Does a tub of your favorite ice cream and a good series sound like a great way to spend your weekend? Or are you just looking for an excellent storyline that will have you hooked like nothing else?
The detective and mystery genre is known to be an all-time favorite for entertainment enthusiasts across the world! Nothing screams fun and excitement more than joining a brooding protagonist on their mission to solve a range of criminal cases and murder mysteries. Add a Japanese animation twist to the classic detective and murder mystery and you have a watchlist that will keep you and your bubble-tea plush toy companion occupied for the rest of the holiday season!
Given that anime and manga are among the most popularly consumed forms of media – with the industry estimated at a whopping USD 23.56 billion in the year 2020 – this Japanese twist to traditional plotlines is a must-watch and must-read for all wannabe detectives and investigators.
With brilliant direction, plotlines with heart-stopping twists, and characters that steal the show in every scene, detective and mystery anime and manga are the way to go for weekends filled with excitement and entertainment!
Read on to discover our pick of the top 8 best detective anime and manga to add to your read and watch list!
Top 8 Best Detective Anime and Manga Series
The charm of watching old-school detective anime is something all detective enthusiasts need to experience. While Naruto Shippūden might have been the popular series that opened your gateway into the dynamic world of anime and manga, we promise these 8 detective series are going to make sure you stay!
A name you must have heard of before, Death Note is an excellent watch for those venturing into the anime and manga world of detective crime and mystery. The story is centered around protagonist Light Yagami who discovers a notebook belonging to a Death God (Shinigami). Dissatisfied with the state of the world at that specific moment in time, Light writes down the name of a criminal in the book and is shocked when he discovers that the criminal has died. Determined to put an end to criminal activity all over the world, Light begins to put his notebook to use. An anime that raises questions on justice and murder, Death Note is a great series to binge-watch this weekend!
Psychic Detective Yakumo
A story centered around characters Yakumo Saitou and Haruka Ozawa, Psychic Detective Yakuma follows the mysterious and supernatural phenomena that both individuals find themselves victim to. Seeking to find an answer to these weird phenomena, the characters work together undertaking dangerous investigations. The investigations help them narrow down the cause of their experiences. Yakumo is the detective who is gifted with a unique ability – the ability to communicate with supernatural entities. If you are someone who enjoys the thrill of the unknown with investigations that will have you at the edge of your seat, definitely consider Psychic Detective Yakumo!
UN-GO is a watch for those who enjoy enigmatic pairings like that of detective Shinjuurou Yuuki and his demon partner Inga. Inga possesses the supernatural ability to make people talk only the truth. Given that the citizens of the country are victims of oppressive control and censorship, Shinjuurou works to reveal all of the illegal activities that are covered by mainstream criminals. The man who stands in Shinjuurou’s way is Rinroku Kaishou – shrew and crafty and someone who holds full power over the kind of information that is circulated in Japan. Given the constant clashing moral standpoints of the protagonist and antagonist, Shinjuurou works to navigate through the tidal wave of lies, determined to bring justice to those who deserve it.
Gosho Aoyama – Case Closed
Named Detective Conan (in Japan), Case Closed is a popular anime and manga series that revolves around the story of a teen detective, who finds to his surprise that he has been transformed from his gangly pubescent body into the body of a smaller child. This happens while he is investigating a crime syndicate case. While this might not seem like the traditional detective anime and manga series that you may have come to enjoy, the main character proves to stand apart by undertaking investigations to determine who is the reason for his bodily transformation. During the series, the protagonist also contributes significantly to the solving of several unsolved police cases.
A must-watch for all detective anime enthusiasts! Monster follows the protagonist and neurosurgeon Dr. Kenzou Tenma’s journey in saving the lives of many with the grit, determination, and knowledge of a medical professional. His story takes an abrupt turn when one day he goes on to save a significant life, and the action only comes back later to haunt him. A slow-moving anime, this might not catch your attention in the first couple of episodes but give it the time and patience it deserves and you will find yourself watching an excellent series that will have you hooked until the last minute of the 74th episode. Yes, this is a show that will have you occupied for the majority of your week and weekend, so buckle up with a bucket of popcorn and enjoy the ride!
The Millionaire Detective Balance: Unlimited
This one is a detective comedy that will prove to be a comic relief after the other gritty and dark detective anime and manga on our list! The story is centered around characters Haru Katou and Daisuke Kanbe who undertake several investigations but provide several laughs to viewers owing to their incompatible morals and characters. Haru is the conventionalist of the two, who prefers sticking to protocols in solving mysteries, as opposed to Daisuke who uses his wealth to his maximum benefit when attempting to seek answers. While these are two characters who may not see eye-to-eye, they have one primary common objective and that is to solve all of their cases.
Pluto – Naoki Urasawa
Another one of Naoki Urasawa’s works is Monster which is featured on this list, but Pluto is an underrated detective series that takes a futuristic turn on Astro Boy. The plot revolves around robots who easily pass as humans and even go on to live normal human lives – including raising children, getting married, and working in regular offices. However, when a serial killer is let loose to kill the 7 most prominent robots on the planet, Detective Gesicht is tasked with investigating the infamous murder. What makes this series such a thrilling watch is that Detective Gesicht fails to recognize that he too is a primary target of the serial killer.
Do mystery and adventure sound like an appealing combination? If that sounds right up your alley, then Fullmetal Alchemist is going to be an excellent watch for you! The series is centered around brothers Alphonso and Edward Eric who possess a unit gift – a penchant for alchemy. Their unique powers allow them to convert matter into whatever they choose but before they make full use of their potential and power, their mother passes away. They also gain severe deformities that propel them into tracking down the philosopher’s stone, a stone that they believe will be able to return them to their previous superior state.
In addition to these gritty, hilarious, and amazing detective anime and manga series, keep an eye out for the 7 most awaited shows releasing in 2021!