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Our 7 Favorite Post-Apocalyptic Series

November 19, 2012

Narutaki and I mainly made it out of Hurricane Sandy relatively unscathed. We were far from the flood zone and the worst thing that happened to us was we losing power for a few hours. But since then my life has changed. My commute was a nightmare the week after the disaster and since then my job has radially changed. Sometimes just because you are not hit by the disaster does not mean you are not effected by it. And so it got the both of us thinking quite a bit about disasters at the end of the world. Therefore we thought we would write-up a little list of anime that deal with what happens to the survivors after the world ends.

With all the devastation in New York and New Jersey, it is no wonder the apocalypse has been a topic of discussion. Making it through is surreal with things you’ve seen in fiction happening on the news. Coming out unscathed just means you try to help those that weren’t as lucky. And things are still not back on track in the region and won’t be for a long time to come. Thankfully things didn’t turn into any of the scenarios below.

Fist of the North Star

Pretty much the classical post-apocalyptic scenario: a horrific nuclear war turns most of the Earth into a desert wasteland with a handful of places still able to support life. Technology, energy, and food are in short supply. So while the avenge survivor tries to eke out a subsistence living, gangs of mohawked punks terrorize the few pockets of any sort of civilization. Some set up kingdoms where the weak pay tribute to the strong and fulfill their twisted desires. Others just rape and pillage anyone who crosses their path. Since most technology was destroyed during the apocalypse guns are as common as hen’s teeth therefore most people use simple weapons like crossbows and swords or some of the super-minor characters in the series learn martial arts.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

After the Second Impact those who were not killed in the initial tsunamis were killed in the tremulous chaos due to riots and wars caused by incredible scarcity. It caused the population of the Earth to be cut in half and wiped out countless species.  Just as things start to settle down then the seemingly invincible Angles started attacking the remaining places where humanity had rebuilt including the city of Tokyo-3. We don’t see much of the world outside of Tokyo-3 but it is clear that while things have somewhat normalized after the Second Impact they are still a greatly reduced number of people on the Earth. As much as the world seems to be back on track, there is a distinct feeling of fighting against the dying of the light as opposed to trying to win among people left alive.

A Wind Named Amnesia

One day a mysterious amnesiatic wind sweeps the Earth reducing humanity back it is base instincts. Most people who survived the initial chaos of everyone going back to a primitive state merely live like animals without even simple tools of civilization like language. Cities lay ravaged and empty as people roam the landscape sometimes forming pockets of brotherhood. Technology mostly lays dormant but some of it runs rampant hunting down humanity while some ends up being worshiped like gods. A few special people have found way to regain a semblance of knowledge and civilization but they are few and far between. Humanity must slowly relearn everything it once knew.

Eden: It’s an Endless World!

The Closure Virus killed 15% of the population instantly as their bodies solidified into a stoney substance. An even greater number who didn’t die from the virus were horrifically crippled. This resulted in a world-wide panic that ,much like Evangelion, killed almost as much if not more people than the virus itself. The resulting anarchy let the ruthless but efficient Propater Federation take over most of the world as a shadow government when they moved in to restore order. This leaves most of the world under the iron gauntlet of Propater forces while the few countries not ruled by Propater fight a bloody battle to stay free. So you are either in the tightly controlled Propater nations or in the more anarchistic and crime filled countries outside of their control. The only real advantage to the world is the Closure Virus has spurned huge leaps forward in cybernetics to help people who have only partially succumbed to the disease.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

Uncontrolled-industrialization lead to a global catastrophe know as the Seven Days of Fire. After the damage was done most of the Earth became toxic to humans and a combination of fungus and insects that live in the wasteland prevent cleaning it up. So most humans live in the few areas still clean enough to settle in. There is always a fear of the toxic zone growing and taking over the remain safe places. War are often fought by the survivors to claim the few remaining areas were people can live. While most technology is no longer able to be manufactured, there are still some old weapons and machines partially salvageable from before the Seven Days of Fire so most of the bigger nations have a limited number of holdovers from before the apocalypse.

The Big O

Set in another land of amnesia, the inhabitants of Paradigm City woke up in a city they no longer remembered surrounded by desolation. At first everything was anarchy, but eventually some basic memories came back and the general wish for stability made most people return to an uneasy normal routine. As far as anyone can tell Paradigm City is the only place left on Earth. No one who leaves the domes comes back alive. Sometimes people will regain their memories from before the catastrophe but it seemingly happens without rhyme or reason. But they are still left with many unanswered questions the most of important of which is why did any of this happen. Most of Paradigm City has 1920s level technology but there are clear signs that civilization had far more advanced machines like androids and giant robots though few have the memories by which to use such devices let alone build them.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Humanity has been forced underground after they lost the galactic war against the Anti-Spirals. So Lordgenome created a race of Beastmen to cull the remaining humans so while they don’t die out they never can grow strong enough to gain the Anti-Spirals attention again. Most humans live primitive lives underground where the Beastmen don’t bother them. There are a few humans on the surface who try to mount a resistance but they are usually beaten down before they even make a dent in liberating humanity. There are mechs and more advanced technology but whenever humans get their hands on too much the Beastmen go through great pains to destroy those humans as an example to others.

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4 comments

  1. Hurray for Eden getting some love!


  2. Nausicaa is one of my favorites! :) Thank you for this post!!


  3. Didn’t actually realize how many of my all time favourite series were actually post-apocalyptic. This post really opened my eyes.


    • Could you say “You wa Shocked?”

      – Hisui



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