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5 Anime Like ‘Psycho Pass’ You Must See

November 18, 2019
7 min read

Psycho Pass‘ is set in a futuristic world where, based on the mental state and personality of a person, it can easily be determined if he/she will be committing a crime in the future. When this “crime coefficient” of a person crosses a certain limit, regardless of whether he/she has committed a crime or not, the person is sent to a correctional facility.

I won’t deny, on the surface, ‘Psycho Pass’ is almost like a rip-off of Steven Spielberg‘s ‘Minority Report‘, but Urobuchi Gen’s compelling storyline with its deep references to several renowned literary and philosophical works make it a whole new unique experience for viewers.

The series descends deep into the darkness and toxicities of human society and depicts it with a very unbiased perspective. It is easily one of the most thought-provoking anime shows out there and there are only a few others that come in par with it. So here’s a list of all the anime similar to ‘Psycho Pass.’ You can watch several of these anime like Psycho Pass on Funimation, Crunchyroll or Hulu.

5. Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002-2003)

Set in the near future, where cybernetic technology has propagated the development of humans to a whole new level, ‘Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex‘ is more like an alternate setting to the classic anime movie of the 90s that goes by the same name. It shows a world where the advancement of technology has also triggered the rise of several dangerous crimes. Desperate to bring these under control, a new crime-solving unit, known as Section 9, is established by the government. But when a hacker who is known as ‘The Laughing Man’ begins to leave his mark on Japan, even the best agents of Section 9 succumb under the impact of his masterplan.

The original ‘Ghost in the Shell’ movie is still known to be one of the most impactful anime shows ever made. Surprisingly though, ‘Stand Alone Complex‘ very well does justice to the greatness of the original by portraying the perfect blend of action, mystery, and philosophy. Kudos to Production I.G for recreating a masterpiece.

4. Danganronpa (2013)

Kibougamine Gakuen is the most prestigious academy in Japan and only the most elite students to get to study in it. Purely based on his luck, Makoto Naegi gets accepted for the new batch of the school but his feelings of happiness are short-lived. On the very first day of school, along with other bright students who got selected, he realizes that he has now been imprisoned.

Monokuma, the bear-like school principal, announces that in order to survive they must all murder each other and not get caught while doing it. With this, a game of deception and betrayal sets in where one must either learn to kill or learn to somehow stay under the radar. And in this deathmatch, if someone gets caught killing someone else, he/she will be executed immediately. Is Naegi lucky enough to get through this?

Danganronpa‘, unlike ‘Psycho Pass‘, is not a crime-thriller but what makes the two shows similar is the omnipotent overarching antagonist whose intentions are quite debatable. Both the shows also portray how during desperate times, people actually tend to show their true colors. Humans, when exposed to some of the most brutal situations, can often leave behind their own morals, just to get a false sense of safety. ‘Danganronpa’ is not as good as ‘Psycho Pass‘ and is often crippled by its pace and short runtime, but it’s gripping psychological themes are enough to keep you glued to it.

3. Zankyou no Terror (2014)

A terrorist attack at a highly guarded nuclear facility takes the whole nation by storm, and as the police start to frantically hunt down the perpetrators, they find nothing but a big bold “VON” inscribed on the walls of the crime scene. This is when an online video pops up where two young men, claiming to be the “Sphynx”, announce that they were behind the attack and also threaten the government by openly announcing that they’re just getting started. As a result, the entire country is dusked upon with a sense of mass panic where the two young boys hold everyone’s fate. But beneath all of this hate that they have for everyone, they hide a very tragic secret.

Shinichiro Watanabe, even with his other better-anime like ‘Samurai Champloo‘ and ‘Cowboy Bebop‘, is known for defying the norms and archetypes of the medium. But with ‘Terror in Resonance‘, he takes things to a whole a new level by creating an anime that is more thematically-focused. For the most part, it is not a shounen and it does not condor the acts of violence of the main characters, instead, it reflects on their traumatic pasts and shows how they were forced to hate the world they live in. Because of how realistically it mirrors our society, some may not enjoy this anime. But, though a little underrated, it is another riveting anime which proves that Watanabe is indeed a genius.

2. Monster (2014)

Dr. Kenzou Tenma has it all and his life couldn’t have been any better. He is one of the most elite surgeons in his city and also gets to marry the love of his life. But an unfortunate twist in his fate brings his whole life crumbling down. On a dreary rainy night, instead of performing surgery on a dying renowned political leader, he chooses to save the life of a young boy. But this noble decision turns out to be the biggest mistake of his life as the young boy eventually grows to become one of the most gruesome serial killers of all time. One moral decision comes rippling back to him in the future and drowns him in regret.

Monster‘, though not as popular as the other titles in the genre, is by far one of the darkest anime out there. From its very beginning, it perfectly creates a looming sense of fear and tension that reflects on how intellect can, at times, be the architect of destruction. With its “cause and action” approach it portrays how even the smallest “seemingly insignificant” events can often leave a lingering effect in the end. ‘Monster’ is an outstanding psychological thriller you shouldn’t miss out on.

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1. Death Note (2006-2007)

A notebook falls out of the sky one day, and almost fatefully, it ends up in the hands of Light Yagami, a prodigal high-school student who often raises a judgemental eye towards the world around him. Inscribed in the book, he finds instructions that claim that he can kill someone just by entering their name in it.

At first, he dismisses it as a prank of some sort, but then his curiosity takes over and he finally decides to write a name in it. That’s when he learns that the Death Note is no joke, and with his newly acquired ability to kill anyone he wants, Light Yagami sets out to become the God of the modern world. But what starts off with his righteous ambitions to make the world a better place soon becomes a game of cat and mouse where he completely loses his mind and puts everything at stake.

Madhouse Studio is an anime giant now with many big names such as ‘One-Punch Man‘, ‘Hunter X Hunter‘ and ‘Overlord‘ under its belt. But even to this day, ‘Death Note‘ remains to be one of the best anime shows created by them. Apart from being the perfect gateway anime for most people, the way it captures the intense dynamic between its two highly intellectual characters and how it makes you question your own beliefs of justice make it a pulse-racing treat that remains unprecedented. If you haven’t seen this masterpiece yet, you’re seriously missing out.

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