Do you ever wish you could travel back in time?
Well, with these 90s anime shows, you can! Take an evening off from recent anime stories. Instead, we’re delving into the most popular anime shows from the 1990s for some nostalgic entertainment.
Forget what you know about anime. These popular options have stories for all personalities. Whether you like girly stories or prefer watching sports and the NBA odds, there’s a 90s anime out there for you.
Scroll down to find out more.
About anime in the 1990s
Although anime has increased in popularity within the last 10 years, it’s been part of mainstream entertainment for decades.
Anime hit the Western entertainment markets in the 1980s, but it was during the 1990s that US viewers embraced this genre. In the 1990s, anime was more available in the US, thanks to increased American anime distribution and licensing.
During this period, more and more viewers embraced these heartwarming shows, and soon anime was an unstoppable genre. But which 1990s anime series is the best? Keep reading to discover the top five series from the 90s.
Sailor Moon (1992-1997)
Perhaps one of the most popular anime series of all time, Sailor Moon, is a must-watch title. This show ran from 1992 to 1997, and viewers can explore over five seasons and 200 action-packed episodes. Today, this show is available on Prime Video and Hulu.
Sailor Moon follows junior high student Usagi Tsukino. Usagi leads an everyday life until she meets a cat called Luna. This magic cat teaches her that she’s destined to be Sailor Moon — a planetary guardian of Earth. Viewers enjoy watching Usagi learn and grow as she embraces her new role as a hero.
Slam Dunk (1993-1996)
Sports anime will always be in fashion, but Slam Dunk has a special place in our hearts. Created in 1993, this 90s anime focuses on the lives of a basketball team as they navigate high school and their personal lives. This series can be found on Crunchyroll, Prime Video and Netflix.
As you may expect, Slam Dunk is very sports-focused, but that’s not the only element of the story. Viewers are also treated to protagonist Hanamichi Sakuragi’s life. As the series continues, we travel through his ups and downs while enjoying goofy moments with the entertaining teammates. This is a feel-good series through and through.
Cowboy Bebop (1998-1999)
Want a short 90s anime to sink your teeth into? Cowboy Bebop only ran from 1998 to 1999, and only 26 episodes of this popular series are available. This series might be shorter than others, but there’s never a quiet moment. Find this option on Crunchyroll, Funimation, Hulu and Netflix.
Cowboy Bebop is set in the dystopian future where humans now live on other planets. In these new societies, chaos and crime reign. It’s up to the police to bring safety back to the cities. However, the police aren’t great at keeping order, so they pay the Cowboys (aka bounty hunters) to help. This show is action-packed and futuristic, with a hint of western goodness.
Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995-1996)
Another anime that only ran for one season, Neon Genesis Evangelion, experienced serious success in the 90s. This series is also known as EVA, and many anime fans consider this series a classic now. You can find the 26 episodes on Netflix.
Neon Genesis Evangelion involves complex plot points, heavy symbolism and elements of the mecha genre. Not only was this post-apocalyptic drama popular with viewers, but it received critical acclaim too. So, if you’re looking for an intriguing story and real drama, add this selection to your list.
Yu Yu Hakusho (1992-1995)
Released in 1992, Yu Yu Hakusho is a battle Shonen classic that all anime fans must see at least once. With 112 episodes, there’s always a new scene to revisit. Yu Yu Hakusho won an Animage Anime Grand Prix Prize three times, proving the team’s expertise. This show is available on Netflix, Hulu and Funimation.
The Yu Yu Hakusho plot follows a 14-year-old boy as he sacrifices his life to save another. Due to his selfless act, the spirit realm allows him to come back to life and experience humanity again. However, before he can live again, he must complete tasks as guardian of the earth. If you like action, Yu Yu Hakusho could be your next binge-watch.
From conceptual dystopian societies to laidback basketball comedies, the 90s had an impressive variety of anime series. Will you be trying out this genre? We hope this list has inspired you to start watching today!