70’s Sci-Fi Anime Worth Watching

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Who needs a double feature picture show when you can load up on 70s sci fi anime?

I’ve got plenty of shows here to tickle your fancy and blast your lasers. Are you looking for something out of the ordinary? Look no further, as we explore some of the best 70’s science fiction anime.

Future Boy Conan (1978)

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Future Boy Conan is a post apocalyptic sci fi series produced by Nippon animation. It ran for 26 episodes and even has Hayao Miyazaki as a director. The story is based on a novel called The Incredible Tide by Andrew Key, published eight years before in 1970.

Miyazaki agreed to work on Conan with the condition he would be permitted to adjust the story. Miyazaki found the theme of the novel to be too pessimistic, stating “even if someone’s lost all hope for the future, I think it is incredibly stupid to go around stressing this to children. Emphasize it to adults if you have to, but there’s no need to do so to children. It would be better to simply not say anything at all.”

The story begins with the end of the world. Global powers wage a war with magnetic super weapons that cause the continents to sink deep into the ocean. Some people tried to escape the devastation in space ships, but many of them don’t make it. One ship, however, manages to land a small island.

It is with these survivors that our hero, Conan, is born. But soon, all the remains of the survivors are Conan and his grandfather. Conan eventually discovers more islands—and a girl named Lana. The story follows their blossoming post-apocalyptic relationship.

Mazinger Z (1972)

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Mazinger Z is a giant robot series created by Go Nagai. It was first published in October of 1972 in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump. Less than two months later, the anime premiere debuted.

This series led to the development of several sequel adaptations including Great Mazinger, UFO Robot Grendizer, and Mazinkaiser.

The title, Mazinger Z, refers to the main giant robot of the series. The mecha, created by Professor Juzo Kabuto, was created with a fictional metal known as Super-Alloy Z. Mazinger Z is the professor’s secret weapon against the evil Dr. Hell.

Dr. Hell has created a group of mechanical beasts of his own. It’s up to the new secret weapon, Mazinger Z, to stop him.

The idea of a pilot driven mecha first came to Go Nagai while sitting in traffic. He imagined how the cars behind him would like to jump in front of those in front. And it was this traffic jam that led to the creation of pilot driven mecha anime. Who wouldn’t want to drive a giant robot like a car?

Space Pirate Captain Harlock (1977)

retro anime | scifi sci fi anime


Captain Harlock is a space pirate. Did you get that?

He’s the captain of a great spaceship known as the Arcadia. The series was created by Leiji Matsumoto, published to Play Comic in 1977.

Captain Harlock is an outcast, wanted by the government. He and his ragtag team of companions do everything they can to defend themselves, and even the planet Earth. Despite the warrant for his arrest, Captain Harlock fights for what’s right in his heart and even defends Earth.

If you want to know more about Harlock, you’ll have to check out my review of episode one.

Mobile Suit Gundam (1979)

retro anime | scifi sci fi anime


Mobile Suit Gundam was created by Yoshiyuki Tomino. The anime adaptation was produced by Sunrise. It marked the very beginning of the Gundam series.

The story is set in a futuristic, fictional world. The year is 2124, the Earth is ravaged with conflict. The One Year War has flung every continent into the middle of a global war. Even neighboring space colonies have been brought into the fight.

Our heroes have the upper hand, though. They have a new type of weapon—a humanoid mecha suits known as Gundam. The suits look like giant robots, but are actually controlled by a pilot inside of the suit.

The Mobile Suits were inspired by powered armor found in the 1959 novel Starship Troopers.

Galaxy Express 999 (1978)

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Galaxy Express 999 was created by Leiji Matsumoto in 1978.

The story takes place in a futuristic society in which people have learned to transfer their minds into mechanical bodies. The transformation is seamless, granting them what might as well be seen as immortality.

Our hero is a poor child known as Tetsuro Hoshino. Testuro dreams of having a mechanical body of his own. Only then could he live forever within an eternity of freedom.

However, mechanical bodies are incredibly expensive. But rumor has it that they give them away for FREE in the Andromeda galaxy. The only way he can get to Andromeda is to ride the Galaxy Express 999, a train capable of space travel, to it’s very last stop.

But there’s a catch—this train only comes to Earth once a year.

If you’re looking for a new retro sci fi series, this list should have you more than covered for the next few months. Did I miss your favorite 70s sci fi anime? Tell me what it is! Check out some 90’s shoujo anime here.

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