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 shows featuring technology and robots. From exhilarating cyberpunk action to time travel shenanigans, 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!
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners was another breakout hit for Netflix. This anime helped bring life to the Cyberpunk franchise and ushered in a new slew of players. The show’s villain Adam Smasher is the focus of most of the fans’ vengeance, though.
Nevertheless, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners joins the family of excellent video game-based anime adaptations alongside Netflix’s Castlevania series and others. This show features phenomenal characters, beautiful action scenes, and a vibrant futuristic setting.
Unfortunately, some characters don’t receive much time to shine in the series. The anime likes to spend time developing the relationship between its protagonists David and Lucy. At the same time, the other characters receive chances to strut their stuff, allowing fans to see their personalities clash with David and the others on screen.
Steins; Gate is an incredible anime featuring time travel mishaps and scientific discoveries. This show features a well-written mystery that unravels throughout its runtime. The show doesn’t start off with the best pacing. This is a slow-burner that gradually ascends into something masterful and memorable.
This anime revolves around a scientist named Rintarou, who enjoys his occupation. With his ally’s assistance, Rintarou creates the Future Gadget Laboratory. With this, Rintarou hopes to make more technological innovations that’ll baffle other humans.
One day, Rintarou attends another scientist’s conference on time travel. At this conference, he experiences strange phenomena occurring around his Phone Microwave gadget. He finds out that he can send text messages into the past via his microwave, but this attracts the attention of a mysterious organization.
A battle is fought between Rintarou and his degrading sanity as he attempts to minimize the damage he has caused with his invention.
The Brave of Gold Goldran
The Brave series is notorious for its stellar robot action scenes and likable characters. The Brave of Gold Goldran is a phenomenal addition to this series and presents fans with the adventure of a lifetime. Our story follows the quest of three young boys who must locate alien robot fighters (Braves) who are sleeping in crystals.
During their journey, these boys will meet many wacky enemies aiming to take them out. Each enemy adds something fun and exciting to this series. While they come across as overtly goofy, fans will adore seeing our young heroes take them out with their mechanized companions.
This series does a wonderful job of building upon the boys’ companionship between themselves and their mechanical buddies. Like other classic mecha anime, expect to be blown away by the epic battles and countless endeavours our young travelers find themselves in.
Mobile Suit Gundam (Series)
Mobile Suit Gundam is one of anime’s most recognizable Mecha series. This franchise made many fans appreciate large-scale robot fights on Earth and in outer space. This series paved the way for shows like Gurren Lagann, Brave, and Neon Genesis Evangelion, despite the latter being a deconstruction of the entire Mecha genre.
While most of the series doesn’t feature the best characters and action, there are entries like Mobile Suit Gundam 00 that offer the best of both worlds. The Gundam franchise made vast improvements to the Mecha genre by featuring robots with more polished and complex-looking designs and abilities.
The robots in Mobile Suit Gundam feel like an upgrade over the simplistic designs found in old-fashioned mecha anime like Tetsujin 28. That said, if you’re looking to get a taste of what the Mecha genre has to offer, I’d recommend giving any of the Mobile Suit Gundam entries a shot.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
As mentioned in the previous entry, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (Gurren Lagann) owes a lot to series like Mobile Suit Gundam for paving the way for more polished Mecha anime. That said, Gurren Lagann is a nonstop thrill ride with over-the-top visuals and animation.
This show follows Simon and Kamina, two friends who lived underground for their entire life. After they find a giant robot deemed Lagann, they get their chance to explore the surface world. In the surface world, these two discover a crazed tyrant named Lord Genome has taken control.
With the help of the wandering bounty hunter, Yoko, these two will embark on a quest to end Lord Genome’s rule and save the world. A world of fun and excitement awaits fans, as Gurren Lagann never becomes anything close to subpar and bland.
Dennou Coil is an incredibly rich technology-based anime. It thrives off the subtleties present in its world. It offers a beautiful balance of realism and futuristic concepts that pique anyone’s interest. Our tale takes place in a world where augmented realities have become the norm in life.
At the center of it all is Yasako, a middle schooler who moves into a city where everyone seemingly disappears. Her grandmother runs an illegal tool shop called Megasia here. She also hosts an unofficial detective agency called Coil, consisting of a group of children who find and handle issues in this virtual world.
Alongside new friends, it’s up to Yasako to solve the mysteries and problems that crop up in this virtual society. This story is well-structured, and its characters gradually develop through multiple interactions. This show knows how to intertwine small ideas from previous episodes into its larger narrative through foreshadowing.
The Big O
Toonami was home to many incredible shows that entertained many fans. The Big O is one of those series that don’t get brought up in modern anime discussions. It’s one of those relics from the past that doesn’t get as much attention as Studio Ghibli films or the well-acclaimed Cowboy Bebop.
That said, this anime delivers some astounding feats. Firstly, it holds western influences from its art style to its crime-like nature. Many compare this show to Batman because of the character dynamics, premise, and genuine vibe they attain from it.
Its protagonist Roger is a calm figure who likes to remain independent like Batman. Other cast members offer something fun and refreshing to the group. The technology in this show feels sci-fi-inspired, unlike the gadgets you’d find in Batman. At the same time, this show maintains a melancholy tone throughout its run.
Are you looking for a show that delves into the human psyche look no further than Bokura no. This show’s riddled with scenes that delve into its youth’s psychological and physical stresses outside and inside a virtual setting. The psychological trauma its child protagonists endure is downright heartbreaking and chilling.
At the same time, these instances help our characters push through their problems, leading to excellent maturation. This show offers some ounces of action that will appease action lovers, but it also offers something fun for critical thinkers to speculate about and digest. With its mellow tone and atmospheric soundtrack, fans cannot go wrong with this underrated gem.
The story begins at a summer camp. Fifteen children enter a mysterious grotto by sea and meet Kokopelli. Kokopelli informs them that he’s working on a video game involving aliens and a giant robot. He asks the children to test the game, and all of them, except for one, sign the contract, agreeing to assist Kokopelli. Things don’t go smoothly for the children, though.
The children get sent to the game’s world and must pilot the giant robot to defeat the alien threat. With no hope of escape, the children must devise a plan to defeat the alien menace while death lurks over them at every corner. This is a gut-wrenching series that will make some viewers shed a tear at the horrors that await our cast.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Bokura no owes its lore and tone to Neon Genesis Evangelion. This is the anime that changed fans’ perceptions of robot-themed anime. Instead of focusing on giant robots fighting monstrous creatures or other technological lifeforms, it spends more time examining the weak mindsets of its cast.
Unlike other shows of the Mecha genre, this series wanted to portray them in a more realistic light. For example, its protagonist Shinji is a weak-minded child who suffered much trauma because of his father’s (Gendo) actions. He’s endured peer-pressure, ridicule, and anxiety his entire life. Even when he reunites with Gendo, he gets the cold shoulder.
On top of that, Gendo forces Shinji into a situation he’s uncomfortable with and places more weight on his son’s shoulders. With the whole world’s safety riding on his ability to pilot Gendo’s beloved mech, Shinji often fumbles the bag and gets scolded for his terrible decisions. This is one of those series that paved the way for more thought-provoking anime, which had incredible robot action scenes.
While the series went on to span several films, everyone should watch the original 1995 Neon Genesis Evangelion anime
Ghost In The Shell (1995)
Ghost In The Shell (1995) is one of the few anime films that directly impacted Hollywood filmmakers. From Lana and Lily Wachowski’s The Matrix to James Cameron’s Avatar, Ghost In The Shell holds a strong legacy and influence on many people. While Ghost In The Shell has excellent action sequences, it leans toward more thought-provoking subjects.
In Ghost In The Shell (1995), the audience is presented with many mind-numbing ideas about human ideology and existentialism. It delivers these concepts at a solid pace. There’s never a moment in this film where the viewers will grow bored. The anime doesn’t waste its audience’s time explaining its concepts. It chooses to sprinkle these messages when it is time.
The film’s beautifully drawn animated cyberpunk-themed structures will immerse viewers. Major Kusanagi, the anime’s protagonist, performs several death-defying stunts in this film that will mesmerize you. While the visuals are glorious, Ghost in the Shell (1995) gives off a sense of mystery with its atmosphere. If you’re looking for a more intellectual show with a beautiful futuristic setting, Ghost In The Shell (1995) is worth watching.
So, there we have it, our picks for the best anime through the years about technology and robots!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!