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Culturally Nostalgic: Top 90s Anime Gems Loved by Gen Z

Kelly Young


The 1990s are hailed as a golden era for anime, giving us some of the most iconic and beloved series in the history of the medium. These shows were groundbreaking, with unforgettable characters and captivating stories that continue to hold a special place in the hearts of fans, both old and new. In this article, we take a trip down memory lane to explore a shortlist of the best 90s anime that have left an indelible mark on the world of animation.

13 Best 90s Anime You Should Watch

1. Sailor Moon:
Sailor Moon is widely regarded as one of the best anime of the 90s. It introduced a whole generation to the magical girl genre, with its themes of friendship, love, and empowerment resonating deeply with viewers.

2. Neon Genesis Evangelion:
Neon Genesis Evangelion is a profound mecha series that reshaped the genre. Its psychological exploration of complex themes and mysterious plot hooked audiences, making it a true icon of anime history.

3. Gundam Wing:
Gundam Wing stands out as another remarkable mecha anime from the 90s. Its politically charged narrative and compelling character development offered a fresh perspective on war, resonating with fans worldwide.

4. Pokemon:
Pokemon became a cultural phenomenon in the late 90s, capturing the hearts of millions with its tales of adventure, friendship, and the endless possibilities within the Pokemon world.

5. Great Teacher Onizuka:
Great Teacher Onizuka uniquely blended comedy and drama, delivering a heartwarming story about an unconventional teacher who touched the lives of his students through unorthodox methods.

6. Berserk:
Berserk stands apart as a dark and gritty series that delves deep into themes of ambition, betrayal, and the human condition. Its intense battles and complex characters have mesmerized fans for years.

7. Hunter x Hunter:
Hunter x Hunter is an action-packed anime that takes viewers on a thrilling journey with its protagonist, Gon Freecss. Its rich world-building, multifaceted characters, and intense battles make it a must-watch.

8. Detective Conan:
Detective Conan is a long-running series that follows the clever high school detective Shinichi Kudo, who tackles complex mysteries while transformed into a child. Its unique premise and intricate storytelling have captivated audiences for decades.

9. Dragon Ball Z:
Dragon Ball Z, the action-packed sequel to the original Dragon Ball series, is an enduring classic. With iconic battles and exploration of themes like heroism and redemption, it has become a staple in the anime world.

10. Yu Yu Hakusho:
Yu Yu Hakusho is a supernatural action series that follows Yusuke Urameshi’s journey as a Spirit Detective. Its gripping battles, memorable characters, and exploration of moral dilemmas have made it a beloved classic.

11. Rurouni Kenshin:
Rurouni Kenshin combines historical action with a profound narrative and character development. Its themes of redemption and atonement have resonated with audiences, both in anime and live-action adaptations.

12. Slam Dunk:
Slam Dunk is a sports anime that tells the story of Hanamichi Sakuragi’s journey in basketball. Its exhilarating matches and focus on personal growth have made it a classic in the genre.

13. One Piece:
One Piece is an epic anime that continues to capture the hearts of fans worldwide. The adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his crew offer a mix of action, humor, and emotional depth that has made the series truly legendary.

In conclusion, the 1990s were a remarkable era for anime, giving us unforgettable shows that have stood the test of time. From magical girls to mecha battles, these series have left a lasting impact on the world of animation. Whether you’re a seasoned fan or new to the genre, these 90s anime classics are definitely worth watching. Prepare to be captivated by their enchanting stories and unforgettable characters.

Point 1: The 1990s Anime Golden Era

The 90s marked a golden era for anime, with the emergence of unforgettable and beloved series. This decade witnessed the flourishing of the industry, producing groundbreaking stories and iconic characters that have stood the test of time.

Sailor Moon, a magical girl series led by the charming yet clumsy Usagi Tsukino, left an indelible mark on anime. It introduced a whole generation to the magical girl genre and championed friendship, love, and empowerment. Its enduring appeal lies in its ability to resonate with viewers, emphasizing unity and self-discovery.

Neon Genesis Evangelion, hailed as one of the best anime of its era, reshaped the mecha genre. Creator Hideaki Anno delved deep into the psychological struggles of the characters as they piloted giant robots to protect Earth from enigmatic Angels. Evangelion captivated audiences with its profound themes and mysterious plot, securing its place as an iconic work in anime history.

Gundam Wing, part of the Gundam franchise, captivated audiences with its politically charged narrative and solid character development. It offered a fresh perspective by presenting a complex world of war, where young pilots operated powerful Mobile Suits. Gundam Wing’s exploration of the consequences of war and portrayal of political intrigue continues to resonate with fans, solidifying its status as a timeless classic.

Pokemon, a cultural phenomenon in the late 90s, remains one of the most beloved anime series. Ash Ketchum’s journey to become a Pokemon Master, accompanied by his loyal Pikachu, became an iconic part of 90s pop culture. Pokemon’s enduring appeal lies in its sense of adventure, friendship, and endless possibilities. It entertained and inspired viewers to embark on their own Pokemon adventures, making it an irreplaceable gem in the world of 90s anime.

Great Teacher Onizuka, a unique blend of comedy and drama, centers around the unconventional Onizuka Eikichi, a former gang member turned high school teacher. The series resonates with audiences through its unorthodox teaching methods and heartwarming interactions with students. Great Teacher Onizuka offers a refreshing look at the power of education and mentorship, its message about personal growth and second chances striking a chord with viewers.

These five anime series offer a glimpse into the vibrant and diverse world of 90s anime. Each of them has left a lasting impact on the industry, captivating fans with their enchanting narratives, relatable characters, and powerful themes. Whether you’re a seasoned anime enthusiast or new to the genre, exploring these classics is a journey worth undertaking. So, sit back, relax, and immerse yourself in the golden era of 90s anime.

Point 2: Neon Genesis Evangelion – A Profound Masterpiece

Neon Genesis Evangelion, a renowned anime from the 1990s, pushed the boundaries of the mecha genre and left a lasting impact. Created by Hideaki Anno, this series delves into the psychological struggles of its characters as they pilot giant robots to protect Earth from mysterious Angels.

What sets Neon Genesis Evangelion apart is its ability to address profound questions about existence and identity. The complex themes of existentialism and the human condition are explored through an engaging and mysterious plot. The series captivates audiences with its intricate storytelling and layered symbolism.

Neon Genesis Evangelion features a diverse cast of characters, each with their own personal issues and traumas. From the introspective Shinji Ikari to the enigmatic Rei Ayanami and the strong-willed Asuka Langley Soryu, these characters leave a lasting impression.

The popularity and enduring impact of Neon Genesis Evangelion can be seen in its numerous adaptations and spin-offs. The franchise continues to captivate new audiences, cementing its status as a masterpiece in anime history.

Neon Genesis Evangelion is a must-watch for anime enthusiasts, offering a unique and thought-provoking viewing experience. Its exploration of profound themes and its ability to delve into the depths of the human psyche make it a standout series from the 90s.

As we continue our journey through the best 90s anime, let’s explore Point 3: Gundam Wing – A Political Epic.

Point 3: The Impact of 90s Anime on Pop Culture

The 1990s was a truly remarkable era for anime, and its influence on pop culture cannot be underestimated. During this time, anime reached across borders and captivated audiences worldwide. The unique storytelling, compelling characters, and groundbreaking animation techniques of 90s anime left an unforgettable imprint on the industry and continue to shape pop culture today.

One of the most significant contributions of 90s anime to pop culture is its diverse and intricate storylines. These series delved into a wide range of themes, from love and friendship to war and existentialism. Shows like “Neon Genesis Evangelion” pushed storytelling boundaries by exploring complex psychological struggles and philosophical ideas. These profound themes resonated deeply with viewers, captivating them in extraordinary ways.

Moreover, the characters of 90s anime became cultural icons in their own right. Take, for example, the beloved Usagi Tsukino, the protagonist of “Sailor Moon.” Usagi not only empowered a generation of young girls, but also became a symbol of strength and friendship. Similarly, the enigmatic Guts from “Berserk” fascinated audiences with his journey of revenge and redemption. These characters became role models and sources of inspiration, transcending the screen.

In addition to storytelling and character depth, the animation techniques employed in 90s anime revolutionized the industry. With the introduction of CGI, anime studios pushed the boundaries of visual effects and animation quality. This era witnessed the rise of visually stunning shows like “Dragon Ball Z” with its breathtaking battles, showcasing the power of animation to depict monumental clashes between formidable characters.

The lasting impact of 90s anime on pop culture remains evident even today. Many of the series from this era have endured and continue to be adored by fans worldwide. Their influence is visible in the numerous adaptations, spin-offs, and reboots released in recent years. The enduring legacy of 90s anime is a testament to the medium’s ability to captivate and inspire.

In conclusion, 90s anime holds a distinctive place in the hearts of fans and has forever changed pop culture. The unique storytelling, unforgettable characters, and groundbreaking animation techniques of this era continue to shape the industry and ignite the imaginations of new generations of anime enthusiasts. The impact of these iconic series is evident in the enduring popularity of franchises like “Sailor Moon,” “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” and “Dragon Ball Z.” The 90s anime era will always be remembered as a transformative period in the medium’s history, with its influence continuing to be felt for years to come.

Point 4: Rediscover the Classics

Let’s dive deeper into the realm of 90s anime and explore the timeless classics that continue to captivate audiences even today. These series not only define the era but have also shaped the future of anime.

1. “Cowboy Bebop”

“Cowboy Bebop” effortlessly combines genres like sci-fi, western, and noir. With its jazzy soundtrack and eye-catching animation, this space western follows a group of bounty hunters, each with their own past and seeking redemption.

2. “Trigun”

In the world of “Trigun,” Vash the Stampede is a notorious outlaw with a bounty on his head. But things aren’t always what they seem, as Vash is revealed to be a complex character with a strong moral compass.

3. “Serial Experiments Lain”

Prepare for a mind-bending experience with “Serial Experiments Lain.” This thought-provoking anime delves into the mysteries of the digital world and the nature of reality through the journey of socially disconnected high school student Lain Iwakura.

4. “Cardcaptor Sakura”

“Cardcaptor Sakura” is a beloved magical girl series that takes us on Sakura Kinomoto’s quest to collect magical cards scattered throughout her town. With the support of her friends and magical powers, Sakura faces challenges and learns valuable life lessons.

5. “Ghost in the Shell”

“Ghost in the Shell” is a groundbreaking cyberpunk anime that delves into the philosophical implications of advanced technology and artificial intelligence. Follow Major Motoko Kusanagi and her team as they investigate cybercrime and question the nature of identity in a future where human consciousness can be transferred to cyborg bodies.


The 1990s truly marked a golden era for anime, giving rise to iconic and beloved series that continue to captivate viewers. From magical girls to cyberpunk adventures, these classics demonstrate exceptional storytelling and have made a lasting impact on the anime landscape.

Whether you’re revisiting these series or discovering them for the first time, their enduring appeal will transport you to a nostalgic era of exceptional anime. So grab some popcorn, find a cozy spot, and embark on a journey down memory lane with these timeless 90s anime classics.

Point 5: One Piece – An Epic Adventure

One Piece, the legendary anime series that began in 1999, is undeniably one of the greatest anime of its time. Created by Eiichiro Oda, this captivating tale follows the thrilling journey of Monkey D. Luffy and his spirited crew as they search for the ultimate treasure, known as the One Piece.

Renowned for its imaginative storytelling and dynamic characters, One Piece has won over fans from all corners of the globe. Each member of Luffy’s crew, the Straw Hat Pirates, brings their own unique strengths and personality to the table. Whether it’s the master swordsman Roronoa Zoro or the cunning navigator Nami, the characters in One Piece captivate audiences with their charm.

What sets One Piece apart is its ability to construct elaborate storylines within each storyline, seamlessly transporting viewers to different settings and conflicts. Spanning from the East Blue Saga to the Wano Country Arc, Eiichiro Oda’s masterful storytelling keeps fans eagerly awaiting the next twist and turn.

The series has achieved remarkable success, garnering several Guinness World Records, including the title for “most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author.” The universal popularity of One Piece has led to a loyal fanbase that eagerly consumes the manga, anime, and related merchandise.

Excitingly, both the anime and manga continue to evolve, with a grand conclusion expected by 2024 or 2025. This ongoing narrative allows for continuous exploration of the expansive One Piece universe, ensuring fans remain captivated for years to come.

One Piece extends its reach beyond just anime and manga. The franchise has inspired movies, novels, merchandise, and even theme parks. Moreover, the highly anticipated One Piece live-action adaptation is set to hit Netflix in 2023, bringing the world of thrilling pirate adventures to a whole new audience. This adaptation promises to reimagine the beloved characters and their extraordinary journeys while staying true to the essence of One Piece.

The enduring appeal of One Piece continues to flourish, solidifying its status as a timeless classic from the 90s. Its imaginative storytelling, lovable characters, and exhilarating adventures make it a must-watch for both devoted fans and newcomers alike.

So grab your straw hat and prepare to embark on an epic voyage alongside Monkey D. Luffy and his crew as they navigate treacherous waters, clash with formidable adversaries, and pursue their dreams in the extraordinary world of One Piece.

Counterargument and Rebuttal

VII. Counterargument and Rebuttal

Some may argue that modern anime has surpassed the classics of the 90s in terms of animation quality and production values. They believe that the advancements in technology and computer-generated animation have made the older hand-drawn animation of the 90s seem outdated and less impactful.

However, it’s important to acknowledge the artistic value and impact of 90s anime. Although the animation techniques of the time were limited, they had a unique charm and authenticity that captivated viewers. The meticulous detail and craftsmanship in each frame created a sense of artistry that can’t be replicated by modern computer-generated animation.

The production values of 90s anime should also be recognized. Despite budget constraints, animators and creators managed to create immersive worlds, captivating storytelling, and memorable characters. These timeless narratives continue to resonate with audiences today.

Another argument against 90s anime is that the themes and messages explored in these series are outdated and less relevant in today’s society. However, the themes of love, friendship, self-discovery, and the pursuit of dreams are universal concepts that still resonate with viewers of all ages.

Moreover, many 90s anime tackled important social issues, such as identity, belonging, and the consequences of war. These themes are timeless and can offer valuable insights and perspectives that are still applicable to our lives today.

Some may argue that modern anime offers more diverse and inclusive representation compared to 90s anime. While it’s true that modern anime has made strides in this area, it’s important to recognize the groundbreaking and diverse characters introduced in 90s anime.

Series like Sailor Moon challenged traditional gender roles with strong and empowered female protagonists. Other 90s anime explored complex characters from diverse backgrounds, addressing topics such as mental health and discrimination.

In conclusion, while there may be arguments that modern anime has surpassed the 90s classics, it’s crucial to recognize and appreciate the enduring impact and value of these iconic series. The unique charm, storytelling techniques, and timeless themes explored in 90s anime continue to captivate and inspire audiences today. By revisiting these classics, viewers can gain a deeper appreciation for the medium’s history and experience the magic that made the 90s a golden era for anime.


To sum it up, the 1990s was an extraordinary period for anime, where some of the most unforgettable and cherished series in anime history emerged. These anime not only shaped the industry but also profoundly touched the hearts of fans worldwide. From Sailor Moon, a magical girl series that promoted friendship and empowerment, to Neon Genesis Evangelion and Gundam Wing, mecha masterpieces that revolutionized their genres, the 90s anime scene overflowed with captivating narratives and intricate characters.

Moreover, the 90s introduced cultural sensations like Pokemon, which fueled a sense of adventure and limitless possibilities in viewers. Great Teacher Onizuka blended comedy and drama, showcasing the influence of education and mentorship. Berserk delved into the depths of the human condition with its dark and gritty storytelling, leaving an indelible mark on anime. Hunter x Hunter offered thrilling action and intense battles that kept fans on the edge of their seats.

The complex mysteries and unwavering dedication to deduction in Detective Conan mesmerized viewers. Dragon Ball Z, with its iconic battles and exploration of heroism, stands as an anime classic. Yu Yu Hakusho confronted moral dilemmas through supernatural action, cementing its status as a beloved series. Rurouni Kenshin combined samurai action with profound narratives and character development, leaving a lasting legacy. Slam Dunk revolutionized the sports genre with its exhilarating basketball matches and personal growth of its characters. And last but not least, One Piece’s epic quest for treasure and boundless imagination continues to captivate fans.

Whether you’re an anime aficionado or a newcomer to the genre, these 90s classics are worth discovering or revisiting. They showcase the exceptional storytelling and character depth that anime is renowned for, while also evoking a sense of nostalgia and offering a glimpse into anime’s golden age. So grab your favorite snack, sit back, and immerse yourself in the enchanting world of 90s anime. These timeless classics will transport you to a time when extraordinary narratives and captivating characters captured the hearts of fans worldwide. Embark on a journey of magic, mecha, adventure, and self-discovery as you explore the best 90s anime that showcases the enduring allure of this beloved medium.

Remember, while the 90s might have gone by, the legacy of these timeless classics continues to thrive.



About Christopher Brown

Christopher Brown

We have a wide selection of motorcycles, ranging from beginner-friendly models to high-performance machines, and we also offer a variety of accessories and gear to enhance your riding experience. Whether you are a new rider or an experienced one, we have everything you need to take your motorcycle journey to the next level.





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