Certain anime follow certain types of art styles. I inspired these points when I wrote an article about it in June 2018.
That covered multiple anime art styles, but let’s talk about old-school anime art styles instead.
The type that was common in these timelines:
This era was unique compared to some of the bubble-gum and more cutesy designs seen today that lack the same level of detail, focus, depth, or realism more than anything else.
Here’s a list of shows that fit the bill.
1. Bubblegum Crisis
Bubblegum Crisis was released in the 1980s. This anime series had the art style typical of that era, though not quite.
It stood out with its visuals, characters, not to mention their unique personalities as women, and the nature of the series in the sci-fi, action-orientated world the plot is a part of.
It still has that feel to this day that many crave from
2. Mobile Suit Gundam
Released from 1979 to 1980, Mobile Suit Gundam is unique for too many reasons.
One being how old it is, two being how different the art style is compared to let’s say, 1990s series, and three being its influence on the
It’s about as
It’s one of the best examples there is from that time (and popular).
3. The Slayers
Released in the 1990s with the anime series and adapted from a top-selling
She treasure hunts, and is a bit of a businesswoman, but is fierce, can be aggressive, and is dangerously strong even by 2023 power scaling standards.
More importantly, the art of Lina Inverse from the 1990s slots right in with similar shows like DBZ and others that had similar vibes and characteristics.
As an anime series many haven’t watched today or may have forgotten about, and having one of the best art styles of that time, this
Just like Gundam but for different reasons.
4. Fist Of The North Star
The famous meme involving the words, “NANI?” comes directly from this legendary anime series, which is also one of the top-selling series of all time in the anime and manga space.
Kenshiro is a legendary anime character many remember and will never forget. While the art style can seem dated in this series, there is a lot to appreciate about it still.
That’s why it’s on this list.
5. Urusei Yatsura (original)
The original Urusei Yatsura series from the early 1980s is unique by
I mean, how many anime series were parodies, comedies, with
It’s no wonder this series got a reboot in 2023 which was successful and it’s how I got into the series in the first place.
The 2023 version has a
6. Magic Knight Rayearth
Magic Knight Rayearth, released in the 1990s, is like the alternative version to Sailor Moon. But don’t get it twisted, this series did well in its own right and is nothing like Sailor Moon in nature.
It was responsible for kicking off the
This selfish request morphs into an anime that has its own identity, good characters, and of course, old-school art styles that are hard to dislike.
7. Sailor Moon
Sailor Moon is a
- You have Usagi, the main female character who has blonde hair (and is stereotypically airheaded).
- You have Rei, Sailor Mars, who has black hair. She’s fierce.
- There is Ami, Sailor Mercury, with blue hair and is smart.
- Sailor Jupiter has a tough demeanour and look.
- Sailor Venus (also blonde hair) is similar but not the same as Usagi.
Aesthetically, Sailor Moon looked good, and can still be appreciated in a lot of aspects so many years down the line for its art style.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion stood out, stands out, and feels different to all the other anime released during its time. And the female characters in particular are still unique.
Asuka being one of the obvious ones.
9. Cowboy Bebop
Released in the later 1990s, Cowboy Bebop’s art style,
But it still has that old-school feel to it that feels transitional with a 1990s-2000s vibe.
Travelling through space, the cosmos, being in different environments, action scenes involving guns, and romantic vibes with strong realism – aesthetically it’s one of the best in the
10. Yu Yu Hakusho
Yu Yu Hakusho, the same anime that Bleach was first accused of being too similar to before it was published. This anime also has concepts like spirits, characters who can see spirits, and so on.
Except it’s the OG when it comes to
11. Dragon Ball S1
The first Dragon Ball franchise was definitely unique compared to others in 1986. And that later evolved to
Both anime to this day with their new series and seasons have kept the same art style mostly, with some extra touches and more colour as far as the new DBS goes.
But during the
12. Gunsmith Cats
Gunsmith Cats is last on this list. The anime is unknown to so many people that it’s sickening. But for those who do know, it’s a
Rally Vincent, probably the inspiration for so many “badass” women in newer anime series, and Minnie May Hopkins, probably the inspiration for so many cute anime girls who are short.
Rally is a gunshop owner, loves guns and is from Chicago, USA. Minnie lives with Rally and used to be a prostitute back in the day, and knows how to make specialized bombs.