Best Underrated Sci-Fi Anime of the 2000s
These cartoons are great examples of their particular sci-fi subgenres, but for some reason or another they haven’t seen widespread success.
The anime might not generally be known for its purely sci-fi fare, but there have nonetheless been a number of big sci-fi entrances to the business over the past few decades. Some of these shows are sure-fire classics, while others are best forgotten. However, there are a few sci-fi anime titles that both stand the test of time but have failed to win.
These animated series are great examples of their particular sci-fi subgenres, but for one reason or another they haven’t seen widespread success. These range from dark, gritty cyberpunk thrillers and flashbacks from the 1950s to the seemingly Pokemon scams that are more than the sum of their parts. Here’s a look at the best sci-fi anime from 11-20 years ago that you might not remember.
Ergo Proxy came out in 2006 and involved creators who worked on Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the shell. When a virus affects the many androids in its world, they rise up with a newly developed sensitivity. Inspector Re-L Meyer looks into the situation, but in doing so, discovers the existence of another government-created species.
Fans of the above Ghost in the shell, as good as Blade runner and other works addressing human / robot relationships, will love Ergo Proxy, as are fans of neo-noir and psychological mysteries. Mysticism and Gnosticism are also significant elements throughout history, so its sometimes difficult to analyze symbolism may require not one, but two viewings just to get it all figured out.
Kind blue, produced by the creator of the two Vote and Gasaraki, combines elements of giant robot mecha and anime, gruesome body horror, and post-apocalyptic sci-fi. It bends the rules of this list somewhat, coming out in 1999 but ending airing in 2000. The protagonist is Yuki Kaido, who is put into cryogenic stasis after being diagnosed with a rare disease. He wakes up decades later to find Earth involved in a battle with insect-like monsters. He discovers that he is one of the many “sleepers” awakened by the human citizens of the Second Earth colony. Trying to survive amid countless deaths, Yuki and a woman named Marlene uncover the truth behind the bugs and sleepers.
Anyone who is a fan of post-apocalyptic stories against inhuman enemies like The attack of the Titans will like Kind blue. It also shares some superficial similarities to sci-fi classics like Starship Troopers, recent anime like Knights of Sidonia and even the controversy Terra Formars, which makes it a great show for those who want to see humanity struggle for survival in a bleak future.
Texhnolysis is a 2003 cyberpunk thriller that focuses on Ichise, a fighter who lives in the futuristic city of Lux. This broken down dystopia was a once prosperous metropolis that has since fallen into disarray, with its confined society doing the same. Many of its citizens, including Ichise, use Texhnolyze – advanced prostheses that compensate for limbs removed from them, often by extremely violent means.
Ichise finds herself working for the powers that be in Lux until a clairvoyant girl named Ran teams up with him to save the city from total collapse. The show is a must-see for cyberpunk fans, including recent shows like the cyberpunk boxing series Megalo box, as well as those who enjoy psychological and supernatural thrillers.
Terre Bleue SOS project
The very forgotten Terre Bleue SOS project involves the apparent disappearances of trains after being struck by a mysterious rainbow light. This is being investigated by two boys named Billy and Penny, who realize that aliens are behind the business. The military then sends its Sky Night plane to defend the planet from the heartbreaking alien threat.
The series is set in an alternate, retro-style take on the 1990s, though it’s actually based on a book written a few years after WWII. This retro 1950s style matches the animation, artistic designs, and even some posters, which evoke classic Toho sci-fi movies. Fans of 1950s invasion films and sci-fi classics will certainly appreciate this well-received but not often remembered title.
Released in the early 2000s, Angelic diaper adapted a CLAMP manga that was still running by the time the show ended its airing. The series is about a young girl named Misaki Suzuhara who becomes obsessed with the hit game Angelic Layer, which involves battles between mentally-controlled robotic dolls. As the plot unfolds, Misaki learns more about herself and the origins of the popular game.
Considered by some to be CLAMP’s take on the growing popularity of Pokemon, Angelic diaper has a lot more development and plot depth than its video game-related competitor. The series has a very classic art style and design aesthetic characterized by previous anime from the mid to late ’90s, and it also stands out among the many. Pokemon derivatives to have a young girl as the protagonist. Featuring notable cameos from other CLAMP characters, the show is a cute classic that’s perfect for CLAMP fans and anyone who wants to see tiny dolls go head to head.
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