Having found a shocking lack of space opera in my life, I recently started watching Crest of the Stars, a late 90’s anime adaptation of some SF novels by Hiroyuki Morioka. Taking place in a future setting where one planet of humans as we would recognize them has been recently conquered by the elf-like Humankind Empire Abh (whether or not there are other normal humans out there remains to be touched upon). So, like a lot of anime, there’s definitely a post WWII occupation vibe going on here.
So far this is pretty good stuff. Most of the usual anime tropes and silliness are put aside in favor of giving things a much more hard SF quality. There’s some Heinlein-ish interest in what it means to be a responsible citizen, and the importance of the military (for the Abh, the higher one’s place in society is, the longer one’s mandatory service is).
In the future, there will still be fist-bumps!
Of course, one thing that struck me is that the Abh are basically eugenicists. Being the product of genetic alteration themselves (evidently the people involved were WoW fans), most children are test-tube babies, and marriage is not practiced. Abhs have to to through some sort of genetic approval process before they can be allowed to conceive. So the state here pretty much rules and regulates private/family life. This stuff is obviously not good!
On top of this there does appear to be a rigid caste system, a separation between nobility/royalty and commoners. Since the show is so far avoiding the whole utopian, “primitive and superstitious humans are enlightened by more advanced aliens” angle, where the show will go with this still seems a bit up in the air (though my guess is that it’ll just get relegated to the background).