Whenever the plot of an anime is its strongest aspect, then its execution mustn’t be a failure. And to do that, there is a specific genre that utilizes every element of the plot to make it into a fine execution. Yes, we’re talking about Sci-Fi anime. But what exactly determines whether a sci-fi anime is good or not? It depends on the individual because a concept can’t be likeable to everyone. But for the fans who’re especially into sci-fi anime, those concepts are like jewels. Naturally, sci-fi anime shows are a lot more provoking and intriguing than any other anime genre.
It is because they tend to focus more on building the plot and executing in a way that you can’t even take your eyes off them even for a second. In general, this genre includes stories that explore outer space, new technological elements, and, more importantly, all types of fictional phenomena. Thus, these matured concepts combine with a perfect execution along with the developed characters make into an excellent sci-fi anime. So then, if you’re here looking for a good sci-fi anime, consider yourselves lucky because we got a whole bunch of some fantastic recommendations. Let’s get to the business, Shall we?
Best Sci-Fi Anime!
Cowboy Bebop (1999)
This 1999 hit anime is like a representative of the sci-fi anime genre. Taking place in 2071, the story follows a bounty hunter named Spike Spiegel, who travels through galaxies in hunt of some high-priced fugitives. With his easy-going attitude and fighting skills, it is even possible for him to take on some more vigorous opponents. Along with his group of five members (including his dog, Ein), they go on numerous adventures. But these five are the unluckiest people in the solar system. But why? I guess you will find out after watching it. The story also tells you in each of the member’s perspectives, which is quite convenient for us.
Throughout the years, there have been several anime shows which tried to take up the position of best sci-fi anime. But all these years, Cowboy Bebop remained as the king of this genre. Like every other sci-fi anime, it combines every element but in a smoother way and makes its world even more diverse. It has everything an anime should posses, such as strong plot, good characters, excellent animation, and, more importantly, well-narrative. It is one of the rarest sci-fi anime you can find out there because it’ll please you in every way. So, if you’re looking for good sci-fi anime, then this one is for you.
Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995)
Here’s a fact: Neon Genesis Evangelion and Gurren Laggan are both the creations of the same franchise. But it came before Gurren Laggan and with an insane plot and action sequences. The story sets in 2015, where invaders are known as “Angels,” attack humankind, and occupy the earth. No weapon can find them until humans invent a Mecha Robot, which can only be operated by young minds. Shinji Ikari is such a youngster who is up for the task of piloting EVA-01. Can they stop Angels with these Giant Organic Mecha? We guess you’ll find it soon.
It’s hard to say which aspect makes Evangelion so good, but one thing is for sure, action sequences will blow your mind for sure. But in terms of characters, you’ll love every main character. Also, the ending of the anime is the one you should look upon. It leaves you in a traumatizing situation where you can’t expect it would happen. Many Mecha fans around the world have already acknowledged this one as their favourite sci-fi anime. So, if you’re looking for a cool sci-fi anime with some epic action scenes, then you can go on with this one without a second thought.
Steins; Gate (2011)
Here comes the #2 anime from the MAL website. Steins; Gate is one of the best sci-fi anime out there focusing on Time Travel concept. The story follows Okabe Rintarou, who calls himself a Mad Scientist and invents the time machine from Microwave oven. However, an organization named SERN conducts similar experiments but couldn’t succeed. But not just SERN, but also he needs to encounter some major consequences for messing up with time. It takes some time to hook you up, but once the time comes, there is no stopping your watch.
The reason it has a slow start is to build up the story for the upcoming scenes, and it succeeds in doing so. Firstly, Steins; Gate adapts its story from a video game, but its improvisation is the best part of the anime. It has no mechs, space wars, aliens invading like the concept, but still, it is one of the best sci-fi anime out there. And the reason is pretty much the same; it utilizes every aspect to carve the anime into a masterpiece. It is a rare type of anime where the plot is quite unpredictable most of the time. So, it is the one anime you mustn’t miss.
Psycho-Pass is one of those anime that you can’t miss whatever the matter. The story sets in futuristic Japan, where the world is run by calculating the crime rates by a system. It measures how many crimes a person might commit in the future and takes pre-required measures. A young detective named Akane Tsunemori joins the police force of Sybil System, but before taking action, she always puts her justice before the system’s justice. But can she live her life normally without facing any consequences? It’s up to you to find out the answer. It is one of the best sci-fi anime that you mustn’t hesitate to give it a try.
To put it simply, Psycho-Pass is a brilliant anime. Most of the scenes are unpredictable, and even though if you’re able to predict one or two scenes, the chances you’ll end up guessing the outcome near to the actual one. If for nothing else, the concept of the anime alone deserves an appreciation. And later, the plot execution, characters, and all such things may attract you. Being a sci-fi anime, it shows uniqueness among the same genre anime. You’ll end up asking many questions yourself in the beginning, but in the end, everything makes sense. That’s why I call pure suspense.
Gundam Seed (2002)
Gundam Seed has been one of the most successful mech toy franchises out there, and as a result, it is on our list of best sci-fi anime. In this part of Gundam Seed, Kira Yamato is the star of the show. He’s genetically modified human, and his type is known as “coordinators” in the Gundam world. As you can imagine, he’s skilled at everything just like a robot. In this part, he mostly plays the role of neutralizer in the war between normal humans and coordinators after earth’s alliance breaks with ZAFT. If you’re into anime like Cowboy Bebop, then you’ll love this one for sure.
There are quite a few shows of Gundam franchise, but Gundam Suit remains the best one of the Mobile Suit Gundam anime. Of course, you need to watch all the parts to understand this part. Since everything in the Gundam franchise is excellent, so it doesn’t hurt to view it. Even though it came out nearly two decades ago, the animation is quite decent, and you’ll love the art style. There are plenty of space wars to entertain you, and it revolves around a teen drama, which is quite convenient for most of the anime fans. Make sure you add this spectacular sci-fi anime to your watchlist.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Laggan (2007)
Gurren Laggan is a revolutionary type anime but with mecha featured setting world. The story sets in a world where an army of mutants oppresses humans to live underground. Simon and Kamina are two friends form a group of revolutionaries to fight against the army of mutants. But how can they fight against the incredibly strong people? Yes, they create mecha robots to fight alongside them. Simon is the one who starts giving hope by creating these mecha robots, but gradually, everyone joins him and forms a rebellion.
Let me make you clear one point. After watching Gurren Laggan, you’ll become one of the Gurren brigades. You might think how can you be so sure about it? But we wouldn’t want to make any statements just by ourselves. It’s just that Gurren Laggan is good that it needs too much appreciation. In other words, it is a perfect example of how an anime can blend all of the aspects so brilliantly. And more importantly, being in the race of sci-fi anime like Neon Genesis Evangelion, it didn’t back down even a bit in terms of its popularity. Thus, it is one of the best sci-
Ghost in the Shell (1995)
It seems like you’re familiar with this name since it has quite a popularity in Hollywood. Not just Ghost in the Shell, but also movies like The Matrix are the inspirations taken from the anime industry. Hollywood sure owes a lot to Ghost in the Shell anime. Of course, it was well-known around the world as one of the best sci-fi anime since the time of its release or to say before the 2000s. And while you’re wondering which one of the movies is best, we’d probably say it is Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, but you can’t get the complete story unless you watch all of the movies.
The story sets in the futuristic world of the year 2029, where Cyborgs are as common as humans. And there’s more; human brains are capable of connecting to the internet directly. Motoko Kasunagi is a skilled officer who deals with specials operations like cybercrime and counter-terrorism. Now the only mission she has is to track down the puppet master who hacks the brains of Cyborgs to obtain information and commits any crime quickly. Motoko Kasunagi herself is a Cyborg and probably only one who can go on Toe-to-Toe against him. But her path of finding him isn’t easy.
Ergo Proxy (2006)
If there is any sci-fi anime in the list that differs from any other one, then Ergo Proxy is the one we’re talking about. Setting in the post-apocalyptic world by the consequences of wars, Proxy is formed to create a new society under the domes. But after a few years later, these societies are forgotten, and they are no longer in contact to reform. Re-I is a detective from the organization of the domes who decides to form a new world no matter what the consequences may be. The story is not as complicated as you think. It gets understandable once you start watching it.
If I had to praise a sci-fi anime in terms of its animation, then that would be Ergo Proxy. With an incredible storyline and brilliant execution, there is no denying the fact that it is a masterpiece of the sci-fi anime genre. Unlike many other anime shows, the character building, pace, and everything in this sci-fi anime is top-notch. It starts with a simple premise and turns into a dark themed concept, but it doesn’t fail to execute it. If you’re looking for a sci-fi anime that focuses on a strong plot premise, it is the one anime you shouldn’t miss.
Akira is also a rare type of sci-fi anime but entertains you just like every other anime. The story is simple. When our world has gone under the crisis of World War III, Tokyo has been rebuilt and getting back the way it is. However, a person named Tetsuo gets injured by accident and taken to a top-secret government facility. When he discovers that he has Telekinetic powers, he decides to use them for evil. But his friend Akira also possesses the same powers and the only one who can stop him from causing another world war. Can she stop history from repeating itself?
Akira came into the anime industry in 1988. But don’t underestimate just because its animation is from the quality of the 1990s. Its animation is quite good compared to the anime even in around 2000s. And more importantly, it is one of those anime that ultimately turned the people’s perception of anime. The intense action scenes, thrilling plot and epic background music are the aspects that made it a masterpiece movie of the 1990s. So, if you want to watch a sci-fi anime with action as the main base, then Akira is the one you’re looking for.
Astra Lost in Space (2019)
Astra Lost in Space is one of the new sensations of 2019 anime. The story sets in 2061, where space travel is possible and commercially available. Some of the students of Caird High School begin their journey to the outer space. But as soon as they arrive into space, a mysterious light sphere warps all of the nine members for about 5012 light-years far from their home planet. By only discovering an old spaceship, they need to stay strong and maintain their resources carefully. And to return to their home planet, they also need to figure out a way of themselves.
If you like movies like Interstellar and The Gravity, then this anime is like a pearl in the ocean. The concept is outstanding, and the execution is proper as well. While it feels rushed at certain times, the pacing of the story at the end of every episode makes up for it. In recent times, there haven’t been many anime shows regarding the concepts of outer space. But Astra Lost in Space came in surprisingly and stood over the pinnacle of all sci-fi anime of the last two years. If you like watching sci-fi anime with outer space concept and with a slight amount of thrill, then this one is for you.
There you go! The ultimate list of best sci-fi anime is here. Sci-fi is all about exploring through various possible concepts and blending them with newly created storylines. As a result, there is no end to the new sci-fi anime evolving every year. These anime shows have been popping up in the anime industry since the 1990s. And even now, anime like Astra Lost in Space are the examples of its wide conceptual world. From the above list, the ten shows explore through various concepts and provide you with the utmost entertainment. And more importantly, every anime differs from the other one in terms of plot.
If you’re new to sci-fi anime genre, then we’d suggest you start with Cowboy Bebop or Ghost in the Shell. Both of these anime shows have been to the liking of most of the early anime watchers. So, there’s no doubt whether you’ll like it or not. Well then, what do you think about our list of best sci-fi anime? Are there any anime shows you want to mention despite these? If so, let us know your thoughts in the comment section.
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