Where have the classic old-style gone?

Hello, I am currently recuperating from an operation so you’ll have to excuse me for any probable mistakes on this post. Getting one measly wisdom tooth extracted after an hour-long struggle isn’t exactly so relaxing, and as a result I am on some medications for the pain and swelling in my cheek. Plus, I’ve been getting cranky about not being able to eat the food in my home, which lately so happens to be my top favorites… But enough about my dental woes. Since I didn’t feel so much in the mood to watch any of the current anime series to catch up, I’ve opted to re-watch series that aired before 2000 (wow, has it been that long?) such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Tenchi Muyo!, Cowboy Bebop, and even Sailor Moon. Ah, the old classics…

After re-watching some episodes of the aforementioned series, it got me thinking. The animation style is very different a decade ago from now. The story plots were much more interesting and the character designs were more mature and vibrant. I’ve always loved antiques, classics, and history (I’ve even wanted to be born and live during the Roaring Twenties in the United States), so re-watching these classics got me heated up. So I’ve decided to search out more anime series, OVAs, and movies that have aired before 2000. This is no mean feat, as most of them may still be on VHS (I miss the old days of watching Ranma 1/2 on VHS…) and not yet converted to videos on the Internet, but I’ve managed to track down some, such as GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka, Moldiver, and Phantom Quest Corp. Over the next week, I’ll probably post some impressions on some of these old anime series, but lately I’ve been in a bit of slump (largely due to my recuperation from the tooth extraction and also lack of motivation…). This could very be my first slump as an anime blogger, so this is going to be quite a bit of challenge, not to mention that I will be heading to Seattle in two more weeks for the summer.

So, food for thought for you guys: What anime series have you seen that have aired before 2000, and how do you think they compare to the current airing series now?

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “Where have the classic old-style gone?

  1. I’m not sure if these aired before 2000 but here’s my list: Outlaw Star, Inuyasha, Cyborg 009, Big O, and Rurouni Kenshin.

  2. One thing that I’ve been saying for a while is that I miss the old style of art/animation — it feels like a lot of modern Anime is very soft and ‘clean’ looking, but I’ve always preferred the darker, more detailed sort of look in shows like ‘Berserk’ and ‘Cowboy Bebop’.

    • Yeah, nowadays anime have become much more smoother and cleaner which I think can be very helpful on some occasions. There are times when darker details can help, such as Cowboy Bebop and also maybe Casshern Sins.

  3. You’re cherry picking old classic shows vs. unproven new shows. Not exactly a fair comparison.

    The story plots were much more interesting and the character designs were more mature and vibrant.

    Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex
    Eureka SeveN
    Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
    Kaiji
    Katanagatari

    All of these are TV anime post-2000 and meet most, if not all your considerations. Mind you, I am not arguing they are “better” than your classics, but clearly they meet your criteria to some degree.

    • Ahaha, true, all those shows you listed are also great in their own rights (in fact, I love Katanagatari). I suppose that I should have mentioned which current series were much more interesting, eh? Such as Hanasaku Iroha and C – The Money of Soul and Possibility Control, maybe. But this is good for me, since you’re helping me to improve my posts. ^_^

      Also, I am not nitpicking about these considerations. Rather, I wondered if we were going to see any more of these kind of series in the future, considering that there doesn’t seem to be much in the current season. Right off the tip of my tongue, I think I can say that Kaiji and Deadman Wonderland fits these considerations, but I know of no other current airing series. It makes me think that this classic style trend is slowing down.

      • No worries, just counseling you against sweeping general statements.

        Visually, Hanasaku Iroha is pretty amazing. Last year, K-ON!! took animation of the mundane to incredible levels — everything else looks bad next to it. Neither of these shows however have the ‘mature’ character design or plot intricacy you perhaps favor, but that’s not their fault. They’re not going for either goal.

        The OVA-type releases will cater more to mature sensibilities. Thus you have Break Blade, but more notably Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.

        • Yeah, I agree that for those who prefers the mature sort of series, they would do well to watch the OVAs such as Black Lagoon. Hanasaku Iroha and K-On!! are also different, catering to different kinds of audience. As you said, that’s not their fault if they don’t have the ‘mature’ character design or plot intricacy, but they do have their own good sides in animation and light-hearted plot styles. So, really, it’s all up to the watcher to decide for himself/herself about which show to watch. In my case, I guess I’d watch any kind of anime since I’m very open-minded.

  4. I’ve seen quite a few 90’s series, as my anime fandom began around 2001. Among those, Cowboy Bebop, Rurouni Kenshin, Tenchi Muyo! and Trigun remain among my favorites.

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