The Five Best Psychological Anime of 2017

Updated on February 14, 2018
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Cheeky Kid has been watching anime and reading manga for as long as he can remember. Doing so takes him to different worlds.

Did the psychological genre in anime intrigue and astonish in 2017?

Amazingly, it did!

Titles of the psychological genre are often thrilling and exciting. From tickling the mind to busting it open with extraordinary gusto, it is a genre that is becoming increasingly popular and appealing to the masses. The genre can be dark, thought-provoking, mentally straining, conniving, or even soul-riveting. But what is most important is its ability to engage the audience at a psychological level.

This list showcases the five best psychological anime of 2017! If you are the sort of person that likes to think, these titles will suit your tastes. Oh, by the way, if you know any more psychological anime shows from 2017 that I might have missed, feel free to add them in the comments section.

The 5 Best Psychological Anime of 2017
1. Evil or Live
2. Inuyashiki: Last Hero
3. Jigoku Shoujo: Yoi no Togi (Hell Girl: Fourth Twilight)
4. Kakegurui
5. Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e
Evil or Live
Evil or Live | Source

1. Evil or Live

Evil or Live has modern reality and society as its core. In essence, the story it presents can actually happen in real life! For an anime of this theme, this is as material as it can get. It takes a step into a domain that has never been explored by any anime show before!

In Evil or Live, a young man who suffers from net addiction gets plunged into a rehabilitation center against his will. There, he wakes up to a different reality! The rehabilitation center is not what it purportedly is. It is actually a peculiar high-security prison—a true hell for internet addicts! Once inside, there is no chance of escape until fully-rehabilitated!

Evil or Live is actually an anime that is very difficult to like and understand. Its animation quality is quite bad, but to be fair, it is a very low-budget anime. Even so, it tries to be unique—and it succeeds in that department! Its story is very interesting. It is genuine and is somehow weirdly entertaining. Although it can be considered a very bad joke, ultimately, it is still a joke—a dark farce that many people actually enjoy.

Inuyashiki: Last Hero
Inuyashiki: Last Hero | Source

2. Inuyashiki: Last Hero

No one expected to be blown away by an anime with a bland, old man acting as the main character. But even so, Inuyashiki has proven itself as one of the most memorable and remarkable anime of 2017!

Inuyashiki is about an old man who is desperately hopeless and has no future. As he contemplates his own life in a park, an otherworldly explosion engulfs him unexpectedly. He wakes up to find himself unharmed, but there’s something different—he’s no longer an ordinary human! Armed with high-tech weapons and a robotic frame, he vows to use his newfound powers only for good! But unbeknownst to him, there's another person who is the same as him—and that person plans to use his powers for slaughter!

There is no doubt that Inuyashiki did quite well in terms of action, drama, and its psychological aspect. As the characters contemplate on the meaning of their lives, the audience similarly synchronizes their feelings with them. What is life? Why do we exist? For what do we live? Inuyashiki makes you think. It’s deep, emotional, and meaningful. It was fun while it lasted, but what truly astonished me was the fact that it ended as humanly as possible—it was perfectly imperfect!

Jigoku Shoujo: Yoi no Togi (Hell Girl: Fourth Twilight)
Jigoku Shoujo: Yoi no Togi (Hell Girl: Fourth Twilight) | Source

3. Jigoku Shoujo: Yoi no Togi (Hell Girl: Fourth Twilight)

In the fourth season of Jigoku Shoujo, the ferrying of souls and the washing of grudges in the depths of hell continue! Enma Ai’s Hell Correspondence website is more active than ever. Humans still face the full brunt of life, leading to insufferable, unavoidable circumstances. To curse someone is to curse oneself—it is a double-edged sword. And Enma Ai’s job is to govern the hellish process. Lately, however, a mysterious girl has been observing her actions as Hell Girl.

Jigoku Shoujo’s fourth season was one hell of a ride! It poked at my mind, invoking curiosity on the complexity of human beings. This is the true face of humanity. As simple as they may seem to be, humans are actually convoluted beings with no absolutes. This anime is made of 6 original episodes and 6 rehashes—all directly adhering to the mind.

Kakegurui | Source

4. Kakegurui

Mind games, dirty tactics, bluffing, power tripping—all of these come into play when gambling. In Kakegurui, a young woman transfers into an elite school that is like no other school. Hyakkaou Private Academy, despite seemingly appearing like a normal school by day, plays a different facade at night. During the hours of darkness, it offers extraordinaire education about money and manipulation—a special course about the world of gambling! This is the world of the filthy rich. This is a school where the winner in the gambling tables takes it all!

Gambling is an unusual theme for anime shows. Surprisingly, Kakegurui took a gamble and stroke a lucky triple seven. This is an anime that is full of thought-provoking moments. Winning the game is one thing, but playing your opponent into submission and rigging the outcome is another. The one with astounding marbles and wits prevails! Gambling is not just a game, it’s an exploit that requires brainpower, meticulous planning, and a bit of luck!

Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e
Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e | Source

5. Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e

Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e translates directly to Classroom of the Elite. It is about a prestigious school that appears as a utopia from the outside, but is actually a whole world of injustice on the inside. The truth is: Not all students are treated with utmost fairness and equality in it. The school is divided into four classes: Class A, Class B, Class C, and Class D. Class A receives the most favorable treatment with no questions asked, while class D feeds at the bottom, desperately trying to step up on the ladder.

This anime does excellent work in perfectly mirroring our society. Nothing is fair in this world. The strong prospers in privilege and the weak languishes in burden. Unfortunately, the circumstances of our birth are indeed relevant. It is how we come into this world that determines what level of privilege we initially enjoy—one which will probably continue in the future. You can either work hard or play dirty. This is one of the running tenets of our world. This show is about taking desperate measures in order to stand above the others. Its message: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

Which of the titles listed is your favorite 2017 psychological anime?

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