For an anime to resonate with its fans, it needs to at least have a gripping story, stunning visuals, or a relatable cast. These characters will need to have diverse personalities, but fans easily connect with those that ooze charisma and coolness. Yet coolness is not always limited to just the characters.
Locations, objects, and even vehicles can make a huge impact if introduced and represented in the right way. In fact, there are plenty of anime vehicles that stand out, whether they come from universally popular or lesser known anime. If they are showcased in thrilling situations or simply owned by a popular character, a vehicle can easily be considered cool.
10 The Arcadia Is More Impressive Than The Titular Train (Galaxy Express 999)
Galaxy Express 999 is a space opera taken from the original manga written by Leiji Matsumoto. An anime series adaptation was made in the the late 1970s with multiple films following suit. While the titular Galaxy Express 999 train is the main focus as Tetsurou Hoshino uses it to travel the universe, there is another vehicle that strikes a more imposing and memorable figure.
The Arcadia is a pirate spaceship with Captain Harlock at the helm. Its formidable skull and crossbones both on the front and side complete the forboding look as its presence commands space.
9 The F-1 Deserves More Screentime Than A Short Movie Appearance (Tailenders)
Tailenders’ premise is interesting, even if this short anime movie doesn’t necessarily have the reviews or popularity to back it up. Tomoe Shiro has a promising career ahead of him as an established racer, before an accident nearly kills him. His heart is replaced by the engine of his car, but his weakened condition puts restrictions on his racing access.
The F-1 is the car in question. It holds spectacular power and speed, and looks immaculate when in full swing. It may not exactly get a full showcase in this short Redline-like movie, but it is still an especially cool anime vehicle.
8 It Doesn’t Get Much Cooler Than A Huge Battleship Flying Through Space (Space Battleship Yamato)
Space Battleship Yamato was initially released back in 1974, making it one of the earlier inspirations for the wave of space anime that duly followed. The titular vessel is made from the ruins of a WWII battleship, found and formed by the fleeing inhabitants of Earth.
The Yamato is as important as any of the other main characters, as it achieves incredible feats across the board. It can reach unfathomable speeds, while also hitting foes with a ferocious firepower expected of an enormous battleship. This spaceship is hugely important within the history of space anime, but is also a fine battleship.
7 The Trans Am Is Suitably Cool For Redline’s Protagonist (Redline)
Redline is one of the top racing anime movies out there, with its fast action and exciting visuals. Having such a reputation gives certain expectations of the vehicles in show and it duly delivers. The protagonist JP, also known as Sweet JP, drives a heavily modified Trans AM 20000 WR.
This yellow beast is as effective as it looks, with it utilizing unprecedented power to excel under dangerous conditions. It ultimately makes perfect sense for a cool character like JP to have such a car, as it reflects and suits his personality.
6 The Concept Of The Catbus Is Creative Genius (My Neighbor Totoro)
Cool vehicles is stand out, whether through a flashy exterior, exciting technology and gadgets, or simply a unique concept. The Catbus in My Neighbor Totoro certainly stands out. As the name suggests, this is a cat that can transport people thanks to its bus design.
It has a cheeky smile that can only be compared to that of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. It is a prime example of a bizarre concept being executed to perfection. Despite its minimal inclusion in My Neighbor Totoro, it is still one of the most recognizable Studio Ghibli characters.
5 The Thousand Sunny Is An Impressively Versatile Ship (One Piece)
After the destruction of the Going Merry, the Straw Hat Pirates get a new ship, called the Thousand Sunny. The Sunny is a noticeable upgrade on their previous ship, all nostalgic attachments aside.
It has more of a presence to it, while having a homey feel and aesthetic. It packs harder firepower than before and is generally the perfect ship for their now much larger crew. It is certainly one of the best and coolest vehicles in anime.
4 Kaneda’s Bike Is Iconic (Akira)
Akira will always been known as one of the greatest anime movies of all time. Released in 1988, it was way ahead of its time with its spectacular style and attention to detail. It thrives with its flashy and sometimes grotesque visuals, but remained a cyberpunk spectacle throughout.
Kaneda’s motorcycle is the embodiment of the fast pace that Akira has. The flashy and incredibly powerful red motorbike is now synonymous with this exceptional movie.
3 Spike’s Swordfish II Is Impossibly Fast (Cowboy Bebop)
In Cowboy Bebop, the Bebop ship itself is remembered fondly as one of the greatest anime spaceships of all time. It is where the gang have many of their weirdest and most wonderful interactions, and takes them wherever they need to go. Yet despite all of this, in terms of looking the coolest in action, it is outdone by the Swordfish II Racer.
This ship is Spike Spiegel’s very own, having been given to him by Doohan. The Swordfish II is perfect for fast-paced battles both out in the depths of space and closer to the ground. It takes a beating due to Spike’s aggressive approach to situations but it looks cool throughout.
2 The Mach 5 Is The Coolest Anime Car (Speed Racer)
Speed Racer, also known as Macho GoGoGo, never truly hit the mark with either of its anime adaptations, both in the 1960s and late 1990s. However, they introduce the Mach 5, easily the coolest vehicle of the entire franchise.
In addition to its retro-futuristic look and flashy exterior, the Mach 5 possesses a powerful engine and several interesting gadgets. The vehicle is considerably advanced for the times and deserves to still be recognized as one of the coolest and most iconic cars in anime.
1 The Flying Nimbus Is Exceptional In Its Simplicity & Execution (Dragon Ball)
Dragon Ball‘s wacky creativity is what shaped most modern-day anime fans’ love for the medium, from their childhoods. Everything from Goku’s power to the over-the-top interactions are looked back on with a great deal of fondness.
The Flying Nimbus is Goku’s mode of transport before he realizes his true power and potential. Despite being the simple concept of standing on a cloud, the Flying Nimbus has become synonymous with early Goku. It is a cool alternative to other flying modes of transport and perfectly fits in with the Dragon Ball aesthetic.