Sci-fi is a genre that pushes the limits on what a series and characters can accomplish. It opens up an entire world of endless possibilities, especially in anime. One could even say that sci-fi is the only one that can bridge the gap between every other genre out there.
I’m going to refrain from going into detail about the following iconic sci-fi anime such as Cowboy Bebop, Code Geass, Gintama, Ghost in The Shell, Akira, and Neon Genesis Evangelion, as these are usually on every “Must Watch Sci-Fi anime” list out there. The same goes for modern series such as Dr. Stone and Steins; Gate.
These should all be household names by now and it’s time other sci-fi anime deserve some spotlight.
So without further ado, here are 15 Sci-Fi anime that every anime fan must watch:
15. Patema Inverted (2013)
MyAnimeList Score: 8.0 / 10
Directed by: Yasuhiro Yoshiura
This award-winning film puts an awe-inspiring twist on both sci-fi and adventure. Two worlds collide and citizens from each one think the other is upside down. One day during an adventure, Patema starts falling towards the sky. Yes, you read that correctly. She ends up falling to the other side where she meets Age. And from there on, her world is flipped upside down.
They both go on a daunting adventure to figure out the mystery of their worlds and who’s really “inverted”. But some people are trying to prevent that from happening.
With beautiful animations, downright incredible musical score, and a tearful ending, Patema Inverted is easily a must-watch. It gives fans of sci-fi a little bit of everything and has a sweet pinch of romance that’ll keep others drawn in.
You can watch Patema Inverted on Amazon Prime Video and the Playstation/Microsoft store.
14. Ergo Proxy (2006)
MyAnimeList Score: 7.9 / 10
This may single-handedly be one of the wildest takes on sci-fi. If you love psychological anime, Ergo Proxy is a macabre thrill-ride that just leaves you questioning everything you just saw in one episode, to have it answered later on.
Follow Re-l Mayer, a bad-ass princess who investigates mythical beings known as “Proxies” after one escapes a lab and starts going on a rampage. Meanwhile, a suspicious virus has suddenly made humanoid robots self-aware with some being more dangerous than others. Are the two connected? Re-l comes to find out her world is as brutal as she expects it to be. If you like anime with extremely dark power structures and world-building, go watch Ergo Proxy.
The ending itself will either blow your mind or have you questioning everything you just watched, perhaps both.
You can watch Ergo Proxy on Funimation.
13. Redline (2009)
MyAnimeList Score: 8.3 / 10
Directed By: Takeshi Koike
Whacky Races and Mad Max: Fury Road met sci-fi and gave anime fans Redline. The completely hand-drawn, beautifully animated movie can be considered a flop at the box office. But when considering what anime fans should watch, Redline definitely deserves to be on the list.
Who wouldn’t want to watch a cool head-honcho main character take part in the most dangerous race in the entire galaxy? Shady mafia deals and customized vehicles only make the movie more exciting. And with an intense ending that will definitely boost your heart rate, you can write this movie down as a Madhouse classic.
You can watch Redline on Amazon Prime Video.
12. Made In Abyss (2017)
Studio: J.C Staff
MyAnimeList Score: 8.7 / 10
Seasons: 1 (Season 2 announced for 2022)
Made in Abyss paints a fascinating world where sci-fi and fantasy meet. An abyss is formed that stretches to the furthest depths of the earth. However, nobody knows how it was formed or when. Divers ascend and descend the abyss every day, but only a trained few can go past certain levels.
After not returning with her crew of divers, Rika looks to go to the bottom of the abyss in search of her lost mother. But without the physical capabilities, she’s unable to do so.
However, while in the abyss one day, she stumbles upon Reg, a robotic boy with a human appearance that can withstand the harsh climates of the abyss. Meeting Reg, who will make it easier for her to descend the abyss, she decides it’s time to go find her mother.
This series really gives a whole new meaning to the word adventure. With incredibly dark undertones, dramatic backstories, and the highest rating on this list, Made in Abyss is definitely a must-watch.
You can watch Made in Abyss on Amazon Prime Video.
11. Megalo Box (2018)
Studio: TMS Entertainment
MyAnimeList Score: 7.9 / 10
Don’t let the score fool you, folks. If you’re looking for a boxing anime that combines sci-fi, sports, and drama, look no further. Megalo Box’s bone-crushing excitement and hidden underbelly of crime will keep you entertained to the very end.
If you like the art style and soundtrack of Cowboy Bebop, Megalo Box gives you a taste of that today. The series recently finished its second season, Megalo Box: NOMAD, which placed 5th (8.26) in the MyAnimeList score rankings for the Spring 2021 season. NOMAD tugs on the heartstring more than the first season, but writing-wise it may even be better.
Joe is a deep main character that goes through a character progression just as good as any other in anime.
You can watch Megalo Box on Funimation.