30th Jul2013

Ten Best: ‘Old-School’ anime series you should be watching

by Guest

…by Aaron MK

Imagine if you will… It’s a Tuesday night with nothing to do. There you are, sitting on your couch, flipping through channel after channel of mindless drivel. “Is there nothing GOOD on these days?!” you ask yourself. So in an act of desperation you flip your favorite VOD service on (or open your local video rental catalog) and marvel at the endless hours of entertainment. What to watch? Comedy, Drama? Television series? Feature Film? Who has the time play TV roulette?! NOBODY, THAT’S WHO! So in an act of kindness, I lay before you the ten best anime series of yesteryear (in no particular order) for you to burn your eyeballs with during those slow weekday nights! And let’s face it… If your already reading this, What ELSE would you be doing on a weekday night? Hmm?

10: Cowboy Bebop (1998, Series)
Directed by: Shinichiro Watanabe

It’s not very often when a show comes along that’s so slick, It hurts. CB is one of those shows. Featuring what I consider to be the greatest soundtrack of all time (Thanks to Yoko Kanno and the jazz band “The Seatbelts”), this bluesy action adventure will keep you in suspense and amazement every installment. Despite only having 26 episodes to the entire series, this show is considered by a vast majority of anime fans and critics alike to be the best anime series ever crafted. In other words, Watch it!

9: Dragon Ball (1986, Series)
Directed by: Minoru Okazaki, Daisuke Nishio

DB is possibly one of the most action packed, violent, testosterone fueled anime series ever to grace the eyes of human kind. Every minute of every episode is dedicated to advancing the story in the most over-the-top-violent way possible. The action level is so ludicrous, it somehow makes this show work. If you’re an action junkie who loves to watch some serious ass kicking from time to time, this is the show for you.

8: The Guyver (1989, Series)
Directed By: Koichi Ishiguro


Not to be mistaken with MacGyver, swiss-knife toting genius extraordinaire, The Guyver series is B3K Editor Phil’s favorite anime series of all time. Described as a more badass Japanese version of Iron Man, this show won’t disappoint those who love action and some serious super-suit mayhem.

7: Space Battleship Yamato (1974, Series)
Directed by: Leiji Matsumoto

Battleship in space! Ok, it’s more than that, but basically that’s the basis of the story. The series follows the plight of the Space Battleship Yamato as it fights major space battles in the name of the homeland. Unlike many other series on the list, this one is pure drama. Personally I’ve never watched it, but I hear good things about it. If you’re feeling adventurous, Give it a try!

6: Outlaw Star (1998, Series)
Directed by: Mitsuru Hongo


A quirky space adventure series in the vein of Cowboy Bebop and Trigun (1998 was a big year for the space opera genre), this show manages to hold it’s own in comparison. The series follows Gene Starwind and his ragtag group of treasure hunters as the jet the galaxy in search of the mysterious treasure trove known only as the “Galactic Leyline”. Featuring wacky humor shadowed by dark drama (sounds like a pattern during 1998, eh?), many fans swear by this series. If you’re a fan of Cowboy Bebop, Trigun or both, check this series out.

5: Ronin Warriors (1988, Series)
Directed by: Masashi Ikeda

There isn’t much to describe about this series. Five mystical Ronin come together in order to save the world from evil. What you can’t describe is watching the series. This series is an anime classic in it’s purest sense. Check it out.

4: Robotech: The Macross Saga
Directed by: Noboru Ishiguro


Considered to be better than Gundam (I wouldn’t know, Not much of a mech-suit fan), this series went on to spawn several seasons and movies furthering the epic war tale. If you like mech-war genre anime series, this is a must see. Word to the wise, although it’s called Robotech here in the states, it was originally by another title in Japan. The Robotech version released here in the states is edited to ribbons and is generally considered to be crap. If you want to see the original Macross in all of it’s former glory, but dubbed in English, look up the version published by ADV Films.

3: Trigun (1998, Series)
Directed by: Satoshi Nishimura

My favorite anime series of all time, Trigun is the ultimate Space Western. Featuring only 26 episodes to the entire series (and a movie that was released this year), this show is the funniest, most dramatic, action packed, unorthodox anime you will ever watch. Nothing is as it seems and the issues touched upon in later episodes are darker than most would have ever seen coming. There is no way to explain that which is Trigun, so do yourself a favor and go watch it!

2: Lupin The Third (1971, Series)
Directed by: Masaaki Osumi, Hayao Miyazaki*, Isao Takahata

(* Hayao Miyazaki used the surname “Teruki Tsutomu” in the Lupin credits)
Being one of the biggest inspirations for the later anime Series “Cowboy Bebop” (Number 10 on our list), you know this show is a witty, slick adventure. If you love “Heist” movies, You will absolutely love Lupin the Third and his gang of thieves. Each episode depicts the antics of Lupin and his cohorts trying to make their fortunes via some unscrupulous means. Despite it’s age, the show is still relevant to today with it’s dialog, humor and overall theme. If you want to have a good time, watch Lupin the third.

1: Vampire Hunter D (1985, Feature Film)
Directed by: Toyoo Ashida


Being the only feature film on a list dominated by series, you know it has to be good. Set in a post apocalyptic future, you follow a Lone Gunman/Vampire Hunter known simply as “D”. To explain anymore would ruin the movie completely. Just let it be known, this isn’t some “Twilight” crap (Sorry to the fans, I call it like I see it). If you’d like to hearken back to a time when Vampires were badass and Castlevania was king, this movie is the place to find it.

There you have it, Some of the best that Old School Japanimation has to offer. Despite their age, all the works listed above still maintain the ability to suck you in and keep you glued to your seat for hours on end. Happy viewing!

2 Responses to “Ten Best: ‘Old-School’ anime series you should be watching”

  • you forgot soul eater dude…thanks very much for this its really a gift u gave me

  • swimmingbird

    Another great one, that I believe deserves honorable mention and is pretty rare, is, Golden Boy, directed by Hiroyuki Kitakubo. It’s a bit absurd and crude (bordering pornographic) at times, but it’s generally got some great philosophy. The show ran in 1995 to 1996, there are six episodes; and the manga from 1992 to 1998, and there are 10 volumes.