Top 10 Psychological Anime of 2008
1. One Outs
The story begins when Hiromichi Kojima, the star batter of the fictional Lycaons in Japan's Pacific League, heads to the southern Japanese island of Okinawa to train and bring himself out of a slump. There, he meet Tōa Tokuchi, a 134-kmph (83 miles per hour) pitcher and the undisputed king of a gambling form of baseball called "One Out." At Kojima's urging, Tokuchi signs up with the Lycaons under an unusual contract: he gets 5,000,000 yen (about US$46,000) for every out he pitches, but loses 50,000,000 yen (US$460,000) for every point he gives up.
2. xxxHOLiC Kei
Still working to get his wish complete, Watanuki finds himself into more mess than he can handle when certain facts about his everyday life gets revealed and when he needs to learn the lesson of Yuuko the hard way.
It is now possible to store memory data, so that the death of your body is not actually "death". As memories are stored in databanks, they can be "transferred" to new bodies. Because so-called "memory trading" now occurs, it is now possible to steal memories and illegally alter them.
Society has fallen apart as authority has become lost and stagnant.
One day, a man awakens in a ruined room. His name is Kaiba. He has no memories, but he does have a pendant with a picture of an unknown woman inside.
In the skies are roiling clouds and electrical storms, impossible to pass without losing one's memories; above them lies the elusive realm of the rich and powerful, who barter others' bodies and memories for their own enjoyment and longevity. Below lies a troubled and dangerous world where good bodies are hard to come by and real money is scarce.
After suddenly being attacked, Kaiba escapes into space, and during his travels meets all sorts of people and regains his memories. Throughout it, he continues to be troubled by the world's problems, as well as his own existence. And what of the woman in the pendant, Neiro?
4. Ghost in the Shell 2.0
In the year 2029, the world is made borderless by the net; augmented humans live in virtual environments, watched over by law enforcement that is able to download themselves into super-powered, crime busting mecha. The ultimate secret agent of the future is not human, has no physical body, and can freely travel the information highways of the world, hacking and manipulating whatever and whenever required.
Note: Ghost in the Shell 2.0 is a renewed version of the 1995 film produced as part of celebration for the release of The Sky Crawlers in 2008. For the Version 2.0, all the animation was re-produced using the latest technology such as 3D-CGI, and the soundtrack was also remastered. All the voices were re-recorded. Notably, the voice actor of the "Puppet Master" was changed from Kayumi Iemasa to that of Sakakibara Yoshiko, and some dialogues were changed from the original. Kawai Kenji remixed the music with 6.1 channel surround, and Randy Thom of Skywalker Sound joined as Sound Designer to improve the sound.
5. Casshern Sins
In the distant future, where cyborgs and humans struggle to survive after the war which destroyed the world, a being in white suit awakens. His name is Casshern and he remembers nothing of his own past.
In barren and dark dystopian world, where every being alive seems to hate his existence and the evil from his past wants him dead, Casshern, haunted by the flashes of his past memories has to survive and figure out who or what exactly he is and how he got to where he is now. But he does not know that he might not like the horrible truth of the past, hidden deep inside his mind...
Created as an intended reboot of Casshern franchise.
6. Hell Girl: Three Vessels
After the events of the 2nd season, Ai's three helpers, Ichimoku Ren, Wanyuudou and Hone-Onna live out their lives in relative peace. This is suddenly shattered when Kikuri returns to recruit them. Meanwhile, Ai mysteriously reappears from the dead and uses the body of a young schoolgirl, Yuzuki Mikage, to continue the Jigoku Tsūshin operation. Yuzuki is aware of Ai's presence however, when she can see what Ai sees.
When someone dies, what should their final words be? Words that couldn't be said while still alive - of love, hate, hope, regret or perhaps words without any importance. These words are sent through letters called "shigofumi" from the recently deceased to the living. Mikawa Fumika is a mail carrier of these shigofumi, delivering them alongside staff and her partner Kanaka. However, there must be something more behind Fumika's silent exterior; shigofumi mail carriers are deceased humans with the same appearance they had just before death. Despite this, Fumika is still aging...
[Written by MAL Rewrite]
8. Shigofumi Special
The 13th episode of Shigofumi.
9. The Sky Crawlers
The Sky Crawlers is based on a Japanese novel series by Hiroshi Mori. First published by Chuōkōron-shinsha in June 2001 and spanning five books, it follows the journeys and tribulations of a group of young fighter pilots involved in dogfight warfare, and is set during an alternate historical period.
10. Himitsu: Top Secret - The Revelation
The story takes place five decades from now, when brain scanners have been perfected to the point that the government can retrieve up to five years' worth of memories from people's minds — even if they are dead. The investigators of the National Research Institute of Police Science's 9th Forensics Laboratory must weigh the ethical choices in the ultimate invasion of privacy as they delve into people's minds to solve crimes.
(Source: Anime News Network)