Top 17 Retro Anime With a 90s Anime Aesthetic
by Mayra on May 13, 2022
When it comes to stunning visuals, nothing beats retro anime. The 90s anime aesthetic stays relevant even to date because we see a lot of posts on our social media that are taken from these retro anime, be it an inspirational quote or some gorgeous scenery. Not to mention, the most colorful and girly anime belong to the 90s.
17. Ranma ½
Ranma ½ tells us the story of Ranma Saotome who is considered a prodigy when it comes to martial arts. While Ranma and his father are in China, they accidentally fall in a cursed spring. Ranma now has a curse that he’ll turn into a girl every time cold water is splashed on him. He can only turn back to his own self when hot water is splashed on him.
It is also revealed to Ranma that he’s supposed to marry one of the daughters of Soun Tendo. Soun is aware of Ranma’s problem but he still insists on marrying his youngest daughter Akane to Ranma. Akane is a martial artist and is also not very fond of men.
This is a story about the misadventures of both Ranma and Akane as they get close to each other and also come across rivals they never knew existed.
16. Perfect Blue
Perfect Blue’s 90s anime aesthetic is no joke. Everything about the visuals of this anime screams perfection. The anime introduces us to an idol group named CHAM that is absolutely adored by its fans. One of the members of the group wants to pursue her acting career by leaving the group. She’s all excited for her new venture and believes that the fans would respect and support her choice of leaving the band.
However, Mima is being stalked by one of her obsessive fans who didn’t like the fact that she quit being an idol. There appears a website on the internet that imitates Mami’s life. Her life starts crumbling soon after her departure from the group and she grows uneasy day by day.
15. Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files
Yusuke Urameshi is our main protagonist in Yu Yu Hakusho. He’s a delinquent and has no hope for a bright future. One day, he saves a boy from getting hit by a car but sacrifices his own life in the process. However, it was not his time to die yet. Koenma, who is a spirit, gives Yusuke another opportunity to live his life. However, he must complete a few tasks before he could be revived again. He must work as a spirit detective to combat the evil spirits on Earth. Yusuke and his colorful group are all set to fight the evil spirits hovering over the earth.
14. Remi, Nobody’s Boy
This 90s aesthetic anime series is about a sweet boy named Remi who used to live with his mother. Remi’s peaceful days come to an end when his father, who abandoned them, returns and reveals that he desperately needs some money. He also reveals that Remi is adopted and sells him to get the money he needs. Remi is extremely sad and comes across a musician named Vitalis. Both of them go on a journey to find Remi’s real parents. This is such a deep and moving story that lets us understand the fragile relationships better.
13. Brother Dear Brother
Brother Dear Brother introduces us to Nanako Misonoo who studies in a prestigious academy named Seiran Academy. While studying there, Nanako hopes for a bright future for her. However, she becomes a target of hate and jealousy by her fellow classmates. She also becomes a part of the academy’s most elite group, adding to her misery. She misses her old days and writes letters to her former teacher whom she used to call “Onii-Sama”. She’s barely surviving the academy only because of her four friends. This story addresses bullying in a very refined manner and also shows us how with the power of friendship, one could get through anything.
12. Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water
This retro anime takes us back to 1889 when technology was starting to flourish. However, humanity is in danger because Gargoyle, a new enemy, has appeared out of nowhere. He wants to take over the world and change it according to his will. Nadia is our main protagonist who along with her group decides to stop Gargoyle from spreading chaos. This anime is based on Jules Verne’s novel “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”.
11. Creamy Mami, the Magic Angel
Anime about Magical Girls has always fascinated me. They’re all so colorful, girly and fun to watch. Magical Girl Creamy Mami fully adheres to the 90s anime aesthetic. The anime tells us the story of a 10-year-old girl named Yu who has a crush on her friend named Toshio Otome. One day, she’s made to transform into a 16-year-old idol named Megumi Ayase in order to perform on her behalf. She was given the name Creamy Mami. This story tells us about the hectic yet glamorous life of Yu aka Creamy Mami.
10. Cardcaptor Sakura
Cardcaptor Sakura was definitely a treat from all the kids that were born in the 90s. The story revolves around Sakura Kinomoto who ended up unleashing magic into the world by opening a book in her father’s library. Clow Cards were sealed away long ago by their creators because they were extremely dangerous to deal with. Now that they’ve been released, Sakura must seal them again with the help of her guardian beast named Keroberos.
9. City Hunter
City Hunter is one of the best retro anime ever! The story of City Hunter is about Ryo Saeba and Kaori Makumura who are detectives and are known as City Hunters. They’re problem solvers for people who are desperately in need of them. This is a story full of mysteries and adventures of the duo who are roaming the streets of Tokyo, fighting criminals.
Macross introduces us to two childhood friends named Isamu Dysun and Guld Bowman who had been apart from each other for a long time. Both of them reunite again on the battlefield as rival pilots. Myung is also their friend and both of them are in love with her. The crack in their relationship begins to deepen as both of them fight for the love of Myung. However, there’s a much bigger threat in the form of a singer named Sharon Apple who’s going to give them a tough time.
7. Revolutionary Girl Utena
Utena Tenjou lost her parents when she was little. However, she was comforted by a prince. Utena was extremely impressed by the prince’s behavior and decided that she would become a prince herself one day. She enrolls in the Ohtori Academy where she dresses like a guy. The Student Council at the academy is not a normal one. When one of the members of the council harasses Utena’s friend, she challenges him to a fight. However, the fight between them is not an ordinary one. It’s a ritualistic battle that Utena wins and it is revealed that she gets to keep a Rose Bride named Anthy Himemiya. Now, Utena must win more battles in order to keep Anthy as her Rose Bride.
6. Cat’s Eye
Cat’s Eye is such an aesthetically pleasing anime and also has a pretty great storyline. It introduces us to three sisters who owned a cafe named Cat’s Eyes Cafe. The three sisters named Hitomi, Rui and Ai become thieves by night. They’re not ordinary thieves though. They’re stealing everything that belonged to their father. They’re trying to find out the mystery behind the disappearance of their father back in 1945. Toshio Utsumi is the inspector that is in charge of handling these girls. However, he’s oblivious of the fact that his fiancée is also one of them.
5. Whisper of the Heart
Whisper of the Heart is one of the best retro movies made by Studio Ghibli. Studio Ghibli is famous for their aesthetically pleasing works that everyone absolutely adores. This movie is about a young girl named Shizuku who was traveling on a train. While traveling, she noticed a cat flying with her from inside the train. She decides to follow the cat and ends up in a shop where she learns about a golden statue named “The Baron”. This is a beautiful journey of Shizuku that will make you swoon all the time when you’re watching it.
4. Neon Genesis Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion is probably one of the best sci-fi and mecha anime from the 90s. It opens in the near future where Tokyo had been destroyed due to an event named the Second Impact. Now, Tokyo has converted into Tokyo 3. Angels are the creatures that are threatening all kinds of life forms on Earth. Humanity’s only salvation are Evangelions that are giant robots. They are controlled by 14-year-olds Shinji, Rei and Asuka. Will they be able to save humanity or lose everything instead?
3. Ghost in the Shell
We have another sci-fi anime in the house! Ghost in the Shell introduces us to Puppet Master, the hacker, who could erase people’s memories, rewriting them as well. We’re talking about those humans who have become cyborgs. Who will be the one to stop him?
2. Cowboy Bebop
Cowboy Bebop is surely the masterpiece of an anime and also adheres to the typical 90s anime aesthetics. It tells us the story of bounty hunters named Spike Spiegel and Jet Black as they travel throughout the galaxy, looking for criminals while also being on the list of most wanted criminals. While they’re traveling, they come across Faye Valentine and Ed, a child hacker who also joins the duo on their venture. The storyline of this anime is amazing and the visuals are stunning as well. You guys really need to watch this one if you haven’t watched it yet!
1. Sailor Moon
Sailor Moon is the most famous retro anime from the 90s that is loved by the fans all around the world. The little girls still use her chant to date and it's absolutely adorable. Sailor Moon tells us the story of Tsukino Usagi who is a typical high school student. She’s clumsy and a true crybaby. One day, she comes across a talking cat named Luna who converts her into a magical girl named Sailor Moon. That’s when all the troubles of Sailor Moon begin. However, she also comes across a bunch of girls who have similar super powers. All of them are ready to fight the evil!
90s retro anime will always have a special place in my heart. The visuals of such anime are a true eye candy. From magical girls to giant robots, 90s retro anime has a lot to offer and we still miss watching all of them to date.