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11 Best Sci-Fi Anime Series About Artificial Intelligence

11 Best Sci-Fi Anime Series About Artificial Intelligence

The mix of science fiction and animation is not unusual. For years now, anime has excellently used futuristic what-ifs to create ingenious stories and make piercing commentary on the changing world. Because there is something so captivating about high-tech worlds and new realities, anime that centers around virtual worlds and artificial intelligence seems more engrossing and vibrant.



Nowhere is this blend more evident than in anime series like Psycho-Pass and Ergo Proxy. Whether they are depicting rogue androids, autonomous AI, or full-blown digital self-awareness, shows in this genre offer viewers a glimpse into what is possible in a future driven by artificial intelligence. Their USP is to depict a world where the line between machine and living, thinking humans is blurred.

The anime series on this list are all AI-themed. They plunge us into a universe where humans and machines interact, coexist, and sometimes clash in ways that are glorious. At the same time, the shows infuse their narrative with the dilemmas that arise in society when our own technological creations take a step ahead of us. Without much ado, let’s explore some genuinely thought-provoking sci-fi anime series about artificial intelligence.

11 Den-noh Coil (2007)

A pioneering work, Den-noh Coil (also known as Coil – A Circle of Children) is a brilliant science fiction anime set in a near-future Japan, where augmented reality has seeped into everyday life. Yuuko “Yasako” Okonogi is a middle school girl who has moved to Daikoku City, which is a contrast of a province due to being lined up by temples but equipped with electronic infrastructure. Yuuko’s grandmother sells illegal tools that can tinker, interact, break into, and manipulate the virtual world.

Exploration of Life and Technology

Den-noh Coil is not just a thoughtful examination of artificial intelligence but also a tender coming-of-age story that explores human connection and how technology affects friendships and growing up. The Den-noh world feels so alive because of the animation; its vision of a future that integrates networking programs into daily life is truly ahead of its time. The series also infuses a surprising amount of heart into the narrative and remains entertaining and whimsical across 26 episodes. Stream on Netflix.

10 Carole & Tuesday (2019)

Directed by Shinichirō Watanabe, this 24-episode anime series is rather lighthearted and a must-watch for music fans. In a future where mankind has been residing on a terraformed Mars for over fifty years now, AI has comfortably found a place in people’s homes and interests. Today, almost anyone can become a singing star through interfaces and technology. Part-timer Carole meets runaway Tuesday and their shared love of music leads them to perform together and eventually gain popularity because of their unique acoustic style.

Powerful Ode to Music

Carole & Tuesday brings a refreshing level of heart and authenticity to its technology-laced musical tale of two girls learning to grow and excel at what they love. The animation is top-notch. It expresses the characters’ emotions through performance. The series also touches on themes of social media, competition, and hard work – all against the backdrop of Mars. While it is a character-driven story, perhaps the most phenomenal part of the anime is the music and the songs, which keep you deeply invested from start to finish. Stream on Netflix.

9 Chobits (2002)

Breaking barriers of creativity, this science-fiction anime series is also a rom-com that features genuinely realistic and touching moments. Based on the manga series written and illustrated by Japanese manga collective Clamp, it takes you to a world where computers start to look like humans. The series’ protagonist, Hideki Motosuwa, is a young guy who cannot afford to buy a Persocom – personal computers that look like humans. But when he finds an abandoned one, dubbed Chii, he takes her home, and soon, a romance blossoms between the two.

Creates an Understanding Between Humans and Persocoms

The anime handles its premise of depicting human-like androids with subtle accuracy. It keeps things light by not delving into the technological part of artificial intelligence, but instead questioning Persocoms and their ability to feel emotions like love. Chii is an innocent and youthful character just discovering the world, and viewers become hooked on whether Hideki is the person for her and if he can love Chii irrespective of her inner workings. Overall beautiful, Chobits explores AI in the most profound ways. Stream on Crunchyroll.

Related: The Most Human-Like Artificial Intelligence in Movies, Ranked

8 The Gene of AI (2023)

Set in a futuristic Japan where 10% of the population is made of Humanoids – machines that are scientifically advanced, operated by artificial intelligence, and can be differentiated by their sideways pupils. Much like any minority, Humanoids are not treated equally in this new world, especially when they contract an illness. Dr. Hikaru Sudou runs a medical clinic suited for Humanoids and often uses forbidden practices to heal them despite the risk it may pose to his career.

Glimpses Into an Enthralling Future

Adapted from Kyūri Yamada’s manga series, The Gene of AI is an understated anime that not only showcases artificial intelligence in a nuanced light but also explores its regulation (or the lack thereof) in society. By shining a spotlight on ways AI can malfunction through the eyes of Humanoids, it evokes genuine care, sacrifice, and emotion. But at the same time, its thoughtful science tries to depict coexistence in a bittersweet, relevant, eye-opening, and uplifting way. Stream on Crunchyroll.

7 Plastic Memories (2015)

Another futuristic anime, Plastic Memories takes you to a world where Sion Artificial Intelligence Corporation has created androids that are so advanced that they are nearly indistinguishable from humans. Called Giftias, these highly advanced Androids may have gotten the right to coexist among humans, but they’re used as servants, and they have a fatal flaw – a lifespan of 81,920 hours. After that, they become wanderers who either have no purpose or go rogue. Eighteen-year-old Tsukasa Mizugaki teams up with a gorgeous Giftia to find and decommission them.

Where AI-Powered Beings Have a Limited Lifespan

True breathtaking animation and strong focus on characters, Plastic Memories tries to immerse viewers into the beautiful Giftia Isla’s plight. Especially through the overarching story of Tsukasa, who finds himself growing close to her despite knowing that their time is limited and that their love has an expiry date. The melancholic concept is balanced with moments of joy and thoughtful insights into the unique and fascinating use of artificial intelligence. The anime’s soundtrack compliments the narrative and leaves a lingering impact. Stream on Hulu.

6 The Orbital Children (2022)

Set in the year 2045, where technology has become so advanced that humans live on different space stations orbiting Earth, The Orbital Children tells a heartwarming tale. We follow the first generation of kids born and raised in space as they navigate this new world with innocent eyes. However, after a massive accident occurs at a space station, a few children are left behind. As resources grow scarce and tensions rise and three children from Earth are brought to a Japanese-built Anshin space station to interact with them, they must band together to survive spatial threats.

Tries to Understand What it Means to be Human

Offering a researched vision of what it is like to grow up in space, The Orbital Children not only crafts a meticulous narrative but also celebrates themes of friendship and found family within its artificial intelligence-infused plot. The world-building and exploration of ethical dilemmas makes its sharp and brisk six episodes fly by in a daze.

Young viewers can relate to the main characters’ journey of self-discovery and loss of innocence. The portrayal of local narrow band connections, low intelligence AI, and smartphone-controlled drones is quite accurate and thought-provoking, making the anime series a standout in the genre. Stream on Netflix.

5 Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song (2021)

A true masterpiece in terms of animation and storytelling, Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song begins in a future where autonomous AI have waged a war against mankind and the stench of blood has seeped into the air. As a final retort, a scientist goes back 100 years in time to seek help from Vivy, a harmless and honest autonomous AI who was created for the sole purpose of spreading happiness among humans with the power of song. Now finding a partner in Matsumoto, she decides to travel to the future and stop the war between AI and humans.

Visually Stunning and Thought-Provoking

Throughout the series, Vivy grows beyond her original programming and bonds with humans who perceive her as something beyond circuits and code. Apart from this rare aspect, the anime also touches lives with music and features a score that is simply astounding. The striking animation and high-stakes situations add to the vibrancy and emotion. Additionally, Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song also has terrific dialogue that promotes understanding between AI and humans. Stream on Crunchyroll.

4 Pluto (2023)

Pluto is a novel take on mangaka Osamu Tezuka’s classic Astro Boy by the acclaimed writer Naoki Urasawa. It transports you to an orderly world where robots and humans are being destroyed despite a law where robots are unable to cause any harm to humans. An android Europol investigator Gesicht takes up a murder case and reveals a jarring resemblance to an isolated and unexplained incident that took place eight years ago. He is joined by another android named Atom, and the duo decides to stop the killer.

Redefines the Sci-Fi Genre

Plunging into themes of injustice, war, and turmoil, Pluto is like a deeply layered puzzle that slowly pieces itself together. Despite being robots themselves, the characters of Gesicht and Atom feel genuine, their complex moralities surfacing on several instances. Pluto thrives on its stunning and edgy animation, artful cinematography, and jazzy soundtrack.

Its take on artificial intelligence, society, and memory may be controversial because at one point, robots possess the ability to kill. But the overarching message is of trust and courage. Stream on Netflix.

Related: 20 Anime Series With One Season You Can Binge in a Day

3 Ergo Proxy (2006)

Ergo Proxy takes place within a sealed domed city of Romdo. Here, citizens prosper under complete governance and the existence of advanced AI known as AutoReiv makes their daily lives easier. However, when a deadly virus breaks out and the AutoReivs gain self-awareness, Re-l Mayer is sent to investigate the matter. She ends up uncovering mysterious origins and purpose of Proxies with the help of Iggy, Vincent, and a child AutoReiv named Pino.

Fuses Dystopia and Mystery

Mind-bending and extremely compelling, Ergo Proxy grips its audience with a game of truth and dare and leaves them guessing in the best ways. The plot unravels at an ingenious and meticulous pace, with the dynamic between Re-l Mayer and Ergo taking center stage.

Beyond just examining artificial intelligence, the anime transforms itself into a psychological thriller. The visual splendor alone brings a richly developed and gloriously dark world to life and touches on humanity and technology and the correlation between the two. Stream on Crunchyroll.

2 Serial Experiments: Lain (1998)

One of the earliest anime to explore virtual reality, artificial intelligence, or to say the least, the internet, Serial Experiments: Lain was created by Yoshitoshi Abe in 1998. The central character is an awkward, fourteen-year-old technophone named Lain Iwakura, who receives an email from her classmate and learns about Wired, a virtual world of interconnected networks. Soon, Lain comes to question her connection to the world and discovers that she is not just a regular girl, but has an AI meant to bridge the gap between the internet and humans.

The True Pioneer of AI in Anime

Somewhat inclined toward the supernatural or techno-horror aspects of storytelling, this anime series poses important questions in the most surreal and unique style. Its fractured narrative and ominous tone leave audiences in awe.

However, as the lines between imagination, technology, and the protagonist’s own existence blur, the series only gets more unsettling and mesmerizing. Almost like a fever dream. Lain transforms into a brilliant character. The series clearly is ahead of its time because the issues she navigates feel relevant even today. Stream on Funimation.

1 Psycho-Pass (2012)

In the 22nd century, Japan has enforced the Sibyl System, under which, it is possible to instantaneously measure and quantify a person’s state of mind and the probability of them committing a crime in the future. The system ensures justice and order in the country.

While Inspectors enforce the law with their grit, there is another group called Enforcers, jaded Inspectors who follow commands and do the officials’ dirty work for them. Inspector Akane Tsunemori and Enforcer Shinya Kougami work together to reveal the truth about the Sibyl System.

Police Thriller Laced with Artificial Intelligence

The anime series offers a fascinating yet frightening look into law enforcement in the future when it is placed in the hands of artificial intelligence. Beautifully crafted and visually striking, Psycho-Pass elevates the genre with its layers and pulse-pounding storytelling. Its greatest strengths are Akane and Kougami, who explore their own ambiguous morality and reflect on themes of social control and its accuracy. Despite being predictable, the pacing and mystery make it a must-watch. Stream on Crunchyroll.

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