In this post, we are gonna give you a broad view about steampunk anime, from its origins to 2018. This post will cover the most exhilarating steampunk animes that have been seen throughout these ages. Keep reading to find out more!
The best steampunk based animes are magnificent creations brought to you by recognized authors in the anime industry. If we had to define what is steampunk anime, we could say that its anime in its simplest form, with certain steampunk elements that can be found scattered through the movie or series. But, as you might know, there is not a strict steampunk anime definition. And that expands the horizons of the steampunk anime subgenre.
Almost every anime about steampunk has been elaborated from a steampunk manga series. Or at least its manga has been used as the basis for the creation of steampunk anime movies. There are certain series that also were based on their original mangas, but were further developed to end up in alternate stories.
Without further adue, let’s start talking about the best steampunk animes in 2018! You’ll find that we’ve split our classification into several categories. We think you will find it easier to digest.
Besides, it will be easier to locate something specific if that is what you are looking for
Steampunk Anime Movies and Series
In this section, we are going to talk about each steampunk anime that we think represent best our category. Of course, there will be others that share certain features, but when that is the case, we will let you know as well.
Steampunk Anime with Zombies
Empire of Corpses
Empire of Corpses is a Japanese steampunk anime that was released in 2015. It features a post-Victorian world in which several fantastic elements add up to the structure of the plot.
The zombification of the dead is the main topic about this steampunk anime. Dead people can be turned into zombies. They have no soul. They cannot learn. But they can do as told. They are programmable in a sense.
There is an outburst of certain steam-derived computer technologies. And this, combined with the capability of programming the zombie hordes, has enabled society to use them as working force.
The main characters are John Watson and his zombie partner, Friday. They are recruited by the British secret service into a mission to learn more about a new kind of zombie species that is being developed.
The fun fact about this anime movie is that there are several steampunk characters that have been integrated into the plot, no matter whether they are real or fantastic. Some of these characters are Watson itself, Hadaly Lilith, Frankenstein, Alexis Karamazov, Frederik Burnaby, Ulysses Grant, and Thomas Edison. As you can see, some existed, and some only in our imagination.
Empire of corpses is definitely our nº1 pick for steampunk animes with zombies.
Dark Steampunk Horror Anime
D Gray Man
D Gray Man is a complex anime series that was released in October 2006 and ended in September 2008. Its an adaptation of the original steampunk manga created by Katsura Hoshino.
In order to start explaining some about the series, we have to clarify you some terms first. The story is situated in a post-Victorian era. After the universal flood, a divine substance called “innocence” has spread throughout the world in 109 pieces.
This innocence grants certain magical powers to its owner.
There are two main factions that consist of demons and exorcists. Demons will try to destroy the world with their advanced military: The Akumas. The Millenium count is the main boss.
Exorcists have anti-Akumas weapons. There are three kinds of anti-Akuma weapons: Parasitic, equipment, and crystallization. Depending on the type, the characters will have different powers.
The plot tells the story of Allen Walker, our main character. He is an exorcist that will struggle through the episodes trying to destroy The Millenium count.
This steampunk anime series is exciting as it contains lots of elements and a complex plot. Definitely a recommended steampunk anime series to look out for.
Best Steampunk Fantasy Anime
Despite we’ve talked about Steamboy before in our Steampunk movies page if we have to be strict about things we need to include it in our post as well.
Steamboy was produced in 2004 by Katsuhiro Otomo. He is a world-recognized anime producer because of its 1989 title “Akira”. Steamboy was one of the most expensive animes that were produced in history.
This anime has a distinctive characteristic: K Otomo let his drawing staff create the most precise and refined steampunk anime drawings without time limits. The result was the creation of exquisite anime details and steampunk scenes.
This was one part of many which allowed this movie to earn the best movie award at the Sitges Cinema Festival.
Steamboy tells the story about Ray Steam, a thirteen-year-old kid that lives in a XIX century England. Ray’s story starts when he receives a package from his father, Lloyd, which contains the “SteamSphere”. This metallic artifact grants Ray an incredible power.
But as soon as he receives his present, he becomes involved in his father’s business with the O’Hara foundation. This is where he meets Scarlett O Hara. There is a steampunk fairy tale anime adaptation that can be sensed in the relationship between these two main characters.
If you are new to steampunk anime, then we suggest you go for this movie first. If you enjoyed it, then we’d tell you to continue with the other recommendations.
Steampunk Romance Anime
This is perhaps the most controversial steampunk anime category our whole post has. We think that steampunk romance has to do much more with a plot that has romantic elements but doesn’t end up in a war-like theme. That is why we chose scrapped princess for this category.
But, as you already know if you’ve read our post, there are romantic details in each and every steampunk anime we’ve reviewed so far.
Scrapped Princess is a 24 episode steampunk romance anime that was created in 2003 and licensed by Funimation.
Pacifica Casull is a little girl that was born from a royal family in the kingdom of Leinwan. According to certain prophecies, she would become destructive when she turned 16 years old. For that reason, she was tried to be killed by throwing her off a cliff when she was baby.
She was saved by the Casull family. Now it’s up to them to protect her during her journey. This duty was conferred to her brothers: Shannon and Rachel, a swordsman and a sorceress, respectively.
Steampunk Mecha Anime
Turn A Gundam
Turn A Gundam is a 50 episode steampunk mecha anime series that was produced by Yoshiyuki Tomino.
This steampunk series is situated in a futuristic world in 2345 with technological developments that are from the XIX century. This technological regression is explained by the multiple war outbreaks that the humanity suffered throughout ages.
Due to this post-apocalyptic scenario, humankind has traveled through space and colonized places such as the moon.
The plot tells the story about Loran Cehak, a member of an advanced human race ( the selenites), that currently habitats in the moon. Loran is sent to the planet earth to evaluate if humankind has ceased its wartime so that the selenites can get back.
Despite Loran’s informs about the pacific conditions that he finds on planet earth, its race disembarks in a hostile fashion. Loran gets involved in a battle between humans on planet earth and the Selenites. He discovers a mobile suit, a powerful machine that can be used to battle against the selenites.
The plot follows with the story about Loran recovering Mobile Suits that have been left on planet earth, and how he uses them to charge against the Selenites in name of humankind.
Our nº1 steampunk mecha pick for the day. Why? Mobile suits equal to 100% steampunk mecha anime. Can be called steampunk robot anime by others as well.
Best Steampunk Anime Manga Adaptation
Trigun is a steampunk manga that was produced from 1995 to 1997 by Yasuhiro Nigthow. It was further developed a sequel called Trigun Maximum, from 1998 to 2007. In total, you can find 17 volumes of Trigun steampunk manga.
The steampunk anime manga adaptation was created by Satoshi Nishimura in 1998. It contains 26 episodes, and it’s focused on the initial Trigun Steampunk manga.
Trigun is a steampunk wild west American anime story that has a unique background. In a futuristic overpopulated world where resources are scarce, an airship fleet filled with “in suspension” people are sent to space to find habitable planets.
These ships use energy from a power source for their flights. But this power source has the ability to reactivate humans as well.
Due to an anomaly, two humans are born from the power source Vash and Knives. Both brothers were protected by Rem Saverem until their adolescence when their ship suffers an accident. Vash and knives survive.
The whole plot runs around the fight between Vash And Knives. Both are superpowered in a way. Vash represents the justice. Knives will attempt to destroy humankind in order to create a stronger human race.
We leave you the rest for you to find out! Though Trigun is a great steampunk anime manga adaptation, there are others in this post that you will find that are marvelous as well. In fact, there is a certain steampunk romance in this anime that involves “Derringer” Meryl Strife, a female character that at certain point falls in love with Vash.
But we’ll spoil you no more! It’s time for you to check out Trigun by yourself!
Steampunk War Anime
Full Metal Alchemist
If you’ve checked our steampunk movies section, you should have noticed that Full metal alchemist has been reviewed as well. Once again, despite the fact that this steampunk anime series could hold the podium in several categories from our post, we found that this category would be the most representative.
Full Metal Alchemist is a strict anime adaptation from the manga series. This steampunk anime series consists of 64 episodes that run from April 2009 to July 2010.
This steampunk anime tells the story of Edward And Alphonse Elric, two brothers that were raised by their mother Trisha Elric, in the country of Amestris. After their mother dies, these two brothers dive deep into alchemy in an intent to resurrect their mother. But things don’t go as expected. Edward loses an arm and a leg, and Alphonse barely gets away from it by reincarnating in a nearby suit of armor.
After this event, they both decide to dive further into the alchemy by enrolling in the government’s services. Their final goal is to learn more about the philosopher’s stone. This is the turning point when both brothers start learning the deep secrets the government holds about alchemy, the philosophers stone, and more.
As intriguing as it gets, full metal alchemist: brotherhood is another of our top recommendations if you are starting with steampunk anime series.
Steampunk Japanese Anime
In this category, we are talking about integrating Japanese culture to the steampunk anime. We are not talking about anime origins, because, as far as we can tell, almost every steampunk anime we’ve talked so far is originated in Japan.
Samurai 7 is a steampunk Japanese anime series produced by the Gonzo studio in 2004. It is based on the movie “the seven samurais”, created by Akira Kurosawa in 1954. it consists of 26 episodes. It was transmitted on the TV channel Animax and later spread through the United States by Funimation.
The plot is situated in a futuristic world and tells the story about a town called Kanna, which suffers constant attacks from the Nobuseri. The Nobuseri are a special kind of samurais that perpetuate evil attacks to the town that include assassinations and thefts.
The story starts to get interesting when people from Kanna decide they wanna end up this suffering. For that, they want to hire a group of samurais that will combat the Nobuseri. Kikara and Komachi are two priestesses that are sent to accomplish this mission.
The seven samurais have different characteristics that complement throughout the plot. the main characters are Kanbee and Katsushiro. The main enemies are Ukyo and Amanushi.
The plot gets even more interesting as you go through the episodes. Expect some blood spilled from our samurais as you keep watching. You will also find some steampunk romance anime scenes scattered in a couple of episodes.
Steampunk Pirate Anime
Last Exile is a steampunk manga trilogy that was adapted into two steampunk animes by the Gonzo studio in 2003 and 2011. Last Exile earns this steampunk pirate anime spot because its loaded full of steampunk airships and piracy scenes throughout its episodes.
In fact, the main theme that runs around this anime series is the concept of steampunk airships. The Vanships ( as they’ve been called) are enormous steampunk airships that are used for transportation and military purposes. The military conflicts between nations are disputed between this airships in air attacks.
The plot is about two airship messengers, Claus and Levine, that get involved with protecting and carrying a little girl, called Alvis Hamilton, to Silvana, an imperial fleet airship. Alvis gets under custody by Silvana’s captain: Alex Rowe. Alex believes that Alvis is the key to recovering a legendary steampunk airship, called Exile. That is the reason why she needs to be protected.
The whole plot develops under the idea of the recovery of the Exile, and the consequences it brings to the world when its activated by our main characters.
This steampunk anime is plagued with pirate acts, as every battle between airships is developed in the same fashion as a pirate assault in water would be. After all, the dynamic between airships is identical to what it would be between normal ships, excepting that they are floating in the skies.
Steampunk Detective Anime
This is our last steampunk anime category. And, of course, there is only one steampunk anime series that englobes the whole steampunk detective concept, and that is Steam Detectives.
The main character in this steampunk anime is Narutaki, a young detective that is constantly trying to bring peace to Steam City. Steam city power is driven by coal and steam engineering. This technology enabled the development of a type of steam robot called Megamatons.
Megamatons are commonly used by criminals to achieve their mischievous plans. This 26 episode steampunk anime series will bring lots of criminals to the scene. Some of this enemies are Dr. Guilty, Night Phantom, Crimson Scorpion, Machine Baron, and the main villain: Le Bled.
There is one female character called Hsu Ling Ling, which helps Narutaki during his investigations, and slides out from time to time that she might have feelings for Narutaki.
Her sister is called Hsu Lang Lang. She looks after Le bled and helps him in his plans.
We recommend this steampunk anime if you wanna have a different experience and are into detective series.
Steampunk Anime Characters
Though we have talked about several steampunk anime characters during our review, we will hand over some more information in our top steampunk female and male character list.
Steampunk Anime Girls
Steampunk anime female characters play a key role in several series we reviewed previously. You will find that some of them are steampunk anime women, while others are just plain girls. Here are our top victorian steampunk anime girls that can be seen in the movies and series.
Lenalee Lee – D Gray Man
Lenalee Lee is a sixteen-year-old exorcist girl from steampunk anime D Gray Man. She turned into an exorcist at a young age due to its family ties with his brother, Komui, which became a supervisor. Her power resides in her boots (her innocence). At first, they are an equipment type, but as the series advances, they turn into crystallization mode, which empowers her even more.
Lenalee Lee is brave, loyal and noble. She is a mysterious character from this anime series.
Scarlett O’ Hara – Steamboy
Scarlett O’Hara is heir to the O’Hara R&D kingdom. She is often described as a spoiled girl, with certain familiar issues related to feelings of abandonment. She has quite a temper, but throughout the movie, she proves that she is good deep in her heart. There are times when you can perceive that she has feelings for Ray Steam.
Pacifica Casull – Scrapped Princess
Pacifica Casull is the main character of this anime series. As we’ve talked before, she is the abandoned girl. Heir of the throne and having survived a murder attempt, Pacifica struggles through the series to keep alive with the help of her two stepbrothers and their combat skills.
Derringer Meryl Strife – Trigun
She is an employee at the securities organization “Bernardelly”. Her main task is to keep Vash away from trouble and to avoid him from creating chaos at Gunsmoke.
As the series advances, Meryl recognizes that Vash is not as bad as she believed, and she even helps him go through an assault with the Gun ho Guns, in which she proves to be an excellent shooter as well.
As you might have guessed, she has certain romantic feelings towards Vash Stampede.
Kikara – Samurai 7
Kikara is a priestess from the Kanna Town. She is in charge to recruit the seven samurais that will eventually protect Kanna from the Nobuseri. She has a particular necklace pendant that enables her to recognize battling samurais in the nearby.
Throughout the episodes, she is protected by Katsushiro. Nevertheless, she is in love with Kambei. These feelings play a key role throughout the anime series.
Alvis Hamilton – Last Exile
Alvis Hamilton is the little girl that is protected by Alex Rowe. She is the reason why Claus Valca and Lavie Head end up involved in the whole story plot. She might be the key to unlock the recovery of the legendary steampunk airship Exile and to end up the war between kingdoms.
Hsu Ling Ling and Hsu Lang Lang – Steam detectives
Both of them are sisters that live in Steam city. Both ended up at both sides of the tug. Ling Ling accompanies Narutaki throughout his journey, while Lang Lang does the same with the villain Le Bled.
Steampunk Anime Boys
John H Watson – Empire of Corpses
The same John Watson you know from Sherlock Holmes. Only this time, it comes with his zombie partner Friday. The adventure relies on discovering the truth about the zombification process, control, and soul in this XIX century steampunk movie.
Allen Walker – D Gray Man
Allen Walker is a fifteen-year-old exorcist from D Gray Man. Allen is the main character of this anime series. He is thought to be the only one that can end count Millenium evil acts. His superpowers rely on his innocence ( as we’ve talked before ), that is found in his left arm. This power enables him to turn his arm into powerful weapons.
Loran Cehak – Turn A Gundam
Loran Cehak is a selenite human that goes back to earth in order to evaluate the possibility to repopulate the planet with his human race. Everything was on track until a misunderstanding leads to a selenite disembark into earth followed by a bloodbath. It is in Loran to save the human race from the selenites by means of the Mobile suits that can be found on planet earth.
Ray Steam – Steamboy
As we’ve talked before, ray steam is the main character of Steamboy. By means of the Steamball, a powerful device sent by his father from the O Hara foundation, he is able to save Scarlett O Hara. It is up to him to unveil the secrets that lie behind the O Hara foundation, the government, his father and his enemies.
Kanbee and Katsushiro – Samurai 7
Both samurais are the main characters of this anime series. Kanbee is the team leader. He has a strong personality that allows him to lead the way against the Nobuseri. He is brave, strong and loyal.
Katushiro is his apprentice. He has vowed to protect Kikara no matter what. He is one of the three survivors that end up winning the final fight. There is a nice progression of his combat skills throughout the episodes.
Claus Valca – Last Exile
He is one of the main characters of this anime series. He is in charge of taking Alvis Hamilton to the imperial airship Silvana. It is right after this that he gets involved with the imperial fleet and starts to play a key role in the development of the anime plot.
Vash Stampede and Knives Millions – Trigun
Two brothers that were born from the “plant” power generator. They belong to a different kind of human race. Their personalities are antagonistic in some manner. While Vash has a noble soul, Knives has an evil plan that includes the extermination of the actual human race. This will make them clash during several episodes of the series.
Edward And Alphonse Elric – Full Metal Alchemist
The main characters of the full metal alchemist series. After a failed experiment with alchemy performed to resuscitate their dead mother, they enroll in the government program to develop their alchemist skills. It is not long until they get involved deep further into the government’s secrets about the philosopher’s stone.
Narutaki – Steam Detectives
Narutaki is the young steampunk anime guy that plays the main character role at steam detectives. Narutaki is the son of the most know detective at Steam city, and its considered a genius kid by some people in town. He has some peculiar characteristics: He loves tea, women and toy models.
Steampunk Anime in Netflix
There is not much about steampunk anime which you can find on Netflix. As far as we know, and this is intended for the American audience, you can find basically two steampunk anime series right now.
The first one is Last Exile. You can find the 2003 version of the Last Exile series, and the 2013 version of Last Exile, Fam The Silver Wing. The second one is Trigun. You will find the 1998 series. The third one is Steamboy.
WARNING NOTICE: Netflix tends to pull out certain series from time to time. If you don’t find what you were looking for, then we suggest you go and find on www.crunchyroll.com. You will find most of these steampunk anime movies and series out there.
If after this you couldn’t find out a decent film type, then we will leave you the Amazon links to check them in Blu-ray.
Steampunk Anime Cosplay
While this could be a whole different post about steampunk anime disguises and such, we want to make mention about these because we found a powerful tool on the web.
It’s kinda steampunk anime game in fact, but it’s pretty interesting because from here you can get lots of steampunk anime cosplay ideas.
The game is called mega steampunk anime dress up game. Though is styled in an anime cartoon fashion, it is outstanding the number of possibilities it confers. Your result will end up to be a highly customized steampunk anime design that you will probably want to transform into a DIY project next.
Originally, is intended to craft an anime steampunk girl outfit. You can choose from a vast array of anime steampunk dresses, glasses, hats, and masks. You can even change your model’s eyelashes and hair color. You can even place steampunk props such as swords, canes or hammer.
Overall, a must experience if you are planning to create your own steampunk anime cosplay.
Find this game at this link here.
More Steampunk Anime Games
There are plenty of steampunk games that can be found, which we suggest you check out at our steampunk games section. But there are not much true steampunk anime games out there. But we found a couple out there.
Code Vein – Where Dark Souls meet Steampunk Anime Vampires
Code Vein is a third person hack and slash game that includes several steampunk elements into the game. It has a complex game dynamics that take a couple of hours to learn before even being able to progress through the game.
Code Vein is produced by Bandai Namco. It is still on its early stages, but you can pre-order it now from this link. https://amzn.to/2Q1nnYN
Ascend Infinity Realm – The Steampunk Anime MMORPG
Ascend Infinity Realm is a complete steampunk anime-styled MMORPG. Though this game is rendered in 3D, the main villains and characters resemble anime characters in many ways. Cruise through the skies with your steampunk dirigibles and fight against fantastic creatures in this MMORPG style upcoming game in 2018.
Steampunk Anime Drawing
If you are into steampunk anime fanart, and you want to start your own projects, then you might be wondering how to start.
We found over the web two pretty good steampunk anime drawing tutorials. One of them is created by The Art Sherpa. It is a 30-minute tutorial intended for beginners. It goes from the creation of the croquis to the final design. It covers the slim and curvy type of models.
We recommend you to start with this and then go after the next one we are gonna show you after you’ve learned how to draw steampunk anime bodies.
The link is here.
Our second recommendation is a video uploaded by markcrilley. This steampunk anime tutorial covers also the basic aspects of anime drawing. But the additional fact is that it includes the face creation, a key element that you’ll need to master for a proper steampunk anime drawing.
Check out the link here.
Steampunk Anime on Amazon
Last but not least, as we’ve told you before, we will leave you the links from the Amazon store so you can grab your favorite steampunk animes in Blu-ray. You’ll find most of our recommendations about series will be in the steampunk anime box format. You will enjoy much more your steampunk anime series if you are not stuck between seasons trying to buy your next Blu-ray.
Steampunk Anime Store
Empire of Corpses – https://amzn.to/2JmtG6P
D Gray Man, Collectors Edition – https://amzn.to/2CMzPrJ
Steamboy – https://amzn.to/2SqZN9p
Scrapped Princess, The complete series – https://amzn.to/2Q2HJRm
Turn A Gundam Collection 1 – https://amzn.to/2JnPTkW
Turn A Gundam Collection 2 – https://amzn.to/2CLPVBG
Trigun, The Complete Series – https://amzn.to/2D9MaXZ
Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood – https://amzn.to/2PYCUsw
Samurai 7, The Complete Series – https://amzn.to/2SoOf6B
Last Exile, The Complete Series – https://amzn.to/2Od8BML
Steam Detectives, The Complete Collection – https://amzn.to/2CNEZ6U
After this thorough review about steampunk anime, we hope you’ve learned something you didn’t know before. We hope you start a steampunk anime right away too! Feel free to comment us below what you think about our post!
Check out the rest of our posts at our steampunk store main page.