11 Morally Gray Anime Series

Morality is never black and white, good or evil, in life. The key to crafting some of the most interesting characters, be they heroes or villains, is that their morals are in shades of grey. A villain could be completely evil for not always evil reasons. A hero can fight for the right side, but not always for the most just reasons. So today, lets explore anime series without black and white morals.




Bokurano

You see Bokurano as a bunch of kids being placed in a tragic situation. However, while kids, they are not innocent beings. As in many circumstances, you don’t know the true nature of a person until they are pushed into a corner. Some kids accept their fate with honor, others will rage against it. Some will turn a simple crush into a bit of a rape situation because they think they are soon to die. Just because they are children doesn’t mean they are pure and innocent.

From the New World

At a glance, things seem pretty black and white in this series. However, as it goes on, you find yourself on a slippery slope leading to the ultimate twist that comes when the lack of humans without psychic abilities is explained. Even the main characters, who seem good overall, are forced gray with hard decisions.

Fate/Zero

The Fate series always weaves itself in shades of gray, particularly when it comes to the main character and the many different visual novel paths it displays. It shows that only those willing to bend their morality will thrive while those that are more black or white will not do well.

Legend of Galactic Heroes

Like many anime series that focus on conflict between two empires, Legend of the Galactic Heroes isn’t about good or bad sides. In fact, a character even lifts the veil a bit and says that war isn’t between good and evil, but rather between good and another good. What is good for one nation is not always good for another, and this is where conflict stems.

Psycho-Pass

Is it wrong to kill a criminal that might commit a crime before they actually commit it? Is ending that one life to protect others the right option? The easy answer is no, right? This is primarily the question that Psycho-Pass explores in a variety of different ways. There is no good or bad in this series.

Mobile Suit Gundam

Pick any Mobile Suit Gundam and you will find gray morality at play. The best wars are made of gray. As these series focus on intergalactic war, you always have both sides making decisions based on what is good for their nation. As such, the road to peace is not a smooth one.

Death Note

Death Note starts off with Light committing murder for what many could see as a just reason. He wants to kill criminals and carry out justice. Yet, as the series goes on, you find that these motives are continuously more perverted. Killing innocent people to continue carrying out crime, killing cops to avoid getting caught, using others to survive, there are no lengths that Light will eventually not go to for his ambition.

Code Geass

Exiled to a land where the residents are highly subjugated, Lelouch seeks vengeance against his father and the empire he leads. However, as noble as that reason is, Lelouch does very questionable things to get there. Considering his major power is to essentially negate free will, is anything he orders them to do anything but a gray area?

Crest of the Stars

Similar to Gundam or Legend of Galactic Heroes, Crest of the Stars focuses on the same war story, but with a big ol’ dash of extra xenophobia dolloped on. The war is told from the eyes of two children, one from each side, traveling around together and trying to diffuse the whole thing. However, once war gets going, it becomes hard to stop.

Mushishi

The mushi in Mushishi are the ultimate morally ambiguous beings. You can’t blame an animal for doing what animals do. You can’t blame a being for doing what it does. Sometimes the mushi do good things, but they have entirely selfish reason for doing them. Sometimes they do bad things, but it is for its own good. They are mindlessly innocent creatures that are exempt from our human morals.

Maoyu: Hero and Archenemy

This is the ultimate gray morality series. It takes humans, traditionally portrayed as good in fantasy, and demons, traditionally portrayed as bad, then even them out. The hero and the demon queen ultimately start working together to foster peace between these to traditionally moral black and white factions, and in doing so, show that things are more gray than once believed.


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