Anytime you throw the term classic onto a rather new project, you’re bound to get some pushback even from those who enjoy the so-called Classic themselves. The term has always been something of a head-scratcher.
Back in 2014, Kazutaka Kodaka was approached by an old college friend after the Danganronpa stage event. And this college friend of Kodaka turned out to have recently become a producer at Studio Pierrot. And so when he suggested they make something together, Kodaka found himself thinking back to a genre that had made such an impact in the 90s.
At the time, it was unclear how well it would be accepted. The director in particular, wondered if modern anime fans, in particular, would even accept Cyberpunk. But the fates aligned so that the series came out at just the right time when cyberpunk was making a resurgence in film, Television, and games. And so, all that was left was to create their own cyberpunk world.
In some ways, it’s difficult to strive for originality when doing cyberpunk. Because it’s a genre with expectations and imagery. Narratively, there are a lot of different themes and directions you can go in. Akudama Drive takes inspiration from Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City with its oppressive highrise building, clouding the market underneath.
Usually, the anime starts with the project planning stage, where the main staff, like the director and writer, work to determine what the show will be. These ideas form the basis of the next stages in pre-production, where they work to write the scenario and create the designs for the project and background. It’s up to the designers to take the director’s instructions and turn that into visual language.
But Akudama Drive decided to change things up a bit, background director Yoshio Tanioka had worked in the anime industry for a while, but for Akudama Drive, he was not just following the director’s instructions, but instead, for the first time, he was able to contribute his ideas for a cyberpunk Kansai from the very beginning.
Akudama Drive is a modern classic, probably an Anime with a production unrivaled cast of characters fully fleshed out with a beginning, middle, and end. You could have easily convinced any watcher that the show’s main hook was its outstanding production value, both in the sound and visual departments.
The story of Akudama Drive follows a young woman known as Akudama, who accidentally becomes a criminal and is now being pursued by the government. Because of this, she decides to take a fake identity to hide from the government.
Here are the 24 more animes you should watch if you loved Akudama Drive.
Hope’s Peak Academy is an elite high school that accepts only the best of the best. Each and every student are ultimate- the ultimate swimmer, the ultimate programmer, the ultimate martial artist, and even the ultimate bike gang leader. Our main character is Makoto Naegi, a young man who got into Hope’s Peak by sheer luck through a lottery, hence being referred to as the Ultimate Luckiest Student.
When Makoto walks on his first day, eager to attend such a prestigious establishment, then suddenly everything goes black. When Makoto comes back to consciousness, he finds himself inside the school in a classroom. But when he explores the rest of the building, things are not as he expected. There are bolted windows, doors are locked, constantly circulating cameras, and even into the ceiling machines guns are placed.
It isn’t long until Makoto meets up with 14 other Hope’s Peak students, All of whom are also attacked and trapped in much the same way. Without much time to ponder their predicament, the group is approached by Monokuma, A black and white talking teddy bear who quickly informs them that while all their need will be provided for in the school, no one will be allowed to leave, with one exception. If any student can kill another without getting caught, then that student and that student alone will be set free.
IMDB has rated Danganronpa 6.8 out of 10.
You can read more about Danganronpa here.
There are many numbers of things that can make us love an anime. It’s a compelling and personal story or deep and interesting characters or themes and ideas to make you think for weeks. And Psycho-Pass says why not all of them.
Psycho-Pass is a character and theme-driven story, in this futuristic world of Japan, a breakthrough has been made in technology that accurately determines any person’s mental state, which leads to a society where employment is determined by complex algorithms that decides what job would suit you best for the betterment of society.
The system known as Sibyl System is also very good at determining various likelihoods that you would ever commit a crime. This is where the Ministry Of Welfare’s Public Safety Bureau comes in. Armed with the sophisticated weapons known as Dominators, inspectors of the MWPSB have the ability to directly connect with the Sibyl System to determine its judgment of any specific individual.
IMDB has rated Psycho-Pass 8.2 out of 10.
Gantz is the anime adaptation of the famous manga written by Japanese illustrator Hiroya Oku. The story of Gantz revolves around two high school students named Kei Kurono and Masaru Kato. While saving a drunk homeless man who falls on the track, they get hit by a running train.
After their death, our main characters, Kurono and Kato, find themself in an empty and unfurnished apartment somewhere in Tokyo. And then they meet a Gantz veteran named Joichiro Nishi and other clueless participants. After some time, Kurono and Kato realize that it is impossible to leave the apartment. Then they find out a large black-colored sphere in the corner of the apartment, which is known as Gantz.
After some moments, the black spheres open up, and a bald and naked man appears in front of them who is wearing a breathing mask and attached wires on his head with some weapons. Along with weapons, there are also some custom-fitting black clothes that have superhuman powers and damage resistance ability.
IMDB has rated Gantz 7.2 out of 10.
4. The Great Pretender
Instead of solving crimes, The Great Pretender is all about committing crimes, instead of using money to solve problems, pretenders solve the problem to gain money. The Great Pretender is all about entertainment, it follows a handful of skilled con men and women through three arcs of heist madness. From the money-laden streets of Los Angeles to the Cold cobblestones of Paddy. This great anime series was produced by Wit Studio in 2020.
Makoto Edamura is a small-scale con artist in Japan. He is not a man with great aspirations and life but one with skill in sleight of hand and a convincing smile. He is one for the masterful art of simple pickpocketing, that is until he accidentally pickpockets the wrong man, Laurent Thierry. Laurent is a blond-haired playboy with confidence and capital to match.
IMDB has rated The Great Pretender 7.9 out of 10.
You can read more about Netflix’s Great Pretender here.
5. Lupin III
Lupin III is a long-running anime series dating back to the 1970s following the titular gentleman thief Lupin and his ragtag team, stealing the greatest treasures and secrets the world has to offer. All while the seductive Fujiko Mine tries to get her way in the fumbling Interpol detectives that he got a tries to put them all behind bars. It’s a classic that has, directly and indirectly, impacted the last 40 years of Japanese animation, and it’s an essential part of anime history that holds not only some of the most fun visual storytelling but is also produced by some of the greatest creators of modern animation.
Lupin is one of the most widely appearing anime characters in history with lots of movies, animes, and spin-offs.
IMDB has rated Lupin III 8.0 out of 10.
You can read more about Lupin III here.
6. Cowboy Bebop
Cowboy Bebop is an anime series directed by one of the most famous directors in the anime industry Shinichirō Watanabe.
Cowboy Bebop is an epic show which follows a group of bounty hunters who are trying to survive in the year 2071. Although they all are in the same group, they don’t always get along very well. The best thing about the show is that every character in the show has a different and hard past, and the show Cowboy Bebop describes their pasts in a very beautiful way.
IMDB has rated Cowboy Bebop 8.9 out of 10.
You can read more about the characters of Cowboy Bebop here.
7. Death Note
Death Note came out in Japan back in 2006, and since then, its popularity has soared on both sides of the ocean.
After being bored for thousands of years, a Shinigami named Ryuk accidentally drops a Death Note. As the name describes, the book is not an ordinary notebook, the person whose name is written in the Death Note will die. The Death Note is then picked up by a high school genius by the name of Light Yagami.
And this is where the psychological thriller part starts kicking him, having realized what he has and what he can now do completely changes Light from a normal high schooler to a Serial Killer named Kira.
IMDB has rated Death Note 9.0 out of 10.
8. Bungo Stray Dogs
Bungo Stray Dogs is a different anime in the fact that it is not a very mainstream anime, and most people have not seen it. If you, too, haven’t seen it yet, you are differently missing out on something good.
The action in this show is spectacular, the fight scenes all feel really impactful and all the abilities of the characters are super unique and quirky. And the best part about this anime is that every character does not require an overpowered ability to succeed, every single one has their niche, and all of them feel very impactful throughout the entire show itself.
IMDB has rated Bungo Stray Dogs 9.3 out of 10.
One of the best aspects of Erased is that it has this very particular kind of time travel, however, the show is not technically about time travel, but it just has an aspect.
Erased is actually a murder mystery with science fiction and supernatural elements. Eighteen years ago in this world, there were a string of disappearances and murders. And it turns out that the killer was never caught out and is still out on the streets and is a danger to everyone.
The Sci-Fi time-travel twist is that our main character Satoru Fujinuma has the ability to travel backward in his own time slightly.
IMDB has rated Erased 8.5 out of 10.
10. Paranoia Agent
If you are looking for a show to make immediate sense, one with a proper story with no underlying subcontinent, or if you are looking for a show to be relatively straightforward, then you may not like Paranoia Agent.
Paranoia Agent was directed by the Late Satoshi Kon and put together almost exclusively by Studio Madhouse, which is a pretty mind-blowing thing all in itself, considering the awesome reputations of both these parties.
IMDB has rated Paranoia Agent 8.0 out of 10.
Deca-Dence, at the start of episode one, paints a picture of a horrific future, one where mysterious creatures invaded our planet long ago and wrecked so much destruction that the human race was decimated and forced to live in mobile fortresses which are relatively safe from harm.
IMDB has rated Deca-Dence 7.0 out of 10.
12. Made in Abyss
Abyss is located on an island in the middle of nowhere lies a hole, a pit impossibly large and tremendously deep. The Abyss is home to entire ecosystems of monsters, aberrations, and unknown magicks.
Like a long outdated D&D supplement, the Abyss contains many artifacts and remnants of a lost civilization that operate without explanation, some even bending the laws of physics, reality, and life itself, which makes them valuable.
IMDB has rated Made in Abyss 8.4 out of 10.
13. Cop Craft
Cop Craft easily stands tall episode by episode thanks to a unique set of characters, Kei Matoba and Tilarna Exedilica, but also the world they inhabit. Earth eventually, this gateway opens up that allows travel between the human world and another world where fairies, elves, and basically all form of mythical creatures live.
IMDB has rated Cop Craft 6.6 out of 10.
In Dorohedoro non-magic users occupy a world called “The Hole”. Wizards coming from another world frequently travel over to the Hole to test new magic on humans, creating magic victims like Kaiman, who is our main character too. Kaiman and his best friend Nikaido go around murdering wizards in search of the one who gave Kaiman this goofy head.
IMDB has rated Dorohedoro 8.1 out of 10.
15. Fire Force
One day in Tokyo, a man riding a train spontaneously explodes and turns into a monster, and this was one of the coolest openings in anime history. Our protagonist named, Shinra Kusakabe, is the newest recruit in the Fire Force. Shinra has a condition that causes him to smile when he feels nervous and tense, and he joined the Fire Force because he wants to be a hero.
IMDB has rated Fire Force 7.6 out of 10.
16. No Guns Life
No Guns Life is an anime about a man with a gun on his head, explode-punching trains with his revolver fists to save kidnapped children from evil business robots and assassin cyborg nuns. Gun Head detective man named Inui Juzo is a fully realized character with goals, values, anxieties, and flaws. He is a hero who uses his strength to protect the weak from the powerful.
IMDB has rated No Guns Life 6.7 out of 10.
17. The Irregular at Magic High School
Everyone in the world of The Irregular at Magic High School has science fiction abilities. The way of using magic in this series is very different and unique. This anime show is a perfect example of the combination of Sci-Fi and Magic.
IMDB has rated The Irregular at Magic High School 7.1 out of 10.
18. Darling in the Franxx
Darling in the Franxx is a 24-episode series produced in early 2018 as an almost unprecedented collaboration between A-1 Pictures and Studio Trigger, helmed by director Atsushi Nishigori.
It takes place in earth’s distant future. Humanity has moved to a more fantastical kind of molten energy, mined from deep underground to power all sorts of futuristic technologies.
IMDB has rated Darling in the Franxx 7.4 out of 10.
19. Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell, a 1995 movie, was directed by Mamoru Oshii. The film was based on a manga by Masamune Shirow and takes place in the year 2029 in a world where humans and technology have become sort of mixed.
IMDB has rated Ghost in the Shell 6.3 out of 10.
20. Ergo Proxy
In Ergo Proxy, we start off in a dystopian society set somewhere in the future, humans exist alongside androids called AutoReivs, but lately, a virus has been disturbing the robots and giving them souls. One of our main characters, Re-L is sent to investigate some of these AutoReivs murders and starts uncovering a little bit too much about their government.
IMDB has rated Ergo Proxy 7.9 out of 10.
21. Dimension W
Dimension W is a Sci-Fi action series set within a futuristic utopia where humans have found the fourth dimension and using something called Coils to extract pure energy from it.
IMDB has rated Dimension W 6.8 out of 10.
22. Blood Blockade Battlefront (Kekkai Sensen)
Blood Blockade Battlefront a.k.a Kekkai Sensen, is a supernatural action adventure from Studio Bones that takes place in Manhattan, New York.
The story goes that several years back, this dimensional breach portal thing opened up in the middle of the city, releasing a whole bunch of monsters’ magic and supernatural elements.
IMDB has rated Blood Blockade Battlefront 7.2 out of 10.
23. Black Lagoon
The show Black Lagoon starts with a businessman named Rokuro Okajima, who is living a perfectly normal life until his company orders him to transport a disk somewhere.
On his way, he gets attacked by Big Lagoon, who was hired to steal the disk. After this, the company of Rokuro abandons him because it is easier for them as compare to find him. Then he decides to stay with Lagoon under the name that they give him, Rock.
IMDB has rated Black Lagoon 7.9 out of 10.
Btooom! is an anime whose story is based on a game. In the show, the game named Btooom involves nothing but Bombs. It’s all about throwing and dice rolling the bombs.
IMDB has rated Btooom! 7.1 out of 10.