Sci-fi anime has always been close to my heart because it not only sweeps me away to completely new and creative worlds but also connects with me on an emotional level. These stories have a unique way of peering into the future while still respecting the past, creating an experience that’s truly enthralling.
The realm of sci-fi anime is incredibly diverse and full of surprises. From cyberpunk cityscapes and futuristic societies to colossal robots, alien invasions, and abilities such as telekinesis or state-of-the-art technology, there’s something for everyone. Some sci-fi anime explore the possible risks of technology, while others celebrate its advantages and wonders. Whether it’s set on Earth, in space, or even featuring a humorous twist on the genre, there’s a wide array of series to enjoy.
If you are a manga fan, definitely check out my top picks for sci-fi manga too! There’s already an impressive library of sci-fi anime from the past, but I’m eagerly looking forward to the fresh anime lineup arriving in 2023.
With that said, here are the best sci-fi anime released so far!
Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn
Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn is part of the Universal Century timeline, the longest-running timeline in the Gundam universe, but it’s one you can still watch on its own. Your experience will be enhanced if you watch from the beginning and you will understand the references more, but you can still enjoy Mobile Suit Gundam UC if you haven’t watched any of the series that was released before it. This is one of my favorites in the Gundam franchise because it features innovative mobile suits and crisp animation, but more than anything, it has a great story.
Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn is not just about the battles, it’s also about the conflicts and the people. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have incredible battles and action scenes, because it definitely does, it just highlights the characters in this story more so than most. One thing that separates it from other series on this list is that it excels in humanizing the “bad guys” and gives characters on both sides a chance to redeem themselves. For me, this is where Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn truly shines.
It’s one you can complete in a little over 7 hours, or you can give it time and watch episode by episode. But you’ll most likely end up binging it in one sitting like I did because it’s just too good to step away from. You can watch Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn now on one of the anime streaming services listed below!
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion is one of the best anime as well as one of the best mecha anime to ever be released, and there are many reasons why I think it lives up to its hype. A lot of people compare Code Geass and Death Note to one another, and while their characters have similar motivations and personalities and both have similar themes that center around the concept of justice, they are still different.
I do think Death Note fans will enjoy Code Geass, but I also think you shouldn’t go in with the preconceived notion that it’s going to be the same. The two have their similarities, yes, but Code Geass is different in the way that it’s more politically charged, which is very common for mecha anime, and there are a lot of characters in the mix in Code Geass.
Code Geass is unlike any mecha anime series I’ve seen and it’s one I often recommend to those who are new to the genre. In fact, there were many times when I felt like I wasn’t watching a mecha anime at all. And this is mainly because it focuses on the characters and their lives more so than just their battles and conflicts. Not to say that other mecha anime don’t do this because they do, but Code Geass develops its characters more so than most. The characters and the ways in which they evolve over the course of the series are part of the reason why I think Code Geass is so amazing.
They also include characters that are involved more in the main character’s everyday lives, but that isn’t involved in the overall struggles in the series, such as Shirley. This allows you to see the differing perspectives that exist between those who are outside but still affected by the conflict, and those who are in the middle, or at the front of it all. I also really enjoy the character designs by CLAMP (Tokyo Babylon, Cardcaptor Sakura). It’s an overall unique look for the genre, and this allows it to stand out even further from the rest.
You can watch Code Geass now on one of the anime streaming services listed below!
Planetes is adapted from the sci-fi space manga by Makoto Yukimura, who is well-known as the creator of another favorite of mine, Vinland Saga. Out of all the sci-fi series set in space, Planetes is one of my favorites, and Sunrise (Gintama, Code Geass) did an incredible job at bringing the series to life on screen.
The series is set in the 2070s during a time when interplanetary travel is possible. While this is a great step forward for humanity, excess space travel has caused an increase in dangerous space debris, and someone has to pick it up. Enter aspiring explorer Hachimaki and his space-garbage crew.
Planetes is rooted in reality, and because it follows the rules of our world, it’s more hard sci-fi than anything. While there’s nothing surreal about this story, it still feels so surreal because of the things these characters are doing in their everyday lives.
Planetes places a strong emphasis on its characters, but one can hardly complain with such a captivating cast. The character development in this series is top-notch and you’ll really connect with the individuals in the crew. If you are looking for a sci-fi anime that, at times, feels very much like a slice of life, Planetes is one you’ll want to check out.
Right now, Planetes is not available to stream on any streaming services, but they released a DVD as well as a Blu-ray if you’d like to check it out.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
Out of all the Gundam anime series out there, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans is one of my favorites. It obviously has action for days as with many in the Gundam universe, but the members of Tekkadan and their revolt are one to behold. Mikazuki, in particular, and his willingness to give his blood, sweat, tears, and much more to his comrades on their quest for a brighter future, albeit hard to watch, is beautifully conveyed.
Even if you have yet to delve deeply into mecha anime or aren’t a fan of the genre, Iron-Blooded Orphans‘ emotional story and well-developed characters will have your undivided attention from beginning to end. It’s a stand-alone anime series and you don’t need to watch anything else to understand it, so it’s an easy starting point for those of you who may be overwhelmed by the 40-year history of the franchise.
If you are looking for a complete guide to the Gundam franchise, check out our Gundam Watch Guide. We explain all of the different timelines and go over the best anime to start within that post! You can watch Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans now on one of the anime streaming services listed below.
As far as worldbuilding goes, Psycho-Pass is one of the best. Set in the future, where something called the Sibyl System exists, humans are monitored and judged by their “Psycho-Pass”, a number that determines a person’s threat level to society.
In this society, those whose “Psycho-Pass” labels them a “latent criminal” are destined for a life of judgment and imprisonment, but a select few have been given the opportunity to become Enforcers. But, this “freedom” they are granted comes with a leash, dubbing them the hunting dogs of the Inspectors who watch over them.
They do all the dirty work to keep their Inspector’s mind, and therefore, their “Psycho-Pass” clear. You couldn’t have hooked me more with a premise. This world is one where justice is supposedly dealt with by an objective hand, but everything no matter how perfect it seems has a flaw. Since everything isn’t as peachy as it appears, Psycho-Pass is the ultimate dystopian story.
As mentioned prior, it has some of the best world-building in all of anime. Everything about this futuristic society is thought out from the tech to how the government would rule and its people would live. The gun the Enforcers use, called a Dominator, is the most badass weapon I’ve seen in all of anime. Every detail transports you into a different time and place, and you really feel like you are a part of Psycho-Pass‘ world as you watch it.
Characters, like Enforcer Kogami, Inspector Akane, and main villain Makishima, and their interactions with one another, are compelling. The dialogue is amazing and the moral dilemmas presented prove just how easy it is, even for a good person, to cross the line. Crossing the line, and the difference between who’s good and who’s bad is the main issue explored here, and it’s done really well.
It’s also not afraid to get violent and bloody, which I appreciate. Many anime tip-toe carefully when it comes to dark subjects, but Psycho-Pass is one of the few that isn’t afraid to delve deep into the abyss. All in all, it has some of the most interesting episodes I’ve ever seen in a sci-fi anime, and it’s one you definitely don’t want to miss.
You can watch Psycho-Pass now on one of the anime streaming services listed below!
I’m a sucker for anime that features a main character who starts out timid and afraid, but as the series goes on shows a tremendous amount of growth and becomes a true force of nature. And while I’m in luck because most anime features this type of character in some way or another, Gurren Lagann‘s Simon is one of the most exciting to watch.
It’s similar to anime like Kill la Kill since it’s so over-the-top in a way that’s lovable and fun, but it has a quirky and distinctive animation style as well. It comes as no surprise that Gurren Lagann is animated as beautifully as it is because it was animated by the studio Gainax, who worked on FLCL and Neon Genesis Evangelion to name a few.
Gurren Lagann is set in a futuristic world, where humanity now lives underground, but our MCs Simon and Kamina dream of the fabled surface world that exists above them. One day, they reach the surface and discover a new world where humans battle robots. They embark on a new adventure in this new world together.
As far as mecha anime go, Gurren Lagann separates itself from the rest because it’s a more whimsical watch that isn’t afraid to explore the more humorous side of things. And while I love the more serious side of the mecha genre, as seen with Iron-Blooded Orphans mentioned above, I appreciate the fact that Gurren Lagann doesn’t take itself too seriously at all times. That’s not to say that it doesn’t get serious, because it definitely does, but that it has a more offbeat approach that makes it different from any other mecha anime I’ve watched before. It has a lot to offer thanks to its uniqueness and likability, and it’s overall just really well done.
You can watch Gurren Lagann now on one of the anime streaming services listed below!
As someone who’s a fan of series with military and political themes and mecha, like Gundam, it’s no surprise that 86 is one of my favorites. With a strong story and great worldbuilding, I knew it would translate excellently into an anime, but my expectations were far exceeded when it was released.
The animation, which is done by A-1 Pictures, is something to behold. Everything from the intense mecha battles to the symbolic as well as emotional scenes were animated beautifully. There are some scenes in the anime, especially Part 2, that I will never forget, because they elicit such a strong emotional response. The imagery in this series has a lasting impact, but the story does as well.
In 86, The Republic of San Magnolia has long been under attack from the neighboring Giadian Empire’s army of unmanned drones, also known as the Legion. After years of research, the Republic developed autonomous drones of their own, turning the one-sided battle into a war with no casualties—or at least, that’s what they claim. In all reality, the drones are piloted by young men and women known as the Eighty-Six, who have been stripped of their humanity and are forced to pilot the weapons and risk their lives in battle.
86 explores complex themes, such as oppression and discrimination, but there are people in this story who want to change the way this world is for the better, and you see these characters bond together in these dark times, so it’s a tough watch, but it’s a profound one as well.
You can watch 86 now on one of the anime streaming services listed below!
When it comes to sci-fi classics, one of the most renowned and loved is Trigun. Trigun was adapted into an anime in 1998 with animation by Madhouse, who later went on to animate titles like One Punch Man, Death Note, and Death Parade to name a few. The anime is still loved to this day, and for good reason. Despite its age, the battles are well animated and they did an incredible job at bringing the world and characters of Trigun to life.
Trigun is set in the desert world of Gunsmoke, where a mysterious bounty hangs above the head of Vash the Stampede. His guns can pierce a planet, which explains why the locals tremble at the very mention of his name. The reward for his capture or assassination is sixty billion double dollars. Every trigger-happy psycho in creation is aiming to claim Vash dead or alive.
Trigun has a nostalgic feel to it with its Western-like vibe and setting, but it’s set in a futuristic time as well, and this makes it unique. On top of all that, it’s action-packed and full of comedy and it’s one of the most entertaining sci-fi anime I’ve ever watched. You can watch Trigun now on one of the anime streaming services listed below!
Legend of the Galactic Heroes
Legend of the Galactic Heroes, which is adapted from the light novels of the same name, is an epic military sci-fi saga that has a flair for the dramatic and features over-the-top characterizations of battles, heroes, and relationships.
The series follows two prominent forces, the Galactic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance, whose 150-year-long stalemate is broken when a new generation of heroes, Rheinhardt Von Museal and Yang Wenli, take center stage.
Legend of the Galactic Heroes tells the story of these two warring empires, but also these two men, and their motivations, which bring about a space battle of the ages. It is best described as a space opera, so it’s an entertaining as well as thrilling series, but the political ideologies as well as its deep exploration into what it means to be human and the human condition make it an intellectual watch.
Dr. Stone, which is adapted from the manga by Riichiro Inagaki (Eyeshield 21) and Boichi (Sun-Ken Rock, Origin), is set in a post-apocalyptic world that resets humanity to a time reminiscent of the Stone Age.
Both literally and figuratively, because an event called petrification occurs that turns all humans into stone. After millennia, some individuals awaken from their stony slumber to find out that the world they once knew is gone. One such individual is Senku, who loves everything to do with science. He, along with a few of his friends, work to bring the world back to its former, technologically-advanced glory, but foes, who don’t want things to change, rise up and stand in their way.
In Dr. Stone, we see a civilization, not just rising from the ashes, but being built from the ground up, and you really see how a cataclysmic and life-changing event such as this can change people for the better or for the worse. The conflicting ideologies of the people who awaken in this series and the rivalry that forms make Dr. Stone an interesting watch.
You can watch Dr. Stone now on one of the anime streaming services listed below!
Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin
If you have yet to delve into Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin yet, whether it be through the anime or manga, which is best experienced in the Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin hardcovers, it’s one of the best Gundam series, if not the best, to ever release.
The story follows young Amuro Ray. During an attack by Zeon on Side 7, Amuro stumbles upon the RX-78-2 and becomes its pilot, even fighting against the mysterious and formidable Zeon pilot Char aka The Red Comet in his maiden battle. The two end up developing a rivalry. Each is fascinated by the other and driven somewhat by their need to be victorious over the other.
All in all, the series is about the conflict between Zeon and the Earth Federation and their race against one another to develop mobile suits, but even though that’s the overarching story, the main story follows the Federation’s ship, White Base, the people on it, and the battles they have to overcome. There are interweaving motivations and political plots that add twists and turns to this story along the way and it really delves into the stories of the people who are fighting too, so this story has a little bit of everything.
The Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin anime is a classic, which has had its own fair share of releases, including the original 1979 anime, a 2015 OVA that adapts the manga, then a recompilation version of the OVA released in 2019, and you also have the compilation movies too that condense the entire series into three films. I’ve watched them all and they are all great in their own ways. If you are new to Gundam, I recommend watching the compilation films before you watch the OVA. I think the OVA is the best of the releases, but it’s good to have some context and background before you watch it!
Space Brothers is one of the most heartwarming and touching sci-fi anime I’ve ever watched. It follows two brothers, Mutta and Hibito Nanba, who share the dream of becoming an astronaut and going to space. Hibito’s dream is about to come true, but something happens in Mutta’s life that puts his dream on hold.
In a surprise turn of events, Mutta is given a second chance in life to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming an astronaut when he is invited to take the entrance exam, but he is out of practice and out of shape, so he’ll have to work harder than ever to get the job. But with his unique set of skills, determination, and his want to fulfill the wish he made with his brother when they were young, Mutta pushes forward to make his dreams a reality.
Space Brothers is a beautiful and relatable series that highlights the dreams we had as a kid, and how many of us don’t often turn those dreams into reality, and this is all conveyed in a lighthearted but also humorous way. But, Mutta and Hibito are so passionate about becoming an astronaut that they make it their mission to do so. More than anything, though, Space Brothers shows us that it’s never too late to go after what you want and that no dream is out-of-reach if you want it bad enough, even if that dream is reaching for the stars.
On top of having an amazing story and likable characters, Space Brothers showcases the beauty of space and the allure it has on many and it features striking animation by A-1 Pictures (86, Kaguya-sama: Love is War).
You can watch Space Brothers now on one of the anime streaming services listed below!
Cyberpunk Edgerunners is a 10-episode story about a street kid trying to survive in a technology and body modification-obsessed city of the future. With nothing left to lose, he chooses to become an edgerunner—a mercenary outlaw also known as a cyberpunk. It is set in the same universe as the Cyberpunk 2077 game, but it’s a stand-alone story with a completely different storyline, so you don’t have to play the game before watching the series.
Cyberpunk Edgerunners is set in the neon-lit world of Night City, but don’t be deceived by its beauty. It’s a dystopian society that’s full of struggles and corruption; where people indulge in their vices and have to fight for everything they have. But there’s a heart to the series, as well as an underlining camaraderie between the characters, that draws you back in time after time. Its mature nature makes it all the more appealing.
Cyberpunk Edgerunners‘ vibrant animation, bold color palette, and exciting action scenes, which were brought to us by the always impressive Trigger (Darling in the Franxx, Kill la Kill, Gurren Lagann, Promare), make it one of the best anime I’ve seen in 2022. When you pair that with its impactful and powerful story, you get a series that is as adrenaline-inducing and visually appealing as it is emotional.
You can watch Cyberpunk Edgerunners now on one of the anime streaming services listed below!
Serial Experiments Lain
Serial Experiments Lain follows teenager Lain Iwakura, who logs into an elaborate and cryptic digital world known as the Wired. The longer she spends in the Wired, the more blurred the line between reality and virtual reality becomes. She not only begins to hallucinate, but she loses her sense of self and begins to question her own existence and her memories as well. Serial Experiments Lain shines because of its avant-garde approach to sci-fi and its unique aesthetic.
Serial Experiments Lain will take you on quite the trip with its mind-bending and complex psychological themes. It was released in 1998, but the topics it explores are still just as relevant and relatable today as they were then, and it is one of the most cutting-edge series of our time. No other anime will make you feel, or give you the same experience, that Serial Experiments Lain can. On top of being one of the most original series I’ve watched, it’s highly intelligent and will challenge the way you think as well.
Serial Experiments Lain is available to stream now on Funimation. Even though Funimation was acquired by Crunchyroll, the app is still up and running. Most of Funimation’s catalog moved over to Crunchyroll, but Serial Experiments Lain hasn’t yet. We will update this post when and if it does.
Eureka Seven is animated by one of my favorite animation studios, Bones, which has animated series, like Mob Psycho 100, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Bungo Stray Dogs, and My Hero Academia to name a few. The animation is a strong point of Eureka Seven, but it’s also of the most innovative mecha anime ever released.
The story follows a boy named Renton Thurston, who wants to trade his mundane life at home for an exciting one full of adventure. His dream is to join a mercenary group known as Gekkostate. One day, he gets his wish when a mech crashes into his home and he meets a mysterious girl. Little does he know, these chance encounters will bring him closer to his dream and change his life forever.
Eureka Seven is a mecha anime, but it’s a coming-of-age story as well. You really see these characters, particularly Renton, grow and develop over the course of the episodes, but you connect with them as well as they work to overcome the issues that plague this war-filled world and go through some of the most pivotal moments in their lives. The mech designs and the battles only add to the series’ charm.
Eureka Seven is full of action and adventure, but it has a lot of heart too. It is available to stream now on Funimation. Even though Funimation was acquired by Crunchyroll, the app is still up and running. Most of Funimation’s catalog moved over to Crunchyroll, but Eureka Seven hasn’t yet. We will update this post when and if it does.
From the New World
From the New World, which is adapted from the light novel of the same name, is one of the most unexpected and horrifying sci-fi series you can watch on this list. It’s set in a utopian society, where all is not quite as it seems. It follows a group of kids that have psychic powers and the mysterious community that they grew up in. They begin to question their situation, uncovering the dark secrets that plague their seemingly perfect world.
Set in a distant future that is reminiscent of the past, it’s clear that something is off in From the New World and it’s this mystery, and the ever-evolving web of secrets, that make it one of the best. But, it’s also the kids in this story and their development—From the New World is a coming-of-age story of sorts as well—that kept me so heavily invested in this series over the course of its 25 episodes.
It’s beautifully animated thanks to A-1 Pictures, who animated two of the other series mentioned in this post, 86 and Space Brothers. If you enjoy series like The Promised Neverland or Psycho-Pass, I highly recommend giving From the New World a shot.
You can watch From the New World now on one of the anime streaming services listed below!
Castle in the Sky
I enjoy all of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s films, but one of my all-time favorites is Castle in the Sky, because I love the steampunk world it’s set in. As expected for Studio Ghibli, the worldbuilding is incredible and the imagery in the series is breathtaking. From the very beginning, you are immersed in a world that you can’t wait to explore and your sense of adventure is awakened.
In Castle in the Sky, you follow Sheeta and Pazu on their journey to Laputa, a rich and fantastical city that’s unlike any other because it’s floating in the sky. You watch them band together, along with their allies, to overcome all that stands in their way, so it’s a rather heartwarming watch that touches on the power of friendship, but it’s exciting as well thanks to all of the people as well as mysteries they come across on their travels.
It’s one of the best sci-fi anime movies released to date as well as one of the most unique Studio Ghibli films you can watch! You can watch Castle in the Sky now on one of the anime streaming services listed below. A Blu-ray was also released for the series if you’d like to check it out.
FLCL is an out-there series in the best way possible, but it’s also one of the most remarkable and artistic sci-fi anime to release to date. The story follows Naota Nandaba, whose average everyday life is flipped upside down when a girl wielding a guitar runs him over with her scooter. Things after that point, get incredibly weird when Naota discovers that he has a mysterious portal in his head. And not just any portal, a portal that robots come out of. FLCL has a lot to offer and it packs a punch despite only being six episodes.
I love everything about FLCL. It has a cool style, a killer OST featuring music by The Pillows, likable characters, and an interesting story. It blends together action and comedy well, but it’s FLCL‘s mecha and psychological themes and avant-garde approach that make it different than any other sci-fi anime. There’s nothing quite like FLCL and it stands apart in a league of its own thanks to its distinct visual style and unconventional premise. If you like cult classics or abstract anime, I highly recommend checking it out.
You can watch FLCL now on one of the anime streaming services listed below!
Cowboy Bebop is an unforgettable sci-fi classic that is special thanks to its noir and Western influences, but also its story, which is character-centric and follows the lives and the adventures of the Bebop crew, including Spike Spiegel, a bounty hunter with a unique past, Jet Black, an ex-officer turned bounty hunter, Faye Valentine, a wanted criminal turned bounty hunter, Ed, a genius hacker, and Ein, a corgi with enhanced intelligence.
Cowboy Bebop isn’t short on interesting personalities and it has one of the most diverse casts on this list. Each of their stories connects you further to the story, but you’ll meet new characters along the way that add even more interest. Spike’s backstory in particular is compelling, and he is an incredibly complex character, but every member of the crew will capture your heart.
Cowboy Bebop is fun and lighthearted and it’s full of action and mystery, but it’s also gritty and dark thanks to its noir feel and the topics it explores. In this series, our characters’ pasts haunt them, and no matter how hard they try to avoid or run away from their past, it always finds a way to catch up with them. There’s a lot of depth to this series and its characters as a result.
And then there’s its jazzy soundtrack, which further sets the mood and atmosphere and immerses you in this futuristic yet nostalgic world. Cowboy Bebop is often described as a Space Western, and while this is very much true, it’s so much more than that.
You can watch Cowboy Bebop now on one of the anime streaming services listed below!
Parasyte: The Maxim
Parasyte: The Maxim, which is adapted from the manga by Hitoshi Iwaaki, follows Shinichi Izumi, who’s your everyday, average high school student. His life changes forever one day when an alien creature called a Parasite invades his body. Somehow, he manages to prevent it from infesting his entire body, containing it only in his hand.
No longer the same, with his hand under the control of a murderous alien named Migi, Shinichi will have to face this new reality head-on. Others who have been infested by Parasites have not had the same luck as Shinichi and have been taken over by these otherworldly beings. Their bodies are now hosts under the control of the Parasites, who morph their bodies into horrifying visions and use their bodies to hide within the crowd as “humans”. The only one who knows of their secret is Shinichi and he will have to find a way to warn humanity of the horrors to come.
Migi and Shinichi form a symbiotic relationship of sorts, and the interactions between them are part of the reason that Parasyte: The Maxim is such a successful series. Both want to survive and while they have different methods of achieving this goal, they are ultimately driven by the same thing. When you have differing personalities living under the same roof things get interesting, to say the least, but when they are forced to live in the same body as Migi and Shinichi, things become even more complicated.
Parasyte: The Maxim is one of the most unique sci-fi anime I’ve ever watched and it’s one of the most influential series as well. On top of having one of the most thought-provoking stories, and one of the most interesting takes on an alien invasion I’ve seen, the body horror in Parasyte is some of the best I’ve ever witnessed.
You can watch Parasyte: The Maxim now on one of the anime streaming services listed below!
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion has some of the most striking animation and iconic scenes in all of anime. It’s one I highly recommend in addition to its manga, which is one of the best manga of all time. The manga is an adaptation of the 1995 anime that has some notable differences, including its ending, but it was released first in 1994 because of the anime’s production delays. The anime is the original source material, though, and it is one of the most influential series to ever be released.
Neon Genesis Evangelion follows a paramilitary research organization named NERV and its pilots, who pilot Evangelion, aka EVA Units, in their war against Angels, other-worldly and powerful entities that much is unknown about. It’s set in an immersive and unique post-apocalyptic world that’s full of mystery and secrets. Paired with its thrilling action and psychological elements, Neon Genesis Evangelion is as mind-bending as it is exciting to watch.
The story and visuals are amazing, but it also dives deep into the minds of its pilots, which allows you to connect with them more. Neon Genesis Evangelion highlights the battle between individuality and instrumentality and explores psychology in interesting ways. For these reasons and more, it’s unlike any other mecha anime I’ve seen before. It’s one of the best anime you can watch on Netflix right now too.
You can watch Neon Genesis Evangelion now on one of the anime streaming services listed below!
Gintama is episodic, but it also has an overarching story that ties everything together. The story follows Gintoki and his friends at Odd Jobs, who take on a myriad of different requests. It’s set in the Edo period, but aliens called Amanto have taken over, so it is set in a unique and interesting world. Despite being set in a futuristic setting, it is very much rooted in history, and our MC, who’s a samurai, further hones this in.
A lot of people love Gintama because of its humor, including me, but to say that Gintama is just a comedy would be doing it a disservice. Even though the series’ absurdness and its sense of humor are a large part of its appeal and success, Gintama has so much more to offer.
Gintama gets serious later on, and while its main character Gintoki is a lovable dope, he’s a complete badass as well. It’s a well-balanced series that is chock-full of sidesplitting as well as action-packed moments, but it has relatable characters and heartwarming scenes that will connect with you on a deeper level too. Gintama is set in a unique, sci-fi world, but it also has a wonderful sense of humor, perfect comedic timing, and an incredible cast of characters. On top of being one of my favorite sci-fi anime, Gintama is one of my favorite anime to ever release.
You can watch Gintama now on one of the anime streaming services listed below!
Akira is one of the most iconic anime films of all time and it’s a classic that still holds up to this day. If you are looking to pick it up, I recommend checking out the Akira 4K release, so you can watch it in the Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD format. Akira was incredible to experience before, but it’s even more incredible to experience in 4K.
Akira is set in a dystopian version of Tokyo that has been devastated by a thermonuclear attack. Biker gangs control the streets, while the wealthy and powerful are engaged in unethical experiments designed to unleash destructive supernatural powers on an unsuspecting populace. Akira continues to be one of the most prominent forces in post-apocalyptic fiction with its dark themes and groundbreaking premise, but it has one of the most unique aesthetics in anime as well.
If you’ve already seen the Akira anime film but have yet to read the series, I highly recommend it, because it’s one of my favorite sci-fi manga of all time. There’s a lot of content that wasn’t included in the film, so there’s even more to experience in the manga. Kodansha released a 35th Anniversary Box Set of the manga that’s beautifully made if you’d like to check it out.
You can watch Akira now on one of the anime streaming services listed below!
Steins;Gate is an anime that probably needs no introduction. If you haven’t already watched the anime, you may have already played the visual novel, which the anime is adapted from, or read the manga. Steins;Gate is my favorite anime of all time, but it’s incredible to experience it in all of its forms.
Steins;Gate is set in Akihabara, Tokyo, and it follows a group of friends who discover a way to manipulate time through—of all things—a modified microwave. As they delve deeper into time travel, they find themselves involved in an exciting and perilous plot full of conspiracies and consequences.
Not only do we get to explore the concept of time travel in Steins;Gate, but themes, such as causality and the dangers that come with manipulating or changing moments in time, are explored. Complexity is something that Steins;Gate has a lot of, but the story doesn’t get lost in all the details. It gets pretty science-y, but it’s not like some lecture hall discussion. It’s about members of a lab who also happen to be comrades working out a puzzle, but also experiencing life together.
Steins;Gate discusses real-world theories, including John Titor’s time travel theories and the butterfly effect, which add to its believability, but it includes them in a way that makes them feel more exciting. Time travel is a subject that isn’t always executed well, but Steins;Gate sets the example of how it should be done. With time travel comes skepticism and criticism, and Steins;Gate is self-aware of this. As you watch, you will find yourself less of a skeptic and more of a believer, and this is part of the reason why it’s so successful.
The idea that the person who discovers time travel is a cooky, paranoid “mad scientist” is something that has been explored before, and while Okabe’s personality is built from this stereotypical profile, there’s a gentleness and magnetism about him that makes him stand apart. Science is meant to be empirical, but it is emotion that drives Okabe to carry out his research, and this is what makes Steins;Gate such an enveloping and twisted anime.
You can watch Steins;Gate now on one of the anime streaming services listed below!
These are the best sci-fi anime that have been released so far! A lot of incredible series have been released, but I’m looking forward to all of the new anime that are releasing in 2023 and beyond in the 2024 anime season as well.
If you are a manga fan, be sure to check out my top sci-fi manga! Some of them haven’t been adapted into an anime yet, so I have more sci-fi recommendations on that list that you may want to check out in addition to those mentioned above.