Top 22 Retro Anime That Came From The '80s
by Kalie on Aug 12, 2022
80s anime refers to Japanese animation produced between the years 1980 and 1989. During this decade, anime became increasingly popular both in Japan and internationally, with many classic series that are still beloved today. 80s anime is characterized by its unique art style, which often features bold, bright colors, exaggerated expressions, and intricate action sequences.
Many 80s anime series were also known for their engaging storylines, which tackled a range of themes including science fiction, fantasy, romance, and action. Here's some of our favorite retro anime to come out of the '80s:
Set in a post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo, Akira follows the story of a biker gang member named Kaneda and his friend Tetsuo. After Tetsuo gains psychic powers, he becomes a target for a secret government project that hopes to harness his abilities. The film features groundbreaking animation and a complex, philosophical story that explores themes of power, corruption, and identity.
Mobile Suit Gundam (1981)
Mobile Suit Gundam is a mecha anime set in the year 0079 of the Universal Century, during a war between the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon. The story follows a group of young pilots who are sent into battle aboard giant mobile suits known as Gundams. The show was notable for its realistic depiction of war and its complex characters and political themes.
Dragon Ball (1986)
Dragon Ball is a shonen anime series that follows the adventures of a young martial artist named Goku as he searches for the seven magical Dragon Balls. Along the way, he meets a colorful cast of characters and battles a series of powerful enemies. The show was known for its humor, action, and vibrant animation, and it became a cultural phenomenon in Japan and around the world.
Saint Seiya (1986)
Saint Seiya is a shonen anime series about a group of warriors known as Saints who use their special powers to protect the goddess Athena from evil forces. The show is known for its epic battles, intricate mythology, and colorful cast of characters.
Fist of the North Star (1984)
Fist of the North Star is a post-apocalyptic anime series about a martial artist named Kenshiro who wanders the wasteland, fighting against various villains and warlords. The show is known for its graphic violence, intense action, and iconic catchphrases.
Kimagure Orange Road (1987)
Kimagure Orange Road is a romantic comedy anime about a teenage boy named Kyosuke who has psychic powers and the two girls who compete for his affection. The show is known for its charming characters, heartfelt storytelling, and memorable soundtrack.
Maison Ikkoku (1986)
Maison Ikkoku is a romantic comedy anime about a group of tenants living in a run-down apartment building. The story centers around a young man named Godai, who falls in love with the beautiful and mysterious landlord, Kyoko. The show is known for its relatable characters, witty humor, and realistic depiction of everyday life.
Bubblegum Crisis (1987)
Bubblegum Crisis is a cyberpunk anime about a group of women who use high-tech power suits to battle rogue robots in a futuristic city. The show is known for its sleek animation, catchy music, and exciting action scenes.
City Hunter (1987)
City Hunter is a comedy-action anime about a private detective named Ryo who takes on a variety of cases, often involving beautiful women. The show is known for its humor, action, and memorable characters.
Urusei Yatsura (1981)
Urusei Yatsura is a romantic comedy anime about a teenage boy named Ataru who is engaged to an alien princess named Lum. The show is known for its offbeat humor, creative character designs, and charming love story.
Macross is a mecha anime about a group of pilots who fight against an alien race known as the Zentraedi. The show is known for its memorable music, stunning animation, and intricate world-building.
Captain Tsubasa (1983)
Captain Tsubasa is a sports anime about a young soccer player named Tsubasa who dreams of becoming a professional player. The show is known for its dynamic animation, exciting matches, and inspiring message about the power of hard work and determination.
Legend of the Galactic Heroes (1988)
Legend of the Galactic Heroes is an epic space opera anime about a conflict between two interstellar nations. The show is known for its intricate political intrigue, complex characters, and thought-provoking themes.
Robotech is a science fiction anime series that was created by combining footage from three different anime series from Japan. The show tells the story of a future Earth that is threatened by an alien race known as the Zentraedi. The show is known for its memorable characters, thrilling action, and innovative storytelling.
Dirty Pair (1985)
Dirty Pair is a science fiction anime about two female agents who work for the World Welfare Works Association, a futuristic law enforcement agency. The show is known for its fast-paced action, colorful animation, and memorable characters.
Touch is a sports anime about twin brothers who are both talented baseball players. The show is known for its compelling characters, emotional storytelling, and realistic depiction of the sport of baseball.
Dragon Quest (1989)
Dragon Quest is an adventure anime based on the popular video game series of the same name. The show follows a young hero named Dai who sets out on a quest to defeat an evil sorcerer and save the world. The show is known for its colorful animation, exciting action, and engaging characters.
Ranma 1/2 (1989)
Ranma 1/2 is a romantic comedy anime about a teenage boy named Ranma who can transform into a girl whenever he is splashed with cold water. The show is known for its wacky humor, memorable characters, and charming love story.
Mashin Hero Wataru (1988)
Wataru is a fantasy adventure anime about a young boy named Wataru who is transported to a magical world where he must fight against an evil ruler. The show is known for its imaginative world-building, exciting action, and memorable characters.
Hades Project Zeorymer (1988)
Hades Project Zeorymer is a science fiction anime about a group of young pilots who are tasked with piloting giant mecha known as "Zeorymers" in a battle against a mysterious organization. The show is known for its mature themes, graphic violence, and stylish animation.
Crusher Joe (1983)
Crusher Joe is a science fiction anime about a team of space adventurers who are hired to complete a variety of dangerous missions. The show is known for its exciting action, innovative spacecraft designs, and memorable characters.
Vampire Hunter D (1985)
Vampire Hunter D is a horror anime about a half-human, half-vampire warrior named D who is hired to protect a young woman from a group of vampire hunters. The show is known for its Gothic atmosphere, graphic violence, and intriguing mythology.