Whether it’s a show that poses a question from the start or one where secrets transform the narrative, mystery series are especially gripping. If you want to enjoy a special series, we recommend checking out these mystery anime on Netflix to test your brain.
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Children of the Whales
Children of the Whales is a great example of the expanding world mystery, where a once simple existence is turned upside down by the discovery of something beyond the horizon.
The series starts by following Chakuro and his friends living in a town on a giant Mud Whale that moves across an endless sea of sand. The few other islands they come across are always abandoned, until one day, when they find a girl on the brink of death that will transform their serene world.
Children of the Whales, licensed by Netflix, is a wonderful shoujo fantasy anime with magical elements, but it also doesn’t hold back when the story begins to turn.Advertisement
This Netflix original anime largely went under the radar when released in 2018. However, if you love anime sci-fi, this is something worth watching.
AICO takes place in a world where an accident at a Japanese research facility has given rise to ‘Matter’, an expanding and all-consuming entity currently growing out of Kurobe Gorge.
Aiko is a schoolgirl that was saved from the Matter, until enigmatic transfer student Yuuya explains that she hasn’t been told the whole truth. As the military and mercenaries converge on Kurobe Gorge, the two of them work together to try and reach the epicentre of the incident and unravel her mysterious past.
Erased follows Satoru Fujinuma, a mangaka who is plagued by thoughts about his childhood friend who was abducted and killed just after seeing him when they were kids.
One day, he discovers a mysterious ability that sends him back in time to just before life-threatening incidents. When his mother is murdered in their home, he is transported back to when he was a child and discovers the two cases may be linked.
Satoru tries to re-live his childhood differently, in the hope that he can avoid all the tragic incidents from happening. While it sounds at first a bit like a ‘whodunnit’, Erased is a critically-acclaimed story full of touching, emotional moments.
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Attack on Titan
The hit anime Attack on Titan might not strike you at first as a mystery series, but it’s a key pillar of the show, especially the first season which is widely available on Netflix.
The story is set in a world where the last remains of humanity live inside walls that protect them from titans, giant humanoids that eat human beings. Eren dreams of seeing the world beyond the walls when he grows up, but when a colossal titan appears, leading to the destruction of his hometown and the death of his mother, he devotes his life to killing all titans.
While the story appears simple at first, the critically-acclaimed series quickly evolves into something bigger and more complex. Attack on Titan has been praised for its plot twists, making it a must-watch for fans of the genre.Advertisement
ID-0 (pronounced I.D. Zero) is a sci-fi 3D anime that takes place in a world that has discovered Orichalt, a mysterious but valuable material that allows human consciousness to be transferred into giant robots known as I-Machines.
Maya was an I-Machine operator until she crosses paths with a group of mining mercenaries. Now part of their operation, they discover classified secrets about Orichalt that could threaten the entire world, leaving them as the only ones to save the planet.
While not hugely well-received, this series has been given praise by viewers for its mystery elements and developing narrative, so it's worth trying for mystery fans.
This classic anime series is hugely popular with a whole range of anime fans. Trust us, you’ll be hooked by this story.
The anime follows Light Yagami, a disaffected high-school student who believes the world is full of rotten people. One day, he discovers a mysterious notebook called the Death Note, which supposedly will cause the death of anyone whose name is written on the pages, so long as the writer can picture their face.
At first, Light doesn’t believe the notebook. However, after witnessing its power for himself, he decides to use the notebook to create a utopian world free of crime. Revealing himself under the alias Kira, he is soon hunted by an elite police force, led by enigmatic detective L, in an attempt to stop the increasingly merciless killings.
Death Note is a story that encapsulates a whole host of genres and ideas. It’s later in the story when more characters get involved and the cat-and-mouse chase develops that the mystery elements really take hold.
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