22 Best Detective Anime of All Time

While there are different genres of anime catering to different age groups, genders, and preferences, detective anime is one of those few categories that can be watched by anyone. The genre has its own allure and it is no surprise that it has given the anime industry some of its biggest hits. Mystery, murder, drama, and, action, the detective genre seems to have it all and it is for these reasons it is one of the most beloved categories in popular culture. Since the demand for better and more exciting detective shows does not appear to be subsiding anytime soon, we have compiled a list of the best detective anime for fans who are looking for notable works that deserve more appreciation.

22. Ron Kamonohashi’s Forbidden Deductions (2023)

Detective Training Academy BLUE is an elite school for detectives where the best minds come to study. Ron Kamonohashi once used to be a top student there before getting expelled almost a half decade ago after getting himself involved in a murder case for which he barely escaped execution. Almost forgotten by everyone, Ron now lives an isolated life until police detective Totomaru Isshiki approaches him to solve a murder case that has confused him and his peers for months.

Interestingly, Kamonohashi manages to easily solve the case. But he soon realizes that he suffers from a strange cause that puts the lives of people around him in danger. With that insight, Ron and Totomaru continue to collaborate and solve new murder cases with people and organizations targeting them at every turn. You can watch the anime here.

21. Fuuto Tantei (2022)

Shoutarou Hidari along with his partner Philip investigates tough cases to keep the city of Fuuto safe. When the duo encounters Tokime, a mysterious woman they end up learning that she could be linked to people using Gaia Memories, to turn themselves into dangerous beasts. Although some of these dangerous criminals were once killed, the survivors appear to unleash a new era of crime in the city of Fuuto.

Determined to put an end to their reign of terror, Shoutarou and Philip embark on a dangerous mission with their lives on the line. ‘Fuuto Tantei’ is an exciting mystery drama anime that captivates viewers’ attention. You can watch the anime here.

20. Case Closed (1996 -)

When it comes to detective anime, no show in the near future can even remotely touch the legacy of ‘Case Close’ a.k.a ‘Meitantei Conan.’ The anime follows Shinichi Kudou, an extraordinary high schooler who has made a name for himself despite his young age by solving several challenging cases that have puzzled even the most decorated detectives. But one day, he ends up putting himself in a vulnerable situation and is then forcibly put on high doses of an experimental drug when spotted by the members of a criminal organization. Although the culprits think that the famous detective will die, he miraculously survives but is turned into a seven-year-old child.

Instead of letting the situation push him away from his passion, Shinichi takes the alias of Conan Edogawa and continues to solve cases while keeping his true identity secret. Meanwhile, he also tries to find the people responsible for his condition by investigating the organization that made the drug used on him. Feel free to watch the anime here.

19. Death Note (2006 – 2007)

When the sadistic god of death Ryuk drops his death note in the human world, it ends up in the hands of the genius 17-year-old Japanese student Light Yagami, who feels that the world needs to be fixed. Using the dangerous powers of the titular notebook that he now has in his possession, Yagami goes on a calculated murder spree in which he kills dangerous criminals around the world one by one. But soon the violence becomes senseless in every possible way imaginable as the line between good and evil begins to blur. With governments around the world concerned about the present crisis, well-known detective L takes the case to find the mysterious killer (who now goes by the Kira) behind the series of strange murders. You can watch the anime here.

18. Monster (2004 – 2005)

Dr. Kenzou Tenma is a neurosurgeon who is well-known for his professionalism and workaholic nature. Interestingly, he is engaged to the director’s daughter and his life appears to be quite comfortable. But when facing the moral dilemma of operating on an impoverished young boy named Johan Liebert or the town’s mayor, the idealist Tenma chooses to perform the surgery on the former disregarding everyone’s advice. This not only proves to be a career suicide but also puts Kenzou in a world of trouble as the young boy grows up to become a monster who tests Tenma’s idealistic worldview. You can watch the show here.

17. Pluto (2023)

Swiss robot Montblanc is a well-known celebrity popular for his efforts in nature conservation and his heroic actions during the 39th Asian War. So when he is murdered violently, robotic Europol detective Gesicht is enlisted to study the case. In his pursuit of truth, Gesicht stumbles upon a frightening conspiracy that threatens to change the world order in ways he could never imagine before. As he struggles with principles and memory, he must also figure out the truth behind the mysterious titular entity while trying to make sure that men and machines continue to coexist peacefully by cooperating with each other. Feel free to watch the show here.

16. Psycho-Pass (2012 – 2013)

Futuristic Japan uses technology to look at people’s mental state for signs of criminal intent, and with the help of a carefully designed objective Sibyl system, they determine a citizen’s threat level so that laws are upheld and the good citizens are protected. When Akane Tsunemori gets her job as an inspector, she hopes to contribute to this system by upholding the principle of justice regardless of the situation. But soon her appreciation for the Sibyl system starts to fade as she realizes that its judgments are not as flawless as they are often advertised to be. Tsunemori then starts questioning the society she inhabits and wonders if she is even fighting for the greater good. You can watch the anime here.

15. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002 – 2003)

As mankind manages to become technologically and medically advanced to achieve complete body transplants from flesh to machine, it leads to unfathomable advancements and overall progress of the species that previously seemed impossible. But as the lines between the physical and cybernetic world begin to blur, it also opens opportunities for criminals to carry out dangerous crimes. In order to ensure people are safe, the Japanese government established Sector 9 which often deals with those cases with a high rate of success. But when they face a hacker, the detectives at Sector 9 soon realize that they are not up against an ordinary criminal. You can watch the show here.

14. Undead Murder Farce (2023 -)

When vampire noble Jean Duchet Godard’s wife is brutally murdered in her own French home by an unknown assailant, the local authorities do nothing to find the criminal or solve the case. This forces Godard to seek the help of private detective Tsugaru Shinuchi and his partner Aya Rindou. But little does he know that the enigmatic duo has their own motivations to come so far as they relentlessly look for the man responsible for their own personal crisis. The anime is accessible for streaming here.

13. Gosisk (2011)

When Kazuya Kujou enrolls at the luxurious and popular Southern Europe boarding school Saint Marguerite Academy, he does not know at the time that he will be shunned and bullied by his peers. One day his hunt for ghost stories lands him in the school’s beautiful library. Moments after arriving there, Kazuya accidentally comes across a gorgeous doll-like girl named Victorique de Blois, who immediately recognizes using her brilliant foresight that their fates are intertwined in complex ways. Soon the duo starts heavily relying on each other using their incredible powers as the world around them becomes increasingly strange. You can watch the show here.

12. Hyouka (2012)

Although ‘Hyouka’ is not a typical detective anime like others on the list, it is still a valuable addition since there are some great mysteries that the characters find themselves getting entangled in. Houtarou Oreki is a high school freshman whose desire to lead a gray life is derailed when he is tasked by his sister, Tomoe to stop the disbandment of the Classics Club. Interestingly, he does not have to do much to get the first member to join as first-year, Eru Chitanda joins of her own volition. But Oreki gets so entangled in her personality that he too ends up becoming a part of the group that soon grows in number after Satoshi Fukube and Mayaka Ibara become its members. But little does the ragtag group know at the time that they will soon find themselves caught up in mysteries that have somehow gotten entangled with their lives. You can watch the show here.

11. Id:Invaded (2020 – 2021)

The Mizuhanome System allows detectives to study cognition particles at crime scenes, making it easier for the investigators to develop a model of a criminal’s unconscious mind so that they can be caught easily. But there is one issue, it can only be used by someone who has killed before. Akihito Narihisago used to be a detective who had a nice and respectful career until tragedy struck and took away everything from him. After finding himself on the other side of the law, he started helping the specialized police squad Kura to take advantage of the Mizuhanome System not knowing that it would eventually lead to some uncomfortable truths. You can watch the show here.

10. The Millionaire Detective – Balance: UNLIMITED (2020)

Haru Katou is a dedicated detective who takes his job very seriously and is driven by his idealistic view of justice. He works at Modern Crime Prevention Headquarters and works really hard to ensure that all the cases that come to him are handled with professionalism and uttermost care. So when wealthy Daisuke Kanbe is selected as his partner, Katou often has disagreements with him about morals and other subjects. While Kanbe has no issues using his money to his advantage, Haru frowns at the idea. As they are assigned case after case, the duo must learn to work together and keep their differences aside if they wish to serve the people. You can watch the anime here.

9. Bungo Stray Dogs (2016 -)

Atsushi Nakajima is kicked out of the orphanage after a series of mysterious incidents that tend to revolve around him. Interestingly, it is only Nakajima who seems to be aware of a mystical tiger on the orphanage’s premises, which makes the situation even more bizarre. While trying to survive on the streets, Atsushi notices a man drowning in the river and rescues him. It turns out that man is actually a detective named Osamu Dazai who along with his colleague Kunikida is actually investigating the same mystical tiger that frequently appears in front of Nakajima. As the trio try to unravel the mystery, it leads to an uncomfortable discovery that changes Atsushi’s life forever. You can watch the show here.

8. The Detective Is Already Dead (2021 -)

Kimihiko Kimizuka is a trouble magnet who always gets entangled in crimes for some mysterious reason. So when he is kidnapped and put on a plane that eventually gets hijacked, it is nothing out of the ordinary for him. But in a strange turn of events, Kimizuka ends up meeting a beautiful girl named Siesta on this flight. She not only saves the day but also chooses Kimihiko as his sidekick. The duo then embark on countless adventures in the next few years until Siesta suddenly passes away. In order to deal with the grief and trauma, he tries to distance himself from everything. But the more he tries to run away from those memories, it seems that Siesta’s influence is following him everywhere. The anime is accessible for streaming here.

7. Terror in Resonance (2014)

When unknown terrorists target a nuclear facility in Japan, the government is left scratching their heads. The police could not find the culprits until a few months later a video is published online in which two teenage boys warn about carrying out similar attacks in Japan. As terror and chaos grip the nation, Detective Kenjirou Shibazaki and the police desperately look for answers. The show follows two teenage boys as they are trying to deal with their own demons by unleashing unfathomable destruction on the world. Feel free to watch the anime here.

6. Ace Attorney (2016 – 2019)

From a young age, Ryuuichi Naruhodou wanted to become an attorney so that he could protect innocent people and fight for the greater good. But when he steps foot in the courtroom for the first time, he realizes that it is not far from being on the battlefield. However, this experience only strengthens his resolve as he sets out to tackle cases filed against innocent people so that he help them get the justice they deserve. But Ryuuichi’s journey is filled with challenges and in almost all cases the odds are stacked heavily against him. Will he be able to help his clients? You can watch the show here.

5. Metropolis (2001)

Metropolis is a city where humans and robots coexist. But all social structures are slowly falling apart as the great city is slowly pushed further into chaos and violence. Japanese detective Shunsaku Ban and his nephew Kenichi arrive at Metropolis hoping to investigate scientist Dr. Laughton, who is accused of illegally trading organs not realizing that their lives are about to change. When Kenichi finds an amnesiac girl in the scientist’s laboratory, he decides to help her run away only to get followed relentlessly by mysterious men. It turns out that these men are all working for Duke Red, the man who rules Metropolis from the shadows. Now, it is up to Kenichi and Shunsaku to find the truth about the mysterious girl’s identity and also unravel the secret of the city’s ruling class who have misused their powers for a long time.

4. Tantei Gakuen Q (2003 – 2007)

Kyuu’s logical and objective worldview makes him exceptional, as people his age are mostly confused and unaware of what they truly want in life. So when he learns that students can bear arms at the Dan Detective School, he immediately feels interested in enrolling there. With a ragtag group of people around him, he sets out to take on crimes by putting his reasoning and logical approach to things to an advantage. But Kyuu’s relentless pursuit of truth comes with its own risks and he eventually learns his lesson the hard way.

3. B: The Beginning (2018 – 2021)

Infamous Killer B has a love-hate relationship with the people of Cremona, as he has taken justice into his own hands and tries to create some form of order. He runs amok creating an embarrassing situation for the law enforcement authorities, a detective named Keith Flick is tasked by the Royal Investigation Service to look into the situation. However, as Flick starts his investigation, he soon finds himself up against a plethora of crimes that could obviously not be executed by just one man. With the help of Killer B himself and sidekick Lily Hoshina, Keith sets out to find the truth only to stumble upon hardly believable conspiracies that challenge everything he knows. You can watch the show here.

2. Hamatora The Animation (2014 – 2015)

Minimum Holders are people who possess the ability to perform small miracles a.k.a minimum as per their convenience. Nice and Murasaki are gifted with this power and work with Yokohama Troubleshooting, a detective agency. The duo are friends with police officer Art, who is investigating a serial killer case at the moment. So when their new assignments appear to repeatedly have some connection to Art’s case, Nice and Murasaki are puzzled. As they get drawn further into the case, some uncomfortable truths about someone close to them are revealed, which challenges everything they have ever known. Feel free to watch the series here.

1. ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. (2017 – 2020)

The 13 states of the Kingdom of Dowa are granted autonomy and are allowed to operate as they wish. However, a giant civilian organization known as ACCA has some control over these states and is often playing an active role in making sure that things are going well. So when rumors of a coup d’état start to surface, Jean Otus of the inspection agency takes matters into his own hands to get to the bottom of the situation and figure out the truth. After a hundred years of unprecedented peace, is the Kingdom of Dowa starting to crumble politically? You can watch the show here.

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