Detective anime series 


When we mention detective anime, most people will think of the iconic Detective Conan. However, that is not the only good detective story that can get you hooked on a mystery-solving chase

We’ve picked 12 detective anime series covering different types of mysteries and masterminds that will keep you on the edge of your seats. 


1. Heaven’s Memo Pad (2011)


Detective Anime 1 - heaven's memo pad
Image credit: IMDb 

Alice, an extremely tech-savvy and highly intelligent young girl, spearheads a detective agency staffed with NEETs – Not in Education, Employment, or Training. Narumi Fujishima, a recluse who can’t seem to fit in with others, finds himself joining the NEET agency after a surprising turn of events.

Detective Anime 2 - heaven's memo pad narumi and alice
Image credit: jrafanan – photography and anime blog 

After becoming one of the NEET detectives, Narumi delves deeper into crimes and investigations. The more cases he gets involved in, the more he realises how crazy and treacherous the dark side of society can be.     

Heaven's Memo Pad English Trailer
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Heaven's Memo Pad English Trailer

 

Genre: Mystery
Length: 1 season, 12 episodes
Available on: DVD


2. Psychic Detective Yakumo (2010)


Detective Anime 2 - psychic detective yakumo
Image credit: IMDb 

Psychic Detective Yakumo follows the story of Yakumo Saitou and Haruka Ozawa as their lives get entwined when supernatural phenomena and mysterious events involving the people they know threaten their own safety. 

Detective Anime 4 - yakumo
Image credit: Reicheru

Yakumo’s ingenious ways and his gift of communicating with the supernatural, coupled with Haruka’s assistance, will prove to be useful during their many dangerous investigations.   

TVアニメ「心霊探偵八雲」PV
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TVアニメ「心霊探偵八雲」PV

 

Genre: Mystery, Horror, Supernatural
Length: 1 season, 13 episodes
Available on: DVD


3. UN-GO (2011)


Detective Anime 5 -un-go
Image credit: IMDb 

UN-GO follows Shinjuurou Yuuki, a disillusioned detective who values truth above everything else, and his partner Inga, a demon with the ability to make people speak only the truth. 

In a country where there is censorship and oppressive control over what the people can say or do, there are still many who conduct illegal activities and cover up their crimes. Despite the odds, Shinjuurou is determined to bring these crimes to light

Detective Anime 6 - inga
Image credit: Un-Go Wiki

However, Rinroku Kaishou a shrewd and crafty man who has full control over how and what information is circulated in Japan stands in Shinjuurou’s way as he seeks to uncover the truth. 

Detective Anime 7 - shinjuurou
Image credit: Clan Rain

With differing moral standpoints, Shinjuurou and Rinroku are constantly at each other’s throats. Follow Shinjuurou as he navigates a world full of lies and tries to fight for what’s right and solve cases along the way.       

UN-GO Complete Box Set Trailer
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UN-GO Complete Box Set Trailer

 

Genre: Mystery, Supernatural
Length: 1 season, 11 episodes, 1 movie
Available on: Crunchyroll


4. Hyouka (2012)


Detective Anime 8 - hyouka
Image credit: IMDb 

Hyouka tells the story of the 4 high school students – Houtarou Oreki, Eru Chitanda, Satoshi Fukube, and Mayaka Ibara – who make up the Classics Literature Club. The friends soon find themselves getting involved in all kinds of mysteries surrounding their school, starting with their club’s long history. 

Detective Anime 9 - oreki
Image credit: IMDb

Oreki is a smart yet lazy guy who wouldn’t go out of his way, preferring to find the easiest method if he has to do something. However, Eru’s enthusiasm for mysteries and her desire to solve them causes Oreki to be roped into her shenanigans

Together, the 4 friends use their deduction skills, resourcefulness, and investigation techniques to find out the truth about the mysteries involving their school.

Detective Anime 10 - oreki and eru
Image credit: eternicity.net

Hyouka: Part 1 - Trailer
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Hyouka: Part 1 - Trailer

 

Genre: Mystery, School, Slice of life
Length: 1 season, 22 episodes, 1 OVA
Available on: Crunchyroll


5. Detective School Q (2003 – 2004)


Detective Anime 11 - detective school q
Image credit: IMDb 

Detective School Q follows the young aspiring detective Kyuu Renjo as he studies at Dan Detective School (DDS), the alma mater of many of Japan’s most well-known detectives. Kyuu is accompanied by 4 other students from DDS’s Class Q – detectives-in-training who each have their own unique skill sets that help with solving cases. 

The 5 of them work together to solve difficult cases, honing their deduction and combat skills in order to become full-fledged detectives.   

Tantei Gakuen Q OP1 - Mei Q-Make You
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Tantei Gakuen Q OP1 - Mei Q-Make You

 

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Mystery, Police, Shounen
Length: 1 season, 45 episodes
Available on: DVD


6. The Files of Young Kindaichi (1997 – 2000)


Detective Anime 11 - the files of young kindaichi
Image credit: IMDb 

17-year-old Hajime Kindaichi is one of Japan’s most intelligent and capable detectives – if you look past his unkempt appearance. He has a knack for solving even the most complex of mysteries and this becomes evident as he travels across the country to handle all sorts of unsolved crimes.   

Detective Anime 13 - kindachi
Image credit: The Kindaichi Case Files Wiki

The Files of Young Kindaichi is well-known for murder cases that deal with the psychology of humans. It is loved by fans of detective series because of its well-thought-out cases, interesting twists, and understandable motives of the murderers in each case. 

Kindaichi Case Files Opening 1 (CONFUSED MEMORIES)
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Kindaichi Case Files Opening 1 (CONFUSED MEMORIES)

 

Genre: Mystery, Shounen
Length: 2 seasons, 148 episodes (S1), 47 (S2), 2 Movies, 6 OVAs
Available on: Netflix


7. The Millionaire Detective Balance: Unlimited (2020)


Detective Anime 14 - the millionaire detective balance unlimited
Image credit: IMDb 

The Millionaire Detective Balance: Unlimited is a detective comedy where 2 unlikely partners, Daisuke Kanbe and Haru Katou, have to work together during investigations despite their incompatible characters and morals

Detective Anime 15 - daisuke kanbe
Image credit: IMDb

Daisuke loves to flaunt his wealth and has no qualms about using it to get the answers he needs. Haru, on the other hand, is an upright and morally just officer who believes in following protocols when it comes to solving mysteries. 

Detective Anime 16 - daisuke and haru
Image credit: IMDb

They clearly do not see eye-to-eye and struggle to cooperate in the most hilarious of ways. Despite their differences, they understand that solving the cases is of utmost priority. 

The Millionaire Detective - Balance: UNLIMITED Trailer 2
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The Millionaire Detective - Balance: UNLIMITED Trailer 2

 

Genre: Mystery, Comedy, Police
Length: 1 season, 11 episodes
Available on: Netflix


8. B: The Beginning (2018)


Detective Anime 17 - b the beginning
Image credit: IMDb 

B: The Beginning explores themes of wrongdoing, justice, bad governance, and morals. Follow the protagonist, Keith Flick, who is an expert detective with a hidden past, as he manoeuvres through a world filled with secrets, trying to uncover the mysteries and ultimately having to decide who to side with.    

中澤一登監督とProduction I.Gが夢のタッグ!『B: The Beginning』本予告編
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中澤一登監督とProduction I.Gが夢のタッグ!『B: The Beginning』本予告編

 

Genre: Action, Mystery, Police, Psychological, Supernatural, Thriller
Length: 1 season, 12 episodes
Available on: Netflix


9. Terror in Resonance (2014)


Detective Anime 18 - terror in resonance
Image credit: IMDb 

Terror in Resonance follows the story of 2 teenage boys going by the aliases “Nine” and “Twelve”. Nine and Twelve are orphans who were mistreated and used as experiment subjects in the past.

Detective Anime 19 - nine and twelve orphans
Image credit: Wrong Every Time 

With a stolen nuclear bomb and a complicated riddle, Nine and Twelve – under the terrorist group named “Sphinx” – orders the police to solve their riddle within a given time or risk unnecessary casualties.  

Detective Anime 20 - sphinx nine and twelve
Image adapted from: IMDb

Terror in Resonance is unlike your usual mystery – it is told from the perspective of the “terrorists” and how they were disappointed by the world and its cruelties. 

Terror in Resonance Official Trailer
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Terror in Resonance Official Trailer

 

Genre: Mystery, Psychological, Thriller
Length: 1 season, 11 episodes
Available on: Netflix, Crunchyroll


10. Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning (2002 – 2003)


Detective Anime 21 - spiral the bonds of reasoning
Image credit: IMDb 

After Ayumu Narumi’s older brother, Kiyotaka, vanishes one day, he is dragged into the life of a detective in order to make sense of Kiyotaka’s last words “Blade Children” and figure out Kiyotaka’s whereabouts. Ayumu begins to investigate the Blade Children – their identities, motives, and their connection to Kiyotaka and his sudden disappearance. 

Detective Anime 22 - spiral
Image credit: IMDb

To have a fuller picture of the mysteries and the relationships between characters in the show, you should read the manga before watching the anime. Otherwise, you might be a little lost as the anime has intentionally left out certain details.  

spiral opening
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spiral opening

 

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Shounen
Length: 1 season, 25 episodes
Available on: DVD


11. Gosick (2011)


Detective Anime 23 - gosick
Image credit: IMDb 

Kazuya Kujo, a black-haired Japanese transfer student, and Victorique de Blois, a petite blonde European girl, find their lives intertwined after a fateful encounter in the library of Saint Marguerite Academy. 

Detective Anime 24 - victorique and kazuya
Image credit: Kiiragi 

They soon get entangled in a web of mysteries and danger. Kazuya and Victorique will have to use their wit, skills, and trust in each other to survive, as well as solve the problems and crimes that lay ahead. As they investigate mysteries, their pasts, family backgrounds, and Victorique’s gift of prophecy will put their relationship to the test.  

【GOSICK】先行プロモーション映像
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【GOSICK】先行プロモーション映像

 

Genre: Mystery, Historical, Drama, Romance
Length: 1 season, 24 episodes
Available on: Netflix, Crunchyroll


12. Bungou Stray Dogs (2016 – 2019)


Detective Anime 25 - bungou stray dogs
Image credit: Bungou Stray Dogs Fandom 

Atsushi Nakajima finds himself joining a detective agency filled with eccentric people with supernatural abilities. Using their powers and resourcefulness, these detectives solve complicated mysteries most people can’t. They also get entangled in conspiracies and dangerous battles with different shady organisations to keep Yokohama and its citizens safe.   

Bungou Stray Dogs (Season 1) - Official Trailer
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Bungou Stray Dogs (Season 1) - Official Trailer

 

Genre: Action, Mystery, Comedy, Supernatural, Superpowers
Length: 3 seasons, 12 episodes each, 1 OVA, 1 Movie
Available on: Netflix


Detective anime series for the mystery lover


The detective trope is a popular genre well-loved by anime fans. Watching a good mystery is thrilling and interesting as it makes you try to connect the dots along with the protagonists. If you like detective anime series, check out the ones on our list.  

Check out other anime articles:

Cover image adapted from: Anime-Planet, IMDb, IMDb