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I can't honestly predict when you'll get around to answering this, but it is something that I would like your opinion on. From what I've been informed, a lot of science fiction stories, including that of the anime variety, tend to be rather lacking in optimism, revolving the sense that the future of mankind is either compromised or in jeopardy.
One guy whose show I watch pointed it out, and after doing some reading and viewing myself, I have to say, he's not far off. Interestingly, he set up a graph of sorts, placing science fiction stories according to how rosy each one views the future.
On one end is Star Trek, the optimist; war is abolished, sentient races work together, and the only conflict that pops up is by unknown forces that are encountered through exploration.
On the other end is the Sigourney Weaver "Alien" movies, the pessimist; mankind barely made it out into space, and only by the virtue of corrupt businesses and unethical private military contractors, and where a killer alien attack would be a welcomed reprieve from the daily drudgery under the company's thumb.
In between these two is every science fiction story ever made, with the ones that are smack dab in the middle presenting us with worlds that are too fantastical for the pessimist, but too fraught with danger for the optimist. In other words, not too light and not too dark; middle-ground.
Do you know of any science fiction movies, books, comic books, and/or TV shows that would qualify for the middle ground?
Star Wars? Starship Troopers? Blade Runner? Pacific Rim? You've defined a pretty wide middle, so almost ANYTHING fits in it.