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15 Extraordinary Anime About Life In Outer Space

Updated October 13, 2018 3.0k votes 695 voters 22.4k views15 items

List RulesVote up the most out-of-this-world space anime.

Most people – with astronauts serving as an exception – spend their who life within the confines of Earth. However, there's no reason anime should have to do the same.

There are plenty of anime about space that allow viewers to feel like they've left Earth's atmosphere. Which are the best space anime? That depends on personal preferences.

Does anime about intergalactic war sound appealing, like the Gundam Series and Legend of Galactic Heroes? Or perhaps a more modern spin on the genre, like the whimsical world of Space Patrol Luluco? Wherever a person's preferences lie, chances are good their favorite narrative beats are more exciting when they happen in space. 

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  • Cowboy Bebop is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 15 Extraordinary Anime About Life In Outer Space
    Photo: Sunrise

    The Bebop crew travels from planet to planet in a remodeled fishing trawler, taking on whatever bounty hunting jobs come their way. Most episodes revolve around adventures on new planets or aboard the ship, but a few delve into the protagonists' pasts, providing a deeper look at the fully-realized heroes.

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  • Outlaw Star is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 15 Extraordinary Anime About Life In Outer Space
    Photo: Sunrise

    Chances are anime fans have seen at least some of Outlaw Star on Toonami. At the show's start, Gene Starwind has always wanted to travel the galaxy, but he's stuck doing odd jobs instead.

    When a mysterious woman named Rachel Sweet hires Gene and his partner James Hawking for a deceptively tricky job, Gene finally gets the chance to board the Outlaw Star spaceship and have his very own adventure in outer space. 

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  • The 'Gundam' Franchise is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 15 Extraordinary Anime About Life In Outer Space
    Photo: Sunrise

    The Gundam franchise is one of anime's largest, most well known properties. Each series focuses on a different set of characters, and a new conflict that often (but not always) involves the military.

    Whether you're watching Gundam Wing, G Gundam or SD Gundam, you're sure to get your fill of space-based battles between mechas piloted by human soldiers. The Gundam series served as inspiration for many other mecha and space-based anime that came after it. 

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  • Space Battleship Yamato 2199 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 15 Extraordinary Anime About Life In Outer Space
    Photo: Xebec

    After an aggressive and unceasing attack by an alien race called the Gamilas, Earth is so damaged that humanity can no longer survive. With an estimated one year left before extinction, humankind has to find a way off of the planet before their imminent demise. 

    A mysterious planet called Iscandar offers a device that might solve humanity's problems, but to get ahold of it they have to travel 148,000 light-years. 

    Space Battleship Yamato 2199 chronicles the titular ship's journey to Iscandar, which is even harder than it sounds because the crew has no idea what they're doing. Plus, they're constantly bombarded with Gamilas attacks.

    The original version of this anime aired in the '70s, and received a 2012 remake that's generally rated more favorably.

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