15 Underrated Sci-Fi Anime You Probably Haven’t Seen

List Rules

Vote up the sci-fi anime series that deserve more recognition.

Sci-fi is an exciting, expansive genre that's full of possibility - which is exactly why you might want to start checking out underrated sci-fi anime. While some of the best sci-fi anime are incredibly popular series like Psycho-Pass and Steins;Gate, the world of science fiction anime doesn't stop there.

From high-octane action series like Akudama Drive to quiet, thought-provoking shows like Time of Eve, there's a whole world of sci-fi anime that you may not know about. Hopefully, you'll discover a new favorite.


  • 1
    199 VOTES
    Last Exile
    Photo: Last Exile / Gonzo

    If you like your sci-fi with a side of steampunk, try Last Exile. In the world of Prester, most travel is conducted in the sky. Claudia Fluid, a substance that is necessary to fuel aircrafts, is strictly controlled by an organization called "The Guild." The Guild also mediates an ongoing war between two nations, Anatoray and Disith. In the midst of the chaos, Sky Couriers deliver messages, packages, and even people.

    Claus Valca and Lavie Head are two Sky Couriers on a mission to deliver an orphan girl named Alvis Hamilton to a battleship called Silvana. Caught between warring countries and ecological problems, the trip is arduous - and they soon find themselves up against the Guild itself. 

    199 votes
  • 2
    227 VOTES
    Ergo Proxy
    Photo: Ergo Proxy / Manglobe

    After an ecological catastrophe destroys most of Earth, domed communities like Romdo are among the only hope that humanity has for survival. In order to make their lives a little easier, humanoid robots called AutoReivs are created. But when the Cogito Virus gives these androids consciousness, questions about their role in society begin to emerge. Re-l Mayer, the granddaughter of Romdo's mayor, begins investigating this phenomenon with her AutoReiv Iggy. 

    She soon realizes there's a lot more to the story than she realized - a vast conspiracy that's gone way too far. She soon encounters Vincent Law, an AutoReiv who may be able to help her uncover some of these mysteries. 

    227 votes
  • 3
    197 VOTES

    Akudama Drive

    Akudama Drive
    Photo: Akudama Drive / Studio Pierrot

    If you love action-packed cyberpunk mayhem, you should check out Akudama Drive. Advanced technology makes the futuristic world of Kansai look like a utopia. However, even in a utopia, crime can flourish. 

    Criminals known as Akudama run rampant throughout the city. Cutthroat, a particularly infamous Akudama known for slaying 999 people, is about to be executed. An elite group of Akudama is assembled to try and rescue Cutthroat. 

    197 votes
  • 4
    141 VOTES
    Dimension W
    Photo: Dimension W / Orange, Studio 3Hz

    After humanity discovers a fourth dimension - called Dimension W - they develop a device called a coil that allows them to harness the power of that dimension. Soon, these coils are totally controlled by the New Tesla Energy Corporation, and any unauthorized coils are considered illegal. 

    Ex-soldier Kyouma Mabuchi doesn't trust coils at all - he even uses a gas-powered car instead of a coil-based one. His job is to track down illegal coils. While on a mission, he encounters an android who is connected to the "father" of coils. The two end up embroiled in a series of strange events that lead to them uncovering some of the mysteries behind Dimension W. 

    141 votes
  • 5
    98 VOTES

    Voices of a Distant Star

    Voices of a Distant Star
    Photo: Voices of a Distant Star / CoMix Wave Films

    Despite being created by the world-renowned Makoto Shinkai, Voices of a Distant Star is not well-known. Though not as polished as later works like Your Name and Weathering with You, it still touches on Shinkai's core theme of lovers who can't be together. 

    Noboru Terao and Mikako Nagamine are friends who are falling in love. When aliens attack their home, Mikako is selected for a UN military space mission to help fight the aliens. The two try to keep in touch, but the further Mikako travels, the longer it takes for her messages to reach Noboru. Can they keep their love alive, or are they fated to drift apart? 

    98 votes
  • Crest of the Stars
    Photo: Crest of the Stars / Sunrise

    After a race of advanced humanoids called the Abh Empire attacks humanity, they establish the Four Nations Alliance in the hopes of defending themselves. But not every world was able to defend themselves. 

    Jinto Linn's father sold their world to the Abh in exchange for a high position within the Abh Empire. Now a count, Jinto is mingling with Abh royalty while preparing to attend school. But on his way to his first day of school, his ship is caught up in a battle between the Alliance and the Abh. Alongside his friend, an Abh princess, he must find a way to manage the conflict. 

    92 votes