The 90s was a golden age for anime, with a plethora of shows that captivated audiences both in Japan and around the world. These shows were known for their unique art styles, which blended traditional Japanese animation techniques with more modern and western influences.
The result was a visually striking and highly memorable 90s anime aesthetic that has become synonymous with the decade.
The animation was often hand-drawn and had a certain charm that is missing from today’s CG productions. The characters were expressive and the backgrounds were detailed and beautiful. The animation techniques used during the 90s allowed animators to create a sense of depth and movement that was truly captivating.
Another aspect that made 90s anime so good was the storytelling. The anime of the 1990s tackled a wide range of themes and genres, from science fiction and fantasy to romance and comedy. The stories were often complex and thought-provoking, and they dealt with issues that were relevant to the audience at the time. They also had characters that were relatable and likeable, and the audience could easily connect with them.
But perhaps the most significant aspect of 90s anime is the nostalgia factor.
For many fans, these shows hold a special place in their hearts, and watching them again brings back fond memories of their childhood. The shows have aged incredibly well, and they continue to resonate with new generations of fans. They are a reminder of a simpler time, and they continue to inspire new anime creators today.
So, if you’re feeling nostalgic, fret not, because we have got you covered with this list of best 90s anime.
List of best 90s anime that you must watch!!
It’s worth noting that certain titles are widely considered to be classic and universally acclaimed, and therefore do not require any additional recommendation. And so we won’t be including popular titles like One Piece, Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon, Yu Gi Oh and others.
These 90s anime are so well-known and beloved that they stand on their own merit and are widely recognized as some of the greatest works of their respective genres.
Moving on, let’s check out the top 90s anime that you must watch!!
25. Kareshi Kanojou No Jijou (His and Her Circumstances)
No. of episodes: 26
Studio: Gainax, J.C.Staff
Release Date: October 2, 1998
We’re starting off our list with a charming romantic comedy that follows the lives of two high school students, Yukino and Arima, who are both considered to be the perfect students in their respective classes.
However, they soon find out that each of them has a hidden side to their personality that they don’t show to others. As they spend more time together, they slowly begin to open up and reveal their true selves, leading to a heartwarming romance that will make you fall in love with them.
The chemistry between the two main characters is electric, and the animation style is simply gorgeous, making this a truly beautiful anime to watch. In addition to romance, Kare Kano also has a strong emphasis on self-discovery and growth.
Whether you’re a fan of romantic comedies or simply love a good anime, Kare Kano is an absolute must-watch
24. Rekka no Honoo (Flame Of Recca)
No. of episodes: 42
Release Date: July 19, 1997
The Flame of Recca is a 90s anime which has all the elements of a popular shonen in it. A protagonist who comes to know that he has hidden powers? Check. Winning battles through his never say die attitude? Check. Villains that have better character development sometimes? Check.
This anime follows the story of Rekka Hanabishi who always dreamt of being a ninja. One day he realizes that he has the ability to manipulate fire at will. The reason? He is the last surviving member of a legendary ninja clan that was wiped out centuries ago.
Now, it seems like a classic amalgamation of your typical anime, but Flame of Recca is enjoyable in its own self. The well choreographed action sequences and the soundtracks that accompany it certainly take this 90s anime up a notch.
Though not anything spectacular, the plot offers enough to keep you hooked through the series, and you will find yourself rooting for Rekka as he goes through numerous trials and grows in strength.
The best part? Once you are done with the anime, you can pick up the manga and explore more of the story there!
The animation displays the 90s anime aesthetic that viewers of this genre crave for, and manages to occupy a place in our list of best anime from the 1990s.
23. Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers)
No. of episodes: 51
Studio: Toei Animation
Release Date: 1996
Hana Yori Dango is considered to be one of the best romance anime which released in 1990s. It follows the story of a high school girl named Makino Tsukushi who attends an exclusive and prestigious school filled with students hailing from wealthy families.
She gains popularity after she stood up to the F4, the four most popular, powerful and rich boys in the school, to protect her friend. However, this meant that she would end up being in their bad books, and thus begins a war of sorts between the two.
As they collide frequently, Tsukushi starts developing a crush on one of the F4, and the shojo centric plot begins to blossom. That’s not all, because an interesting love triangle too comes to the fore in the anime.
Boasting well written and developed characters, Hana Yori Dango will make you root for Makino and go through the same emotions that the character is going through. This anime also shines the light on the theme of bullying in schools and tackles it pretty well.
True, the cringe in the anime might be too much to take sometimes, but the drama, romance and the more than interesting plot surely makes up for it. You’ll also find yourself in awe of the 90s anime aesthetic, thanks to the animation by Toei Studio.
All in all, Hana Yori Dango is close to being a timeless romance classic from the 90s and is definitely a must watch.
22. Dragon Quest: The Adventures of Dai
No. of episodes: 189
Studio: Toei Animation
Release Date: 1991
Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai is an anime based on the popular Japanese video game series “Dragon Quest” and follows the story of a young hero named Dai who sets out on a quest to save the world from the evil demon king, Hadlar and also to exact revenge for the death of someone close to him.
However, this won’t be your usual demons vs humans trope as Dai himself was brought up by kind demons in an island where he was the only human!
Dragon Quest is a cult classic and has a dedicated fan following. Though it follows the shonen trope and relies on the willpower of the characters to overcome tricky situation, Dragon Quest: Adventures of Dai surely has many memorable moments that will capture your hearts!
The anime in general adapted the content of the game well, retaining all key RPG aspects and adding more to the story and the developments.
The actions sequences and animation in particular have received praise from the viewers and is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seats. Dragon Quest being one of the biggest bankable franchise of Toei Animation says a lot about the anime’s quality.
Overall, Dragon Quest offers a well-rounded viewing experience and makes it to our list of best 90s anime.
21. Fushigi no Umi no Nadia (Nadia: Secret of Blue Water)
No. of episodes: 39
Release Date: April 13, 1990
Moving on, we have 1990 anime Nadia: Secret of the Blue Water, which based on Jules Verne’s novel titled ‘20,000 Leagues Under The Sea’. This is second anime to be included in our list of best 1990s anime which was directed by Hideaki Anno.
The story follows the adventures of a young inventor named Jean and a mysterious girl named Nadia as they travel the world on a quest to uncover the secrets of the Blue Water. Along the way, they face challenges, make new friends, and uncover secrets that have been hidden for centuries.
Unlike Kare-Kano, Anno had a decent budget to work with in the anime, and he puts it to use with quality animation visible throughout the series. However, the quality of the anime dips in a couple of episodes in between (replacement director in charge). Despite that flaw, it is still regarded as one of the best anime which released in the 1990s.
The development of the characters, along with the mystery that unfolds itself as we delve more into their pasts, is something that is bound to keep you hooked through the anime. Nadia in particular stands out as a complex character, as she explores her origins and staves off the villains who are on her tail throughout the adventure.
This is classic adventure story, and you should not forget that the idea of the anime was first penned by Hayao Miyazaki, before it went through a change of hands and finally landed with Gainax and Anno.
No. of episodes: 36
Studio: E&G Films
Release Date: April 7, 1995
Slayers is an anime which aired in 1995, and just like some of the other titles in this list, has a cult fan following. While not as popular as Dragon Quest or the other titles are set to appear in the list, it certainly holds its own against the biggies thanks to its fantasy element, which would set a benchmark for the future of anime.
This action-packed and comedic 90s anime follows the adventures of the fiery and feisty sorceress Lina Inverse as she journeys through a world filled with magic and monsters. However, her goal is not to clear dungeon and defeat monsters, instead she is focused on defeating bandits and stealing treasures from them.
As more members join her in her travels, the misunderstandings and the shenanigans keep coming, which will keep you hooked.
On the top, Slayers has all the elements of a classic fantasy anime you would see in the 1990s, however, it differs from the others as it serves up bizarre humor and light-hearted mischief instead of the dramatic elements. The anime wants viewers to take it lightly, and that’s exactly what you’ll end up doing, as you laugh your way through it.
The witty and humorous exchanges between the characters, and Lina’s character in particular are a highlight of the anime.
However, it would be criminal to categorize it as just another comedy anime as it offers a lot more, and is definitely one of the best anime of the 1990s which you shouldn’t miss out on.
19. Tenchi Muyo
No. of episodes: 24
Release Date: October 6, 1998
Tenchi Muyo! is a renowned anime from the 90s that is highly recommended for fans of the sci-fi and romance genres. The story revolves around Tenchi, a normal high school student who suddenly finds himself surrounded by a group of beautiful aliens who are all vying for his affections. With a mix of humor, action, and drama, this anime will keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you wanting more.
The “Tenchi Muyo!” cast of characters, each with their unique and lovable qualities, is the highlight of the show. Ryoko exudes confidence and sass, while Ayeka is charming and pure, adding diversity and excitement to the story. These characters bring a lot of life and energy to the show, making it an enjoyable watch even if you’re not a fan of sci-fi.
Additionally, the animation and soundtrack of “Tenchi Muyo!” are top-notch and hold up well even by today’s standards. Another aspect that sets Tenchi Muyo apart from other anime is its rich and detailed world-building. The series takes place in a universe that’s filled with ancient civilizations, advanced technology, and powerful beings, and it’s easy to get lost in its imaginative and creative setting.
Whether you’re watching Tenchi and his friends explore the galaxy, or you’re learning about the complex relationships and conflicts that exist between the various alien races, there’s always something new and exciting to discover. So, if you’re looking for a fun and nostalgic trip back to the 90s, be sure to give Tenchi Muyo a try!
18. Tenkuu no Escaflowne (The Vision of Escaflowne)
No. of episodes: 26
Release Date: October 6, 1998
Vision of Escaflowne is an iconic masterpiece that will take you on an epic adventure through a magical world filled with action, romance, and drama. This anime is set in a fantasy world known as Gaea, where magic and technology coexist, and is home to a diverse range of creatures, from dragons to robots.
The main character, Van, is a young prince who finds himself transported to Gaea, where he meets the beautiful and determined, Hitomi. Together, they embark on a journey to find the legendary weapon known as the Escaflowne, which holds the key to saving their world from destruction.
One of the standout features of Vision of Escaflowne is its focus on character growth and development. Van starts off as a brash and impulsive prince, but as he faces challenges and grows as a person, he learns to become a true leader. Hitomi, too, goes through a journey of self-discovery as she grapples with her own insecurities and learns to harness her inner strength.
In addition to its fantastic animation and character development, Vision of Escaflowne also has a beautiful love story that is woven throughout the series. The romance between Van and Hitomi is slow-burning and will have you rooting for them every step of the way.
Another standout aspect of the series is its musical score. Composed by the legendary Yoko Kanno, the music perfectly complements the tone of the show and elevates the viewing experience to a whole new level. From sweeping orchestral pieces to haunting ballads, the music will stay with you long after you’ve finished watching the series.
“Vision of Escaflowne” is an anime that offers an exciting and visually stunning experience, perfect for fans of action, romance, drama, or fantasy. Don’t miss out on this thrilling and emotional anime that will surely satisfy your anime list.
17. Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo (Kindaichi Case Files)
No. of episodes: 195
Studio: Toei Animation
Release Date: April 7, 1997
If you’re a fan of detective-mystery anime, then you’ll love Kindaichi Case Files! This classic anime series, first aired in the late 90s, and follows the adventures of a high school detective named Hajime Kindaichi as he solves some of the toughest and most bizarre crimes using his sharp mind and deduction skills. He is joined by his friends, who often provide valuable insight and help him piece together the clues.
Kindaichi Case Files stands out among other detective anime due to its unique combination of mystery and horror. The cases presented are often dark and supernatural, incorporating elements such as ghosts, curses, and other eerie elements, adding an extra layer of excitement and unpredictability to the story.
The cases range from murder investigations to solving puzzles, and the animators have done a great job of bringing the scenes to life. The music is hauntingly beautiful and adds to the overall atmosphere of the show.
The combination of thrilling cases, well-written characters, and visually stunning animation make it a standout anime from the 90s. So, sit back, relax, and get ready to solve some of the most puzzling crimes with Hajime Kindaichi!
16. Case Closed Detective Conan
No. of episodes: 1,071
Studio: TMS Entertainment
Release Date: January 8, 1996
Case Closed, also known as Detective Conan, is a classic anime that’s been around since the 90s. It’s a mystery-detective show that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat, and is sure to be a hit with anyone who loves a good whodunit.
The main character, Jimmy Kudo, is a teenage detective who gets transformed into a child after being poisoned. He takes on the pseudonym Conan Edogawa (inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edogawa Rampo) and continues to solve crimes while disguised as a child. With his sharp mind and detective skills, Conan helps the police crack the toughest cases while trying to find the cure for his condition.
What sets this anime apart is its well-written plots, interesting characters, and the incorporation of real-life scientific facts to make the crimes more believable. Each episode is filled with twists and turns, leaving you guessing until the very end. And once you’ve watched one, you’ll be hooked!
Case Closed has been running for over 20 years, and there’s a reason for that. With its engaging characters and thrilling mysteries, it’s a must-watch for anyone looking for a good anime to binge. Whether you’re a fan of crime dramas, detective shows, or just love a good mystery, this is the anime for you. So go ahead and give it a watch, you won’t regret it.
15. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (Sailor Moon)
No. of episodes: 200 + 3 TV Specials
Studio: Toei Animation
Release Date: March 7, 1992
Sailor Moon, the beloved 90s anime, is a must-watch for anyone who loves action, comedy, and romance all in one package. With its relatable characters, compelling storyline, and iconic transformation sequences, Sailor Moon has captured the hearts of audiences for over two decades.
The main character, Usagi, is a 14-year-old schoolgirl who discovers she is the reincarnated form of the legendary warrior, Sailor Moon. With her newfound powers, Usagi must team up with her fellow Sailor Guardians to protect the world from evil forces and find her true love.
If you’re looking for an anime with a strong female lead, Sailor Moon is the one for you. Usagi is a flawed and relatable character, and her growth throughout the series is inspiring. She proves that anyone can be a hero and save the world, even when they don’t feel like they’re up to the task.
The music is also memorable, with the iconic opening theme, “Moonlight Densetsu,” being a fan favorite. Sailor Moon is a classic anime that will transport you back to the 90s, and leave you with a smile on your face. So grab a box of tissues, get comfortable, and let the adventures of Sailor Moon unfold before your eyes!
14. Kidou Senkan Nadesico (Martian Successor Nadesico)
No. of episodes: 26
Release Date: October 1, 1996
“Martian Successor Nadesico” is a classic 90s anime that is sure to provide you with a thrilling and hilarious experience. Set in a futuristic world, it follows the story of a young man named Akito who joins a spaceship named the Nadesico to fight against invading Martian forces.
What sets this anime apart is its unique blend of science fiction, action, and comedy. It’s a space opera that’s both intense and lighthearted, with a cast of quirky and lovable characters who are sure to make you laugh. The humor ranges from silly to witty, and the animation style is top-notch, bringing the world of Nadesico to life in a truly captivating way.
One of the highlights of “Martian Successor Nadesico” is its cast of quirky and lovable characters. From the fearless and capable captain, to the bumbling chef, to the hopeless romantic, there is a character for everyone to relate to and root for. And the show’s sharp writing ensures that each character has their moment to shine, making for a truly well-rounded and enjoyable viewing experience.
If you’re looking for a lighthearted and action-packed anime from the 90s, “Martian Successor Nadesico” is the perfect choice. With its entertaining blend of science fiction, comedy, and heart, this show is guaranteed to keep you engaged and entertained from start to finish
No. of episodes: 26
Release Date: April 1, 1998
Trigun is a timeless anime series from the 90s that is highly recommended for any enthusiast of the genre. This sci-fi western themed anime is set in a post-apocalyptic world and follows the story of “Vash the Stampede,” a notorious outlaw with a $60 billion bounty on his head. Despite his reputation, Vash is actually a kind-hearted hero who only uses his guns to protect the innocent. Along the way, he is pursued by two insurance agents, Meryl and Milly, who are tasked with keeping Vash’s damage to a minimum.
The show is filled with exciting shootouts and chases, but it also has moments of levity that will have you laughing out loud. The show’s humor comes from Vash’s lighthearted and carefree personality as well as the silly situations he finds himself in. But when it comes to action, Trigun delivers with some of the most exciting and visually stunning shootouts and battles in anime history.
At its core, Trigun is a story about redemption and the power of forgiveness, making for a touching and emotionally resonant viewing experience. The animation style of Trigun is distinctive and iconic, with a rugged, dusty aesthetic that perfectly captures the wild west vibe.
If you’re a fan of sci-fi, westerns, or just great storytelling, Trigun is a must-see!
12. Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan (Rurouni Kenshin)
No. of episodes: 94
Studio: Gallop, Studio Deen
Release Date: January 10, 1996
“Rurouni Kenshin” is an essential anime for fans of historical action-dramas set in Japan’s Meiji era. The story follows the journey of a former assassin named Kenshin Himura. Kenshin decides to abandon his violent ways after years of fighting in the Bakumatsu War and devotes himself to helping others.
The anime showcases Kenshin’s battles against various opponents, but what makes it truly stand out is its well-written characters and emotional depth. Kenshin is a complex hero who is torn between his past and present, while his allies, such as the strong-willed Kaoru Kamiya and the cheerful Sanosuke Sagara, bring a sense of humor and camaraderie to the show.
Another great aspect of the show is its historical accuracy. It provides a fascinating glimpse into a time of great change in Japan’s history, as the country transitioned from a feudal society to a modern nation. Whether you’re a fan of historical dramas, action-adventures, or just great storytelling, this show is sure to exceed your expectations.
This anime is currently getting a remake.
11. Cardcaptor Sakura
No. of episodes: 92
Release Date: April 7, 1998
Cardcaptor Sakura is a magical girl anime that first aired in Japan in the late 1990s. It has since become a beloved classic and a must-watch for fans of the genre.
The story follows Sakura, a young girl who discovers a set of mystical cards that have the power to control elements of the natural world. With the help of her mentor, the magician Cerberus, and her best friends, Sakura sets out to capture all of the cards and restore balance to the world.
What sets Cardcaptor Sakura apart from other magical girl anime is its beautiful animation, well-developed characters, and heartwarming storyline. Sakura is an incredibly relatable protagonist, with her struggles to balance school, friendship, and her newfound responsibilities as a cardcaptor. The supporting cast is just as lovable, from the charming Cerberus to the bumbling Syaoran.
Cardcaptor Sakura is a wholesome anime that will take you on an emotional journey. Whether you’re in the mood for some light-hearted fun, or you’re looking for a story that will make you laugh and cry, this show has it all. The music is also a standout feature, with a beautiful soundtrack that will stay with you long after you’ve finished watching.
It’s a must-watch for anyone who loves magical girl anime and a great choice for anyone looking for a show that’s both entertaining and touching. So why not give it a try and see for yourself why this 90s anime is still so beloved today!
10. Serial Experiments Lain
No. of episodes: 13
Release Date: July 6, 1998
“Serial Experiments Lain” is a thought-provoking 90s anime that will have you questioning reality, technology, and human identity. This 13-episode series tells the story of Lain, a shy and introverted teenager who suddenly finds herself drawn into a mysterious virtual world known as the Wired, as she delves deeper into the Wired and begins to unravel the truth behind this virtual realm.
The anime explores themes of isolation, technology, and the concept of self. The visuals are unique and will transport you into a surreal world that will leave a lasting impression. The soundtrack is haunting and adds to the eerie atmosphere.
As Lain’s journey continues, you’ll see her transform from a quiet and reserved individual to a confident and powerful presence, as she tries to navigate the challenges that arise in both the virtual and physical worlds. The series has a slow and deliberate pace, allowing for reflection and contemplation on the themes presented.
“Serial Experiments Lain” is a must-watch for fans of sci-fi and philosophy. The series offers an insightful commentary on the dangers and benefits of technology and will challenge your perceptions of reality.
This anime is not for everyone, as it is a slow burn that requires patience and an open mind. However, for those willing to invest the time, “Serial Experiments Lain” is a stunning masterpiece. It’s an anime that you won’t soon forget, and its themes are just as relevant today as they were in the 1990s. So sit back, grab a snack, and get ready to have your mind blown with “Serial Experiments Lain.”
09. Yu Yu Hakusho
No. of episodes: 112
Release Date: October 10, 1992
Yu Yu Hakusho, also known as Ghost Fighter, is a classic anime series from the 90s that is sure to take you on a wild ride. With a unique blend of action, comedy, and drama, this anime is an absolute must-watch for any anime fan.
The story follows Yusuke Urameshi, a teenage delinquent who after a tragic death is given a second chance at life as a spirit detective. With his new abilities, Yusuke is tasked with solving supernatural cases and protecting the living world from evil spirits.
Throughout the series, Yusuke is joined by a diverse group of allies, each with their own unique abilities and personalities. Whether it’s the charismatic thief Hiei, the brooding demon Kurama, or the child prodigy Botan, the characters in Yu Yu Hakusho are some of the most endearing and entertaining in anime history.
In addition to its fantastic characters, Yu Yu Hakusho is known for its pulse-pounding action sequences. Whether it’s a one-on-one battle or an all-out war, the show never fails to deliver on the excitement. The show also explores themes of redemption, friendship, and the meaning of life, making it a thought-provoking as well as thrilling experience.
Overall, Yu Yu Hakusho is a classic of 90s anime that remains as enjoyable today as it was over 20 years ago. If you’re looking for a series that’s equal parts action, humor, and heart, then look no further. You won’t be disappointed!
08. Hunter X Hunter
No. of episodes: 62
Studio: Nippon Animation
Release Date: October 16, 1999
Hunter X Hunter is a classic anime from the 90s that is definitely worth checking out and is still highly regarded by fans today. It follows the story of a young boy named Gon who embarks on a journey to become a Hunter, a member of a prestigious group of individuals who possess exceptional abilities and are tasked with undertaking dangerous missions. Along the way, Gon meets a cast of unforgettable characters, each with their own unique motivations and abilities.
The world of Hunter X Hunter is rich and complex, filled with a variety of creatures and locations that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The battles are intense, with a healthy balance of strategy and raw power, making each fight an absolute thrill to watch. The animation and soundtrack are both top-notch, creating a truly immersive experience.
But what really sets Hunter X Hunter apart is its focus on character development. The main cast grows and evolves throughout the series, and you’ll find yourself invested in their journeys and rooting for them every step of the way. The relationships between the characters are genuine and heart-warming, and the themes of friendship, determination, and perseverance are woven throughout the story in a way that will inspire and uplift you.
Whether you’re a seasoned anime fan or a newcomer to the genre, this classic show is definitely worth your time. With its engaging story, lovable characters, and intense action, Hunter X Hunter is an anime that you won’t soon forget.
07. Initial D
No. of episodes: 81
Studio:Gallop, Studio Comet
Release Date: April 19, 1998
If you’re looking for an action-packed anime with plenty of thrilling car races, then look no further than Initial D. This 90s classic takes you on a high-speed journey through the world of street racing in Japan.
This anime takes place in the late 90s and follows the story of a young man named Takumi Fujiwara, who works as a tofu delivery driver. Despite his seemingly ordinary job, Takumi is a skilled street racer who’s known for his incredible driving skills. The anime is full of exciting and intense racing scenes, with some of the most well-animated car chases and races you’ll ever see.
One of the things that sets Initial D apart from other racing anime is the incredible attention to detail when it comes to the cars and the racing itself. The races are depicted with a level of realism that’s rare for the genre, and the cars are shown with a high level of technical accuracy. The races are fast-paced, with heart-pounding moments of tension and excitement that will have you on the edge of your seat.
In addition to the exciting racing scenes, Initial D also features an engaging storyline, with well-developed characters that you’ll quickly become attached to. The relationships between the racers are complex, with a strong sense of camaraderie and rivalries that will keep you invested in their stories.
Overall, Initial D is an anime that’s sure to captivate fans of racing and action alike. With its fast-paced races, detailed car design, and engaging storyline, it’s easy to see why it’s a classic of the 90s anime scene. If you’re looking for an anime that’s full of excitement, heart-pumping action, and a cast of characters that you’ll come to love, then Initial D is definitely worth checking out!
06. Slam Dunk
No. of episodes: 101
Release Date: October 16, 1993
Before Haikyuu or Free it was Slam Dunk that ruled over the sports genre. Slam Dunk is a classic 90s anime that is a must-watch for fans of sports and action-packed storylines.
The anime follows the journey of a high school student named Hanamichi Sakuragi, who joins the basketball team to impress a girl. But as he begins to fall in love with the game and his teammates, Hanamichi develops into a talented player and a key member of the team.
What makes Slam Dunk so captivating is its blend of humor, drama, and heart. From the quirky and lovable characters to the intense and nail-biting basketball matches, the anime keeps you on the edge of your seat.
You’ll find yourself rooting for Hanamichi and his team as they work hard to achieve their goals, both on and off the court. The basketball scenes are intense, and the anime does a great job of capturing the excitement and energy of the sport.
Another standout aspect of Slam Dunk is its relatable themes, such as friendship, teamwork, and perseverance in the face of adversity, making it a timeless classic that still resonates with audiences today.
If you’re looking for a coming-of-age story that is both inspiring and entertaining, “Slam Dunk” is the perfect choice. With its memorable characters and epic moments, it’s easy to see why this anime has become a timeless classic.
05. Shoujo Kakumei Utena (Revolutionary Girl Utena)
No. of episodes: 39
Release Date: April 2, 1997
Revolutionary Girl Utena is a must-watch 90s anime that will leave a lasting impression on you. This classic anime series was first released in 1997 and is considered one of the most influential anime of its time.
The story follows Utena Tenjou, a young girl who becomes a revolutionary after being saved by a prince in her childhood. She enrolls in a prestigious academy where she meets a cast of unique and quirky characters who each have their own reasons for fighting to win the Rose Bride, a mysterious girl who is said to grant the winner their deepest desires.
The series blends elements of magical girl, shoujo, and yuri genre to create a captivating and surreal world that is unlike anything you’ve seen before.
The themes explored in Revolutionary Girl Utena are mature and thought-provoking, touching on topics such as gender roles, identity, childhood idealism, illusions, ambition, adulthood, sexuality, abuse, incest, and the nature of reality.
One of the standout elements of “Revolutionary Girl Utena” is its soundtrack, which perfectly complements the series’ moody, dreamlike atmosphere. From the opening theme’s haunting melody to the climactic showdown’s pulse-pounding music, the score sets the perfect tone for each scene.
For those who appreciate a good mind-bending puzzle, “Revolutionary Girl Utena” is definitely for you. The series’ twists and turns will keep you guessing until the very end, and even after the credits roll, you’ll find yourself still contemplating the show’s many mysteries.
04. Great Teacher Onizuka
No. of episodes: 43
Release Date: June 30, 1999
“Great Teacher Onizuka” (GTO) is a classic 90s anime that continues to captivate audiences to this day. This classic anime is one of the defining series of its era, and is still as entertaining now as it was when it first aired in the late 1990s.
Incidentally, GTO also appears in our list of best comedy anime. Check out our comedy anime recommendations below!
The story follows former gang leader Eikichi Onizuka as he sets out to become the world’s greatest teacher and change the lives of his students. Onizuka is a unique and lovable protagonist, and his antics are sure to have you in stitches. The show is equal parts hilarious and heart-warming, and it’s easy to get attached to the colorful cast of characters.
One of the great things about “Great Teacher Onizuka” is how it tackles serious issues while still maintaining a light-hearted and comedic tone. From bullying to teenage pregnancy, the show doesn’t shy away from tackling complex topics, but it does so in a way that is easy to understand and doesn’t feel preachy.
Another reason why GTO is such a timeless show is its relatability. Despite the over-the-top scenarios and eccentric characters, the themes and messages explored in the series are universal and relevant to anyone who has gone through the struggles of adolescence
Onizuka’s journey to become a better person and make a positive difference in the lives of his students is an inspiring one that will leave a lasting impression on you. Whether you’re a fan of classic 90s anime or just looking for a good laugh, “Great Teacher Onizuka” is an excellent choice.
No. of episodes: 49
Release Date: October 8, 1997
We are getting into the top 3 anime from the 90s, and the best way to get started is with Berserk.
Berserk is a must-see for any 90s anime fan. This dark fantasy series first aired in 1997 and is still considered one of the best anime of its time. The story follows the journey of Guts, a mercenary warrior, as he sets out to take revenge against his former best friend and leader of the mercenary group, Griffith.
The anime is known for its intense action scenes and its deep exploration of human emotion, particularly in its portrayal of the main character’s inner struggles. The world-building is top-notch, creating a rich and immersive world that is both beautiful and brutal.
Berserk is not your average 90s anime. It is mature and graphic, dealing with themes such as violence, revenge, and existentialism. The series does not shy away from depicting gore and sexual content, making it a bold choice for those who are looking for something different.
However, it is these mature elements that make Berserk stand out from the crowd and add to the overall intensity of the series, leaving you on the edge of your seat. While this may not be suitable for all viewers, the way in which it is depicted is both raw and impactful. The battles are epic and intense, and the character development is excellent
Overall, Berserk is an excellent choice for 90s anime fans who are looking for a dark and mature series. Its unique blend of hand-drawn animation, computer-generated imagery, and a haunting soundtrack, combined with its exploration of human emotion and mature themes, make it a must-see for any fan of the genre.
02. Neon Genesis Evangelion
No. of episodes: 26
Studio: Gainax, Tatsunoko Production
Release Date: October 4, 1995
The second spot in our list of best 90s anime goes to none other than the Evangelion series!
Neon Genesis Evangelion, the anime series that captivated audiences in the 90s and continues to resonate with fans today, is a true masterpiece of Japanese animation. This iconic anime was released in the mid-90s and quickly gained a massive following due to its unique storyline, captivating characters, and innovative animation.
It is set in a dystopian world where giant robots known as “Evangelions” are used to defend the world from mysterious creatures known as “Angels.” The main protagonist, Shinji Ikari, is an introverted and socially awkward teenager who is called upon to pilot an Evangelion.
As Shinji navigates this new world, he is faced with challenges both inside and outside the cockpit. He grapples with feelings of self-doubt and is pushed to his limits as he battles against the Angels. The other characters in the show are equally complex and compelling, each with their own unique backstories and motivations.
What truly sets Evangelion apart from other anime series is its thought-provoking themes. The series deals with heavy topics such as mental illness, existentialism, and the human condition.
The art style of Evangelion is truly one-of-a-kind, with a unique blend of traditional anime elements and a more realistic, detailed approach. The giant robots, known as Evangelions, are an iconic part of the series and are depicted with an incredible level of detail and realism.
If you’re a fan of 90s anime and have yet to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion, do yourself a favor and give it a chance. This timeless classic is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat, and its impact on the anime world is undeniable.
01. Cowboy Bebop
No. of episodes: 26
Release Date: April 3, 1998
Coming in at the top spot in our list of best 90s anime is Cowboy Bebop!
Cowboy Bebop is a classic 90s anime that’s a must-watch for anyone who loves a good adventure. Set in 2071, it follows the story of a group of bounty hunters traveling through space on their spaceship, the Bebop.
The main character, Spike Spiegel, is a former member of a criminal organization and is now a skilled fighter and marksman. Along with his partner, Jet Black, he travels the galaxy hunting down the galaxy’s most dangerous criminals and collecting rewards.
The action-packed space western combines elements of sci-fi, film noir, and martial arts to create a unique and thrilling viewing experience. The standout animation, by studio Sunrise, is a visual feast with detailed settings, sleek spacecraft, and fluid fight scenes. The soundtrack, which blends jazz, blues, and rock, is just as iconic and adds to the cool and stylish vibe of the series.
But what sets “Cowboy Bebop” apart is its character-driven storytelling. Each episode is a self-contained story that often delves into the personal lives of the crew while also advancing the overarching plot. The show explores themes of loneliness, regret, and the search for identity with a maturity and nuance that are rare in 90s anime.
Whether you’re an anime veteran or a newcomer, this series will captivate you with its stylish blend of space western and science fiction. So, sit back, relax, and get ready for an unforgettable journey through the stars with the crew of the Bebop.
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