Steampunk Anime: Our Favorites


If you’re like us, then you may like some steampunk in your anime.

A lot of our inspiration for Shadowbinders is taken from anime — and steampunk anime is no exception.

Here’s a list of a few you may want to check out!


Last Exile (2003 / 26 episodes) 
Last Exile focuses around two courier pilots (Claus Vulca and Lavie Head) as they get drawn into a civil war between the Anatoray and the Disith.

There was also a sequel in 2011 called Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing.

[Buy Last Exile on Amazon]


Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (1990 / 39 episodes)
From the creators of Neon Genesis Evangelion and based on the works of Jules Verne, this story centers around Nadia, a circus performer who wants to return to her home in Africa, and a young French inventor named Jean. They are pursued by jewel thieves and they all end up aboard the Nautilus with Captian Nemo. They must work together to fight Neo-Atlantean forces.

[Buy Nadia: Secret of Blue Water on Amazon]


Fullmetal Alchemist (2001 / 51 episodes)
Edward and Alphonse Elrich try to bring their mother back from the dead, with disastrous consequences. They search for the Philosophers stone in an attempt to fix their mistake and regain their bodies. Highly regarded, this anime is very popular.

And in 2010 Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood was released. It is another adaptation of the popular manga series and follows the original manga more closely.

[Buy Fullmetal Alchemist on Amazon]
Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
This was a Studio Ghibli movie loosely based on Diane Wynne Jones’ book of the same name. An 18-year-old girl named Sophie is transformed into an old woman by the “Witch of the Waste.” She leaves home and end up with the dashing Wizard Howl aboard his “Moving Castle.” There, she learns to live life and take chances, while she tries to break a contract between Howl and his fire demon Calcifer.

The book and the anime have some similarities, but a lot more differences. I recommend both, as they are both excellent — just in different ways.

[Buy Howl’s Moving Castle on Amazon]


Castle in the Sky (1986)
Another classic Studio Ghibli movie! A young girl named Sheeta is being chased for her amulet. She falls from an airship and about halfway down her amulet helps her drift safely to the ground. There, she is discovered by Pazu. They two go on an adventure that leads them to the last floating city Laputa, and the secrets it holds.

[Buy Castle in the Sky on Amazon]


Metropolis (2001)
Metrpolis is based on the manga of Osamu Tezuka, and loosely inspired by the 1927 German film of the same name.  While it has many sci-fi elements, there are also some steampunk elements such as airships.

IMDb describes it like this…

Metropolis is a story of how important emotions are and how they separate humans from everything else. The movie follows a young boy and his uncle (a private investigator). The story is set in the far future where humans and robots live together, unfortunately not in harmony. Many robots are forced underground and are terminated for entering unauthorized areas. They are more or less servants to humankind. The plot starts to unfold when the boy meets a robot named Tima and they get in all kinds of trouble. Never a dull moment when you’ve got a robot by your side.

We have to point out that today is the 87th anniversary of the historic 1927 film, so we just had to include it in our list.

[Buy Metropolis on Amazon]


Steam Detectives (1998 / 26 episodes)
This anime takes place in Steam City (run by coal and steam, of course)  This creates a mist that villains take advantage of and the ones that dare to enter are called the Steam Detectives.

[Buy Steam Detectives on Amazon]


Sakura Wars: The Movie (1997)
Turn of the century women piloting steam-powered mecha. What’s not to love ?

[Buy Sakura Wars: The Movie on Amazon]


We will finish up with another movie, Steamboy (2004).

From IMDb…

Rei is a young inventor living in the U.K. in the middle of the 19th century. Shortly before the first ever World Expo, a marvelous invention called the “Steam Ball”, behind which a menacing power is hidden, arrives at his door from his grandfather Roid in the U.S. Meanwhile the nefarious Ohara Foundation has sent men to acquire theSteam Ball so that they can use its power towards their own illicit ends.

[Buy Steamboy on Amazon]


And I’m sure there are some that we missed.

You can also check out many of these titles on streaming sites such as Netflix or Crunchyroll.

What are your favorites?



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