At a point, every anime fan has the question, “What should I watch next?”
While there are many amazing series you could watch, I would recommend these classic anime shows (pre-2000). It was the era when the Anime industry wasn’t as heavily commercialized as today — as a result of which, we had some equally fine and distinct shows.
It’s not like we don’t have amazing anime series now but it’s just that they are very scarce.
BTW don’t worry I haven’t listed shows which you might already know, I mean shows like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop or even Dragon Ball for that matter.
So following are some fabulous classic anime shows which you must add to your queue.
Great Teacher Onizuka
Genre: Comedy-drama, School, Slice of Life
Plot: Onizuka Eikichi is an ex-bike gang leader who has but one goal, to become the greatest teacher. While doing his teaching internship as part of his studies to become a qualified teacher, he ends up in a delinquent class and learns of the possibility and necessity of the power and respect gained from one’s students. Due to a mishap, after graduating, he gets a job at a prestigious private school to handle their ‘problem class’ that made the past few teachers quit. He must now handle a different kind of trouble when the trouble-makers include some of the smartest kids in Japan who prefer a more “intellectual approach” to torturing their teacher. Onizuka must slowly win his students over and deal with their distrust and hatred towards teachers and adults while handling the distrust of his fellow teachers who feel him unworthy of being a teacher.
Genre: Space Western, Action, Adventure, Comedy-drama
Plot: Vash the Stampede is a gunman on the run with a 60 billion double dollar bounty on his head which has made it difficult for him to go anywhere without being chased and shot at. Every town he ever visits ends up being destroyed because of his pursuers, but miraculously no one ever gets killed. Meryl and Milly are two insurance agents that have been sent to find Vash the Stampede and keep him under surveillance so no more damage is caused. Meryl, who leads the pair, refuses to believe that the man they have met can possibly be the legendary gunman. This spikey haired, gangly, young man is extremely friendly, a pacifist, hates blood and suicide, absolutely loves donuts, and is a dork and a crybaby (far from a notorious outlaw). But there is more to Vash and his past than meets the eye.
Serial Experiments Lain
Genre: Cyberpunk, Psychological horror, Science fiction, Drama
Plot: Lain Iwakura appears to be an ordinary girl, with almost no experience with computers. Yet the sudden suicide of a schoolmate, and a number of strange occurrences, conspire to pull Lain into the world of the Wired, where she gradually learns that nothing is what it seems to be… not even Lain herself.
His and Her Circumstances
Genre: Comedy-drama, Romance
Plot: Yukino Miyazawa is really, really vain, and loves to hear people praise her. She’s always been the best at everything, and always tries to look perfect. But when Yukino goes to high school, she’s finally upstaged–by Souichiro Arima, who scores better on the entrance exams and instantly snatches the attention of the class. By accident, Arima finds out that Yukino is just pretending, and this starts off a series of events that lead to Yukino and Arima falling in love. They then have to cope with a lot of obstacles in their relationship.
Genre: Adventure, Sex comedy
Plot: Kintarou Oe doesn’t look like it, but he is a genius who completed all his university courses and then quit before graduating. He becomes a wandering student, going from place to place on his bicycle, seeking to learn what he can about life, the world, and women. He is willing and able to do any job he has to prove himself. His travels take him to a variety of locations and a variety of women, each who learns to love the hardworking guy, but not before he can run off.
Genre: Space Western, Space opera, Science fantasy
Plot: Gene Starwind and his partner Jim Hawking run a small business on the backwater planet of Sentinel III. But all that changes the day that Hilda hires them for a bodyguard job. Now, thrust into a mystery they don’t fully understand, they’re on the run from the cops, the pirates, an angry alien, and a mysterious assassin. But they’ve got one thing going in their favor—they have the galaxy’s most advanced ship, the Outlaw Star.
Legends of Galactic Heroes
Genre: Space opera, Military science fiction
Plot: For decades, the Galactic Empire has been locked in an interstellar war with the Free Planets Alliance, a conflict that involves thousands of spaceships and millions of soldiers on both sides. Two new commanders enter the conflict with great hopes: Imperial Admiral Reinhard von Lohengramm and the FPA’s Yang Wen-Li. As they deal with superiors and subordinates, maneuver through complicated political arrangements, plot strategies, and win battles, each will be tested, and ultimately, changed, by the reality of war.
Genre: Romantic comedy
Plot: Godai is a ronin (someone who has failed university entrance exams) living in a run down apartment house called Maison Ikkoku. Among the other residents are the nosy Ichinose, the sexy Akemi Roppongi, and the mysterious Yotsuya. The others are given to having wild parties which makes it difficult for Godai to study. Into this mayhem comes the recently widowed Kyoko as the new live-in manager. Godai falls for her, but doesn’t have the nerve to tell her. As time passes, their relationship slowly develops amid life at Maison Ikkoku, despite all sorts of romantic hurdles.
Genre: Adventure fiction, comic fantasy, sword and sorcery
Plot: Lina Inverse, a wandering sorceress and bandit-killer, joins forces with roving swordsman Gourry Gabriev in what’s supposed to be a quick union of convenience. Instead, an artifact Lina “liberated” from a gang of thieves turns out to be the key to the resurrection of the demon lord Shabranigdo. Urged on by the mysterious Red Priest Rezo, the pair has no choice but to fight the dark lord and his servants, accumulating new allies and enemies along the way.
Genre: Martial arts, Romantic comedy, Urban fantasy
Plot: Saotome Ranma, a teenage martial artist, and his father Genma travel to the ‘cursed training ground’ of Jusenkyo in China. There, despite the warnings of the Chinese guard, they fall into the cursed springs. From now on, whenever Ranma is doused in cold water, he turns into a girl, and a cute, well-built red-head at that. Hot water changes him back into a man again, but only until the next time. To make matters worse, his father engages him to Tendo Akane, a girl who hates boys.
Heidi, Girl of the Alps
Plot: Heidi after becoming an orphan is forced to live with her grandfather Öhi who lives in the mountain Alps. However he is a very bitter man who only accepts to take her in by force. Heidi’s kindness may be able to open Öhi’s heart. Along with Peter the goat carer and the crippled Klara, Heidi has a lot of adventures.
Ping Pong Club
Plot: Inaho Jr. High’s Boys Ping Pong Club has only 6 members, the club minimum. Takeda is your average nice guy. Kinoshita is good looking and popular with girls. Unfortunately, the rest are branded as losers. Tanabe is too foreign, while Tanaka is petite and perverse. Maeno and Izawa are truly deviant, and their crazed antics have earned the team some powerful enemies. In spite of their differences, the team needs to work together to retain their practice room and club status.
Ashita no Joe
Genre: Sports, Drama
Plot: Ashita no Joe tells the tale of a wandering orphan named Joe Yabuki. He falls into one of Tokyo’s slums and gets into a fight with a local gang and his street fighting skills gets him the attention of a washed up alcoholic boxing trainer. Until he sticks up for Joe when the gang comes back to finish Joe, Joe decides to live with the trainer. Despite the trainer’s generosity, Joe is still committing money making scams and lands him in prison. While serving time, he meets another boxer named Rikiishi Tooru who gets Joe interested in boxing. Upon release, Joe then pursues a boxing career.
Future Boy Conan
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Science fiction, romance
Plot: Based on The Incredible Tide by Alexander Key. Post nuclear future. Earth has been almost completely submerged by oceans. Indastria, an hyper-technological isle, is the new world capital. Conan is the only survived boy in the attempt of a bunch of astronauts to escape the earth when nuke bombs were falling. He will meet a girl named Lana (Italian name), and when she will be kidnapped by Industrias soldiers, he’ll go and try to rescue her.
Genre: Adventure, Comedy-drama, Crime
Plot: Arsene Lupin III is the grandson of the master thief Arsene Lupin. With his cohorts Daisuke Jigen and Goemon Ishikawa XIII and his love interest Fujiko Mine, he pulls off the greatest heists of all time while always escaping the grasp of Inspector Koichi Zenigata.