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Top 10 Science Fiction Anime Shows

VO: Dan Paradis
Science fiction and anime go hand in hand. From mechas, to cyborgs to the original space coybow, we are looking at the best in brightest of the sci-fi anime genre. For this list, we considered many different series that fall under the science-fiction umbrella. We are excluding science-fantasy like Attack on Titan, as that is a list for another day. So jon as we count down our picks for the top 10 science fiction anime series. Special thanks to our users jkellis, Jared Carter, and scout98 for proposing this list on our website WatchMojo.comsuggest.

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Script written by Brandon Stuhr.

Top 10 Science Fiction Anime

Whether it be space cowboys or giant mechas, science fiction and anime go hand in hand. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Science Fiction Anime series of all time.

For this list, we considered many different series that fall under the science-fiction umbrella. We are excluding science-fantasy like Attack on Titan, as that is a list for another day.

#10: “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing” (1995-96)

Kicking off our list is this renowned entry in the science fiction genre,
Gundam Wing. The series follows a war between Earth and its colonies scattered throughout space, being fought via the use of mechas known as Gundam. What did Gundam Wing bring to the table? It’s fantastic narrative and single-handedly popularizing the Gundamn franchise in North America, that’s what.

#9: “Gurren Laggan” (2007)

In a future where mankind is forced to live underground by the oppressive Spiral King, two brothers, Kamina and Simon want to explore the surface world. However, they are are faced with many threats along the way, notably the Spiral King’s army of beastmen and mechs. The series is a nice mix of adventure and comedy while keeping a serious, threatening tone. Character relationships are key to this entries success, especially between Simon and Kamina. Watch it and you'll understand why.

#8: “Trigun” (1998)

The first space cowboy entry on our list, Trigun was the intro to anime for many millenials. This entry follows the Sixty Billion Double Dollar man, more commonly known as Vash the Stamped, as he travels the world, unintentionally leaving destruction in his wake. An expert blend of comedy and science fiction, the series is well received due to strong yet hilarious characters as well as an intriguing story under all that humor. Trigun is widely considered one of the greatest anime ever made and is a must see.

#7: “Psycho-Pass” (2012-14)

What do you get when you take Minority Report, Total Recall, and Blade Runner and turn it into an anime? You get Psycho-Pass. Drawing from many different Western sci-fi influences, Psycho-Pass follows Akane Tsunemori as she rises through the ranks of the criminal investigation department. This series just oozes everything we love about sci-fi, from the autocratic dystopia oppressing it’s citizens, to regulated levels of sanity.

#6: “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” (2002-03)

The highly anticipated series based off of the critically acclaimed Ghost in the Shell film does not disappoint. Following the duties of the cybernetic police force known only as Public Security Sector 9, viewers are able to see a new, different world where normal citizens have taken technology to another level. The series was praised for its take on this new, super tech-based future that we ourselves seem to be inching ever closer too.

#5: “Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion” (2006-08)

Do you with you could rule the world using only your eyes? With Geass, you can. Set in an alternate Earth timeline, Code Geass follows exiled prince Lelouch vi Brittania as he tries to reunite and rule a broken Japan. A perfect example of mecha meets alt-history, Lelouch’s, later known as Zero’s, struggle to change the oppressive Brittania rule is an absolute thrill to watch. Since its initial run, Code Geass has won a substanial amount of awards as well as other accolades.

#4: “Steins;Gate” (2011)

Our next entry has gone across many, if not all different formats of
media but has stayed true to its sci-fi roots. The series focuses
mainly on mad scientist Rintaro Okabe as he develops a way to travel
to different worlds via microwaves and text messages.
Tackling common sci-fi elements such as time travel and alternate
world string theory, this series has science fiction oozing out of every pore. Steins;Gate is so popular that it even spawned a mystery video game based off the series.

#3: “Planetes” (2003-04)

It can get lonely in space, just ask series protagonist Hachimaki. He and his crew collect and eliminate debris that threatens the structural stability of satellites. The series is slew with science fiction elements such as space exploration, a futuristic dystopia, and an autocratic society just to name a few. One of the most interesting aspects of this series is how it spends so much time developing the characters while they are out in space. For you fans of survival in zero gravity, this one is for you.

#2: “Neon Genesis Evangelion” (1995-96)

This is where the mecha, religion and apocalyptic genres clash. Set in future Japan, the world has been ravaged by a global disaster known as the Second Impact. We follow teenager Shinji Ikari, who is recruited by the military organization NERV to pilot a new type of semi organic mecha called an Evangelion. Dealing with social anxiety and puberty while trying to save the world from the mysterious Angel menace, Shinji has a lot on his shoulders. Deeply philosophical, this series is widely considered one of the best anime of the 1990s.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Toward the Terra” (1980, 2007)

“Ergo Proxy” (2006)

“Fullmetal Alchemist” (2003-04)

“Space Pirate Captain Harlock” (1978-79)

“Gintama” (2006-13)

#1: “Cowboy Bebop” (1998-99)

A space bounty hunter is a common job in anime, and this series shows just that. We watch as the ever popular Spike Spiegel and company as they travel the universe on their spaceship, the Bebop. The show is not as simple as you would think, as Cowboy Bebop tackles serious subjects like existentialism and the realization that we are all completely alone. The series was not just successful in its native Japan but internationally as well, bringing anime to western audiences.

Do you agree with our list? Which is your favorite science fiction
anime series? For more opinionated top tens published every day, be
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