The 70s were an iconic decade for anime where storylines with unparalleled levels of creativity were being produced. With science fiction, drama, and adventure being the standout genres of this period, several classics went on to inspire many of the big names we know and love today.
To watch anime from this period might seem daunting at first because of its retro feel and different culture. So to help fans get started on their journey, we have made this list of 10 of the best animes from the 70s.
10. Galaxy Express 999
The epic space opera known as Galaxy Express 999 is an extremely influential Sci-Fi story that takes place in the future. It follows a young boy named Tetsurou who wishes to board a train called Galaxy Express 999 which travels through the universe.
However, rather than wanting to explore, he wishes to get a mechanical body at the end of it which is said to be the solution towards immortality but is ridiculously expensive. He runs into several problems at the start, as a machine man tries to kill him.
Tetsurou manages to escape by the skin of his teeth with the help of a mysterious woman who helps him get on the train and we watch as the two of them travel through several worlds and face adversities but also experience many wonders. With several episodes and movies, the story is elaborately told while getting us completely hooked.
9. A Dog of Flanders
Dog of Flanders is a calm and touching story that perfectly expresses the essence of a Slice of Life story. It follows our young protagonist named Nello who is a poor orphan but never complains about it and spends his days following his passion for drawing. Through this, he is able to directly connect with people while meticulously observing them.
One day, he runs into a dog that was mistreated and decides to take care of it and the two of them instantly become the best of friends. We watch as Nello works hard to overcome his poverty and has several experiences with his dog and rich friend, Alois.
8. Treasure Island
Based on a book of the same name by the great Robert Louis Stevenson, the Treasure Island anime puts its own creative twist on it while making it much more enjoyable for fans.
As in the original, it is the tale of Jim Hawkins who is in search of a legendary treasure left by a pirate in the past named Captain Flint. He soon runs into problems, however, when a person he considers to be his friend named John Silver takes over the ship and decides to lead the search himself.
Through this, we see our main characters try and solve the mystery of the treasure while Jim is in inner turmoil over his feeling of being betrayed. Treasure Island is an exhilarating adventure with memorable characters and great animation considering it was made in the 70s.
Doraemon is one of the most popular and beloved childhood anime shows that is both fun and fascinating. It revolves around a cat-like robot named Doraemon who is sent from the future to guide a dumb little boy named Nobita.
Doraemon is assigned to help him out in any way possible with the help of the unique gadgets from the future in his pouch. Together, we watch as the duo become the best of friends, encounter several adventures, and form bonds.
While several actions are far from what Doraemon was assigned to do, we watch him help out Nobita’s life and help him grow into a dependable man himself.
6. Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Green Gables is a great adaptation of a novel of the same name which tells the coming-of-age story of a young girl named Anne. It follows her life as she goes from being a struggling orphan to being mistaken for a boy and adopted into a house.
Being an impatient and short-tempered young girl, she causes a lot of trouble for those around her, but we watch as she gradually changes through every new encounter. Anne of Green Gables isn’t an explosive story, but rather one that develops and takes its time to lay down foundations.
5. The Rose of Versailles
The Rose of Versailles is an amazing historical Shoujo anime about the life of a young woman who is forced to act like a man named Oscar, in ancient France. She is assigned to the new queen-to-be named Marie Antoinette.
While trying to figure out her inner turmoil while being stuck in between two worlds, we also watch her frustrations grow as Marie carelessly spends her wealth while the people on the streets constantly struggle. The anime has amazing romantic development while showing a creative perspective on the French Revolution and how it affected the different classes of society.
The designs are synonymous with a classic Shoujo series but are not exaggerated enough to take the focus away from the story and characters. Despite its tags, the series is bound to appeal to people from all demographics.
4. Future Boy Conan
Similar to several other animes from this time period, Future Boy Conan is also an anime that is based on a foreign novel but puts its own spin on it. The main character is a young boy named Conan who is born on an isolated island and is not aware of anything else in the world.
One day, his entire life changes when he comes across a girl who has washed ashore. After talking with her young Conan finds out about the rest of the world outside the island and the two grow closer.
However, the duo’s happiness is short-lived as the girl is soon kidnapped by a man and taken hostage. We watch as Conan takes on several adventures to save his new friend and moves forward with unmatched perseverance. For those who love a series filled with adventure and likable characters, it doesn’t get much better than Future Boy Conan.
3. Mobile Suit Gundam
The Mobile Suit Gundam series is without a doubt the most revolutionary mecha anime series that set the standards for all Sci-Fi robot stories that came after. It starts by showing us a powerful group in space known as Zeon which attacks Earth using powerful humanoid robots.
To combat this, the Earth Federation makes its own robot called Gundam. Feeling threatened by this, Zeon decides to attack and destroy this robotic mobile suit. The protagonist, a young boy named Amuro, is forcefully dragged into this while being crowned as humanity’s savior who takes on the enemies of Earth.
This original Gundam storyline is absolutely exhilarating and keeps us glued to the screen throughout every episode despite being almost 50 years old.
2. Lupin the 3rd
Lupin the 3rd is an excellent series that combines adventure and mystery while telling the story of its protagonist. Arsene Lupin the 3rd is a gentleman thief who can’t keep his hands off of any valuable items and wishes to own them in order to live up to the name of his grandfather who was a renowned thief himself.
With the police and several organizations on his tail, Lupin and his crew of distinctive characters get into several hilarious sequences in their bid to achieve their objectives. The series is completely engrossing while having a satisfying mixture of action and comedy.
1. Ashita no Joe
Ashita no Joe is one of the greatest sports animes ever which tells the tragic and heartbreaking story of a young boy named Joe Yabuki. While spending his days without any care in the world and causing trouble wherever he goes, Joe gets recognized by a former boxing coach who goes through great trouble to get him as a pupil.
However, with Joe’s troublesome personality, he needs to learn about discipline and hard work from the start. Once he starts professional boxing, Joe comes across a whole new world of challenges that significantly impact his psyche and gradually wear him out while testing his spirits.
Ashita no Joe serves as an inspiration to almost every sports anime while being one of the best sports dramas out there.