Anime series have always tried to imagine what the future will look like. Often these visions of the future have involved commercial space travel, cyborgs, sentient robots, and other concepts that still seem as far-fetched today as they did when first conceived. While these depictions of the future have mostly not come true, others have.
It can be fun to look back on older anime series and see what they have right and wrong about the future. Some have accurately predicted the rise and popularity of certain forms of technology, while others have predicted how mankind reacts to new technologies.
ten Cowboy Bebop Predicted Delivery Drones
cowboy bebop, the beloved sci-fi action series that has captivated countless anime fans and beyond, is set in a futuristic setting where space travel is the norm. In the episode “Speak Like a Child”, a drone arrives at the Bebop, delivering a mysterious package to the crew.
Drone deliveries are in use today and offer a fast, driverless method to help people get what they need. cowboy be pop aired in the late 90s, before the widespread use of any drone delivery service.
9 Ghost In The Shell Investigated Tech Crimes
The ghost in the shell franchise, including movies and series, The loneliness complex, focus on technological crime. Cyborg law enforcement agent Major Motoko Kusanagi and his team investigate cases of cybercrime and terrorism.
Set in the middle of the 21st century, the series’ cyberpunk world is far ahead of the actual modern world in terms of technology. Still, the franchise predicted how criminals take advantage of technology, especially in cases where advancements occur faster than the law and other institutions can keep up.
8 Chobits featured realistic androids
Chobits takes place in a reality where human-like personal computers called Persocoms are all the rage. Hideki Motosuwa stumbles upon an abandoned Persocom one day and takes it home, discovering that it is faulty. Naming her Chii, he decides to help her discover the world.
Released in 2002, Chobits predicts the invention of realistic androids. While realistic human robots in the real world today may not be as advanced or have human emotions like those of Chobitstechnology has certainly come a long way since the series aired.
seven The robot dogs imagined by neo-human Casshern
Neo-Human Casshernalso known as casshanis a sci-fi action-adventure series that aired in the early 1970s. Set in a world where robots have revolted against their human creators, the series follows an android named Casshern who sets out on a business with his robot dog, Friender, to destroy the robots that threaten humanity.
Neo-Human Casshern and many other sci-fi anime were ahead of their time in their imaginations of dog-like robots. Although modern canine robots cannot transform into tanks or planes like Friender, they are still quite realistic and impressive.
6 The Lain Serial Experiments Predicted the Effects of the Internet on Society
Serial Experiments Lain was released in 1998, at a time when the Internet was gaining popularity. He imagines a future where society has completely integrated with the Internet, called the “Wired”. High school student Lain Iwakura becomes curious about the Wired after a deceased classmate mysteriously sends a message through him.
The series predicted many effects of the internet in the real world. For example, Lain develops a distinct personality in the Wired, much like how people behave differently on the internet than they do in real life.
5 Sailor Moon anticipated modern telephone technology
Sailor Moon, the beloved magical girl anime that began airing in the early 90s, predicted the future with technology used by Sailor Mercury. Sailor Mercury is highly intelligent and adept at using technology to fight evil. She has a small computer called the “Super Computer”, which can quickly analyze data and assess situations and enemies.
Today, Sailor Mercury’s supercomputer doesn’t look too out of place, as it looks almost exactly like a smartphone with a keyboard. With real advancements in phone technology, almost everyone today has their own “super computer” in the form of a smartphone or laptop.
4 Megazone 23 featured popular virtual idols
Before Macros More‘virtual idol Sharon Apple, there was Megazone 23‘s Eve, which predates the popularity of modern virtual idols such as Hatsune Miku. Megazone 23, an OVA series that began airing in 1985, is set in the 24th century after Earth has become uninhabitable. Humanity now lives on giant spaceships called megazones.
Unknown to the public, the singing idol Eve is actually part of a computer program, and her purpose is to monitor the public and keep them in the dark about the true nature of her society.
3 Autonomous cars predicted by éX-Driver
éX-Driver is an OVA series released in the early 2000s. It takes place in the distant future where all vehicles are now managed by AI. However, the AI-powered transport is not without its flaws. éX-Drivers, a group of people who drive non-AI cars, track down faulty AI vehicles, thereby protecting members of the public.
The series was ahead of its time with its portrayal of self-driving cars. Today, the autonomous car is a reality and one day, as in éX-Driverall forms of transport could be controlled by AI to eliminate traffic jams and man-made accidents.
2 Dragon Ball Z had the Scouter long before Google Glass
Long before Google Glass was designed, Dragon Ball Z popularized the concept with the scouter, a wearable piece of technology worn by many members of Frieza’s army. Dragon Ball Zone of the most beloved shonen series to date, began airing in 1989 and follows the adventures of Goku, a member of the mighty Saiyan race.
When worn, the detector can gauge an opponent’s power level, making it a useful tool for gathering information. Google Glass bears an uncanny resemblance to the scouter, leading many to wonder if it was inspired by this fictional laptop.
1 .hack//Sign Foresaw Virtual Reality Game
While the sci-fi fantasy series .hack//Sign released in 2002, it predicted a world where virtual reality gaming is possible. A precursor to Sword Art Online, .hack//Sign predicted the popularity of VR games, even if virtual reality is not yet as immersive.
The series follows the story of Tsukasa, who wakes up to find he is trapped in a virtual reality MMORPG called The world. Can’t log out, can’t remember what he was doing before waking up The worldand he can feel pain, unlike other players.
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