14 Awesome Future Modes of Transportation Thanks to Anime - Mania.com

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14 Awesome Future Modes of Transportation Thanks to Anime

Anime Futuristic Vehicles

By John Rose     June 15, 2010

X Awesome Future Modes of Transportation Thanks to Anime
© Mania/Bob Trate


Though the Jetson's flying car has yet to be realized perhaps some designer of today is hatching up some new invention that will revolutionize travel as we know it. With this in mind this article will look at 14 of ideas for future transportation presented in anime that vary in their level of fantastical nature but may wind up inspiring the next generation of inventors who try to make the worlds they have seen come to pass, even if only in a small way.

14. Automated Cars-éX-Driver

The series takes place in a future where mankind has decided that the solution to traffic congestion is to hand over control of almost all vehicles to artificial intelligence. The A.I. controls everything in the cars itself and few people even posses the skills to drive a car anymore. Unfortunately the technology is not 100 percent effective though a solution to the occasional out of control A.I. is in place in every major city found in present technology.

13. Cyber Formula Race Cars-Future GPX Cyber Formula

Not all proposed advancements in computer intelligence and their uses in vehicles have them taking over all functions for the driver. In the world of Cyber Formula the A.I. functions often in the role of navigator and can use radar and heads up displays to help a driver through spots when they either can't see the trouble yet or visibility is impaired. The A.I. can also adjust different features of the car itself, including seat and pedal height, suspension and even tailor how the car will react for an individual driver behind the wheel. Or course on the vehicle side different advances such as auto jacks and frame that can vary for boosting or to improve aerodynamics also show the mark of futuristic progress.

12. Air Bike-Aria

In a future where terraforming has already changed Mars into a planet primarily covered by water and has it's temperature and gravity constantly being regulated it may come as a bit of a surprise that air bikes are one of the most notable outward signs of technological progress. Where much of the planet has adopted a more laid back and simple lifestyle there is still a need to get packages and letters quickly to places which is where air bike delivery people (called Sylphs) come in. They use their flying bikes to transport things quickly in city as motorized vehicles are not allowed in the smaller water ways of the city of Neo-Venezia.

11. Submersible vehicles-Daphne in the Brilliant Blue

An opposite take of what to do on a planet that is almost completely water is to have vehicles that have a limited ability to hover on the land or water but also have the potential to act as submersibles to make for more travel possibilities that such an environment may require.

10. Labors-Patlabor

Japanese science fiction has many examples of large bipedal robots but few make the robots come off as practical use as the series Patlabor does. In this series there are military and police labors but the majority of these tools is in a practical fashion as construction equipment that can help build projects that equipment of today either can't do or can't do as effectively.

9. Vertical One-man Tank for Offense & Maneuvers-Armored Troopers VOTOMS

The world of VOTOMS takes the armored suit idea and boils it down to a more basic size. The suits are not super powered, can't fly or change into some other form. What they are is four meter or so humanoid tanks able to carry more firepower than a human could but not enough that a single one has the overwhelming force to change the tide of battle on its own.

8. Sub Orbital and Orbital Planes-Planetes

Reality and science fiction can become so intertwined one can influence the other and vice versa. Such is the case with Planetes where mankind is shown not to suddenly make a giant technological leap forward but progressing to the stars slowly. Faster than light is but a dream and much of mankind's expansion is close to what today's science can imagine and related as much to profit generation as exploration. In this world ships are fragile things used for transportation of goods and people and less for blowing moons out of orbit.

7. Space Elevator-Kiddy Grade

This maybe an example where creators take ideas already proposed and that have been around for some time (In the case of the space elevator nearly a century at the time of the animation) and project that mankind will make fantastic leaps in a rather short amount of time. The idea of a space elevator has been around for over a century now as a means to connect the Earth with a geosynchronous platform in space. This would allow for a more energy efficient way of transporting materials into space with the benefit perhaps of helping with making other ideas for space travel far more practical than current transportation allows for.

6. Personal Spacecraft-Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop presents a future where individuals can have ownership of their own spacecraft much like individuals own private vehicles today. The spacecraft are shown as having a limited range so those with the means can buy larger ships with which to transport themselves and their smaller vehicles between planets. Bebop also presents a future where transportation of goods by convoy reflects much of how trucking works today.

5. Colony Ship-Macross 7

In many different takes on the future on idea that is often employed is the idea that mankind will leave Earth and spread itself across the cosmos. The Macross 7 is one example of an attempt by humanity to move out into the stars. The Macross 7 is composed of two separate parts-one of which is the battleship half (Battle 7) and its other half which (City 7) which contains a city for the colonists to live. It is also accompanied by an escort fleet.

4. Space Battleships-Irresponsible Captain Tylor

Related to the colony ships is the idea that the future of warfare/protection will be similar to yesterdays naval strategies. While today the might of a nation is often displayed by aircraft power in many cases writers of the future often see a large role for the Capital/Battleship class of ships. These ships often are shown as merging the aircraft carriers small fighter squadrons capabilities with the large level of armaments that a battleship class carries. These ships are often shown at the forefront of battle and occasionally on their own with only the skills of the crew and the firepower of their weapons to stand between whatever enemy they face and their own trip into oblivion.

3. Luxury ships-Spaceship Agga Ruter

With mankind spread out into the stars it is not unthinkable that luxury liners will reappear or it will be a transformation of the cruise line industry for people who want to travel between distances in a more leisurely pace or just enjoy some opulent settings while engaging in various relaxing activities. While the ships aren't likely to be as ostentatious as the one from Rutter the lack of having to worry about significant resistance in a vacuum may allow for designers to let their creativity-or even questionable tastes-run wild.

2. Pirate Ships-Captain Harlock

As Nobel discovered when he invented dynamite any technology advancement can be used for purposes the creator had not envisioned-including criminal enterprises. The fact that pirates exist today makes it quite likely the same spirit will exist even after man sojourns out into the stars. In anime pirate ships take a number of forms but perhaps the one that best reflects the traditional pirate image is Captain Harlock's Arcadia with its Jolly Roger prominent on its bow.

1. Anti-Pirate Ships-Angel Links

Much like the pirates will likely get high tech so will those who fight them. As can be seen off the coast of Somalia one can't always count on a friendly naval ship to be in the area. There are those who can be hired to help protect against pirates today and likely the future will bring more entrepreneurs into the private security business making it more dangerous for pirates who think they have easy prey in their grasp.

Check out more Anime articles from John Rose: 10 Biggest Bad Ass Anime Gunslingers 
If you are digging on that, also Check Out: 10 Anime Series That Need a Reboot. While you're at it, view 5 Manga That Need an Anime and 10 Best Supporting Characters In Anime. We are here to help.

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DayDrumFour 6/15/2010 2:02:24 AM


The Argo/Yamato: can perform a space warp (like BSG's jump drive)

The Comet Empire: The best way to travel. A city inside a comet

ultrazilla2000 6/15/2010 2:17:11 AM

I suppose you will argue that the Macross Veritech is more of a war machine than a mode of transportation...but it still trumps all these losermobiles.

Versutus 6/15/2010 4:24:01 AM

Cyclone FTW!!!

gutsmgee 6/15/2010 4:28:04 AM

DayDrumFour: You rock!

gutsmgee 6/15/2010 4:29:08 AM

Just when I was starting to think there was an anti-Starblazers conspiracy on this site...which I still think...

Betenoire 6/15/2010 5:18:05 AM

gutsmgee-you may discover that the conspiricy is most certainly not there sooner or later...and also of note if you don't know Captain Harlock was created by the same man who created Space Battleship Yamato/Starblazers-Leiji Matsumoto.

And Ultrazilla-the Macross was the original name for the SDF-1 from Robotech... and 7 is a battleship in front that also transforms and carries veritech much like the original Macross/SDF-1.

mudduck454 6/15/2010 7:06:11 AM

I would have picked the YAMATO over the captain tylor one

raithen 6/15/2010 7:15:44 AM

ultrazilla2000:  You can't argue against Veritechs making the list when VOTOMS made it. ;-)

A really fun list but I think there are some glaring omissions.  I suppose the only thing I would have suggested for this article would be to break down each vehicle type into categories and list examples from multiple sources. 

Anyhow, I submit the following as Gundam and the series that would form Robotech were seriously snubbed:

1. MOTORCYCLE/BODY ARMOR:  Cyclones (from "Genesis Climber Mospeada")

2. TRANSFORMABLE JET FIGHTERS:  Valkyrie (aka Veritech; from "SDF Macross")

3. TRANSFORMABLE HOVER TANKS: Spartas (from "SDC Southern Cross")


5. GIANT ROBOT ARMOR:  Mobile Suit Gundam/Zaku (from "Mobile Suit Gundam" and its million variations)

6. ANTHROPOMORPHIC, TRANSFORMABLE, COLLECTIVE BODY ARMOR:  GoLion (aka Voltron; from "Beast King GoLion";  okay, I'm kidding with this one! lol...)


goldeneyez 6/15/2010 8:52:33 AM

What about the fiery Phoenix from G-force / Gatchaman, or the Cat bus from My Neighbor Totoro.  I'm not sure anything can beat the Cat bus.

SONYMANswallows 6/15/2010 10:16:58 AM

Yeah ARGO should be # 1

Ever heard of VOLTRON? Any of the teams should be # 2

or VENTRONIK from Venture Brothers, love the Gforces issue brough up. How would you survive the swinging of the sword without being smashed into a bloddy pile of flesh. Definitely a issue a smart writer needs to handle for a VOLTRON film. But yet Its to smart for Holly wood.

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