10 Best Anime From The 90s

With the advancement of new technologies, the Internet, and easier access to Japanese animation (Anime), Anime has grown rapidly with many fans of the genre. But even now with its rising success anime had already captured the hearts of many of us way back in our youth.

Even without the proper metrics and distribution channels, we have today, we have numerous anime today from the 90s that were really successful and marked their place in history as great productions. And it’s time to remember some of them. It’s time to go back memory lane! Try to hold back the nostalgia, check out the greatest anime through the 90s.

Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball season 1 some of the main cast episode 33

Released: 1986

If you were raised in the 90s and were into anime, you likely ended up watching Dragon Ball as one of your go-to anime. Though the 90s had been marked because of it, Goku’s activities were released has way back has 1986. A long time before all of the convoluted arcs of sequels like Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super, we simply accompanied Goku in search of the seven dragon balls. Even at the beginning, people meet the iconic Master Roshi, Krillin, Piccolo, among other characters.


Hunter x Hunter

Hunter x Hunter main cast 1999

Released: 1999

Based on the manga published in 1998, Hunter x Hunter got its first anime adaptation in 1999. The plot follows 12-year-old boy Gon Freecss, who takes part in a Hunter Exam which is several strange and difficult tests with the hope of finding his missing father. On the road, he meets his friends Kurapika, Killua, and Leorio.

Extremely loved by fans, the anime got a new adaptation in 2011, having a newer design, two films, and much more tales than the initial anime, thanks to the manga having advanced further. While the 1999 anime, came with a musical and three OVAs.

Tomorrow’s Joe

Ashita no Joe


Released: 1970

Based on the 1968 manga, the anime introduces us to former boxer and now coach Danpei Tange. Frustrated with his profession as a sportsman and mentor, after the loss of one of his eyes, and being abandoned by the disciple he taught because of his unusual teaching methods, Danpei became a homeless alcoholic. But this all changes when he sees Joe Yabuki fighting. He vows to train the young delinquent to be Japan’s or even the world’s best boxer, with the hope of a better tomorrow for both of them.

Tomorrow’s Joe made history in Japan, simply because of its appeal as an underdog tale. For many years, Joe Yabuki ended up being used as an icon of the youth and other popular promotions even politically. When the manga came to an end, thousands of teenagers honored the series.

Mobile Suit Gundam


Released: 1979


Also known as Gundam 0079, this mecha anime will make you cry. Illustrates a time when humanity relocated into space after polluting and overcrowding the planet earth. One of many colonies, called edges, declares liberty and, years later, would go to war with Earth. The alleged Republic of Zeon hinges on nuclear and biological weapons and giant war robots to strike the planet.

Two years after the release of the anime, the studio decided to relaunch the show in theaters, compressing the plot into three films: Mobile Suit Gundam I (1981), Mobile Suit Gundam II: Soldiers of Sorrow (1981), Mobile Suit Gundam III: Encounters in Space (1982).

Ranma ½


Released: 1989

Ranma ½ tale was adapted into anime, between 1989 and 1992. The plot follows Ranma Saotome a top-class martial artist and prodigy. While training in China, he and his father are cursed. Now, Ranma is cursed to turn into a girl when cold water splashes on him, and can only turn back to a boy only when he is splashed with hot water. The procedure is the same for his father, but he becomes a panda.


Neon Genesis Evangelion


Released: 1995
Years after giant beings called angels wreak havoc on Earth, the paramilitary organization Nerv depends on its pilots’ capacity to command the Evangelions, giant machines able to defeat angels. The plot follows 14-year-old Shinji Ikari who’s just been Nerv. This anime is also known for including themes and symbols from different religions, such as for instance Christianity, Judaism, Shinto, and Kabbalah.

Samurai X

Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan


Released: 1996

Set in the very early Meiji Era in Japan, this anime follows the story of Kenshin Himura, once known as a dangerous swordsman Hitokiri Battousai, but now on a new path with a promise to never to kill again. His life takes another change after meeting the Kaoru, a young Kamiya who was being threatened by a man who was using his former name Battousai. With a determination to safeguard the weak and never simply take another person’s life again being tested whenever enemies are stronger. Samurai X was an interesting watch.


Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files


Yuu☆Yuu☆Hakusho main cast 90s anime

Released: 1992

A 14-year-old delinquent Yuusuke Urameshi, dies while saving a kid who was going to be run over. Now to regain his life Yuusuke must become a Spirit Detective charged with investigating supernatural activities in the world.

Cowboy Bebop


Released: 1998


One of the most famous old 90s anime is Cowboy Bebop, following a small group of bounty hunters employed by law enforcement to capture criminals through the solar system. Exciting, funny, and action-packed, the anime also stands apart for the flawless sound recording with plenty of jazz. A live-action movie based on the anime is in development.


Trigun Vash the Stampede, Milly Thompson, Meryl Stryfe together

Released: 1998

Trigun follows the tale of Vash the Stampede, a good guy who does not like to hurt anyone, but who starts to be looked at as dangerous in a number of towns thanks to a series of incidents that happen around him. With a $60 billion bounty on his head, the journey becomes more and more dangerous and exciting as he has to face his past.

Thanks for reading!


Sam (author) | AnimeGrill.com

guest post Sam (author) cropped-animegrill-Logo

A video game and anime lover. Sometimes possessed of unpopular opinions. Passionate about Japanese audiovisual and animation. Slice-of-life anime and manga shounen are my biggest pastimes.

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