10 Best Cyberpunk Anime Movies/Series For Newcomers

Invented by the writer Bruce Bethke, the word cyberpunk is a combination of the words cybernetics and punk. While cybernetics is about studies replacing human tasks with computers, punk represents the nihilistic views popularized in the 1970s and 80s.

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With massive inspiration from movies like Ridley Scottit is blade runner (1982), the anime world has been consistently entertaining audiences around the world since the early 90s with its unique style. These groundbreaking classics are not only inspiring descendants of earlier Hollywood examples, but became groundbreaking precedents that have continued to influence filmmakers today.

“Akira” (1988)

Alongside the typically moving films of Studio Ghibli, the acclaimed film Akira (1988) is undoubtedly an iconic masterpiece that helped launch anime into the global spotlight.

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With sleek visuals that ruled the entire Vaporwave aesthetic, the supernatural sci-fi film is set in the fictional 2019 city of Neo-Tokyo, which is plagued by gang violence and anti-government sentiment. When biker Shotaro Kaneda discovers that his childhood friend, Tetsuo Shima, has acquired telekinetic abilities that threaten to destroy all of Neo-Tokyo, it’s up to Kaneda to stop Tetsuo’s apocalyptic destruction.


‘Psycho Pass’ (2012)

Psycho Pass takes place in a futuristic Japan ruled by the Sybil System, an objective biomechatronic computer network that rules over the security of the city by examining and determining the threat level of each citizen. The assessment of the citizen’s criminal potential is known as the Psycho-Pass.

Creators of Psycho Pass quoted blade runner and Gattaca (1997) as primary influences for the dystopian anime series, and the results are outstanding. Exploring the flaws in the seemingly perfect Sybil system, the series gave audiences one of anime’s best rivalries in addition to introducing the series’ weapon of choice called “Dominators”.

‘Memoirs’ (1995)

Encompassing three unique films that dive into different genres, the common theme of nostalgia and remembrance ties these standalone shorts together, resulting in the anthology film titled Memories (1995).

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magnetic rose ingenuously explores the extremities of reality and fantasy commonly employed by the surrealist master Satoshi Kondealing with the issue of abandonment and bereavement. stink bug is a relatively light political satire that reminds the audience Stanley Kubrickit is Dr Strangelove (1964). The last short film, Cannon fodder, is an experimental interpretation of an apocalyptic future where cannons are omnipresent.

‘Proxy Ergo’ (2006)

With dark dystopian visuals and philosophical themes surrounding Gnosticism, ErgoProxy (2006) dissects the complicated relationship between humans and androids. In the romantic town of Romdeau, several androids known as AutoReivs had been infected with the Cogito virus, which gave the robots self-awareness and led to a series of murders on humans.

Inspector Re-I-Mayer, the granddaughter of Romdeau’s boss, is tasked with investigating the miscreant responsible for the outbreak alongside her sidekick AutoReiv Iggy. However, she slowly discovers that there is something even more sinister beneath the bloodshed.

“Ghost in the Shell”

As Akirathe film ghost in the shell (1995) is responsible for introducing international audiences to Japanese adult animation. Featuring one of the anime’s iconic badass women, Major Motoko Kusanagi and her all-male team of Public Security Section 9 fight corruption and terrorism in the technologically advanced and globalized city of Niihama.

While the cyberpunk movie is more philosophical, its anime series, Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex (2002), contains more action sequences and observes more nuanced character development from the Section 9 team.

“Lain Serial Experiments” (1998)

Unlike today where the internet plays a central role in moderating everyday life, the internet in 1998 had only been around for seven years. In other words, the public is still relatively unfamiliar (and afraid) with the reason for its existence.

In Serial experiments, Lain, Lain Iwakura’s tangled interconnection with the Wired (like the Internet) begins when she receives a disturbing email from a recently deceased classmate. As Lain is immersed in the complex world of the Wired, her distinction between reality and cyberspace slowly disintegrates as she is fed various conspiracy theories, surreal identity paranoias, and social alienation.

‘The Host’ (2003)

fans of The matrix (1999) will certainly be entertained by the sci-fi anthology film, which not only harkens back to the original Matrix, but also expands and elaborates on its ever-expanding universe.

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From sword fighting in a virtual simulation of feudal Japan to an all-out war between humans and machines that ultimately led to humans being trapped in the Matrix in the movies. Produced by The Wachowskis, The facilitator (2003) consists of nine stylistically unique short films, each elucidating the thematic relationships between man and technology.

‘Trigun’ (1998)

Set on a desert planet known as No Man’s Land, Vash The Stampede is a carefree guy who wants to spread his belief in peace and live a quiet life without bloodshed. The $60 billion bounty on his head says otherwise.

Nicknamed “Humanoid Typhoon”, donut-obsessed Vash must stick to his principles of avoiding violence at all costs, despite the fact that many bounty hunters and murderous assassins are determined to send him for the big one. amount of money or because of past relationships. With friendships formed and life or death situations encountered, Vash’s harrowing past comes to light.

‘Texhnolyze’ (2003)

From the same creators of Serial Experiments Lain comes a story centered on the ramshackle underground city of Lux, where citizens live in constant fear under the rule of various criminal groups.

One of the most underrated gems of Madhouse Studio, the sci-fi action drama, centers on a young, prized fighter named Ichise, who had lost an arm and a leg due to an altercation. After becoming a test subject for Texhnolzse implants which allow humans to replace parts of their bodies with cybernetic prostheses, Ichise begins working for one of the criminal factions and soon realizes that the city of Lux is at the edge of collapse.

‘Cowboy Bebop’ (1998)

Even if you’ve never watched anime, you’ve probably heard of cowboy bebop. Fan-favorite space cowboy Spike Spiegel and his band of outcasts embark on a series of bounty-hunting and self-discovery pilgrimages in this space western.

Aside from the very content live-action series produced by netflix, cowboy bebop amazed audiences upon its release for being a refreshing amalgamation of various uninhibited genres. Along with delivering a catchy jazz soundtrack that gets every viewer’s adrenaline pumping through every episode, the show also deals with universal feelings like loneliness and existentialism.

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