Entertainment

The Best Old School Anime From 1999 and Before 

Ranker Anime
Originally by
Updated March 25, 2020 309.7k votes 42k voters 1.3M views 133 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

Network: Fuji Television

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

More Yu Yu Hakusho 

#28 of 846 The Best Anime Series of All Time #45 of 130 The Best Fantasy Anime of All Time

2
Ranker Video
3
Dragon Ball Z is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Old School Anime From 1999 and Before
Sean Schemmel, Christopher Sabat, Doc Harris

Premiered: 1989

Number of Seasons: 16

Number of Episodes: 291

Network: Fuji Television

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

More Dragon Ball Z 

#6 of 846 The Best Anime Series of All Time #32 of 717 The Best Cartoons of All Time 16 Things You Didn't Know About Itachi Uchiha

4
Ranker Video
Tomokazu Seki, Fumiko Orikasa, Houko Kuwashima

Premiered: 2007

Network: Fuji Television

Genres (Tv): Animation, Anime, Fantasy

5
Ranker Video
Ghost in the Shell
6
InuYasha is listed (or ranked) 6 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

7
Ranker Video
Hiromi Tsuru, Toshio Furukawa, Masako Nozawa

Premiered: 1986

Network: Fuji Television

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

More Dragon Ball 

#106 of 477 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #24 of 846 The Best Anime Series of All Time 30 Famous Mangaka Draw Dragon Ball In Their Own Style

8
Ranker Video
Ayako Kawasumi, Sherry Lynn, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn

Premiered: 1998

Number of Episodes: 26

Network: TV Tokyo

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

More Outlaw Star 

#158 of 846 The Best Anime Series of All Time #120 of 315 The Best English Dubbed Anime of All Time

9
Ranker Video
Nobutoshi Canna, Unshô Ishizuka, Marc Diraison

Premiered: 1997

Number of Episodes: 25

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

More Berserk 

#35 of 846 The Best Anime Series of All Time #41 of 88 The 30+ Best Shounen Anime Of All Time

10
Ranker Video
Kôichi Yamadera, Unshô Ishizuka, Megumi Hayashibara

Premiered: 1998

Number of Episodes: 26

Network: TV Tokyo

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

More Cowboy Bebop 

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11
Ranker Video
12
Ranker Video
MWM added Kiki's Delivery Service
13
Ranker Video
MWM added Castle in the Sky
14
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing ... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Old School Anime From 1999 and Before
Karen Frazier added Mark Hildreth, Chris Kalhoon, Brad Swaile

Premiered: 1995

Number of Episodes: 49

Network: TV Asahi

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

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#520 of 717 The Best Cartoons of All Time #76 of 88 The 30+ Best Shounen Anime Of All Time

15
Ranker Video
Megumi Ogata, Megumi Hayashibara, Kotono Mitsuishi

Premiered: 1995

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 26

Network: Animax, TV Tokyo

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

More Neon Genesis Evangelion 

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16
Ranker Video
Terri Hawkes, Jill Frappier, Mary Long

Premiered: 1995

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 159

Network: Cartoon Network, Television syndication

Genres (Tv): Anime

17
Ranker Video
Takeshi Aono, Petrea Burchard, Debi Derryberry

Premiered: 1992

More Tenchi Muyo 

#79 of 130 The Best Fantasy Anime of All Time #189 of 315 The Best English Dubbed Anime of All Time

18
Akira is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Old School Anime From 1999 and Before
19
Ranker Video
Hiromi Tsuru, Johnny Yong Bosch, Toshihiko Seki

Premiered: 1998

Number of Episodes: 26

Network: TV Tokyo

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

More Trigun 

#71 of 846 The Best Anime Series of All Time #36 of 88 The 30+ Best Shounen Anime Of All Time

20
Pokémon is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Old School Anime From 1999 and Before
Veronica Taylor, Rachael Lillis, Eric Stuart

Premiered: 1997

Network: TV Tokyo

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

21
Ranker Video
22
Ranker Video
Takeshi Aono, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Hikaru Midorikawa

Premiered: 1998

Network: TV Asahi

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

More Yu-Gi-Oh! 

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23
Ranker Video
Kan'ichi Kurita, Kôichi Yamadera, Kiyoshi Kobayashi
24
Mobile Suit Gundam is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Old School Anime From 1999 and Before
Tôru Furuya, Eric Schneider, Shûichi Ikeda

Premiered: 1979

Number of Episodes: 43

Network: Nagoya Broadcasting Network, Animax

Genres (Tv): Animation, Drama, Mecha, Anime, Real Robot, + more

More Mobile Suit Gundam 

#74 of 88 The 30+ Best Shounen Anime Of All Time #50 of 76 The 25+ Best First Anime to Watch for New Fans

25
Ranker Video
kiki-lala added Megumi Hayashibara, Hirotaka Suzuoki, Kenichi Ogata

Premiered: 1989

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 161

Network: Animax, Fuji Television

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