If you are a fan of Sci-fi anime, then you unquestionably must have come to know about cyberpunk as well. Cyberpunk is a sub-genre of science fiction; as the name suggests focuses on robotics, advanced technology, and androids, with street-smart and badass characters. The genre is actually a hidden gem and usually deals with the concept of social disparity and the dark side of the world.
If you enjoy watching anime dealing with the hypothetical future and the dark side of society, you will like cyberpunk anime. Therefore, without future ado, here is the list of the top 20 enthralling cyberpunk anime.
Here Are The Top 20 Best Cyberpunk Anime Of All Times
The thing about rumors is that it is exaggerated and false in most cases. And that is why you should not believe them. Meryl and Milly come to believe this after being assigned a job to find and babysit a merciless villain (as the rumors say). If you are looking for a cyberpunk anime that revolves around friendship and adventure, you should give Trigun a shot. No pun intended.
Meryl and Milly are two insurance agents assigned with the task of finding Vamp the Stampede and ensuring no more damage and destruction are caused due to his actions. Vash is a soulless and merciless villain who brings about nothing but death and destruction wherever he goes. Anyone who even makes eye contact with him can consider themselves dead, forget about standing in his path or opposing him. Due to all this, he has earned the title of ‘The Humanoid Typhoon’ and a bounty of 60 billion double dollars over his head.
They are pleasantly surprised to find how polar opposite Vash is from those rumors. Instead of preparing to depart from the world as they thought they would while supervising Vash, Meryl and Milly finds a friend in him and are endlessly endeared with his dorky and childish personality. It’s a cyberpunk anime that you are sure to enjoy. It’s a perfect mix of action, advantages, comedy, cyberpunk, and angst.
It’s a principle of natural justice to be heard before being executed for the offense one has committed. But what if instead of trial by jury, the legal procedure is replaced by an objective system that can read within your mind for ill intentions and punish you for it without even giving you a chance to explain? Is it still justice? Psycho-Pass is a cyberpunk anime that deals with that question as its plot line.
Akane Tsunemori is a young woman with a deep-rooted desire to uphold justice. She lives in 22nd century Japan that uses the Sibyl system, an objective system that determines the threat caused by a person’s criminal intentions. It has the capacity to analyze a person’s mental state regarding criminal intent. While working with her partner and enforcer Shinya, she comes to the realization that the Sibyl system’s judgments may not be as just as the inspectors assume them to be.
This cyberpunk anime series is an analysis of the social and judicial system and how even a non-human objective system can still be corrupted. If you are into deep and philosophical anime, this action-packed cyberpunk series is just for you.
3. Ergo Proxy
Do you also believe that an apocalypse is inevitable? Can humans survive it or after without robots? What do you think can Humans and Androids co-exist? The plot of Ergo Proxy deals with all these questions. It is a cyberpunk series depicting the story of the post-apocalyptic world. A world where after about a thousand years of an ecological apocalypse only a small population is left.
Humans live inside a dome city called Romdo, the only habitable place for humans now. There are humanoid-like robots AutoReivs, to help humans with their day-to-day life. But when an illness called cogito virus starts infecting the AutoReivs, granting them self-awareness and cognition; Re-l Mayer, the granddaughter of Ramdo’s sovereign is assigned the task of investigating this phenomenon. Re-l is joined in her task by her trusted AutoReiv partner Iggy.
Re-l’s journey becomes more interesting when an AutoReiv specialist Vincent and a child AutoReiv Pino, become a part of it. If you are interested in cyberpunk with a touch of romance in it, then this series is just for you. This cyberpunk anime is a curious mix of action, mystery, science, romance, and thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
4. Ghost in the shell
Ghost in the Shell is a cyberpunk anime series that is also known by the name of Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex. The whole series is set in a futuristic setting where technology has advanced to the extent that now humans are capable of complete body transformation from flesh to machine through transplant. It provides humans with enhanced physical strength and advanced cybernetic powers.
As everything has two sides, the same goes with this advancement as well. Criminals have found ways to use such technology to commit dangerous crimes and cause mayhem. And to keep a check on such crimes and apprehend the antagonists behind them, the Japanese government has established a separate independent police department called Sector-9. Usually, the team handles such crimes with ease, but it changes with the arrival of a new criminal called ‘The Laughing Man’.
Can Daisuke and Motoko lead Sector 9 to unravel the mysterious hacker that is ‘The Laughing Man’? Or will they lose more than just their pristine reputation in this game of cat and mouse? If you enjoy detective anime dealing with dark social issues, then this cyberpunk anime is just for you. Ghost in the Shell is a cyberpunk anime that will keep you guessing what’s gonna happen next till the very end.
5. Space Pirate Captain Herlock
Space Pirate Captain Harlock is one of the pioneers in the cyberpunk genre. The story is set in the futuristic world, where the human race lives in colonies throughout space. With the help of technology and machines, the workload on humans is almost negligible and everyone is trying to live a happy and fun life.
But with the sudden attack of foreign aliens called Mazone, people are succumbing to despair and hopelessness. But Harlock refuses to admit defeat and ends up collecting and leading a team of outlaws to attack the Mazones on his starship Arcadia. Mazone is an alien race of mythical plant-based women who once explored the Earth and are now back to take control over it.
If you are looking for an adventurous easy-going cyberpunk anime, then this one might suit you. It’s very easy to be inspired by Harlock’s individual philosophy and goodness of heart. Cyberpunk is easygoing but by no means lacking in action and comedy.
Metropolis is another cyberpunk anime with a unique story plot. The story revolves around a newly born android Tima and Kenichi, who works as a detective with his uncle. Kenichi and his uncle Shusaku Ban live in a world where robots are not a vital part of the world. Especially in the city of Metropolis humans, and robots co-exist and work together. But the robot race is segregated and discriminated against by the humans.
While on a case to apprehend Dr. Laughton, who has been trafficking organs, they find themselves caught in the middle of an intra-state internal dispute between the humans and the robots. In the middle of this all, Kenichi and Shusaku get separated. Shusaku meets Dr. Laughton and discovers something shocking, he starts to search for Kenichi, all the while trying to comprehend the new situation.
On the other hand, Kenichi meets a mysterious girl Tima who can’t even speak human language. Tima and Kenichi start their journey to somehow find Shusaku, all the while trying to protect themselves from the armed rebellion that’s going on in the city. If you like detective, mystery, and sci-fi combo, then this cyberpunk anime is just for you.
7. No Guns life
No Gun Life is a paranormal detective series that leans more on the action and cyberpunk sides. During the great war, to increase the chances of winning, many humans are outfitted with robotic parts giving them exceptional power, known as extended. After the war ended, many Extended resolves to crimes to survive in a world that no longer requires them.
Juzo Inui, a war soldier with a revolver instead of a head, runs a business as a resolver to deal with Extended related incidents. One Day a rogue Extended comes to his office asking him to protect a child, the same child who is reported to have been kidnapped by a renegade Extended. But finding the whole situation fishy he decides to take the job. This turns Juzo’s life upside down when he has to protect a child from almost the whole world without even knowing why.
This cyberpunk is a masterpiece of its kind. The plotline is interesting that will keep you stuck to your seat till the last minutes of the series with fabulous world-building. If you want to try supernatural action-based cyberpunk, you should give this one a try.
8. SoltyRei – The Red Lady
This cyberpunk anime is styled in a world where humans can get cybernetic parts incorporated into their bodies to increase their strength or get other benefits. The story revolves around Roy Revant who works as a hunter and bodyguard-for-hire. After the Blast Fall, his wife dies, and his daughter Rose, goes missing; since then he has been trying to find his daughter.
On a mission, he is helped by a young girl with exceptional strength and somehow ends up adopting her as a daughter-in-name. The girl has no memory of who she is or where she came from. Roy names her Solty, and the duo starts working together on missions and taking care of each other. They soon discover secrets about the town that connects to Solty’s past and the disappearance of his daughter Rose.
If you enjoy watching anime with a sweet father and daughter bond then this cyberpunk series will melt your heart. SoltyRei is a cyberpunk anime with the most amazing mix of action, mystery, comedy, and heart-melting moments. It sure is worth a try.
9. Space Dandy
If you are looking for a light-hearted cyberpunk anime with good music and attractive art style then this cyberpunk series is just for you. Even more so, if you love space and believe in aliens. The plot revolves around a space explorer named Dandy with a unique fashion sense.
Dandy with his precious spaceship and two unique companions is on a journey through space to find new undiscovered aliens. Living in a world where you earn a hefty reward for finding a new species of alien, Dandy in his ship, Aloha Oe is on a mission to find as many new aliens as possible and earn a fortune to visit his favorite diner in the whole universe. All the while trying to stay away from Dr. Gel, an evil scientist.
Dandy loves his job but there are still moments where the peril proves to be bigger than the reward but with his trusted vacuum cleaner robot, QT, and the cat-like alien Meow he is ready to take on the journey. This cyberpunk anime will give you a piece of thrilling space advantage that might make you wish to go on an alien hunting trip yourself.
10. Dimension W
How many dimensions do you think maybe exist in the world? Would an infinite source of energy be a boon or a curse to human civilization? A hard question to answer simply based on speculations. This cyberpunk anime might give you a glimpse into the subject. The story of the present cyberpunk series runs in a world where humans have discovered Dimension W, the fourth dimension with an infinite source of energy. Coils are devices used to link and harness the power of Dimension W.
Suddenly when illegal coils start rotating in society, Collectors come into the business. Kyouma Mabuchi is a collector who hunts down illegal coils in exchange for money. The funniest thing about him is his outright distrust in coils, even after living in a world that is run using them. On one such mission, Kyouma runs into Mira Yurizaki an android with a special connection to the father of the coils.
When strange events start happening the duo take it on themselves to cover the mystery and starts working together. If you are looking for a fascinating cyberpunk with amazing world-building then you should give this a try.
11. Kanata no Astra
Kanata no Astra is a cyberpunk anime also known as Astra Lost in Space. It plays in a world where humans can travel from planet to planet easily. People even go on school trips and vacations to far away planets on the other side of the universe. Aries is a teenage girl who is going on an excursion as a member of Team B-5 to planet McPa. Soon after the team arrives at the campsite, they are engulfed by a black light that throws them somewhere unknown in the middle of the space.
Losing hope, ready to die, they discover an abandoned ship, Astra, that might be their last hope home. They take refuge in the abandoned shop and start making a plan on how to return home with its help. Now that they are thousands of light years away from home, they need to work together as a team to survive and return back home.
If you are interested in space survival cyberpunk, then this anime is just for you. It’s full of so many mysteries, friendship, angst, and comedy moments that you won’t be able to stop once you start on it.
12. Armitage III
Armitage III is another cyberpunk anime with an action and mystery subplot. The story is based on the time when the earth’s technology had advanced enough to reside and travel from one planet to another. In this new age, robots and humans live together. There are two generations of robots that humans are aware of. But with the unexpected and ruthless murder of Kelly McCann, a countryside singer, people come to know that there is also a third generation of robots and she was one of them.
Detective Ross Sylibus is transferred to Mars to investigate the murder of Kelly McCanon, with the help of his now assigned partner Armitage. The case becomes more complicated when a serial killer starts similarly murdering other women like Kelly. The killer soon reveals to the public that all his victims are actually ‘Third’, an advanced robot that looks and feels like humans.
Ross and Armitage put their lives on the line to solve the mystery and find the connection of the case to the martian government, even more when Armitage is revealed to be a Third herself. It is a cyberpunk anime that you’ll regret missing on, especially if you are looking for a short and thrilling cyberpunk series.
13. Bubblegum Crisis
This cyberpunk anime revolves around a team of female mercenaries with unique powers. In a futuristic Japan, where after the second great Kanto Earthquake, New Tokyo is built with the help of mechanical beasts known as Boomers. But what happens when the ones that built the city, are the ones now destroying it. Genom is a mysterious mega-corporation, that, for its own corrupted schemes, has now started producing boomers with destructive power.
Now, due to incongruity in power and the evil consciousness given to these mechanical beings, the crime rate has increased in Tokyo, so much so that a special unit has been created to handle boomer-related crimes. But how are you to defeat a threat when you can’t even recognize such a threat. And this is the case with boomers; as they can disguise themselves as humans, it becomes hard to distinguish them until it’s too late. However, even this special force fails to subdue the Boomers. Now the only hope of the civilians is Knight Sabers.
Knight sabers is a mysterious vigilante force with technology more advanced than the military. But who are they? And how did they get this special technology and powers? A mystery with action indeed. If you are interested in cyberpunk anime and believe in girl power, then this is just for you. And if you don’t, who knows, you might just start to.
14. Akudam Drive
A cyberpunk anime with fabulous graphics, amazing world-building, and an engaging story plot. After a long war in Japan that divided the country, Kansai became dependent on another state named Kantou. But Kansai that from the outside seems like a cybernetic paradise is losing its law and order to an underground fugitive group called Akudama. The police and government find themself incapable of putting a check on it and go as far as to declare public execution of an infamous akudama called ‘Cutthroat’.
However, before the execution, all the elite akudama receives a mysterious message asking them to rescue Cutthroat for a substantial amount of money. And in the middle of this all, unknowingly, a civilian girl finds herself stuck among these fugitives having no way to leave. But how long can she pretend to be one of them, following the missions without being outed?
Akudama Drive is an interesting cyberpunk series, to say the least. It is an amazing cyberpunk series that will keep you wanting more.
15. Eureka 7
Eureka Seven is another cyberpunk anime that will keep you glued to the screen with its story plot and action sequence. The story revolves around a 14-year-old boy named Renton Thurston, who wants nothing more than to leave his boring life at home and join a mercenary group known as Gekkostate. But he is stuck with his grandfather, learning to continue his father’s legacy as a mechanic.
One day a massive LFO robot comes crashing down in his garage while Renton is working there, and suddenly his life changes completely. The LFO, a Typezero fighter mecha called Nirvash, is piloted by a beautiful young girl Eureka, to whom Renton takes an immediate liking to. He comes to know that she is being followed by guerilla fighters and a United Federation Forces KLF which resulted in getting Nirvash getting damaged. By the end of servicing Nirvash, Renton ends up deciding to co-pilot Nirvash with her.
Another cyberpunk anime based on heroism, friendship, and determination. With its good art style and fabulous story plot, it becomes one of the best cyberpunk anime to watch.
16. Ultra Violet: Code 044
The plot of this cyberpunk anime is set in a futuristic world in 2140. A world where people are turned into super soldiers through gene manipulation with the help of a virus. Although the virus bestows the person with exceptional powers, it in exchange takes their life force, limiting their life span as a result.
044 is the strongest female soldier among such enhanced individuals. She is assigned the task of destroying a bloodthirsty organization called Phage. While following through with her mission, she comes across a Phage soldier, Luka, and for some reason, finds herself unable to kill him. But this is taken as a traitorous act, and she is labeled as a traitor.
Now she does not only have to protect herself but also an injured Luka; all the while on the run from both, the government and the Phage. It’s a cyberpunk anime that will keep you entertained with its action and plot twists.
17. Speed Grapher
Speed Grapher is another cyberpunk anime that deals with supernatural and bizarre superpowers. The story revolves around a former war photographer Tatsumi Saiga who is assigned to investigate a high-class secret club called Roppongi Club, in the red light district. After somehow getting in, he is discovered before he can even photograph the goddess of the club, Kagura.
Kagura is a teenage girl who is exploited by her mother because of her special ability to grant people strange powers relating to their obsession and secret desires. Just before Saiga is captured and thrown out, Kagura kisses Saiga and gives him the power to blast anything that he takes a photograph of. Saiga is determined to rescue Kagura from the hellhole with the help of his newfound powers.
Speed Grapher is a fascinating cyberpunk anime with an amazing mix of action, romance, mystery, and supernatural. It is a cyberpunk that you surely should give a try, its unique plot is sure to pull you in.
18. Gunslinger Girl
This cyberpunk anime deals with the internal conflict of abandoned children who are given a second chance in life after almost dying due to sickness or the cruelty of the world, only for their free will to be taken away. What do you think is better, to give up life to an illness or to live and lose your own free will and work as a weapon for the government? Gunslinger girls is a cyberpunk anime that might give you an insight into that question.
The Social Welfare Agency is a corporation under the Italian government that rescues orphaned or abandoned sick girls by saving and enhancing their bodies with cybernetic to do the dirty work for the government. Even after being brainwashed, conditioned, and trained as assassins, they still are teenage girls who want love. They have to fulfill all the assignments given to them to stay alive, all the while struggling to understand their own emotions and protect the speck of humanity left in them.
It is another cyberpunk anime that deals with the underlying social evil and malice prevailing in society. So, if you like to watch deeper and darker cyberpunk series, then this is for you.
19. Serial Experiments Lain
Lain is a cyberpunk anime series placed in a world where the boundary between the real world and the cyberworld is getting harder to distinguish with each passing day. The plot of this cyberpunk anime revolves around a girl named Lain Iwakura, whose life starts changing in the most bizarre and disturbing ways after receiving an email from her dead classmate.
Lain has never been interested in “The Wired’ a virtual world of communication. Out of curiosity, when she opens the email, it instantly transfers her to the virtual world of The Wired. After that, she starts having strange cryptic encounters and finds herself being followed by mysterious men in black. As the boundary between the real and the virtual world starts getting blurry, Lain finds herself being plunged into deadly and bizarre events that she never even imagined to be possible.
With the identity, consciousness, reality, and realm becoming muddled and metaphysical, how is Lain going to get herself out of this mess? Is she even who she thought to be? A fabulous cyberpunk series that will keep you entertained and stuck to the screen.
Appleseed takes place in a world after World War III. It’s a cyberpunk anime revolving around two E.S.W.A.T agents and a utopian city. After WWW III, an experimental utopian city called Olympus is constructed by the General Management Control Office. It is inhabited by humans, cyborgs, and Bioroids. Bioroids are genetically enhanced humans with increased physical abilities and lower emotional feelings and reactions, who are responsible for the administrative functions of the Olympus.
Deunan Knute and her Partner Briareos who is a cyborg, are tasked to hunt down a terrorist A.J. Sebastian who wants to kill all the bioroids and believes that they should have never existed. But it is not as simple as might seem. How is Sebastian related to the Human Liberation Front? And what is his relation with Calon, a renegade police officer?
If you want to spend your evening with a cyberpunk romance anime then this cyberpunk series is just for you. With its plot-heavy storyline and action-packed mystery, it’s a bit hard now to like it.
So, here is the list of some out-of-the-world cyberpunk anime series. How many of these cyberpunk series have you come across? Is any of your favorite cyberpunk anime here in this list of Top 20 Best Cyberpunk Anime Series? Please do comment and share with us.