It’s happening at last: we’re getting a real honest-to-goodness Star Wars anime! Star Wars: Visions is still some way up the road, but we’re looking forward to it… so much, in fact, that we need something to tide us over.
Thankfully, there’s plenty of anime out there that hits the same vibe. Here are a few of the big ones. And between their episode counts, they should keep you busy for quite a while!
If you want the most Star Wars anime-esque thing possible for your buck, Legend of the Galactic Heroes is where it’s at. This classic, long-running series is based on the novels by Yoshiki Tanaka, who also wrote Sohryuden and The Heroic Legend of Arslan. In the world of Galactic Heroes, we spend equal time with its massive space battle’s two sides. The Empire fights under young genius Reinhard von Lohengramm, while the Alliance’s leadership is the modest genius Yang Wen-li.
The series covers these equally-matched tacticians as they fight to win, but also with respect for each other’s intelligence. We also get insight into both sides’ motivations, and see how life is on each home front. And with a classic series, OVAs, and the new Die Neue These out there, there’s lots of viewing material.
A masked baddie and a brash newcomer battle each other with sci-fi magic… sounds pretty Star Wars anime from here! Mobile Suit Gundam wasn’t appreciated in its own time (not ’til the Gunpla arrived, anyway), but it’s now considered the seminal Real Robot anime and a classic in its own right.
If you’re mainly into Star Wars for the epic battles and rivalry, this is a good choice for you. Plus, there’s tons of Universal Century to follow up with afterwards… and Char Aznable just keeps showing up, with increasingly embarrassing pseudonyms.
Somali and the Forest Spirit
If The Mandalorian is more your speed when it comes to the combined worlds of Star Wars, Somali and the Forest Spirit is your perfect anime match. A stoic protector finds himself in charge of a troublemaking but weirdly adorable child, and looking after that child may very well bring him trouble. Though instead of our favorite Mando and Baby Yoda, we follow an ancient automaton created to protect the woods. Somali is a human child — a rarity (and delicacy) in this monster-populated world — so the Golem “adopts” her with what little life he has left to help her find her parents.
The series features unique fantasy creatures, a mix of gentle and dramatic moments, and a growing bond between the unlikely father and daughter. It’s uncertain whether there will be a second season, but the manga is still running strong.
Are you excited for the upcoming Star Wars anime? What will you watch to pass the time until it airs?
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