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Underrated '90s Anime You Probably Haven't Seen

Updated July 3, 2019 6.8k votes 2.3k voters 118.6k views14 items

List RulesVote 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: 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. 

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  • 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. 

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  • Blue Gender takes the campy "man versus bug" plot from Starship Troopers and kicks it up a notch. The 1999 anime series takes place in a bleak future where humanity is at the mercy of the Blue, a race of alien bugs that took over Earth. Previously suffering from a disease known as B-cells, Yuji Kaido awakens from his cryogenic slumber only to witness the horrible future he now finds himself in. He is then enlisted to join the fight against the Blue by a beautiful and cold soldier named Marlene Angel. Anyone who enjoys a good, mature sci-fi story about stomping alien bugs will love Blue Gender

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  • You can't talk about '90s anime without mentioning one of the funniest series that ever aired in that decade. The Irresponsible Captain Tylor is an anime comedy about the intergalactic crew of the space cruiser, Soyokaze, and its new idiotic captain, Justy Ueki Tylor. If you're bored with space operas, The Irresponsible Captain Tylor is the perfect anime that will tickle your funny bone. It has a fun cast of characters, including Tylor himself, whose obliviousness always saves the day. 

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