The dystopian genre is known for its bleak view of our future and usually frantic worlds. Dystopian anime sometimes delves deep into the subject of a Utopia gone south and other times it takes a back seat to the day to day actions of its characters. Without further ado, here is a list of our favorites!
Spoilers ahead. Repeat spoiler ahead!
This world has been constructed to benefit those with abilities and exterminate anyone who stands in the way of those benefits. From the New World is a prime example of a utopia gone horribly wrong. As Saki and her friends start to unravel the shocking crimes of their society, they get caught in a power struggle for the future of their world. This series does a stunning portrayal of taboo subjects like eugenics. For example, the kids realize that the reason their classmates are going missing is that they’re being killed off for their weak abilities. If you want to get into a dystopian that asks thrilling questions about the human condition, we highly suggest you check this one out!
Aptly named after the utopian city in the series, we start to see foundations crack as Shion ends up sheltering a boy named Nezumi. Later in the series, Shion is accused of murder, but Nezumi saves him from being taken to prison. As Shion starts to live in the slums with Nezumi, he begins to realize the appalling crimes the city’s government has enforced. From genocide to brainwashing, we begin to understand the idyllic life the characters were living in before where all part of a conspiracy to keep the citizens from questioning their reality. Scary!
This series is set in a war-ravaged Japan. After a peacekeeping initiative backfired, Japan passes an act that essentially gives the Japanese government control over the internet. The story follows detective Shinjuurou and his devilish partner Inga as they solve crimes and consistently uncover conspiracies that put their lives in danger. What happens when the government has control over the internet? We love this series as it depicts Shinjuurou as a detective that genuinely cares, and isn’t afraid to get dirty to solve the crime.
In the Empire of Misurugi, everyone can share information which deepens the mutual understanding of its inhabitants about subjects such as discrimination and war. In this Utopia, there is no such thing as inequality or poverty… well, unless you’re a norma. Everyone (supposedly) can use mana which they use to transfer information and use technology, those who can’t are classified as Norma. The story begins with the first princess Angelise finding out she is a norma. This perfect utopia starts to unravel as she learns firsthand about the injustice the Norma face in the empire which puts into question her loyalties. Angelise refuses to be beaten and we’re in love with her determination to change her world.
An affliction has spread across the world: no one can die or reproduce. Ais is one of the last gravediggers and children born during this time, her background is a mystery, but the only thing she does know is that she is the only one that can put the dead to rest. When her whole village is massacred, she sets out into the world to try to use her ability, but she finds out just how far humanity has fallen. Without a way to die or reproduce, people don’t have something to hope for, but she meets people along the way that make her realize that not all hope is lost. We love that we get to see Ais retain her optimism of the world and never allows herself to fall into despair.
A post-apocalyptic anime centered around two girls traveling around a war-torn Earth. The dystopian elements are in the background with a great war killing off most of the humans and totalitarian governments being hinted at throughout the series. The reason we appreciate Girls’ Last Tour is because it tells a different narrative, what happens after everyone has killed themselves in a war? What happens when you’re some of the only remaining humans? The series perfectly depicts life after humans with melancholic undertones and rich dialogue. The reason why we love it is that Chito and Yuuri allow the viewer to have hope. Even after a war, you can find solace in your best friend.
If there is something, we can take from all of these series it is that as long as there is hope, there is a way. What’s your favorite end of the world anime? Tell us by tagging @sentaifilmworks on Facebook or Twitter.