Anime has frequently experimented in a variety of genres. From romance series set to classical music to a series in which mentally ill adolescent teenagers control massive mechanical robots, the possibilities have been pushed to the limit.
Cyberpunk is one such genre that has always been popular due to both the genre’s nature and the wonderful content that has been generated under it.
Cyberpunk is a science fiction subgenre akin to Steampunk in concept. While Steampunk takes place in a historical setting with steam-powered machinery, Cyberpunk is set in a futuristic society where technology is as evolved as man himself. However, the quality of life is not up to par with the technology.
It is basically a mix of high-tech and low-life. A dystopian society in which humans and robots frequently interact. Humans becoming cyborgs with cybernetic enhancements, for example. There is also a lot of focus on the internet and its influence on society.
And, to say the least, the content for this genre has been outstanding. So, let us have a look at 45 anime series and films that have brilliantly captured the essence of cyberpunk.
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Cyber City Oedo 808
The story is set in a futuristic, dystopian Japanese city called Oedo. Its Cyber Police unit had restarted a feudal practice called home to fight digital crime. This practice used criminals who had committed hi-tech offenses and murders.
Gogul, Sengoku, and Benten were criminals serving sentences exceeding over 300 years in an orbital penitentiary. If the criminals worked for the Cyber Police unit, they would receive a reduction in their sentence for each duty. The police chief Hasegawa kept them in check by tying an explosive collar around their neck. The collar would explode if the criminals failed to complete their task within the time periods given. The criminals are given a jitte, which is a traditional Japanese weapon.
There are three episodes in the series:
The first episode, Memories of the Past, revolves around Sengoku, who has to save 50,000 people who were trapped in the tallest skyscraper of Oedo after the central computer had taken over.
In the second episode The Decoy Program, Gogul investigates a murder and ends up having to oppose a military cyborg while rescuing an ex-partner.
In the third episode of Crimson Media, Benten investigates a man who was on a quest for immortality. He ends up finding a young woman who had transformed into a vampire with telekinesis.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
One of the most known cyberpunk series, Ghost in the Shell focuses on the year 2030. A law enforcement squad called the Public Security Section 9 investigates cases pertaining to cybercrime and cyber-terrorism. Much of the population has become cyborgs in the Niihama Prefecture of Japan.
In the first season, the Laughing Man incident is brought into the light, where a hacktivist reveals to Mokoto Kusanagi or Major how the Japanese government suppresses information regarding the cure for a cyberization disease to profit off of the micromachine used to treat it. He hacks into everyone’s vision and cameras and begins to gain public popularity.
His image is later used by Japanese politicians to garner popularity while the Cabinet labels Major and Togusa as domestic terrorists for trying to disseminate the truth about the corrupt government. In the end, Section 9 brings the corrupt politicians and companies to justice and the government is dissolved.
The second season revolves around the social ramifications of the Third and Fourth World Wars where refugees are invited to Japan for cheap labor. A new villain called Kazundo Goda takes center stage after coming in contact with a domestic terrorist group called Individual Eleven as the head of the Cabinet Intelligence Service who ends up causing the deaths of several refugees.
In the end, Goda is revealed to be the marionette pulling the strings for every incident while Hideo Kuze stands beside the refugees in the fight. In the end, Goda is killed before he can defect to America.
Battle Angel Alita
Set in 2563, when Earth has been devastated following a war called, “The Fall”. Dr. Dyson Ido, a scientist, discovered a tattered female cyborg scavenging for body parts and attaching a new cyborg body to her brain. He names her Alita, after his late daughter.
As Alita awakens, she has no memories from her past. She meets Hugo. One night, Alita gets ambushed by a gang that kills cyborgs. Their leader, Grewishka was also present. Alita fights them, causing them to retreat. Turns out, Ido is a bounty hunter called the Hunter-Warrior that the Factory had hired.
Ido discourages Alita from becoming a bounty hunter, despite her flair in combat. She discovers an advanced cyborg body in a crashed spaceship and recognizes it to be the body of a Berserker – the body of an enemy from Mars from the war. She wants to be installed in it but Ido refuses.
Alita becomes a bounty hunter Hunter-Warrior like Ido but a brawl breaks out at a bar where Grewishka arrives and destroys Alita’s body. Ido is forced to transplant Alita into the body of the Berserker.
After Hugo, who Alita has fallen in love with, is mortally wounded, his severed head is attached to her life support system by Dr. Chiren. Alita wounds the cyborg hunter Zapan with his Damascus blade to save Hugo.
Hugo acquires a new cyborg body and realizes that he cannot fulfill his dream to be a citizen of the wealthy city of Zalem. Alita fights the man who conned Hugo, Vector, and her nanotech body overpowers him with ease.
In the end, Hugo tries to flee to Zalem but fails to do so when his body is shredded into pieces by a serrated defense ring being dropped. Alita fails to save him and Hugo falls to his death.
This 23-episode anime series takes heavy inspiration from Gnosticism and philosophy. It is set in a future in the fictional town of Rondeau City where humans coexist peacefully with AutoRiev androids. They all lived within domes, which are safe havens built for the people to live safely following an ecological disaster.
However, a viral outbreak of the Cogito virus causes the androids to acquire self-awareness which results in them committing murders. This threatens the peace that existed in the utopian and yet, dystopian city. Meanwhile, the government secretly conducts experiments on Proxy. Proxy is a humanoid life form but immortal and godly. It is believed that these beings will help humanity to survive.
The bureaucracy system of the city is divided into several departments that are controlled by the Administration Bureau run by a head known as the Regent. His granddaughter, Re-l (pronunciation: Ree-El) is assigned with the task of investigating the murders committed by the AutoRievs.
During her investigation aided by her partner, Iggy, she learns about humanoid Proxies. An immigrant named Vincent Law also happens to be connected to these life forms. He lives in a commune in the outskirts out of fear of being hunted down. However, after Raul Creed of the Security Bureau launches an assault on the place, Vincent leaves the commune and goes to his birthplace in Mosk.
He had lost his memories and tries to recover them in Mosk. Meanwhile, he is joined by Re-l there who is trying to discover the truth about the Proxies. In the end, she learns that the Proxies had created the domes people lived in and could not function without their presence in these domes.
Psycho-Pass is set in Japan which is under the governance of the Sibyl System. Protagonist Akane Tsunemori is a young woman who joins the Criminal Investigation Division and is assigned to Division One of the Public Safety Bureau. She must solve crimes with latent criminals.
The Sibyl System is a biomechatronic computer network that measures the biometrics of Japanese citizens and their brains via the cymatic scan. The assessment it makes is known as the Psycho-Pass which determines whether a citizen has the potential to be a criminal or not. It also monitors the incline or decline of the index number and has a color-coded Hue that alerts law enforcement of the data. The index surpassing the threshold of 100 results in their arrest.
Tsunemori watches Shinya Kogami for a mission and prevents her from decomposing a criminal because that would be considered murder. Her unit also uncovers the criminal dealings of Shogo Makishima, a criminal mastermind. However, Makishima’s number on the Sibyl System is low so he cannot be harmed by the device used to punish the criminals – the Dominator.
Tsunemori’s unit hunts Makishima who visits the android form of Sibyl called Joshu Kasei. He refuses to join the ranks and flees instead. Kogami flees to kill Makishima due to a personal grievance of having his friend killed by the criminal. Kogami learns about Makishima’s plan to start biological warfare and in a battle, wounds him mortally. Tsunemori tries to stop him but Kogami ends up killing Makishima.
Akira is the story of Shotaro Kaneda. It is set in 2019 in a post-world war world. Neo-Tokyo has become the den of gang violence, terrorism, and corruption.
During a rift with the rival clown gang, head of the Capsules gang, Shotaro Kaneda’s best friend Tetsuo Shima has a motorcycle accident and crashes into an ESPer named Takashi who had the aid of a resistance organization. Takashi is captured, Tetsuo is taken away, and the Capsules are arrested.
Kaneda interacts with Kei, an activist, and tricks the authorities into releasing her with the Capsules.
Shikishima and Doctor Onishi discover that Tetsuo had acquired psychic abilities as powerful as Akira’s, who was the ESPer that had caused the destruction of Tokyo in 1988. The city council dismisses the threat of these powers while the colonel decides to kill Tetsuo to save Neo-Tokyo. Tetsuo escapes but returns to the hospital after suffering from headaches and hallucinations.
Kaneda joins Kei’s activist cell while the ESPers try to kill Tetsuo. Tetsuo learns about Akira existing in a cryonic storage from Kiyoko and seeks him out. Neo-Tokyo’s military forces intend to destroy Tetsuo who goes around killing people. He then arrives at the cryonic storage where Kei engages him in a fight. Tetsuo defeats Kei and discovers that only Akira’s remains have been left for scientific research.
Tetsuo weakens after prolonged battles but mutates into a huge mass. Akira is revived to stop Tetsuo who is drawn into another dimension with Kaneda. The new singularity destroys Neo-Tokyo. Kaneda experiences the childhood of Tetsuo and the ESPers. The singularity disappears soon after. Meanwhile, Tetsuo triggers the creation of a universe in another plane of life.
Killy is a loner who possesses the Gravitational Beam Emitter. He searches for a possibly extinct genetic marker called the Net Terminal Genes to access the Netsphere. The story is set in a technological world known as “The City”, where transhuman tribes, humans, and hostile cyborgs live. The City is also separated into floors by impenetrable barriers called the Megastructure, which is undergoing a chaotic expansion. But, the Net Terminal Genes can stop it. It can also stop a murderous robot horde called Safeguard from destroying humanity.
Killy and his partner Cibo meet a tribe of human warriors called the Electro-Fishers. They restore Killy’s ability to scan things visually but it turns out, Sanakan from the fishers is a disguised Safeguard. Killy and Cibo are attacked and brought to Toha Heavy Industries. They meet the AI Mensab and the human Seu. Cibo gets a sample of Seu’s DNA and Silicon Life destroys the megastructure they were brought into.
They ally with provisional Safeguards but the Silicon leader Davine steals Seu’s DNA to access the Netsphere. A Level 0 Safeguard is downloaded, which manifests in Cibo’s body and destroys the entire region.
Fourteen years pass by and Killy’s body repairs itself. Cibo was rescued by Sanakan and is incubating a sphere containing genetic information. Cibo and Sanakan end up dying in a final confrontation with the Safeguard. Killy is shot but he is carried to the City’s surface where the sphere fails to hatch. In the end, Killy and a child are seen fighting in the City.
Serial Experiments Lain
Lain Iwakura is an adolescent girl from Japan. Her family is emotionally detached with her father being obsessed with the computer. Not only is she a misfit but her life takes a turn for the worse following the death of a student called Chisa Yomoda.
Lain, along with the other girls of her school, receives an email from Chisa where she talks about abandoning her physical self and being alive in the virtual realm of Wired, a communication network similar to the Internet, where she has apparently found God. Lain gets caught up in surreal events as she digs the mysteries of the Wired.
The series assumes that the Wired could cause unconscious communication and would become the Reality if an abstract link between humans and machines was created. Throughout the movie, the line between reality and the virtual is blurred.
Masami Eiri was a project director for Protocol Seven i.e. the next-gen Internet. He had acquired total control over the Wired and uploaded his own consciousness into it, leaving his physical self behind. Lain discovers that she is the artifact that can result in the falling of the wall between the material and the virtual world and is asked to abandon her flesh. He convinces and even forces her to do so.
Lain acquires control over everyone’s mind and over reality but is afraid to live in the Wired as a God. In the end, she erases everyone’s memory of her.
The story is set in the late 21st century where boxers fight wearing exoskeletons. Everyone with citizenship lives in an area called the Administrative Area while those without citizenship live in the slum known as the Restricted Area.
An underground boxer known as Junk Dog, which is his ring name, wishes to enter a popular sports contest called the Megalobox. Here, boxers wear exoskeletons called Gears to fight and the duels are significantly more lethal compared to regular boxing.
Junk Dog is only known by his ring name and fought fixed matches in the Restrictive Area. One day, he almost crashes into the CEO of the Shirato Group, Yukiko Shirato, while in the Administrative Area. Junk Dog gets into a fight with Shirato’s bodyguard Yuri, who is a Megaloboxing Champion. Even though Yukiko stops the fight, Yuri seeks Junk Dog and beats him easily. He asks him to join Megalonia, the boxing tournament.
Junk Dog would need a citizenship ID to enter the rankings so an ID is forged for him under the name Joe. He then trains to get to the top and go against Yuri in Megalonia.
Humans coexist with Robots in the Metropolis but the robots are discriminated against and segregated. Meanwhile, the humans are poor and unemployed as the robots have taken their jobs away.
A massive skyscraper called the Ziggurat has been constructed which will allow mankind to extend its power all around the globe. However, a robot disrupts the opening ceremony. Duke Red’s son Rock, who is staunchly anti-robot, shoots it down.
Detective Shunsaku Ban and his young nephew Kenichi travel to Metropolis to apprehend Dr. Laughton, a rogue scientist who had conducted human trafficking. The scientist had recreated his deceased daughter, Tima to use her for a powerful superweapon.
Kenichi and Tima get separated from the others after falling into the sewers. A bond is formed between the two as he teaches her how to speak. Neither was aware of her being a robot.
Kenichi later reunites with Shunsaku and Tima is exposed as a robot. She is taken to Ziggurat alongside Kenichi. Tima goes insane when she learns about being a robot and her military protocols take control instead. It orders a nuclear and biological attack on humanity for discriminating against robots. After massive explosions, Ziggurat starts to collapse. Tima tries to kill Kenichi but he saves her. A large part of Metropolis is destroyed.
A group of robots rebuilds Tima. In the end, a photograph reveals that Kenichi rebuilds Tima and runs a robot workshop.
Texhnolyze takes place in an underground city called Lux which is treated as a sentient force. This is a stoic prizefighter who satisfies a promoter by losing an arm and a leg. Ran is a little girl with a gift that affects the entire city while Onishi is a level-headed guy with lots of enemies. They are faced with challenges and witness events that determine the fate of their city.
This man-made underground city is in a sorry state due to poor infrastructure and neglect. Three factions exist in the city and the battle to control it: professionals who work with the criminals, a populist group, and young individuals with abilities acquired from Texhnolyzes.
Scientist Eriko Kamata finds Ichise and uses him as a test subject for the new Texhnolyze. With new limbs, he begins to work for Oonishi. Meanwhile, Ran can see possible futures which makes her and Ichise realize that Lux is on the brink of destruction. The two of them are the only ones who can save it.
The Animatrix follows an anthology film with nine short films which have been based on the film series “The Matrix”.
In the Final Fight of the Osiris, an army prepares to invade Zion. The crew of Osiris discovers this and one of the member’s races inside the Matrix warns Zion about it. To help her succeed, the other members fight invincible Sentinels to buy her time.
The Second Renaissance Part 1 and 2 revolves around an ultimate AI, as smart as humans, that has been created. Robots and humans try to coexist but war breaks out between the two. The humans lose and find themselves being trapped in the Matrix.
Kid’s Story is set in a world that is a computer-generated fantasy that the robots have created. They use humans for energy. A young man discovers this and escapes the place after getting help from Neo the hacker.
The program revolves around Duo and Cis, who fight in a virtually recreated Feudal Japan.
World Record is about a champion track star who accidentally breaks free of the computer-generated world for a brief time period while running in the fastest race of his life. As he goes back to the real world, he loses his memories.
Beyond has a young woman in Tokyo looking for her lost pet. She encounters some kids and plays haunted house with them. However, the haunted house is nothing but a glitch in the computer world.
The short film, Detective Story, is about Ash. Ash is a detective who is called upon by a mysterious organization. He is assigned the mission to hunt down the hacker Trinity.
The last short film is called Matriculated. In this, a robot is placed in a fantasy world by scientists. The robot’s friend comes in and kills off most of the scientists but one scientist remains standing at the end of the carnage. He and the robot are isolated in the computer-generated world.
Cowboy Bebop is a twenty-six episode long seinen series that is set in 2071. Due to an accident with the hyperspace getaway, Earth is inhabitable so humans have moved to the rocky moons and planets. Bounty hunters, also known as Cowboys, are registered under the Inter Solar System Police and they chase after criminals for a reward.
The crew of the Bebop ship consists of Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Faye Valentine, Edward, and a Pembroke Welsh Corgi with human intelligence. The story is episodic and documents the days of the characters, in particular, Spike. They get involved in dangerous situations and as the episodes progress, their backstories are dealt with.
Spike’s rivalry with a criminal called Vicious, Jet’s reason for leaving the ISSP, and Faye’s past on Earth is explored.
Spike and Vicious were friends until Spike began to date Vicious’ girlfriend Julia and left the Syndicate. Vicious blackmails Julia into killing Spike. She goes into hiding while Spike fakes his death. In the series, the two reunite to complete their plan.
A hitman is sent after them and Julia is killed. Spike confronts Vicious after infiltrating the syndicate and dispatches the remaining members of the Red Dragon. In the end, Spike kills Vicious but is fatally wounded himself. In the final scene, he falls to the ground as the sun rises.
The evil organization called the Black Ghost kidnaps nine people from around the world. The tyrant, Skull, leads the organization and experiments on those kidnapped to use them as weaponized humans and promote cyborg warfare.
He turns the nine people into superpowered cyborgs but his scientist, Dr. Isaac Gilmore, defects and helps the cyborgs escape the Black Ghost organization. These nine cyborgs join forces to stop the organization from starting the next world war, which it intended to do by supplying buyers with weapons for mass destruction.
In the end, the Black Ghost Organization is destroyed and the cyborgs fight several threats such as ancient civilizations, supernatural beings, and mad scientists.
Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040
The story is set in Tokyo where robots called Boomers perform most of the manual labor. These robots are run by Genom, a mega-corporation. Linna Yamazaki joins the office and observes one of these robots which have gone rogue. The robot attacks people and causes destruction.
The AD Police join the scene to stop the Boomers that have gone rogue. A new renegade group called the Knight Sabers comes into action and saves the day. Dressed in cybernetic and armored Hardsuits, rock star Press, boutique store owner Sylia, and computer-whiz Nene are all part of the group. Yamazaki joins them as well to be part of the Knight Sabers.
As the series progresses, the Knight Sabers go after more rogue Boomers. This causes Leon McNichol and Daley Wong from the AD Police to get frustrated. Meanwhile, Genom is unhappy about this so its leader and advisor try to unlock more technology for the Boomers.
A humanoid named Galatea, based on Sylia’s DNA is discovered by Mason. It can control all the Boomers. Genom cuts the funding of the AD Police, causing the police to strike. Galatea’s influence results in all the Boomers going rogue. They trap the Knight Sabers and the police people. In the end, the Knight Sabers defeat Galatea.
Casshern is a cyborg and a subordinate of the Braiking Boss, who had the orders to assassinate the savior of mankind. Meanwhile, the Earth is doomed and nearing its ruin.
The robots in this world have acquired self-awareness and as a result, have subjugated humanity. Braking Boss rules over the world with authority almost resembling a dictatorship.
A girl named Luna is summoned by the people of the city for mankind’s salvation. Braking Boss identifies Luna as a potential threat and sends three cyborg warriors to kill her – Casshern, Leda, and Dio. Casshern is the strongest of them all and tracks Luna down, killing her. However, her death triggers a cataclysmic event that causes Earth to near its extinction.
Hundreds of years pass by. The world’s atmosphere is poisonous. Humans cannot reproduce and robots take over. Humanity is almost extinct. The environment is not kind to robots either, as it causes their bodies to corrode. Casshern returns to this world, having disappeared after killing Luna. However, he has no memory of himself and the crime he had committed.
Levius is set in the 19th century where Imperial City has been damaged heavily in a war. Five years later, a new sport called Metalboxing was developed where boxing is combined with robotic elements.
The protagonist, Levius Cromwell, lost his father in the devastating war and was on the rise in the Metalboxing circuit. He trains under his uncle, Zack Cromwell. Levius has one goal – to get promoted to Grade I, the highest rank for a boxer.
Levius keeps striving until he reaches his goal, for which he has to defeat pro-Metalboxer Hugo Stratus but another mysterious boxer called A.J. Langdon defeats Hugo instead. Levius has to fight his other opponents as the future and dignity of their city depended on it as well.
The film revolves around Deunan Knute. He looks for data that can restore the reproductive abilities of a race of genetically engineered clones called bioroids.
Knute is one of the last survivors of the Global War. A second-generation bioroid called Hitomi was the reason why she had survived. Her former lover Briareos Hecatonchires, who is now a cyborg, had stopped her attempt to escape.
Knute was in the Utopian city of Olympus where people were half-clone and half-human. Three factions ran Olympus: the Council of Elders, General Edward Uranus III, and Prime Minister Athena Areios. An artificial intelligence system named Gaia that dwelled in the building Tartarus observed the happenings of the city. As a resident of Olympus, Knute had joined ESWAT – a counter-terrorism organization.
Knute’s father Carl’s DNA was used to create the Bioroids so they were technically her brothers and sisters. But the reproductive abilities of the Bioroids were suppressed, causing them to have short lifespans. However, the Appleseed data had information that could restore the reproductive abilities of the Bioroids.
Knute had activated a holographic recording to find the location of the Appleseed data. She also discovers how Briareos had allowed a large battlesuit to escape. Uranus tries to change Knute’s mind by defaming Bioroids. Briareos is wounded after a battle while Knute goes back to Olympus with the Appleseed data to restore the Bioroids’ reproductive functions.
Knute learns the plan of the Council of Elders who wanted to sterilize the humans and make Bioroids the planet’s rulers. They activate the mobile fortress defenses of the city and launch their attack. Knute and Briareos fight together to shut the defenses down. In the end, they succeed and Knute vows to fight for future generations.
Mardock Scramble: The First Compression
Rune Balot is a girl who was taken by Shell. He had tried to kill the girl later and left her for dead. However, she is later saved and transformed into a cyborg. In the movie, Rune tries to stop Shell and his malicious gang.
The story is set in Mardock City, a futuristic place. The protagonist Rune Balot used to be a prostitute but she had turned into a vigilante after being taken away by Shell Septinos, an evil, and infamous gambler. He tries to murder her in an explosion. However, Rune survives. She is taken in by Dr. Easter and under the regulation, Mardock Scramble 09, which allows experimental technologies to be used for the preservation of life, is turned into a cyborg.
She is not alone though. An Artificial Intelligence system that exists in the form of a mouse accompanies Rune and helps her adapt to her new life as a cyborg. The advanced technology fitted on her amps up her power and Rune trains to use them well so that she can defend herself against Shell and his evil gang, who want her dead because she can testify against him.
Parasite Dolls is set in the city of Megatokyo and the Bubblegum Crisis Universe. The story focuses on the Branch, which is a group of A.D. Police. They have several tasks of stopping terrorist activities and also fighting against the carnage of Boomers who are androids that have gone rogue and become a menace to society.
The Branch is a secret unit of the AD Police and it solves crimes that revolve around these humanoid robots called Boomers. The branch office of the unit, Buzz, acquires a Boomer for a partner. Meanwhile, officer Michaelson finds himself at crossroads as the line between being a human and being a robot begins to blur in front of him.
Together, the two of them try to protect a world on the brink of destruction.
Armored Trooper Votoms
The story begins with a century-old galactic war between two nations: the Balarant and the Gilgamesh. The reason they were at war had been forgotten for long so a truce was being fostered between the two.
A weapon called the Armored Trooper had aggravated their conflict. This Armored Trooper was a mass-produced humanoid vehicle used for combat. A single soldier could pilot this vehicle. These vehicles were also known as VOTOMS, which stood for Vertical One-Man Tank for Offense and Maneuvers. But their armors were thin and used an artificial muscle made with combustible liquid. As a result, its pilots had a low chance to survive.
Chirico Cuvie is the main character of the series. He is a part of the special forces and is an Armored Trooper pilot. He has formerly fought for the Gilgamesh Confederation in the war. He is transferred to a unit for a mission where he is unaware of his doings. He steals secrets from his own side without any knowledge of doing so and is betrayed. Chirico is left to die but the Gilgamesh military finds him, brands him as a traitor, and arrests him. He is tortured but later escapes while the military pursues him.
Chirico seeks to find the truth of the operation and discovers an object he had to retrieve – a beautiful but mysterious woman who becomes the key for him to unravel the conspiracy.
The premise of the story is set in Italy, where there is a Social Welfare Agency. This agency helps rescue young girls from hospitals who are on the verge of death and use the latest cybernetic advancements on their bodies, giving them another chance at life.
These girls are brainwashed and trained to be lethal assassins and carry out the corrupted work and orders issued by the Italian Government. However, they are still children at heart and seek the approval of their loved ones while being aware of their emotions being inorganic and manufactured. Throughout the story, these young girls try to deal with their emotions and understand their feelings in a premise where they are bred as killers.
Paprika is a story set in the near future where a device called the DC Mini lets the user look into people’s dreams. Doctor Atsuko Chiba uses this device illegally to treat psychiatric patients, where she assumes a different personality called Paprika.
However, the DC Mini is stolen, which poses a great threat as entering people’s minds unrestricted can cause them to go insane due to mind control. The use of the device is banned after two scientists become its victims. Scientist Tokita is claimed to be inside his assistant Himuro’s dream and Himuro becomes nothing more than an empty shell. Chiba realises the chairman of the company that manufactured the device, Inui, is the real culprit. She takes it upon herself to set things straight in the chaotic realm.
Paprika is revealed to be Chiba when Inui calls for her death. The two battle for control over Doctor Osanai’s body and in the end, Osanai’s physical body is killed. Dreams and reality merge and Paprika becomes a body separate from Chiba. Inui becomes a humanoid nightmare who seeks omnipotence over the world. Inui is consumed and a robotic shell turns into a combination of Paprika and Chiba.
The story is set in the future of 2046 where humans are done with robots and do not trust them much anymore. The recent line of robots known as seconds lives a hard life due to this.
Detective Ross Sylibus’ partner is killed by a robot after which he relocates to Mars. There he encounters a murder scene where a country singer has been killed in his flight. He observes the situation and meets his partner, Armitage. Armitage is a female police officer with a lot of attitudes.
A series of murders take place where more and more women are killed. The cops investigate the matter and a secret unravels: the seconds weren’t the only line of robots in existence. There was another group, known as the Thirds. However, more and more of these robots go missing as there is a serial killer on the loose who is hell-bent on destroying this line of robots. As Syllabus and Armitage try to catch the murderer, Armitage reveals herself to be a highly advanced Type-III android or a Third.
The story of Megazone revolves around a delinquent motorcyclist called Shougo Yahagi who discovers the truth about his city from possessing the prototype of a bike.
The premise is set in the 24th century where Earth is almost uninhabitable due to ecological reasons. Humans have seceded to colony ships known as Magazines. The spotlight is on the people living in Megazone Two Three where the people have forgotten that they used to be space travelers. The zone is modeled around 1985’s Tokyo.
In Part I and II, the events take place approximately 500 years after humans have left Earth. In this era, the government tries to hack into the civic computer to use a benevolent artificial intelligence called EVE. This will allow them to influence the populace into going at war with humans called Dezalg who are from the rival Megazone.
Protagonist Shogo Yahagi discovers the falsities of the world and contacts EVE. He is determined to assist humanity but is forced to flee to cyberspace as the government decides to terminate him. In the end, he is saved by EVE and the conflict ends when a lunar defense system called ADAM destroys the battleships.
The third part takes place several centuries later where Eiji Takanaka, a hacker, is scouted by a rebel group that works against a spiritual leader called Bishop Won Dai. The leader’s elite staff is preparing a program called Project Heaven which Eiji must investigate.
A high-ranking member of the rebel group, Sion, finds Even Tokimatsuri at the city’s lowest point who was meant to be awoken by Shogo. Sion manages to stop Orange and Eve heads to ADAM’s moonbase to shut down the program.
Trigun is set on a fantasy planet called the No Man’s Land and follows the story of Vash the Stampede. He is a famous gunman who fights bounty hunters and the series revolves around exploring his past.
The events of the story take place in the 32nd century. Vash is joined by Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson, who are two employees of the Bernardelli Insurance Society, who try to manage the damage caused by his appearance. Vash had apparently destroyed the city in July but he had retrograde amnesia, for which he could not recall the events of the destruction barring some memories of a destroyed city. He had a sixty billion double dollar bounty on his head, which made him a prime target for bounty hunters.
Throughout Vash’s travels, he uses non-lethal force and tries to save lives. His gunfighting is supreme as well. As the show progresses, Vash’s past unravels and the history of humanity also comes into light.
No Guns Life
Set in the near future, the humans that have turned into cyborgs in this cyberpunk anime series are called “Extended”. A catastrophic war has recently ended in this world where several of these cyborgs have fought. However, many of them have resorted to crime for their survival in the aftermath of the war.
Problems caused by the Extended are solved by mercenaries who are known as “Resolvers”. One such Resolver is Juzo Inui. However, his life takes a turn for better or worse, as a renegade Extended breaks into his office one day and pleads with him to protect a young boy called Tetsuro Arahabaki.
Genocyber is a futuristic show set in Hong Kong, about the creation and development of a biological weapon called Genocyber. A young girl named Elaine is its protagonist. However, Elaine is mute. She has a sister called Diana who is a crippled and a mad scientist who seeks both of them to use their psychic powers and activate the Genocyber.
They are dragged into this futuristic and dystopian mess against their will as they are searched for brutally. The search causes the deaths of several people until the agents of the government capture Elaine and the mad scientist is arrested.
Elaine manages to escape after she kills the government agents and the scientists. She had only one friend, a young boy. Elaine finds his corpse after he had fallen to his death from a construction site. Anger fills her and she screams, which triggers a reaction in her. She turns into the Genocyber and causes a massive explosion which destroys Hong Kong.
Space Dandy is a story about the misadventures of an alien hunter named Dandy. He is a “dandy guy in space”, who searches for rare and undiscovered alien species with the help of QT, who is his robot assistant, and Meow, his feline-like friend.
Space Dandy is a space opera. Dandy and his crew have the best intentions in their heart. They are dimwitted and for the lack of a better word, a bunch of almost useless guys. However, Dr. Gel of the Gogol Empire has been pursuing Dandy, much to his oblivion.
Throughout the series, the characters (protagonists and antagonists alike) are seen dying and turning into zombies. They also get trapped in other dimensions for periods of time. However, they suddenly show up normally in other episodes. Basically, the continuity is kind of loose. Throughout the events of the show, several references are made to older music, internet pop culture, anime, and science fiction.
Mobile Suit Gundam
Set in the year 0079 as per the fictional Gundam Calendar, the Principality of Zeon has declared independence from Earth. A war called the One Year War has been launched, causing the continents on Earth to get affected severely. The space colonies and lunar settlements have also not been left out of this party.
Due to superior tactics, Zeon has an upper hand on Earth and uses a new, advanced weapon called mobile suits against humanity, as you would expect from a mecha anime. The conflict causes half of humanity to perish.
Char Aznable, the Lieutenant Commander of Zeon, engages Amuro in battle. Zeon’s family members are killed as Amura seeks revenge. Amuro ends up killing his lover Lalah while engaging Zeon in battle. In the end, Char forgets who the real enemy is and kills the surviving member of the Zabi family, Kycilia Zabi. The war ends and Amuro reunites with his comrades.
Neo Tokyo is a collection of a couple of short, science fiction stories – Labyrinth Labyrinthos, Running Man, and Construction Cancellation Order.
The first short story revolves around Sachi, a girl who is locked in a hide-and-seek game with her cat. She finds an old clock which is also a doorway to a labyrinth world filled with supernatural oddities. They arrive at a circus where a huge viewing screen leads to the next events.
Zack Hugh is the Running Man, a champion of the Death Circus racing circuit. He discovers that he possesses telekinetic abilities, which he uses to win against his opponents. However, a new special racer overtakes him in a race. When Hugh tries to use his telekinesis, the powers affect him inwards and both his car and his mind are subsequently torn apart.
In the next short, the premise shifts to South America where there is a new government that does not want Facility 444 to be constructed. Millions of dollars have been lost and the robots involved in its construction are ordered to be destroyed. Salaryman Tsutomu loses his calm when Robot 444-1 refuses to stop the construction so Tsutomu destroys the robot. However, the old government gets restored and they go for the construction of Facility 444.
The cyberpunk series takes place in the future of 2038, seven years following the Xianglong Crisis. A quantum reactor explodes and causes the destruction of civilization. The animals evolve rapidly, turning into biomechanical creatures. These creatures are called BRAI or Biological Revolutionary of Accelerated Intellect.
The biomechanical creatures become a threat to humans when a Multi-purpose Organic Evolution Vehicle or MOEV is created. MOEV is a mecha that is meant to fight BRAI. A stable quantum reactor is provided to the MOEV by the scientist Leon Lau to fend off the BRAI.
Patlabor 2 is set in 2002, three years after the resolution of the Babylon Project. The members of the Patlabor Unit have gone their separate ways but Gotou is still in the team alongside his crush Shinobu Nagumo.
Japan is overtaken by the Ground Self-Defense Force military. A terrorist organization works from within the force and intends to cause destruction and unrest in Japan. Nagumo learns about her former lover, Yukihito Tsuge, being the one behind the terrorist organization.
The former Patlabor team is reassembled for the mission to arrest Tsuge. Nagumo also has to deal with her past relationships and their complications to save Japan.
009 Re: Cyborg
Nine humans are abducted from different parts of the world. They are subsequently turned into super-powerful cyborgs and weaponized. However, these cyborgs refused to conform and began to rebel and fight their creators for world peace and justice.
Decades pass by and the nine cyborgs find themselves in the complicated spot with justice being a highly arbitrary concept. They do not have a clear place in the new world order any more.
Pacific Rim: The Black
Pacific Rim: The Black is set in the far future where a race of monsters called Kaiju has arisen from the Pacific Rim. These monsters overrun Australia so now, humanity must fight back.
Humans build huge, armed robots and call them Jaegers to fight these Kaiju monsters. But they fail to do so as the continent is abandoned. Few survivors still live in pockets, two of them being Taylor and Hayley Travis. They are siblings left behind by their parents who never return after leaving to fight the Kaiju.
Five years pass by. One day, Hayley stumbles across an abandoned training Jaeger, the Atlas Destroyer. She activates it with Taylor and they set out to fight their parents. However, they have a lot of obstacles in their way. Not only do they have to go against the Kaiju, they also have to deal with the remaining survivors who want to get their hands on the Atlas Destroyer to save themselves.
Metal Skin Panic MADOX-O1
A young man named Koji Sugimoto is a mechanic who works at a car maintenance shop. One day, he gets into a new anti-tank weapon which was being transported in utmost secrecy. This weapon is called the Slave Trooper MADOX-01. Koji is unable to get out of it as the MADOX-01 had a faulty program. He does not know how to use it either.
The military chases after him but he sets off to meet his girlfriend instead. However, he encounters Lieutenant Kilgore, an American soldier who bore a grudge against the MADOX-01. Koji then has to battle with Kilgore.
Revisions follow the story of Daisuke Doujima, a high school student, and his exploits with his friends after they travel in the future of 2388 from 2017 along with the population of Shibuya.
The future is far from being anything close to utopian. Huge mechanical monsters called Civilians are used by a group of future dwellers called Revision. These Civilians hunt and kill anyone in their path. The only way to destroy them is the AHRV and Milo, a woman from the future.
Milo arms Daisuke and his friends with a sophisticated mecha that is capable of taking down the Revision’s offensive weapons.
Genesis Survivor Gaiarth
The story of Genesis Survivor Gaiarth begins with an aging war-droid called Randis R. Khiezard, who takes care of Ital, a person. The world they live in has been devastated by a catastrophic war.
Humans live in pockets and try to survive. Technology and its wreckage plague society. They have also turned magical from prolonged ignorance.
Artificially intelligent machines that exist in this world have imperatives programmed into them which they follow – they either protect or destroy humanity. However, a terrible evil awakens in this world which threatens to bring catastrophe once again.
An outbreak of ‘Amalgams’ has plagued Modern Germany. These are cybernetic entities that exist to wreak havoc. They can fuse with technology and subsequently gain new abilities.
The people of society form a team called the Xenogenesis Assault Team or XAT to suppress the threat imposed by the Amalgams. At the same time, amalgamated humans are discovered. These machines are sentient and have rational thoughts unlike the regular Amalgams and happen to be far more lethal than the original variant. The XAT must protect the world against these amalgamated humans as well.
One such amalgamated human is Joseph Jobson. He can control his powers to a full extent and has always been successful in his line or work. However, he encounters Gerd Frentzen, a recent Amalgam, who makes Joseph XAT’s target. In his journey of survival, Joseph turns into a Blassreiter, making him the strongest amalgam to ever exist. He uses his new powers to fight against the enemy and uncover the truth about the Amalgam conflict and his own past.
A.D. Police: To Protect and Serve
The story of A.D. Police: To Protect and Serve revolves around Hans Kleif and Sasaki Kenji, two young detectives who try to turn rogue BOOMERS from turning their city into a wasteland.
The antagonistic group Packer Syndicate is headed by Liam Fletcher who creates obstacles for Kenji and co. in the series. Other police form members are seen growing close to one another as friends as the series mainly revolves around friendship, especially in the case of Hans and Kenji. A romantic connection between Kyoko and Kenji also takes the spotlight.
Freedom is a 7-part OVA series set in 2041, on Earth. The Freeport Space Station was pulled into the Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in the Great Cataclysm, an event that completely ruined the environment of the planet.
As Earth is left as a polluted wasteland, the surviving humans battle one another for resources. Humanity is decreasing rapidly but life is still there on the moon, which was originally an immigration outpost for those who intended to explore Mars. However, the moon turns into a city with a good quality of life and is referred to as “The City of Eden” and the lunar base wishes to colonize the moon.
Takeru is a citizen of Eden who races in Tube Races, in hovercraft-vehicles. However, an accident causes him to end up with volunteer work outside his city, where he stumbles upon remains that hold the secrets for the genesis of Earth and Eden.
Space Runaway Ideon: Be Invoked
In Space Runaway Ideon: Be Invoked, mankind has come across several alien civilizations as they have traveled to the stars. But these civilizations are now dead.
On a planet called Solo, the remains of civilization are discovered. Humanity encounters a living alien species for the first time – the Buff Clan. The military leader of the clan had a daughter called Karala Ajiba. She sets foot on the surface of Solo which causes the Clan to launch a brutal attack to ensure her survival and retrieve her.
Cosmo Yuki, Bes Jordan, and Kasha Imhof transform into trucks and then form a giant robot called Ideon. Solo’s settlement is destroyed and the inhabitants break into a spaceship to flee, they do not find peace as they are still pursued by the Buff Clan.
Denno Bokenki Webdriver
Denno Bokenki Webdriver is set in 2100. A computer network ties the world together and the children of this new world are called Web Divers. Web Divers are people who adopt their consciousness to data. They play together in the cyber park as well.
But, a computer virus appears and begins to destroy the Magical Gate for their research from within and outside.
The programs of cyberspace are called Web Knights which are created to protect the children but the computer virus has caused the Web Knights to go against the children. Gladion is the only Web Knight who manages to escape from being brainwashed. It joins hands with Kaito Yuki to solve its situation.
Ultraviolet: Code 044
In Ultraviolet: Code 044, 044 becomes extremely strong, possibly the strongest female soldier. A virus manipulates her gene and causes it to mutate, giving her these powers. She becomes excellent in combat as well.
However, the high advantage is not free of cost. Her days became numbered. She is assigned a mission by the government, one where she has to destroy a notorious squad called Phage and its leader.
She fights Phage and encounters a soldier called Luka. However, 044 is unable to kill him and she does not know why. The leader of the government group, Daxus Jr, labels her as a traitor for not killing Luka. Now, both Phage and the government target her but she runs away with an injured Luka.
UN-Go is set in a near-future Japan. Tokyo has been devastated by war. As Japan had sent their military abroad, terrorists attacked the country, killing the populace and causing the cityscapes to take a major toll.
As the war recedes and an uneasy peace is attained, the Japanese Parliament passes an Act called the Information Privacy and Protection Act. This allows the Japanese government to acquire complete control over the Internet.
The detective Shinjuurou Yuuki is the protagonist and along with his partner Inga, makes a living by solving crimes. However, he is severely impacted and influenced following the events in this dystopian world.
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