If you look at the history of anime, you won’t find many examples like Cowboy Bebop. With just one season and 26 episodes, this 1998 anime series became a cult classic and is today revered as one of the best anime series ever. Cowboy Bepop was a passion project for most of the crew and that certainly resulted in the show being one of the most unique and most intriguing anime series ever.
Now, it’s not easy to mimic or be on the same level as Cowboy Bebop, but for all those who want something similar to this amazing show, we have prepared a list of the best anime like Cowboy Bebop you need to watch.
Best Anime Like Cowboy Bebop
The list is going to contain a total of 20 titles, ranked in random order, i.e. the ranking does reflect the quality of the show. We have tried to pick the best shows that reflect either the genre, the style, or the spirit of Cowboy Bebop so that you might enjoy them like you did the original one. You’re going to get some basic production information on each of the shows, as well as a brief synopsis.
Original Run: October 12, 2012 – December 12, 2019
Number of Episodes: 41
In 2112, in Japan, Sibyl, a computer system, transformed society into a “perfect world”, thanks to the ubiquitous cameras, drones and scanners, Sibyl is able to analyze and quantify the criminal intentions of a person (named “Psycho -Pass “) and determines who is likely to commit a crime.
When a citizen exceeds the norm, the inspectors of the Bureau of Public Security accompanied by their executors (person having an abnormally high “Psycho-Pass”), pursue and apprehend these people to make them undergo therapy, lock them up or shoot them down. square.
This is the world that embarks Akane Tsunemori, a new inspector who has just joined Division 1 of the Public Security Bureau. She wishes to uphold justice truly and loyally, however she learns that Sibyl’s judgments are not as perfect as her colleagues think.
Original Run: April 1, 1998 – September 30, 1998
Number of Episodes: 26
The anime takes place in the distant future where humans have exhausted all of Earth’s natural resources and have been forced to emigrate to a hostile planet scorched by the rays of two suns.
The context of the series: the environment and the way of life of the characters hark back to the time of the conquest of the West. The remains of advanced technology, a vestige of another era, contrast with the way of life of the population. As the new world unfolds, a name associated with the destruction of July, a city of over a million people, makes everyone’s lips and triggers tremble.
It’s from Vash the Stampede. Referred to as the humanoid typhoon because of the extent of the damage caused by each of its passages, no one seems to really know what it is or its purpose.
3. Ghost in the Shell
Original Run: November 18, 1995 – present
Number of Episodes: Numerous series and movies
Ghost in the Shell is a futuristic, cyberpunk-style manga set around the 2030s. The main character is a female cyborg1, Major Motoko Kusanagi. Kusanagi is part of an elite anti-criminal police section, Section 9.
The main storyline of the manga, as well as the film adapted from the manga, chronicles the hunt for a cybercriminal known as the “Puppet Master”. This cybercriminal takes control of a human’s “ghost” through the Global Digital Network, the evolution of the Internet in this universe.
As the investigation progresses, Section 9 ends up discovering that the criminal is not a physical person, but an intangible artificial intelligence, having acquired consciousness for the first time in the world.
Original Run: January 4, 2014 – September 28, 2014
Number of Episodes: 26
In this anime, we follow the adventures of Dandy, an Alien hunter, a fan of the BooBies restaurant chain, and wanted by Dr. Gel. He is joined by Meow, a cat-like alien, and QT, a multi-tasking robot.
They roam the galaxy in search of rare Aliens they could capture in order to take them to the Registration Center and hit the jackpot. However, capturing an unreferenced Alien is not as easy as it sounds.
5. BLACK LAGOON
Original Run: April 9, 2006 – December 19, 2006
Number of Episodes: 24
Rokuro Okajima, a young Japanese employee of a large company, is tasked with traveling the seas of Southeast Asia to deliver a disc containing secret and vital data on the company for which he works.
Unfortunately, his boat is attacked by a band of freelance pirates wanting to recover his property and he himself will be taken hostage on their boat, the Black Lagoon, an old torpedo boat. Thinking that his company will do everything to help him, he is not overly worried.
What he does not know is that his superiors hired mercenaries to silence him and destroy all evidence of the record’s existence. At the end of this incredible first episode, he decides to give up his life in Japan to join the adventure of these modern-day pirates.
6. Outlaw Star
Original Run: January 8, 1998 – June 25, 1998
Number of Episodes: 26
In the future Towards Stars era, many solar systems were opened to space traffic. Among the nomadic populations, there is a small part of them who have dedicated themselves to bounty hunting or the capture of criminals in exchange for lavish payments.
Gene Starwind and little James “Jim” Hawking are two bounty hunters and are hired to protect Captain Hilda who has an android in his hands, Melfina. Melfina is the only one being able to fly a space ship called “XGP-15A II”, and later nicknamed “Outlaw Star”, in which the terrible Kei Pirates are also interested.
After Hilda’s death, the two space hunters and Melfina will also be joined by cat girl Aisha Clanclan and “Twilight” Suzuka, a murderous samurai.
Original Run: July 26, 2007 – November 1, 2007
Number of Episodes: 16
In the late 1920s in Chicago, the transcontinental train, Flying Pussyfoot, begins its legendary journey that will leave a trail of blood across the country.
At the same time in New York, the ambitious scientist Szilard Quates and his unwilling assistant Ennis, search for the lost bottles of the elixir of immortality. In addition, the war between the gangster groups is getting worse. Aboard the Advena Avis in 1711, alchemists are about to learn the price of immortality.
8. Bungo Stray Dogs
Original Run: April 7, 2016 – present
Number of Episodes: 48
The story centers around certain individuals with supernatural powers who use them for different purposes such as running a business, solving mysteries, and carrying out armed detective agency missions against the port mafia.
It revolves particularly around the members of the “agency of armed detectives” and their day-to-day life. The story revolves around a detective agency, each member of which possesses supernatural powers. This particular characteristic gives them the right to resolve investigations that are too perilous for the police.
Nakajima Atsushi, a young orphan on the verge of starvation by a river, finds himself having to save a man from a suicide attempt. This one is none other than Dazai Osamu, a member of this strange agency.
9. Blade Runner: Black Lotus
Original Run: November 14, 2021 – present
Number of Episodes: 13
Black Lotus takes place in 2032 (13 years after the 1982 film), the day after Black Out, and centers on Ella, a female replicant. The latter wakes up in Los Angeles with no memory and within her possession is an encrypted data device and a tattoo of a blue lotus on her back. She decides to investigate to find her memories and find those responsible for her condition.
In October 2032, a woman named Elle woke up with amnesia in the back of a vehicle. Thanks to a few fragments of memories and an encrypted data device in her possession, she goes in search of her identity.
Having failed to decrypt the device, Doc Badger takes Elle to a trusted friend who might be able to. The latter, named Joseph reluctantly accepts. Watching television, the young woman recognizes Senator Bannister who happens to be in her memories and goes in search of him.
Original Run: January 8, 2010 – March 26, 2016
Number of Episodes: 60
From the same creators of Baccano!, Durarara!! an anime set in a violent Tokyo populated by young thugs and gangsters of all kinds.
The events take place in the Ikebukuro neighborhood where Ryugamine Mikado moves invited by his childhood friend Kida Masaomi who immediately warns him to keep away from some shady characters who roam the neighborhood: a violent man dressed as a bartender, an information salesman, and a mysterious gang calling themselves “Dollars”.
But upon his arrival in the city Mikado will come across a Dullahan, a headless motorcyclist who drives a big black motorcycle with the engine and headlights off, who is considered an urban legend that everyone is terrified of, even the gangs of Ikebukuro.
11. Michiko & Hatchin
Original Run: October 15, 2008 – March 18, 2009
Number of Episodes: 22
The story revolves around Michiko Malandros and Hana Morenos (Hatchin), and the relationship that forms between the two on their long journey to find Hiroshi Morenos, Michiko’s ex-boyfriend and Hatchin’s real father.
The story begins when Michiko Malandro, an indomitable and beautiful woman manages to escape from the most secure prison in the country with the firm intention of finding Hiroshi Morenos, her former boyfriend.
She looks for Hana Morenos, his only daughter, with the hope of finding in her a link that leads her to his whereabouts, but ends up rescuing the girl from the clutches of her adoptive family who turns out to be abusive and cruel to her.
With nothing to lose, both will begin a journey in search of Hiroshi Morenos, while escaping from detective Atsuko Jackson who is determined to put Michiko behind bars again, and from the gangster groups with whom Michiko has outstanding balances, in addition to the other pitfalls along the way.
Although their relationship is not the best in the world, both Michiko and Hana learn to understand each other and to need each other by looking like a mother-daughter relationship.
They will also have to go through important emotional obstacles that will make them stronger, although this is not limited to these two characters they will all have their part of humanity for better or for worse.
12. Death Parade
Original Run: January 9, 2015 – March 27, 2015
Number of Episodes: 12
Every time someone dies, people’s souls are sent to one of the many mysterious bars, run by waiters who serve as referees within a tower in the afterlife.
There, they must participate in the Death Games, putting their souls at stake, the results of which reveal what secrets led them to their situation and what their fate will be afterward, with the referees judging whether their souls will be sent for reincarnation or banished within the empty.
The series follows Decim, the lonely barman from the bar, where he is sent to the people who died at the same time, known as the Quindecim bar, whose role in judging these souls changes when he meets a curious black-haired woman.
13. Ergo Proxy
Original Run: February 25, 2006 – August 12, 2006
Number of Episodes: 23
The story takes place in Romdo, a futuristic city sheltered under a dome, built to protect the community of survivors from a virus raging outside. In this city, humans and robots coexist peacefully.
But a series of murders caused by robots contaminated with the Cogito virus is starting to wreak havoc on the fragile balance that governs society. On top of it all, the government is conducting secret experiments on a mysterious humanoid lifeform dubbed Proxy, which appears to be the key to great power.
The series begins with the leak of a Proxy from the government laboratories triggered by the pulse of the awakening.
14. Carole & Tuesday
Original Run: April 10, 2019 – October 2, 2019
Number of Episodes: 24
The story takes place about 50 years after humanity began its migration to Mars. This is a time when most culture is produced by artificial intelligence and humans are content to be passive consumers.
Among these people, there are two young women very different from the rest of the population: Carole, a musician working part-time in the metropolis of Alba, and Tuesday, daughter of a wealthy family from the province of Herschel who dreams of becoming a musician. However, Tuesday’s family does not understand her dream and she feels very lonely.
One day, these two teenage girls meet and decide to change the world of music. They’re only going to be able to create a small wave in this society, but that wave could turn into something bigger.
15. Samurai Champloo
Original Run: May 20, 2004 – March 19, 2005
Number of Episodes: 26
Fuu, a 15-year-old girl, worked in a tea house until it was destroyed after a violent three-way fight between Mugen the vagabond, Jin the wandering samurai, and the bodyguards of the Daikan’s son from that town.
At the end of the fight, Mugen and Jin are arrested to be executed the next day. Fuu helps them escape in exchange for helping her find the “samurai who smells like sunflowers.” Despite agreeing to the deal, Mugen and Jin are always trying to end each other, in an almost professional rivalry. Both samurai have a blurred past.
Thus, the story tells of their travels between paths and dark passages, and how they fix the trouble they get into. Samurai Champloo employs a mix of historical settings from the Edo Period, with modern styles and references.
It incorporates various elements of modernity, especially hip hop culture, such as rap, graffiti, bandits with “gangstas” influences, Adidas and Converse logos, baseball, and references to the atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
16. Plastic Memories
Original Run: April 5, 2015 – June 28, 2015
Number of Episodes: 13
The anime deals with the themes of meeting and separation. In a futuristic world, androids look more and more like humans. One day, the robotic company SAI Corp produced the Giftia model, capable of understanding and feeling human emotions, but this kind of robot has a limited lifespan.
This animated will focus on the daily life of Tsukasa Mizugaki who integrates the Terminal service of SAI Corp responsible for recovering Giftia at the end of their life, then will team up with Isla who is herself a Giftia.
17. DEATH NOTE
Original Run: October 3, 2006 – June 26, 2007
Number of Episodes: 37
Light Yagami is a gifted high school student who judges today’s world to be criminal, rotten, and corrupt. His life changes dramatically the day he accidentally picks up a mysterious notebook called “Death Note”.
Its instructions for use say that “the person whose name is written in this notebook dies.” At first skeptical, Light decides to test the notebook and discovers that his power is very real. He meets the former owner of the Death Note, a god of death named Ryûk. This one declares to have voluntarily dropped his notebook in order to be entertained.
Original Run: April 7, 2004 – September 28, 2005
Number of Episodes: 74
The story begins in Germany in 1986, at the Eisler Memorial Hospital in Düsseldorf. Kenzo Tenma, the main character, is a young Japanese neurosurgeon with extraordinary skills. He is engaged to Eva Heineman, the daughter of the hospital director, and is destined for a brilliant career.
However, one day, he refuses to give his care to the mayor of the city as a priority and prefers to operate on a boy wounded by a bullet in the head, who arrived at the hospital before the mayor. The boy’s twin sister, very shocked, is also hospitalized.
Shortly after, the boy and his sister disappear, following the mysterious murders of three senior officials of the establishment, including the principal. Nine years later, Tenma discovers the author of the murders: Johann, this 10-year-old boy he had saved seems to have become a monster sowing terror around him.
19. Kekkai Sensen
Original Run: April 4, 2015 – December 23, 2017
Number of Episodes: 24
Three years ago, a rift between Earth and the world beyond opened in New York City. During that terrible night, New York was destroyed and rebuilt, trapping New Yorkers and extra-dimensional creatures in a bubble.
Renamed Hellsalem’s Lot, the city is a paranormal melting pot where magic and madness live alongside the ordinary, where every type of human vermin comes together to harness the supernatural.
Someone threatens to breach the Bull and unleash the horrors of New Jerusalem, but the mysterious super-agents of Libra are fighting to prevent the unthinkable from happening.
20. Lupin the Third
Original Run: October 24, 1971 – present
Number of Episodes: 296
Arsène Lupin III, the grandson of the gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, is an internationally sought-after thief. His right arm is Daisuke Jigen, an infallible aiming shooter, capable of emptying the magazine on various targets in an instant.
They are joined by the beautiful Fujiko Mine, who often manipulates situations, and especially Lupin, in love with her, to his own advantage. After several battles with the samurai Goemon Ishikawa XIII, the latter joins the gang with his incredible speed in handling the trusty katana, named Zantetsuken. Lupin and his associates are constantly pursued by Interpol Inspector Koichi Zenigata, whose goal is to arrest them once and for all.