Science Fiction is likely one of most geek’s favourite genres. This and Fantasy provide some of the richest, most dearly loved fiction to every geek. Whether it be Star Wars, Star Trek, Starfox, or Star-ting to run out of ideas, there will be large parts of Geekdom as a whole dedicated to, and inspired by, space and the future, technology that is still to come and alien cultures still to be met.
There are some fantastic Animes available for Sci-Fi fans, and here are a few of my favourites, ones which avoid the oft-times obvious traps in Anime (if I see another villain whose goal is to unite all people into one entity, I may tear my hair out) and produce compelling stories:
In a world where one’s state of mind can be read and judged by a computer system, it is the job of the MWPSB and its criminal Enforcers to capture those whose Psycho Pass has become clouded, and who are likely to commit violent crimes, if they haven’t already done so. Psycho Pass is an examination of how people would operate in a world where everything about you can be determined by an overarching computer program, from your abilities to how you’re thinking and feeling, and how some would struggle within, and against, such a system.
It’s a fascinating view on the evolution of technology, and has some great character development for the main characters Akane and Kogami, one a new detective and the other a former detective who became an Enforcer because he could not solve a case years ago. I’d heartily recommend it.
Knights of Sidonia
A true space opera anime, Knights of Sidonia follows a young boy who has grown up in the bowels of a civilisation ship as it tries to find a new home for its people. He is found to have an incredible knack for flying the giant Mechs that Sidonia uses to defend itself against against the Gauna, a strange alien race who have driven humanity to the brink and continue to fight them even now.
As a Mech anime, it is a little standard, but what stands out is the world KoS takes place in: a futuristic view of humanity incorporating cloning, genetic manipulation, gender in a world where such things are fluid, and long-distance space battles. The latter is one of the more interesting elements, showing fights over thousands of miles with ships and beings who need days in order to turn or dodge. Whilst the second season does become a little bit of a harem anime, it is still breath-taking and brilliant.
Terror In Resonance
Terror in Resonance is a little iffy as far as Sci Fi goes, but it does involve technology and ideas which aren’t currently available, so I’ve included it. You follow the activities of two young terrorists, whose names are only numbers, as they set puzzles and riddles for the police and perform non-lethal acts of terrorism in order to shake-up the Japanese government.
As odd a setting as this is, Terror In Resonance is still a brilliant series. Nine and Twelve are shown not only as criminals but freedom fighters, putting questions around what determines whether one is a terrorist or not. And, as the plot unfolds and we understand why they are attacking Japan, and why the U.S. government is getting involved to prevent their success, we find issues on experimentation and secret scientific projects, as well as an examination of a post-WW2 Japan and how their government reacted to defeat.
A scientist focussed on developing new gadgets and technology, who has produced a number of bizarre devices, finds that a microwave phone he has developed can send text messages into the past. What’s more, these text messages can affect the flow of time, changing how events one knows have already occurred happen. At least, that’s how it seems…
A strange and complex piece involving non-linear story-telling and compelling characters, Steins;Gate is a brilliant series reminiscent of the indie film Primer, complex and interesting.