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Good examples of science fiction in anime?

Posted: Oct 20, 2009 8:24pm
by Apocalyptic Hamster
I'm in search of anime that could stand on its own as a decent work of science fiction (especially cyberpunk, hard scifi, or other intelligent speculative fiction).

I've had friends recommend me many anime series that would loosely fall under the scifi category. I am rather picky, though, and it seems to me that the most (if not all) of these series are all style and no substance, with hackneyed regurgitations of clich├ęs flung together with all the thoughtfulness and literary finesse of a third grader. Not to say anime necessarily has to be intelligent and coherent to be enjoyable, but this brand of Fisher Price scifi doesn't really appeal to me me.

Probably the best example of the kind of thing I'm looking for is Ghost in the Shell (particularly the first movie, but I love the manga, series, and other movies as well). It's not flawless, but the universe is quite well-developed, with lots of thought put into all the technological details and their many sociological, psychological, ethical, and even political effects. I also found Texhnolyze and Serial Experiments Lain to be enjoyable, despite requiring a decent amount of suspended disbelief (or at least a suspended sense of WTF).

But enough ranting. Any suggestions?

Re: Good examples of science fiction in anime?

Posted: Dec 20, 2009 8:31pm
by Morphea
I'm a big fan of Kara no Kyoukai. It's not as much sci-fi as it is psychological, although it does have some great elements of sci-fi. As a plus, the animation is great. If you liked Serial Experiments Lain you'll probably like it. You can see it on animecrazy.net.
Here's the UFOtable trailer if you're interested...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPtTpPioSN4&feature=fvst
I really suggest watching all of it. It's what got me hooked.

Hope this helps...

Re: Good examples of science fiction in anime?

Posted: Dec 24, 2009 10:55am
by Hardcore
Well, FullMetal Alchemist, a very common anime, could be considered science fiction.

Re: Good examples of science fiction in anime?

Posted: Dec 24, 2009 9:12pm
by Mista Cola
Nah, that's more steampunk than science fiction.

Re: Good examples of science fiction in anime?

Posted: Dec 25, 2009 4:55pm
by Twilight Night Wolf
Mista Cola wrote:Nah, that's more steampunk than science fiction.
Hmmm...one could say FMA is both scifi and steam punk.

As for the topic, Serial Experiments Lain is definitly one of the good ones and I agree with what you said, it's definitly not for everyone, but I loved it though.

As for the type of scifi you are looking for, Metropolise is a good one though it's art style is of that of Astro Boy. I also should note it's a movie.

Re: Good examples of science fiction in anime?

Posted: Dec 25, 2009 9:05pm
by Mista Cola
Well, steampunk is considered a subgenre of sci-fi.
FMA has:
Eurocentric setting and aesthetics
Steam powered mechanical devices
Alternate depictions of past technology and ideas as opposed to future (automail, alchemy)

But lacks certain ingredients that most generic sci-fi's are known for, like:
Space travel
Expansion of modern science
Extraterrestrials & robots

Oh, if you're into steam punks and haven't already, check out Last Exile. It's probably one of the best animes in general and it has airships and interesting concepts.