The ’90s were a known era for some of the most popular anime of all time—Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, Yu Yu Hakusho, and more; It was a time when the anime was booming not only in Japan, but on the verge of one in the world.
Back then, animated series with OVAs and movies were often the ones where fans got many of the best animated quality cartoons, with the budget usually being much higher than for an average TV episode. Because the films would premiere in theaters, the best studios and directors took on these projects. However, sometimes these films were little more than a grab of money, or if they were beautiful, they lacked other means that created different problems.
ten Aging well: Princess Mononoke
Princess mononoke follows the story of San and Ashitaka, two young people who stand up against the threat of Lady Eboshi Gozen and her Iron City. As Eboshi continues to destroy the forest for the sake of his Iron City, the anger of the forest and its spirits increases, leading to a war between man and nature itself. Of course, by now most fans are familiar with the plot of Princess Mononoke, largely because it is one of Studio Ghibli’s most famous works ever made. It has only gained in impact over the years, with Studio Ghibli becoming known as one of the best places to find “good anime”.
9 Hasn’t Aged Well: Fatal Fury: The Movie
People enjoyed this movie based on a popular SNK fighting game franchise when it was released for beautiful animation, but times have changed. The expectations for a good adaptation are different today than they were then, and just being there isn’t enough for people to look fondly at something. The fights don’t look like what people expect from the Fatal Fury universe, and all of that doesn’t mean anything on the fan service scene with Mai.
8 Well aged: Perfect blue
Perfect blue is the debut film by director Satoshi Kon. The film is about a young girl leaving her group J-Pop CHAM! pursue an acting career. The only problem is, the stress of the acting world is way different than she expected, and the longer she tries, the harder things seem to get. Perfect blue is not just a visual showcase, but an incredibly insightful commentary on the movie and idol industry in Japan in the 90s.
7 Haven’t Aged Well: Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn
There is a lot to love about this episode of a Dragon ball z movie. Undoubtedly more to like than the average series of films, of course. It presents the first look at Gogeta, a fusion of Goku and Vegeta, which was brought about because of the fusion dance rather than the Potara earrings.
There’s also Janemba, one of the best-designed villains of all movies. But Janemba, in general, reminds viewers how Dragon ball z the bad guys have been for years; they lack originality, Janemba being just another version of Buu. At least the action is decent.
6 Aging Well: Pokemon: The First Movie
Pokemon was one of the first “fads” to never go away, even though parents were sure the kids would be fed up. It is still as important today as it was over twenty years ago. And the first Pokemon the film remains well-loved among all who have aired. His appearance in theaters meant kids around the world could see their favorite characters in Ash and Pikachu brought to the big screen. Mewtwo was the Legendary Pokemon, impossible to catch at the end of the original game. The first movie turns him into a villain with plans to destroy humanity for what Giovanni and Team Rocket did to him. This movie isn’t just a fun trip down memory lane, but legitimately moves in parts – even now people are crying as they watch Ash turn to stone.
5 I haven’t aged well: the movie Yu Yu Hakusho
This film is a disappointment all the way. Yusuke and the others must find someone responsible for the kidnapping of Koenma, Yusuke’s boss. The kidnapper demands the Golden Seal of King Enma, something that absolutely cannot fall into the hands of a random monster. This is the main conflict in the movie, but it’s an extended twenty-four minute episode unrelated to the main plot and doesn’t even offer an epic feel as it’s too short to make it. Considering this is a glorified charge, it would have been better not to be presented to Yu Yu Hakusho at all.
4 Aging Well: Ghost In The Shell
As society becomes more and more influenced by technology, any story that shows what the future might look like becomes all the more compelling. Ghost in the shell is not only interesting from this point of view, however. It is a master class both in terms of art design and animation. The story is set in an advanced city in 2029, following Major Motoko Kusanagi as she works on the case of a hacker known as Puppet Master, and anyone who hasn’t watched the movie before. should make plans for the weekend the next time they’re in the cyberpunk mood.
3 Aging Well: DBZ: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan
Dragon ball z fans have always been divided on this film. Broly is one of the coolest villains introduced – a Saiyan with monstrous power who is the true “Legendary Super Saiyan”. The movie builds on the Saiyan lore and overall it’s a great movie. However, there is just one problem. The Dragon ball super the version is better in every way. It gives Broly much higher motivation, it’s better animated, and it doesn’t make Vegeta look like a low total by rendering him useless and crying for most of the movie.
2 Aging well: Tenchi Muyo in love
Sometimes with an animated film it can feel like the creators weren’t sure what series they were making a movie for. Tenchi Muyo! Lover may feel like this but in the best possible way.
The series is about Tenchi going back in time to meet her mother because a criminal her family was responsible for shelving escaped and traveled back in time to get her out. This story has both the high concept and the romance that Tenchi is not normally known for its TV series and entertainment. Fans could easily watch this without ever watching Tenchi Muyo and have an amazing experience.
1 Has not aged well: Mobile Suit Gundam F91
Gundam F91 is an absolutely beautiful movie to watch. It’s one of the best animations of the ’90s and one of the last times Yoshiyuki Tomino got involved in the Universal Century timeline. The problem is, Gundam F91 was meant to be a full series. But production issues caused the number of episodes to drop until it was only a 90-minute film. It shows during the movie itself, with some weird edits and cuts all over the place. There is a “fix” later with the Crossbone Gundam series, but this movie needs a reboot.
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