10 Most Underrated Anime Movies of the ’90s, Ranked


The 90's were an incredible time for anime and gave audiences a wonderful catalog of films that made history and set a new standard for animated films in general. But the decade was so packed with content that there were plenty of gems that fell under the radar and they didn't get the recognition they deserved.

There's a whole category of movies that never got the spotlight they deserved that today's anime fans would have a blast watching. Whether it's a beautiful, introspective piece or Only yesterday or a film about the consequences of war Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigadethere are tons of different types of movies for any type of anime fan looking for an underrated piece of cinema to look back on and experience for the first time.

10 'Comet in Moominland' (1992)

Directed by Masayuki Kojima and Hiroshi Saito

A comet is headed for Moomin Valley, and hoping to stop it, Moomin, My, and Sniff venture outside their home. Along the way, they befriend Snusmumriken, Snorkfroken, and Snorken, who also hope to prevent the comet from crashing into Earth.

The Moomin franchise is well-loved through both its novels and TV series, and this made the film well-received. The theatrical film followed the series, but actually acts as a prequel to that series, adding a lot of fun context to the setting and characters in the series. Kite in Moominland is incredibly adorable and leaves viewers with a warm heart and a big smile on their face because at the end of the day, it's just a really funny and beautiful movie.

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9 “Like the Clouds, Like the Wind” (1990)

Directed by Hisayuki Toriumi

After young Ginga (Ryoko Sano) hears of an opportunity to be the emperor's wife, begins to learn to read and write alongside the other potential wives, and things go well until he learns of a treasonous plot against the emperor from his former wife's mother.

Like the clouds, like the wind it's a nice, genuine film that's surprisingly quite progressive for its time. The film actively counters many of the sexist and misogynistic ideals that were quite common in the 90s. There's a lot of gender bending in places, and it's treated as completely normal. The movie is full of romance and fun, and it gets quite emotional when the second half of the movie comes. This would be a great movie to show to anime lovers looking to introduce their kids to the medium.

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8 “A Wind Called Amnesia” (1990)

Directed by Kazuo Yamazaki, Yoshiaki Kawajiri and Rintaro

Like many 90s anime, the world has been diluted into a post-apocalyptic landscape. But what does it do? A wind called amnesia to stand out is this the world got to where it did through a mysterious gust of wind that wiped out all human knowledge, including even the most basic things like how to speak and consideration.

Over the years since its release, the film has gained a bit of a cult following. The film is found as one of the most unique interpretations of the post-apocalyptic genre out there, and the consequences of the unique setting prompt the film to create a world that cannot be found anywhere else. Not only does the film stand out from the rest in terms of concept, but the plot is well written and thought provoking. It's not a perfect movie, but even so the most seasoned anime viewer would be hard-pressed to discover a world like this elsewhere.

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7 Junkers Come Here (1995)

Directed by Jun'ichi Sato and Rob Bakewell

When young Hiromi (Mei Oshitani) parents seem to be separated, she turns to a dog named Junkers (Shinnosuke Furumoto) for convenience. But he finds comfort he never expected from a dog when he reveals himself Junkers can talk to her and has the ability to grant her three wishes.

The Junkers come here covers the theme of loneliness with grace. While Hiromi's parents are getting ready to divorce, they are also at work all the time, and to make matters worse, the tutor she has a crush on is getting ready to get married. With all this crushed against her, she fears that very soon, she will end up alone in life. It's an incredibly moving story that leaves viewers with warm hearts.

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6 'Coo: Come from a distant ocean Coo' (1993)

Directed by Tetsuo Imazawa

When a terrible storm hits his island, Obata Yousuke (Yuta Yamazaki) mysteriously finds a baby dinosaur on the beach, naming it the adorable name Coo. As Coo begins to grow, this becomes apparent it is, in fact, a plesiosaur. This puts Coo in the eyes of the French secret service, which means bad news for Coo and Yousuke.

Coo: From a distant ocean came Coo is covered from head to toe issues and works against ecocide and anti-nuclear war incredibly well It actually feels like E.T if the alien was a prehistoric dinosaur. Many compare the film to the works of Miyazaki because of its clear themes and inherent heart and soul seeping through every crevice. The setting of the plot also allows the visuals of the film to look absolutely beautiful. At the end of the day, Not only does the film bring a ton of heart and gorgeous visuals, but the plot really says something.

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5 “Memories” (1995)

Directed by Koji Morimoto, Tensai Okamura and Katsuhiro Otomo

where Best regardsAmong the rest, the fact that it is an anthology anime film stands out, representing and adapting three Katsuhiro Otomoshort stories from manga to animation. The stories a Best regards from a space crew that discovers a ship from the depths with no signs of life Magnetic rosea man who becomes a walking weapon through his newly acquired body odor stink bomb, and a whole city made up of buildings with canons fitted up for them Cannon fodder. All of them criminally underrated.

Best regardsThree stories stand out from each other in the best way and bring an incredible quality to the table. making the film as a whole a great deal of not only variety, but variety with immense quality. Magnetic rose it is widely regarded as the best of the three film shorts and is still critically well received in the modern age.

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4 'Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade' (1999)

Directed by Hiroyuki Okiura and Kenji Kamiyama

Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade states that society has both predators and prey, touching on the idea of ​​what it is and what that idea means through the lens of a dystopian world in an alternate reality where the Nazis won WWII. Kazuki (Yoshikazu Fujiki), a traumatized soldier, he has fallen in love with a young woman who is the sister of a terrorist he witnessed suicide in an attack. He soon begins to be haunted by the ghost of the dead woman.

Rather than being an action-packed journey or an introspective drama, Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade stands out as a slow political drama designed to make the audience think about the world they live in and how they manage to unexpectedly relate to such a dystopian society.

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3 'The Dog of Flanders' (1997)

Directed by Yoshio Kuroda

Orphan Nello (Makoto Tsumura), he dreams of being a famous painter one day, and his grandfather saves a dog that was abused by its owner. He and his grandfather have always struggled to make ends meet, and when they take in the dog, the older one has to take on an extra job to support his new lifestyle. Nello must rely on his canine friend to continue walking through life until the end.

The dog of Flanders it's an incredibly emotional and surprisingly dark journey sends a heart-wrenching message about the impact of kindness and helping the less fortunate. It's one of those movies that sits next to it times like Marley and me where no matter how many times you watch it, it's sure to make you cry and/or affect you on a deep emotional level.

2 Ocean Waves (1993)

Directed by Tomomi Mochizuki

When Taku Morisaki (Nobuo Tobita) arrives in his hometown after a year at university, think back to your high school years, when he had a complicated love triangle with a friend of his and the girl who had just transferred to the school. The film was born out of Studio Ghibli's attempt to let the younger staff make a film themselves.

ocean wavesbeing a film created by Studio Ghibli's youngest staff, it's quite mature and a fantastic and unique addition to Studio Ghibli's extensive catalog. It offers a distinctive and unique perspective on teenage love which could only be created by the company's younger generation of filmmakers. It's one of Studio Ghibli's most grounded films, and it feels fresh. It's sure to leave audiences nostalgic for their teenage years.

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1 “Only Yesterday” (1991)

Directed by Isao Takahata

Image via Toho

Only yesterday follow Taeko Okajima (Miki Imai), a career-oriented woman in two parts of her life simultaneously (ages 27 and 10 (via flashbacks)). When he looks back on his life, he suffers from something that many people struggle with as they get older think if he ended up in a place his younger self would have been happy with.

Only yesterday is without a doubt one of Studio Ghibli's rawest and most honest films. It's a unique take on the coming-of-age movie genre and the use of time and flashbacks helps enhance the story in a way it never would have otherwise. The film is a certified classic that is endearing and thoughtful like no other of its time. It represents life and the act of looking back on one's own life that seemingly anyone can relate to, making it accessible to almost everyone. Only yesterday is a Studio Ghibli bed that should not be overlooked.

Only yesterday

Publication date
July 20, 1991

Isao Takahata

Execution time
118 minutes

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NEXT: Ranking the 12 best anime series of the 21st century


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