Below is a well-outlined list of the top amazing Sci-fi/Fantasy Anime Series you must have in 2021. This list of top Sci-fi/Fantasy Anime Series is a must-watch. Trust me, and you don’t want to miss out.
17. Cowboy Bebop.
This series is almost universally liked among anime fans. My favorite part is the awesome music by Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts. In particular, the vocal songs sung by Steve Conte are fantastic.
Aside from that, the various styles of jazz that show up in the show give the whole thing a great musical feel. What most people like best are the characters. They are all so incredibly different from each other makes for some great comedy.
The entertainment value more than makes up for the lack of story progression in several of the episodes. The story itself, while short, is both interesting and surprising. Most of the series kind of had a lounge entertainment feel. It’s almost as if the experience wasn’t complete without a beer and cigarette in hand….almost.
In a word, FLCL is wacky-out-there-mind-munching-fun. At the time, it was by far the most outrageous series I had seen. The chief strength of the show is that it’s impossible to be bored by it.
So much happens in so little time that your mind cannot follow. By the end of the first episode, I stopped trying to understand and just enjoyed the insanity for the remaining five episodes.
The series pokes fun at itself, and almost every other anime great, including the other Gainax works. The other “best thing” about FLCL is its awesome soundtrack, including several songs by The Pillows. The song One Life which plays in the first episode is one of my favorite J-Pop tunes.
15. Crest of the Stars.
Stories centering around two characters, one being male and another being female, tend to fall victim to cliché, but this one was so wonderfully different. It’s a “worlds collide” story set atop a space drama. The two main characters each belong to separate humanoid races, which have little contact with each other.
The vast differences between the two are what makes their relationship so intriguing. They continue to make discoveries about each other as the show continues, and their progress reflects positively upon the dire political situation. One of the great things about Crest of the Stars is that it has something for members of both sexes.
It has heated political drama, spaceships, and action, which men like. It also has romance and a theme of togetherness, which women like. This show will seem to be a bore at first, but it will quickly take you by surprise with how deep an understanding of the human spirit it displays. Very highly recommended.
14. Now and Then, Here and There.
The first time I watched this show, it floored me. Now and Then, Here and There is the kind of story that changes you. You live a whole life in a few hours and emerge a different person. The story is about the duality of love and hate and the character’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s about breaking the cycle of despair and creating a new world.
For a short period, the characters become your family. You’ll feel anger and disappointment at times, and at other times you’ll be lifted by them. The show also has beautiful visuals, masterfully animated, and wonderful music. The whole package makes for one of the most wonderful works of film ever created. I cannot recommend this show more.
13. The vision of Escaflowne.
You might say it’s nostalgia that one of the first anime I saw remains my favorite, even after viewing so many excellent series and movies. You wouldn’t be wrong (though it’s difficult to be nostalgic about something you first experienced only two years ago).
Escaflowne marks a point of discovery for me, that not only were there animated shows out there that appeal to others besides children but also that there were stories in these animated features which rivaled the best Hollywood could produce. Also, it was my first experience with Yoko Kanno’s and Hajime Mizoguchi’s brilliant music compositions.
Setting the talk about discoveries aside, the show just spoke to me. It was a highly personal experience, one which I treasure. In some ways, the story is simplistic. A girl getting whisked away to another world is a fairly common story in anime. What makes this one fairly unique is the connection between the two worlds and what makes the Girl so special.
Hitomi is what you would call a normal girl, but she greatly influences those around her without realizing it. Seeing her develop from a fairly carefree high school girl to a strong voice of reason in a brutal world is a treat. The entire cast of characters is special in this story.
The depth of character displayed in each of them throughout the show is indicative of a well-planned story. Also supporting this view is that there’s almost no filler material in the show.
Perhaps the greatest thing about the story is that there are so many things to like about it. The mental growth of Hitomi, the love triangle, the duality between brothers, the challenge of fate, the friendships and relationships (blood or otherwise), the loyalty and betrayal, and the general motives of the characters all spin the intricate web that makes up the story.
Add to that the entertainment value (superb action scenes, humor, and drama), incredible music, and excellent visuals, and you end up with a work that is truly one of a kind.
12. Maze: Bakunitsu Jiku.
In all actuality, I don’t know why this series charmed me so much. Maze is a fun romp that takes the Slayers and adds a dash of ecchi and a sprinkle of mecha action to create a well-rounded finished product. Maze’s adventures through Mega-Burst Space take viewers on a trip that tells a tale of tragedy, dissonance, and forbidden love that will catch them in a loop and keep them wanting more.
The characters are an interesting bunch, mixing everyday modern people with the medieval characters of Megaburst Space, all having personalities from the innocent and naive Maze to the fun-loving lady with a heart made of gold, Solitude. Add in the evil Jaina cult and its followers Chic and Gorgeous, and the result is the excellent series known as Maze.
To add icing to this already delicious cake, the series begins and ends with two of the most fitting and enjoyable songs in an anime series to date. The whole series is fun and has something special that separates it from other similar series.
11. SaberMarionette J.
The best way to describe Saber Marionette J would be “a dose of humanity from the least likely source.” The story is set on the planet of Terra II, a planet inhabited by men that survived a catastrophe one hundred years earlier.
Since then, men have survived through cloning and have created emotionless female androids known as marionettes to serve them. The main character, Otaru Mamiya, is an average citizen of Japan who makes his living as a fish salesman.
On one fateful day, Otaru is swept to the Japanese Pioneer Museum, where he discovers Lime, a marionette with amazing emotions. Through Lime, Otaru meets up with Cherry and Bloodberry, two other marionettes with the same gift of emotion.
Conveniently enough, Otaru and the marionettes are the only ones that can save Japoness from Gartlant’s invading forces. However, the series doesn’t shine in its storyline but rather in the emotions that the marionettes display, starting as being shunned and seen as “defective” but slowly working their way into the hearts of the people around them.
Just as their growth in the community progresses, so do the marionettes, evolving from simple girls with one-track-mind to living, breathing humans that show true emotion to the world around them, growing with the world as they live in it. By the end of the series, they can be considered true humans even though they are androids because they have spread the life and hope that the world around them forgot.
The series touched me deeply, but the wonderful animation helped things even more. Saber Marionette J has almost-OVA quality animation that gives the series a more polished, fluid feel that helps immerse viewers even further. Overall, the series touched me in a way that no other has yet to date and will always remain one of my true favorites.
Despite its lack of a budget, I enjoyed this series. Bolt has to be one of the coolest characters in anime history(and probably one of the few I could viably cosplay as). Plus, the soundtrack utterly blew me away.. it was so.. so… strange.. but the music is so addictive and enchanting, setting the mood for this intriguing series.
9. Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo.
Murder mysteries. In high school, I lived and breathed on the works of Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and thus it makes perfect sense that one of my all-time favorite animes is the epitome of the genre. Kindaichi takes all of the common ingredients- the bumbling but brilliant detective, his ever-loyal Girl Friday, the slow-on-the-uptake police officer, and the various assortments of suspicious characters- to great levels.
The true joy of the show is when the murderer is revealed, and the severe repercussions of their actions are realized. True to its genre, the misty and moody atmosphere made these tales even more powerful—a true gem.
CLAMP never seems to run out of good ideas. This is one of their best yet. I saw the first three episodes of this at Animazement 2002, and it was worth it to show up in the video room hours before it showed(That was how I got to see the first three .hack// SIGN episodes, the first I Wish You Were Here, and the last half of Voices From a Distant Star).
7. Shin Seiki Evangelion (Neon Genesis Evangelion).
Tried and true, Evangelion is a fantastic series with a shocking conclusion. There aren’t enough words for how great this series is… plus, let’s face it, we all want an EVA, even those who don’t admit it!.
Few anime out there speak directly to me, considering that, let’s face it, most anime aren’t about the things we face in everyday life, and now a series about a virtual reality RPG for RPG fanatics like myself. Fantastic. Plus, I think my namesake makes it obvious that I love this series.
I’m looking forward to Bandai’s releasing the .hack anime and game series stateside.
5. Serial Experiments Lain.
I don’t think there’s a good way to describe the brilliance of this little surrealist splash we all call Lain in one paragraph. This was the anime made to prove you are dumb.
An infinitely layered and extraordinarily well-planned series; though I’ve met some who don’t like it, I’ve never seen a person not hold it in high respect. And though sometimes it doesn’t always pull it off perfectly, in such a world of copycats as ours, Lain will always be the top dog in originality.
4. Infinite Ryvius.
As a “Lord of the Flies” clone, Ryvius proved to be just OK, but when taken on its own, there’s almost nothing that can stop it. One of the most interesting factors in the anime is that it has a huge cast and takes time to personalize and develop each of the 30+ (important) crewmembers in a thoughtful manner I have never seen before.
And with each episode, the tension builds on the Ryvius, leaving the viewer not only to care about the soap-operatic relations of the characters but also about their very survival. Add in a few political conspiracies and one cute mascot, and we got a winner!.
3. Princess Mononoke.
Aside from the simply gorgeous animation – one of the most beautifully composed pieces of anime, though not stylized – the film used a relatively simple but well-told story of human morals and their influence on the natural world, a subject I have a certain affinity for.
(See Arjuna’s entry.) Many of the characters were multi-faceted (except for Ashitaka, the necessarily one-sided main character) and allowed exploration of the shades of gray in their morals (and personalities).
The music was probably the weakest link, and even that was simply because it seemed to me that its sole purpose was to enhance the action on-screen rather than standing on its own merits.
I surprisingly enjoyed the English dub, which featured some rather big-name US movie actors and actresses – most of whom I felt were well suited to their roles. Easily my favorite Miyazaki film and, I think anyway, Studio Ghilbi’s best work.
2. Earth Maiden Arjuna.
Never has any one thing affected my attitude about a certain thing – my environmental consciousness, the methods in which I live my life – in such a short period as this shows.
I’ve always known that human society has been increasingly detrimental to the planet that gives us life, but watching the conflict played out in the characters, who end up being extraneous to the message of Kawamori’s creation, drove home that we – no, not just ‘we’ as some generic collective – I need to change.
As so many people have said of this show, everyone should watch this and take something away from it. Sadly, I don’t see us (the human species) giving up our conveniences for the minor detail of saving our planet from sure destruction.
Anyway – I like this show—a lot. The story spread over the message is simple but good enough to keep you coming back for the real reason you should watch it. The animation itself can be deceptively simplistic and even dull, but this only enhances the breathtaking moments when some of the latest techniques are used in the more intense scenes.
Music, again, contributes to my love of the show, with some of Kanno’s best pushing the show forward. Being a mythology buff, the references to Hindu concepts were fascinating, though not incorporated into the show as well as something like my beloved MegaTen videogame series (in other words, as well as it should and could have been). Regardless of any shortcomings, everyone – should watch this.
1. Grave of the Fireflies.
Grave of the Fireflies is undoubtedly one of the most heart-rending stories ever put to film, anime, or otherwise. It is, to put it briefly, required viewing of anyone who considers himself to be into anime.
It’ll crush your spirit and illicit such primal emotions as little else can. And though you may not wish to go into a show knowing you’ll be spiritually destroyed, tales like this are the stories that NEED to be told and not allowed to seep into the forgotten depths of history.
Though the movie is not what you’d think of as a life-affirming tale, it will force the viewer to appreciate their own life and the lives of others more than they did going into the movie – I can think of no higher praise I can give it with my poor words than this.