Many modern anime are deeply indebted to the past, but some series go a step further and actively operate as nostalgic time capsules, looking to the past for narrative insights. As a result, audiences have a surprising amount of choice when it comes to a new anime that harkens directly back to the 1990s or just indulges in the ideas and iconography of the decade.
While there is an endless variety of anime series that were produced in the ’90s, it’s just as important to acknowledge current series that are plumbing the depths of the past. It’s also worth noting that a lot of new wave is great, and it’s not just tapping into the nostalgic longings of the audience.
10/10 Hi Score Girl is a love letter to 90s gaming culture and young romance
Hello Score Girl is an anime that was praised for its accurate depiction of gamer culture and the competitive arcade ecosystem that thrived during the 1990s. Hello Score Girl it’s clearly meant to appeal to gamers, or at least someone who has at least been inside an arcade.
However, there is a tender and innocent romance between bumbling introverts at the center of Hello Score Girl. It’s extremely sweet to see Haruo and Akira come out of their shells with iconic cornerstones from 90’s games like street fighter ii Y splash house acting as the matchmakers.
9/10 Lupine The 3rd: Part 6 echoes classic storytelling and nostalgic ideas
Monkey Punch’s iconic thief knight series, lupine the third, has established an impressive legacy over more than 50 years. The last chapter of the franchise, Lupine the Third: Part 6doesn’t literally turn back your clock to the 1990s. However, the style of the stories told throughout this season are very representative of the bygone era.
lupine the 3 prioritizes hard detective work and exciting heists, but there is a classic element that carries through the atmosphere of part 6. Some of the creative staff got together to Lupine the Third: Part 6like Mamoru Oshii, they are icons of the 90s and retain that sensibility.
8/10 Erased travels back in time to stop a serial killer in his tracks.
Erased is a compelling combination of a suspenseful murder mystery and a supernatural time-travel story. Satoru Fujinuma is gifted with a unique “Revival” ability that allows him to go back in time to avoid accidents.
This power takes unprecedented steps to fix the past when the death of Satoru’s mother sends him back 18 years to 1988 to help stop the work of a budding serial killer who is connected to his mother. The stakes of Satoru’s mission are so fraught that he often doesn’t get a chance to appreciate the nostalgic bliss of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Erased effectively immerses the audience in the time period.
7/10 Fruits Basket is 1990s bliss wrapped in a modern package
Fruit basquet Fans were finally able to experience this celebrated story the right way with the 2019 anime reboot that properly adapts the entire manga. There is a playful quality in Fruit basquet that seems like it belongs more to the simpler time period of the 1990s.
There’s nothing wrong with anime where characters transform into oddities under unusual circumstances, but it seems the medium now has more to say. Tohru’s plight and his growing relationship with the Sohma family feel like a classic 1990s shojo narrative, but Fruit basquet it is also literally set at the end of the 1990s when it begins.
6/10 Uncle from another world subverts Isekai anime with a Sega fan who is lost in the 90s
uncle from another world is a postmodern twist on the isekai genre that broadcasts its fantastical adventures through recap-style YouTube videos. Takafumi picks up his uncle after he wakes up from a 17-year coma, but learns that his time was actually spent in a magical world.
Takafumi’s uncle moves in with him as he tries to adjust to modern times and regale his nephew with stories from his other life. One of the nicest aspects of the series is that the guy was a die-hard Sega fan who is now crestfallen at his failure as an in-house developer. He pins for a Sega Saturn revival.
5/10 Tatami Time Machine Blues applies a retro Slice of Life aesthetic to science fiction that jumps decades
Set in the same universe as The Tatami Galaxy Y The night is short, walk on girl, Tatami Time Machine Blues is a six-episode OVA that applies a comedic take on the complicated nature of time travel. When the air conditioner’s remote control breaks during a sweltering heat wave, a confused time traveler arrives from the future.
These sweaty college students plan to use the time machine to fix their remote, but the team ends up traveling through time. Tatami Time Machine Blues It doesn’t go back exclusively to the ’90s, but its traditional sense of humor and everyday antics feel right in line with the decade.
4/10 The 1990s are alive and well in Urusei Yatsura’s comedy and sexuality
Rumiko Takahashi’s alien harem slapstick comedy, urusei yatsura, had a prolific run during the 1980s, but has since made a modern comeback in 2022 courtesy of David Production. It’s exciting for a whole new generation of audiences to fall for the electrifying antics of the alien Lum as her “darling of hers” Ataru clumsily pummels every woman in sight.
However, genuine chemistry forms between Lum and Ataru. While not specifically a product of the 1990s, urusei yatsura feels steeped in the past, like many of Rumiko Takahashi’s series, and there’s a lot of the decade’s DNA in the comedy and fanservice of urusei yatsura.
3/10 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean Embraces ’90s Iconography and Aesthetics
by Hirohiko Araki JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is one of the most ambitious series of all time, and an end is still in sight, even after more than three decades of consistent storytelling. stone ocean heads to Florida with the series’ first female lead character, Jolyne Cujoh. It is somewhat appropriate that the first number of stone oceanAraki’s manga would launch on January 1, 2000 and would be Araki’s first post-90s series.
That said, the 90s are still very much alive in stone oceanThe color palette, the character designs, and even his preoccupation with outer space. stone oceanThe anime adaptation of , although it was made in 2022, keeps these cornerstones of the 90s alive.
2/10 Mobile Suit Gundam: Mercury Witch Reimagines Gundam for a New Era Looking Backward
There are dozens of eclectic mecha series exploring unique pockets of the Gundam universe. There has been a greater focus on Universal Century stories, but Mobile Suit Gundam: The Mercury Witch is the first main line Gundam series in almost a decade. The Mercury Witch It intentionally sheds the baggage of the prolific franchise with a fresh story meant to appeal to a younger audience.
The Mercury Witch is rare Gundam series to have a female lead, and her school setting also dates back to the 1990s. She almost feels like the Gundam version of Revolutionary Girl Utena, which is about as nineties as it gets.
1/10 Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon is a modern Shonen series that was lost in the past
Yashahime: half demon princess is the modern sequel to Rumiko Takahashi’s celebrated shonen series, Inu Yasha. Yashahime follows Towa, Setsuna, and Moroha, the descendants of the central characters of InuYasha, as they follow in their parents’ footsteps to fight demons and prevent the destruction of humanity.
Inu Yasha was from the 2000s, but its classic structure and emphasis on romance made it feel like an anime from the 1990s. This energy carries over into Yashahimewhich also feels atypical compared to other modern shonen series, but has a lot more in common with the episodic storytelling of the ’90s.
NEXT: Top 10 Underrated ’90s Anime Every Fan Should Watch