Eighty Six is one of the best representations of racism, war, and its effect on the lives of ordinary people. A-1 Pictures is a studio that mostly hits or misses anime adaptations, and with this new installation, the studio has delivered. If you’re looking for another anime that has a similar dystopian setting, with mecha action and thrill to go around, this is the list for you. Here, we’ll be taking a look at the best anime similar to Eighty Six.
Eighty Six takes us to the Republic of San Magnolia, a country at war with its neighbor, The Giadian Empire. In order to fight against the latter’s powerful and technologically advanced unmanned drones, the Republic has created autonomous drones of its own. Well, that’s what they say. However, the drones aren’t actually unmanned. Beyond the Republic’s eighty-five territories lies another territory, the eighty-sixth “nonexistent” territory that suffers war damages. They are the ones that pilot the drones and fight the war. The anime follows the story of Lena and Shin, two entirely different people brought together as a result of the war.
The anime is an excellent mix of thrilling action with heart-touching drama. The characters feel real, and their struggles tug at your heart. The sci-fi and mecha elements get your heartbeat amped up, and you stick around to find out what happens next. Many consider Eighty Six to be a masterpiece. Here are a few more anime like Eighty Six.
- Episodes: 12
- Studios: A-1 Pictures, TROYCA
- Genres: Action, Military, Sci-Fi, Mecha
- Aired: Jul 6, 2014, to Sep 21, 2014
When a Hypergate was discovered on the moon, some humans moved to Mars, creating a glorious society with advanced technology called Aldnoah. They named this society the Vers Empire of Mars. The rest of the humans, called “Terrans,” chose to stay at their home planet. As power-hungry humans tend to do, the Martians declared war on the Terrans. After a devastating battle that destroyed the moon, both factions decided on a ceasefire.
Fifteen years later, to reinforce the bonds between the two groups and strengthen the uneasy peacefulness, Vers Empires Princess Asseylum Vers Allusia came to Earth. However, she was assassinated. Fifteen-year-old Inaho was a witness to her planned assassination. With Vers declaring a deadly war; and peace at the brink of collapse, Inaho, and his friends will have to come together to defend their world. Fortunately for the Terrans, Inaho is a great strategist. Will he be able to fight against the giant drones of the Vers Empire, or will the Terrans succumb to their morbid fate.
If you liked the dark neo-political world of Eighty Six, where discrimination and war were rampant, and the protagonists fought hard against their opponents to end it, this anime is a great one for you. Both have similar protagonists, and the music for both is by the same composer, Sawano Hiroyuki.
- Episodes: 25
- Studios: Sunrise
- Genres: Action, Drama, Mecha, Sci-Fi, Space
- Aired: Oct 4, 2015, to Mar 27, 2016
Yet another dystopian, futuristic world anime is Mobile Suit Gundam. The anime has a rich history that develops a word that is divided by wars and discrimination. We are taken to a time of about three hundred years after a dreadful war between Earth and its outer space colonies, called the Calamity War. Humans have colonized Mars; however, it is heavily dependent on Earth for many resources. Aina is a martian noblewoman who plans to negotiate with the Earth’s governments to gain independence for the colonies on Mars. To ensure her safety during travel, she uses the services of a local company, CGS.
A military organization from Earth, Gjallarhorn, attacks them to prevent any negotiations of independence. This sets into motion several events that could change the face of the world. To protect Aina, the adult members of the CGS decide to send the Third Army Division, consisting of many orphaned children. It now lies up to the orphans to fight against Gjallarhorn. With power right under their grasp and years of pent-up agony, what will the kids of the Third Army Division decide to do?
- Episodes: 25
- Studios: Production I.G., Wit Studio
- Genres: Action, Military, Mystery, Super Power, Drama, Fantasy, Shounen
- Aired: Apr 7, 2013, to Sep 29, 2013
Humanity is driven to near extinction when it faces attacks from giant humanoid monsters called Titans. These massive beasts tear through towns, bringing destruction in their wake. The last hope of survival comes behind three concentric solid walls, where the remaining forces of humanity stay. It has been 100 years since the previous titan attack, and humans seem to be returning to a peaceful life within the walls.
However, everything changes when a colossal titan causes a rupture in the outermost wall, allowing an army of titans to flood into the defense structure. This was the day that Eren lost his mother. He vows to eliminate all the titans from the world and avenge her death, thus beginning years of training to get into the military. Along with him are his friends Mikasa and Armin.
Like Eight Six, Attack on Titan also deals with the socio-political conflicts of the world because of an indomitable outside attack. The forces of humanity have to stay together and defend themselves, but it isn’t that easy; discrimination, poverty, the selfishness of nobles, and a lot more are at play in this ground-breaking anime. It is a fantastic anime to watch because of the immersive story and detail. There’s a reason it is considered one of the best animes out there.
7. DARLING in the FRANXX
- Episodes: 24
- Studios: A-1 Pictures, Trigger, CloverWorks
- Genres: Action, Drama, Mecha, Romance, Sci-Fi
- Aired: Jan 13, 2018, to Jul 7, 2018
Dystopian world, check. Group of children forced to fight against monsters, check. Mysterious elite group controlling the world with strings, check. Darling in the Franxx is a must-watch if you liked Eighty Six. This anime tells the story of ten kids fighting with underground reptilian monsters called Klaxosaurs. Klaxosaurs are giant beasts that have attacked the Earth and brought humanity to near extinction. The surviving humans are forced to live in fortress cities called plantations. The only chance that humanity has against its monstrous foes are the Franxx, giant mecha robots. Moreover, the Franxx must be piloted in boy-girl pairs.
Feeling down on his luck and self-esteem, Hiro hits rock bottom after failing an aptitude test. He isn’t the best at interacting with girls but dreams of piloting a Franxx. Just when it seems like he has failed, he encounters the infamous female pilot, Zero Two, called the “Partner Killer,” as most of her partners die after a few rides in her Franxx. However, Hiro is eager to accept this new hope in his dull life. With a new chance to prove himself, what will come next for Hiro as he learns to interact with his peculiar new pilot.
- Episodes: 25
- Studios: Sunrise
- Genres: Action, Military, Sci-Fi, Super Power, Drama, Mecha, School
- Aired: Oct 6, 2006, to Jul 29, 2007
This anime is set in 2010 when The Empire of Britannia is on a quest to dominate various nations, of which Japan is the first. Lelouch is a Britannian student, currently studying in Japan, renamed Area 11. One day, he is unfortunate enough to be caught in a cross-fire between Britannian armed forces and the Japanese rebels of Area 11.
However, he survives the deadly situation with the help of a mysterious girl, C.C.. She gives him the “Power of Kings,” an ability that allows him to bestow orders on anyone that they have to follow. This begins his journey as the powerful masked vigilante, Zero, while maintaining his identity as a regular student. Will Lelouch succeed in his battle against Britannia? Like Eighty Six, this anime deals with the political conflicts and rebellions that arise from discrimination and oppression. Fighting against massive empires are the people that have been treated as below human. Both animes have stunning Mecha battles scenes and strategizing.
5. WorldEnd: What do you do at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us?
- Episodes: 12
- Studios: Satelight, C2C
- Genres: Sci-Fi, Drama, Romance, Fantasy
- Aired: Apr 11, 2017, to Jun 27, 2017
Willem leaves behind his loved ones to fight a mysterious monster. He is victorious in the battle but is rendered frozen in ice, and he stays in this petrified state for the next 500 years. During this time, the world is annihilated by monsters threatening human existence. In order to ensure their safety, the remaining human races build homes and cities atop floating islands, incredibly afraid of the beasts down below.
Awakening from his long slumber, Willem faces this new and changed world, finding out that he is the only survivor of his race. He must now learn to navigate his way through this new society. However, it won’t be that simple. The only way to defeat the monsters is by the help of “Leprachauns,” a group of young girls. They are the only ones with the ability to wield the weapons to fight against these beasts. Willem begins to work as a caretaker for these young Leprachauns. With the bond between them growing, they begin to form a familial relationship.
Similar to Eighty Six, this anime has a heartwarming concept of finding love in uncertainty. Humanity is under threat from other forces, and the people are trying to protect themselves. It’s also a Sci-fi anime that deals with racism and people being treated as war weapons.
- Episodes: 22
- Studios: Production I.G
- Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Police, Psychological, Thriller
- Aired: Oct 12, 2012, to Mar 22, 2013
This anime tries to find an answer to what justice actually means. Imagine a world where the mental states of all people were quantified to grade them based on their “criminal co-efficient” or their tendency for criminal intent. As a result, a criminal is taken care of way before they can cause any harm.
With such an efficient system, you would think the world was a utopia; however, Akane Tsunemori, a young woman who has recently joined the system as an inspector, soon begins to question the pillars of this apparently utopian society and the people who are a part of it. Similar to Eighty Six, even in this anime, people that are considered to be sub-human are given the dirty tasks of the dystopian society. How will these people react when they face the reality of the society that they believe in.
- Episodes: 1 (2 hr. 2 min.)
- Aired: Aug 2, 2008
- Studios: Production I.G
- Genres: Drama, Military
In this anime, we’re taken to a different timeline, in a world that has supposedly achieved peace. With none of the countries engaging in military combat, private companies from around the globe are launching into war. These companies contract fighter pilots to combat each other. Yuuichi Kannami is one such pilot. However, the more time he begins to spend in the base, the more mysteries of the company begin to uncover before his eyes. The biggest of these mysteries is the existence of never-aging teenagers with faster reflexes.
We follow Kannami as he uncovers the truth, one step at a time. The movie may seem confusing initially, but when the pieces fall in together, everything makes sense. This anime is like Eighty Six because of the military and war setting. While the rest of the world is at peace, it seems that the war never stops. Now curious to find out why, Kannami will have to take his future into his own hands. But perhaps he isn’t ready to pay the price this will bear him.
2. Cross Ange: Rondo of Angel and Dragon
- Episodes: 25
- Studios: Sunrise
- Genres: Action, Mecha, Sci-Fi
- Aired: Oct 5, 2014, to Mar 29, 2015
When a new form of energy, the “Mana,” involving the abstract bending of light to form energy was discovered, war and pollution come to a halt, and a reign of peace shined on the world. The anime follows the story of Angelise Ikaruga Misurugi, who is the first princess of the noble Misurugi kingdom. With the discovery of this advanced technology, the kingdom decided to berate those people who couldn’t wield the energy of Mana. They were labeled as “Norma’s” and treated as outcasts. Angelise was no different. She, too, believed them to be a threat to humanity like the rest in her kingdom.
However, with the coming of Angelise’s sixteenth birthday, a shocking truth comes to light. She herself is unable to wield the Mana. Soon enough, the girl is sent away to a military base where Normas are forced to pilot giant mechanical robots called “Paramail.” Now, she must live in harsh conditions and fight against the massive beasts called Dragons. But, soon, a sinister truth threatens to change the lives of Angelise and everyone around her.
1. Akame ga Kill!
- Episodes: 24
- Studios: White Fox
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Shounen
- Aired: Jul 7, 2014, to Dec 15, 2014
This show first introduces us to a broken political system. A country in ruins because of the greedy rule of Prime Minister Honest, making use of a child emperor’s inexperience to his own profit. Our protagonist begins a journey from his impoverished village in search of help. However, he ends up finding a home in the ideals of the Night Raid, a group of assassins rising against the manipulative Prime Minister.
Akame ga Kill has a dark theme coupled with well animated and intense battle scenes and a well laid-out plot. It’s the more violent brother of Eighty Six. Both have similar depth and backstory. A world in ruins because of the chaotic rule of its selfish government. And the people begin a rebellion against the nobles.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song
- Code Geass: Akito the Exiled – The Wyvern Arrives
- The Empire of Corpses