Get ready for a thrilling journey through the stars with these 10 must-watch space adventure anime series. Each show opens up a new universe of cosmic wonder, featuring epic starship battles, alien encounters, and grand quests across the galaxy. Their captivating storylines and unforgettable characters will draw you in, while their fantastic animation brings otherworldly vistas to life. They touch on everything from dystopian futures and space opera theatrics to hard-hitting sci-fi realism and deep philosophical debates. Whether you’re after suspense, drama, or a good laugh, there’s something for everyone.
10 Must-Watch Space Adventure Anime Series
“Cowboy Bebop” is a classic, highly regarded anime series which originally aired in Japan in 1998. With 26 episodes, the show is set in a futuristic yet seemingly antiquated version of the year 2071, where humanity has colonized several planets and moons in the solar system after Earth became largely uninhabitable. The series blends elements of science fiction, western, film noir, and pulp fiction, while integrating an influential jazz soundtrack that complements its complex narrative style.
The story revolves around a ragtag crew of bounty hunters living on the spaceship Bebop: Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Faye Valentine, Ed (Edward Wong), and their dog Ein. Spike, a laid-back martial artist with a dark past, and Jet, a former cop with a strong sense of justice, initially comprise the crew. Faye, a gambler with a debt-laden past, Ed, a whimsical hacking prodigy, and Ein, a genetically enhanced “data dog,” join them as the series progresses.
Legend Of The Galactic Heroes
The epic anime series is set in a future where humanity battles between the autocratic Galactic Empire and the democratic Free Planets Alliance. Central to the narrative are Reinhard von Lohengramm, a strategic genius seeking to reform the Empire, and Yang Wen-li, a tactical master who aims to end the war and preserve democracy. The series is renowned for its complex character development, multi-layered political and personal intrigues, and exploration of themes like the nature of power and the consequences of war. With its intricate plot and moral complexity, “Legend of the Galactic Heroes” stands as a highly respected work in anime, influential across various media and genres.
It centers around Gene Starwind and his young sidekick, Jim Hawking, who come into possession of the advanced spaceship Outlaw Star while running a small business on the planet Sentinel III. They are joined by Melfina, a bio-android linked to the ship’s controls. The series chronicles their adventures as they search for the Galactic Leyline, a legendary location rumored to hold immense treasure and power. “Outlaw Star” masterfully blends adventure, comedy, and drama, offering engaging character development, exciting action scenes, and a rich exploration of its expansive universe.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Based on the manga by Hiromu Arakawa, it closely follows the original source material and is often praised for its narrative cohesion and depth. The story revolves around two alchemist brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, who seek the Philosopher’s Stone to restore their bodies after a disastrous failed attempt to bring their mother back to life through alchemy. Their journey takes them through a world where alchemy is a common practice, uncovering political conspiracies, engaging in epic battles, and grappling with ethical dilemmas.
Dragon Ball Z
The long-running, iconic Japanese anime series that aired from 1989 to 1996, serving as a sequel to the original “Dragon Ball” series. It’s based on the latter half of the manga series created by Akira Toriyama. The series follows the protagonist Goku, who, along with his companions, defends Earth against an assortment of villains ranging from intergalactic space fighters and conquerors, unnaturally powerful androids, and magical creatures. The storyline is known for its intense, high-stakes battles, punctuated by moments of humor and camaraderie.
Future Boy Conan
Originally aired in 1978, the series is based on Alexander Key’s novel “The Incredible Tide.” The story is set in 2008, years after an apocalyptic war devastated the planet. Conan, the titular character, lives in a peaceful island, seemingly the only inhabitable place left. His peaceful existence is disrupted when Lana, a girl pursued by nefarious forces from the technologically advanced city of Industria, drifts ashore.
It is a captivating anime that follows the journey of two brothers, Mutta and Hibito Nanba, as they strive to fulfill their childhood dream of becoming astronauts. Set in the near future, the series explores their trials, triumphs, and the rigorous training they undergo at the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). With its emphasis on realism and character development, Space Brothers delves into the complexities of sibling relationships, the pursuit of dreams, and the challenges of space exploration. The anime expertly balances drama, humor, and a touch of inspiration, providing viewers with a thought-provoking and engaging narrative that keeps them hooked from start to finish.
Space Battleship Yamato 2199 (Star Blazers)
“Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199,” is a 2012-2013 Japanese military sci-fi anime series. It’s a remake of the classic 1974 series “Space Battleship Yamato,” retaining the original’s core narrative while incorporating modern animation and storytelling techniques. The plot follows the ship’s crew, including characters like Susumu Kodai and Yuki Mori, on their year-long voyage to the distant planet Iscandar. They face various trials from external threats to internal conflicts, all while dealing with the looming extinction of humanity.
It is a vibrant, comedic anime series that first aired in 2014. The show is directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, best known for “Cowboy Bebop” and “Samurai Champloo.” The story centers around Dandy, a carefree alien bounty hunter with a love for pompadours and booty. Dandy travels the galaxy with his robot sidekick QT and a cat-like creature named Meow, chasing down unknown alien species and often stumbling into wild adventures, trouble, and misfortune.
Created by Hideaki Sorachi, this irreverent and genre-defying franchise takes place in an alternate version of feudal Japan, where aliens known as Amanto have invaded the country and imposed their rule. What sets “Gintama” apart is its ability to seamlessly shift between comedy and serious storytelling, tackling themes of friendship, loyalty, and the resilience of the human spirit. With its diverse cast of memorable characters and its ability to seamlessly blend different genres, “Gintama” has cemented its place as a beloved and enduring franchise, appealing to fans of all ages and tastes. Whether you’re looking for laughter, action, or heartfelt moments, “Gintama” delivers it all with its distinct brand of irreverence and charm.
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