May is a pretty huge month for Star Wars fans as the May 4th holiday has been such a huge hit with the fandom over the years. It gives all kinds of fans the best excuse to go back an enjoy some of their favorite moments over the franchise thus far, and thankfully there are several anime that can help you tap into the love of the Star Wars franchise too! There may have been manga or animated adaptations released for the franchise in the past, but sadly Star Wars has yet to get an official anime of its own.
Luckily, enough anime have hit the scene that tap into the same vibes and enjoyment you can find in the Star Wars world. Universes with rich characters, wide universes to explore, and the same kind of flourishing visuals that you can find in the space opera juggernaut. If you're looking for some fun anime to check out at this time, then we've got you covered!
Read on to see which anime you'll love if you love Star Wars, and let us know your favorites in the comments! Which space fantasy are you checking out these days? You can also reach out to me directly about all things anime and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!
Cowboy Bebop is often one of the first anime suggested to new fans joining the medium for the first time. There's a reason this is the case as it's also one of the most expansive universes in anime as well. Just as how some of the best Star Wars stories are focused on a single character making their way through the vastness of space, Cowboy Bebop's episodic format shifts its perspective to several different characters throughout its run with their own compelling stories. Scratching that same Western itch that Star Wars does while still having a space fantasy adventure, it's a classic on par with that classic franchise.
Headed up from the director of Cowboy Bebop, Shinichiro Watanabe, years later, Space Dandy is a much different kind of space adventure. Opting to be far more colorful in tone to its space faring cousin, this series plays fast and loose with its continuity. Following a bounty hunter and his wacky sidekicks as they hunt for big rewards across space, Space Dandy is willing to go for broke and killing off the characters is just part of its every day routine. If you like how Star Wars' universe can often feel like a huge playground, then this is the series for you.
Outlaw Star often gets placed in the same boat as Cowboy Bebop. Both series were produced by Sunrise in the late 1990s, and both series feature a central cast of wacky bounty hunters. This is the same for fans who watched both of them unfold on Toonami as well, which served to further define just how many similarities they have. Outlaw Star, however, tends to have a little more fun with its space pirating and it makes it more in line with the goofier Star Wars adventures that aren't afraid to not take themselves seriously.
If you're looking for a more grounded take on space without any of the fantastical whims of other series, Space Brothers is for you. This series follows two brothers who dream of becoming astronauts and heading into space. After spotting a UFO, the two decide to pursue that dream with one brother becoming an astronaut and one struggling a bit to get there. This series taps into the mysticism of Star Wars' space setting in that there's always a clear reverence for the unknown. If you love when Star Wars basks in its own space glory, then this series is one to watch!
Mobile Suit Gundam
This is most likely the broadest recommendation on this list, but like Star Wars the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise has many continuities existing at the same time. Thanks to its numerous time lines and realities, you can practically jump into any iteration of the franchise released over the years. If you want more of the philosophical breakdowns of war found in some of the Star Wars films, then the original Mobile Suit Gundam series is the way to go. If you want a bit more fantasy, the Gundam Wing or Seed might be your best bet. Either way, you're in for a good time no matter which show you start off with!
Legend of the Galactic Heroes
There are a few anime like the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise that truly embody the "space opera" like Star Wars does. Legend of the Galactic Heroes tells the story of two intergalactic factions embroiled in a long running war. Spanning several novels, films, and anime adaptations, this franchise is one that those who love Star Wars' extended universe and lore will want to dig into. With numerous characters each with their own political and philosophical ideals, it's a constant back and forth that you'll find yourself hooked to.
Surprisingly, the anime most like Star Wars is one you wouldn't necessarily expect. Tenchi Muyo is also a franchise with a number of different iterations and continuities, but the one most fans will probably recognize is Tenchi Muyo's original OVA run or Tenchi Universe since they ran on Toonami way back when. The series follows Tenchi Masaki, who accidentally frees Ryoko the space pirate and gets caught up in all sorts of shenanigans. He soon finds out he has ties to an ancient space bloodline, gets mystical powers, and wields the Tenchi-ken -- a sword that's basically a lightsaber. It's like if you added wacky romantic comedy stuff to Star Wars!
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