Top 25 Suspenseful Anime That Won’t Let You Sleep

Are you looking for anime that will leave you glued to your chair? Do you like compelling, interesting and mysterious stories? Do you prefer thrillers to conventional shonen ? This list is for you!

Suspense (also known as thriller ) is a genre that usually should surprise and captivate the viewer. A good suspense anime should keep you afraid or excited about what happens next, and desperate for a resolution to the conflict.

For all you anime fans looking for a little more excitement than your typical young brawler wanting to get stronger, this list is for you!

Best Suspense Anime That Won’t Let You Sleep

1. Monster (2004)

1 - Monster

Episodes: 74

Monster , one of the most classic and acclaimed on this list, tells the story of doctor Kenzou Tenma. Tenma, a renowned neurosurgeon, is forced to choose between saving the mayor of the city from him or the life of a boy. Due to his recent rise in the hospital hierarchy, he makes the morally correct decision: save young Johan Liebert.

However, this decision brings serious consequences to Dr. Tenma and one of them is the loss of his elite position in the hospital. But due to the mysterious death of its director and two doctors, he recovers his position, not without escaping suspicions on the part of the authorities of having had to do with the sudden disappearances of the employees.

Due to lack of evidence, the doctor goes free, and continues working at the hospital, becoming its director.

Nine years later, when Tenma saves the life of a criminal, his past comes back to haunt him: once again, he finds himself face to face with the young man whose life he saved, now turned into a monster. This leads him on a hunt to make amends for the damage he has done due to his decisions.

Monster is a compelling and dark story about human nature, a mature offering that never fails to amaze throughout its length.

2. Steins;Gate (2011)

Steins Gate

Episodes: 24

A self-proclaimed mad scientist, Rintarou Okabe, rents a room in an old building in Akihabara, where he dedicates himself to inventing “gadgets of the future” with his classmates. Mayuri Shiina, his childhood friend, and Hashida Itaru, a hacker whose nickname is Daru.

The three characters spend their time using the most promising device they have ever created, a peculiar machine nicknamed the “microwave phone”, which has the ability to transform bananas into a green gel.

Miraculous as it is, this phenomenon provides nothing concrete for Okabe’s search for a scientific discovery… Until his lab partners are called into action by a series of mysterious occurrences and get an unexpected success: The microwave phone can send e-mails to the past, altering the flow of history.

Steins Gate is an adaptation of the acclaimed visual novel by 5pb and Nitroplus , and tells the story of Okabe, who will have to deal with the weight of obtaining the key that unlocks the realms of time. This series is rated as one of the best anime ever, and we couldn’t stop including it on our list. There are multiple spin-offs that tell different endings of the visual novel. The way of seeing it, however, is totally up to the viewer.

3. Paranoia Agent (2004)

Paranoia Agent

Episodes: 13

Musashino City is terrorized by a wave of murders and attacks caused by an infamous young man on roller skates, Shounen Bat. The authorities try to catch him, but do not understand the attacker.

As Shounen Bats continue to attack the city’s residents, detectives Keiichi Ikari and Mitsuhiro Maniwa begin to investigate the identity of the criminal, but as the number of victims continues to increase, paranoia also increases.

Will they be able to catch the killer, or will paranoia win?

Satoshi Kon, one of Japan’s most acclaimed directors, directed this incredible series that mixes psychological terror with suspense in a story that will leave more than one glued to their seats.

4. Death Note (2006)

Death Note

Episodes: 37

Perhaps this could be the only anime on this list that needs neither an introduction nor a description, since Death Note is one of those anime that is recognized worldwide. However, for those looking to start their journey into the suspense and thriller that anime can provide, Death Note is a fantastic way to start.

The shinigami are gods of death that can kill anyone, as long as they have seen their face and write the name of their victim in a notebook called Death Note. One day, a bored shinigami decides to drop his Death Note into the human world, just to entertain himself a bit and see how things unfold.

The one who finds the Death Note that day is Yagami Light, a prodigious high school student, who finds society deplorable and tests the notebook to see if it works. After the criminal whose name he wrote in the notebook immediately passes away, Yagami marvels at his discovery and recognizes the devastating power he could have in his hands.

With this divine ability, the young protagonist decides to put an end to all criminals, to create a new world where crime does not exist and people follow him as a God. However, the police discover that there is a serial killer who is dedicated to killing criminals, and as a consequence, a game of cat and mouse ensues. In order to apprehend the culprit, the Japanese investigators enlist the assistance of the world’s best detective: an eccentric young man whose only known name is L.

For anyone who is looking for an engrossing series and hasn’t had a chance to watch Death Note yet , watching this anime is a no-brainer.

5. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (2011)


Episodes: 12

I know what you’re thinking: How come a series literally titled ” Magical Girl Madoka Magica ” is on a list of thriller anime? What parallel world have we entered? And we understand the confusion!

However, you shouldn’t dismiss a book based on its cover, and Madoka Magica is one of those wonderful gems that is critically acclaimed for its plot twists and the darkness and depth of its themes. She has even been referred to as the “dark” version of the magical girl genre .

This anime tells the story of Madoka Kadame and Sayaka Miki, who are regular elementary school girls with ordinary lives. But, all that changes when they meet Kyuubey, a magical and mysterious familiar , and Homura Akemi, the new student.

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Kyuubey gives them a proposition: she will grant any wish they ask for, but in exchange, each of the girls will become a magical girl, gaining the strength to fulfill their dreams. But all is not rosy, and newcomer Akemi urges them not to accept the deal, because all is not as it seems.

Mahou Shoujo MadokaMagica is a story of hope, friendship, and despair, dealing with the difficulties of having magic and the price one must pay to fulfill a dream.

6. Death Parade (2015)

2 - Death Parade

Episodes: 12

Death Parade was released in 2015, and went on to earn the title of the best of that year, and with good reason.

After death, there is no heaven or hell, there is only a bar that is on the path of reincarnation and oblivion. There, the person in charge will be dedicated to challenging groups of two people who have recently died to a random game of chance. That game will determine if they will have a reincarnation or be forgotten.

Whether during a game of bowling or darts, the true nature of each person will come out in a parade of death and memories, following the whims of the bartender. Welcome to Quindecim, where Decim, the arbiter of death, awaits you.

Death Parade is a sequel to a one-shot OVA whose purpose was to train young animators, expanding the story and expanding the cast of characters who receive trials. But for Decim, the judge, things get complicated when a mysterious black-haired woman appears, making him question all her decisions.

7. Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni (2006)


Episodes: 26

Do not be fooled by the cute images associated with this series, because they are a trap. This anime is full of psychological horror, suspense, and mystery.

Higurashi, also known by its English name, When they Cry , is a psychological horror series that tells the story of a town with strange customs: Hinamizawa.

The story begins when the protagonist, Keiichi Maebara, moves to the quiet and simple town of Hinamizawa in the summer of 1983. The young man becomes inseparable with his classmates, Rena Ryuuguu, Mion Sonozaki, Satoko Houjou, and Rika Furude, but the darkness reigns under the façade of tranquility and simplicity that dominates their lives.

As the town prepares for the annual festival, Keiichi discovers the local legend that precedes it. First, he realizes that there have been many murders and disappearances in the town in recent years, and it all seems connected to the festival and the town’s patron god: Oyashiro.

Keiichi tries to ask his new friends about these terrible incidents, but they all suspiciously evade the subject and refuse to answer his questions. As increasingly strange events occur, Keiichi wonders what his friends are keeping from him, and if he can really trust them.

When madness and paranoia begin to take root in the heart of the protagonist, he will come face to face with the mysteries hidden by Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni, whose narrative is told through multiple story arcs.

The series is based on the famous visual novel of the same name, which was a huge success in Japan. This series, like the case of Steins;Gate , has several seasons that explore the different endings and arcs of the visual novel.

8. Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi (2016)


Episodes: 12

Also known by its English title, Erased, this series tells the story of Satoru Fujinuma, who has a special peculiarity.

When the tragedy is about to occur, Satoru is sent several minutes before the accident occurs. The indifferent 29-year-old manga artist has taken advantage of this powerful yet mysterious phenomenon, which he calls “Revival”, to save many lives.

However, when he is wrongly accused of killing someone close to him, Satoru returns to the past again, but this time 18 years ago, to 1988. He soon discovers that this murder is connected to the kidnapping and murder of one of his former classmates, the lonely and mysterious Kayo Hinazuki. These events occurred when Satoru was just a child, and this is a second chance to fix things.

Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi is a story full of suspense, psychological elements, and manipulation that won’t let the viewer get out of their seat from the beginning to the end.

9. Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin (2010)


Episodes: 26

Japan, 1955: Mario Minakami has just arrived at Shounan Juvie with five other teenagers arrested on serious criminal charges. All, assigned to the same cell, meet the inmate Rokurouta Sakuragi, a former boxer, with whom they establish a close bond. Under his guidance, and with the promise that they will meet again on the outside after serving their sentences, the criminals begin to see their desperate situation in a better light.

Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin follows the seven cellmates as they fight together against the brutal suffering and humiliation inflicted on them by Ishihara, a sadistic guard with a grudge for Rokurouta, and Gisuke Sasaki, a doctor who abuses young men. Faced with these hellish conditions, the seven inmates must muster all the strength they have to survive until their sentences are up; but even if they do, what kind of lives await them on the other side?

Many of the reviews that talk about this series say practically the same thing: that they couldn’t get off the screen until they finished. Isn’t that what the good suspense is about?

10. Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor (2007)


Episodes: 26

Kaiji Itou is a good-for-nothing prowler who spends his days drinking beer and stealing hubcaps until his former co-worker tricks him. Suddenly unable to pay off his friend’s massive debt, Kaiji is offered a shady deal to participate in illegal underground gambling on a cruise ship. This turns out to be nothing more than the beginning of his new life in hell: thrown headfirst into a life-threatening roller coaster full of mind games, deceit, and lies.

Based on the first entry in Nobuyuki Fukumoto’s famous gambling series, Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor follows our hapless protagonist. This, he is forced to fight not only against other people but also against the mysteries of his psyche. Kaiji discovers that the worst aspects of human nature surface when hit against the wall and that the most fearsome dangers of all are greed, paranoia, and survival instinct.

With a plot similar in some ways to Death Parade, gambling with your own life never works out.

11. Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo (2004)

3 - The Count of Monte Cristo

Episodes: 24

In the year 5053, French aristocrats Viscount Albert de Morcerf and Baron Franz d’Epinay attend the Carnival on Luna. While Franz is just looking to have fun, Albert is looking for something more to fill his life, but finds more than he bargained for in The Count of Monte Cristo, a mysterious and charming nobleman who catches his eye during an opera performance.

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Through some twists and turns, Albert befriends the Count and introduces him to French society. The Count, however, has more on his mind than friendship; he plans to finally avenge those who betrayed him years before. Gankutsuou follows the interconnected fates of Albert and the Count and the ultimate price that must be paid for revenge.

The anime is a new version of the classic French novel about The Count of Monte Cristo but with futuristic modifications and full of science fiction.

12. Summertime Render (2022)

4 - Summertime Render

Episodes: 25

Shinpei Ajiro lived his entire childhood with the Kofune family, and was particularly close to the two daughters, Ushio and Mio. After moving to Tokyo, he is forced to return after Ushio drowns while rescuing a little girl. However, doubts are raised about her death during her funeral since he has marks on his neck.

Shinpei is now convinced that this is murder and is further convinced when strange things begin to happen in the village. There are missing people and various unexplained events. Remembering an old folk tale, he thinks of the entities called “shadows”, which could be behind all of this.

Hitogashima Island is now a mystery to Shinpei, and he must do everything possible to fulfill Ushio’s last wish: to protect Mio.

13. Another (2012)


Episodes: 12

In 1972, a popular and charismatic student named Misaki, belonging to class 3-3 at Yomiyama North High School, died suddenly in the middle of the school year. Since then, the city of Yomiyama has developed a sinister atmosphere due to the dark secrets it hides.

In the spring of 1998, ninth-year student Kōichi Sakakibara transfers from Tokyo to Yomiyama and the same class and school as the late Misaki. Shortly after transferring him, he seems to interpret the city’s atmosphere correctly and becomes suspicious of the class representatives who visit him during a brief hospital stay.

In addition, he is attracted to the mysterious student Mei Misaki since the rest of the students and teachers treat her as if she did not exist. Ignoring everyone’s warnings, including Mei herself, Kōichi begins to get closer to her and the truth behind the terrible phenomenon plaguing class 3-3 of Yomiyama North High.

Another follows the story of Kōichi, Mei, and their classmates as they are caught up in a series of tragic and unavoidable events, which will bring with them the possibility of uncovering the terrifying mystery behind Yomiyama. However, this could have deadly consequences.

Another ‘s story is full of twists and mysteries and is one of the most popular and well-known entries on the list.

14. Shiki (2010)


Episodes: 22

Megumi Shimizu, 15, dreamed of a glamorous life in the big city. However, her unexpected death in the sleepy town of Sotoba marks the beginning of what appears to be a ferocious epidemic that turns summer into a season of blood and terror.

A young doctor named Toshio Ozaki begins to doubt the nature of the disease and understands that to discover the truth, he must abandon his humanity. Meanwhile, Natsuno Yuuki, an antisocial youth from the town, is haunted by Megumi’s sudden death and must realize the pain of friendship in the face of her own tragedy.

Toshio and Natsuno make an unlikely pair as they work together to save Sotoba from being transformed into a vampire ghost town. Shiki, adapted from the horror novel by Fuyumi Ono, goes beyond your average vampire story. It tells the tragic story of survival in a world where one cannot easily distinguish between good and evil.

Forsaken by God, the Shiki, as the vampires call themselves, have only their will to live as they face the fear of the paranoid and incredulous villagers. Shiki explores the limit that separates the man from the monster.

15. Higashi no Eden (2009)

East of Eden

Episodes: 11

On November 22, 2010, Japan was hit by missile attacks, a terrorist act that fortunately harmed no one and became known as “Careless Monday.” The tragedy is quickly forgotten, and society continues their lives as usual.

During her graduation trip to the United States three months later, student Saki Morimi’s life changes forever when she is saved from unexpected trouble by Akira Takizawa. Takizawa is cheerful but strange in many ways: he is entirely naked and suffers from amnesia, believing he is a terrorist. Furthermore, he owns a strange cell phone with 8.2 billion yen in digital cash.

Despite Takizawa’s suspicious features, Saki quickly becomes friends with the enigmatic young man. Unbeknownst to her. However, this is the start of an exciting game of death involving money, cell phones, and saving the world.

Higashi no Eden chronicles Saki’s struggle to unravel the mysteries behind her savior, while Takizawa confronts other individuals armed with similar cell phones and memorabilia that reveal their possible connection to the event of months ago.

16. Psycho-Pass (2012)

Psycho Pass

Episodes: 22

Justice, and its application, has changed. In the 22nd century, Japan applies the Sybil System, an objective means of determining the threat level of each citizen by examining their mental state for signs of criminal intent, known as their Psycho-Pass.

Inspectors uphold the law by subjugating, often with deadly force, anyone harboring even the slightest ill will. Joining them are the Enforcers, jaded inspectors who have become latent criminals, given relative freedom in exchange for carrying out the other inspectors’ dirty work.

Entering this world is Akane Tsunemori, a young woman with a sincere desire to uphold justice. However, as she works alongside veteran Shinya Kougami, she soon realizes that the Sybil system’s judgments are not as perfect as her colleagues assume.

Questioning everything she’s learned, Akane wrestles with the question of what justice is, and whether it can be upheld by using a system that might already be corrupted.

17. Yakusoku No Neverland (2019)


Episodes: 12

Surrounded by a forest and a gated entrance, Grace Field House is inhabited by orphans who live together as one big family, cared for by their “Mama,” Isabella. Even though they are required to take tests daily, children are free to spend their time however they see fit. They generally play in the garden as long as they don’t venture too far from the orphanage, a rule they are expected to follow no matter what.

While life is quiet and straightforward, a child is adopted and sent to live with his new family every few months, never to be seen again.

Despite this, the three “older brothers” are suspicious about what is happening in the orphanage. And they’re about to discover the cruel fate that awaits the children living at Grace Field, including the twisted nature of their beloved Mama.

This anime is one of the most recent on our list, but it is undoubtedly one of the best samples of the mystery and suspense genre that we have been able to mention.

18. Zankyou No Terror (2014)

Terror in Resonance

Episodes: 11

Japan is the victim of a terrible terrorist attack on a nuclear plant. The government feels powerless for not being able to do anything, and the police are going around in circles, looking for a way to catch the culprits.

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The city remains inert without any clues until six months later, a strange video appears on the internet. In it, two youngsters who identify themselves only as Sphinx directly challenge the police, threatening to cause destruction and chaos in Tokyo.

Unable to stop the mass panic spreading through the city and desperate for clues in the investigation, the police struggle to act effectively against the terrorists, with Detective Kenjirou Shibazaki caught in the middle.

Zankyou No Terror (also known as Terror in Resonance ), tells the story of Nine and Twelve, the two young men behind the Sphinx-masked figures. They shouldn’t exist, but they stand firm in a world full of deceit and secrets as they bring the city down at their feet, hoping to bury their tragic reality.

19. Paprika (2006)

6 - Paprika

Feature film

This sci-fi feature film follows the premise of entering people’s dreams. Dreams show desires and ambitions. Can they be used to cure patients permanently? A group of expert psychologists manages to access the minds of their patients to cure their biggest disorders, but the device they use for this can fall into the wrong hands at any time.

And when this happens, many people in high positions and in their circle find themselves in danger. This is the work of a terrorist who seeks to destabilize the country. Using what little knowledge they have of the dream world, can they catch him before it’s too late?

20. Vivy: Flourite Eye’s Song (2021)

7 - Vivy Flourite Eye‘s Song

Episodes: 13

At present, the land is desolate. Humanity has been nearly extinct by a group of artificial intelligence that dominate the world. Only a scientist can change the course of fate, and he decides to gamble everything on a relic from the past.

One hundred years before, we find ourselves with a humanity that begins to evolve in robotics. The created machines have very specific missions, which, when fulfilled, are turned off. Vivy is a singing artificial intelligence whose mission is to make people happy at the amusement park where she works. But one day, Vivy receives an unexpected visitor, an AI from the future who begs for his help to prevent the loss of humanity.

21. Yuukoku no Moriarty (2020)

8 - Yuukoku no Moriarty

Episodes: 24

In a completely different take on the classic Sherlock Holmes novels, in this story, we focus on his enemy, William Moriarty.

In the 19th century, the empire’s nobility reigned while the working class suffered under their yoke. William James Moriarty is a nobleman who rose to his position to end this social disparity. But his methods are not at all noble. They are ruthless, and the body count behind his plans is increasing little by little.

This will draw the attention of Detective Sherlock Holmes, who has finally found a match worthy of his intelligence.

22. Mirai Nikki (2011)

5 - Mirai Nikki

Episodes: 26

Lonely high school student Yukiteru Amano spends his days writing a journal on his cell phone. Meanwhile, he converses with his two seemingly imaginary friends, Deus Ex Machina, the god of time and space, and Murmur, the god’s servant.

After revealing that he is a real entity, Deus gives Yukiteru a “Random Diary”. This displays highly descriptive entries based on the future and forces you to engage in bloody royal combat with 11 other equally powerful future diary holders.

The last person left alive will be designated as the new God of Time and Space, and Yukiteru must find and kill the other 11 to survive. To achieve this, he must establish an alliance with a girl who harasses him: Yuno Gasai, who also has a diary and guarantees his safety. But there’s more to the girl than meets the eye, as she might have other plans for her unrequited love.

Although not to everyone’s taste, Mirai Nikki is an intriguing series, with moments of suspense and mystery where perhaps the enemy is closer than you imagine.

23. Platinum End


Episodes: 24

Ever since he lost his family in an explosion, Mirai Kakehashi has lived a life of pain and despair. Every day, he endures abuse from the relatives who took him in. As his anguish constantly saps his will to live, he is finally pushed to the limit. Prepared to give it all up, he finds himself on the edge of a precipice and takes the plunge.

However, instead of falling to his death, he enters a trance where he encounters a winged being who claims to be his guardian angel. Named Nasse, the angel offers him two invaluable abilities and convinces him to continue living.

When Mirai experiences the wonder of her new powers firsthand, she gets a taste of the freedom she’s longed for. Armed with Nasse’s gifts, Mirai finds himself embroiled in a showdown with 12 other people, one of whom will be chosen to become the next God. In stark contrast to when he wished to end his life, Mirai is now willing to do whatever it takes to protect his bleak chance at happiness, lest he be taken from her forever.

24. Super Crooks


Episodes: 13

One last heist. That’s what everyone says. One last job, and they can all retire and go fishing. The problem is that jails are full of supervillains who thought the same thing and got caught. But the Heat are in trouble. He has accumulated such a huge gambling debt that if he can’t pay it off in cash, it will be paid in blood.

No one wants to see the most beloved super-thief of all time taken down by the mob, especially his biggest fan, Johnny Bolt. And Johnny has a plan to help the Heat and make all of his teammates filthy rich simultaneously. Unfortunately for Johnny’s recruits, they must head to Spain and blindly rob the world’s most notorious supervillain. And that’s where things get complicated.

25. Tomodachi Game


Episodes: 12

High school student Yuuichi Katagiri highly values ​​his close circle of friends, consisting of four classmates. However, when the funds for the upcoming school trip are stolen, the incident causes Shiho and Makoto, who were in charge of collecting the money, to distance themselves from the rest of their class.

Soon after, Yuuichi and his friends follow an anonymous call to an established hangout, where unknown men assault them. After waking up, the group finds themselves confined to a white room with the controversial character Manabu-kun, who reveals that one of the five has brought them together to pay off his twenty million yen personal debt. To pay that amount, they must participate in a series of mind games that will test the true nature of their friendship and humanity.

Distraught and cut off from the outside world, Yuuichi and his friends must cooperate to complete the games. But as their hidden feelings and troubled pasts surface, their bond could become irreparable.

Stories about our personal experiences can awaken our awareness, stretch our hearts, inspire us and help us to heal.