Anime Underground

The Best Old School Anime From 1999 and Before 

Ranker Anime
Originally by
Updated May 11, 2020 315.9k votes 43.2k voters 1.4M views 138 items

Young kids today don't know how good '80s anime and '90s anime really was. With the abundance of new anime that is available to us these days, sometimes it's nice to kick your feet back and check out some classics. Here is our list of the best old school anime of all time, consisting of anime from 1999 and before. What was anime like in the 80's and 90's? Well the animation was a lot grainier and less crisp, but the stories were just as good as today's anime. Cyberpunk animes like Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion are regarded as some of the best anime of all time, proving that memorable characters and a great plot are always superior over fancy animation. Have you seen all of the classic anime below? We want you to vote for the series you love the most, but this list is also a great guide if you're looking to find some great old school anime shows that you haven't seen before. A few of these are movies and not tv series, such as Akira and Grave of the Fireflies. If you're a fan of Dragon Ball Z, definitely check out Fist of the North Star. The series was very influential in modern day fighting anime.

list ordered by
1
Ranker Video
Nozomu Sasaki, Justin Cook, Laura Bailey

Premiered: 1992

Genres (Tv): Animation, Action/Adventure, Adventure film, Action

More Yu Yu Hakusho 

#58 of 861 The Best Anime Series of All Time #457 of 733 The Best Cartoons of All Time #24 of 93 The 30+ Best Shounen Anime Of All Time

2
Ranker Video
3
Akira is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Old School Anime From 1999 and Before
4
Ranker Video
Tomokazu Seki, Fumiko Orikasa, Houko Kuwashima

Premiered: 2007

Genres (Tv): Animation, Anime, Fantasy

More Mononoke 

#361 of 861 The Best Anime Series of All Time #73 of 213 The Best Grown-Up Anime of All Time #60 of 133 The Best Supernatural Anime

5
Dragon Ball Z is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Old School Anime From 1999 and Before
Sean Schemmel, Christopher Sabat, Doc Harris

Premiered: 1989

Genres (Tv): Animation, Thriller, Anime, Adventure film, Comedy, + more

More Dragon Ball Z 

The Best Dragon Ball Z Characters of All Time #718 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #177 of 373 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time

6
Ranker Video
Ghost in the Shell
7
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Hiromi Tsuru, Toshio Furukawa, Masako Nozawa

Premiered: 1986

Genres (Tv): Animation, Action/Adventure, Children's television series, Adventure film, Action, + more

More Dragon Ball 

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8
Ranker Video
Kôichi Yamadera, Unshô Ishizuka, Megumi Hayashibara

Premiered: 1998

Genres (Tv): Space Western, Animation, Action/Adventure, Anime, Adventure film, + more

More Cowboy Bebop 

The Best Cowboy Bebop Fanfiction, Ranked 11 Things You Didn't Know About Cowboy Bebop #30 of 861 The Best Anime Series of All Time

9
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10
Ranker Video
Ayako Kawasumi, Sherry Lynn, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn

Premiered: 1998

Genres (Tv): Space Western, Animation, Action/Adventure, Drama, Comedy, + more

More Outlaw Star 

#170 of 861 The Best Anime Series of All Time #106 of 325 The Best English Dubbed Anime of All Time #28 of 213 The Best Grown-Up Anime of All Time

11
Ranker Video
Nobutoshi Canna, Unshô Ishizuka, Marc Diraison

Premiered: 1997

Genres (Tv): Animation, Action/Adventure, Adventure film, Action, Fantasy

More Berserk 

#37 of 861 The Best Anime Series of All Time #42 of 93 The 30+ Best Shounen Anime Of All Time #37 of 132 The Best Fantasy Anime of All Time

12
Ranker Video
MWM added Kiki's Delivery Service
13
InuYasha is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Old School Anime From 1999 and Before
jorgecidangel added Kappei Yamaguchi, Richard Ian Cox, Satsuki Yukino

Premiered: 2000

Genres (Tv): Fantasy, Animation, Action/Adventure

More InuYasha 

#53 of 861 The Best Anime Series of All Time #222 of 733 The Best Cartoons of All Time #30 of 93 The 30+ Best Shounen Anime Of All Time

14
Ranker Video
Megumi Ogata, Megumi Hayashibara, Kotono Mitsuishi

Premiered: 1995

Genres (Tv): Animation, Drama, Thriller, Adventure film, Action, + more

More Neon Genesis Evangelion 

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15
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Terri Hawkes, Jill Frappier, Mary Long

Premiered: 1995

Genres (Tv): Anime

More Sailor Moon 

#189 of 373 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #78 of 861 The Best Anime Series of All Time #228 of 733 The Best Cartoons of All Time

16
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MWM added Castle in the Sky
17
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Hiromi Tsuru, Johnny Yong Bosch, Toshihiko Seki

Premiered: 1998

Genres (Tv): Western, Space Western, Animation, Action/Adventure, Adventure film, + more

More Trigun 

#74 of 861 The Best Anime Series of All Time #408 of 733 The Best Cartoons of All Time #38 of 93 The 30+ Best Shounen Anime Of All Time

18
Ranker Video
Takeshi Aono, Petrea Burchard, Debi Derryberry

Premiered: 1992

More Tenchi Muyo 

#236 of 861 The Best Anime Series of All Time #80 of 132 The Best Fantasy Anime of All Time #196 of 325 The Best English Dubbed Anime of All Time

19
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20
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Kan'ichi Kurita, Kôichi Yamadera, Kiyoshi Kobayashi

More Lupin III 

#199 of 861 The Best Anime Series of All Time #276 of 325 The Best English Dubbed Anime of All Time #50 of 213 The Best Grown-Up Anime of All Time

21
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Old School Anime From 1999 and Before
Karen Frazier added Mark Hildreth, Chris Kalhoon, Brad Swaile

Premiered: 1995

Genres (Tv): Animation, Action/Adventure, Drama, Mecha, Anime, + more

More Mobile Suit Gundam Wing 

#136 of 861 The Best Anime Series of All Time #528 of 733 The Best Cartoons of All Time #73 of 93 The 30+ Best Shounen Anime Of All Time

22
Pokémon is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Old School Anime From 1999 and Before
Veronica Taylor, Rachael Lillis, Eric Stuart

Premiered: 1997

Genres (Tv): Animation, Children's television series, Thriller, Adventure film, Comedy, + more

More Pokémon 

#127 of 373 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #64 of 861 The Best Anime Series of All Time #22 of 733 The Best Cartoons of All Time

23
Ranker Video
Takeshi Aono, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Hikaru Midorikawa

Premiered: 1998

Genres (Tv): Animation, Action/Adventure, Thriller, Anime, Adventure film, + more

More Yu-Gi-Oh! 

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24
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kiki-lala added Megumi Hayashibara, Hirotaka Suzuoki, Kenichi Ogata

Premiered: 1989

Genres (Tv): Romance Film, Animation, Anime, Adventure film, Comedy, + more

More Ranma ½ 

#139 of 861 The Best Anime Series of All Time #527 of 733 The Best Cartoons of All Time #133 of 325 The Best English Dubbed Anime of All Time

25
Robotech is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Old School Anime From 1999 and Before
AndrewWilkerson added Robert Axelrod, Bill Capizzi, Frank Catalano

Premiered: 1985

Genres (Tv): Space opera, Animation, Drama, Mecha, Anime, + more

More Robotech 

#329 of 373 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #280 of 861 The Best Anime Series of All Time #525 of 733 The Best Cartoons of All Time