There are a lot of TV shows out there and in this golden age of TV streaming, the choices have never been greater. So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic? Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest and unforgettable shows through the years.
For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best anime, our attention this time turns to aliens. From action-heavy shōnen to space-like adventures, there’s a good choice to whet your appetite.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below, and we’ll get them added on!
Kill La Kill
Kill La Kill is an excellent series filled with outlandish animation and strong humor. The characters also have colorful personalities that’ll either dampen or heighten fans’ excitement. Many of their oddities come off as over-the-top, but it is that outlandish aspect that gives them so much appeal.
Kill La Kill’s action scenes follow suit in this regard. Many times, you’ll find the anime’s main heroine, Ryuko Matoi, sparking immaculate confidence. Other times, you’ll see her taking her anger out on characters and inanimate objects over simple mistakes.
It’s these small instances that help fans to resonate with Ryuko since they’ll come to understand why she acts the way she does. There’s also an interesting subplot revolving around the show’s alien life forms, deemed Life Fibers.
The villain attached to said plot point is a major threat to Ryuko and also has ties to her overarching mission. If you’re interested to find out what those ties might be, check out Kill La Kill.
Dragon Ball Z
Dragon Ball Z is one of the most iconic shōnen anime ever. It went on to influence so many popular action series today. It kick-started fans’ love for tournament arcs, call-out attacks, and otherworldly characters.
At the same time, the aliens in this series take center stage. Dragon Ball Z expands upon otherworldly concepts than its predecessor. It does so by revealing Goku’s Saiyan heritage, featuring alien-like enemies like Frieza and his minions, and showing our heroes traveling in spaceships and visiting planets like Namek.
Dragon Ball Z also introduces new forms of power for Goku, like allowing him and his sons to transform into elite warriors called Super Saiyans. The Super Saiyan transformation is deemed by many as one of Dragon Ball Z’s greatest contributions to Dragon Ball’s lore.
The transformation is so iconic, that many cartoons, tv shows, and movies have parodied it in some form.
One Punch Man
One Punch Man has gained quite the popularity for itself. While My Hero Academia serves as a love letter to DC Comics, Marvel, and other heroic characters, One Punch Man chooses to be a parody of it. It features a protagonist that’s unintentionally hilarious and unbelievably strong.
One Punch Man follows Saitama, a mundane citizen who trained for many days to obtain unimaginable strength and power. He became so strong that he was able to knock out many opponents with one swing of his fist. Unfortunately, Saitama is a hero that nobody seems to bat an eye toward. This causes Saitama’s heroic passion to dwindle.
One day, Saitama encounters a cyborg hero named Genos. Despite finding Genos annoying, Saitama’s behavior toward him changes when Genos reveals information about the Hero Association and how popular the heroes who work under said organization are. This reignites Saitama’s passion as the two sign up to become pro-heroes with Saitama’s goal being to claim the same love and respect as these heroes.
One Punch Man is an action-packed and hilarious anime through and through. Saitama will find himself up against ferocious beasts and aliens who threaten to destroy Earth. He’ll also end up learning the joys of having a company that admires him.
Gantz is a bloody and action-packed horror anime with a lot of spunk. It features much raunchy and profane content that many quote the anime for being the show that you’ll either grow to love or hate. It also tackles themes like survival and psychology.
Gantz follows Kei Kurono, who dies and awakens into a weird game that will test his morals, skills, and urge to live. He has no control over his life now, and you’ll see the character get picked and bullied on multiple times. This story is one of gore, sexual misconduct, and violence all wrapped up in a bow.
It’s not an anime for the light-hearted nor is it one that’s simple. It will feature Kei undergoing immense emotional change and struggle. He’ll encounter many alien-like organisms that will chew him up and spit him out. It pushes the envelope for graphical violence multiple times. If you can stomach a watch then feel free to check it out.
Space Dandy is an action-packed space adventure with enough humor to keep you laughably excited. It’s a series with a lot of unexpected twists and turns. Many refer to it as an experimental anime and the testing grounds for new directors.
Space Dandy gained those titles due to how it was handled during its production phase. Essentially, the anime had undergone multiple different directors during its production. This way it’s looser with its plot compared to most anime. However, it promises an adventure full of intergalactic travels, mishaps, and well-designed alien threats.
Space Dandy follows Dandy, a groovy man that loves exploring space and searching for new alien life that he can beat up and sell for cash. He also travels with his two friends. One is his vacuum cleaner robot QT and the other is an alien named Meow, whose an anthropomorphic cat.
Dandy’s life in the stars is never dull. He’ll challenge each day with open arms and grandeur. He and his friends will get roped up in multiple hilarious quests involving peril and romance. He’ll also need to be careful not to get into trouble with his world’s most evil scientist, Dr. Gel of the Gogol Empire.
Outlaw Star is a classic 26-episode sci-fi action anime full of laughs. It features a clever balance of light-hearted humor to gloomy philosophical questioning. It offers a cast who are incredibly written and portray their roles wonderfully. There is some filler thrown in, but the anime’s storyline is well-paced for the most part.
This tale follows Gene Starwind, who always wanted to pilot a spaceship to travel across the stars. Unfortunately, he finds himself stuck working terrible jobs along with his friend James Hawking on a minuscule planet.
Yet when they receive a job opportunity from a treasure-hunting outlaw named, Rachel Sweet, their lives take a turn for the better. They receive the task to protect a girl named Melfina and must board a well-acclaimed spacecraft called the Outlaw Star. While it all sounds dandy, Gene and James will encounter many dangerous beings aiming to take their heads.
Gene’s character progresses wonderfully throughout the anime. He starts the show off having an arrogant and repulsive attitude toward everyone he meets. But in time, he changes his acting patterns and settles for a more relaxing approach toward others.
The anime’s setting is one of the show’s highlights as it’s well-varied and designed for adventure. This is because the series introduces a plethora of uniquely designed aliens, bounty hunters, and otherworldy individuals to keep things fresh. If you’re looking for another great space adventure with a varied world and wonderful main character, check out Outlaw Star.
This anime is a timeless sci-fi classic. It features a wonderful episodic plot that slowly delves into the psychological turmoil of its characters’ past lives. It also offers deep perspectives on life and features enough action to keep people from falling asleep. It’s an influential anime that inspired many shows and films alike.
Cowboy Bebop takes place in a futuristic world where humans, aliens, and other mythical creatures live amongst one another. However, the crime rate in this world knows no end. This allows people like Spike Spiegel and his partner Jet Black to come in, capture these bad guys, and turn them in for profit.
However, as they travel to multiple planets, they’ll encounter evil organizations, temptresses, and technological weirdos. Two people in these categories end up tagging along with Spike and Jet alongside an adorable canine companion. The anime follows these characters’ daily lives aboard Jet’s ship, The Bebop, and the growing bond that develops between them all.
Cowboy Bebop is a wonderful action-packed adventure full of mystery and thrills. Its sub-plots will resonate with you while its world will wow you. If you’ve never watched an episode, I highly recommend it.
Our tale follows a boy named Ataru Morobodishi, whose selected as Earth’s representative in their war against alien invaders. To his surprise, his opponent Lum is an aloof alien princess that doesn’t take her job too seriously. Ataru’s showered with more luck when he finds out their duel involves the game “tag.”
He claims victory by embarrassing Lum in a salacious manner. However, he unknowingly ends up in a pickle when Lum mistakes Ataru’s actions as a wedding proposal. She accepts his offer and ends up moving in with him. Therefore, the anime follows Ataru, who must not deal with an alien princess’s demands while trying to handle his already broken relationship with another woman.
This anime features many comedic moments involving intergalactic characters. There’s no real plot as the anime chooses to focus on Ataru and Lum’s daily activities and mishaps. Ataru and Lum’s friendship grows gradually throughout the series. You’ll see them argue and struggle to understand one another. In time, they’ll eventually grow to become great friends.
The animation in this series is great for its time. Lum’s facial reactions lean toward the adorable and hilarious spectrum at times. The music’s a bit dull at times, too. If you’re looking for a classic romantic comedy anime with a hint of intergalactic influences, check out Urusei Yatsura.
Space Patrol Luluco
Space Patrol Luluco is a cute and adorable space adventure anime. It’s one of Studio Trigger’s underrated series that managed to slip past some fans’ radar in favor of other shows. However, it offers an incredible story full of colorful characters, action scenes, and hilarious gags.
Our tale takes place in a city called Ogikubo, where a bubbly middle schooler named Luluco wants to live a mundane lifestyle. She wakes up one morning to discover that her father had eaten a dangerous pill. This pill had turned him completely frozen. To make matters worse, Luluco accidentally stumbles over his frozen body, causing him to shatter.
She rushes to his workplace to seek help, only to be tasked with a job by her father’s boss, Over Justice. He hires Luluco as a space temp worker who must help the Space Patrol crack down on crime within her school. He gives her the Space Patrol suit and sends her away. With all this responsibility, Luluco must somehow balance her normal and work lives while also searching for a way to help her father.
Like its premise, Space Patrol Luluco is a wacky anime full of hilarious subplots that’ll keep you invested. Luluco’s investigations will lead her down hilarious and dangerous situations. However, with her trusty Space Patrol suit, she’ll have nothing to fear but herself.
Parasyte: The Maxim
Parasyte: The Maxim is an exhilarating action-packed anime full of bloodshed and angst. When it was released, many fans adored its well-developed protagonist Shinichi Izumi, his small alien companion, Migi, and the multiple deadly enemies these two would fight and befriend.
Our tale follows Shinichi, a meek nerdy boy who wants to live the best life possible. He also wants to win over his crush. One day, Shinichi wakes up bewildered to find out that some freakish organism had entered his body. That organism is Migi, who is an alien from outer space who intended on taking control of Shinichi’s body but failed miserably.
Migi explains that there are more aliens on their way. He states that these aliens plan to take control of and feast on every living organism on Earth. Not wanting the world to spiral into chaos, Shinichi teams up with his new alien companion to crush every parasyte out there.
This anime will take viewers down an endless pit of sorrow and tragedy. Shinichi will come across situations where the resolution doesn’t end on a happy note. He’ll make important life choices that will break him in horrible ways.
Therefore, Parasyte: The Maxim is a great anime to watch if you love seeing humans duke it out with intergalactic organisms.
So, there we have it, our picks for the best anime through the years about aliens!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!