Exploring Ethical Themes in Anime


Anime is a genre that can often be overlooked when it comes to the exploration of complex ethical themes. However, many anime series tackle difficult ethical questions in ways that can be both thought-provoking and entertaining. In this blog post, we’ll be examining some of the most interesting ethical themes in anime and how they are portrayed.

Moral relativism

Moral relativism is a philosophical concept that suggests moral principles are subjective and vary between individuals and cultures. In anime, moral relativism is often explored through the characters and their actions. This theme raises questions about what is right and wrong and whether there are absolute moral standards that should be followed.

One of the anime that explores the theme of moral relativism is Death Note. The story revolves around a high school student who discovers a supernatural notebook that grants him the power to kill anyone whose name he writes in it. The protagonist, Light Yagami, sees himself as a moral savior, eliminating criminals to create a better world. However, as the story progresses, Light’s actions become more extreme, leading to moral questions about his actions and the power he holds.

Another anime that deals with moral relativism is Attack on Titan. The series takes place in a world where humans are hunted and eaten by giant humanoid creatures called Titans. The main characters are part of the military fighting against the Titans, but as the story progresses, they begin to question the morality of their actions and the government they serve.

Moral relativism is a favorite theme among anime watchers because it offers a unique perspective on morality and ethics. The exploration of this theme can be thought-provoking and lead to discussions about the nature of right and wrong. Anime provides a platform for viewers to examine their own moral beliefs and question the standards that are imposed upon them. By portraying characters who navigate the complexities of moral relativism, anime offers a glimpse into the human experience and the dilemmas we face when making ethical decisions.

The Value of Human Life

The value of human life is a common theme found in many anime series. It is often explored through the actions of characters and their motivations in protecting or sacrificing themselves for others. This theme raises ethical questions about the worth of human life and what makes it valuable.

Examples of anime that explore the theme of the value of human life include “Attack on Titan,” “Death Note,” and “Code Geass.” In “Attack on Titan,” the characters fight to protect humanity from the Titans, and many of them make sacrifices to ensure the survival of others. “Death Note” raises questions about the morality of using a supernatural notebook to take someone’s life and the value of one person’s life compared to another’s. “Code Geass” explores the ethical dilemma of sacrificing a few lives for the greater good and the value of self-sacrifice.

The theme of the value of human life resonates with anime viewers because it speaks to the core of what it means to be human. It forces us to question our own values and priorities and to consider the worth of others. It also offers a sense of hope and inspiration, as we see characters willing to put themselves on the line for the greater good. This theme is often portrayed in emotionally powerful scenes that leave a lasting impact on the viewer and contribute to the popularity of anime series that explore it.

Technology and Ethics

Anime has always been at the forefront of exploring the relationship between technology and ethics. This theme is often explored in shows that depict advanced technologies that push the boundaries of what is considered ethical, raising questions about the potential consequences of technological progress.

One of the most popular anime series that explores the theme of technology and ethics is “Ghost in the Shell.” The series follows a team of highly skilled operatives working for a covert government agency that investigates cyber-crime in a world where most of humanity has undergone cybernetic enhancements. The show explores the concept of the human consciousness and its relationship to technology and the potential ethical issues that arise when these two merge.

The theme of technology and ethics in anime is a favorite among viewers due to the thought-provoking questions it raises about the ethical implications of technological advancement. Anime shows that explore this theme often delve into complex ethical dilemmas that are relevant to contemporary society. It is no wonder why these shows are popular among audiences who are interested in exploring the impact of technological advancement on society and the potential consequences that it may bring. Watching these shows can help viewers reflect on the ethics of their own technological use and consider how it impacts their own lives and the world around them.

The Power of Choice

The power of choice is a recurring theme in anime that explores the moral implications of one’s actions and decisions. This theme reflects the belief that people have the freedom to choose and take responsibility for their choices, even when faced with difficult circumstances. The power of choice in anime also highlights the importance of decision-making, and how it can shape one’s life and the lives of others.

One notable example of an anime that explores the power of choice is “Death Note.” The story follows Light Yagami, a high school student who gains the power to kill anyone whose name he writes in a supernatural notebook. Light initially believes that he can use the Death Note to rid the world of evil, but he soon becomes corrupted by his power and becomes a villain himself. The anime challenges the viewer to consider the moral implications of using such a powerful tool, and the consequences of one’s actions.

The power of choice theme is a favorite among anime watchers because it offers a nuanced and thought-provoking exploration of morality and ethics. It presents complex and challenging scenarios that encourage the viewer to question their own values and beliefs. Furthermore, the power of choice theme often leads to unexpected plot twists and character development, making it an exciting and engaging narrative element. Ultimately, anime that explores the power of choice provides a unique and immersive experience that leaves a lasting impact on the viewer.


Anime has been known to explore various themes that are pertinent to society, and environmentalism is one of them. The theme of environmentalism in anime can be defined as a concern for the natural world and the impact of human activities on it. It promotes sustainable living, conservation, and a balance between human needs and the environment. Anime has used this theme in various ways, and it has become a favorite among fans who are passionate about environmental issues.

One of the anime that explores environmentalism is “Princess Mononoke.” It tells the story of a young man named Ashitaka, who gets cursed while defending his village from a demon. He goes on a journey to find a cure and ends up in a conflict between the forest gods and humans who seek to exploit the forest’s resources. The anime explores the theme of environmentalism through the portrayal of the forest as a living entity that must be protected. It raises questions about the balance between human development and environmental preservation.

Another anime that explores environmentalism is “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.” The anime is set in a post-apocalyptic world where the environment has been destroyed by human activities. The story follows the adventures of Nausicaa, a princess who seeks to restore the balance between humans and nature. The anime explores the theme of environmentalism by highlighting the consequences of environmental destruction and the importance of living in harmony with nature.

The theme of environmentalism has become a favorite among anime watchers because it addresses one of the most significant issues facing society today. It promotes awareness of environmental issues and encourages people to take action to protect the environment. Anime provides a unique way of exploring this theme, allowing viewers to connect with the natural world and understand the impact of human activities on it. The portrayal of the environment in anime is often beautiful and awe-inspiring, further emphasizing the need for environmental protection.


In conclusion, anime is a rich genre that can offer complex and engaging explorations of ethical themes. From moral relativism to environmentalism, there are many different topics that anime can explore, and it’s worth delving into some of the best examples of this genre to see how these themes are tackled. Whether you’re an anime fan or not, these shows and films can offer valuable insights into important ethical questions that are relevant to us all.

Larthian & Syanka

Afar Anime is a co-managed site operated by a husband and wife anime-loving team. Since an early age, they have both shared a love for all things anime. Some of their favorite titles include Naruto, Sailor Moon, and Hunter X Hunter. Post are published weekly and old articles are updated accordingly. If you are interested in collaborations, feel free to reach out at animeafar@gmail.com.

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