The Best Anime From The 70s’ | TheReviewGeek Recommends

The expansive anime universe offers many different tales with compelling characters, engaging plots, and epic moments. While some anime come and go, many deliver outstanding and memorable experiences. Those types of anime typically contain well-written storylines, characters, and events that will excite people more.

For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best anime, we’d like to highlight the best anime from the 1970s. From Lupin III to Mobile Suit Gundam, these are the best anime to come from that era.

Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll add them when we can!

Lupin III

Lupin III is an entertaining spy series. It follows Arsène III, the grandson of the famous thief Arsène Lupin I. Like his grandfather, Arsène III loves stealing rare treasure and getting in trouble with the police. His infamy attracts the attention of Inspector Zenigata and other criminals. Along with his friends, Arsène III vows to get as many treasures as possible.

This anime’s art style helped it withstand the test of time. Monkey Punch, Lupin III’s artist, character designs are bold and agile, with exaggerated facial features and body motions that bring more humor and intrigue to the series. Furthermore, the anime’s storytelling is captivating from beginning to end. It has an excellent blend of comedy, action, and romance.

Despite being a thief, Lupin is known for helping those in need, making him a likable and relatable protagonist. The show’s exploration components also offer insight into the various cultures and customs Lupin will encounter in the story. In addition to having well-animated action scenes, Lupin III is a great 70s anime worth watching.

Mobile Suit Gundam

Mobile Suit Gundam is a classic anime series that introduced many fans to the concept of mecha or giant robots as a major plot point. It features a complex story that delves into aspects of war, love, loss, and sacrifice. It spawned multiple seasons featuring new and well-developed characters. Each character has a different set of struggles that many viewers will find compelling.

Mobile Suit Gundam’s focus on morality and politics also makes it feel more mature than other anime. However, Mobile Suit Gundam’s best known for its intricate robot designs that make the machines feel realistic.

This series has numerous robot battles that’ll get your adrenaline pumping and the landscapes look just as breathtaking. In addition to paving the way for multiple mecha anime like Neon Genesis Evangelion and Code Geass, Mobile Suit Gundam will leave a lasting impression on viewers.

Mazinger Z


Devilman has been through many iterations over the years. While many know the story through the new Netflix adaptation of Devilman Crybaby, others remember watching the classic 1972 anime by Toei Animation. The 1972 adaptation is one of the earliest horror anime you’ll ever come across and features plenty of dark visuals and mature themes.

For those unaware, the 1972 adaption has an identical plot to Devilman Crybaby. It follows Akira, a young man who merges with a demon to become Devilman, a powerful warrior tasked with battling other demons that have infiltrated humanity. This anime features explicit content from gore, sexuality, and a corrupt society.

Akira is a sympathetic and tragic character. He’ll struggle to deal with the consequences of his newfound power while struggling with his own identity. Other characters like Ryo and Miki receive excellent development and add to the story’s depth. In addition to having stylized visuals and incredible monster designs, this anime will impress you just as much as the 2017 Netflix interpretation of this tale.

Space Pirate Captain Harlock

Space Pirate Captain Harlock is set in the distant future where everyone lives a mundane life except Captain Harlock. Harlock leads a group of rebels and embarks on multiple quests while aboard his spaceship Arcadia. One day, a force called the Mazone invades Earth and takes the form of a woman who can murder anyone. Alongside a man named Tadashi, Harlock vows to defeat this alien threat.

This anime has mesmerizing visuals. The show has fluid and detailed animation, with a look that’s timeless and retro. The spaceships and mechas are unique and memorable, and the anime’s use of colors and lighting is incredible.

Captain Harlock is a complex anti-hero and charismatic person and his crew is equally memorable and well-developed. For those looking for an old-fashioned and well-crafted space opera, Space Pirate Captain Harlock is worth watching.

The Rose of Versailles

The Rose of Versailles is a well-written shoujo anime from the 70s era. It has a well-developed cast, a riveting art style, and entertaining drama. It follows Princess Marie, who travels to France to marry Prince Louis XVI. It’s a forced marriage that’ll help strengthen the alliance between their opposing families.

When Marie arrives, she meets Oscar, the commander of the royal guard. She was raised as a boy but desires to live life as a female instead. As Oscar monitors Marie’s frivolous behavior, he grows bitter toward her.

This anime’s extremely complex and filled with incredible historical details from the French Revolution. Its music captures the heart and essence of France. The characters have incredible personalities and viewers will adore seeing them clash mentally and physically. If you’re looking for a fancy romance series with an intricate plot, check out The Rose of Versailles.

Future Boy Conan

Future Boy Conan is an incredible adventure series with heart and soul. It was directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, and Keiji Hayakawa, the former being known as the man responsible for much-beloved anime like Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro. Like those films, Future Boy Conan is another well-beloved work from his due to its engaging storyline and fun characters.

It follows a young boy named Conan as he navigates a post-apocalyptic world filled with danger, mystery, and adventure. This anime has remarkable animation featuring beautiful landscapes and fabulous character designs. It explores concepts like environmentalism and societal responsibility, which are still relevant topics discussed today.

The anime includes some thrilling battles and daring escapes that you don’t want to overlook. While Hayao Miyazaki’s works at Studio Ghibli are iconic, many folks should consider giving this solid classic a shot.

Galaxy Express 999

Galaxy Express 999 follows suit with Future Boy Conan in being another fabulous sci-fi series with strong adventurous aspects. This tale offers a breathtaking space opera filled with multiple planets that carry different cultures, structures, and habitats.

It follows a young Tetsuro, a boy with a sad background who dreams of boarding the Galaxy Express 999 train. He hopes he’ll receive a mechanical body by the end of his trip. Although he runs into trouble finding a way on the train, a woman named Maetel lends a hand. We observe their journey together on this atmospheric train.

Tetsuro and Maetel are wonderful characters. They’re rich in personality, background, and motives. Both characters have troubled backgrounds that are gradually examined throughout the anime’s runtime. Viewers will adore seeing the two forge a strong connection with each other as they travel their universe’s selection of planets.

If you’re looking for an anime with some twists, beautiful scenery, and likable characters, watch Galaxy Express 999.


Doraemon is a childhood icon for many anime enthusiasts who grew up in the 70s. It’s one of the few anime on this list that’s still producing episodes and films today. While it doesn’t contain anything too complex, its simplicity, humor, and colorful characters will fill your heart with joy.

The anime follows the growing relationship between Nobita and Doraemon. They spend their time traveling to different universes, thanks to Doraemon’s futuristic technology. By the end of it all, Doraemon hopes he can convince Nobita to change his ways and live a happier life. That said, viewers will enjoy seeing Nobita grow closer to people as the series progresses. He’ll get roped into many comical and emotional situations, but it’s all in good fun and will leave you smiling.

This anime knows how to balance its humor and emotional portions well. Its touching segments touch upon ideas concerning friendship, family, and growing up, allowing viewers of any age range to resonate with its tale. This is the perfect anime to watch with your kids as it delivers enough valuable lessons and entertaining characters to keep them entertained.

Space Battleship Yamato

Space Battleship Yamato is another sci-fi classic that interests fans who adore space travel epics. It centers around a group of people who must save Earth from an alien invasion. This anime’s known for pushing the boundaries of animation during its time. With its realistic spaceship designs and epic alien battles, you’ll be impressed by what Studio Xebec and AIC achieved with this one.

The battle sequences are thrilling and well-choreographed. They contain enough explosions and epic ship battles to get you pumped. The story tackles some potent themes like heroism, sacrifice, and teamwork. The characters feel well-developed and complex. They all have their own quirks that help them stand out.

If you’re looking for a fabulous space-themed anime with epic battles, fun characters, and a rich plot, watch Space Battleship Yamato.

So, there we have it, our picks for the best 70s anime of all time!

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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