For those who prefer to be mentally stimulated, the typical shonen or shojo anime will probably not be enough to keep their attention. Sure, the stories are generally predictable and comfortable, but where’s the fun in that? For the intellectually hungry, mind game anime is sure to be tempting. Watching the characters outwit, manipulate, and fool others with words is quite fun, but it’s even better if there’s a high-risk situation in the background.

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These battles of wits may be for their lives or the lives of their loved ones, or perhaps for the safety of a group, or even the world itself. Many psychological suspense series feature epic intellectual battles between their characters, but even some series less focused on psychological intensity still feature many high-stakes that require expert mental manipulation.

10 Death Note introduces characters who excel at mind games

In fact, if Light Yagami wasn’t that skilled at manipulation, he couldn’t have secured his position as Kira. Death NoteThe whole trick is that there are a lot of fights, but very few are physical. Instead, the characters compete with their intelligence.

Light nimbly dodges L’s brilliant attempts to unmask him as Kira without giving himself away, eventually winning the battle of wits with L. But Light’s dark ambitions did not go unnoticed and brighter detectives entered the fold to put Light’s intelligence to the test.

9 Umineko No Naku Koro Ni wants viewers to “flip the chessboard”

The term “flip the chessboard” comes from one of the most intelligent characters in the series: Kyrie Ushiromiya. It is an indirect way of promoting the tactic of thinking from a different angle, or “flipping the chessboard” to see the game board from your opponent’s perspective.

Ideally, this tactic will allow for effective counterattacks against enemies, which is a great skill when your opponents are powerful witches who have your life in their hands. If Battler Ushiromiya fails to outwit the witches, he and his entire family will die.

8 Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni requires his main character to outsmart his killer

Anime ending theme Higurashi gou

Rika Furude’s life hinges on whether or not she can identify her killer and save Hinamizawa. And it has failed so many times that it takes the time to observe its surroundings. The more aware Rika is of what is happening in the current timeline, the better equipped she will be to solve the murder mystery that keeps her trapped in the 1983 Hinamizawa.

Fortunately, he has a lot of practice playing club games with Keiichi, Mion, Rena, and Satoko. Club members will do anything to win and avoid a penalty game.

7 Psycho-Pass focuses on catching an elusive serial killer

This series borders on action and deduction with a delicate balance maintained throughout. Akane Tsunemori and Shinya Kogami are focused on taking down Shogo Makishima, a criminal mastermind whose psycho-pass is unreadable.

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The series intentionally focuses on Shogo as the main threat, but at the end of the series, it is actually the Sybil System that is the problem. Watching Shinya and Akane solve the mysteries behind Shogo and Sybil System is sure to delight anime fans who prefer psychological thrillers.

6 Kakegurui shows gambling addicts that they will do anything to win

kakegurui yumeko jabami

The characters of Kakegurui They are addicted to high-stakes games with everything on the table, which is why this series is packed with intense games and bluffing. In fact, the school the main cast attends, Hyakkaou Private Academy, ranks students based on their ability to play.

Only the most determined to win can survive in this brutal social hierarchy and many characters seek to gamble their way to the top. Kakegurui It is an intense series that any fan of psychological anime should see.

5 Death Parade forces the characters to compete for their souls

Decim From Death Parade

What could be more at stake than a bet on your soul? And what would you do to win? That is the question that Death parade turns on an uncomfortably bright light.

Each pair of characters that end up on the Quindecim bar have to participate in a Death Game that will help the referee (Decim, in this case) to decide the fate of their souls. Death Games are brutal and often damaging to players, and the actions they take determine how Decim will judge them.

4 Future Diary offers the ability to become God

Deus Ex Machina, the god of space and time, is dying … and the world needs a new god to take his place. So it gives 12 people a chance to compete for the position. Future Diary is another high-stakes series that relies on its characters teasing each other and guessing each other’s next step, often with the help of special diaries given to them by Deus Ex Machina.

Each participant’s journal is unique to them, but they all allow that character a prediction of how they will win. All they need to do is figure out how to do it.

3 Steins; Gate takes its main character through the hell of loops in time

Rintaro Okabe did not intend to end up being a time traveler, but once it happened, he was unable to escape. Instead, Rintaro is driven to find a way to save everyone by outwitting time itself.

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At the same time, he has to dodge SERN’s attempts to steal his time machine technology and make sure World War III goes according to plan. Steins; door It shines in its realistic portrayal of otaku life in Japan and borrows various real-world influences for its storytelling, making it a gripping narrative that’s hard to put down.

two Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Stages The Ultimate Survival Game

Monokuma showing its claws

Trapped at Hope’s Peak Academy, protagonist Makoto Naegi and 14 other “lucky” students have only one chance to escape: murder another student and avoid detection. Out of a cast of 15 characters, there is a lot of betrayal that can come out of this situation.

To make matters worse, the other students are told that if they guess the killer incorrectly, they will all die and the killer can go free. Danganronpa is an intense murder mystery series that challenges its characters to commit the perfect murder.

1 Surprisingly, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure contains many mind games

For a series with big, burly men, who would have thought it would lean towards the intellectual side? But that’s exactly what Jojo’s It does, as much of the series focuses on characters fighting each other with secret powers. A smart Stand user will not reveal his secrets, as enemy Stands are largely invisible to the naked eye.

This leaves the characters constantly guessing what the capabilities of the enemy Stand are and how they can outsmart them. Jojo’s features various scenes with internal monologues debating the right action to take in a high-stakes fight, and it never goes out of style.

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