Netflix and chill is so old school, how about anime and chill? During these long hours stuck inside while we wait for life to return to normal, I decided to turn to some of my favorite old school anime shows. I wanted to escape to their reality. A lot of these shows were on right as I was born and some went on as I grew up, so I have many fond memories of them. Returning to watch every season of them over days and weeks is something to look forward to. Long before I even knew what anime as a genre was I was already watching these shows.
It wasn’t until I entered St. Andrew’s Junior High School and joined my first ever Anime Club that was run by my hilarious and awesome Canadian History teacher I knew my life would never be the same. Some of these shows you may know, and some you may not. Who knows, maybe this list will inspire you to indulge in some binge-watching of your own. If you want to watch some more recent anime shows stay tuned for Jesse’s list!
Magic Knight Rayearth
Where does one even begin with this anime? It was one I was introduced back in my junior high school years in the Anime Club. My teacher suggested it and lent me some VHS tapes of it. This anime was about three high school girls pulled into a magical world to save it and become the Legendary Magic Knights. I thought it was very much like watching an RPG come to life and I loved their outfits. It inspired a few of my very, very early cosplay projects. The art style and just the overall look and feel of this entire series got me hooked right from the start. The storyline was engaging and captivating with almost little to no filler episodes. Magic Knight Rayearth also had an amazing soundtrack on top of all the other amazing things that went with it. I ranked it at the bottom of my list because of how unfamiliar a series it is with the general anime crowds. You can find it online or by searching for the DVD collection. It’s very nostalgic to look back at it now compared to newer anime series but it will always have a special place in my heart.
Another anime about a magical girl with powers and cool outfits! This one I was introduced to earlier on than Magic Knight Rayearth when it aired here on Canadian Television via Teletoon. My best friend and I were obsessed with this show. Sakura, a ten-year-old girl, discovers a magic book called The Clow and inside are cards known as Clow Cards that escape and wreak havoc on the world. It’s up to Sakura and the Guardian Beast of the Seal Kero to recapture all the cards thus making her a Cardcaptor. Along the way she also must protect her friends and family from some of the chaos these cards cause. It’s a really cute show and recently came back with the third entry into the show called, Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card. You can check that out on Crunchyroll. What I love about this series is that Sakura actually ages and progresses throughout the show and manga respectfully. While it may seem outdated and goofy today it still has its charm.
If ever there was an anime rivalry, it was between Pokemon and Digimon. Which one was better has been debated for years and even now in 2020, it’s still being discussed. Both are similar but yet so different. As much as I loved Pokemon, Digimon had its charm and just seemed to have a better storyline and seemed more mature. It had its goofy moments, especially with the English Dub, but it got more mature as time went on. Don’t get me wrong, later seasons of Digimon were downright odd, but Digimon Tamers was, in my opinion, the last good season of it. I loved the idea of teaming up with a virtual monster to save both worlds and seeing them Digivolve was pretty cool too. You start to care more about the Digimon than the humans. Digimon also had some pretty cool movies to the point where I dragged my parents to see the very first one in theaters. They still to this day hold that over my head! Whether you hated it or loved it, it’s got a lot of content to keep you occupied for quite a while.
I honestly didn’t think a children’s card game could be dramatic but then Yu Gi Oh comes around. I fell in love with this show probably because I had a mad crush on the spirit of Yugi Muto’s puzzle. I also enjoyed the drama and unique characters and when I say unique I mean unique. You have Japanese characters and in the English Dub, you give one a BROOKLYN accent (looking at you Joey Wheeler). It to this day has some of the most memorable witty one-liners and episodes. Seto Kaiba was also a personal favorite of mine though everyone else was pretty much just filler. The bad guys were also just so much more than the villain of the week, they had long story arcs. It ended up getting me into the card game which I still can’t play very well! Yu-Gi-Oh! continues to live on to this day just in a different way and sadly no Yugi, but the original show is still a personal favorite.
#1 Sailor Moon
Finally, we arrive at this anime that was the reason for my existence… well not really but it still is a huge part of my life. Sailor Moon was one of the first early anime series to air here in North America and on Canadian Television. YTV, our local children’s channel, aired this daily and I remember waiting for each new episode to the air like clockwork. Sailor Moon needs no introduction it has become so iconic over these many years that it also got a reboot recently with Sailor Moon Crystal. For those unfamiliar with it, it is female Power Rangers. Each girl represents a planet and uses special powers to protect Earth from invaders. This anime, in particular, taught us the value of friendship, true love, and bravery. It’s something I believe that still holds especially during today’s tough times. These are values I still hold near and dear to my heart. I am so glad it continues to live on and I hope it keeps to do so for many generations to come.
Whatever anime you are into, whether new or old now is a great time to kick back grab a snack and enjoy some of these classics. Thank you anime for continuing to be there through the good and bad times.