The genre, or themes usually related to it, are so commonplace in anime that it is sometimes very difficult to determine which anime falls into this genre and which one doesn’t. For example, there are a number of anime whose storylines are set in the near future, and feature technologies that do not yet exist. However, to feature a few sci-fi inspired elements does not necessarily make it sci-fi.
For the purpose of putting together this list, the main questions asked regarding each candidate show or movie is, how important is the role of technology in advancing the telling of the story? Does the storyline offer enough depth and maturity for an adult to watch? Does it have enough entertainment value to have the viewer hooked by the first episode?
Because one’s enjoyment of an anime can be subject to personal taste and their mood at the given time of watching, the following sci-fi flicks are listed in no particular order. It is nothing more than a friendly recommendation of something you might like. Without further adieu, here they are.
An anime cult classic, space western that debuted back in 2000 is credited with being the show that introduced the western world to the wonders of Japanese animation shows.
It’s a story about a group of bounty hunters trying to make ends meet. It’s a pretty simple idea that is wonderfully layered with great animation, memorable characters, drama, action, comedy and a little romance, all under one wildly entertaining umbrella.
Ghost In The Shell (Stand Alone Complex)
Not the live action Scarlett Johansson flick, but the anime sci-fi classic that inspired the Hollywood remake. The storyline explores the possible complexities that would come with living in a world where humanity and machines are increasingly hybridised.
The story revolves around the day to day happenings of the main character, Mokoto Kunsanagi, as she fights hackers, villainous cyborgs and other robotic threats.
The setting is a severely messed up future and follows a young girl’s journey as she tries to make sense of past events that just don’t seem to add up. The storyline plays out in a world where the government is able to change people’s memories in order to control public opinion.
Though it can be a little slow at some points, it is laden with some interesting mysteries and concepts, in an equally interesting world.
The story plays out in a near-future Italy, where an organisation known officially as the Social Welfare Agency recruits orphan girls to counter a growing terrorist threat. The girls are equipped with guns, special forces level training and cyborg parts to complete their grisly assignments.
Though slow at times, it does a good job of pointing out the horrors faced by children who are recruited into combatant roles.
An attempt to colonise planet Mars using modified elgae and cockroaches doesn’t go as planned. As 500 years after sending the insects and elgea, a manned mission to the red planet is wiped out by hyper-evolved humanoid cockroaches (called the terraformers). Meanwhile, humanity is also battling a mystery virus known as the A E virus (Alien Engine Virus).
Questions about the origin of the virus and the terraformers start to surface. The show has a good mixture of emotions, intrigue and action.