Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is one of the most popular and discussed anime released recently.
Its narrative combining deep elements such as the struggle against power and oppression and a futuristic and cyberpunk setting, proved to be a winning combination.
Not to mention its excellent soundtrack and Studio Trigger-curated animations that make it all the better.
If you’ve watched this little gem you’re looking for other similar anime that can give you the same emotions, we’ve created this list of the best anime like Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.
Table of Contents
15. Darling in the FranXX
While Darling in the FranXX falls into the mecha genre and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners does not, these two series still share substantial similarities.
It’s set in a distant future where humanity is on the brink of extinction due to giant beasts called Klaxosaurs.
Humans live in fortified cities called Plantations and children are raised solely to pilot the FranXX, giant mechas which require a boy-girl pair to operate and fight the Klaxosaurs.
And in this story, the protagonist, Hiro, is a boy without a partner who meets a mysterious girl named Zero Two, known as the Partner Killer.
Despite the substantial differences in their plots and premises, Darling in the FranXX and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners share similar themes.
Both male protagonists, initially outcasts, undergo character development through their relationships with the female main characters.
And also, both series revolve around themes of revolt and struggle against power, challenging fate in a catastrophic setting.
14. Akudama Drive
Akudama Drive, released in 2020 stands as a positive example of modern cyberpunk anime, like Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.
This anime is set in a futuristic metropolis called Kansai. The city can be described as a technological utopia full of screens and bright lights that give it a cyberpunk aesthetic.
Kansai is plagued with high crime levels, and the fugitives are called Akudama. The plot begins when the police are about to execute one of these infamous high-level criminals, who allegedly killed almost a thousand people.
At that point a mysterious message is sent to several elite Akudama, instructing them to go release the criminal in exchange for a huge amount of money. But maybe it’s a terrible trap…
The biggest similarity between these two series is undoubtedly the setting: a futuristic city that conceals an underworld of filth and crime behind its bright lights.
Also, both Akudama Drive and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners involve a group of main characters thrust into a life of crime, akin to David and his group in the Cyberpunk series.
13. Akame ga Kill!
Akame ga Kill! may not share the futuristic, sci-fi setting with Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, but it does have many other similarities in other aspects.
Akame ga Kill! is a dark and politically-driven story that follows a young boy named Tatsumi, who joins the Night Raid, a covert assassination branch of the Revolutionary Army fighting to overthrow the corrupted Prime Minister.
Akame ga Kill! and Cyberpunk: Edgerunner both center on a group of protagonists led by a male and a female main character who are engaged in a struggle against power and oppression.
So if you’re seeking a darker and less sci-fi version compared to Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, Akame ga Kill! might be perfect for you.
12. Dead Leaves
Dead Leaves is an anime movie that you’re likely to love if you appreciate the fast-paced animation and pacing of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.
The plot is as simple as it is effective: a group of protagonists with mysterious circumstances attempt a bank robbery but are caught and sent to prison. From there, they plan their escape and revolt.
Dead Leaves has a different premise and plot compared to Cyberpunk: Edgerunner, but it shares the elements of fast-paced animation, an engaging plot, and an underlying theme of power struggle.
This is a spectacular movie and quite vulgar as well but it’s an experience you can’t miss if you love alternative anime.
Dead Leaves doesn’t let you breathe a second and has some crazy ideas that work quite well when executed.
FLCL is one of the most experimental and innovative anime ever that shines for its fast-paced action, pacing, and fantastic animations made by Gainax.
The series is set in a small Japanese town where the young protagonist, Naota, lives. His older brother has left for America to play baseball, causing Naota to feel lonely and abandoned.
But his loneliness is broken by his brother’s girlfriend, Mamimi, who develops a strange attachment to him.
Things will change when he makes the acquaintance of Haruko Haruhara, a bizarre girl wielding a bass guitar and with crazy psychopath behavior.
This is a great Sci-Fi anime that shares the redemption from an unhappy life with Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. Both the protagonists meet another female character that will change their lives forever.
The vibes are quite close so be sure to check this out!
10. Black Lagoon
Black Lagoon follows the story of Rokurou Okajima, a regular businessman who is taken hostage during a business trip to the crime-ridden island of Roanapur.
When his employer refuses to pay his ransom, he has no choice but to join the mafia-pirate gang called Black Lagoon, transforming from an ordinary man to a ruthless criminal.
In both series, the main character was leading a tranquil life that got interrupted by an abnormal event and a female character plays a role in that. In short, a normal person gets thrown into crime and he has no choice but to accept and adapt.
The lawless city setting is also shared as they both talk about crimes and daily struggles.
Black Lagoon may not be as deep as Cyberpunk: Edgerunners but it’s a great alternative if you love crime anime.
Texhnolyze is a great Sci-Fi anime and a great example of cyberpunk that feels quite similar to Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.
The story takes place in the crumbling underground city of Lux, marked by a harsh conflict between 3 factions.
The conflict revolves around Raffia, a rare substance that can only be found in this dreaded city and it allows for the texhnolyze transplant of any limb with a prosthetic and more powerful one.
Ichise is at the center of the story and is an orphan boy who has become a bounty hunter by circumstances.
He was mutilated and left without a leg and arm, for them to be replaced by advanced inhuman, yet powerful technological prosthetics.
As you can guess, the cybernetic implantations are a common theme as well as the dystopian setting highlighting class struggles in pure cyberpunk style.
8. Kill la Kill!
As one of Studio Trigger’s finest works, it was entirely predictable that we would include some of this animation studio’s most celebrated series on this list of the best anime similar to Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.
The story follows Ryuko Matoi, who is on a quest to avenge her father’s death, with her only lead is the other half of the Scissor Blade, a sword he invented.
She enrolls in Honnouji Academy, a competitive high school controlled by student council president Satsuki Kiryuuin. Satsuki bestows special Goku Uniforms upon the top students, granting them unique powers.
After losing a battle against one of the uniform-wearing students, Ryuuko’s life takes a dramatic turn. She gains the ability to confront Satsuki and her clique while uncovering the truth behind her father’s murder.
That’s correct, apart from the theme of power struggle, Kill la Kill and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners don’t share much in terms of plot and premise.
But if you enjoyed the excellent animation and soundtrack of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, you will likely have a deep appreciation for Kill la Kill as well, given that it is a masterpiece in terms of direction from the same studio.
7. 86 – Eighty Six
86 takes the theme of revolt against power, as seen in Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, and transports it into a sci-fi world with mecha and diverse political backgrounds.
The story takes place in the fictional republic of San Magnolia, a country oppressed by unmanned machines known as Legion. To counter these attacks, the republic deploys similar machines, seemingly eliminating the need for human involvement.
But the truth is that these mecha are piloted by the secret unit known as 86, of which the main characters are members.
If you’re searching for similar themes to Cyberpunk: Edgerunners but in a different setting that provides diversity, then 86 is simply an excellent choice.
The same point made for Kill la Kill applies to Promare: it’s one of Studio Trigger’s best and most acclaimed series, so it could not be missing from this list.
In the movie’s fictional universe, the emergence of the Burnish, a race of fiery beings resulting from a mutation in human DNA, caused half of planet Earth to be engulfed in flames.
Now, 30 years later, a terrorist group known as Mad Burnish has resumed its campaign of destruction.
It’s up to Galo Thymos, a new member of Burning Rescue, the anti-Burnish team, to battle Lio Fotia, the leader of Mad Burnish, and save the planet.
Unlike Kill la Kill, Promare shares some themes and points in common with Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.
Alongside its masterpiece animations from the same studio, Promare explores the struggle against oppression and one’s own destiny, sharing a dystopian setting with Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.
If you’re a fan of futuristic settings and crime-ridden dystopian cities, then hopefully you already know that “Akira” is a must-watch for any enthusiast.
In the ’80s, the city of Tokyo has been destroyed by a boy with mysterious psychic powers, and the government is forced to take him into custody as World War III rages on.
In 2019 the Japanese capital was rebuilt into a new city called Neo-Tokyo and it is riddled with crime, violence and acts of terrorism.
Tetsuo Shima, a member of a criminal gang is starting to develop weird abilities after a mysterious encounter so the government seeks to capture him to prevent another apocalypse.
And in addition to the already mentioned similarity, Akira also shares with Cyberpunk: Edgerunners the themes of revolt against one’s fate in a world replete with violence and crime.
Mind you, Akira is NOT cyberpunk but it’s still a solid pick for the reasons mentioned above.
4. Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song
Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song does have a substantially different plot and premise compared to Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, but they share similar vibes.
The story is set in 2056 when humanity invented androids.
Created to spread happiness by singing, Vivy is an android who travels the world singing in different shows. But when the situation requires it, she can also be a skilled fighter, despite being programmed to be nonviolent.
But when another android arrives one day from the future with terrible news, the plot begins to thicken.
Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners both unfold in colorful, neon-lit futuristic worlds, although with substantial differences.
The world in Cyberpunk: Edgerunners appears cosmetic, hiding dirt and crime, while Vivy’s world is cleaner and more authentic.
The true common ground between these 2 anime lies in their impressive technical aspects, featuring breathtaking animations and soundtracks that contribute significantly to their overall appeal.
Psycho-Pass is an excellent choice to watch after Cyberpunk: Edgerunners and is undeniably one of the top recommendations you can consider.
Psycho-Pass is set in a futuristic society where it is possible to monitor and control an individual’s mental state and personality.
With those data, it can be assessed the probability of a person committing a crime or not, the so-called Crime Coefficient, and arrest the individual before the crime is even committed.
Psycho-Pass and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners share a setting in a future where technology has advanced significantly but conceals a substantial amount of crime beneath the surface.
Both series also delve into moral themes and the struggle against oppression and the system, featuring numerous twists and turns.
The primary distinction lies in Psycho-Pass placing a greater emphasis on the investigative component compared to Cyberpunk, but apart from this, they are two anime series with striking similarities.
2. Cowboy Bebop
We wish we could provide more in-depth arguments to convince you to watch Cowboy Bebop, but the reality is that it’s a series that simply can’t be missed in your collection.
If you’re a fan of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners even better, you’ve found the perfect excuse to watch it if you haven’t already.
Set in a not-too-distant future where inter-spatial travel is the norm and Mars is a vital part of human life, the show follows a group of bounty hunters, or cowboys, as they chase down intergalactic outlaws.
Meet Spike Spiegel, a bounty hunter, in the year 2071, and witness Spike’s many talents and abilities in hand-to-hand combat and martial arts, garnering a reputation as one of the strongest fighters in the universe.
He chases criminals with his partner, Jet Black, and together they team up with a con artist, a child hacker, and a Welsh Corgi to form a bizarre family.
But when an old enemy comes back into Spike’s life, he must now choose between his past and his newfound family.
If you enjoyed the concept of a group of characters in a futuristic setting, each with their own skeletons in the closet and engaged in a struggle against the system and oppression in Cyberpunk, then we have great news.
In this area, Cowboy Bebop is simply the best choice ever, unrivaled.
1. Ghost in the Shell
And how could Ghost in the Shell be absent from this list? It stands as a pinnacle and repository of all the themes outlined here and in Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.
This movie follows Major Motoko Kusanagi, a member of Public Security Section 9, in the year 2029, and an incredibly skilled agent and fighter.
She is tasked with investigating a case involving a powerful hacker, the Puppet Master, who leaves victims without memories. But as she delves deeper into the case, things get more complicated with other factions getting involved.
Along the way, Motoko is forced to confront some deep philosophical questions about her existence. And as she learns more about the Puppet Master, she realizes that they hold the answers she’s been searching for.
Ghost in the Shell offers everything one could desire from anime like Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, without exception.
It unfolds in a dystopian setting within a futuristic world where crime and decay lurk beneath neon lights and technological progress.
It also delves into themes of power struggle and rebellion, with characters striving to go beyond what society wants them to believe.
There’s no doubt: if you’re a fan of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, Ghost in the Shell is an absolute must-watch.