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The 90s was a magical decade in Japanese animation history, giving way to many successful underrated anime titles and numerous cult classics. The 90s became a gateway to many anime featuring hard-edged and unconventional themes that stand out against anime nowadays. Some of the 90s anime is still known and holds such a special place in our hearts.
The anime released in the 90s holds importance among the fan that can never be overstated. 90s anime are known to have new, bold animation and wonderfully diverse stories dominating anime made in the 80s and likely become the decade to be perceived as one that has impressed its viewers.
The 90s era has brought us some of the most talked-about and beloved shows that many fans grew up to love. It was also a decade for Japanese animation to see a resurgence in popularity as the West’s mainstream phenomenon. If you’re looking for anime to watch that define the best of the 90s, worry not. Here’s the list of best 90s anime you should watch right now.
Table of Contents
Best 90s Anime
01. Great Teacher Onizuka
Twenty-two-year-old Eikichi Onizuka is the leader of the Oni-Baku biker gang. He believes that teachers should always prioritize their students, and his dream is to become the greatest teacher in all of Japan. But his dream of becoming a teacher is not due to his passion for teaching but for the sole reason of meeting high school girls.
But as he forgets to take the teacher exam, no public high school will accept him. Luckily, he managed to land a job at the Holy Forest Academy and was assigned as a homeroom teacher for the class 3–4, who are known to drive away any teacher assigned to them. However, Onizuka isn’t your average teacher, and he’s ready for any challenge in his way.
02. The Ping-Pong Club
Buy/Stream On: Unknown
Inaho Jr. High’s Boys Ping Pong Club has only six members, the club’s minimum requirement. One day, the Boys Ping Pong Club lost to the girls’ team, and now the six boys must do something, or else their clubroom is meant to be taken over by girls. The Principal decides to give them a chance and asked a delinquent girl named Kyoko to whip the boys into shape for the upcoming tournament.
Kyoko sees this as a chance that would keep her out of trouble of her delinquent ways in school and gladly accepts the request from the principal. As the team manager, to boosts their spirit, she offers the boys a “ticket,” which is “whoever wins may do whatever they want with her body for a month!” With this amazing offer in front of them, the team started working together to win and retain their clubroom.
03. Revolutionary Girl Utena
Saddened by her parent’s death, young Utena Tenjou one day was wandering around the riverside and suddenly fell into the river. Nearly drowning in the river, a mysterious prince comes to her rescue and even consoled her for her parent’s deaths. While leaving, he gave her a ring bearing a strange rose crest and promised to meet again someday. Fascinated by Prince, Utena Tenjou vowed to become a prince herself.
Years later, Utena attends Ootori Academy, looking for the prince she met many years back. However, soon after her arrival, she finds herself drawn into a dueling tournament with other students wearing rings matching Utena’s. And the prize for the tournament is the Rose Bride, Anthy Himemiya, and the “The Power to Revolutionize the World.” As she competes in the tournament, Utena learns the various secret related to Ootori Academy and Anthy herself.
04. Marmalade Boy
Miki Koishikawa is an ordinary girl in her second year of high school. Everything in her life was going well until her parents suddenly announced that they are getting divorced and swapping partners with a couple they met back in Hawaii. Shocked with this new twist in her ordinary life, Miki decides to give her parents a chance.
Miki’s parents then take her to a restaurant to meet the other couple, where she met the other couple’s teenage son Yuu Matsura. Bewildered by all this, she reluctantly agrees to their remarriage. Yuu enrolls at Miki’s school, and as they spend some time together, both start to fall in love with each other. But there are admirers of Yuu and Miki who are not ready to accept this relationship.
Vash the Stampede is one of the most sought-after criminals on the planet Gunsmoke, infamous for being the ruthless person who destroys anything that opposes or stands in his way. It has brutally earned him the title of “The Humanoid Typhoon” and a $$60,000,000,000 bounty on his head.
However, in reality, Vash is not what the world is describing him to be. Trigun follows Vash the Stampede, a good-humored, peace-loving gunman who is always followed by disaster and misfortune due to the large bounty on his head. Throughout his adventures, Vash interacts and befriends many people across the world.
Buy/Stream On: Funimation
Lina Inverse is a powerful sorceress obsessed with wealth and treasure and loves to steal from bandits. She travels around the world in search of treasure and steals from anyone in her way. One day, one of her victims tried to get back to her for stealing from them and hide in a forest to ambush her.
As she was about to beat them for taking revenge on her, a swordsman Gourry Gabriev made a sudden appearance and saved her from bandits, thinking she was in danger. After defeating her attackers, he decides to escort Lina to Atlas City, which she reluctantly accepted. However, two mysterious men are now in their pursuit, as among her stolen item contains a powerful object.
07. Slam Dunk
Hanamichi Sakuragi is a tall red-haired delinquent infamous as hot-blooded and fearsome among the student, but in actuality, he has a heart of gold which others don’t know. He also has been rejected fifty times in Junior High School due to his fame as a delinquent. In his first year at Shohoku High School, he met a girl named Haruko Akagi, who approaches him and asks him if he likes basketball.
As soon as he saw her, he fell in love with her. Haruko then leads him to the basketball team. Slam Dunk follows Sakuragi Hanamichi, a freshman of Shohoku High School who joins the basketball team to get close to Haruko. Although he is a newbie in this sport, he possesses extraordinary athletic skills and has an unusual knack for basketball.
08. Mysterious Play
Buy/Stream On: Unknown
One day, at the library, Miaka Yuuki and Yui Hongo, two middle-school students, stumble upon a strange book called The Universe of the Four Gods. After opening the book and reading its content, both get transported into the book’s world set in ancient China. However, Yui is transported back to the real world, but Miaka finds herself as the Priestess of Suzaku.
As a Priestess of Suzaku, Miaka is tasked to gather the seven Celestial Warriors of the god Suzaku to summon Suzaku and obtain three wishes. Trying to help Miaka, Yui finds herself also transported into the book’s world, but this time she is summoned as the Priestess of Seiryuu. The series follows the various trials that teenagers Miaka and Yui have to face as enemies.
09. Outlaw Star
Gene Starwind has always dreamed of going on adventures out into the vast sea of stars piloting his very own ship. Unfortunately, his dreams never come to fruition, and now he spends his days working odd jobs with his partner, James Hawking, on the small planet Sentinel III.
However, his dream to sail in vast space becomes possible when a strange treasure-hunting outlaw, Rachel Sweet, hired the duo for a mission. The duo was tasked with protecting a mysterious girl known as Melfina. The meeting changes their lives forever as they are sent out into the great unknown aboard as an outlaw crew of an advanced starship.
10. Boys Over Flowers
Makino Tsukushi is an ordinary girl and the only poor student at Eitoku Gakuen, a school for wealthy and privileged students. The school is ruled by the Flower 4, also known as the F4, a group of four boys from extremely wealthy families. Her only wish is to remain out of any trouble at this elite school and happily graduate from it.
However, her worst nightmare became true when she steps in to protect her only friend at school, who accidentally spills juice onto the leader of F4, Tsukasa Domyoji. For which she gets the red card, a Declaration of War against the person who opposes F4. But she doesn’t let that beat her down and strives to survive the remaining years of school somehow.
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