In the past, people have been really into science fiction and fantasy. It is considered to be a genre that appeals to more intelligent audiences because it’s often about new worlds and ideas.
Science Fiction has been around since the 1800s when Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, but in recent years there have been many other great Sci-Fi stories written by authors like Stephen King or Lois Lowry. Sci-Fi movies are also popular among those who enjoy this genre of film with classics such as E.T., Back to the Future, The Matrix, Alien or Star Wars: The Force Awakens being some examples of these types of films.
If you’re an anime fan, you’ll know that there are quite a few sci-fi series out there as well which deserve a lot of acclaim, but here are 21 of the best sci-fi anime series that you should definitely check out:
Code Geass is set in Tokyo, Japan, but it’s not exactly the same world we live in. In this alternative timeline, Japan was conquered by the Holy Britannian Empire. The Holy Britannian Empire is a monarchy that rules over half of the world and lies in between longitudes 171 degrees east and 37 degrees north. Japan or Area 11 is the country’s colony and is now referred to as “Elevens.”
Code Geass focuses on Lelouch Lamperouge, who was exiled from his home country by his younger sister, Nunnally. He’s using an alter ego called “Zero” to fight for the independence of Japan with Rivalz as his right hand man and Suzaku as a friend who works in Britannia. Together, their mechas are called “Knightmares.”
Eureka Seven takes place on a distant island called Iwato Jima. The island is home to a mysterious type of human called “Nirvashians” because they are genetically related to the Nirvash IFO, which is a mech that Eureka pilots as part of an organization known as Gekkostate.
Gekkostate has its own agenda and focuses on the preservation of the island and its people, but they also work as a mercenary group doing odd jobs along the way. Renton Thurson is a 13 year old boy who lives on Iwato Jima and he’s madly in love with Eureka for being such an amazing pilot. He gets tangled up with Gekkostate after seeing her and eventually becomes part of the team.
Renton develops feelings for Eureka as he helps Gekkostate and she begins to show a sense of more emotion than what her character originally showed.
In Neo-Tokyo, there is constant tension between its government and biker gang members who call themselves the “Maeda.” Shōtarō Kaneda leads his gang members against Tetsuo, who is one of the bikers that used to be part of Kaneda’s gang. However, when an esper named “Akira” emerges from a government laboratory, their fates are forever changed as they begin to realize their fate has been predetermined for these individuals and humanity will never be the same again.
Akira is set in an alternate timeline where World War III occurred and Japan has been split into three zones: Tokyo, Neo-Tokyo and the Great Tokyo Empire. Not only do Tetsuo and Kaneda have to deal with each other, but they also have to fight against Espers who are people who have supernatural abilities as the result of the government’s experiments.
Texhnolyze is set 300 years into the future where an underground city known as Lux is occupied by individuals who are retired from the surface world. They have no powers, but they use external prosthetics to keep themselves alive and well.
The story focuses on Ichise who was a prize fighter before being beaten and paralyzed by his opponent Yoshii while he was in an underground boxing ring. He was given a new set of prosthetics by Raffia who is a member of the powerful class known as Organo. Ichise becomes obsessed with revenge and he soon discovers that Lux isn’t all it’s cracked up to be as his life takes an unexpected turn!
In future Japan, the Sibyl System is a means of determining whether or not someone is likely to commit crimes through reading their psycho-pass which is something similar to a person’s mental and emotional health. This system can measure a person’s likelihood to commit crimes such as murder, arson or use of illegal substances.
The story is centralized around two characters named Shinya Kogami who was part of the police unit in charge of apprehending criminals and Akane Tsunemori who has just been assigned to the team after finishing her training. She’s surprised to learn that Kogami is part of the unit as she hasn’t forgotten that he was responsible for killing criminals when they attempted to escape from custody. What will happen as these two embark on their journey working together?
This anime is set in the summer of 2010 where a self-proclaimed mad scientist named Okabe Rintarou works with his friends who call themselves the “Future Gadget Lab” to create interesting inventions that can change time and space.
However, their experiments take an unexpected turn when they learn that one of Okabe’s friends named Kurisu Makise has been murdered. The only way to save her is by using an invention known as a “D-Mail” which allows them to send text messages into the past. Of course, only God knows what will happen when Okabe Rintarou and his friends change time!
Cowboy Bebop tells the story of Spike Spiegel and his group of bounty hunters who are trying to make a living on Mars by catching outlaws for money.
The story is set in the year 2071 where Earth is no longer fit to sustain human life, and people have begun migrating towards Mars. Everyone continues their daily lives as if nothing had changed because they don’t know any better or it’s too expensive to care. However, there are some like Spike who refuse to give up no matter how hard it gets for him.
His group of bounty hunters, also known as the Bebop crew, are either just like him or they’re looking to get money by any means necessary. There’s Jet Black who used to work for a special law enforcement agency on Earth before leaving and joining Spike because he has an intimate knowledge of the underworld. Faye Valentine is a woman who has spent most of her life running from debt collectors, so she joins Spike and Jet for the money but also because she longs to return to Earth one day.
Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell takes place in a world where people can become cybernetic shells fully controlled by their human brains. These human brains are able to connect to one another through cyberspace and create an alternate dimension where there are no rules of society and humans simply do as they please. There is also a counter-cyberterrorist group called Section 9 that is trying to keep the cyberverse safe from hackers and government conspiracies.
The main character, Major Motoko Kusanagi, is one of the best members of Section 9. She’s so good that she has even been offered a spot in an elite hacking group known as The Puppet Master!
However, Major has a deep desire to find out who she really is and why she was created. Those questions have been put on hold for years because of her job in Section 9, but she knows that one day she’ll need to know the truth about where she came from.
Dr. Stone takes place in a future where the majority of humanity has turned to stone and it is up to high schooler Taiju Oki and his friend Senku Ishigami to uncover why this happened and how they can save the human race.
The two friends wake up thousands of years in the future with no memory of who they are or how they got there in the first place. This story is a journey of self-discovery and a reminder that you should always have hope for the future, no matter how bleak things might seem.
An anime that explores how people react when they are faced with a post-apocalyptic world plagued by the Lost Christmas disease, where 80% of the earth’s population has died because of this severe virus.
The story is about Shu Ouma who somehow has the ability to pull out weapons from an individual’s body and uses them as his own. This power is called the “Guilty Crown” and he must keep it a secret as much as possible, so that those who are more powerful do not use him to further their own hidden agendas.
Made in Abyss
The anime takes place in a highly fantasy world where the majority of people live deep beneath the earth’s surface. These people are know as “Cave Raiders” and travel to the depths to find treasures, but there is also a price to pay for this kind of life.
There are many dangerous creatures that live deep within the Earth such as flesh-eating Blobs and immortal Sharks, but the most dangerous threat of all is the mysterious Abyss. No one knows what waits for them at the bottom of this massive pit and new recruits are forced to leave people behind who they care about in order to survive!
Darker than Black
People love this anime for its interesting characters and intriguing story. The series is set in a world where certain people have become mutated due to an event called Hell’s Gate.
These individuals are known as Contractors who do not feel any pain or emotions, but they also lose their sense of identity. The government has turned these mutants into soldiers and given them code names, but there are also others called Dolls who have no memory of their former selves and no name.
The series is about contract killer Hei who has the ability to generate electricity and tries to uncover the truth behind Hell’s Gate so that he can finally know his true identity once and for all!
People love this anime because it’s about a young man named Sakamoto who becomes stranded on an island and forced to play a life or death video game with real weapons. To stay alive, he must kill other people playing the game and use their belongings to survive!
Some fans of this series also enjoy it because there are so many great “what if” moments. For example, what if there was a video game that you actually had to risk your life for? And upon winning it, you are granted a wish? What would you wish for?
People enjoy this anime because it’s a post-apocalyptic story that sees humanity on the brink of extinction from a mysterious virus. The only way to survive, is by using the Black Bullet train that travels at incredible speeds!
The young boy Rentarou lives in one of these safe communities and finds himself protecting his home town against the Gastrea. These creatures want to spread the virus and all of humanity is in danger!
This series has some pretty dark themes, especially when children are recruited to become soldiers who kill enemies with their bare hands, but also because we see Rentarou’s innocent girlfriend Satomi slowly lose her life as she battles against one of the Gastrea. This series is not for the faint of heart!
Toaru Majutsu no Index
People love this anime for its interesting characters and story. The protagonist of the series is Kamijou Touma, a young high school student who has the mysterious ability to negate all forms of supernatural powers.
However, his life changes forever when he meets a nun named Index whose mind has been implanted with the 103,000 magical texts from an ancient artifact called the “Book of the Law.”
The reason Index was attacked is because these texts are dangerous and some people would rather destroy them all than let one person have access to that much power. As a result, this series has many thrilling battles with tons of awesome magic!
People love this series because it takes place in the not too distant future on a virtual reality network called “The Accel World,” where the protagonist, Haruyuki is bullied and teased for being poor.
However, he finds solace in this virtual world and decides to become really strong by using a new move that will transfer his consciousness into the virtual world and back into reality.
But when the bullied girl he makes friends with disappears in real life, Haruyuki uses his new power to travel to her location inside The Accel World and rescues her from an unknown player who has enslaved her due to being the only one able to make her submit!
The God of High School
This series is a popular action anime because it’s based on the martial arts manga of the same name and follows many interesting characters who all go to an elite high school that specializes in teaching students how to fight.
The best student, Jin Mori faces off against another boy named Shin who has been studying under a master martial artist and challenges him for the right to become the next God of High School.
However, Jin Mori seems to have a dark past which is only brought up and hinted at throughout the series as he starts to get close to Shin’s childhood friend Seon Yu who he has never been nice to and loves teasing him about!
This anime is pretty interesting because it takes place in the future where all of humanity has become one by connecting their “Kizna” points together using technology. This way, people can feel each other’s pain and emotions as they all live peacefully side by side!
The series follows eight students who are chosen to be test subjects for this system and are given new smartphones which will allow them to share their connection with each other. But they don’t know who the other eight people are or where this experiment is going to lead them!
This series is pretty interesting because it takes place in the future after a group of aliens have invaded Earth and destroyed most of the population, leaving only a few people left alive.
In this world, there’s also a powerful ancient alien technology that allows for advanced space travel called “Aldnoah,” but little is known about how to control it or where it came from.
The main character is Inaho Kaizuka, a teenager who just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when Earth tries to start negotiations with these aliens and ends up witnessing them brutally murder everyone inside of their spaceship!
Aldnoah.Zero continues as this boy fights alongside Earth’s last forces as they try to push these alien aggressors back and reclaim what was once theirs!
Neon Genesis Evangelion
This is a classic anime that helped define the entire mecha genre! It takes place in the future after a worldwide cataclysm called The Second Impact has nearly destroyed all life on Earth, leaving only 15% of its previous population left alive.
To defend against extraterrestrial threats to the planet’s existence, humans created and deployed giant mechas known as Evas.
The story follows a young boy named Shinji Ikari who is called into action by his father, Gendo, and becomes the pilot of Unit 01 to fight against strange monsters known as Angels that aim to destroy the human race!
Date A Live
This series is pretty interesting because it’s a romance/action anime that has a very unique twist to it. So the storyline takes place in the future where an event called “The Spacequake” has been devastating many cities around the world and killing countless people.
However, Shido Itsuka witnesses this phenomenon from his window one day as a large Spirit with long, light blond hair falls from the sky and crashes into school grounds shortly after.
After this occurs, Shido’s little sister Kotori comes to his location as well as she explains that her name is actually one of many forms taken by an entity known as “Spirits” which are ethereal beings who have the power to either destroy or save mankind.
Their only weakness is that they must be sealed by the kiss of a young man who has the opposite wavelengths as them, but since Shido just saw this girl falling from the sky after The Spacequake occurred he now has no choice but to become her contracted spirit and fight these other beings in order to protect his family and friends!
*Wrap It Up
This article has introduced you to the best of sci-fi anime, but there are many more out there for you to explore. Which one of these five did you enjoy most? What other series do you think should be added on this list? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
Read more: Best Psychological Anime.