With our modern world becoming more and more like science fiction every day and the robot takeover imminent, we thought it is a good time to take a look at some classic sci-fi anime action.
The following is a list of the best science fiction anime you may not have heard of and simply must see.
10. Blue Gender (1999)
The year is 2030, alien insectoids have overrun the earth claiming it for themselves. They stalk the world killing humans and harvesting them as food. As a result, most of mankind has fled to a large space station that hovers above the planet.
The story follows Yuji, a young man diagnosed with a serious illness and put into cryo-stasis. When he awakes 20 years later what he finds is not a cure, but instead a hellish nightmare where humans are little more than prey. At only 26 episodes, it is certainly worth a binge.
9. Outlaw Star (1998)
Are you a fan of Cowboy Bebop? Have you often found yourself wishing for more? Well, look no further. Introducing, Outlaw Star, a high-octane thrill ride through the deepest regions of the cosmos.
Meet Gene Starwind and his motley crew as they adventure through space taking on various jobs and missions to fund their own indulgences as well as their ship’s hefty maintenance costs.
Perhaps not as groundbreaking as its contemporaries, Outlaw Star still provides extremely enjoyable viewing for any fan of the space-adventure genre.
8. Spriggan (1998)
Spriggan is awesome, end of story. Go and watch it right now. When I first saw it I thought wow, this is Metal Gear Solid the anime. Seriously, it has everything a Metal Gear game has and more.
Larger than life characters, epic boss fights, a convoluted and over the top plot, and a lone hero stuck deep in the thick of it. Furthermore, it adds a religious and spiritual element into the story which gives it an added air of mystery.
It was remade into a Netflix show recently, but forget that, if you are looking for a movie to blow your mind and leave you reeling afterwards, look no further.
7. Battle Angel Alita (1993)
Battle Angel Alita is the epitome of what anime is all about. Gritty, deep, ambitious, unabashed and beautifully drawn, this short-lived anime explores a number of issues now uncomfortably all too relevant in our modern age.
Topics such as pollution, overpopulation, class division, love and what it means to be ‘human’. It follows the story of Alita, a young android and her fight for justice to uphold good in this all too corrupted world.
It was also adapted into a feature length movie in 2019 which unlike most Hollywood adaptions actually stays fairly true to the source material. Definitely worth a watch for any hardcore sci-fi fan.
6. A Wind Named Amnesia (1990)
This is one of, if not my favorite anime movie of all time. It comes from the brilliant mind of Hideyuki Kikuchi the author behind the Vampire Hunter D series. Perhaps more post-apocalyptic than sci-fi, it still showcases many of the themes and tropes associated with the science fiction genre.
Themes such as overreliance on technology and its consequences, and the reoccurring question of what really makes us human. Is it something we are born as or is it an adopted social construct? Definitely worth taking a look at especially for fans of the Fallout or Mad Max series.
5. Cyber City Oedo 808 (1990)
Cyber City Oedo 808 is pure 90’s anime gold and another personal favorite of mine. An all too short 3-episode ova, it simply oozes with the style and flash of a futuristic dystopian tomorrow.
Not for the faint of heart as far as violence and profane language are concerned it follows three convicts who are employed as law enforcement agents in exchange for a shorter prison sentence.
On the surface, this anime is straight up 90’s badassness. On a deeper level though, it delves into questions such as man vs machine, good vs evil and how the past shapes the future on both a personal and a societal level. This one is definitely worth checking out.
4. A.D. POLICE (1990)
Set in a flashy yet macabre cyberpunk future heavily influenced by source material such as Bladerunner, A.D Police files follows the advanced police force as they tackle cybernetically enhanced criminals and rampant cyborgs known as ‘Boomers’.
Violent and gripping from the get go, it showcases that in the future ‘life is cheap’. If you have played the video game Cyberpunk 2077 you may notice how similar the two are. A.D. Police Files certainly had a strong influence on the developers, as they did on me when I first watched it.
3. Rhea Gall Force (1989)
Gall Force is a masterclass of science fiction anime. It is split up into four quasi related arcs (First story, Rhea, Earth chapter and New era). All are fantastic in their own right and explore different topics but the one I wish to highlight is the ‘Rhea’ chapter.
In this scenario, Earth is now a wasteland after an atomic war. The last remaining humans now fight for their very survival against hordes of robots who are systematically terminating them.
In order to survive and overcome the threat of the mechanical army, the humans must first put their own petty differences aside and come together as one.
2. Dragon’s Heaven (1988)
Dragon’s Heaven is really fricking cool. You should watch it just for the beautiful visuals alone. Set after the year 4000, it follows a young girl who stumbles across a sentient combat mech in the desert and claims it for herself. What she doesn’t realize though, is that this mech may be the key to preventing another continental war.
Perhaps a little cheesy by modern standards, Dragon’s heaven encompasses all the style and imagination that science fiction is known and loved for, think of the Star Wars cantina and you’ll know what I mean.
1. Angel’s Egg (1985)
Angel’s Egg is one of those movies you’ll either love or hate. For starters, there is very little dialogue throughout and barely any at all for the first 30 mins. This alone might be enough to put most people off.
However, because of this, it leaves it almost entirely up to your own interpretation, which I do like. It is as if you’re watching a strange dream unfold and I still find myself thinking of it now and again.
Similar to Dragon’s Heaven, the visuals here are impeccable and some of its grand imagery is truly breathtaking at times.
So, there you have it. Ten fantastic sci-fi anime to sink your teeth into. All explore different topics but are all somehow strangely linked in one way or another. What are they trying to tell us about our own future? A warning perhaps? A premonition of things to come maybe? Our unavoidable destiny? You’ll just have to watch them and decide for yourself.