For many the 90s were a golden era for anime that went on to shape the anime industry as we know it today. With their nostalgic flair that is reminiscent of that time period, it is no surprise that several are popular even to this day.
While some new anime fans might not want to watch these shows due to their old style of animation, it is great for new anime enthusiasts to experience them at least once to truly appreciate a different era of entertainment.
So, In this article, we will be looking at some of the best animes the 90s had to offer. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
The best 90s Anime list
10. Golden Boy
Golden Boy is a blast from the past that managed to exceed everyone’s expectations while becoming a cult classic.
This hilarious series follows the adventures of a young man named Kintarou goes from job to job and comes across several different people in the process. Each episode tells a different story as Kintarou learns from the people he meets and the various different experiences he has.
The 90s anime series is also filled with adult humor and several perverted scenes that are mostly caused by Kintarou’s lust for beautiful women.
With funny gags and a lot of mature jokes, the show is catered toward an older audience that can truly appreciate its comedic brilliance.
With the recent retelling of its story by the name of Trigun Stampede, many new fans are willing to watch the original Trigun anime series.
This classic science fiction anime follows the adventures of a man named Vash the Stampede who is infamous for being very dangerous and causing destruction wherever he goes. However, in reality, he is the exact opposite by being a very kind and caring individual who lives his days carefree.
We watch as 2 insurance agents follow him around while hoping to minimize the damage he causes but coming to realize that there is a lot more to the man than what is seen outside. As the three of them spend time in each other’s company, they face a plethora of challenges and foes who hope to stop them in their tracks.
Trigun is a very fun 90s anime that will get you attached to all its cast members while engrossing fans in its world.
8. Rurouni Kenshin
When people think of samurai anime, there is a good chance that the first series to pop up in mind will be Rurouni Kenshin.
The anime tells us the story of a legendary swordsman named Kenshin Himura who has taken an oath to never kill again and spends his days in peace. This changes when he runs into a young girl who runs a struggling dojo and is under threat from enemies. Being too kind-hearted to turn away from those in need, he decides to help her out while staying in the dojo.
However, life has other plans as former enemies and ghosts of his past life come back to haunt him while dragging in those he loves. Kenshin will be forced to choose between his new ideals or going back to his days of being a cold-blooded killer.
It is a great 90s anime to watch so do give it a try
7. Slam Dunk
Slam Dunk is one of the most influential sports anime to ever be made.
It follows a delinquent named Hanamichi Sakuragi who is notorious for being violent and crazy for girls. After lying to a beautiful girl that he loves basketball, he finds himself being forced to join the school team.
While initially, he showed no particular feelings for the sport, after watching the teamwork and dedication of other members of the team, he finds himself slowly spending more time practicing.
As the troublemaker Hanamichi learns from his experiences facing other teams, we see him grow to be someone his peers and teammates can depend upon.
Slam Dunk is an inspiring anime and one of the best 90s anime shows that teaches us the true meaning of friendship, trust, and teamwork.
6. Serial Experiments Lain
Serial Experiments Lain is one of the greatest original animes to ever be made.
The anime introduces us to an awkward girl named Lain who is terrible when it comes to anything related to technology. After receiving a mysterious email from her recently deceased classmate, she finds herself entering a virtual world similar to the internet.
From this point forward, her life completely changes as she finds several mysterious occurrences happening all around her which significantly impacts her mental state.
With its eerie atmosphere and confusing story that makes you want to keep re-watching it to not miss out on any details, Serial Experiments Lain is one of those 90s anime that you have to watch at least once.
5. Great Teacher Onizuka
Over the years, there have been many anime where we see a wise mentor figure try and set problematic students on the right path. Most of these stories have been inspired by the amazing Great Teacher Onizuka.
This 90s anime show follows a delinquent named Eikichi Onizuka who wishes to become a teacher as he wishes to be surrounded by beautiful school girls and meet his potential wife.
While his intentions were dishonest at first, after meeting his class which was infamous for their bad behavior, he finds out that every student has deep-rooted problems of their own which develops their bad character.
We watch as Onizuka gradually changes through his experiences while helping the students with their problems and helping them become the best versions of themselves.
4. Cowboy Bebop
Cowboy Bebop is one of the most well-known 90s anime that takes us on an exciting adventure through space.
We watch our diverse cast of characters, led by Spike, a seemingly cool and collected guy chase and catch criminals to earn their living. Through every new experience, their bond grows deeper.
However, with old enemies always on their tails, their lives are always on the line as they put their skills to good use to protect each other.
Despite only being 26 episodes (a 90’s anime you can literally watch in one sitting), Cowboy Bebop leaves a long-lasting impact which is why it remains relevant even to this day.
The 90s version of Berserk is a spectacle as it manages to adapt the phenomenal dark fantasy manga in a satisfying manner.
The anime series revolves around a young man named Guts who is haunted by a tragic past and runs into a group of mercenaries named the Band of the Hawk. After meeting their leader Griffith and losing to him in a battle, Guts is forced to join the group. Soon Guts grows close to all the members while showing off his strength with his large sword.
We follow the band as they complete every mission and grow in popularity. However, with supernatural creatures and a sinister plot looming in the background, their lives grow more dangerous by the day.
With its extremely mature storytelling and memorable characters, fans of the series can definitely check this out if they wish to experience a cool ’90s anime.
2. Yu Yu Hakusho
Made by the creator of Hunter x Hunter, Yu Yu Hakusho is a very fun Battle Shounen anime series.
It follows a young boy named Yuusuke who has an untimely death while trying to save a little kid. However, that is not necessarily the end for him as he is presented with a deal where he gets to work as a Spirit Detective and keep evil presences away from the world. In return, Yuusuke will have the opportunity to gain his life back.
With new motivation, Yuusuke enlists the help of other characters with distinctive personalities as they work together and face strong opponents.
With a unique power system and amazing story arcs, this 90s anime is worth a try for any Shounen anime fans.
1. Neon Genesis Evangelion
The best anime from the 90s that every anime fan definitely has to watch is Neon Genesis Evangelion.
The 90s anime that is to this day a benchmark for mecha anime tells the story of a young boy named Shinji who is forced to become a pilot of huge robots and face off against monsters threatening humanity.
Being placed under huge expectations by his peers and family, we watch as Shinji’s mind slowly crumbles and he faces a lot of trauma. In addition to its explosive action, the dark and psychological themes of Neon Genesis Evangelion is truly where it shines.
With a plot that’s well ahead of its years and brilliantly written characters, this 90s anime has cemented its position at the top of this list.
And with that, our list of the best 90s anime comes to an end. Let us know what you think about the list and we will see you very soon with a new article.
In the meantime, check out our list of the 15 best anime OSTs of all time!