Lifestyle Magazine

Top 14 Nostalgic Anime Of My Childhood (And Probably Yours Too)

By Vanessa Kay @blushinggeek

As a kid, aside from playing outside another pleasurable thing I did way back was watching plenty of  TV, particularly cartoons. At that time, I didn’t know that cartoons and anime were two different things, though visually they sometimes look the same. There’s been a lot of debate about these two, but for me, they are different and this article can point out some major differences.

Computers and gadgets were not yet popular during my childhood years (or if it was, then we probably don’t have any of it coz we can’t afford it) so the only refuge I had that time was just watching TV. Even without a cable connection, our local station airs some pretty good anime (which I refer to at that time as cartoons) that, believe it or not, helped shape up my childhood.

I’m sure a lot will agree that the anime from the ’90s and beyond were so much better than the latest, but ofcouse there are some pretty good one like Death Note and Attack on Titan, you just need to be patient to be able to find something good.

Here are my top 14 ’90s anime of my childhood and probably yours too. (as they are all my favorites, orders don’t vary)

  1. SLAM DUNK

Episodes: 101
Aired: Oct 16, 1993 to Mar 23, 1996
Genres: Comedy, Sports, Drama, School, Shounen
Duration: 23 min. per episode
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Sypnosis:

Hanamichi Sakuragi, infamous for this temper, massive height, and fire-red hair, enrolls in Shohoku High, hoping to finally get a girlfriend and break his record of being rejected 50 consecutive times in middle school. His notoriety precedes him, however, leading to him being avoided by most students. Soon, after certain events, Hanamichi is left with two unwavering thoughts: “I hate basketball,” and “I desperately need a girlfriend.”

One day, a girl named Haruko Akagi approaches him without any knowledge of his troublemaking and asks him if he likes basketball. Hanamichi immediately falls head over heels in love with her, blurting out a fervent affirmative. She then leads him to the gymnasium, where she asks him if he can do a slam dunk. In an attempt to impress Haruko, he makes the leap, but overshoots, instead slamming his head straight into the blackboard. When Haruko informs the basketball team’s captain of Hanamichi’s near-inhuman physical capabilities, he slowly finds himself drawn into the camaraderie and competition of the sport he had previously held resentment for.

I remember how I always go home early so I could catch this up on TV. I was never a sporty girl but Slam Dunk just simply caught my attention and I guess it was also the reason why I enjoy watching basketball now haha. All the kids in the neighborhood been looking forward watching every episode of this anime and I guess their excitement fueled my fascination thus I ended up loving it too. Aside from making me laugh my heart out watching this anime, it also gave out some meaningful lesson that we could carry out growing up. Also, Rukawa isn’t hard to look at and fantasize, haha.

  1. DRAGON BALL Z

Episodes: 291
Aired: Apr 26, 1989 to Jan 31, 1996
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Martial Arts, Shounen, Super Power
Duration: 24 min. per episode
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Sypnosis:

Five years after winning the World Martial Arts tournament, Gokuu is now living a peaceful life with his wife and son. This changes, however, with the arrival of a mysterious enemy named Raditz who presents himself as Gokuu’s long-lost brother. He reveals that Gokuu is a warrior from the once powerful but now virtually extinct Saiyan race, whose homeworld was completely annihilated. When he was sent to Earth as a baby, Gokuu’s sole purpose was to conquer and destroy the planet; but after suffering amnesia from a head injury, his violent and savage nature changed, and instead was raised as a kind and well-mannered boy, now fighting to protect others.

With his failed attempt at forcibly recruiting Gokuu as an ally, Raditz warns Gokuu’s friends of a new threat that’s rapidly approaching Earth—one that could plunge Earth into an intergalactic conflict and cause the heavens themselves to shake. A war will be fought over the seven mystical dragon balls, and only the strongest will survive in Dragon Ball Z.

Thinking about it now, I guess this was the very first anime I’ve ever watched. I love adventure and anything related to flying so it wasn’t really a surprise that I ended up loving this anime. I was never into martial arts too, but my! I remember how exhilarated I am watching all those fight scenes. I love the plot twist and all the major characters were so likable especially Gokuu. Man! I was even crushing him while I was a kid. Haha, didn’t I tell how lovesick I am even in such a tender age? And Gokuu turning supersaiyan didn’t help at all. Man!

  1. GHOST FIGHTER

Episodes: 112
Aired: Oct 10, 1992 to Jan 7, 1995
Genres: Action, Comedy, Demons, Martial Arts, Fantasy, School, Shounen
Duration: 24 min. per episode
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Sypnosis:

One fateful day, Yuusuke Urameshi, a 14-year-old delinquent with a dim future, gets a miraculous chance to turn it all around when he throws himself in front of a moving car to save a young boy. His ultimate sacrifice is so out of character that the authorities of the spirit realm are not yet prepared to let him pass on. Koenma, heir to the throne of the spirit realm, offers Yuusuke an opportunity to regain his life through completion of a series of tasks. With the guidance of the death god Botan, he is to thwart evil presences on Earth as a Spirit Detective.

To help him on his venture, Yuusuke enlists ex-rival Kazuma Kuwabara, and two demons, Hiei and Kurama, who have criminal pasts. Together, they train and battle against enemies who would threaten humanity’s very existence.

I never got to really appreciate anime until I finally grew up and learn more about it. And this certain anime is absolutely one of the best, that even how many anime I watch in the future, this will forever hold a part in my heart. The whole idea was fantastic and so original that thinking about it makes me want to go back to my childhood and reminisce the good ‘ol time. Plus, all the characters looks so beautiful especially the big Koenma, ayeeii. Also, it has an equally good opening songs.

  1. FLAME OF RECCA

Episodes: 42
Aired: Jul 19, 1997 to Jul 10, 1998
Genres: Action, Adventure, Martial Arts, Shounen, Super Power
Duration: 23 min. per episode
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Sypnosis:

Most people think that ninjas are a thing of the past, but Rekka Hanabishi wishes otherwise. Although he comes from a family that makes fireworks, he likes to think of himself as a self-styled, modern-day ninja. Sounds like fun, right? Maybe not. Rekka ends up in lots of fights because he once made the bold announcement that if someone can defeat him, he will become their servant.

Then one day, Rekka meets Yanagi Sakoshita, a gentle girl with the ability to heal any wound or injury. Their meeting sets off a chain of events, which culminate into a shocking discovery. Rekka is the last surviving member of a legendary ninja clan that was wiped out centuries ago. Even more astonishing than being an actual ninja, he also wields the power to control fire. What does this mean for Rekka? Who are these strange people after him and Yanagi? Find out in Rekka no Honoo!

And like Ghost Fighter, when I think of amazing “cartoon” when I was a kid, this one will always crosses my mind. Even at a young age, I always enjoy watching fighting scenes especially those where the main character is on the verge of losing it. I like the drama it creates and this anime didn’t disappoint at all. This anime instantly captured my heart even just watching the first episode. And this is absolutely one of the anime that I won’t get tired watching over and over again.

  1. HUNTER X HUNTER

Episodes: 62
Aired: Oct 16, 1999 to Mar 31, 2001
Genres: Action, Adventure, Shounen, Super Power
Duration: 23 min. per episode
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Sypnosis:

Hunters are specialized in a wide variety of fields, ranging from treasure hunting to cooking. They have access to otherwise unavailable funds and information that allow them to pursue their dreams and interests. However, being a hunter is a special privilege, only attained by taking a deadly exam with an extremely low success rate.

Gon Freecss, a 12-year-old boy with the hope of finding his missing father, sets out on a quest to take the Hunter Exam. Along the way, he picks up three companions who also aim to take the dangerous test: the revenge-seeking Kurapika, aspiring doctor Leorio Paladiknight, and a mischievous child the same age as Gon, Killua Zoldyck.

Hunter x Hunter is a classic shounen that follows the story of four aspiring hunters as they embark on a perilous adventure, fighting for their dreams while defying the odds.

I did say that I love fight scenes, and my! This one is totally one of the best. I still can’t get over with the ingenious tactics. All the main characters were perfect with their own set of wants and desires, their own hurdles to tackle, and their stories to share. The soundtrack was amazing as well and I don’t remember if there’s any in this anime that I hate

  1. CARDCAPTOR SAKURA

Episodes: 70
Aired: Apr 7, 1998 to Mar 21, 2000
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Magic, Romance, Fantasy, School, Shoujo
Duration: 25 min. per episode
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Sypnosis:

Sakura Kinomoto is your garden-variety ten-year-old fourth grader, until one day, she stumbles upon a mysterious book containing a set of cards. Unfortunately, she has little time to divine what the cards mean because she accidentally stirs up a magical gust of wind and unintentionally scatters the cards all over the world. Suddenly awakened from the book, the Beast of the Seal, Keroberos (nicknamed Kero-chan), tells Sakura that she has released the mystical Clow Cards created by the sorcerer Clow Reed. The Cards are no ordinary playthings. Each of them possesses incredible powers, and because they like acting independently, Clow sealed all the Cards within a book. Now that the Cards are set free, they pose a grave danger upon the world, and it is up to Sakura to prevent the Cards from causing a catastrophe!

Appointing Sakura the title of “the Cardcaptor” and granting her the Sealed Key, Keroberos tasks her with finding and recapturing all the Cards. Alongside her best friend Tomoyo Daidouji, and with Kero-chan’s guidance, Sakura must learn to balance her new secret duty with the everyday troubles of a young girl involving love, family, and school, all while she takes flight on her magical adventures as Sakura the Cardcaptor.

This is absolutely the cutest and eye candy anime I ever watched. The animation was amazing and the costumes Sakura wore made me really so envious when I was a kid, haha. Everything in this anime was so pretty, and I guess all of the characters were pretty good looking too. Based on the main characters, I guess it’s more suitable for kids especially for girls but I did a rewatch last month, and my! I’m still amazed and entertained haha. The whole idea of catching a magic card was so neat and having some cute good looking main characters will absolutely catches the eye of the viewers.

  1. RUROUNI KENSHIN

Episodes: 94
Aired: Jan 10, 1996 to Sep 8, 1998
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Historical, Romance, Samurai
Duration: 25 min. per episode
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Sypnosis:

In the final years of the Bakumatsu era lived a legendary assassin known as Hitokiri Battousai. Feared as a merciless killer, he was unmatched throughout the country, but mysteriously disappeared at the peak of the Japanese Revolution. It has been ten peaceful years since then, but the very mention of Battousai still strikes terror into the hearts of war veterans.

Unbeknownst to them, Battousai has abandoned his bloodstained lifestyle in an effort to repent for his sins, now living as Kenshin Himura, a wandering swordsman with a cheerful attitude and a strong will. Vowing never to kill again, Kenshin dedicates himself to protecting the weak. One day, he stumbles across Kaoru Kamiya at her kendo dojo, which is being threatened by an impostor claiming to be Battousai. After receiving help from Kenshin, Kaoru allows him to stay at the dojo, and so the former assassin temporarily ceases his travels.

Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan tells the story of Kenshin as he strives to save those in need of saving. However, as enemies from both past and present begin to emerge, will the reformed killer be able to uphold his new ideals?

Rurouni Kenshin, or what I then recall as called Samurai X was the first yet the best samurai anime/manga ever. And I love the settings and the idea of a then called “manslayer” finding his redemption sounds really intriguing. Kenshin’s character was really likable. He’s soft spoken, nice, quite of short in height and his very funny facial expressions makes this anime so perfect. I love that it doesn’t just thrilling to watch with full of sword fighting scenes (which was soooooo cool) but it also has a depth in terms of living life especially on redeeming yourself from your past.

  1. POKEMON

Episodes: 276
Aired: Apr 1, 1997 to Nov 14, 2002
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Kids, Fantasy
Duration: 24 min. per episode
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Sypnosis:

Pokemon are peculiar creatures with a vast array of different abilities and appearances; many people, known as Pokemon trainers, capture and train them, often with the intent of battling others. Young Satoshi has not only dreamed of becoming a Pokemon trainer but also a “Pokemon Master,” and on the arrival of his 10th birthday, he finally has a chance to make that dream a reality. Unfortunately for him, all three Pokemon available to beginning trainers have already been claimed and only Pikachu, a rebellious Electric type Pokemon, remains. However, this chance encounter would mark the start of a lifelong friendship and an epic adventure!

Setting off on a journey to become the very best, Satoshi and Pikachu travel across beautiful, sprawling regions with their friends Kasumi, a Water type trainer, and Takeshi, a Rock type trainer. But danger lurks around every corner. The infamous Team Rocket is always nearby, seeking to steal powerful Pokemon through nefarious schemes. It’ll be up to Satoshi and his friends to thwart their efforts as he also strives to earn the eight Pokemon Gym Badges he’ll need to challenge the Pokemon League, and eventually claim the title of Pokemon Master.

Pokemon has been very popular in the Philippines especially on the ’97-’98 when it first aired. The idea was pretty clever and cute at the same time. These pokemon where we could own and store in a poke ball was quite clever too and I remember how I love to have one when I was a kid. I wasn’t familiar with the Japanese language when I was a kid but I was digging the soundtrack, that whenever I hear it, I instantly know what it is.

  1. DETECTIVE CONAN

Episodes: 869 and counting
Aired: Jan 8, 1996 – present
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Mystery, Police, Shounen
Duration: 25 min. per episode
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Sypnosis:

Shinichi Kudou, a great mystery expert at only seventeen, is already well known for having solved several challenging cases. One day, when Shinichi sees two suspicious men and decides to follow them, he inadvertently becomes witness to a disturbing illegal activity. When the men catch Shinichi, they dose him with an experimental drug formulated by their criminal organization and abandon him to die. However, to his own astonishment, Shinichi is still alive and soon wakes up, but now, he has the body of a seven-year-old, perfectly preserving his original intelligence. He hides his real identity from everyone, including his childhood friend Ran Mouri and her father, private detective Kogorou Mouri, and takes on the alias of Conan Edogawa (inspired by the mystery writers Arthur Conan Doyle and Ranpo Edogawa).

Animated by TMS and adapted from the manga by Gosho Aoyama, Detective Conan follows Shinichi who, as Conan, starts secretly solving the senior Mouri’s cases from behind the scenes with his still exceptional sleuthing skills, while covertly investigating the organization responsible for his current state, hoping to reverse the drug’s effects someday.

This one’s a pretty good sherlock-like anime. I remember how amazed I am whenever Kudou successfully points out the culprit and was able to determine how they executed the crime. I guess it’s also because of this anime that I love mystery so much. And my! All the twist and turns was so ingenious that I remembered how I applaud the creator for creating such an amazing story. Starting that day, I’ve been looking up for all manga artists.

  1. FUSHIGI YUUGI

Episodes: 52
Aired: Apr 6, 1995 to Mar 28, 1996
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Magic, Martial Arts, Comedy, Romance, Historical, Drama, Shoujo
Duration: 23 min. per episode
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Sypnosis:

While visiting the National Library, junior-high students Miaka Yuuki and Yui Hongo are transported into the world of a mysterious book set in ancient China, “The Universe of The Four Gods.” Miaka suddenly finds herself with the responsibility of being the priestess of Suzaku, and must find all of her celestial warriors for the purpose of summoning Suzaku for three wishes; however, the enemy nation of the god Seiryuu has manipulated Yui into becoming the priestess of Seiryuu. As enemies, the former best friends begin their long struggle to summon their respective gods and obtain their wishes…

I have to be honest, I guess the first reason why I loved this anime when I was a kid was because of the handsome Tamahome. I used to argue with my sister who should have him then I cry when she insisted that Tamahome belongs to her, haha. You’re wondering what’s with that? Then search Tamahome and see it for yourself *wink. I watched it again this year and Tamahome still had that effect on me. And my! Why are they always making such handsome characters? haha. The story line was pretty neat and I love the thrill it brought but always hated the love triangle and betrayal scenes. I guess it was also the only anime in my childhood that really frustrates me. But overall, it was a pretty good anime with amazing soundtrack.

  1. MAGIC KNIGHT RAYEARTH

Episodes: 49
Aired: July 25, 1997 – December 10, 1997
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Magic, Mecha, Romance, Shoujo
Duration: 24 min. per episode
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Sypnosis:

Love can make you do crazy things…

The High Priest of Cephiro, Zagato, is blinded by his deep love for Princess Emeraude, who serves as the Pillar of Cephiro and is responsible for keeping the balance of the world. His twisted affection has driven him to abduct and imprison her in his castle while he tries to bring the Pillar System down. Princess Emeraude is left with no choice but to call upon the ancient Magic Knights to save Cephiro from the clutches of evil.

Hikaru, Umi and Fuu are just ordinary junior high school students that are transported to Cephiro by Princess Emeraude’s plea for help. These three strangers are brought together by fate to fulfill their destiny as the Magic Knights to defeat Zagato. They meet many challenges during their valiant journey, gradually forming a strong and unbreakable bond amongst themselves. Will these lovely heroines be able to save Princess Emeraude, restore peace in Cephiro, and find their way back home?

I mostly watched shounen anime when I was a kid, so right after Cardcaptor Sakura, I was so enchanted when I got to watch Magic Knight Rayearth. My! Three girls with amazing powers?! That’s totally badass. Plus, I love their costumes as well.

  1. DORAEMON

Episodes: 1787
Aired: Feb 4, 1979 to Mar 18, 2005
Genres: Kids, Adventure, Fantasy, Comedy, Sci-Fi, Shounen
Duration: 11 min. per episode
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Sypnosis:

Nobi Nobita is a 4th-grade boy in Tokyo. One day, a round, blue cat-style robot (minus ears) pops up in his desk drawer. Nobita’s great-great-grandson (or something) lives in the 22nd Century, but thanks to Nobita’s mistakes, the entire family is living in poverty. To rectify this, Nobita’s descendant sends Doraemon back to the past, to help prevent Nobita from making mistakes. Of course this is a difficult task since Nobita is the weakest and least intelligent child in his class. Doraemon does, however, have a 4-dimensional pocket on his front, which contains cool gadgets from the future. With these toys, Doraemon will try to help Nobita. Unfortunately, Nobita also has the bad habit of misusing Doraemon’s gadgets and landing himself in yet more trouble!

An all-time favorite children anime. I watched Doraemon as a kid and as much as I love it back then, I still love it now. Everything was cliche yes, but the endings are always funny and classic. This anime also teaches lessons so that’s why it’s so perfect for kids. It sure is a pretty long anime, but it’s definitely worth it.

  1. ONE PIECE

Episodes: 801 and still running
Aired: October 20, 1999 – present
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Shounen, Super Power
Duration: 24 min. per episode
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Sypnosis:

Gol D. Roger was known as the “Pirate King,” the strongest and most infamous being to have sailed the Grand Line. The capture and death of Roger by the World Government brought a change throughout the world. His last words before his death revealed the existence of the greatest treasure in the world, One Piece. It was this revelation that brought about the Grand Age of Pirates, men who dreamed of finding One Piece—which promises an unlimited amount of riches and fame—and quite possibly the pinnacle of glory and the title of the Pirate King.

Enter Monkey D. Luffy, a 17-year-old boy who defies your standard definition of a pirate. Rather than the popular persona of a wicked, hardened, toothless pirate ransacking villages for fun, Luffy’s reason for being a pirate is one of pure wonder: the thought of an exciting adventure that leads him to intriguing people and ultimately, the promised treasure. Following in the footsteps of his childhood hero, Luffy and his crew travel across the Grand Line, experiencing crazy adventures, unveiling dark mysteries and battling strong enemies, all in order to reach the most coveted of all fortunes—One Piece.

Whenever I think of One Piece, all that comes to mind is the level of enjoyment it gave me. The plot was very promising and the main character was really enjoyable to watch. The battles are very diverse and engaging and the comedy doesn’t get old. Just hand down for this anime.

  1. SHAMAN KING

Episodes: 64
Aired: Jul 4, 2001 to Sep 25, 2002
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Supernatural, Drama, Shounen
Duration: 23 min. per episode
Add on MyAnimeList
Sypnosis:

A battle is about to begin in Tokyo: the Shaman Fight, a tournament held every five hundred years where shaman—those who can command spirits—confront each other in combat. The victor of this contest becomes the Shaman King and the only one who is able to contact and control the Great Spirit, allowing them to reshape the world as they please through its immense power.

During a late night walk, Manta Oyamada runs into his classmate, the carefree You Asakura, who invites him to come stargazing with some friends, who, to Manta’s horror, turn out to be ghosts from a local cemetery! However, the knowledge that Manta possesses—a rare sixth sense that allows Manta to see these spirits—endears the boy to You. So when You finds out that his new comrade has been beaten up by a local gang, he decides to avenge him with the help of Amidamaru, a samurai ghost whose tomb was broken by the gang leader.

Soon Manta uncovers more about the world of spirits, including the Shaman Fight, in which his new friend You aims to claim victory.

This anime is another one of those anime that has amazing plot with equally amazing characters. Shaman King also manages the flawless transition from dramatic to serious to funny moments. And did I tell you the main character is one of the coolest looking main lead I’ve ever watched so far? Just look at that!

Special Mention

  • SAILOR MOON

Episodes: 46
Aired: Mar 7, 1992 to Feb 27, 1993
Genres: Magic, Romance, Demons, Shoujo
Duration: 24 min. per episode
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Sypnosis:

Tsukino Usagi is a 14-year-old girl in junior high. She’s ditzy, whiny, and a crybaby. She often flunks her tests, and she is always scolded by her family. However after a bad day, Usagi is surprised to encounter a black cat that can talk! The cat, Luna, grants Usagi the power to transform into Sailor Moon, a fighter who is to save the world against the Dark Kingdom and its evil ruler, Queen Beryl.

Of course, Usagi can’t do it alone, and there are others who will help her on the way…

  • DIGIMON

Episodes: 54
Aired: Mar 7, 1999 to Mar 26, 2000
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Kids
Duration: 24 min. per episode
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Sypnosis:

When a group of kids head out for summer camp, they don’t expect it to snow in the middle of July. Out of nowhere, the kids receive strange devices which transport them to a very different world to begin their Digimon Adventure! Led by the plucky Taichi Yagami, the seven children must now survive in a realm far from home, filled with monsters and devoid of other humans.

Luckily, they’re not alone: each child is paired off with a companion digital monster called a Digimon. Together, the children and their new friends must overcome their insecurities, discover their inner strengths, and evolve into stronger fighters – literally.

A force of evil is spreading through the Digital World, corrupting all the Digimon. The DigiDestined have arrived and it’s up to them to save the Digital World, if they ever want to see their home world again.

***

That’s it! How about you? What are the anime you watched growing up? Share them by commenting it below.

Top 14 Nostalgic Anime Of My Childhood (And Probably Yours Too)



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