Anime about Mars is common in sci-fi or fantasy series. These anime delve deep into the complexities and mysteries of the Martian environment and landscape, interweaving elements of science fiction, fantasy, and sometimes even poignant human drama.
You will get a mesmerizing glimpse into what life might look like on Mars and how humanity might interact with this distant yet eerily familiar world.
Whether it’s tales of colonization, battles for resources, or profound interpersonal relationships in an alien setting, these ten anime series and films explore Mars’s myriad possibilities for imaginative storytelling.
- Curiosity about Mars: Mars has always intrigued humans, and anime offers a unique perspective on the Red Planet.
As Earth faces increasing overpopulation, visionaries have launched an ambitious plan to terraform Mars using mold and cockroaches. Nearly 500 years after initiating this plan, a team embarks on the Annex 1 mission to Mars.
They aim to conduct vital research on the Virus that currently threatens humanity. To battle the Terraformars, giant humanoid cockroaches, the crew members receive injections containing various Earth life DNA.
Terra Formars – Highlights:
- Directed by an expert who paid meticulous attention to detail.
- Stellar cast with varied performances.
- Rich, detailed, and colorful set designs, costumes, and make-up.
- Engaging pacing; no lengthy intros or conclusions.
- Intriguing flashbacks revealing character backgrounds.
- Action-packed, diverse scenes with stunning visuals.
- Plot twists to keep you guessing.
- Insightful insect details add depth to the narrative.
Martian Successor Nadesico
- Futuristic Concepts: Explore potential technologies and societies on a Martian landscape.
Akito Tenkawa searched for answers about his parents’ deaths, only to find himself recruited onto Nadesico’s spaceship as a cook and a mecha pilot – a role he never wanted!
- Packed with:
- Multiple plot twists.
- Strong character development.
- Comedy that’ll have you laughing.
- Gripping action scenes.
- Deep dramatic moments.
- Political intrigue.
- War portrayal:
- Both sides have their flaws.
- Soldiers are depicted as humans, not villains.
Mobile Suit Gundam
- Adventure: Mars as a frontier for thrilling quests and challenges.
On her journey to Earth, Kudelia gained insights about the world and subsequently established the Admoss Company, aiming for Mars’ financial autonomy.
During a visit to a halfmetal mining site, Orga Itsuka, who leads Tekkadan and works as security for Admoss, detects a looming threat from a new adversary. Together with Mikazuki piloting the Gundam Barbatos Lupus mobile suit, they move to face this new challenge.
- Anime Overview:
- Not a simple hero vs. villain narrative.
- Characters battle for both survival and triumph.
- Presents consequences of war comprehensively.
- Showcases strategies and endeavors of both warring factions.
- Switches perspective between Zeon and the Earth Federation.
- Story Highlights:
- Highlights internal strife within factions.
- Main crew’s treatment is a central theme.
- Focus on the neglected innocents amidst the power struggles.
- Educational Value: Learning about Mars in a fun, engaging manner.
In a society where androids and humans live side by side, Rouge, an android girl, teams up with her ally, Naomi, for a mission on Mars. Their objective: to eliminate nine synthetic humans deemed threats by the government.
In a not-so-distant future where Mars boasts vast oceans, Gram River is merely a youngster struggling in the city’s underbelly. His mundane life takes a drastic turn when pirates ambush his neighborhood.
Barely escaping the waters’ clutches, Gram finds himself on the pirates’ vessel, presented with a life-altering choice: face death or align with the marauders.
Opting for the latter, he becomes a member of the pirate band, embarking on a quest to unearth Mars’ fabled treasure. However, other seekers also have their eyes on the prize.
- Gram River, a modestly paid worker.
- Accidentally dons a mecha-like suit underwater.
- Unexpectedly ends up on Aurar’s ship.
- Chooses to join and work with the pirate crew.
- Embarks on thrilling adventures.
- Action-packed sequences.
- Unforgettable characters.
- Engaging and memorable storyline.
Space Battleship Yamato
The Federation demoted Johnny Rico and reassigned him to a minor satellite station on Mars as they launched an assault on the bugs’ home planet. While Rico trains his new recruits in this seemingly peaceful outpost, the bugs launch an unexpected attack.
With the Federation’s Fleet out of reach, Rico and his Troopers must defend the planet and discover how the bugs managed to get so close to their territory.
- Animation quality might seem dated compared to 90’s fluidity and recent CGI dominance.
- It is essential viewing for true fans of the genre.
In 2179, Mars is home to both humans and robots. The advanced Third-Type robots can seamlessly blend into human communities, a secret well-kept until D’anclaude unravels it.
With a mission to eradicate them, he launches a crusade against their kind. Armitage, herself a Third-Type, teams up with her police partner, Ross, to thwart D’anclaude’s malicious intent.
- Armitage ranks among my top favorite Animes.
- Armitage defies expectations: while it has Blade Runner-esque elements, it offers more depth.
- Combines outstanding animation, action, and a touch of romance with a unique sensitivity.
- It might not appeal to casual Anime viewers.
- For dedicated Anime enthusiasts, it’s a must-watch.
Carole & Tuesday
Fifty years have passed since mankind began migrating to the new frontier: Mars.
The director of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo created this anime, so I approached it with high expectations. While it adopts a slower, slice-of-life pace in a futuristic setting, the story remains straightforward for a sci-fi anime. It revolves around two girls connected deeply by their passion for music.
- Carole and Tuesday’s soundtrack features heartfelt songs.
- Favorites: “Loneliest Girl” and “Lay It All On Me”.
- The story didn’t fully deliver despite the impressive soundtrack.
- First-season episodes felt isolated, causing a disjointed narrative.
- The second season hinted at an overarching storyline but lacked direction.
- The soundtrack filled some narrative gaps.
- Unresolved character relationships throughout.
- It’s worth watching for its music and uplifting message, but it has flaws.
Aria (Now Aqua)
Aria offers a heartwarming blend of life lessons and experiences, making it a standout anime. Although known for its slow pace, its wholesome nature, captivating music, memorable characters, and engaging short stories make it the pinnacle of slice-of-life anime.
- Both Mars Daybreak and Aria depict worlds with vast seas.
- Aria’s version of Mars is peaceful and serene.
- It portrays Mars as an ideal vacation destination.
Cowboy Bebop Universe
In Cowboy Bebop, Earth’s harsh conditions have pushed humanity to spread across the Solar System. The story follows a diverse group of bounty hunters on a spaceship, ensuring their adventures extend beyond Mars.
- Mars in Cowboy Bebop resembles Earth:
- Features cities, shopping malls, etc.
- Contains an old, abandoned theme park.
- Cowboy Bebop: The Movie centers on Mars, giving it more spotlight than the series.
- Cowboy Bebop appeals to fans of:
- Action, space, jazz, comedy.
- Classic bounty hunter, detective, or private eye movies.
- Dark narratives with character-driven twists.