Netflix’s ‘Pluto’ is a science-fiction mystery thriller series based on a Japanese manga series of the same name written by Naoki Urasawa. The visually stunning anime addresses the complex relationship between humans and robots while exploring other complicated themes and philosophical ideas. It is set in a future where robots have become commonplace and follow the detective adventures of Europol robot Gesicht who is tasked to investigate the violent murder of the legendary Swiss robot Montblanc. When he tries to unravel the truth, Gesicht unknowingly stumbles upon a terrifying conspiratorial plot.
As the drama unfolds, Gesicht finds himself defending the delicate coexistence of man and machine while dealing with his own personal problems. The impactful story has left a profound influence on the viewers and it’s no surprise that a lot of them would wish to watch shows similar to it. If you are also like them and wish to watch anime like ‘Pluto,’ then you have come to the right place. You can stream shows similar to ‘Pluto’ on Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll, Funimation, or Amazon Prime.
10. NieR:Automata Ver1.1a (2023)
Human beings are forced to flee and retreat to the moon when alien-crafted Machine Lifeforms unleash destruction on Earth. The man-made androids known as YoRHa soldiers now fight back to ensure the return of the planet’s original inhabitants. The battle android YoRHa 2-gou B-gata “2B,” now leads humanity’s efforts to defeat the Machine Lifeforms and a dangerous war is unleashed in the process. ‘NieR:Automata Ver1.1a’ explores the ethics of artificial intelligence, the role of technology in society, and the nature of humanity in a thought-provoking manner just like Netflix’s Pluto. Both anime are set in a future where robots have become commonplace and have led to a delicate balance in power. In case you feel that ‘NieR:Automata Ver1.1a’ sounds interesting, then you can watch all the episodes here.
9. Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song (2021)
Vivy is the first-ever autonomous AI that is entrusted with the responsibility to make people happier by using her beautiful voice. But when she is approached by an advanced AI, she learns that a hundred years into the future highly evolved AIs will try to eradicate humanity from the face of the Earth. In order to ensure that the horrific event does not unfold in that manner, a scientist from the future now expects Vivy to team up with the advanced AI to save the world. This marks the beginning of Vivy’s long journey to rescue the human race from future destruction. ‘Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song’ as you may have noticed explores the delicate relationship between humans and machines. Just like ‘Pluto’ it is set in a futuristic world and revolves around similar themes. The anime is available here.
8. Metropolis (2001)
‘Metropolis’ is an exciting detective science-fiction series that explores the adventures of an investigator just like ‘Pluto.’ The anime is set in the titular city where humans and robots live together. The Japanese detective Shunsaku Ban and his nephew Kenichi arrive there to look for the evil scientist Dr. Laughton who is notorious for his illegal organ trading business. During the investigation, Kenichi finds a mysterious girl with no memories in the scientist’s laboratory which puts him in a world of trouble. Meanwhile, Shunsaku is busy finding the mysterious man named Duke Red who secretly runs the city from the shadows.
7. Time of Eve (2008 – 2009)
As android housekeepers become commonplace in the future, the Japanese government makes sure that every robot strictly follows the Three Laws of Robotics. Therefore, they are treated just like any other household appliance. Unlike some android-holics who wish to grant the robots equal rights, Rikuo Sakisaka is well aware that they are not human and philosophically aligns with the Robot Ethics Committee’s perceptions and guidelines. But his life changes when she comes across the activity logs of Sammy, his household android. This makes him eventually visit a cafe named Eve no Jikan which makes it very clear to its customers that humans and androids are treated equally there. Rikuo’s experiences there send him on a philosophical exploration of the complex relationship between humans and robots along with the potential influence of technology on society quite similar to what viewers may have experienced in ‘Pluto.’ If you think that ‘Time of Eve’ sounds interesting, then you can watch it here.
6. Ergo Proxy (2006)
When a global ecological catastrophe pushed humanity into an existential crisis, the last human civilization was eventually forced to live in the domed city of Romdo as life anywhere else is impossible. In the present day, humans are assisted by humanoid-like robots called AutoReivs to help them with their day-to-day concerns. But when a mysterious disease named Cogito Virus starts giving AutoReivs self-awareness, things start to fall apart. This leads to an investigation headed by Re-l Mayer and her AutoReiv partner, Iggy quite similar to the drama that unfolds in ‘Pluto.’ The anime is accessible for streaming here.
5. Casshern Sins (2008 – 2009)
As humanity dies out, they are interestingly replaced in turn by sentient robots who now overrun the planet. Although they are expected to live forever, things take a dark turn for the androids too after the death of Luna following which they start to pass away one after another. Soon, they learn that in order to gain immortality, all they need to do is feed on Casshern. Unbeknownst to these strange developments, Casshern lives a conflicted existence trying to find his place in the world. ‘Casshern Sins’ centers around somewhat similar themes like ‘Pluto’ as it explores the limits of robotic sentience. In case you wish to watch the anime, you can find all the episodes here.
4. Kaiba (2008)
‘Kaiba’ introduces viewers to a world where memories are stored in chips outside the body allowing alteration as well as transfer between bodies. This opens gates to countless possibilities with people’s economic situations dictating their lived realities. The titular protagonist one day wakes up to find himself with a picture of a woman he doesn’t know. He also noticed a strange hole in the chest and could not recall anything about himself. As he is attacked in the moments afterward, Kaiba escapes to safety and starts his long journey to uncover the complex truth of his present-day reality. In case you wish to watch another great science-fiction that is mysterious then ‘Kaiba’ is a must-watch. You can stream the anime here.
3. Monster (2004 -2005)
Dr. Kenzou Tenma is an idealist who has worked hard to become an elite neurosurgeon. One day he has to make the tough choice of operating one between a young boy named Johan Liebert and the town’s mayor. Despite the advice of others, he chooses to save Liebert and ends up paying for it with serious consequences for his career. In the following days, two doctors including the director of the hospital die in mysterious circumstances and Tenma emerges as the main suspect because of his sour relationship with them. Although he is eventually released, his actions in the past come back to haunt him in the worst ways imaginable. While ‘Monster’ is not a science fiction anime like ‘Pluto’ viewers who are looking for an intriguing psychological drama will surely enjoy the former. The anime is accessible for streaming here.
2. Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995 – 1996)
‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’ is a science fiction series that revolves around somewhat similar themes to Netflix’s Pluto. The show introduces viewers to a world where monstrous celestial beings called Angels appear fifteen years after a cataclysmic event that puts it into an existential crisis. The only hope is the mysterious organization known as NERV, which employs the state-of-the-art advanced weaponry called Evangelion to fight against the Angels. But as the conflict gets intense, the story takes an interesting turn. Just Like ‘Pluto’ explores deep philosophical and thought-provoking themes, ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’ does the same but with its own twist. If you enjoyed the former, then you are bound to fall in love with the latter as well. The anime is accessible for streaming here.
1. Ghost in the Shell (1995)
The futuristic and advanced metropolis of Niihama City has achieved so much development in cybernetics that human can now choose to have robotic parts implanted into their bodies by removing their other organs. The responsibility of the well-connected and advanced city falls on the shoulders of the Public Security Section 9. So when a dangerous criminal named Puppet Master leaves a trail of victims stripped of their memories, Major Motoko Kusanagi is selected to lead a team to investigate the case. But as she starts collecting evidence to unravel the truth, she is shocked by her findings. Much like Gesicht from ‘Pluto’ we see a similar case involving a dangerous conspiracy. Both shows are set in a futuristic city where technological advancements have changed human life in unthinkable ways. In case you feel ‘Ghost in the Shell’ sounds like an interesting series and wish to watch it, then you can find all the episodes here.