Today we are going to talk about some of the best classic 90s anime series that you can still watch and enjoy. I understand that the animation maybe outdated in compare to today’s standards, But You will get see great stories and plots.
I bet this list will give you a nostalgic experience with these best 90s anime series and also get to know why some of anime fans still watch these 90s anime series.
Lets begin the countdown for the best 20 classic 90s anime series that you can still enjoy.
- 20. Orphen (1998)
- 19. Pokémon (1997)
- 18. Outlaw Star (1998)
- 17. The Vision of Escaflowne (1996)
- 16. Now and Then, Here and There (1999)
- 15. Revolutionary Girl Utena (1997)
- 14. Sailor Moon (1992)
- 13. Slayers (1995)
- 12. Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995)
- 11. Serial Experiments Lain (1998)
- 10. Ranma (1989 – 1992)
- 9. Slam Dunk (1993)
- 8. Great Teacher Onizuka (1999)
- 7. Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (1995)
- 6. Trigun (1998)
- 5. Berserk (1997)
- 4. Cowboy Bebop (1998)
- 3. Dragon Ball Z (1989 – 1996)
- 2. Yu Yu Hakusho (1992)
- 1. Rurouni Kenshin (1996)
20. Orphen (1998)
I really liked this 90s anime because its full of humor, action and plenty of fantasy.
It was fun to watch but I’d personally enjoy it more if it had a little more depth into it but other than that, i’d recommend this anime to people who aren’t into a very deep story line.
Pitch : A sorcerer by the name of Orphen searches for a way to bring his childhood friend, Azalie, back to her original form, whom on a quest for knowledge became a dragon.
19. Pokémon (1997)
Its nostalgic even to write about it. I still remember waiting for the clock to strike 5 so that I can watch this 90s anime on Cartoon Network!
When Pikachu saves Ash and gets injured, when Ash throws himself on the birds to protect the injured Pikachu, the chemistry between the two, the friendship, the food, the fight, the planning of attacks to be used… tell me what else.
It was so much fun to watch it and most importantly, it helped me grow morally, not to lie, not to steal, to stay together, to protect family and friends, to do what your heart says is right…
Pitch : Ash Ketchum, his yellow pet Pikachu and his human friends explore a world of powerful creatures.
18. Outlaw Star (1998)
I remember awhile back, I use to come home from school and watch this 90s anime on Toonami. This and DBZ were the highlights of the few hours I spent watching TV before getting to homework.
I just recently found Outlaw again and decided to rewatch the series again, since it had been years since I watched it last.
Pitch : The adventures of an outlaw crew of an advanced starship.
17. The Vision of Escaflowne (1996)
Escaflowne is renowned for its soundtrack scored by Yoko Kanno, an epic orchestral voyage to a fantasy land that remains original even today in an era overrun by music for fantasy films and 90s anime, all vaguely familiar with their typical motifs and themes.
Escaflowne’s animation, at least for the remastered DVDs should also be praised, as well as the direction by Kazuki Akane. It’s dynamic, artistic and looks gorgeous; a vivid world brought to life by an excellent production staff.
Pitch : Hitomi is a girl with psychic abilities who gets transported to the magical world of Gaea. She and her friends find themselves under attack from the evil Zaibach empire, and the Guymelf Escaflowne provides the key to it all.
16. Now and Then, Here and There (1999)
Pitch : A Japanese boy named Shu tries to save a strange girl, Lala Ru, from kidnappers and is transported to an alternate Earth on the brink of being swallowed by the sun. There he meets an American girl from his time, Sara, who was mistakenly captured because of her resemblance to Lala Ru.
Shu becomes and unwilling member of the crazy and cowardly King Hamdo’s army, and Sara is forced to have sex with the adult soldiers so that she can become pregnant and bear mores soldiers or slaves.
Lala Ru, who can create water–a rarity in that time–using her pendant, is both a savior and a victim in a world where factions are willing to fight and die for her abilities, and at the same time keep her locked up.
15. Revolutionary Girl Utena (1997)
The story may seem pretty strange (in fact it is), but everything falls in it’s place and the driving force are the brilliant characters and their relationships.
There is love, friendship, loyalty, adoration, obsession, disgust, hate and anything in between. If you like character driven drama, than this show is for you!
Pitch : A tomboy schoolgirl finds herself forced into repeated duels for another girl who has a role in a world revolution.
14. Sailor Moon (1992)
Sailor Moon, known in Japan as Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon, is a Japanese 90s anime television series produced by Toei Animation using Super Sentai motifs.
It is based on the manga of the same title written by Naoko Takeuchi that was published from 1991 to 1997 in Nakayoshi.
Pitch : A group of schoolgirls discover they are incarnations of super-powered alien princesses, and use their abilities to defend the earth.
13. Slayers (1995)
Slayers is a Japanese light novel series written by Hajime Kanzaka and illustrated by Rui Araizumi.
The novels had been serialized in Dragon Magazine, and were later adapted into several manga titles, 90s anime television series, anime films, OVA series, role-playing video games, and other media.
Pitch : The adventures of a teenage sorceress and her companions as they quest for gold and glory (especially gold).
12. Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995)
When violent monsters descend upon Earth to destroy humanity, a reluctant young man joins a small squad of pilots under the command of his cold and dictatorial father to drive back the menace using giant machines that seem to have minds of their own.
Pitch : A teenage boy finds himself recruited as a member of an elite team of pilots by his father.
11. Serial Experiments Lain (1998)
Serial Experiments Lain is a paragon of many dimensions, and completely unparalleled in many more.
It’s a masterpiece of intellectualize, and utterly unparalleled in providing a mind-warping trip into extreme psychological and philosophical themes whose impact lingers and haunts like nothing I’ve ever experienced.
Pitch : Strange events begin to occur as a withdrawn girl named Lain becomes obsessed with interconnected virtual realm of “The Wired”.
10. Ranma (1989 – 1992)
Ranma ½ is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi. It was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Sunday from August 1987 to March 1996, with the chapters collected into 38 tankōbon volumes by Shogakukan.
Pitch :A girl is involuntarily engaged to a boy who turns female when hit with cold water and male when hit with hot.
9. Slam Dunk (1993)
Slam Dunk is one of those classics of sports anime. You always hear about it and wonder if it actually is the best thing since sliced bread. Well, it isn’t. But it is funny and entertaining and worthwhile if you have the patience for it.
Pitch : About Sakuragi Hanamichi, a freshman of Shohoku High School who joins the basketball team because of the girl he has a crush on, Haruko. Although he is newbie in this sport, he is no ordinary basketball player.
8. Great Teacher Onizuka (1999)
Great Teacher Onizuka, officially abbreviated as GTO, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tooru Fujisawa. It was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Magazine from January 1997 to February 2002.
Pitch : About Eikichi Onizuka, a 22-year-old ex-gangster member and a virgin. He has one ambition that no one ever expected from him. His solely life purpose is to become the greatest high school teacher ever.
7. Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (1995)
I enjoyed this 90s anime as a teen without understanding most of it, and now that I’m re-watching it 10+ years later I’m surprised by how complex it was.
The sci/tech is a little wonky (what does and doesn’t have gravity and when), but I’m still really really enjoying it.
Pitch : A squadron of giant robot pilots of a beleaguered Earth colony bring the war to their oppressive home planet.
6. Trigun (1998)
Great show, this 90s anime reminded me of cowboy bebop a little. Great main character, and great side characters. I really like how they did the fillers first and then it was all story. Also, great antagonist and side antagonist (legato).
Pitch : Vash the Stampede is the most infamous outlaw on the planet Gunsmoke and with a 60 billion double dollar price on his head the most sought after!
5. Berserk (1997)
Absolutely amazing. Not only in the animation itself but also in the music. Such a shame this series ended after only one season, and has yet to find a proper long running adaption.
Pitch : Guts is a skilled swordsman who joins forces with a mercenary group named ‘The Band of the Hawk’, lead by the charismatic Griffith, and fights with them as they battle their way into the royal court.
4. Cowboy Bebop (1998)
I can’t say enough about this show, but it has amazing music and a cast of characters you just absolutely love. Each episode is like a little movie as they build a little more into the bigger picture.
I love the mash up of the east meets west cultures. Check it out. You’ll either like or you’ll love it. You won’t hate it.
Pitch : The futuristic misadventures and tragedies of an easygoing bounty hunter and his partners.
3. Dragon Ball Z (1989 – 1996)
I remember being six years old when I first came across the Dragon Ball franchise through Dragon Ball Z Kai. But I didn’t get into Dragon Ball Z though until I was 11.
Ever since I’ve never denied my love for the series. It will and forever be my favorite 90s anime of all time.
Pitch : After learning that he is from another planet, a warrior named Goku and his friends are prompted to defend it from an onslaught of extraterrestrial enemies.
2. Yu Yu Hakusho (1992)
Pitch : One day, 14-year-old Yusuke Urameshi suddenly finds himself dead, having died pushing a child out of the way of oncoming traffic. Since he has such a bad personality, even the Spirit World was caught by surprise that he would sacrifice himself.
Yusuke soon finds out he wasn’t supposed to die and has a chance for resurrection and bringing his body back to life.
After being resurrected, Yusuke becomes a Spirit Detective, along with his comrades, and one adventure after another happens, whether it be an investigation or a fighting tournament.
1. Rurouni Kenshin (1996)
An amazing anime taking place during the Japan Revolution – is an amazing story first written by Nobuhiro Watsuki in 1994 and first aired as an 90s anime in 1996.
If you’re one of the older anime fans, chances are that you probably have seen this anime already and give it the respect that it deserves.
Pitch : The adventures of a young wandering swordsman who stumbles upon a struggling martial arts school in Meiji era Japan.
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