This week we will be looking at the top 10 anime vehicles of all time, special bonuses will be given to “realistic” entries, whilst mech suits and robots are disqualified altogether. If there are any glaring gaps in our collection, be sure to let us know in the comments section below.
10. The Cat Bus: My Neighbor Totoro
This ever grinning, sentient vehicle is a multi-legged feline with seats as soft as a fluffy kitten. Able to travel at giddying speeds, the bus is the ultimate in public transport, and it only ranks so low on this list as we imagine it doesn’t smell too sweet inside the cat bus…plus that near demonic smile is rather terrifying.
9. The Gigant: Future Boy Conan
An early and charming Hayao Miyazaki project, the cute and cuddly exterior of Future Boy Conan is only a light sheen over a very dark and sinister narrative. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, evil-doers are hoping to resurrect the world’s last Gigant, a giant flying machine with the destructive force to level the entire planet…what makes the Gigant so impressive is that it isn’t an empty threat, it has already devastated the globe once, so there is no doubt it could do it again.
8. Customized Trans Am: Redline
A racing anime with a distinct lack of racing (although the races it does have are awesome), there are several vehicles to choose from, but the brutish simplicity of JP’s Trans Am, set against the flamboyant and ridiculous competition, makes it a clear winner. Fast enough to melt your space and just enough room inside to have your stereotypical anime beauty sit on your lap, it would make a great weekend car.
7. Battleship Yamato: Battleship Yamato
Although a space-faring battleship may seem as equally ludicrous as a feline bus, the iconic anime cruiser was based on an actual WWII boat of the same name, which was the largest war ship of its time. Not only that, it also boasted the largest caliber naval artillery ever fitted to a boat…each being 21 meters long and weighing close to 150 tons, and there were 9 of them!!! The anime version has all that firepower and more, with a front loaded laser canon to top it all of.
6. Fiat 500: Lupin the Third
A cute little car for the world’s finest crook, and his chain smoking sidekick, Jigen. Although he is also known to drive a classic Mercedes-Benz SSK, the fiery Fiat has bundles more charm, as it seems to be able to withstand relentless punishment and keep chugging away…the hidden rocket-booster is also a nice touch.
5. Bebop: Cowboy Bebop
Jet Black’s pride and joy and one of the coolest spaceships around, the Bebop is an imposing interstellar carrier that can also land and float on water. Not only is it the living quarters of the ragtag crew of 5, it is home to some of the series’ most touching moments. It may have snuck on here for sentimentality, but it stayed for having the Swordfish II locked in the garage.
4. Vespa 180 Super Sport: FLCL
The mode of transport favored by Haruko Haruhara, an extraterrestrial investigator for the Galactic Space Brotherhood…so if it’s good enough for her! The guitar-swinging agent loves her scooter more than anything else, and it isn’t hard to see why, as it is apparently indestructible, super-sonic fast, able to drive up sheer walls and can even fly!
3. Airbike: Cobra
This amazing piece of machinery is from the “space-opera” Cobra. Not only does it look cool, it delivers everything you expect from a vehicle of the future, namely, it floats. Probably not the safest mode of transport, but it is well worth the gamble.
2. Mach 5: Speed Racer
Inspired by classic Le Mans sports cars, perhaps most obviously the Ferrari 250 Testarossa, this car is loved the world over, despite the best efforts of Hollywood to tarnish it with one of the worst adaptations ever made, ever!
1. Kaneda’s Bike: Akira
Super fast, super slick and super cool, Kaneda’s bike is admired and coveted by all in his gang. When his long term buddy, Tetsuo, wants a ride, Kaneda kicks him out and says he couldn’t handle the bike…besides, if he wants one so bad, he should just steal his own.