The 8 Best Anime About Lucid Dreaming - Nihonime.com (2024)

Lucid dreaming is knowing you are dreaming while sleeping, so there is full awareness of your state.

Some anime series feature this theme and are deep and often aesthetic. We are talking about shows that feature complex themes and often end up talking about perception and its relationship with reality.

This has some effects on the direction and aesthetics of the anime, as you will notice by reading this article about the best lucid dreaming anime.

We remind you that this listicle is based on our personal experience.

Table of Contents

8. 1001 Nights

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1001 Nights is one of the strangest and most experimental pieces of Japanese animation ever created in the medium. It was released in 1998 in a single episode lasting about 25 minutes, created by the brilliant Yosh*taka Amano.

There is no plot, just a brief introduction in English, which is followed by a whirlwind of animated images that follow one another like a cascade, with masterful background music performed by the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra.

1001 Nights is an experience, we wouldn’t know what else to call it.

It’s not for everyone, but we assure you that by watching it you will be the one involved in a lucid dream this time.

7. Ghost Hound

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A 2007 supernatural anime by Masamune Shirow, the creator of the Ghost in the Shell series. The story follows in Suiten, a small town where reality and the spirit realm meet.

The three protagonists, Tarō, Makoto, and Masayuki, experience strange things in the town, as they still carry the weight of past traumas.

It’s one of the best anime about ghosts and occult entities, with a ghost town setting that is not so common for anime.

Ghost Hound is a clear example of lucid dreaming as the entire experience is very close to a delusion.

6. Angel’s Egg

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Angel’s Egg is a peculiar animated movie that was released in 1985.

It features a strange unnamed girl living alone in a dark ghost town, fiercely guarding a mysterious egg she always carries in her arms.

One day, while searching for food, the girl meets a soldier who becomes deeply obsessed with the egg and believes that it holds incredible secrets.

This leads to a chase that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Angel’s Egg is a masterpiece of animation, with vintage but stunning visuals that will make you feel like you are watching a surreal lucid dream.

5. Ghost in the Shell

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Ghost in the Shell is undeniably one of the greatest masterpieces of Japanese animation, with various series, spin-offs, movies, remakes, and more.

Each story is unique, but they all share a futuristic setting with some of the best cyberpunk themes ever created, along with plots full of mystery, investigation, and plot twists.

But one question that viewers will often ask themselves while watching any of the Ghost in the Shell series is what they are seeing is real, or just a simulation or a lucid dream.

This franchise is a must-watch for fans of futuristic and cyberpunk settings, as well as the mystery genre in general.

We highly recommend that you search for an online guide to help you determine the order in which to watch the series, and dive into this incredible world.

4. Paprika

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The last movie by Satoshi Kon, released in 2006 and acclaimed as a worldwide success.

The story gravitates around the so-called DC Mini, an innovative tool that allows entering people’s dreams.

Atsuko Chiba, the head researcher of the project, starts using this tool to help patients affected by psychiatric problems, even though this would break the rules.

Atsuko takes on the form of Paprika, her virtual alter ego to enter the dreams. The plot then thickens as more mysteries appear and dreams and reality merge together.

This movie is all about the subtle distinction between dream and reality, as Satoshi Kon claims they are hom*ogeneous.

Another must-watch that you can’t miss in your personal collection.

3. Flip Flappers

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A niche anime released in 2016 by Studio 3Hz with strong Studio Trigger vibes.

Flip Flappers is a hidden gem with just 13 episodes but a lot to show. The story follows Cocona and Papika, two young girls that explore a fictitious world called Pure Illusion, where they get access to powerful transformations.

They work for the Flip Flap organization and their goal is to look for some magic crystals, but they are not alone…

Pure Illusion can be considered a form of lucid dreaming, as they are aware what they see it’s not from the real world and can be a dream as well.

This is also reinforced at another point of the show towards the end, it’s quite hard to distinguish reality from a dream in some cases.

2. Perfect Blue

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There is no doubt that Satoshi Kon is the master at representing how reality and fiction interact.

Perfect Blue is one of its most famous works, as it examines the idol theme from a different perspective.

The protagonist Mima Kirigoe is an idol who decides to switch careers and become an actress. She gets stalked by an obsessed fan and goes through heavy psychological stress after her decision.

If you watch this movie, you won’t be always able to distinguish between what’s real and what’s not. That’s what makes Perfect Blue so charming, there are multiple interpretations and the direction is pure art.

The entire production is a big lucid dream and you really have to watch this anime movie because it’s one of the best out there.

1. Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer

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This entry is a cult romance comedy movie by Mamoru Oshii, one of the most famous anime directors ever. Don’t be fooled by the themes of the main series, this movie is very philosophical and deep, and it doesn’t even require you to watch the other entries.

Ataru and Lum are preparing for the student fair but something is odd, days keep repeating and it feels like time is frozen.

The answer is that they are trapped in a dream and while they are fully aware of it, they don’t know how to break free of it.

This production was so distant from the original Urusei Yatsura because Oshii wanted to make this setting the entire theme of the movie.

Needless to say, you need to watch this cult even if you are not a fan of the series. It’s the best example of lucid dreaming and addresses interesting themes.

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The 8 Best Anime About Lucid Dreaming - Nihonime.com (2024)

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