Dune is one of the great masterpieces of sci-fi literature… and every few decades, we get ourselves a new adaptation. How those adaptations fare is a matter all its own, but the truth is clear: there’s plenty of desire for that kind of story. Epic planets, political machinations, and heroes with bizarre powers. Of course, anime provides.
Whether you’re eagerly awaiting the next version of Dune, or just realize there’s a Dune-shaped hole in your anime viewing list, we’ve got a handful of series that may scratch that itch.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
It can be easy to forget that under all the giant robot action, galactic battles, and fanservice that Gurren Lagann has a pretty hardcore story. Humans doing their best on a wasted world, under the thumb of a cruel (or at least cruel-seeming) ruler? A small band of heroes with amazing powers? Conflicts that are at least two or three levels of villain deep? There’s plenty there for a Dune fan to eat up. And while they aren’t sandworms, the ever-growing Gunmen are a colossal threat and make for some eye-popping battles.
Yasuhiro Nightow’s Trigun is a must for Dune fans… whether you watched it when it first came out, or managed to miss it during its heyday. There’s a lot more to red-coated hero Vash the Stampede than his happy-go-luck personality would suggest. But to say too much, if you’ve never cracked this open before, would spoil the surprise. Suffice to say that, like Dune, there are some super-powered people under the surface of this story. And there’s a lot of manipulation going on that, once it comes to light, changes the meaning of the entire first half of the series.
Nausicäa of the Valley of the Wind
If you’d rather focus up on Dune‘s more fantastical aspects — legendary heroes and unearthly monsters — Studio Ghibli’s Nausicäa of the Valley of the Wind has plenty of both. Rather than killing Sandworms, our heroine is looking for ways to coexist peacefully with the giant insectoid Ohm. The people of her world await a savior clad in blue walking through a golden field. And yes, you’ll get to see that prophecy fulfilled in the movie… even if there are people dead-set against it.
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What other anime hit the Dune vibe for you?