90s Anime (A 1990s Anime List for Old School Nostalgia)

90s Anime were always surrounded by a halo of nostalgia. Classical art style, hand drawn animations, elaborate storylines and intriguing voice actors, they had it all.

You see, sometimes we all want to re-live those moments that were forgotten somewhere down in the past, moments on which our present and our future was laid. Maybe we just want to run and hide, maybe we just want to fade, but often times we want nothing but for things to become simple again.

Maybe that is why we were given this thing called memory.

Well, let us take a trip back to 1990s anime, where dreams came true and wishes were but a sleep away…..

90s Anime List:


90 Anime

“The Masterpiece of all 90 Anime”

MAL Rating:8.79/10

Cowboy Bebop tells a story of the future. The year is 2071, and Earth has become hostile for human population. Humans have colonized several different planets of the solar system and peace is kept by the Inter Solar System Police.

Private hunters called “Cowboys” assist the Inter Solar System Police in peace-keeping in exchange for money. Our protagonists Spike Spiegel and Jet Black are cowboys of a spaceship named “Bebop“. Two partners with opposing personalities, Spike & Jet earn a livelihood by chasing criminals and earning bounties from the Police.

In their long journey, they meet new members such as Ein (A genetically enhanced Dog), Faye Valentine (A woman trained in extreme combat) and Edward Wong (A computer obsessed child).

As they journey across the solar systems, they find new stories and new adventures, some of which reveal a little of the dark past which plagues all of them. Fun, filled with classical JAZZ Music and at times… A bit sad, Cowboy Bebop is surely one hell of a 90s Anime.

It aired in the year 1998 so it is a 1990s anime, it is also one of the best examples of 90s anime fashion and art style.

anime 1990s


anime 90s

“Does survival overcomes Justice?”

MAL Rating:8.31/10

Ah! One of the best classically dark anime and my personal favorite. Neon Genesis Evangelion (NGE) is the very ultimate psychological masterpiece. The story starts in a nearly destroyed world where monsters called Angels are murdering humans. 2015 it is, and mankind’s only source of hope rests with the Evangelions, powerful suits that can be driven only by special children.

Ikari Gendou is the chief of NERV, an international organization under the banner of the United Nations. NERV uses these giant Evangelions to destroy Angels.

Ikari Shinji is selected as one of the pilots of Evangelion Unit -01. Will you witness Shinji discovering the darkest secrets of mankind with the world on the stake? Is Justice more important than Survival?

“Man has always feared the Darkness so he scrapes away at its edges with pyre” – Rei Chan (NGE)

3. PERFECT BLUE (The Perfect 90s Anime):

old anime shows 90s

“Always keeps you on the edge!!”

MAL Rating: 8.4/10

Pop Idol group CHAM is rapidly growing in both followers and success when suddenly a core member named Mima Kirigoe decides to leave the group and focus on acting. She knows that the transition would not be so simple, but she expects good from her supporters & fans.

For her debut film, she takes on the lead role in a crime drama series. Things start to take a bad turn when she gets stalked by an obsessed fan, a pervert who never leaves her alone. Adding fuel to the fire, a new website comes up that starts sharing the details of her everyday life with pinpoint accuracy.

People start to curse Mima for leaving CHAM, and her public image takes a negative hit. Trapped in all these problems she starts to hallucinate and becomes psychotic. The only one she always confided in was her manager Rumi Hidaka but now she starts to think strange thoughts about her.

Will she reach the depths of madness? Will her life find happiness? Well, being the debut film of director Satoshi Kon, Perfect Blue is not to be taken lightly. The animation is to the point and the story will never let you take a rest. It is kind of like watching a movie made by Steven Spielberg but with 90s anime fashion.

Perfect Blue belongs to Thriller/ Dark Anime genres, which were being explored in 1990s anime. The anime film gathered huge critical support in particular festival circuits and won “Best Film” and “Best Animation” awards at Montreal’s 1997 Fantasia Festival, It also won awards in Portugal’s Fantasporto Film Festival.

“How do you know that the person you were one second ago, is the person you are now?”- Eri (Perfect Blue)


90s anime list

“The Prime of Shounen!!”

MAL Ratings: 7.68/10

The story dawns on our heroine Tsukino Usagi, a tomboyish girl with head in the clouds. At school, she fails all tests and can not seem to concentrate at all. One fine day, she saves the life of a cat with the symbol of a “Crescent” on it. Much to her surprise, the cat tells her that their meeting was not an accident and she will become a Sailor Moon, a superhero with cosmic powers.

She is fated to protect Earth and other planets from enemies, especially from evil monsters sent by Queen Beryl who rules the Dark Kingdom. Apart from her school life, monsters and daily drama, she must also find other sailor moons and recruit them.

Will she ever get a rest?

Sailor Moon, although seems to be a shounen and magical girl cliche, dives deep into the psychoanalysis of Human Life. The protagonist effectively combats existential crisis and depression while going forward on the path of life. A must watch if you need some light since it is kind of cheery like a Basketball Anime.

“The tough experiences in life are what make us Girls prettier” Usagi 


Anime from the 90s

“Ever watched Black Mirror? This anime is the origin of Black Mirror”

MAL Ratings: 8.02/10

The Story starts with Iwakura Lain, a silent 14 year old introvert who lives a standard life in Japan. Like all her class fellows, she receives a very dark email one day. The email is from their classmate Chisa, the very girl who committed suicide a few days ago.

Lain is disturbed, but still decides to open that email, upon which she is transported to a digital world named Wired which resembles the internet that we use today. Lain doesn’t like technology, but in such a digital nexus, she slowly starts to lose her identity.

She finds secret messages in wired with links to Chisa’s suicide and weird secret agents start hanging around her house. As the boundary between digital world and reality grows even more indistinguishable, she must make critical choices that will affect both worlds.

Plunge yourself in a world where consciousness, soul, perception & reality take a whole new meaning.

“Internet is awesome, but you can’t download Love, Can You?”

6. POKEMON(1997):

old anime shows 90s

“An Adventure of a Lifetime!!”

MAL Ratings: 7.36/10

Ash Ketchum (Japanese Name: Satoshi) lives in a small town named Pallet Town. He is touching adolescence and is finally allowed to have a Pokemon of his own. In this world, Pokemon are mythical creatures that exist alongside humans and work with them. Sometimes Humans use Pokemon to battle each other.

As usual, Ash is late for his Pokemon reception and Professor Oak tells him that all Pokemon are taken away by other trainers. After a lot of begging, Oak gives a wild, recently captured Pikachu to Ash.

Ash Ketchum and Pikachu travel around the entire Kanto Region and to other regions, while making new friends and getting stronger. All the while Ash keeps his one and only goal in mind….To become the Strongest Pokemon Master this world has ever seen!!!

Pokemon, for me, is nostalgia personified. A must watch 90s Anime if you saw it as a kid. I still watch the latest episodes of Pokemon… The reason? When I was a kid, Pokemon gave me hope and dreams. It taught me to believe that wishes no matter how big, do come true in the end.. All one needs is the heart and the courage to never stop believing. A golden 1990s anime indeed!

“I see that the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of Life that determines who you are” – MewTwo(A pokemon with psychic powers)


Old Anime

“Human Vs Nature”

MAL Ratings: 8.74/10

Princess Mononoke (Mononoke Hime) is a Studio Ghibli animation which foretells a future in which mankind has rebelled against Nature and thus, man is destroying its environment. Pretty familiar to hear in these modern times? Well, that is the golden point of Princess Mononoke. It foretold events that would happen in the future (The Current Times).

Young prince Ashitaka saves his village (The Emishi Village) from a demon boar. The beast curses the prince at its dying breath, causing his arm to develop satanic powers in exchange for his life-force. To remove the curse, Ashitaka journeys to Tatara, the Iron Town.

He is surprised to find a war brewing in Tatara. Lady Eboshi of Tatara, is the leader of the town and she is trying to destroy the nearby forests for the sake of economy. She is facing guerrilla opposition from Princess San and the sacred spirits which reside in the forest. Ashitaka decides to help achieve peace in Tatara between the two parties.

Watch the struggle between Technology and Nature as humankind comes to understand the importance of both. Best Japanese Movie, Best Animation and Japanese Movie Fans’ Choice Awards were won by Princess Mononoke Anime in 1997. In 1998, it won the Best Picture Title in 21st Japan Academy Awards.

“To See with eyes unclouded by hate, That is the real strength!” -Ashitaka


Old Animes

“The mythical work that made Oda jealous”

MAL Ratings: 8.16/10

Goku won the Martial Arts Tournament 5 years ago and now he is married and has a kid. He lives peacefully in his house on Earth until one day his peace is disrupted when his brother named Raditz shows up out of the blue. Raditz claim that Goku comes off a destroyed line of Sayyians and his actual objective was to destroy the Earth. He warns of a terrible threat looming upon Earth & its inhabitants.

He fails to recruit Goku in his mission but gives a warning. The upcoming war for Dragon Balls will be fought on Earth & the result will destroy the heavens themselves. Dragon Ball Z started out in 1989 and continued for the entire decade.

One of the most classic 1990s animes, DBZ made a name for itself in both popular fiction, fantastical references and a highly developed international fanbase.

“Even if no one believes in me, supports me or recognize my efforts, I’ll keep Going”. Vegeta

FINAL LIST OF best 1990s Anime:


CONCLUSION OF 90s Anime List:

No, this list doesn’t do justice to many other gems that aired in the 1990s anime , but no worries, we will be revealing those old anime shows 90s soon. It is to be noted that the 90s anime fashion was unique in its own, the art style as seen in Cowboy Bebop and other 90 Anime, was exhilarating. The Backgrounds were drawn with precision and animation was flawed, but unique to the last detail. Such uniqueness is not seen commonly in modern animations, but of course, exceptions such as Toilet Bound Hanako Kun are always there. I sincerely hope that this 90s Anime list helps you get a taste of what you may be missing. Till next time…

Here is an example of 90s Anime style as a parting gift…. SAYONARA!

anime 1990s

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