Top 50 Classic Anime


Nikkei has compiled a ranking of the top classic anime dating from the sixties to the nineties based on a survey of Japanese of all generation, resulting in a fairly definitive indication of just which anime really have stood the test of time – though Japan’s demographics being what they are, the results may be too classic for some…

The ranking:

1. Gundam (1979)

2. Dragon Ball (1986)

3. Tonari no Totoro (1988)

4. Space Battleship Yamato (1974)

5. Laputa (1986)

6. Doraemon (1979)

7. Lupin III Series 2 (1977)

8. Sazae-san (1969)

9. Ginga Tetsudou 999 (1978)

10. City Hunter (1987)

11. Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995)

12. One Piece (1999)

13. Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

14. Slam Dunk (1993)

15. Alps no Shoujo Heidi (1974)

16. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

17. Manga Nihon Mukashibanashi (1975)

18. Touch (1985)

19. Fist of the North Star (1984)

20. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

21. Yu Yu Hakusho (1992)

22. Case Closed (1996)

23. Mahoutsukai Sally (1966)

24. Candy Candy (1976)

25. Ghost in the Shell (1995)

26. Cowboy Bebop (1998)

27. Mirai Shounen Conan (1978)

28. Chibiko Maruko-chan (1990)

29. Rose of Versailles (1979)

30. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (1992)

31. Kyojin no Hanashi (1968)

32. Cyborg 009 (1968)

33. Ashita no Joe (1970)

34. Yattaman (1977)

35. Dr. Slump (1981)

36. Urusei Yatsura (1981)

37. Haikara-san ga Tooru (1978)

38. Cat’s Eye (1983)

39. Tetsuwan Atom (1963)

40. Flanders no Inu (1975)

41. Crayon Shin-chan (1992)

42. Gegege ni Kitarou (1968)

43. Youkai Ningen Bemu (1968)

44. Rurouni Kenshin (1996)

45. Tiger Mask (1969)

46. Hakushon Daimaou (1969)

47. Maison Ikkoku (1986)

48. Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu (1988)

49. Obake no Qtarou (1965)

50. Initial D (1998)

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    Avatar of Waffles
    Comment by Waffles
    00:28 19/03/2014 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Gunbuster is not in the list, what a shame

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:53 19/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Maybe if there was a top 100 list? Then we'd see stuff like Gunbuster, Escaflowne, Cardcaptor Sakura, Akira, Dirty Pair, Tenchi Muyo, Trigun, Cutey Honey, Mazinger Z, Harenchi Gakuen, Macross, Ranma, Gatchaman, Tekkaman, Casshern, Time Bokan, Jojo, Machiko Sensei, GTO, Hajimme no Ippo, Sakigake Otokojuku, Devilman, Oh My Goddess, Kinnikuman, Captain Taylor, Excel Saga, Nadesico, Slayers, Warau Salesman, Saint Saiya, etc...

    Avatar of kamehappo
    Comment by kamehappo
    09:53 20/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Very good choices!!!

    Avatar of Reboot
    Comment by Reboot
    02:09 19/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    You have Evangelion. That's enough GAINAX for a whole list.

    Avatar of Shaolan-kun
    Comment by Shaolan-kun
    03:45 19/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nadia >>> Evangelion

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-04
    08:26 19/03/2014 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Lost Island Filler destroyed Nadia.

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-04
    04:45 19/03/2014 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Even though technically speaking Gainax never had the rights to Evangelion. And now with all their capable staff gone.. well.. Gainax is pretty much dead.

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-04
    21:00 19/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Newsflash: Anno left Gainax nearly 10 years ago.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:03 22/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)


    As was already pointed out: Gainax never had the rights to Evangelion. What the fuck do you think why he even could found a new studio and make more Evangelion? Because he owns the rights. Not Gainax.

    That's why Gainax isn't mentioned anywhere on the new movies. They're from khara. Anno's new studio.

    Officially he resigned later, but what do you think how long he worked on the first rebuild movie released in 2007? And what was the last anime he was involved with while working for Gainax? Top o Nerae! 2 from 2004.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:32 19/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    What in the world are you talking about? Hideaki Anno 'wrote' the script from start to end and Anno is one of the Founders of Gainax.

    I don't know how you got the impression Gainax 'requires' rights to Evangelion.

    Please go back into the hole whence you came from chenchen.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Anno 'resigned' in 2007, which is actually 6 years and a few months ago. Not exactly a 'decade'.

    Anno 'resigned' from his position, unless he claimed all rights to the Evangelion franchise, Gainax owns the rights.

    I just wanted to point out the ridiculous accusations chenchen was making.

    Comment by Anonymous

    actually i'm opted for Secret Of Blue Water or FLCL but the latter is more like a cult classic.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:11 26/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    What about Ranma1/2?

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:43 19/03/2014 # ! Good (+0.8)

    No Macross. That's not right.

    Avatar of Anyien
    Comment by Anyien
    01:52 19/03/2014 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Yeah, together with Gundam it was the Anime that revolutionized the mecha genre...

    It should have at least been on the list.

    Avatar of Octopi
    Comment by Octopi
    04:10 19/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    No Macross, or Saint Seiya,Ranma 1/2 but Initial D is there? I understand a lot of the titles are there because of time, but Initial D?

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:57 19/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    A lot of fans refer to the older stuff as better, and things like SEED being crap not because it's new, but because SEED took Mobile Suit Gundam, tried to make its series an updated VERSION of the original gundam. And failed miserably. The original MSG was good--and the result of SEED was devastating. A lot of japs love it, though. Wing wasn't so much crap, as it was shitty. IT was alright for what it was, but the problems that Wing suffered from wasn't nearly as bad as what Seed suffered from. Leos (basic Zaku/grunt suits in Wing) were destroyed easily. Always. Everything would blow them up from rocks, to stray shells, to empty shells to dud bullets. Leos were absolutely weak, however, you throw a Gboy in there--and all of a sudden the Leos is now 100x stronger, can destroy any Leo, can handle a gundam, and can also never be blown up.

    Wing suffered from the plot armor that Kira had, in Seed. In all honesty--had there been no Kira, Seed would have been 900x better, considering the plot armor on Kira is thicker than any mobile suit armor could ever hope to be.

    As for Initial D being the last--I'm actually glad it came on the top 50, considering I love Initial D, but I am surprised it's not higher on the list. That being said, Cowboy Bebop being 26 seemed very low for my standards, but, out of the top fifty, who knows.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:13 19/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    SEED is genuinely shit, though.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:53 19/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Better animation? WAT

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:30 20/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I'm wondering how Gundam Build Fighters is. I'm interested in it for the milf.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:40 23/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    >>Fact of the matter, all anime get gradually worse by virtue of new anime having better animation. So that leaves you mostly with story but hey.. old stories tend to be boring and outdated.

    Because what's always been most important about animus is how shiny and pretty they are. Fuck off.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:18 19/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    Really? I've seen most Gundam fans refer to the older ones to be the best... they always refer to stuff like Wing and SEED as crap or overrated.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Initial D is probably the biggest thing that spawned out of the whole drifting phenomenon in Japan, so making it to the very bottom shouldn't be impossible, but yeah there are many others missing... I'd like to see a top 100, but still the ordering is confusing. Something like One Piece just made it so high because it's got so many fans today. It's still a popularity contest after all, only made more refined by restricting the nominations to better show what could have stood the test of time.

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-04
    08:24 19/03/2014 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Original Gundam didn't stood the test of time, though. It just has lots of fans that remember how they liked it way back than.

    Fact of the matter, all anime get gradually worse by virtue of new anime having better animation. So that leaves you mostly with story but hey.. old stories tend to be boring and outdated.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Gundam 0079 sucked ass. As a historic title that created a watered down successful franchise it holds significance, but Gundam 0079 was never good.

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-04
    08:24 19/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Being Amuro is SUFFERING.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:20 19/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    That's why there's a giant gundam monument in Japan today?

    Comment by Anonymous

    When you look at it from Amuro's PoV yes, Gundam was lackluster. But How many people can get a headshot with a bazooka and still keep the body intact. I can name them on one hand.


    End of list...

    Macross was revolutionary, yes; but it is by far the one of the most underrated classics of anime. Even then, Do You Remember Love is what made it relevant

    Avatar of Fonzer
    Comment by Fonzer
    01:58 19/03/2014 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Yeah SDF Macross is my top anime.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Macross Frontier ftw

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:39 19/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Without Macross, this whole list is discredited.

    Avatar of kamehappo
    Comment by kamehappo
    09:40 20/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    You can always get good laughs from these ridiculous lists.
    I don`t believe there is any meaning with these lists where very different anime compete, as little as there is no any reason to make creation of music to competition.

    To add to my faves from old times, i love Haruhi and K-on too! So there, you haters, wasting away your lives!

    You don`t win anything being cynical.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:06 20/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    There's a difference between what you personally like and what should be considered a classic. Some people like Ed Wood, I guess his movies should be classics too? Micheal Bay? Lots of classics there. Lets not forget Twilight, instant classic.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:00 22/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Well this list is about classics. Also, from the 20s to 50s there were some successful and even popular films that are not regarded as classics today. They just didn't stand the test of time. Time for a lot of critical retrospect is needed to determine what can reconsidered classic.

    Avatar of kamehappo
    Comment by kamehappo
    03:26 22/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don`t mind if i am watching classics or not, i watch everything strictly for my personal entertainment.
    Sorry, i have seen very little American TV & Movies over 25 last years, only some Seinfeld and such.
    I have no opinion of newer USA production. But i love classic movies from 20`s to 50`s!

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-04
    21:25 20/03/2014 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    If you ask X people about old anime and none of them ever watched Macross, but all those other anime on the list... what does that say about Macross?

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    06:46 19/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    It really makes no sense. I wonder why it's not on there... there must be some weird reason, it must have been exempt from voting...? Both Super Dimension Macross and Do You Remember Love are definitely considered classics in Japan, right?

    Avatar of kamehappo
    Comment by kamehappo
    09:48 20/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Anonymous

    Nah. What is Macross? You mean NARUTO?! NARUTO and BLEACH NUMBER 1!

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:55 20/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    wouldnt be surprised if serious

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:14 20/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    obvious sarcasm?

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:45 19/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Anonymous
    01:18 20/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Japanese people have forgotten love.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:47 28/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    no macross, not right

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:45 19/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    i can't see why even DYRL isn't on the list

    Comment by Anonymous

    and One Piece doesnt belong in there.... pffft lol

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:57 20/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    One Piece is like the most popular manga series in Japan at the moment and has been for a long time.

    Avatar of kamehappo
    Comment by kamehappo
    09:52 20/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I didn`t like OP when it began, but in around 2007 i suddenly became a big fan of Mugiwara`s gang.
    Mari Yaguchi`s fault?

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:32 19/03/2014 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    keep telling yourself that edgekun

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:15 19/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    it actually belongs on the top spot

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