Hello all! Today I’m talking about anime/mangas that have a supernatural and mystery element to them. The first two were ones that I had watched back when I was in high school and the final one just this past year. Just like with my books, I really like the mystery aspect of these animes. And with that! Let’s get into the post!
The Mystic Archvies of Dantalian
12 Episodes Sub / Dub
I first watched ‘The Mystic Archives of Dantalian’ (TMAD) back in high school and recently rewatched the series just this past year. If you don’t know, I have a Library Science degree with a graduate certificate in Archival Administration. Basically, I am a giant nerd. So the title alone of this one was enough to draw me in. TMAD is a shonen manga based on a series of light novels from 2010. It follows Hugh Anthony Diswald as he comes into an inheritance left to him by his grandfather. Part of that includes taking charge of Dalian, a young girl who is more than meets the eyes. She is not just a young girl with a love of sweet bread but also the guardian of the archives that house dangerous tomes.
It’s a little dark and a little twisted but there are just specks of humor throughout that make it that much more thrilling. Dalian has so much sass and won’t take sh*t from nobody. And in turn, her relationship/partnership with Huey that develops is… for lack of a better word, cute. I like it a lot. He doesn’t treat her like a useless child or just dismisses her and she likes to remind him on occasion how little he knows. And others for that matter. Their relationship is very business-like on the surface but underneath they care for each other deeply.
For a short anime series, it manages to go in-depth with some of the characters it introduces and the plot lines. There are some character lines that I wish were explored more. Maybe if the season where longer or if they made a second season would have helped. But I can’t be upset with what I was given. I have yet to read the manga so maybe there is something more in them.
Darker than Black: The Black Contractor
25 Episodes (Season 1) Sub / Dub
Here is another one I originally watched in high school and then again years later. This one however I started with the manga before I watched the anime. I was immediately entranced with the art style and the story. ‘Darker than Black’ is a little bit complicated in my opinion. The series focuses on Hei, a contractor with the power over electricity and his work with an organization called the Syndicate. There are multiple seasons and OVA’s. But there are also two different manga series that completely contradict each other. Hei is the ‘main’ character throughout them all with the same side characters but different plot lines and so on.
I have read both manga series but have only watched the first season of the anime. I gave it a 3.5 out of 5-star rating because even though I love this one a lot there is a lot of background information that is missing. And you do get little snippets of the missing information later on in the series but it’s really just crumbs. And the complication of the different anime series and different manga storylines it can get really confusing and frustrating trying to figure out what is going on.
However, I think ‘Darker than Black’ has a unique plot compared to most. In this one anyone and everyone with a power, those who are ‘contractors’ are evil. They are the bad guy. They have no emotions and only do what will benefit them. But that doesn’t seem to apply to Hei completely. He appears to be able to show compassion and care. Especially with Yin, my absolute favorite character ever. Yin is a ‘doll’ beings with no sense of free will and who are able to track others through a specific medium. Yin’s is water. I still like rewatching this one even though it has its flaws.
Bungo Stray Dogs
37 Episodes Sub / Dub
I have currently watched the first two seasons plus the first movie of this series (there is a second one in the works). And am finishing the third season now. This is another anime I found through TikTok. And I was intrigued and immediately went to find it and watched it in pretty much one go. This is a seinen mystery, supernatural series that was started in 2012, the volume count is currently at 12 and it is ongoing. The series is focused around Atushi, an orphan with crap luck. Like if it can go wrong for him it does. Or that is what he had been told his entire life. He meets Dazai from the Armed Detective agency and his whole life changes.
I love everything about this series. Everything. The fact that all the characters are named after or based on famous authors or characters just adds. It’s different and I like different. I have no complaints. Okay, maybe one. There isn’t enough merch available. I can hardly find any merch for this series. I would love a sweater or something.
This is an angst heavy series in my opinion. The trauma that Atushi alone dealt with in his past leaves such a deep and lasting scar that continues to reopen though out the series. And not in a like an obnoxious over the top way but in a logical matter that represents what an actual trigger looks like. Beyond that the fights scenes are amazing and the character themselves just add so much to the series.
And there we have it! Part 1 of my supernatural and mystery anime recommendations. Tell me below what you think or any of your own recommendations in the comments below.