Underrated '90s Anime You Probably Haven't Seen

Voting Rules
Vote up the most underrated anime shows from the '90s that are definitely worth watching.

There's not enough love for the classic old school anime shows, let alone the underrated ones. There are plenty of hidden gems among the various anime series produced before the 2000s that definitely don't get enough attention. Japanese animation during the '90s delivered some of the best and imaginative series ever released - not to mention some of the funniest. Some of the '90s anime listed here continue to influence the industry well into the 21st century. 

Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon may have been the face of '90s anime when they premiered on Cartoon Network, but they weren't the only series worthy of praise. There are '90s anime series out there that defied traditional gender roles and raised the bar on risqué comedy. Here are some overlooked anime series from 1990 to 1999 that are well worth your time. Vote up great, underappreciated '90s anime shows that you would strongly recommend to a friend. 

Photo: Tatsunoko / J.C.Staff

  • Record Of Lodoss War
    Photo: Madhouse

    Despite the cliché "an ancient evil has awakened" premise, Record of Lodoss War is a grand fantasy drama that no one should miss. After being plagued by war for thousands of years, Lodoss and its kingdoms are on the verge of peace. However, hope for peace shrivels once an ancient witch awakens and causes political turmoil throughout the land. It's up to a mixed-race party of champions to stop the kingdoms from sliding back toward war and to defeat the evil witch. 

    1,291 votes
  • Nadia: The Secret Of Blue Water
    Photo: Gainax

    Inspired by the literary works of French novelist Jules Verne (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea) and conceptualized by anime legend Hayao Miyazaki, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water follows the adventure of 14-year-old Nadia la Arwall on her quest to get back to Africa. Along the way, she joins Captain Nemo on the Nautilus submarine to save the world from Neo-Atlantis and its sinister leader, Gargoyle. She's joined by Jean Ratlique, a young and courageous inventor. It's a captivating anime adventure series by some of the best in the industry. 

    663 votes
  • 3
    691 VOTES
    Blue Seed
    Photo: TV Tokyo

    Based on the Izumo cycle of Japanese mythology, Blue Seed follows the journey of Momiji Fujimiya, who learns her average life isn't as average as it may seem. Upon hearing she's the latest descendant of the great Kushinada family, she's enlisted by a government agency to use her inherited powers to stop the demonic plant monster called Aragami from destroying Japan. While the "monster of the week" storyline from the early episodes are a little repetitious, Blue Seed eventually steps into its own with its interesting take on Japanese folklore. 

    691 votes
  • His And Her Circumstances
    Photo: J.C Staff

    His and Her Circumstances is a 1998 romantic comedy about an egotistical girl named Miyazawa Yukino who lives a false life as the ideal high school student. When a newcomer named Arima Soichiro tops Yukino's grades, it threatens her popularity. Soichiro also discovers Yukino's true spoiled self and he blackmails her to get what he wants. To say they started their relationship off on the wrong foot would be an understatement. However, the two later develop feeling for one another and learn the value of being true to themselves. 

    772 votes
  • Continuing where the OVA series left off, You're Under Arrest is a 1996 TV series about two women and their hectic life behind the badge. Patrolwomen Natsumi and Miyuki may struggle with each other during the beginning of their arranged partnership, but through the course of the series, their friendship strengthens with each crazy case they tackle. A delightful action comedy starring two great women in blue.

    607 votes
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena
    Photo: TV Tokyo

    Revolutionary Girl Utena is a revolutionary shoujo anime series that challenged gender stereotypes with its tomboyish heroine named Utena Tenjou. Utena vowed to become a prince - not a princess - after one saved her during her youth. The prince entrusted Utena with a rose-crest ring and promised she would see him again someday. Years later, Utena attends Ootori Academy where duelists fight one another for the hand of the Rose Bride, Anthy Himemiya, and the mysterious powers she possesses. Utena becomes involved in the dangerous game after winning Ant match and Anthy with it.

    897 votes