Top 10 Most Nostalgic Anime

While catching up with the newest anime, have any of them reminded you of any classic anime you watched in your childhood? Here’s my ten most memorable anime of all time.


1. Evangelion

Evangelion is infamous with it’s deep and complicated plots, especially with it’s clever use of references and symbolism. The characters had also made a made a huge impact around the globe too. They are deep, dark and are more then what is shown by their appearances, constantly suffering in psychological pain while fighting against the Angels. Evangelion is awesome with their execution, and it’s portrayal of the plot and characters are second to none. Even in future years to come, I’m sure Evangelion will still be the talk of the town.


2. Dragon Ball

Probably one of the most nostalgic shows ever. Dragon Ball is one of the earliest shows which sets the shounen trend in action. Many other newer shounen anime, subtly uses Dragon Ball as the foundation for various other settings and characters. Dragon Ball is one of the best martial arts themed anime and their action sequences are epic on a grand scale.


3. Fist of the North Star

Most nostalgic, most badass and the most manliest anime one can ever find. You follow the role of Kenshiro, a man with seven scars on his chest. He is out of vengeance, and has no problems using his insane martial arts skills to blast everyone from the inside. He is badass, he has no mercy and everyone who block his way would only meet their doomsday. I still remember his badass catchphrase up to this day: “You’re already dead.”


4. Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon is one of the most, if not, the most oldest and nostalgic mainstream magical girls themed anime. Like Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon is also one of the earliest anime I stumbled upon on TV, with horrid English/Malay voice acting, and is another anime which I tried to keep up with on TV. Witnessing Usagi and the rest of the Sailor senshi saving Earth from the Dark Kingdom was pretty nice and awesome.


5. Yu Yu Hakusho

When you find out you can shoot laser beams from your index finger, you are fated to be a spiritual detective. Yu Yu Hakusho features one such character, Yusuke. Immersing into Yusuke’s shoes is quite entertaining since Yu Yu Hakusho’s settings are quite interesting. The actions here are just as great as well, and is a show which displays one of my favorite and most nostalgic fights ever, Yusuke VS Toguro in the tournament.


6. Serial Experiments Lain

Serial Experiments Lain, did a fine job of creating a mysterious atmosphere at the starting episodes, forming a thrilling suspense for all viewers. It stars Lain, the main heroine who actually doesn’t know much about computers, but as she learns more about the Wired, she starts getting into computers, and begins to understand more of the “other side.” Watching this anime and seeing all of those CRT monitors are nostalgic as hell, not to mention that I like technology and computers too. However, it’s not just about computers that is so engaging. The anime had so many philosophical plot elements it felt like another Evangelion, and chances are if you like Evangelion, maybe you would come to like this too.


7. Rurouni Kenshin

No super powers, no mecha. Rurouni Kenshin is a memorable show which focuses plainly on swordfights and bloodbath, yet, even without relying on those, the show had one of the best actions in the shounen anime industry. Kenshin was also quite a fun character as well, at times, he is just an ordinary swordsman with a bit of comedic relief, and at times, he subtly reverts back to his Battousai days, fending off foes from Kenshin’s dark past. Rurouni Kenshin’s portrayal of deepness and emotions, makes it one of the most memorable shows in years to come.


8. Initial D

Ahh Initial D, one of the first shows to blend in the use of 2D and 3D in anime. The car race scenes, which were fully animated in 3D are the best part of the series. This is the obvious reason why the anime should be watched instead of manga as words and pictures can only bring you so far. The characters in the series face a constant danger of crashing at anytime and it’s exciting just knowing that your main character would have some mishaps at any moment. A lot of time had passed since the last stage finished and even after all these years, I’m still waiting patiently for a barely possible 5th stage.


9. Cardcaptor Sakura

When you talk about magical girls, they don’t have to be tall, gracious or have a sexy figure. Even elementary lolis can be magical girls! Sakura from Cardcaptor Sakura is one prime example, and she is good magician indeed. Seeing her waving her wand solving problems everywhere is fun and seeing her is probably why I enjoyed the whole series thoroughly. Sakura and Syaoran’s interaction is cute too, and some of the mystery behind some of the other characters add even more impact to the overall viewing experience.


10. Slam Dunk

Basketballs is the most favorite sport played by people all around the world, especially us Chinese here, played basketball ever since we were kids. Slam Dunk might had played a role in this regard, as it is one of the best sports anime to ever aired on TV. Slam Dunk depicts a group of extremely tall high school students, slam dunking their way to the top of the nations, it is the epitome of fitness and nostalgia.

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28 thoughts on “Top 10 Most Nostalgic Anime

  1. So much Nostalgia in one post. I only finished Cardcaptor Sakura a month or so ago and it still holds up in pretty much every aspect.

    Same goes for Lain. It might not be the prettiest anime around but it has qualities a lot of anime now days is lacking.

    it’s crazy how many of these things are getting reboots lately too. There is the Evangelion movies and that Kenshin remake.

    • It’s so nice that you’re able to find time for some of these classics :D Classic anime sometimes give me a different feel from the new ones, not saying the new ones are bad, just different atmospheres and stuffs.

      Lol, and I’m thinking Nitroplus will probably be involved if Lain’s having a reboot, though the possibility of a reboot for that is not likely..

    • Doraemon and Devilman are pretty nice from that list. I watched bits and pieces of Kitaro in TV, but not enough to make a proper judgement. Sad to say, I don’t know about the others @.@

  2. A Cruel Angel’s Thesis? hahaha Evangelion hit home quite close, same with Initial D, I hoped to see Bunta drive more before XD Yu yu Hakusho and Ruruoni Kenshin, they’re OPs are still in my playlist, I guess classics can never be beaten when it comes to the, “damn, how long has it been” category

    • Evangelion’s great indeed and Initial D’s just as awesome :D I haven’t even get enough of Project D actually >_> Ahh some music from classics are good too, I like Evangelion’s ED. Yep, true, nothing can beat the good old classics~

  3. Childhood nostalgia: Astro Boy, Mysterious Cities of Gold, Night on the Galactic Railroad
    Highschool nostalgia: Patlabor, Escaflowne, Trigun, Nukunuku
    College nostalgia: Mononoke Hime, Cowboy Bebop, Tsuiokuhen

    • Nice list :D I didn’t include anime movies in this list, since I have a feeling I will be putting tons of Studio Ghibli movies in it, and also, I rarely even watch anime movies. I plan to broaden my anime movies experience soon..

      • Yeah, but when you’re talking nostalgia, it’s hard to stop at series :)

        Mononoke, for instance, was the first anime movie my wife and I saw together on the big screen. Nukunuku was the first import I watched, and the first anime in general after a long hiatus. Tsuiokuhen was, I think, the first anime that managed to squeeze a tear out of my young, macho self.

        When it comes to Ghibli nostalgia, I stopped at Mononoke intentionally, so I wouldn’t have to sit down for an hour reminiscing about Porco Rosso, Fireflies, etc.. but I guess it’s Saturday so why not?

        • Yes indeed, but not to worry, I plan to do something with anime movies soon enough.. just need to watch more of them first :x

          Monononoke is definitely one of the best Ghibli films, but others like Totoro, Laputa and Spirited Away make judging the “best Ghibli” film quite a difficult task.

          I didn’t watch Nukunuku but Tsuiokuhen is quite damn awesome. As for forcing tears out of me though, Clannad still did that the best D:

  4. Ey, Kai. I’ve been meaning to ask this for a while. In your top 10 posts, is number 1 to 10 actually reversed? I’m quite confused, others normally start with 10 and end with 1, you see.

    • Depends on the lists. If I didn’t say anything in regards to the order, that means the list is not in any particular order. For this list, it is not arranged in any order.

  5. I remember DragonballZ, Sailor Moon and Card Captor Sakura when they aired on KidsWB back in the late 90s to early 2000s. I heartd that 4Kids botched up the latter because of the pointless edits and dub voices. Still, it was fun as it brings a lot of memories. Of course, I grew up with Pokemon and stopped watching in 2008 since I got bored of it.

    • TV and their dubs indeed.. lol. Not just CCS but 4Kids had botched up a number of good shows. Pokemon = Never ending story indeed :D At some point, I had even stopped catching up with their games, lol.

  6. I’ve actually watched half of those (Dragon Ball, Ghost Fighter, Samurai X, Cardcaptor Sakura and Slam Dunk) since way back so yeah, Nostalgia Drive! ^^

    To answer your question though, I don’t think there has been a show these past seasons that reminded me of these “classics”. The old school shounen, with the four/five-man team doesn’t come around as often anymore.

    • Should be no surprise since some of these are very mainstream shows.

      Actually, shounen itself isn’t such a popular genre anymore. Even modern shounen anime like Nurayihon no Mago doesn’t seem like it’s as popular as other well known ones.. though judging less strictly, it is still somewhat well received..

  7. Ahh Initial D :) The tv stations here still show it here until this day. Perhaps they too want to relive the days in which most anime was hand-drawn and 3d integration was new. Still have their soundtracks on the mp4 haha. Didn’t know there was one possible stage. Intriguing.

    • Ooh that’s cool :D Not sure if some of mine’s still available, though Animax shows no sign of airing it.. yet. And they did it with lack of technological power unlike today, kudos to them, they really are awesome. Oh yea, Initial D’s soundtracks is quite nice indeed. Nah, it’s barely possible, actually, the possibility’s close to nothing, lol. There are only talks or rumors about it, for a few years already. The manga DO have more materials to work with so again, perhaps there will be a miracle…

  8. Late:
    Slam Dunk and Yuyu Hakusho ftw
    but Dragonball takes nostalgia to the max, everyone knew dragonball

    • Yes indeed but I’m surprised nobody talk about Evangelion yet. It may be a bit controversial to some but it’s one of the best and most nostalgic series ever.

  9. I think you have a pretty solid list. One anime I’d liketo mention is Ranma 1/2. While I haven’t seen it myself, I think it’s one of anime’s most nostalgic series since it was hugely popular and some people still talk about it.

    • Ahh you’re right. Ranma 1/2 completely slipped my mind. I watched quite a bit when I was a kid, and managed to finish everything a little later during my AXN/Animax days, lol. It’s a good series no doubt.

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