Welcome to another post in Auri’s Animanga Festival Collab Event Everyone! This time, the prompt is to choose 2 to 4 anime essentials needed to get people stuck into another genre. I know that I’ve done a mecha related one before for Mecha March earlier this year, so this time I am focusing on space anime here. This year, it seems like I am in a generally space sort of mood, so I am going to use that energy and just push myself off on creating this post. I have no idea whether or not someone will even agree with my opinions, but that just means you can make your own list for this thing. I’m starting a little bit simply here and I think that’s ok. You don’t want to start people into a genre with the hardiest most genre like thing. Starting simple is better for getting watchers involved into this.
With that, I guess it’s time to jump into the anime thing and talk space anime.
#1 Cowboy Bebop
Cowboy Bebop is possibly the best space based mostly western styled action anime in the cosmos. I say that knowing there are some other anime like it out there, but Cowboy Bebop is Cowboy Bebop. Enough said really. What makes Bebop the best addition on this list for me is that the plot of Cowboy Bebop could be taken somewhere else besides space, but space is what gives the show it’s identity. It’s what gives it flavor. Cowboy Bebop also follows a fun group of intergalactic bounty losers who are complete bad asses, but fail to even put food on their table most of the time because they never got bounty hunters.
This anime is also partially episodic with some plot episodes laid into it, but I don’t consider that a weakness myself. The episodic adventures allows you to see all the main characters in a different light. It’s a way that Shinichiro Watanabe gives the audience the main character’s sense of personality without digging into their backstories sometimes and it’s pretty great. Especially since the story is all about the main bounty hunter’s backstory coming back to haunt them. Add in some awesome varied music from Yoko Kanno which makes it even more exceptional.
#2 Legend of the Galactic Heroes (2018-)
The original Legend of the Galactic Heroes is an over 110 episode OVA series and is possibly one of the well crafted anime stories in existence with tons of complex characterization, large space battles, and politics that are still completely relevant today. Unfortunately, I think that is too much to ask for anyone who is still new to space anime. However, the new Legend of the Galactic Heroes by Production I.G. exists. It’s pretty great too and absolutely beautiful. I feel like it lost a lot of the emotional appeal and personality of the original because it’s pretty rigid, but I think a lot that could be replaced with the anime’s great story.
Legend of the Galactic Heroes is the story of the Free Planets Alliance that was formerly a democracy turned into something else since going into combat with the German Theme Galactic Empire. Follow along Yang in the Free Planets Alliance as he is forced to take more and more battle plans in a failing democracy and Reinhard as he takes over the Empire and attacks the Failing Free Planet’s Alliance for all it’s got. All so beautiful.
#3 Outlaw Star
I feel like some people might think that putting this and Cowboy Bebop in the same list as each other might seem a little redundant. I mean, there concepts of constantly poor people trying to make their way through the galaxy from one place to another is hanging on the plots right? Yet, both series couldn’t be more different from each other in a lot of key ways. Plus, Outlaw Star came out first so there. If Cowboy Bebop didn’t have to be in space to work, then Outlaw Star needs to be space. It indulges in all the space sort of craziness in a believable manner too. Plus, it’s a fun show with some great character stuff and a fun treasure hunt against all odds at the end of the journey.
4 Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans
Did you think that I would make a sort of list without adding something Gundam related do it. If you did, do you even know me and this blog? I do have some sort of Gundam obsession? Maybe. Possibly. Shut up. But anyway, I’ve chosen Iron Blooded Orphans for this one because it’s one of the most space based Gundam series that exists and it’s also the most entry leveled Gundam series so it’s easy to dive into. It’s not attached to any other Gundam universe. It does reference a lot of older Gundam series in it’s own text and writing, but those aren’t necessary to understand IBO at all. Gundam is usually space based, but this series centers a conflict between Earth and Mars, so there is something bigger to deal with here.
Plus, this series centers on rebellious young men living harsh lives on Mars in an attempt to escape their fate of getting used. Their call to action appeared in the form of a young, blonde woman rich woman who doesn’t know anything about people’s lives on Mars, but wanted to do something about it too. They worked together, stole a ship, and faced the consequences of shaking up the space society that has been in place for a very long time. Plus, there are some amazing Mecha battles that are a result of this pushing standards aside. It’s not a flawless series with some issues, but it’s strengths make it stronger then its weakness.
Some runners up: Astra Lost in Space and Space Battleship Yamato 2199. Astra is an anime series that came out recently featuring kids lost in space making their way home. It’s an exceptional character drama. Yamato 2199 is rebooted part of the legendary Space Battleship Yamato series. It improves the plot of the original series by updating a lot of things and it’s so much better for it. Both recommended too if you get the chance.
And that will do it for this list everything. Are there any space based anime that you think would be good starters for people looking into joining the realm of science fiction anime? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts in the comment section or whatever social media platform I have attached to this blog. Thank you so much everyone!