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Top 10 Older Anime You NEED to Watch

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Written by Alex Crilly-Mckean If you wanna be a real anime fan, you’ve gotta go back to the good ol’ days. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting our picks for the top ten older anime you need to watch. For this list, we’ll be looking at anime primarily from the 70s and 80s that are such classics that they should still be sought out by fans. Be ready to indulge in some true golden oldies.
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Top 10 Older Anime You NEED to Watch




If you wanna be a real anime fan, you’ve gotta go back to the good ol’ days. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting our picks for the top ten older anime you need to watch.



For this list, we’ll be looking at anime primarily from the 70s and 80s that are such classics that they should still be sought out by fans.

Be ready to indulge in some true golden oldies.



#10: “Rose of Versailles” (1979-80)


Want to learn about the French Revolution? Well, you could do worse than taking a gander at this animated portrayal of French royalty on the cusp of their dynasty’s end. What ensures that this rose still blooms into a series worth watching is the character of Oscar; a woman raised as a man, and who eventually rises up to become captain of the royal guards. Thanks to her conflicted relationship with Marie Antoinette, the series pulls off some entrancing storytelling when it wants to.



#9: “Tomorrow’s Joe” (1970-81)


Nothing like a true underdog story, especially one that features boxing. For those that adore the likes of Hajime No Ippo, the tale of Joe Yabuki’s rise from violent youth to professional will have you cheering before you know it. Gifted when it comes to brawling, Joe’s life is turned around when his life is saved by an alcoholic ex-boxing trainer, who proceeds to teach Joe how to use his fists to make something of himself.



#8: “Kimagure Orange Road” (1987-88)


Draaaaaama! In what has to be a rather awkward love triangle, a young esper named Kyousuke finds himself falling pretty hard for the beautiful Madoka, who, much to his surprise, is infamous for being a delinquent. If that wasn’t complicated enough, Kyousuke finds himself earning the affection of Madoka’s best friend Hikaru. Thus we have our love triangle, but one with a much more interesting edge than compared to some modern romance anime.



#7: “Saint Seiya” (1986-89)


Athena doesn’t know how lucky she is to have the Pegasus Saint by her side. A shonen series of divine proportions, it chronicles the various battles and heroics of the reincarnated Greek Goddess along with orphan turned galactic superhero Seiya. It’s got everything you could want from an old school fantasy-action-fest, including combat techniques that could break a planet in half, awesomely over the top villains, a set of protagonists you’re bound to get invested over its one hundred plus episodes, and it even starts things off with a tournament arc!



#6: “Macross” series (1982-)


Affectionately known as Robotech over here in the west, the Macross franchise is famous for a multitude of things, especially in regards to its killer soundtrack and titular space station. While there are still plenty of threats and tension to keep you in invested, if you fancy diving nose first into a series that’s not afraid to put love triangles and electronic music at the forefront, then any anime baring the Macross brand should prove to be a delightful viewing experience.



#5: “Fist of the North Star” (1984-88)


Do we really need to give you an excuse to watch this series?

It’s got Kenshiro in it; one of the most badass protagonists of all times! Set in a post-apocalyptic world infested with the worst humanity has to offer, only one man has the courage and oversized muscles capable of protecting the innocent. It’s all about the action here folks. Bloody, limb-exploding action. All courtesy of Kenshiro’s mastery of the excessively deadly martial art Hokuto Shinken. He pokes you, you die.



#4: “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” (1984)


Obviously, we could rant and rave about the majority of Miyazaki’s work for days on end, but we felt that this particular princess deserves all the love she can get.

Layered with the director’s signature brilliance, Nausicaa’s struggle to save both her people as well as what remains of nature against a tyrannical regime will easily sweep you off its feet.

With stunning art design and a female lead who knew how to take charge, in our book this one easily stands shoulder to shoulder with the best anime movie titles.


#3: “Gunbuster” (1988-89)


About time we arrived at a mecha series, and this one is something special.

If you’re a fan of Evangelion, then this is a look at how its creator got started – and you’ll also see the inspiration for shows like Gurren Lagann.

Its mostly-female cast of characters are relatable, competent and investing, but the series throws them into a terrifying battle against alien invaders of ungodly proportions.

As the passage of time accelerates the longer Noriko and company spend away from Earth, they’re forced to confront the fact that with every victory, they increasingly become strangers to the world around them.



#2: “Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam” (1985-86)


And you thought that the original series was dark! Taking the foundation that Amuro and Char had laid down and throwing in even more raw emotion, we’re forced to witness intergalactic war at its cruellest courtesy of our tortured protagonist Kamille. Yes, the battles are awesome and the Mobile Suits are slick as hell, but after witnessing tragedy upon tragedy through Kamille’s eyes even we want the conflict to come to a close. There are too many tear-jerking moments to count, but if you can bare through it, you’re looking at a real gem.



#1: “Legend of the Galactic Heroes” (1988-97)


There are certainly plenty of space battles littered throughout this marathon of a series, but oddly enough that’s not its main appeal. That honour is reserved for its characters, philosophies, and its approach to the politics of war. As two warring factions, the Galactic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance, are consumed in a seemingly never-ending conflict, we follow the rise of either sides’ unspoken champions; Reinhard and Yang, whose actions and choices on and off the battlefield slowly start to change the tide of the war, affecting countless lives in the process…

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