10 Best Anime From The 90’s | TheReviewGeek Recommends

There are a lot of TV shows out there and in this golden age of TV streaming, the choices have never been greater. So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic? Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest, and unforgettable shows through the years.

For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best anime, our attention this time turns to anime that was released in the 90s. From Cowboy Bebop to Ruroni Kenshin, there’s a good choice to whet your appetite.

Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll get them added on!

Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop is a fabulous sci-fi series with a charming cast. The characters in this anime get into all types of mischief with fellow bounty hunters and numerous criminals. It contains some marvelously animated action scenes, an adult tone, and a catchy soundtrack.

In it, we follow Spike, a bounty hunter who travels across space with Jet aboard their fancy spacecraft called the Bebop. They like looking for work and getting paid for it. Eventually, Spike and Jet meet colorful characters like Ed and Faye, who have distinct backgrounds. They’ll join these two and embark on multiple adventures that’ll keep you entertained.

With its fancy settings, stellar fights, and entertaining dialogue, you’re certain to enjoy this classic.

Perfect Blue

This is a deep, psychological anime that’ll keep you engaged. It offers excellent commentary on the horrors of popularity. In it, we follow Mima, who drops her idol career, friends, and fans in favor of acting. From running from a crazed mental image of herself to being monitored by a deadly stalker, she’ll suffer it all.

This anime contains little to no heartwarming moments. It’s a terrifying work that’ll hit home for many folks. If you’re someone who adores scrolling through Twitter, Tik Tok, or YouTube, Perfect Blue will hit you the most. You’ll be enamored with how well Perfect Blue’s director Satoshi Kon captures Mima’s reactions and expressions to her newfound livelihood.

If you’re looking for a mature anime with great themes, messages, and atmosphere, check out Perfect Blue.

Now and Then, Here and There

Now and Then, Here and There

This anime’s a hidden gem. It’ll leave viewers reflecting on what they just watched and features strong militaristic themes. With its melancholic setting, somber soundtrack, and great cast, it’s an anime series that time has forgotten. This is an Isekai series that lacks a strong male protagonist. In it, we follow, Shu. He feels more like a victim in this world than a legendary hero.

He wants to help steer this new world to a brighter light, but it won’t be an easy task. Many instances crop up in this series that hopes to tear down Shu’s fearless persona. It’s Shu’s determination and inner strength that make him a fun character to watch in this show. The new world he inhabits isn’t colorful like other Isekai anime.

It’s full of soul-draining deserts and blood-red skies. Everyone blames Shu for this world’s downfall since he couldn’t protect Lala-Ru, a girl with the power to restore peace to it. To make amends for his failure, Shu must find Lala-Ru while enduring the horrors of war involving hunger and torture. This is a dark and depressing work with great messages. Give it a shot if you’re looking for a dark Isekai anime from the past.

Serial Experiments Lain 

Serial Experiments Lain is an incredibly thought-provoking work. It vast, scientific world that’s full of life and mystery. Viewers may need to rewatch this anime numerous times to formulate genuine thoughts about it. Its narrative is extremely complex and well-written. You’ll be enamored by the level of thought that went into making this series.

This story also touches upon subjects surrounding self-worth and communication. As one can expect, this anime’s pacing isn’t the best as it can feel extremely slow. However, the show benefits greatly from its slow pacing as it gives it enough time to flesh out its characters, universe, and lore.

In this anime, we follow Lain. She’s a quiet girl who winds up in a mysterious, cybernetic universe. As she explores, Lain will question her humanity, consciousness, and perception of events. With multiple twists and satisfying turns, this is an anime series that’ll keep you on your toes.

Golden Boy

Golden Boy is a hilarious anime through and through. It contains absurd animation, characters, and scenarios that will make you chuckle nonstop. Despite being a heaping pile of comedy, the anime feature short motivational moments that’ll inspire you. In Golden Boy, we follow Kintarou, he’s a part-time worker who likes visiting towns for employment opportunities.

Although he’s a total goofball, Kintarou values education and wishes to spread his adoration for it in many interesting ways. Kintarou’s obsession with women always gets in the way of his wholesome goal. If you watched cartoons like Looney Tunes or Johnny Bravo as a kid, you know what you’re in for with this anime.

It’s only when the series places Kintarou in a motivational light, that you’ll grow to respect his character. If you’re searching for an over-the-top wacky series with incredible jokes, one-liners, and gags, check out Golden Boy.


Slayers is an exciting fantasy series, and that pokes fun at anime in the fantasy, action, or adventure genres. It pulled in many viewers when it aired due to its likable cast and humor. The plot isn’t anything noteworthy, as viewers will get more enjoyment from its cast’s interactions with each other and the world around them.

This story follows the adventures of a sorceress named Lina Inverse. She likes traveling the world, looking for goods to steal. One day, she gets ambushed by several bandits and is saved by a heroic swordsman named Gourry. Gourry escorts Lina to Atlas City, where she finds a powerful item among her stash of stolen items.

When some mysterious men find out about her possession, Lina and Gourry must prevent them from stealing it. This anime wants viewers to giggle at its characters’ failures. Instead of saving lives, Lina and Gourry would rather find treasure and get rich off it.  They’re not entirely heartless as they will perform humble acts of kindness. However, some occasions have them completing tasks and not getting paid for them. Regardless, Slayers is a unique anime for its time and every fantasy fan should watch it.

Ruroni Kenshin

Ruroni Kenshin is an incredibly-written samurai anime. It maintains great storytelling, a chilling setting, and an engaging cast. It contains mature topics, exhilarating sword fights, and neat realism. While some characters fight in ways that make them look supernatural, most fights require our characters to use their human attributes to walk away victorious.

In it, we follow a former murderer named Hitokiri. He changes his name to Kenshin because he wants to remove himself from his previous identity and his past. He promises never to murder again. Before he starts his peaceful life, Kenshin discovers someone took his former alias and is committing heinous acts.

With Kaoru’s help, Kenshin must stop this fake Hitokiri from killing people. This series has fabulous tension and great animation. The show saw some controversy due to its author’s terrible actions. The anime also leaves out some bits from the manga. However, if you can set aside its author from the work, you’re guaranteed to love Kenshin’s journey.



Berserk is one of the grittiest and darkest tales you’ll ever watch. This anime tackles mature subjects and contains gruesome imagery. It inspired many films, video games, and other works. In this anime, we follow a wanderer named Guts, who joins a powerful syndicate led by a fierce warrior named Griffith.

After several years pass, Guts becomes a formidable unit in Griffith’s army. He helps him achieve several victories and earns his respect. Although life seems to be going well for Guts, he’ll feel an uncomfortable presence lurking over him. This brutal work will leave you speechless with its horrifying events and strong tension.

It’s an anime suitable for an adult audience, and one you’d never want your children to read. If you’re looking for a mature dark fantasy work praised for its writing and impact on the industry, check out Berserk.

10 TV Shows & Anime Like Sailor Moon_Feature Image

Sailor Moon

While it’s not the first magical girl anime, Sailor Moon put the sub-genre on the map in the 90s. This anime stood toe to toe with other great series like Yu Yu Hakusho, Cardcaptor Sakura, and others. What Sailor Moon offered fans were powerful female characters who’d do everything in their power to save the world from villainy.

In Sailor Moon, we follow a schoolgirl named Usagi. Usagi isn’t the brightest student but she tries her best to get by in life. One day, she meets a mystical cat named Luna. Luna tells Usagi that she’s destined to become Sailor Moon, a planetary guardian of Earth. As Sailor Moon, Usagi must stop Queen Beryl, find the other Sailor Guardians, and locate the Silver Crystal to maintain peace.

This anime cast receives great development over time and take part in thrilling battles. The girls’ lives aren’t threatened most of the time, but when they are, the series becomes darker and tenser. However, it’s the girls’ companionship with each other that makes it an iconic work to many viewers. If you’re looking for a riveting shoujo anime to watch, check out Sailor Moon.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion is a sci-fi anime that fulfilled its purpose. Instead of focusing more on giant robots fighting monsters, it spends more time analyzing the psychological mindsets of its cast. The characters in this world undergo traumatic circumstances similar to those humans face in real life. In this world, we follow Shinji.

He’s a boy with a troubled background and has a terrible relationship with his father, Gendo. Gendo is the leader of a government faction who wants to help humanity defeat hideous angelic aliens. To do so, he forces Shinji to pilot Evangelion unit 01 since he’s the only one capable of using it. To save humanity, Shinji must set aside his differences with his father and pilot the acclaimed mecha.

Fans will find Shinji annoying at first. His character may or may not grow on you over time. However, the anime places him in enough instances for you to develop sympathy for him. The same bodes well for the show’s other cast members. If you’re looking for a complex mecha series with fun robot fights, check out Neon Genesis Evangelion.

So, there we have it, our picks for the best anime that were released in the 90s!

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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