. The series aired between October 24, 1971, and March 26, 1972. 

 

Despite being so old, Lupin the 3rd has retained its popularity due to the reverse view it provides of the classic detective-thief chase story. 

 

Lupin the 3rd is the grandson of the world-famous thief Arsène Lupin. And quite like his grandfather, he too possesses unmatched skills in committing robberies. 

 

His partner is talented marksman Daisuke Jigan. Lupin the 3rd's dedication to his work can be seen in his love life too, where his main love interest is femme fatale Fujiko Mine. 

 

Lupin the 3rd follows the adventures of the protagonist's exploits as he is chased by Inspector Koichi Zenigata. 

 

 

22. Paranoia Agent

 

 

Paranoia Agent is a 12 episodes long Detective anime that aired between February 3, 2004, and May 18, 2004. The anime follows the mystery of a strange attacker called the Lil' Slugger whose assaults send the city of Tokyo into a frenzy of panic. 

 

Shy character designer Tsukiko Sagi is facing a lot of work pressure. She was the talent behind the immensely popular pink dog Maromi, but now she cannot deliver the same level of success again. 

 

Walking home one night, she is attacked. All she remembers is that her attacker was wearing inline skates. 

 

Soon more such attacks start happening all over Tokyo. The city goes into a frenzy of panic. The oddest feature of the attacker is that he only targets those in distress. 

 

What's even more strange is that his attacks usually solve the problems in the victim's life. 

 

 

21. Ghost Stories 

 

 

Ghost Stories is a 19 episodes long detective anime that aired between October 22, 2000, and March 25, 2001. It follows the ghost hunting and exorcism adventures of a group of school students. 

 

The series begins with Satsuki Miyanoshita moving back to their deceased mother's hometown. The story gathers pace pretty quickly with a gripping first episode. When Satsuki's cat runs into the abandoned school building, she is forced to go after it. 

 

There she encounters three other townspeople. What none of them know is that the rumours of the building being haunted are true. 

 

Terrorized by the ghosts, they somehow make it alive. It is an old diary left behind by Satsuki's mother that allows them to exorcise the demon. That is when the realization hits them.

 

Satsuki's mother once exorcised the town of ghosts, and with growing urbanization, the paranormal is coming back in full force. 

 

 

20. Master Keaton

 

 

Master Keaton is a seinen detective anime spanning across 24 episodes and 15 OVAs. The anime series between October 6, 1998, and March 29, 1999. What sets Master Keaton apart is its mature mysteries, quite different from most detective anime series. 

 

The anime series follows the adventures of Taichi Keaton. He was born to a Japanese zoologist and a well-born Englishwoman. Growing up in England, Keaton served in the Special Air Services in the Falklands War. 

 

After the war, he settled for being an insurance investigator with the prestigious Lloyd's of London. The anime follows Taichi Keaton's unconventional methods of solving mysteries which sets him apart from all. 

 

 

19. Black Butler

 

 

Black Butler is a shounen detective anime spread across 24 episodes. The series aired between October 3, 2008, and March 27, 2009. The setting of the story makes it a favourite for all those who enjoy watching the classic English era. 

 

Set in Victorian-era London, Black Butler follows the tale of Ciel Phantomhive, a young boy of 13 and an earl. A tragic event led to Ciel losing his entire family at the age of 10. 

 

Following that, he was captivated and tortured horrifically before he made a deal with a demon. The demon, Sebastian, will exact revenge from all those who wronged Ciel. The catch? Ciel must give up his soul in return. 

 

 

18. Detective School Q

 

 

Detective School Q is a shounen detective anime consisting of 45 episodes. The series aired between April 15, 2003, and March 20, 2004. 

 

Morihiko Dan, the most famous detective in Japan, established the prestigious Dan Detective School (DDS). The protagonist, Kyuu Renjo, is a teenager with a knack for solving mysteries. 

 

When he comes to know about the DDS, he immediately decides to get enrolled in it. As a part of a detective school, Kyuu and his friends encounter many mysteries to solve. 

 

As the series progresses, their adventures also bring them against a mysterious organization called The Pluto. 

 

 

17. Bungou Stray Dogs

 

 

Bungou Stray Dogs is a seinen detective anime consisting of 37 episodes spread across three seasons. The anime aired between April 7, 2016, and June 28, 2019. 

 

Atsushi Nakajima is an 18-year-old who lives in an orphanage. Trouble arises when a mysterious supernatural tiger starts harassing the orphanage. 

 

Things take a turn for the worse when Atsushi realizes he is the only one who can see the tiger. 

 

Frustrated that Atsushi is the reason behind these strange events, the orphanage kicks him out. Left all alone on the streets to fend for himself, the 18-year-old meets an eccentric man called Osamu Dazai. 

 

The events that follow next lead to Atsushi getting caught up in a circle of supernatural detectives. 

 

 

16. Ghost Hunt 

 

 

Ghost Hunt is a shoujo detective anime spread across 25 episodes. The series aired between October 4, 2006, and March 28, 2007, and provides the perfect story for paranormal enthusiasts. 

 

Taniyama Mai is an ordinary high school student who enjoys exchanging ghost stories with her friends. The abandoned building at the back of her school only fuels this interest. So it is her dream come true when she is invited to investigate the paranormal. 

 

The Shibuya Psychic Research (SPR) is a group that specializes in exterminating ghosts. With her 'latent psychic abilities', the young teenage girl goes on a lot of ghost hunting adventures in this anime. 

 

 

15. Magic Kaito 1412

 

 

Magic Kaito is a shounen detective anime series spread across 24 episodes. The anime aired between October 4, 2014, and March 28, 2015. The series also has twelve television specials that aired before the production of the anime. 

 

Magic Kaito follows the story of Kaito Kuroba, a seemingly ordinary teenager. Kaito leads a normal life and displays an interest in magic tricks. However, things take an interesting turn when he comes across a secret passage in his house one day. 

 

The passage leads him to discover a shocking secret- his father was the Phantom Thief before his death! What follows is Kaito's discovery of a dangerous organization and knowledge of a mysterious stone called the Pandora Gem. 

 

 

14. Dusk Maiden of Amnesia

 

 

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia is a shounen detective anime spread across 12 episodes. The series aired between April 9, 2012, and June 25, 2012. Dusk Maiden of Amnesia is the perfect anime for all those who want to see a blend of horror and mysteries.

 

The school of Seikyou Private Academy has a dark past- 60 years ago, a young girl called Yuuko Kanoe was found dead in its old school building. 

 

Since then, she roams around haunting the school and healing members of the academy's paranormal investigation club. 

 

However, one fine day Yuuko develops a curious friendship with freshman Teiichi Niiya. What follows next is unravelling of the mystery surrounding her death and the dark past of the school. 

 

 

13. Darker than Black

 

 

Darker than Black, also known as Darker Than Black: The Black Contractor, is a 25 episodes long detective anime. The anime series aired between April 6, 2007, and September 28, 2007.

 

Ten years before the events in the anime, two mysterious portals appeared on the earth. The appearance of the 'Heaven's Gate' in South America and the 'Hell's Gate' in Japan resulted in the sky becoming an eerie shade. 

 

The realm beyond these gates ignores the laws of physics. The world also witnessed the appearance of Contractors who exchanged their humanity for supernatural powers. 

 

Darker than Black is an enigmatic story of one such Contractor- Hei. 

 

 

12. Kindaichi Case Files

 

 

Kindaichi Case Files is a shounen detective anime that spans across 148 episodes. The show aired between April 7, 1997, and September 11, 2000. 

 

Despite being so old, this anime retains its popularity due to its baffling mysteries. The protagonist, Hajime Kindaichi, is no ordinary high school student. He is the grandson of one of Japan's most famous detectives and inherits the talent of the sleuth from his grandfather. 

 

Accompanied by Hajime, the anime takes us through various whodunit mysteries. Whether it is robberies or gory murders, Hajime has the talent to solve all of them. 

 

The Kindaichi Case Files is recommended for everyone who wants to see a true Japanese Sherlock at work. 

 

11. Gosick 

 

 

Gosick is a 24 episodes long detective anime that aired between January 8, 2011, and July 2, 2011. 

 

The anime shows a pair of friends who came together under mysterious circumstances. Together, they solve mysteries that had left even the police baffled. 

 

Gosick takes place in the fictional country of Sauville located in Europe. Kazuya Kujo is a young exchange student who is ostracized due to his Japanese facial features. 

 

All alone, he finds friendship in a mysterious girl called Victorique de Blois. She has almost doll-like features with her glossy blonde hair and clear emerald eyes. What heightens the mystery surrounding her, even more, is that she never attends classes and only reads in the library. 

 

 

10. Terror in Resonance

 

 

Terror in Resonance is an 11 episodes long detective anime that aired between July 11, 2014, and September 26, 2014. 

 

The anime follows the story of two boys- Nine and Twelve. Referring to themselves as the 'Sphinx', the boys ravage a city in their bid to expose a heartless organization. 

 

Terror in Resonance is set in an alternative reality. The city of Tokyo has been destroyed. A brutal terrorist attack on a nuclear facility engulfed the city in violence and unrest. 

 

Six months after this violence struck, video surfaces. Nine and Twelve threaten to destroy the city unless a cryptic code is solved. The authorities are left scrambling at their wits as the anime progresses. 

 

As the city falls around them, the tragic pasts of the boys are revealed and a horrific revelation leaves everyone shocked. Terror in Resonance is amazing with its twists and turns that keep viewers at the edge of their seats. 

 

 

9. Hyouka

 

 

Hyouka is a 22 episodes long detective anime that aired between April 23, 2012, and September 17, 2012. This anime is perfect for everyone seeking a slice-of-life element while still enjoying the thrills of a good mystery. 

 

Based on a novel of the same name, Hyouka follows the adventures of four high school students. Our protagonist is called Hotaru Oriki. 

 

He is coaxed into joining his school's Classic Literature Club by his elder sister. Hotaru is accompanied by the learned Satoshi Fukube, the demur Mayaka Ibara, and the inquisitive Eru Chitanda. 

 

Everything seems normal in their city of Kamiyama. However, things take a sharp turn as Hotaru and his friends find themselves caught in a 54-years-old mystery surrounding the club room. 

 

Hyouka is an anime that promises suspense from the very first episode. Hints of the mystery are laid down at the opening itself, and the ending leaves viewers with a lot of satisfaction. 

 

 

8. Case Closed

 

 

Case Closed is an extremely popular detective anime that began airing on January 8. 1996. The Japanese version of the anime is called Detective Conan. The anime is still ongoing and has covered 993 episodes spread across 29 seasons.

 

The series revolves around the investigations of our protagonist, a detective with the body of a child. Shinichi Kudo is a high school student who works with the police on investigations. 

 

Shinichi's transformation into a high school student is seen in the opening episode of the anime itself. In the English version, Shinji is known as Jimmie. 

 

The Case Closed franchise has been tremendously popular. The anime series is based on the original manga series. The franchise also has two spinoff manga series as well as 23 feature films. 

 

Two Original Video Animations (OVAs) and a television special are also included. The entire franchise is the brainchild of Gosho Aoyama, who has clarified that he has no plans of ending it yet.

 

This anime promises long term, high-quality entertainment to all lovers of detective animes. 

 

 

7. Psycho-Pass 

 

 

Psycho-Pass is a 22 episodes detective anime that aired between October 12, 2012, and March 22, 2013. It is set in a futuristic Japan which functions on the basis of the 'Sybil System'. 

 

Every Japanese citizen's brain is scanned to determine their inclinations towards crime. This is called their Psycho-Pass, and the law is upheld by keeping a check on these criminal minds. 

 

However, the real problem arises due to the criminal Shogo Makishima. His criminally asymptomatic mind causes him to keep escaping the clutches of the authorities. 

 

Viewers experience the story of Psycho-Pass through the eyes of Akane Tsunemori. Tsunemori is a rookie Inspector with the desire to deliver justice. 

 

Working towards catching Makishima, Tsunemori discovers that the Sybil System is not as noble as it appears. 

 

Viewers see all her ideas contested as she realizes the true meaning of justice. The plot's progression keeps watchers at the edge of their seats till the very end. 

 

 

6. Erased

 

 

Erased in a baffling seinen detective anime that aired between January 8, 2016, and March 25, 2016. The 12 episodes anime is based on a manga of the same name. 

 

Erased also has a live-action film as well as a live-action drama produced by Netflix. 

 

The anime is about a struggling manga artist called Satoru Fujinuma and the extraordinary ability he possesses. 

 

Satoru has the ability of 'Revive' which transports him back in time to prevent a person's death. This strange ability is triggered only when a fatal accident happens around Satoru. 

 

Satoru's life revolves around his struggles with writing manga and saving people's lives using his ability. However, it takes a massive twist when his mother is murdered in his apartment. 

 

Disaster strikes a second time when Satoru becomes the prime suspect in his mother's murder. But he is saved from arrest when his 'Revive' ability transports him to the year 1998 when he was a mere 10-year-old.

 

The mystery continues to intensify even further as Satoru starts connecting the dots. He realizes his mother's murder is related to an almost two-decade-old kidnapping case. 

 

The anime follows Satoru's struggles as he tries to solve the two intertwined cases while switching between time periods. 

 

 

5. Parasyte: The Maxim 

 

 

Parasyte: The Maxim is a seinen detective anime with a horror element to it. The anime series aired between October 9, 2014, and March 26, 2015. The 24 episodes anime is based on a manga series of the same name. The franchise also has two live-action films produced in Japan. 

 

Parasyte: The Maxim presents a horrific universe where parasitic aliens are slowly invading humans. 

 

They enter humans through ears and noses to reach the human brain. Once latched to the brain, the Parasite gains complete control over the human. 

 

However, the real spin on the story occurs due to the odd situation of the protagonist Shinichi Izumi. The first episode itself reveals this situation where we find a Parasite incompletely latching to the protagonist. 

 

The protagonist and the Parasite are able to retain their own minds while still remaining connected. Through the series, we see the strange bond they start developing and the adventures they experience in the process. 

 

 

4. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 

 

 

Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex is a seinen detective anime that aired between October 1, 2002, and October 1, 2003. The anime has 52 episodes spread across two seasons, with season two being called 'Ghost In The Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG'. 

 

The anime is set in the year 2030 when humans have obtained the ability to live as cyborgs. Ghost In The Shell is a classic detective anime showing a group of retired military and police personnel called Public Security Section 9 who investigate crimes. 

 

The plot of the anime is very mature considering how it delves into the realms of political conspiracies and terrorism. 

 

The Ghost In The Shell media franchise has garnered a lot of popularity. It began with the manga series on which the two seasons of the anime are based. 

 

The franchise consists of two films as well as an OVA. An American live-action film was also produced based on the storyline. 

 

 

3. Death Note 

 

 

Death Note is one of the most quintessential detective animes known by all. The anime series is so popular that it is well-known by novices in the world of anime too. Spread across 37 episodes, the shounen anime series aired between October 4, 2006, and June 27, 2007. 

 

Death Note's solid ratings on MyAnimeList and IMDb, combined with its extraordinary popularity, speak volumes about it. 

 

The anime has a fantastic storyline built with the right amount of suspense. Each episode keeps viewers at the edge of their seats for more. 

 

The series opens with our protagonist, Light Yagami, finding a mysterious notebook called the 'Death Note'. 

 

The notebook gives the wielder the power to kill anyone as long as the victim's name and face are known. Through the series, we find Light using this power to eliminate evil from the world under the alias of Kira. 

 

His vigilante-like activities attract trouble from the elite force of law-enforcement officers out to get him. The series is an amalgam of breathtaking twists and turns which leave viewers in awe. 

 

 

2. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion 

 

 

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, often simply referred to as Code Geass, is a 25 episodes long mecha anime. The series is set in an alternate timeline where the world is divided into three superpowers. 

 

The Holy Britannia Empire is one of the superpowers consisting of the Americas. We also have the Chinese Federation consisting of the continent of Asia. Lastly, we have the European Union, also known as Euro-Universe or Europa United, containing Europe and Africa. 

 

Code Geass follows the story of Lelouch, the exiled prince of Britannia. After his institute of education faces a terrorist attack, Lelouch is rescued by a mysterious girl called CC. 

 

She grants him The Power of Absolute Obedience, called Geass. Using this power, Lelouch sets out to destroy Britannia due to his old feud with his father and his country. 

 

Code Geass aired between October 6, 2006, and July 29, 2007. It was and has remained highly popular over the years. Code Geass saw a second season called Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion G2 in 2008. 

 

It was also adapted into mangas and light novels to reach those fond of reading rather than watching. A compilation film trilogy was released in 2017-2018, as well as the fourth film in 2019. The franchise is still seeing development with a spinoff series in preparation. 

 

 

1. Monster  

 

 

Monster is a 74 episodes long seinen anime that aired between April 7, 2004, and September 28, 2005. Two additional episodes were also released in 2010.

 

Despite being quite old, Monster remains a classic in the genre of detective anime series. 

 

The series follows a successful neurosurgeon, Dr Kenzou Tenma, and the mysterious events he finds himself caught in. One of the main reasons for the anime's success is its extraordinary ability to grasp viewers' curiosity. 

 

The anime opens with a nerve-wracking episode about the delicate operation of a young boy. We see the protagonist facing a moral dilemma about his hospital's unethical practices. Dr Tenma is disgusted by the political bias followed in treating patients.

 

When he sees a widow outraged because her late husband was denied timely treatment, he decides to set forth on a righteous path. 

 

The episode closes with Dr Tenma deciding to operate on a young boy who was shot rather than the mayor. 

 

Following this intriguing opening episode, the story only builds up as Dr Tenma's ill-wishers slowly start dying. Though the police suspect Dr Tenma, he is innocent. 

 

Nine years pass and the killings only increase. As the story unfolds, we find the horrifying truth behind the murders. We also see the protagonist coming face-to-face with the ghosts of his past. 

 

Monster has a very evolved plot with lots of twists and turns. No wonder it tops the list of best detective anime series. It is a must-watch for all those who are fond of anime series and love a good mystery. 

 

These anime series will keep you busy for quite a long time. However, for those mystery addicts who keep wanting more, there is also a bonus detective anime that will be released sometime in 2021! Tokyo Babylon is based on the Japanese shojo manga of the same name. 

 

The franchise already has two OVAs and a live-action movie which were quite successful. The series is definitely something to look forward to in 2021.