Ergo Proxy is one of the most unusual anime when it comes to visual style and world building. The dark and dreary atmosphere combined with the great story that it offers makes it something you should definitely check out if you are into sci-fi and mystery. If you already finished watching the brilliantly crafted episodes of Ergo Proxy and happen to be looking for anime similar in visual style or theme, here are some great shows in a post-apocalyptic setting that you will love. You can watch several of these anime like Ergo Proxy on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
Directed by Hiroshi Hamasaki, this 22-episode series is one of the coolest dystopian anime out there. Set in a man-made underground society, protagonist Ichise, an orphan ends up losing an arm and a leg during prizefighting. He is gets taken in by a doctor who uses him for experimental treatment and gives him special prosthetics and is saved from near death. He soon gets drawn into a war for territorial control and sets out in a violent quest to find the truth about the underground city of Lux.
11. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
Ghost in the Shell is one of the most popular cyberpunk anime of all time. Released in 2002, the anime has a film adaptation as well. The world of Ghost in the Shell showcases a world where it’s possible to get a full body transplant allowing humans to become androids. Stand Alone Complex is quite different from the original Ghost in the Shell while still focusing on the enigmatic Kusanagi Motoko and Section 9. The protagonist continues to deal with crimes by cybernetics-enhanced criminals. The world building is very similar to Ergo Proxy and you will love every bit of it if you are into cyberpunk.
10. Garden of Sinners
Garden of Sinners of Kara no Kyoukai is one of Type-Moon’s lesser known series mostly because it was released as a movie series and not in an episodic format. The story revolves around a Ryougi Shiki who has the ability to destroy anything at will with her mystic eyes. The anime is very fun to watch thanks to Shiki’s split personality, the supernatural forces shown in the world if you are looking for something psychological and mature, Guardian of Sinners might be the right anime for you. Shiki’s character develops quite well throughout the movie series and while it does not contain the sci-fi elements of elements, it offers psychological themes and references a number of philosophical and religious concepts.
9. Wolf’s Rain
Wolf’s Rain is an anime a lot of us have seen while growing up as it was aired on many TV channels across the world in the early 2000s. Unlike Ergo Proxy that is set in a post-apocalyptic world, Wolf’s Rain is set in a pre-apocalypse society where wolves are facing extinction and are forced to take on human form. The similarity between Ergo Proxy lies in the journey of the characters and complex storytelling. Wolf’s Rain offers not only a great story but also a solid visual and aural experience that you do not want to miss out on.
8. Mardock Scramble
Just like Guardian of Sinners, Mardock Scramble is a movie series set in a sci-fi universe. Written by Ubukata Tow, who is known for mixing psychological themes in his works, the story is set in Mardock City, where a former teen prostitute who is almost murdered by a casino manager. She gets saved by a scientist who reconstructs her body using synthetic fiber. The cyberpunk aspect of the anime is really well done and it manages to be beautiful and scary at the same time. The protagonist Rune Balot is one of the best female characters in anime and some battle scenes get very emotional. The anime is very dark and has sexual themes and gore in it, and the gritty atmosphere makes the anime feel all the more special.
7. Serial Experiments Lain
Serial Experiments Lain is one of the oldest anime on this list, and it has all the elements needed in a mystery anime with psychological themes. The story revolves around Iwakura Lain, a fourteen-year-old who is contacted by his friend Chisa who is supposedly deceased. He gets dragged into the world of ‘Wired.’ It is an anime that may need a second sitting or going through online discussions to fully understand, the deep philosophical concepts and questions regarding existence itself manage to offer an experience similar to that of Ergo Proxy.
6. Darker Than Black
Darker Than Black is a 25-episode anime that captures a pre-apocalyptic setting perfectly. A giant wall appears over Tokyo from what is known as ‘Hell’s Gate’ and it leads to all kinds of problems for the citizens. The story revolves around Contractors, who are psychopathic killers with special powers. They are forced to sacrifice something each time they use their powers and the Foreign Affairs Public Security team is forced to investigate these activities and bring the Contractors to justice. From finding the truth behind the Contractors to stopping Hell’s Gate, the team is in constant conflict and the interference by the enigmatic Messier Code BK201, the only man who seems to be capable of stopping the Contractors makes it a compelling anime to watch.
5. Witch Hunter Robin
Witch Hunter Robin tells the story of Robin, the female lead who is tasked with capturing witches for a secret organization. With the witches misusing their power and the number of witch-related incidents on the rise, the story puts the protagonist in conflict and making her question what is really going on. Witch Hunter Robin is all about the setting and storytelling and focuses less on action. If you loved Ergo Proxy for its visual design, you are going to love Witch Hunter Robin as well. The dystopian alternate future is really compelling and every episode will keep you glued to your seat.
4. Neon Genesis Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion is regarded by many as one of the best anime of all time. Both Ergo Proxy and Evangelion are set in a post-apocalyptic theme. The anime is set after the “Second Impact” which destroyed Tokyo and led to the birth of Tokyo III. Soon after the creation of Tokyo III, the new city goes under siege as well from mysterious life forms who are known as Angels. Mankind is forced to rely on man-made machines to combat them and the story revolves around the trio of Asuka, Rei and Shinji. If you love post-apocalyptic anime, you will definitely not be let down by this one. Even though Evangelion is quite old now, the anime has aged quite well. It also happens to be one of the best shows to start with if you want to check out the mecha genre that is ever so popular in the world of anime.
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3. Casshern Sins
Casshern Sins is set in a future where the world is in complete ruin and everything is slowly descending into dust. With humans nearing extinction and robots being forced to salvage new parts to stay up and running, the only hope for survival is to consume the individual known as Casshern. Robots constantly attack the individual while Casshern himself has no memory whatsoever of why he is constantly under siege and how he is in the only one who was unaffected by the ruin. One of the best things about Casshern Sins is that the robots have a sense of identity of their own and the post-apocalyptic setting is shared between both anime. The main characters in both anime have to deal with memory loss and finding their true purpose.
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2. Pale Cocoon
Pale Cocoon tells the tale of how humans destroyed the Earth’s environment and a physical gap has been created between mankind. The dreary mood of the anime is absolutely perfect and highlights the stories of inhabitants from the unknown sky and the lower level. The Archive Excavation Department is responsible for restoring the memories of the past and protagonist Ura works with ole companion Riko to find out more about their existence than what humans already know. There is a fair bit of mystery thrown into the mix and the artistic style is gorgeous. Just like Ergo Proxy, the anime is very intellectual and may require a second visit to fully grasp.
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Gilgamesh tells the tale of two siblings Tatsuya and Kiyoko who live in a dystopian future. A terrorist attack known as the Twin X reshaped civilization and there is no technology in the new world. The twins are constantly hunted by debt collectors who are after the money owed to them by Tatsuya and Kiyoko’s deceased mother. The debt collectors are seemingly working by the siblings’ own father who happens to be Gilgamesh, the terrorist who directed the Twin X attack! Despite all information being laid out by the anime right at the start, users are left guessing what happens next at the end of each episode. It has all the elements of what makes a good post-apocalyptic anime and if you liked Ergo Proxy, you will definitely love Gilgamesh.
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