A Star Wars fan, you are? Hmm. Then watch these anime series you should.
When it comes to anime, there are hundreds of space opera thrillers which are ready to be explored. Whether you’re looking for gritty political thrillers or hilarious intergalactic romps through space, there is something for you and your Yoda-loving heart to love.
Here at ComicBook.com, we’re always looking out for Star Wars fans who are looking to fill the gaps between Lucasfilm’s upcoming releases. We’ve collected six of the best anime series out there for those who want to visit galaxies far, far away.
If you are looking for tense shootouts and sly anti-heroes with hearts of plated gold, then you will want to watch Outlaw Star. The series was adapted into an anime back in 1998, but it still holds up to repeated viewings. Set in a futuristic world where humanity has gained the ability to travel faster than the speed of light, mankind finds itself fraying because of its space adventures. Pirates, assassins, and bloody outlaws are threatening to destroy the galaxy’s peace, and protagonist Gene Starwind is making the most of it. The hero and his associates team up with a rogue outlaw named “Hot Ice” Hilda. The trio set out to find a mysterious location called the Galactic Leyline where untold treasure and power awaits whosoever finds it.
Who knew an anime about space-bound trash collectors could be so interesting? When Planetes debuted in 2003, fans were intrigued by the show’s unique premise, and the series went above and beyond the expectations of many. Planetes tells the story of the crew members aboard the DS-12 Toy Box from the Space Debris Section. In their futuristic world, these workers are tasked with keep Earth’s atmosphere free of trash to protect spacecrafts and satellites. Each episode sees the crew tackle various ‘trashy’ situations, but the draw of Planetes is its character development. The anime tells a quintessential story of underdogs who want to have their worth acknowledged, and its developing storylines painstakingly detail how the crew’s relationships lack some much-needed gravity.
Super Dimensional Fortress Macross
Sure, it’s name may be a mouthful, but Super Dimensional Fortress Macross is a long-winding space epic that rivals even its best live-action counterparts. Created in 1982, the groundbreaking series tells the story of an unprecedented war between mankind and an alien race known as the Zentradi. The story kicks off when a massive alien spacecraft crash lands on Earth, prompting humanity to reverse-engineer its tech for their own use. Just when Earth is set to relaunch the alien ship, the Zentradi approach the planet as the ship originally belonged to one of their enemies. When the latter race appears, the ship’s hardcode resets and fires upon the Zentradi scouts, killing them. Thinking Earth has aligned with their enemies, the Zentradis declare war against the inhabits of the ship. The show follows a close-knit group of U.N. Spacy pilots who fight back against the Zentradi attacks and try to reconcile their broken relationship.
If you are a fan of Star Wars' punchy humor, then Space Dandy is the show for you. Some may even go so far as to say the anime is comparable to what Space Balls was to George Lucas’ iconic series, and they would be spot-on. Space Dandy is an over-the-top series which follows the misadventures of an alien hunter named Dandy. The man searches for rare aliens alongside his two sidekicks, but he is plagued by his clumsy incapabilities. The serial is a pop culture treasure trove that pokes fun at its irreverent nature, and it would undoubtedly pull a few laughs from even the most stoic Stormtrooper.
Legend of the Galactic Heroes
Fans of political thrillers will want to start binging Legend of the Galactic Heroes sooner rather than later. The acclaimed space opera is a forefather of the anime subgenre, and several fans have gone so far to compare the show to Game of Thrones with a little less blood and a lot more starships. Legend of the Galactic Heroes follows a litany of characters who are either in favor of a Galactic Federation or Empire. The main story takes place in the Milky Way Galaxy as soldier Reinhard von Müsel rises to imperial power. He hopes to save his sister and unite the galaxy under his rule, but he is challenged by Yang Wen Li who wants the Free Planets Alliance to come into power.
Cowboy Bebop isn’t just one of the best space opera anime series; It is one of the best anime series to ever hit television. Having debuted in 1996, Cowboy Bebop took fans on a daring, tense journey through space alongside a group of intergalactic bounty hunters. The show follows the crew of the spaceship Bebop, and former hitman and gang member Spike Spiegel leads the team. Now known as a bounty hunter, Spike and his crew run various jobs to keep their vagabond lifestyle going, but they are constantly threatened by their leaders past. One of Spike’s former syndicate members wants him to pay for leaving that life behind, and the anti-hero must do his best to protect those he loves.