The story of boy meets extraordinary girl has been done in anime so many times that we don’t even bother to keep track. However, as the cliché goes, it’s not what you say, but how you say it, and LISTENERS does a notable job of applying that notion with its story and characters. The story of LISTENERS goes beyond the ordinary boy meets extraordinary girl archetype. In addition, it takes place in a dystopian world where modern technology has been reduced to scraps, and people are living like it’s the Wild West. To top things off, it has some mech action to boot, but with enough distinction with its presentation to make it different from your typical mech anime. So, if you’re presently enjoying LISTENERS, what are some other anime like it that you can check out? Read our top 6 to find out!
Similar Anime to LISTENERS
6. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (Gurren Lagann)
- Episodes: 27
- Aired: April 1, 2007 – September 30, 2007
Taking place in a future dystopia, most of mankind has been forced underground. Simon, the main lead, is forced to become a digger so humankind can continue expanding. Thanks to the encouragement of Kamina, a fellow digger who he looks up as an elder brother, he slowly starts to build confidence. However, Simon’s life changes forever when he discovers a mech that has a drill and another mech with a pilot named Yoko who tells them that humans are still living under threat on the surface. Together, Simon, Kamina, and Yoko form Team Dai-Gurren to fight these threats.
Simon and Echo share a lot of similar qualities in that they’re small-town boys with big dreams, but feel confined to their personal circumstances until a discovery changes their lives. Kamina, in a way, represents Jimi Stonefree, a natural-born rebel that the main character looks up to. Furthermore, both Gurren Lagann and LISTENERS are unconventional mech titles. They’re not your typical military mech anime like Gundam or Macross. Gurren Lagann is meant to homage OG mech anime such as Mazinger Z where the mechs are more gimmicky, not realistic. LISTENERS, with its unconventionality, is totally fresh. In that series, a Player, or an augmented human that is installed with an audio jack, hooks up to an amp that transforms into a mech.
Gurren Lagann Trailer
5. Senki Zesshou Symphogear (Symphogear)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: January 6, 2012 – March 30, 2012
Zwei Wing, an idol duo consisting of Tsubasa Kazanari and Kanade Amo, use their music to combat the evil forces of the Noise. In order to combat this threat, they must use special armor known as Symphogear, which is powered by music. Early on in the series, Kanade sacrifices her life to save Hibiki, a little girl who was attending one of her concerts. A couple of years later, Hibiki discovers she has the ability to wear a Sympogear in humanity’s fight against the Noise.
In a sense, those who can use the Symhogear in this anime are similar to Players in the world of LISTENERS. While LISTENERS is mech oriented, Symphogear takes more from magical girl anime, but with a lot of sci-fi elements. Music plays a part in both Sympogear and LISTENERS, but in different ways. While the music references are more visual in LISTENERS and in homage to America’s counterculture in the 1960s and Generation-X in the 1990s, Symphogear is more in tune with modern J-Pop as songs are constantly played.
Senki Zesshou Symphogear PV
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: January 14, 2011 – April 1, 2011
In the 22nd century, the world is administrated by the titular Fractale system. The system is a virtual world created by satellites. In a sense, it’s kind of like the Matrix, but also not (another article for another time). One of its residents is Cain Necran, a boy raised by doppels, robotic beings that serve as his guardians. His life forever changes when he encounters Phryne, a mysterious girl who leaves him a pendant. The pendant then reveals it has been sealing Nessa, a bubbly girl who knows Phryne. Together, Cain and Nessa set out on a journey to reunite with Phyrne and take the system down.
Most of the similarities are emphasized on the individual and relationship dynamics. Cain and Echo are both small-town boys who want to go out and see the world. Then, a chance encounter with a mysterious foreign girl gives them what they were hoping for and more. Without getting too much into spoiler territory with Fractale, Nessa and Phyrne share a lot of common qualities with Mu, the female co-lead. They both serve a greater role in the grand scheme of things and serve as a foil to their male counterparts and vice-versa. The progression of the relationships of the co-leads between Fractale and LISTENERS follow the same formula, but distinguish themselves with how they execute them.
Any Anime Like LISTENERS ?
3. Darling in the FranXX
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: January 13, 2018 – July 7, 2018
In the far future, mankind has been on the brink of extinction and they must live in hiding from monstrous freaks of nature known as klaxosaurus. As a result of their sudden appearance, the structure of humankind has greatly changed in a Brave New World-like setting, but with mechs. So, who has the privilege of piloting these mechs? As you can guess, teenagers! We’re not talking about your ordinary teenagers, but teenagers known as “parasites” that are raised to be pilot mechs called Franxx (pronounced as “Franks” with the “a” having a more recessive pronunciation). After Hiro fails his aptitude test, he finds a second chance through a new partner, Zero Two, a young lady who is also an elite pilot. However, Zero Two is apparently cursed as the “Partner Killer” since every co-pilot she has had until now have all died on their third missions together. Regardless, he gets in the cockpit showing he’s ready to ride into the danger zone.
While Darling in the FranXX is much more intense than LISTENERS, they still share a lot of similar qualities. In both anime, mechs are used to fight an unknown threat and only specially trained people are capable of piloting them. In LISTENERS, only Players, or augmented humans given an audio jack on their body, can use mechs (or equipment) that are disguised as amplifiers, while in Darling in the FranXX, only specially trained pilots known as parasites can. Not only are audiences treated to exciting and creative mech action, but also a wonderful world where teenage hormones will get the best of our cast.
Darling in the FranXX Trailer
2. Macross Frontier
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: April 4, 2008 – September 26, 2008
Taking place in the year 2059, Macross F serves as the fourth installment of Shoji Kawamori’s hit franchise. Taking place in the year 2059, or 50 years after the first Macross series, the united forces of humankind and the Zentradi face a new threat, the Vajra. Facing this new enemy is the Strategic Military Service, a contracting company that uses the traditional transforming mechs known as Valkyries. In addition to exciting mech action, the Macross franchise is also known for implementing themes of romance and an energetic pop soundtrack, and Frontier delivers on all fronts.
While Alto, the male lead of Macross F, and Echo are totally different characters in terms of personality and background, they find themselves facing the same kind of circumstances. In a way, they both want to break away from the mundanity of their everyday lives and pursue something more exciting. Along the way, they get involved in fighting an unknown enemy and throughout the series, form a bond with their female co-star.
1. Koukyoushihen Eureka Seven (Eureka Seven)
- Episodes: 50
- Aired: April 17, 2005 - April 2, 2006
In the year 12005, mankind has been living in space for the past 10,000 years and the planet that Eureka Seven takes place in is abundantly covered in nature with a few scrappy towns here and there. Renton Thurston, our main character, lives with his grandfather, who engineers with junk. On his free time, he enjoys lifting (no, not lifting weights), or to put it simply, air surfing. He also dreams of joining Gekkostate, an anti-establishment group consisting of legends in the sport of lifting. His dreams for adventure come true when a girl and her mech come crashing into his home. Along with meeting the girl of his dreams, he can finally meet his idols in Gekkostate as they go out and stick it to the man!
Both anime share the same writer, Dai Sato, so the similarities are instantly there. Renton and Echo pretty much share the same background and circumstances to how their adventures begin. They both come from a run-down town where they live off whatever scraps of metal they can get their hands on. However, when they both meet mysterious girls who can pilot mechs, their adventures of seeing the world and meeting new people begin. Eureka is also a lot like Mu in that she’s human in appearance but not exactly human, and they both have identity issues. Not only do the co-leads share similar personalities on a foundational level, but also the dynamics of their relationship of being an awkward couple. To top it off, they both co-pilot a mech but how it’s executed between LISTENERS and Eureka Seven are entirely different. Lastly, both anime are abundantly filled with counter culture references for fans to both enjoy.
Eureka Seven Trailer
In addition to what we’ve listed, for someone who enjoys music and pop-cultural references with naming conventions, then obviously, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and Cowboy Bebop are notable honorable mentions for you to check out. In the end, we find if you enjoy counter-culture or Generation-X influences, or anything with mech, LISTENERS and our top 6 should work for you readers. So in addition to what we’ve listed, what are some anime you could recommend that fits the mold of LISTENERS? If you got any, please leave a comment!