10 Intense Space Battle Anime That Give Star Wars A Run For Its Money

Anime space battles are limited only by imagination and budgets, unlike their live-action counterparts. But, with so many options, the focus sometimes shifts from awesome space tech and intergalactic skirmishes to other things—even space comedy.

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These anime add a story with a dramatic arc and likable characters to the tech that takes them to the stars and beyond. Beyond the obvious suspects, these stories follow the human race from Earth to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. Though Star Wars made the Space Western genre what it is today, it is not the only notable piece of fiction in the genre. Many other titles, including anime, are just as deserving of the love and attention Star Wars gets.

10 Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu (Legend Of The Galactic Heroes) Is A Classic Space Opera

legends of the galactic hero

Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu is a space opera in the classic 80s-90s tradition. The backdrop is the clash between the Galactic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance, which have renewed hostilities after a 15-year old stalemate. A new generation of leaders are idealistic as well as militaristic, and the action follows military genius Reinhard von Lohengramm and historian Yang Wenli, on opposite sides of the conflict.

There are plenty of space battles, scenes of interstellar travel, and more to please fans of science fiction paired with a sweeping storyline about democracy vs. autocracy.

9 Terrans And The Vers Empire Of Mars Are At War In Aldnoah.Zero

In the world of Aldnoah.Zero, during the 1972 Apollo 17 mission, astronauts discovered an ancient alien artifact on the Moon. The Hypergate lets people transport to Mars almost instantaneously, which leads to the colonization of the red planet. The colonizers, however, discover more alien (Aldnoah) tech, and form the Vers Empire, which soon kicks off a war, and an explosion that shatters the Moon.

In the second series, a new generation of leaders on both sides reignites the conflict after a 150-year stalemate.

8 An Alien Spaceship Crash Sparks An Interplanetary Mecha War In Robotech

Robotech Anime

Robotech actually incorporates material from three Japanese series, Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber MOSPEADA, of the early 1980s. An alien spaceship crashes on earth, where scientists have worked to reverse-engineer the mecha tech.

A race of giant aliens called the Zentraedi arrive to retrieve the ship, sparking an interplanetary war. In subsequent series, others arrive, including the Robotech Masters, and the Invid, another alien race, setting up humanity for a battle over their home planet.

7 It’s A Race Against Time And Space To Save The Earth From Radiation In Space Battleship Yamato

Final Yamato

Space Battleship Yamato and its sequels begins in the year 2199, when Earth is attacked by aliens called Gamilas with radioactive meteorite bombs. With the surface uninhabitable, humans have taken shelter in underground cities, but can’t escape the radioactivity entirely.

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On Mars, a crashed spaceship contains a message from the queen of another planet, Iscandar in the Large Magellanic Cloud, who says she has a device that can restore the Earth’s environment. A secret spaceship is built, the Yamato, with new tech and weapons to save the Earth before it’s too late.

6 A Clash Between The Human Alliance And The Abh Empire Fuels Crest Of The Stars

The Abh Empire invades young Jinto’s world. His father is president of the Hyde Star System, and he surrenders his system and people to the Abh. Jinto’s family becomes part of the upper crust of Abh society.

Jinto and Lafiel, a young Abh princess, become caught in the middle of a war that erupts between the Abh Empire and the Four Nations Alliance of Humankind. The conflict is long and complex, with cool tech and spectacular space battles, and continues in Banner of the Stars.

5 High Tech And Space Travel Combine With Teen Tensions In Infinite Ryvius

Mecha battles and space travel cross with Lord of the Flies style conflict within the ranks in a space station set up as a training school for future astronauts in the year 2225. Space travel is common among the planets of the galaxy.

During a vacation period, with only half the students on board, the space station is sabotaged. The few adults who survive sacrifice themselves to save the students, who are now stranded in space, international governments having washed their hands of the mess.

4 Humankind Battles Insectoid Aliens In Diebuster/Gunbuster


The directorial debut of Hideaki Anno, who’d later achieve fame as the creator and director of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Diester and Gunbuster revolve around the battle between humanity and Space Monsters or Uchuu Kaijuu.

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The insectoid aliens were first discovered when humankind journey to the far reaches of the galaxy. The aliens are hostile, and humankind develops fighting robots with youthful pilots to battle back. The story focuses on young Noriko Takaya and her quest to become a pilot, then fight in the war against the alien race.

3 Humankind Created Spaceships Out Of What Remained Of The Earth After An Alien Invasion In Knights Of Sidonia

Shapeshifting aliens called the Gauna destroyed the Earth a thousand years before the events of Knights of Sidonia, set in the year 3394. Humankind fled to space in ships made from the remnants of their home planet. More than 500,000 people live on Sidonia, one of the ships equipped with technology like cloning and other genetic engineering.

The fate of Earth’s other ships is unknown. The Gardes are large mecha weapons used by pilots like Nagate Tanikaze, the hero of the story.

2 The Captain Harlock Series And Movies Blended Romantic Space Drama With Space Battles

The space pirate known as Captain Harlock has been around since the late 70s. Space Pirate Captain Harlock (2013) and other modern versions lean more heavily into impressive-looking space tech than the original, but at the heart, it’s a story about a classic romantic hero.

Harlock captains the Arcadia and its outlaw crew in the year 2977. Earth’s population is demoralized and oppressed by dwindling resources, and the story takes many turns, including alien tech, a war with 500 billion colonists who return to the planet, and Harlock achieving immortality.

1 A Rebel Leader Takes On The Empire Of Valdana In Tytania


The universe of Tytania is inspired by old European legends, one that deals with family betrayals and conflicts set against the backdrop of an intergalactic war and rebellion. The Tytania family has a stranglehold on the Empire of Valdana, which rules most of human space.

But, there is a rebellion brewing, and Fan Hyurlick, a rebel leader emerges who pulls off a shocking defeat against the Empire. He’s on the run from the authorities as the most wanted man in the universe in this space adventure series.

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