This one has been a long time coming. Some of you may know that I hold a special place in my heart for anime tech. Apparently, I may be a bit of a nerd…who knew… But the wondrous worlds of anime are so full of incredible inventions that I had to find a way to whittle down the competition. This is by no way a comprehensive list..

First I have eliminated all of the options that have an actual “magical” component. Arguably some of these could be so advanced as to seem magical but if the in universe canon treats them as purely scientific I will go with that. Second, I arbitrarily decided to leave out any modes of transportation. So, no spaceships, giant robots, flying bikes… (Yeah I counted mechs as modes of transportation, please don’t hurt me). Finally, I tried as best I could to take into account the potential drawbacks of technologies and stick with innovations that I think would yield a net positive in the world as I know it. I will be thrilled to argue with you over it in the comments. No really, no one wants to talk about that stuff with me ever!

steins;gate anime
my microwave does that too

5 – Phone microwave (name subject to change) – Steins;Gate 

Oh, you knew I had to. I’m an irredeemable Steins;Gate fangirl and we all know it. Since the dawn of time, we have been desperate to control, well time. The implication of something even as restrained as sending 36 bits of data back in time are almost limitless. It sets my imagination on fire. This is the type of advancement people dream of and chase after their entire lives. It may never come to pass but pushing the limits of possibility is what makes humans great. Well it what makes some of them interesting

I’ve already made an entire DYI post on this so I’ll spare you my boring half understood technobabble on the subject. Suffice it to say, it’s completely improbable but it *sounds* almost possible which is nice. The only reason I did not put this higher is that pesky likelihood of unraveling the fabric of the universe sending all of us and our entire history into limbo but otherwise, cool gadget. Could help you not lose your keys and stuff!

choits anime
this show taught me the word *pantsu*

4 – Persocons – Chobits

Realistic and even emotional androids have been a part of the sci fi genre forever and there are a great number of anime that make use of them. The reason I stuck with Chobits’ persocons rather than more gritty interpretations is that well, their really cute and also useful. The persocons are simply super advanced maids that make you feel less bad about owning slaves cause they’re not people. They also happen to be cute girl shaped smartphones. What more can you possibly want.

To tell you the truth I’m a little surprised we don’t have something similar to persocon technology already available, I’m pretty sure we soon will. And that will probably be then end of humanity as we know it because there’s no way we are ever talking to each other again after that! I’m seeing a pattern here, maybe I should pick something that won’t immediately doom the species?

Psycho Pass
I really will take any excuse to talk about this show

3- The Dominators (Psycho Pass)

I have discussed Sybil often on this blog, and the down sides may be a bit too obvious for me to pick it. Besides – and enormous brain farm complex is stretching the definition of gadget a bit far. Thankfully, Psycho pass’ intricate near future universe is full of interesting gadgets. The Hologram technology with application in everything from fashion to interior décor to militia is certainly worth looking into. But for today, I’d like to focus on the Dominators.

A non-lethal weapon apparently capable of incapacitating individuals at long range without any long-term side effects, this would drastically change the face of law enforcement. Considering how common issues of unnecessary lethal force on the part of authorities, are around the world, it seems such an alternative is desperately needed.

I’m not entirely certain how these work (soundwaves maybe) and I doubt we currently have the technology, but I hope someone’s working on it. It instinctively feels like something that should be possible. This said, there are very few things that can shut down a body without leaving behind some sort of damage. Maybe we can beam picture of adorably puppies directly to the person’s mind until cuteness overload forces them to stop moving?

Fullmetal Alchemist anime
there’s something so soothing about Winry

2 – Automail – Fullmetal Alchemist

Aside from time travel, the technological field that attracts me the most is biomechanics. The fully integrated automotive armored prostheses of Fullmetal alchemist are a work of art. Weight, wear and tear and materials are all discussed in the show. The prostheses are seamlessly fused to the patient’s nervous system allowing for full range of motion and although they can get a bit heavy, upgrades are constantly researched to make these parts lighter and more resistant.

We are currently actively researching these types of prosthesis and advances are made every day. For the most part they remain a little too expensive for general public use, but I expect that to change within my lifetime and I can’t wait. Repairing spinal damage would be the next step. The technology could also be adapted to smaller more precise uses, retinal microchips to repair sight, small microphones to cure deafness. It’s a brave new world.

KADO anime
Kado had so much going for it

1 – Wam – Kado the right answer

This is probably the closest thing I have to magic on this list. If you read my review you may know that KADO was a bit…disappointing for me. Just so so disappointing. Iy had so many great things going for it though. Point and case: WAM.

Wam is essentially a battery capable of providing infinite power. An inexhaustible source of clean energy. Yup – magic! This little treasure would have the most wide range applicability in every single aspect of daily life and revolutionize just about every single industry in the world. The economic, ecologic and technologic implications are to great and varied to predict but it would be the single greatest leap in our evolution to date.

What I always particularly loved about it, is that the energy is seemingly geometrical rather than chemical. That the simple shape of it, rather than the materials is what allows wam to form a bridge with higher dimension and this exchange of information from between them creates huge amounts of potential energy which can be harnessed for all our needs. Obviously, this technology is clearly of the fiction edge of science fiction but it remains one of the most interesting pieces of pseudo technology I had come across in a long time.

If only it had not been part of such a…disappointing anime.

As usual, I’ve missed a whole bunch here. I really love pseudo tech so please let me know what other cool gadgets are out there. I’m the type who would watch an entire series based on that only!

KADO disappointed
what happened…..

69 thoughts

  1. “If only it had not been part of such a…disappointing anime.”

    Much like the Coils and Dimension W in the anime of the same name. Such great potential, such a crappy show.

  2. The persocom could also come straight out of GITS. If nothing else, watch season one of the anime. You will then be hooked. If I could have an anime harem, Motoko Kusanagi would definitely be in it.

  3. Excellent list. Phone Microwave and Dominator aren’t suprises. I didn’t expect the pasocoms to show up; not sure I want one, sounds like a chore when you just want a computer. I haven’t seen Kado beyond episode one (I’m very picky when it comes to 3D CGI shows; I don’t like the look, so I often don’t watch them – they either have to be very interesting, or so inept that they’d look bad in any medium [and make up for it with either charm or trainwreck factor].)

    I also haven’t seen Full Metal Alchemist, but the artificial limbs remind me of Texzhnolyze, which I also haven’t seen yet (but definitely will one day).

    I’m partial to Hotaru’s Escargot Home from Gakuen Alice. It’s a retreat for introverts in the form of a giant snail. If you want to talk to the person inside, you have to insert a coin, which repeats quite a lot, so either they give up, or it’s really important. It’s a stroke of genius, but then the inventor Imaishi Hotaru, is a genius.

  4. We really are beginning to see the bionic limbs if not weaponized but still pretty amazing. There is a wonderful Ted Talk on it here:

    The rest I agree on – including being disappointed with Kado. I could have tinkered with those ideas for four seasons if I was a writer, instead of going for the trite, “it’s not good for THIS planet so take it away” ending. Whaaaa? Such promise, so wasted. Ah well.

    I’m also a total true crime nerd, and up to my ears in everything psychopathic related. Having been raised by one, I guess I’m still searching for answers. Anyhow, we are discovering that there are real, biological traits contributing to the criminal mind. Maybe, maybe we really could have the Psycho Pass system that predicts criminal thought before it comes to crime. But more likely, perhaps a screening of children to see if there are certain biological predictors – and then at least making sure they were not triggered or worsened by environmental factors. Or just go totally dictatorial and kill off anyone born with those biological factors…

    Great thought provoking article. I suspect we could sit and talk for days. It’s nice to meet a thinking techno-nerd besides myself. Scifi might have a future after all. And if it does – it’s in anime. I really believe that. SciFi books – well, there really is no such thing anymore, it’s all pure fantasy. Scifi movies? Nope, so busy with great effects and super fast action who needs a story? Let alone workable science. But thoughtful SCIENCE fiction… anime.

    *climbing down from her soapbox*

    1. Having been raised by one, I guess I’m still searching for answers. …You fascinate me foovay….
      I occasionally do pseudo sciency DYI posts and I’ve been really thinking about expanding my Sybil one exactly into the biochemical clues to abnormal behavior.
      Although I’ve always wanted to try to figure out the tech behind Kiznaiver’s pain sharing system as well….

  5. Kado was so cool!

    Until the last like three episodes.
    Also, I’m absolutely certain that there will be stubborn people who would refuse tech like persocons even if they could afford it. Even if it would be my teenage fantasy to have a cute maid, realistically I would never want a robot like that. It hurts my heart to think about forcing something even remotely person-like to obey me.
    For that reason, I don’t think person-like robots would be the end of human interaction, like some people.

  6. The biomechanic portion of your post reminds me of Ghost in the Shell, where it’s pretty much fully integrated into their everyday life. Not only do you get to replace damaged body parts, you could also make certain enhancements to these bio parts that could give you some really neat perks (Like for example new eyes with X-Ray vision). Makes me excited for what the future has to bring 🙂

  7. I really love the one you picked! I do think that it will be possible one day, only because we will have to get one of those or the World will just end sooner or later xD
    However, I don’t really know about the dominators… Only because the weapon cannot read the situation around it and you can see that in the first episodes where the weapon basically tells to kill a woman who seemed to be out of her mind… Well, she was, she was almost raped some few minutes ago, so it’s normal that she is a little nuts. Therefore, I wouldn’t put that weapon in the top 5. However, if we could change it a little bit I would be ok with that! 😀
    Nevertheless, as always, great post and nice choices 🙂

  8. Sure Mechs are modes of transportation. They transport an ass kicking to people who need them. Also, they can travel from place to place, so that boring mode of transportation counts too.

    Good list, Irina. All of these things have some scary stuff story elements attached to them.

  9. Any excuse to talk about Psycho-Pass is a good excuse. Ooh, and the Kado inventions really were mind-bending!

    Also, why does the the Phone Microwave [name subject to change] have a basketball in it? What timeline are we in?!?

  10. Your post on Chobits got me thinking of another series that i watch a while back. if you haven’t already, check out Planetarian. It is about a robot who waits for people to visit the planetarium so she can show them the stars. The catch is, it’s a post apocalyptic world. it’s a great series although short only running 5 episodes. It will make you want to see more of it.

  11. I will offer up my own favorites. I’m most interested in the transportation issues, myself.

    Tachikoma are simpler portable AI light tanks, able to carry a single passenger, with adaptive suspension legs and steerable wheels so they can rotate their platform at speed down a highway. They also have chemical “wires” like spiderman. They are highly agile, even if you ignore the adaptive camouflage, and would be fun though expensive vehicles.

    Variations on this them could be small enough to offer walking exoskeletons for paraplegics, so they could walk up stairs. This restores millions of buildings to usefulness that were wheelchair inaccessable yet too poor to afford elevators or long ramps.

    Scale up into spider walkers could be added to light jeeps, offering actuated legs to cross boulders and rivers etc rather than stop and use jacks. This opens up a lot of remote territory for recreation, and quite a few uses for these tools and technology are possible.

    Another is the leaning motorcycle powered skate-bikes of Rideback, a sports anime for its first 4 episodes before it suddenly lamed into a terrorist plot. I liked its beginning, and the tech would have been interesting, since it used gasoline powered engines and limited AI (not personality) to control the limbs and balance.

      1. If you want to stick to hand devices, the tablet-scrolls from Robotics;Notes were tough and useful, with see-through AR screens. That show could have been good if it had stuck to AR treasure hunts instead of murdering handicapped women or lighting cruise ships on fire. Damn semicolon studio.

          1. Only if you’re a sadist. I was highly upset by that murder in Robotics;Notes.

    1. The AR glasses from Dennoh Coil are another good gadget. Pre-dates Google Glass by around a decade. More or less based on the AR goggles from Virtual Light by William Gibson, from 1990.

  12. Automail is probably the most interesting to me on this list, simply because if I were given the chance, I would probably trade my legs for sick autolegs. Not hands though, the feeling of touch in that one is too important.

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