5 Anime Series For Sci-Fi Fanatics

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If there’s one thing the anime medium can’t get enough, besides  unnatural hair colors, it’s science fiction. Series and films about technology, aliens, and the future are a dime a dozen so I’ve rounded up 5 television series to hit any science-fiction lover’s sweet spots.

Ergo Proxy

Photo Credit: Funimation

Set in a world where society is run like the gears of a clock, and androids known as AutoRevis are commonplace, investigator (and Evanescence lead singer lookalike) Re-L Meyer is tasked with discovering who or what is causing the once docile AutoRevis to gain sentience.

With its sleek cyberpunk art style, pressure cooker pacing, and mature story-telling; Ergo Proxy is the kind of series that rewards a viewer willing to pay attention and think, at least more than in your average Shonen fight fest. That said, there are plenty of great action sequences to spice up this methodical cyber noir. If you’re a fan of Blade Runner, Dark City, or Asimov styled robot stories with a dash of action, give Ergo Proxy a try.

Parasyte -the maxim-

Photo Credit: Sentai Filmworks

Based on a classic manga series, Parasyte tells the story of Shinichi, a normal high school student whose right hand gets possessed by a shapeshifting parasite named Migi. As other members of Migi’s race start devouring humans left and right, Migi and Shinichi must  work together to stay alive.

Parasyte isn’t the most sophisticated show but there’s something refreshing about its simplicity. Migi and Shinichi are enjoyable leads, while the grotesque parasites and the fights between them make for bloody good fun.  It’s like a love letter to classic body horror/alien invasion sci-fi films such as John Carpenter’s The Thing, or Invasion of The Body Snatchers that still throws in its on little twists on the formula. If you can stomach ruthless violence and nasty body transformations,  Parasyte -the maxim- will easily satisfy your space monster appetite.


Photo Credit: Funimation

Steins;Gate centers on Okabe Rintarou, an arrogant, wanna-be scientist who accidentally discovers how to send text messages to the past. Okabe is quick to use the tech to improve the lives of himself and his friends, but when a shadowy organization pursues him and his loved ones for the tech, things get ugly fast.

Such is the premise of Steins;Gate, a critically acclaimed anime based on the critically acclaimed visual novel.  Steins;Gate is great; not only is it one of my favorite variations on the rules of time travel, but it is a truly great story in its own right. It’s a slow build, but it’s cast proves to be a batch of deep, complex characters, and the story poignant yet with room for some silly but not jarring humor. If your looking for a Doctor Who or Back To The Future style story with a little more bite, Steins;Gate is a must see.

Serial Experiments Lain

Photo Credit:  Funimation

Serial Experiments Lain is weird. Very weird. I’m still trying to get an exact grasp on the series. The story starts with Lain, a cripplingly shy high schooler who receives an e-mail from a deceased classmate, inviting her to the online world of The Wired. From there, things go off the rails and into the void of deep space.

Lain is weird, and yet at the same time it is undeniable. Each episode is a puzzle, leaving you to unravel just what is happening amidst the haunting visuals and music. If you do manage to get a grip on Serial Experiments Lain, the series has some frighteningly resonant critiques on our internet age that still ring true today. If you’re not afraid of a lot of mind-warp in your science fiction, give Lain a try.

Space Dandy

Photo Credit: Funimation

If Lain is a futuristic nightmare, Space Dandy is a whacky space-traveling dream. From the minds behind Cowboy Bebop, Space Dandy is a light-hearted romp about Dandy and his loyal space crew as they hunt for unknown aliens with plenty of Zombie apocalypses, robot battles, and musical numbers along the way.

Space Dandy reminds me a lot of Men In Black or Galaxy Quest.  Stealthily clever, deceptively heartfelt, yet always loud and proud with it’s presentation and off the wall humor. It’s the kind of sci-fi that doesn’t ask hard questions but let’s you escape into a vibrant world of slacker heroes and incompetent evil empires. If you’re looking for something to lighten your mood at the end of hard week,  Space Dandy is just the ticket.

There were a number of great series and films that I didn’t include (Akira, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost In The Shell, Evangelion, etc.) and I didn’t even touch the Mech/Giant Robot genre because it deserves its own article. I only had 5 slots, I wanted to reserve them for shows I felt need more love.

All these series are available through Hulu, Funimation and Crunchyroll. Feel free to share your own Sci-Fi anime recommendations in the comments below. Until next time.

Featured Image Credit: Funimation

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