Here is a list of the best classic 90’s anime series that are still popular as of now!
Hello, anime fans, and welcome once more to this nostalgic list of the best old Japanese anime series from the 1990s that are still so enjoyable to watch today. Although their animation style may be out of date by today’s standards, these good 90s classic anime tv shows still hold up today due to both their uniqueness and their heart.
Without further ado, let’s begin the list of our favorite anime from the 1990s!
20. Orphen (1998)
Let’s start our nostalgic list of the best classic anime series from the 1990s with this cool television show called Orphen, which tells a good fantasy action story in a nice way. This old anime series follows Azali, who becomes unable to control the power of her magical sword after an accident. Worse yet, she transforms into a great dragon, which is why people start calling her Bloody August. Later, a young magician named Krilancelo promises to do everything he can to get Azali back
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19. Pokémon (1997)
Pokemon is a classic Japanese television show that is not only one of the best anime shows of the 1990s, but also a series that has helped the Japanese medium gain even more global popularity.
This is an old anime series that is based on the Game Boy game “Pocket Monsters,” in which kids raise a pocket monster and train it to fight other monsters. In this show, Satoshi and his Pokemon, Pikachu, travel the land in hopes of getting better and becoming the grand champions.
The original Pokemon 90s anime series is still among the top three best anime series of all time, and it consists of 276 episodes that ran on television from 1997 to 2002. The epic adventures of Pokemon were the first manga series to reach such a large audience in the West.
18. Outlaw Star (1998)
Outlaw Star is another fantastic anime series from the 1990s that you should watch because you won’t get bored and you will enjoy it from the beginning to the end. It was produced by Sunrise and aired in 1998.
Outlaw Star follows Gene and his friendly crew as they brave the final frontier, adventuring across the stars, and looking for answers to the secrets about Melfina. meeting evil bounty hunters, space pirates, Taoist mages, and even cat girls, there is sure to be an exhilarating adventure around every corner. The series takes place in the universe of the “Toward Stars Era,” which has spacecraft that can travel faster than the speed of light.
17. The Vision of Escaflowne (1996)
After watching so many shows up to this point, I am able to say that this show is still one of my all-time favorite series to date. So, what makes it so great? This show was also one of those great classic anime tv shows from the 1990s that pulled me into watching Japanese anime.
First and foremost, the characters appear to be very real, the animation style is excellent for the time period, the soundtracks are fantastic, and the story is extremely complex for a fantasy romance series that explores a variety of topics, including the struggle between fate and free will.
The story follows Hitomi, a girl with psychic abilities who is taken to another magical world. There, she and her friends are attacked by a bad empire, and the Guymelf Escaflowne gives them the key to the whole thing.
16. Now and Then, Here and There (1999)
You won’t get bored while watching this amazing old but gold television show because it is such a great 1999 anime series that is so original and epic.
In this 90s adventure fantasy anime series, “Shu” defends a young stranger who is being attacked for her magic pendant. However, he ends up being transferred to another desert world where water is scarce and he must join an army of children.
This is a great, eerie tale set in an isekai world about a hero who fights against hunger, torture, and the horrors of war to save a lonely girl he just met.
15. Revolutionary Girl Utena (1997)
Revolutionary Girl Utena is one of the best anime from the 1990s and will always be a series to watch and must be watched by all fans. It features a beautiful design of her distinctive character in addition to her amazing music, then sabotaging fairy tales and magical girls, Utena stands out in the heyday of the 90s anime. However, the animation is not up to date by today’s standards.
Utena Tenjou is a tomboy who is liked by all the girls at a prestigious school. She wants to be a prince, and when she gets caught up in the plans of the Student Council, she gets a chance to fight for the princess and enters a world she never imagined.
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14. Sailor Moon (1992)
Oh, and if you like to watch magical anime girls in action, Sailor Moon, a popular 90s series about a disembodied schoolgirl named Bunny who learns that she is the reincarnation of Serenity, the princess of the Moon, and that her goal is to defend Earth from the prevailing evil forces, is a must-watch.
She can transform into Sailor Moon with the help of a magical brooch, gain magical abilities, and meet Bourdu, the masked man, as well as other Sailors who will assist her in this never-ending battle between good and evil.
13. Slayers (1995)
Slayers is a great classic anime series from the 1990s that you will really enjoy. Go watch it right away! This series follows Lina Inverse, a powerful, greedy witch who wanders the world stealing from bandits. One day, as she is waiting to attack a bandit group for retribution, she will not succeed. Fortunately, while she was being arrested by the bandits, a foolish man entered the scene and saved her.
The foolish knight decides to take Lina to Atlas City after they have been defeated. However, Lina has discovered a powerful magical object among her most recent stolen goods, and the two of them are now being pursued by enigmatic individuals who are after this item. This is how they begin their adventure, which may have an impact on the fate of the world as a whole.
12. Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995)
Neon Genesis Evangelion, also known as Evangelion or Eva, is a Japanese anime series that debuted in the 1990s on TV Tokyo.
Gendou Ikari, head of the organization, seeks compatible pilots who can synchronize with the Evangelions and realize their true potential. Talented personnel Misato Katsuragi, Head of Tactical Operations, and Ritsuko Akagi, Chief Scientist, are assisting in this defensive endeavor. Fifteen years after a global catastrophe known as the Second Impact, Humanity’s last hope lies in the hands of Nerv, a special agency under the United Nations, and their Evangelion
11. Serial Experiments Lain (1998)
Next up is the greatest anime of the 1990s, specifically of 1998. It tells the story of a shy, introverted fourteen-year-old girl named Lain who becomes obsessed with the connected virtual world of “The Wired.”
With the boundaries between reality and cyberspace rapidly blurring, Lain is thrown into more surreal and bizarre events where identity, consciousness, and perception are concepts that take on new meanings. Strange men known as the Men in Black begin to appear wherever she goes, asking her questions and somehow knowing more about her than even she herself knows. Lain’s life is turned upside down as she begins to encounter cryptic mysteries one after another.
10. Ranma (1989 – 1992)
Ranma Saotome is a prodigy at the Saotome “Anything-Goes” school of martial arts. However, when he is splashed with cold water, Ranma is cursed to turn into a girl, and only hot water can turn him back into a boy.
Ranma is immediately married to Akane Tendo, the youngest daughter of Genma Saotome and Soun Tendo. Akane is a martial artist, a tomboy, and quite temperamental. Ranma and Akane have never been in a romantic relationship before.
Ranma is an old anime series from the 1990s that follows the hilarious adventures of Ranma and Akane as they deal with a variety of obstacles, meet new love interests, and come up with new ways to annoy one another while their engagement is in doubt.
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9. Slum Dunk (1993)
Everyone is familiar with Kuroko no Basket, a basketball-themed anime series, but few are aware of Slum Dunk, the best, pioneering, and masterpiece basketball ball television show of the 1990s.
The story revolves around Sakuragi Hanamichi, a freshman at Shohoku High School who joins the basketball team due to the girl he has a crush on, Haruko. Although he is a newbie in this sport, he is not your typical basketball player. This 1993 anime series offers almost everything from action, comedy, and drama themes to romantic tensions, badass moments, and action, comedy, and drama themes.
8. Great Teacher Onizuka (1999)
Great Teacher Onizuka, also known as GTO, is a 90s school comedy anime series about Onizuka, a former leader of a biker gang who wants to become the best teacher in the world in order to get closer to the hottest high school girls.
Be prepared to take classes that won’t bore you, language you’d be slapped for speaking, and biology that would make you blush—unless, of course, you’re the Great Teacher Onizuka—but the strict administrator and his class of ruthless bad students will stand in the way of his ambition, and they will use any legal or illegal means to send Onizuka away.
7. Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (1995)
This is without a doubt one of the best seasons in the Gundam Series—yes, this 90s masterpiece of a mecha anime is old but gold! The plot follows the USA Sphere Alliance as they rule space and Earth colonies with an iron fist for several decades.
A rebel group will send five powerful mobiles known as “Gundams” to begin an assault against the Alliance and its sub-organization OZ after later space colonies begin to oppose the ruling system and their leader is assassinated. The epic story then goes from there…
6. Trigun (1998)
Another great old anime series from the 1990s is Trigun. It follows Vash, who is known as a powerful assassin but is actually a big softie who avoids violence at all costs and claims never to have killed anyone.
Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson, two insurance agents, try to minimize Vash’s impact on the public as he traverses the planet Gunsmoke with his bizarre doughnut obsession and buffoonish attitude in tow.
However, Vash’s agonizing past will be revealed, and his morals and principles will be tested to the breaking point as their mishaps quickly turn into life-or-death situations. As a result, a group of legendary assassins is summoned to inflict pain on the trio.
5. Berserk (1997)
Berserk is the best classic anime series from the 1990s that depicts vengeance, love, and betrayal. Almost all anime fans are familiar with this old masterpiece, which has three main themes: medieval, gore, and philosophy.
Go watch the main character, Guts, who has been branded for death and is destined to be hunted by demons until he dies. As waves of beasts relentlessly pursue him, he will embark on a journey to defy such a gruesome fate. Steeling his resolve, his rage is on fire as he takes up the monstrous blade Dragonslayer and vows to exact revenge on the one who did it.
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4. Cowboy Bebop (1998)
Cowboy Bebop is a well-packed classic space-action television show from the 1990s that makes this list of the best 90s anime. The show has 26 epic episodes and is set in the year 2071, but the main story is about a crew of bounty hunters living an adventurous lifestyle in their spaceship, the Bebop.
Throughout its run, Cowboy Bebop draws heavily from science fiction, westerns, and noir films. Its most common thematic themes include adult existential ennui, loneliness, and the challenges of attempting to escape one’s past.
3. Dragon Ball Z (1989 – 1996)
This classic anime series, which premiered in the 1980s and 1990s, is still popular today and is considered a legend of the golden age.
Son Goku and Chichi have a son named Son Gohan in honor of their great-grandfather, and the story of their son begins in Dragon Ball Z several years after their marriage.
There are only four pure Sayajins left: Son Goku, Radditu, and his accomplices who left on a mission, Vegeta, and Nappa. Raddatsu lands on Earth one day and declares that he is Son Goku’s brother. It belongs to the Sayajins, intersidereal warriors who put the universe to fire and blood. Their planet Vegeta has been destroyed.
2. Yu Yu Hakusho (1992)
Yu Yu Hakusho is a good 90s anime series that you will absolutely enjoy because it has everything: friendship, love, an mc who got reincarnated, an isekai theme, well-packed action scenes, etc.
The main character in the story is Yuusuke Urameshi, a criminal who did nothing good in his previous life other than die while saving a young boy from an accident.
As a result, the authorities of the spirit realm offer Yuusuke the chance to regain his life by completing a series of tasks, including working as a Spirit Detective against evil forces on Earth under the direction of the death god Botan.
Yuusuke recruits his former rival Kazuma Kuwabara and two demons with criminal histories, Hiei and Kurama, to assist him in his endeavor. Together, they train and fight against enemies who would threaten humanity’s very existence.
1. Rurouni Kenshin
Rurouni Kenshin is a great action, adventure, and historical anime series from the 1990s about a badass wandering samurai named Kenshin. Despite the fact that he appears to be kind, gentle, and friendly, the truth is that he is a former assassin of the utmost skill during the Meiji restoration who simply walked away at the turning point of the war while carrying a bloody dark past to which he wishes not to return
In the eleventh year of the Meiji era, his travels bring him to Tokyo, where he makes friends with a female Kendo master, a former thief, a brawler, and a doctor, all of whom have their own secrets. Together, they fight off enemies from Kenshin’s dark past that he can’t avoid or ignore in any way.