Steampunk Wiki
Based On: Metropolis (1949 manga)
Metropolis (1927 film)
Directed By: Rintaro
Released: May 26, 2001
Runtime: 112 minutes
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese

Metropolis (メトロポリス, Metoroporisu) is a manga-based anime film with dieselpunk and cyberpunk elements loosely based on the 1949 Metropolis manga created by Osamu Tezuka and eponymous 1927 silent German film, scripted by Katsuhiro Otomo and directed by Rintaro.


Metropolis is a story of how important emotions are and how they separate humans from everything else. The movie follows a young boy and his uncle (a private investigator). The story is set in the far future where humans and robots live together, unfortunately not in harmony. Many robots are forced underground and are terminated for entering unauthorized areas. They are more or less servants to humankind. The plot starts to unfold when the boy meets a robot named Tima and they get in all kinds of trouble. Never a dull moment when you've got a robot by your side.[1]

Steampunk Influences[]

The movie contains both dieselpunk and cyberpunk elements blended together to create a cohesive setting. The city relies heavily on steam generated electrical power and airships are a common sight, but advanced, sleek technology is also common. Both steampunk and cyberpunk are seen side-by-side and often rolled into one, working item.

Clothing and music are reminiscent of 1920 America, just like the original movie. This, along with the Industrial Era dieselpunk, the sleek cyberpunk, and its 1950s film noir storytelling lend a timeless feel to the film.

Themes of rebellion, corruption, and dissent are prevalent in the film's dystopian setting, a common occurrence in both genres.

Notes on silent film version (1926)[]

Metropolis, the silent film, could be considered Dieselpunk by its themes and approach. Like the modern adaptation, the original Metropolis had a conflict between people and their technology. Concepts such as social upheaval as a result of oppression, linked with industrial machines, and robots are common to steampunk and dieselpunk. The entire film can be seen on YouTube in German here and in English here. There is an inexplicable difference in the music between the two versions.