[GUEST POST] Top 5 Anime That SciFi Fans Will Love

Anime is becoming extremely popular between the western world, and with their unique style of artwork and storytelling, it seems the Japanese have been on to something for a while that we westerners are only just catching hold of. Anime has a way of making the viewer identify with characters on a personal level, making it quite addictive to watch and somewhat heartbreaking when certain series come to an end.

Often based around tales of fantasy and alternate universes, Anime has many a treat in store for sci-fi fans, so today, Ash from AnimeSquad.net delivers a list of 5 anime series that Sci-Fi fans will enjoy!

Top 5 Anime That Sci Fi Fans Will Love

by Ash of AnimeSquad.net

Cowboy Bebop

Set in the year 2071, the entire solar system has become accessible thanks to the invention of hyperspace gates. A series of events render the traditional law enforcement methods to be ineffective, and as a result, a futuristic Wild West becomes reality and the newly-titled cowboys create a living for themselves by hunting down criminals, bounty-hunter style.

The episodes of this anime don’t necessary follow a strictly linear storyline, however, they follow the adventures of a rather particular group of cowboys. Occasional flashbacks provide a deeper insight into the character back stories and makes for a brilliantly immersive viewing experience.

Despite being set in the future and written in the 1980s, the technology present is somewhat more realistic than you’d initially expect. A combination of futuristic energy-based weapons and standard wheeled vehicles from the present day makes for a strangely believable, yet futuristic setting.


Attack on Titan

Perhaps not as sci-fi as others in this list, but an Anime series that sci fi fans will enjoy nonetheless. Whilst the specific time and place are undisclosed, humanity had been walled in by the emergence of giants known as Titans. Ranging from 3-15 metres tall, titans fed on humans instinctively, causing humans to build a series of three 60-metre high walls to keep them out.

However, one day, a 60-meter tall titan appeared from nowhere and destroyed the outer wall, allowing the Titans to once again pose a terrifying threat to humanity.

This series has a great and gripping storyline, brilliant character development and unforseeable plot twists. It’s only at the end of the first series right now and Anime fans simply cannot wait to have some of their questions answered in the next series. The use of technology and ingenuity to counter a daunting threat will appeal to sci-fi fans and would prove to be a nice transition from the comfort zone of the more traditional sci-fi themed anime into the overall anime universe.


Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

An incredibly popular anime series among lovers of science fiction and one of the highest ranked on IMDB with an 8.6 rating, this is definitely one to watch. The series s set in 2030 and most people are cyborgs with prosthetic bodies. Similar to Cowboy Bebop, this series follows a group of crime fighters, however there’s more of an ongoing storyline, which is possibly one of the best in Anime.

Issues such as humanity, political corruption and more come to the fore in this series and it definitely doesn’t make for light viewing. Nonetheless, it’s an incredibly gripping anime series, and with plenty of episodes and reasons to rewind and re-watch, it’s something you can definitely sink your teeth into.


Akira

Akira is without a doubt one of the greatest anime of all time. A full length film rather than a series, you’d better bring plenty of food and take a toilet break before you start because you won’t want to shift from your seat from beginning to end.

Set in post-World War 3 Tokyo, in the year 2019, the film focuses on Tetsuo and his biker gang. One of his friends, Kaneda knows of Tetsuo’s psychic powers and attempts to prevent him from releasing Akira, his imprisoned psychic, in order to save the world.

The plot is truly confusing and captivating in equal measure, if you take your eye off the screen for a minute, you’ll come back completely lost as to what’s going on. However, once you do sit through 121 minutes of some of the greatest anime ever, chances are, you’ll never look at TV or film the same way again.


Code Geass: Lelouche of The Rebellion

In the future, Britannia takes over the world, taking over Japan and stripping it of its identity thanks to their secret weapons and vastly superior technology. Despite general compliance by the Japanese population, a few people resent the Britannian invasion and seek to drive them out. Branding them terrorists, the government use their massive firepower and control of the media to do as they wish, however, one man gains a distinct advantage, thanks to a mysterious girl he encountered whilst being dragged into a terrorist plot.

Similar to many popular anime series, the delivery of the storyline often has the viewers identifying with the antiheroes as the underlying theme of political rebellion is rampant within shonen anime series.

Excellent characters, plot, dialogue and storyline as well as a heavy technological backbone will appeal to sci-fi fans and general anime fans alike.


So, that’s my gift to you, SF Signal readers! 5 Anime Series that I hope you’ll enjoy. Let me know what you think, get in touch with me either in the comments or on twitter at @AnimeSquadNet / @AshElNegro. And if you wish to learn more about anime, feel free to post in the anime forums at AnimeSquad.net.

15 thoughts on “[GUEST POST] Top 5 Anime That SciFi Fans Will Love”

  1. If I remember correctly Cowboy Bebop was released in the late 90s. Was it actually written in the 80s? I couldn’t find any info on that.

    I think this is a really good list that captures various periods of Anime. I’m also happy that Evangelion isn’t on this list. While it’s a definite watch at some point, for someone first getting into anime it can be a bit overwhelming.

    If someone is looking to add to this list I heavily suggest Macross Plus. For fans of William Gibson they might like this one. Another series is Patlabor (which has been re released for Blu Ray), cops using mecha to fight crime. A bit dated but fun to watch!

  2. ugh, I tried to like Attack on Titan and it is extremely melodramatic, slow but with some interesting characters. I made it to episode 11, and while the characters are interesting enough it takes entirely to long to get to things you are wondering about them. I think it’s the new school anime VS old school anime, where melodramatic flair wasn’t as prevalent that also makes me dislike it.

    just thought I would put this out there in case anyone tries it, I have heard it gets much better, but I just didn’t have the time to see that through.

    my sci-fi anime rec’s are:

    1) appleseed
    2) Mardock Scramble
    3) Darker than Black
    4) Gantz
    5) Elfen Lied

    Thanks!
    -cory

    1. Hey Cory,

      Attack on Titan does fall more into the Shounen category than the others. It’s a shame you stopped watching at that point because an awful lot starts to happen very quickly from there.

      Also, great list, Gantz could quite easily have made this list on another day!

  3. I haven’t watched anime since college, but you remind me I need to catch up! I’ve read the Akira manga series, but never watched the movie..

    There are so many good ones to choose from!

    1. Peter, you’re missing out!

      Depending on how long it’s been since you were in college, there are so many series that have cropped up or massively improved over recent years. The AnimeSquad Site has a recommendations board that could definitely help you find some good ones, or simply hop on to twitter and ask for recommendations with the #animesquad hashtag and people will be more than happy to recommend something to you.

  4. Another vote for Macross Plus (the miniseries) – an excellent cyberpunk anime with soundtrack by Yoko Kanno, who also did the music for Cowboy Bebop as well as my all-time favourite, Escaflowne (which is more steampunk than SF) – I have all three on DVD :)

  5. I noticed most of these are from the 90s (and now probably hard to find). Are there any good sci-fi anime released in the USA past 5 years? I left anime about 2004 because the fanservice went from being fun to patronizing and gratuitous.

    I still remember classics like Tenchi Muyo and El-Hazard but there doesn’t seem to be anything that good these days.

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