The 2020 Spring anime season started off with a lot of momentum due to some new exciting titles such as Tower of God, BNA, and The Millionaire Detective – Balance: UNLIMITED. Unfortunately, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be felt in the even in the anime world as many of the Spring 2020 titles have been postponed for the season.
The Millionaire Detective – Balance: UNLIMITED was one of the latest shows to announce that it would be delayed until further notice. While many fans understand the need to ensure staff safety during this time, they may be feeling a void in their lineup without a weekly detective anime. The good news is this is the perfect time to revisit some past anime perfect for detective and crime lovers.
10 In / Spectre
It is not often you can mix real-life crime with the supernatural world of spirits, but In/Spectre manages to do that and more. In/Spectre, a Winter 2020 anime, stars an unlikely “detective,” Kotoko Iwanaga is tasked with being the “God of Wisdom” of the spirit and human worlds. With this task, comes the challenge of investigating what is disturbing either world.
This season focused on investigating the appearance of a being, Steel Lady Nanase, and taking her down. In/Spectre is a refreshing take on a detective story mixing in comedic and supernatural elements. Currently, there is one season available.
For those who like a darker, psychological, take on inspectors and crime, Psycho-Pass has got you covered. Taking place in the 22nd century, Psycho-Pass features a Crime Investigation Department and its unique team, which is broken into Inspectors, Enforcers, and Dominators. In this world, people have deemed criminals or would-be criminals based on their “psycho-pass,” or their mental state.
Shown from the perspective of a “rookie” Inspector, viewers get to make their own call on what they believe to be good and evil. Psycho-Pass is perfect for binging right now with three seasons, a film, and three OVA’s.
8 Death Note
A world without criminals seems like the perfect world, no? That’s what Light Yagami thinks when he stumbles upon the Death Note and uses it to rid the society of criminals. However, no “good” dead goes unpunished and soon the police believe there is a serial killer on the loose targeting the criminals. They enlist a young Detective L to investigate what is really going on.
Death Note brings viewers to question their morals on which character they believe is right, Light or L. Death Note has one season, which is 37 episodes long and two movies. It was also adapted into a live-action movie.
7 ID: Invaded
ID: Invaded is another Winter 2020 anime that made waves this past season. In the ID: Invaded world, a system exists that allows humans to enter the minds of criminals. The only catch is, in order to access someone’s mind, the person must have killed someone. With this technology, Detective Sakaido, who’s in prison for a revenge killing, helps the police by entering the minds of serial killers.
Combining science fiction and psychology, ID: Invaded explores justice, revenge, and human connections. While you might need to take notes to keep up with all the twists and turns, you’ll be hanging on the edge of your seat the entire time. ID: Invaded has one season with 13 episodes and a second season is in the works.
6 Woodpecker Detective’s Office
Taking a different approach to your common detective anime, Woodpecker Detective’s Office is set in the past – over 100 years ago, to be exact. This historical anime tells the story of two real-life notable Japanese figures, poet Takuboku Ishikawa and his friend, linguist Kyōsuke Kindaichi.
The anime focuses on Takuboku Ishikawa and the detective agency he opens to help support his family. Ishikawa enlists the help of Kindaichi to investigate reports of ghost appearances that are happening at the Asakusa Junikai building. The anime also features cameos from other famous Japanese literary men. Woodpecker Detective’s Office began airing this Spring 2020 season and is slated to have 12 episodes.
5 The Perfect Insider
Sometimes normal people find themselves in the middle of a not so normal situation. That’s the case in The Perfect Insider. Based on a popular Japanese novel, the anime puts together researcher Sohei Saikawa and a first-year student, Moe Nishinosono. While on vacation on a remote island, they stumble upon a dead body and end up working together to find out what happened.
The main characters aren’t police or detectives, so it is interesting to see them use their resources to figure out “the case.” The Perfect Insider is only 11 episodes, but it allows the viewers to follow along and work out the mystery themselves.
4 Detective School Q
Most detective anime pick up right when a new or seasoned detective is already working the field, so you don’t usually witness the journey it took them to get there. Detective School Q however, takes it all the way to the start at a detective school!
Kyuu Renjo, an awkward boy with a good sense of logic and deduction, attends the Dan Detective School in the hopes of becoming a detective. There he teams up with other students with special skills and embarks on solving crimes and getting down to the truth. With 45 episodes, this anime is perfect for someone wanting something more lighthearted to binge.
3 Psychic Detective Yakumo
There are many skills associated with detectives, like attention to detail, resourcefulness, and smarts. But when the crimes involve ghosts and paranormal beings, the detective might need some additional help – as in the ability to communicate with the dead. In Psychic Detective Yakumo, Yakumo Saito was born with one red eye that connects him to the supernatural world.
Using this connection, Yakumo teams up with his classmate Haruka Ozawa, a girl who’s losing friends left and right, and it seems spirits are involved. With only 13 episodes, Psychic Detective Yakumo is perfect for someone who wants to explore horror mystery but doesn’t want to stay under for too long.
Taking place in a dystopian future, Un-Go is a drastic difference to many “futuristic” detective anime. Shinjurou Yuuki and his assistant, Inga, investigate murder cases in a post-war Japan, where the Japanese government has a stronghold on its people.
Un-Go mixes many different elements on top of the dystopia including good versus evil governments, supernatural, and sci-fi. While viewers are trying to solve the cases, they will also be trying to figure out the characters and their true intentions. Un-Go has one season with 11 episodes and a prequel movie.
1 Case Closed
What would the detective anime genre be without Case Closed? Case Closed, also known as Detective Conan, has been a household name for over 24 years and is one of the longest-running anime of all time. It stars Shinichi Kudo, who was a high school detective until he landed in some trouble and was fed poison that turned him to a child.
Now in the body of a child, Shinichi Kudo adopts the name Conan Edogawa and “helps” private detective Kogorou Mouri solve cases. And by help, Canon actually solves the cases and impersonates Kogorou during the big reveal. With over 900 episodes and 24 movies, Case Closed may not be safe for binging unless you have a few months to spare.
The new season of The Millionaire Detective Balance: Unlimited has been postponed, but there are some similar anime you can check out in the meantime.