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7 Best 90s Anime That Have Withstood The Test Of Time

The 7 best 90s anime that have withstood the test of time continue to captivate audiences, transcending the temporal boundaries of their original era. These timeless classics not only showcase the artistic brilliance and storytelling prowess of their creators but also hold a special place in the hearts of fans worldwide.

Yukihiro Nakajima
Yukihiro Nakajima
Dec 27, 20231.5K Shares34K Views
Jump to
  1. Dragon Ball Z
  2. Trigun
  3. Cowboy Bebop
  4. Perfect Blue
  5. One Piece
  6. Initial D (First Stage And Second Stage)
  7. Serial Experiments Lain
  8. Conclusion
7 Best 90s Anime That Have Withstood The Test Of Time

There are many fabulous 90s anime to explore, from exciting action tales to everyday life stories that still matter now. Nostalgia is a factor, but these shows go beyond that. Many of them were groundbreaking and still matter today, keeping up with newer stuff. These shows are classics and have stood the test of time.

These shows weren't just fun; they were a big part of our weekends, blending in with Saturday morning cartoons and more. The '90s wasn't just about popular kids' anime like Pokemon or action-packed ones like One Piece or Dragon Ball Z. It was also packed with grown-up, cutting-edge series that were creative and had a significant impact on anime and beyond. Examples include Serial Experiments Lain and Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Here is the list of Top 7 90s Anime That Have Withstood the Test of Time

Dragon Ball Z

In the 90s, catching Dragon Ball Z was a must. You couldn't look away when it aired, eagerly waiting for Goku's next move. Beyond the nostalgia, Dragon Ball Z's impact is enormous, and it's still going strong with new episodes and movies.

Akira Toriyama's brilliance isn't just in epic fights but in creating a series whole of friendship, determination, and the spirit of overcoming challenges. While Dragon Ball in 1986 showed Goku's adventures as a kid, Dragon Ball Z followed his growth, facing more significant challenges and personal struggles as an adult.

The excitement of battles and transformations is there, especially in the anime, but what sticks most is the story's heart and the characters. Even after decades, it remains one of the most influential shonen ever.


Trigun stands out as a beloved gem in the realm of sci-fi classics from the '90s. It became an anime in 1998, animated by Madhouse, known for later works like One Punch Man, Death Note, and Death Parade. Even today, people still love Trigun for a good reason.

Despite its age, the battles are well-animated, and they did a fantastic job bringing the world and characters of Trigun to life. The tale on Gunsmoke's desert planet revolves around Vash the Stampede, a formidable figure with a hefty bounty of sixty billion double dollars. Trigun's fusion of Wild West vibes with futuristic elements makes it unique. With its blend of intense action and humor, it remains one of the most thrilling sci-fi adventures I've ever enjoyed.

Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop, a sci-fi classic with noir and Western vibes, revolves around the Bebop crew: Spike Spiegel with a complex past; Jet Black, the ex-officer; Faye Valentine, the former criminal turned hunter; the hacker genius Ed, and the super-smart corgi; Ein.

Their adventures and backgrounds make this series stand out, shining through their stories. While the anime is enjoyable with plenty of action, it delves into weightier themes. Each character grapples with a past that keeps catching up, adding depth to the story. Then there's the jazzy soundtrack, setting the mood and immersing you in this futuristic yet nostalgic world. Cowboy Bebop is often labeled as a Space Western, and while accurate, it's so much more than that.

Perfect Blue

Perfect Blue is an exceptional psychological thriller directed by Satoshi Kon, who also brought us masterpieces like Paprika and Paranoia Agent. Acknowledged as one of the best anime from the '90s and a top-tier horror anime, the plot delves into Mima's challenging transition from a pop icon to an actress.

This choice disturbs many of her fans. As she embarks on this new path, the boundaries between reality and delusion blur, with her past haunting every step and her associates facing mysterious murders. The layers of suspense in Perfect Blue make it a must-watch, and its intensity is unmatched.

The terror isn't just psychological; it's visceral and gripping, placing Perfect Blue not only among the best horror movies but also as an unforgettable experience. It's pretty graphic, not for the faint of heart, but if that's okay with you, it stands out as one of the most memorable anime movies you'll ever see.

One Piece

Since its debut in 1999, One Piece has become a classic. It's a thrilling experience to join Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates on their journey, and Eiichiro Oda crafted a world where dreams, friendship, and adventure come together. What makes One Piece truly special is that it's not just about an epic quest for treasure; it also highlights the memories and bonds formed along the way.

Each episode immerses you in Oda's brilliantly imagined world, navigating every island, facing every challenge, and celebrating every victory alongside Luffy and his crew. Calling One Piece a defining 90s anime is an understatement; it's a chronicle of adventures and an ongoing epic saga. Moreover, it stands as one of the most influential Shonen series ever.

Initial D (First Stage And Second Stage)

The 90s saw the release of Initial D's First and Second Stages, and they stand out as some of the most memorable anime seasons I've seen. Among racing anime, Initial D truly excels. The plot revolves around Takumi Fujiwara, who unwittingly sharpens his racing skills while delivering tofu on Mt. Akina in his dad's AE86. His talents caught the eye of notable racing teams, such as the Akagi RedSuns.

What makes Initial D uniquely captivating isn't just its thrilling racing scenes and the Eurobeat music accompanying them. The perfectly timed beat drops enhance the experience when Takumi pulls off a drift. While the races are intense, the series' mix of character dynamics, rivalries, and that distinct Eurobeat rhythm solidify Initial D's status as one of the best anime from the 90s and beyond.

Serial Experiments Lain

Serial Experiments Lain follows teenager Lain Iwakura's journey into the mysterious digital world known as the Wired. As she delves more profound, the lines between reality and the virtual realm blur, prompting questions about her memories, identity, and existence. This series stands out due to its avant-garde take on sci-fi and its unique aesthetic.

Serial Experiments Lain offers a mind-bending experience with complex psychological themes. Despite its 1998 release, the topics it explores remain relevant and relatable today, making it one of the most cutting-edge series of our time. No other anime provides the same emotional impact or experience as this series. In addition to being one of the best 90s anime, Serial Experiments Lain firmly secures its place as one of the all-time greats in the anime world.


The 7 best 90s anime that have withstood the test of time continue to captivate audiences, transcending the temporal boundaries of their original era. These timeless classics not only showcase the artistic brilliance and storytelling prowess of their creators but also hold a special place in the hearts of fans worldwide. The 90s gave us awesome anime that still matters now. Whether you're feeling nostalgic or want new anime, these 90s series are some of the best to check out.

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