Japanese Animation dates back to the late 1910s when a simple picture show was released as the first anime. But the animation business started in the 90s when studios invested more budget and hard work into anime projects.
In the 1990s, anime bloomed like never before, and we saw some mind-blowing animation. In this fast-paced era, 90s anime are not talked about much.
With the abundance of anime released every season, it is hard to watch any older anime series, let alone keep up with the current ones.
Here are our top 11 anime series from the 90s with considerably good animation and story development that you should not miss out on.
11. Now and Then, Here and There
|Number of Episodes||13 Episodes|
|Genres||Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Drama|
“Now and Then, Here and There” is one of the first good isekai series to air. The unique thing about this anime series is that it does not follow the common themes of isekai, sometimes making them dull and stereotypical.
Moreover, this series follows dark themes and mature developments of characters. The plot of this anime series is also engaging, making you invest more time in watching it.
“Now and Then, Here and There” follows the story of a young boy named Shu, who is transported into a world where war is always fresh. Here, he meets a girl named Lala-Ru, who can control water.
Soon, Shu discovers the horrors of war, which might affect Lala-Ru and his other friend. Will he be able to save his new friends in this unknown horror world?
10. Golden Boy
|Number of Episodes||6 Episodes|
|Genres||Ecchi, Comedy, Adventure|
Golden Boy is one of the first Ecchi-themed anime series and one of the best ones too! The anime focuses on the motivation of a young boy who tries to find the meaning of life alongside being with mature ladies.
The anime is not like your everyday Ecchi where stereotypical scenes happen, which Makes Golden Boy unique and enjoyable for people who are not that much of a fan of the Ecchi genre.
“Golden Boy” follows the story of a genius teenager named Ooe Kintarou, who quit university before graduating because he still hasn’t found his purpose. So, he travels here and there, learning about the meaning of life, how the world works, and about the girls.
He meets various girls who fall in love with Kintarou throughout his journey. But this does not go well every time, as he leaves every girl before his relationship bears fruit.
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9. Yuu Yuu Hakusho
|Number of Episodes||112 Episodes + 10 OVA Episodes + 2 Movies|
|Animation Studio||Studio Pierrot|
|Genres||Action, Comedy, Fantasy|
“Yuu Yuu Hakusho” is a masterclass anime series of the 90s illustrated by the same author as Hunter x Hunter, Yoshihiro Togashi. The anime follows a similar feel to Hunter x Hunter, in which strong youngsters prevail in society.
“Yuu Yuu Hakusho” follows the story of Urameshi Yuusuke, a high school student who always behaves like a brat and annoys people.
One day, Yuusuke saved a little boy from death by dying in his place, which was not expected from him, considering his personality.
But unfortunately, death is not ready to accept this lad, so Yuusuke becomes a ghost. He has been given another chance to live by helping humans against demons. With the help of his friends, will Yuusuke be able to resurrect?
8. Perfect Blue
|Number of Episodes||1 Movie|
|Genres||Drama, Psychological, Horror|
“Perfect Blue” is a masterclass of the legendary director Satoshi Kon. The movie follows a very creepy vibe, which is prominent through the timelapse of the movie.
The movie pictures the dark aspect of the Entertainment Industry of Japan, which involves females doing nasty things, and the heroine of the movie, Mima, witnesses this dark side. This makes her go crazy and question her existence, which makes the series thrilling.
“Perfect Blue” follows the story of Kirigow Mima, a pop singer who leaves the idol industry to join the entertainment industry. Her fans try to stop her from taking this step, but she wants this new experience.
When she entered the entertainment industry, she witnessed the dark and raunchy side of the industry, which she was not expecting.
To add more twist, a stalker starts to follow her, who was her fan when she was a model. Will Mima be able to make ends meet and solve this situation?
7. Slam Dunk
|Number of Episodes||101 Episodes + 5 Movies|
|Animation Studio||Toei Animation|
|Genres||Sports, Drama, Comedy|
“Slam Dunk” is a legendary anime/manga series by Takahiro Inoue, one of the most talented manga artists ever. The series is unlike your modern sports anime as it deals with emotions more maturely, and you can see the progressive development of the characters.
Slam Dunk might be considered a sports anime, but its themes show how much thought the author put into it before writing it.
“Slam Dunk” follows the story of a high school delinquent named Sakuragi Hanamichi. Girls always reject him, and he is always seen in fights. Fortunately, he changes his high school for a new life and falls in love with a girl named Haruko.
Sakuragi joins the school’s basketball team as Haruko forces him a little, and for the first time, Sakuragi plays basketball. Throughout this journey, Sakuragi learns the importance of teamwork and good friends.
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6. Ghost in a Shell
|Number of Epiosdes||2 Movies|
|Animation Studio||Production I.G.|
|Genres||Sci-Fi, Mystery, Action|
“Ghost in a Shell” follows a futuristic approach to anime as it deals with cyborgs. The anime series only consists of two movies, but you can watch the side stories and quench your thirst because it is that addicting.
“Ghost in the Shell” takes place in 2029, when technology has advanced so people can now replace their limbs with robotic arms and legs. In Tokyo, the city’s Public Security Section 9 keeps crimes and other illegal stuff in view.
Makoto Kusanagi, an inspector of Public Sector 9, just got a case in which a criminal leaves victims with no memory after committing a crime. Will Kusanagi be able to find out who this criminal is?
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5. Cowboy Bebop
|Number of Episodes||26 Episodes|
“Cowboy Bebop” is another masterclass series of the 90s that follows a dark theme behind the happy faces of the protagonists. The protagonists hide their cruel past throughout the series, which makes the series compelling and anticipating to watch.
The series’ pacing gets a little rushed as we reach the middle of the series. The character development of the main crew, Red Dragon, flows smoothly throughout the series, making it a decent adaptation.
“Cowboy Bebop” takes place in the intergalactic age of 2071 when everyone from the Earth has invaded other planets, but these planets are drug users and thieves.
Spike and Jet Black travel the space to make a good living, but unfortunately, Spike’s dark past haunts them. Jet Black manages Spike’s emotions as well as their ship, Bepop. Along their way, they meet companions who become a part of their crew, and they travel the universe to earn money.
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4. Neon Genesis Evangelion
|Number of Episodes||26 Episodes + 1 Movie|
|Animation Studio||Production I.G.|
|Genres||Psychological, Sci-FI, Drama|
“Neon Genesis Evangelion” is considered one of the most incredible anime series ever. Although the main character, Shinji is not that popular and liked, you can decide if he is likable after watching the series.
“Neon Genesis Evangelion,” tells the tale of Tokyo-3, a city invaded by mysterious creatures called Angels. Humanity is helpless against them, and the only one who can defeat them is the N.E.R.V. organization led by Gendou Ikari.
Gendou Ikari’s son, Shinji, returns to Tokyo-3 after being abandoned by his father, only to realize that he called him to pilot a new robot designed by the N.E.R.V. organization Evangelion Unit-1.
Will Shinji be able to pilot this new model, despite the trauma he received from his father when he abandoned Shinji?
3. Serial Experiments Lain
|Number of Episodes||13 Episodes|
|Animation Studio||Triangle Staff|
|Genres||Drama, Mystery, Sci-FI|
“Serial Experiments Lain” is one of the creepiest anime ever made. It is an original anime (no source material), and the vibe throughout the series is depressing and so suffocating that you start feeling it only after a few episodes!
The series’ pacing is somewhat fast, which not everyone can follow. The climax of the series gives you relief from all the depressing feelings you get throughout the anime!
“Serial Experiments Lain” follows the story of a young girl named Lain who received an email on her technophobe from Chisa, a class fellow who recently took her own life. Lain cannot understand basic technology, but she still tries to give it a go.
She is transported to Wired, an online world, when she opens the mail. There, she encounters cryptic mysteries and other stuff, which she gets into really deep. Will Lain be able to survive in this futuristic setting?
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2. One Piece
|Number of Episodes||1061 Episodes|
|Animation Studio||Toei Animation|
|Genres||Adventure, Action, Comedy|
The “One Piece” series has everything an anime can offer. The pacing of the series is neither fast-paced nor slow (considering how it has 1000+ episodes), and the character development of each character of the series is done perfectly.
“One Piece” follows the story of a young boy named Monkey D. Luffy who wants to become the Pirate King one day. For this purpose, he gathers a crew of clumsy yet talented people who help him during this journey.
But the pathway to Pirate King is not easy, and enemies are standing in the way. So, will Luffy be able to fight them all with the help of his crew and conquer the pirate world?
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|Number of Episodes||25 Episodes|
|Genres||Drama, Action, Horror|
“Berserk (1997)” is the only good thing that happened to Berserk fans in anime. The later adaptations of Berserk were disappointing and below average in every sense.
This 1997 adaptation was like a dark horse, which no one praised until we were presented with the modern animation of Berserk.
“Berserk” is one of the most excellent series ever to exist, which follows the story of Guts, a swordsman who only joins groups of hunters temporarily. He is known for his large sword and excellent swordsman skills.
One day, he joins the Band of Falcon, and the leader of this group, Griffith, takes an interest in Guts. They battle, and Guts loses, resulting in him joining the Band of Falcom permanently. But darkness lurks around Griffith, possibly compelling Guts to change his lifestyle forever.