The Best '90s Anime to Watch in 2023

The best anime from the 1990s you should revisit in 2023.

With all of the great new anime that come out lately, it might be tough to squeeze in time for classics but there are definitely a few anime from the 1990s that you should make some time to revisit as an adult in 2023! If you are a part of a certain generation, then it's likely that you were also benefiting from the work that anime fans did in the 1970s and 1980s to bring more anime outside of Japan to the United States and other territories. Anime started to really grow in the 1990s and beyond, and that means some of the biggest hits grew out of the era as well. 

The best part about many of these anime series from the 1990s is how well they still hold up to this day. This includes franchises that are still releasing new entries after all these years, and many franchises that stand the test of time with incredible works to look back on all these years later. Read on to see some of the 1990s anime classics that you should check out this year when you get the chance, and let us know your favorites in the comments! 

The Best '90s Anime to Revisit as an Adult

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(Photo: Toei Animation)

Sailor Moon 

  • What's The Anime About? "Usagi Tsukino is a clumsy but kindhearted teenage girl who transforms into the powerful guardian of love and justice, Sailor Moon. Meeting allies along the way who share similar fates, Usagi and her team of planetary Sailor Guardians fight to protect the universe from forces of evil and total annihilation."
  • Why You Should Watch It Now: It's hard to think of some of the biggest anime of the 1990s without bringing up Sailor Moon. Not only has it gone on to inspire multiple anime, manga, and animated series across the world in the decades since, but you'd be hard pressed to find a series that's also as compelling as one might expect from its legendary status. With its big revival movies, there's no better time than ever to check out than now.
  • Where to Watch: You can now find Sailor Moon streaming on Hulu and with its own channel on Pluto TV.
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(Photo: Shueisha)

Yu Yu Hakusho

  • What's the Anime About? "From cutting classes to brawling in the streets, Yusuke Urameshi is not your typical role model. In fact, this kid's nothing more than a fourteen-year-old delinquent with a talent for trouble. But in a single selfless act Yusuke dies while saving another. For such noble sacrifice he is given a second chance at life, but it's to be a life far different than the one left behind. Now a Spirit Detective, the young man must track down demons and humans alike who desire to rule over the three realms of reality."
  • Why You Should Watch It Now: If you want a great example of a '90s anime that continues to hold up well, then Yu Yu Hakusho is your best bet. Not only is it a rare example of a 1990s release with both an incredible English subtitled and dubbed release, but its action still has some of the most iconic arcs and animation in the decades since. Check out the Dark Tournament arc if you want some peak '90s anime action. 
  • Where to Watch: You can find Yu Yu Hakusho now streaming on Crunchyroll, Hulu, and Tubi. 
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(Photo: Toei Animation)

Dragon Ball Z

  • What's the Anime About? "Goku—the strongest fighter on the planet—is all that stands between humanity and villains from the darkest corners of space. Joined in battle by the Z-Fighters, Goku travels to distant realms in search of the magic powers of the seven Dragon Balls!"
  • Why You Should Watch It Now: I mean, there's no bigger franchise that Dragon Ball. It was such a hit that the franchise is still active to this day with new manga and anime releases. It's probably the best encapsulation of what one thinks of with a "1990s anime" comes to mind, and Dragon Ball knocks it all out of the park for a reason. Tons of action, memorable characters, and much more that fans are still loving to this day.
  • Where to Watch: You can check out Dragon Ball Z now streaming on Crunchyroll. 
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(Photo: Madhouse)

Trigun

  • What's the Anime About? "Vash the Stampede is a wanted gunslinger with a habit of turning entire towns into rubble. His path of destruction reaches across the wastelands of a desert planet. Oddly enough, for such an infamous outlaw, there's no proof he's ever taken a life. In fact, he's a pacifist who's more doofus than desperado. There's definitely a whole lot more to Vash than his reputation lets on."
  • Why You Should Watch It Now: Trigun recently returned with a new reboot anime series not too long ago, so it's the best time to check out the anime that helped to start it all. It took on its own original take from where the manga had gone, and it's already a different experience from the reboot too. If you want a different kind of Western shaded flavor to your action with a great main character, this is the one to check out. 
  • Where to Watch: You can check out Trigun now streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu
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(Photo: Sunrise)

Cowboy Bebop

  • What's the Anime About? "The Bebop crew is just trying to make a buck. This motley lot of intergalactic loners teams up to track down fugitives and turn them in for cold hard cash. Spike is a hero whose cool façade hides a dark and deadly past. The pilot Jet is a bruiser of a brute who can't wait to collect the next bounty. Faye Valentine is a femme fatale prone to breaking hearts and separating fools from their money. Along for the ride are the brilliant, but weird, hacker Ed and a super-genius Welsh Corgi named Ein."
  • Why You Should Watch Now: Cowboy Bebop might have had an attempt at a live-action series, but it further showcased how impossible it is to improve on perfection. If there's one anime from the 1990s decade that every fan should see at least once, it's Cowboy Bebop. It's got some of the most notable scenes in anime, well, ever, and fans should definitely check out why it's been such a big deal after all these years. 
  • Where to Watch: You can now check out Cowboy Bebop streaming on Crunchyroll, Tubi, Hulu, and Netflix

What are some of your favorite '90s anime to revisit in 2023? Let us know all of your favorites in the comments!