You’re waking up on a Saturday morning, tired eyes gazing at the TV. CartoonNetwork must be on because only this channel would play a bop like this. The music is catchy, jazzy, and upbeat – but what could it be?
I’ll tell you what – the theme song of Yu Yu Hakusho, one of, if not the greatest theme song of all time. The ’90s had a lot of amazing opening themes, but let’s talk more about the anime.
As a 90’s baby, I see everything introduced in the ’90s as more-so a culture.
What is a ‘culture’ you may be wondering?
To keep it a short answer, culture is its own ethics, its own vibe, its own, unique representation. The anime from the ’90s are diverse; a blueprint to a lot of your favorite anime today.
The style, the fashion, and the atmosphere in each and every scene – it’s all just a wave of its own. Take anime like Dragon Ball, Cowboy Bebop, and Rurouni Kenshin for example. Each of those anime have something that just makes them stand out.
Dragon Ball introduced the world to martial arts and superpowers.
Rurouni Kenshin brought us the life of a former samurai who refuses to kill.
Cowboy Bebop might just be the second sauciest anime I’ve brought up so far! I could go on all day about the philosophical concepts such as existentialism in this series, but that’s another article of its own (I’ll talk you to sleep with all my fanboying another time).
The archetype of archetypes
’90s anime also introduced us to the antagonist/rival archetypes that we all grew to love. Today’s anime tend to include a second protagonist that counts as the rival of the series. Vegeta from Dragon Ball, Hiei or Kuwabara from Yu Yu Hakusho, and Sesshomaru from Inuyasha – the list just goes on. Nine times out of ten, we even like these characters more than the protagonist!
If you’re reading this and haven’t watched even one of the anime I’ve mentioned so far, sit and think for a moment.
What are you doing with your life?
(Working, studying, gaming – hello?)
You can’t just watch today’s anime and not watch the foundation of it all, the God Father of them all. Okay, that might be a little dramatic, but it’s kind of true.
Anime such as Naruto took several ideas from these anime, for example, Naruto’s excessive hunger, hidden power, and undying courage.
Breakdown: out with the new and in with the old
Although inspirations have not completely copied their predecessors, your favorite arcs and characters wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the classics. Notice the similarities, enjoy the animation, and honestly just love every ’90s anime that ever came out – joking, you don’t have to do that.
To me, ’90s anime is like wine; they get better as time progresses. There is never a bad time to start watching, but I recommend you to start watching them as soon as possible. As Autumn quietly exits and leaves a chilly Winter in its place, it may be time to take a trip to the past.
So sit down and watch the dark fantasy of a gutsy swordsman in Berserk, or explore the mythology of the brilliant Saint Seiya.
There are many genres to watch – it’s just up to you to watch them, and hopefully, I encouraged you enough to do-so.
New to anime, or just unsure which anime to start with? Check out our post of the best anime to watch for newcomers and otaku! Let us know your favorite anime in the comments!