10 Most Underrated ’80s Anime Movies, Ranked

The ’80s was an incredible and really game-changing time for anime in movie. With smash hits resembling My Neighbor Totoro and Akira, the world was handled to some nice content material all through the whole decade, and the style noticed an growth like by no means earlier than. However in a decade pretty much as good as that, there are genuinely wonderful movies that fall below the radar whereas others leap into the limelight.

Anime lovers are constantly on the lookout for new content material to observe and fall in love with, and with so many nice movies from the ’80s that by no means bought the time of day they deserved, there are many choices on the market to dive into. By delving into the ’80s, followers can journey to the planet Venus or watch crime-fighting robots in Tokyo struggle off a virus that would put everybody in peril. These sensible ’80s anime films by no means bought their time within the highlight, and it is excessive time they get the popularity they deserve.

10 ‘Demon Metropolis Shinjuku’ (1988)

Directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri

When her father, the World President, is kidnapped, Sayaka (Hiromi Tsuru & Teresa Gallagher) units out along with her protector, Kyoya (Hideyuki Hori & Bradley Lavelle), to place a cease to the kidnapper, Rebi Rah (Kiyoshi Kobayashi & Bob Classes). After they uncover that Rabi intends to lift hell, all of a sudden, way more than the World President’s life is at stake.

The visuals of Demon Metropolis Shinjuku are stellar in virtually each method. The breathtaking sword combat present in Kyoya’s motion sequences is fantastically animated and the environment all through the movie’s world is lifeless in all one of the best methods. The director, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, is well-known for his gritty works, together with the likes of Vampire D: Bloodlust and Ninja Scroll. Thus, it is no secret that Demon Metropolis Shinjuku turned out the best way that it did. It is an intriguing watch that can maintain viewers engaged the entire method by means of.

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9 ‘Cyborg 009: Legend of the Tremendous Galaxy’ (1980)

Directed by: Masayuki Akehi

Based mostly on the anime of the identical identify, Cyborg 009: Legend of the Tremendous Galaxy was truly made to have fun the twenty fifth anniversary of mangaka Shotaro Ishinomori‘s profession. It additionally occurs to be the one movie within the franchise to be dubbed in English.

Cyborg 009: Legend of the Tremendous Galaxy is a little bit of a slower movie in comparison with what many would consider a film on this style. The movie nonetheless consists of some completely astonishing motion sequences and house battles however spends extra time considering the grand concepts of existence and the galaxy typically. It is an excellent refreshment compared to numerous the opposite, extra action-oriented movies within the style. For a lot of viewers members who’re so used to the standard norm of motion movies lately, Cyborg 009: Legend of the Tremendous Galaxy might present an excellent palette cleanser.

Cyborg 009: Legend of the Tremendous Galaxy is at the moment unavailable to stream within the U.S. and Canada.

8 ‘Vampire Hunter D’ (1985)

Directed by Toyoo Ashida

D turning around to face the camera in Vampire Hunter D
Picture through Madhouse/Nippon Herald Movies

Set inside a post-apocalyptic nuclear holocaust, Vampire Hunter D follows a vampire hunter named D (Kaneto Shiozawa) employed by a lady named Doris Lang (Michie Tomizawa), who’s chosen to be the bride of Rely Magnus Lee (Seizo Kato), a terrifying vampire. It is quickly revealed that D was contaminated by the Rely himself as soon as, making this job very private.

Vampire Hunter D
is a good addition to the darkish fantasy style and nicely well worth the look ahead to followers of vampires and motion anime.

Enjoyable reality, Vampire Hunter D got here out 13 years earlier than the enduring Blade launched, which additionally includes a part-vampire vampire hunter. Vampire Hunter D is often considered one of the best vampire-related anime flicks. It’s gory and over-the-top but elegant and rewarding, one of many few anime movies of the ’80s that’s really singular, even right this moment. It is an excellent addition to the darkish fantasy style and nicely well worth the look ahead to followers of vampires and motion anime typically.

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7 ‘Angel’s Egg’ (1985)

Directed by Mamoru Oshii

Just a little woman with white hair wanders by means of an extremely desolate panorama with the objective of defending a mysterious egg. She ultimately meets a boy who thinks she ought to break the egg, and so they start to bond on their journey collectively. There is not a lot plot to notice with Angel’s Egg, however that is intentional on the filmmakers’ half.

Mamoru Oshii, the director of the movie, particularly needed to inform a narrative primarily by means of symbolism and visuals. To place it merely, there should not many movies on the market which are like Angel’s Egg. It is a distinctive, expressionistic, and philosophical animated movie that’s exhausting to narrate to every other, not simply in ’80s anime however movie typically. Viewing it’s an expertise in contrast to every other and nonetheless has folks selecting its that means aside to this present day. The movie really has a lot to supply and is value a watch not less than as soon as.

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6 ‘Tomorrow’s Joe: The Film’ (1980)

Directed by Yoichiro Fukuda, Yasuharu Hasebe & Tetsuya Chiba

Younger Joe Yabuki (Teruhiko Aoi) is serving his time at a juvenile middle in Tokyo when he meets a belligerent combating prodigy and dives head-first into the world {of professional} boxing when he will get out. Joe’s views start to vary, and so does his life. There is no feeling on this planet like discovering what it’s you like to do.

It isn’t fairly often {that a} sports activities anime movie makes it into the dialogue of one of the best of one of the best. Whereas nonetheless extremely widespread, sports activities anime typically will get overshadowed by motion anime typically except it is a really groundbreaking title like Haikyuu!! or Blue Lock. However Tomorrow’s Joe: The Film adjustments that, particularly for the ’80s. It is a thrilling however introspective movie with a story that has been very influential and broadly referenced in anime through the years. Moreover, who does not love a great boxing flick?

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5 ‘Depraved Metropolis’ (1987)

Directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri

Depraved Metropolis might very nicely be Yoshiaki Kawajiri’s finest work of all time. Evil forces got down to disrupt the re-signing of the treaty between Earth and the Black World. Taki Renzaburo (Yusaku Yara), a hardened human, and a demon named Makie (Toshiko Fujita) should defend a diplomat who holds the important thing to peace between the 2 worlds.

Even within the modern-day, Depraved Metropolis‘s animation high quality is totally top-notch in each method. Within the typical type of Kawajiri, Depraved Metropolis is extremely darkish and never for the faint of coronary heart: it is over-the-top, grotesque, erotic, and action-packed as heck. The characters are extremely memorable, the animation is gorgeous, the motion is thrilling, and the story is tremendous wacky. For these sufficiently old to observe, Depraved Metropolis virtually looks like a landmark movie to observe if one is a fan of darker anime.

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Directed by Mori Masaki

A young boy lifting an object while another boy and a woman watch with smiles in Barefoot Gen
Picture through Madhouse

Barefoot Gen is the heartbreaking and terrifying investigation into the repercussions of the atomic bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima during World War II. The movie research the results the bombs had on these each inside and out of doors the cities, with the younger boy, Gen (Issei Miyazaki), because the viewers’s lens. It begins with a really lighthearted and upbeat tone, drastically shifting halfway right into a dramatic and gut-wrenching expertise that takes viewers for a loop.

Director Mori Masaki actually reveals the horrors the Japanese needed to face after the assaults, and it is a uncooked message towards struggle and the way it destroys lives. Gen is caught in one of many bombings, barely making it out alive and horrifically having to take a look at his buddy, half melted by the blast. Viewers should watch as folks actually soften alive, together with a disturbing shot of a mom and her child burning; whereas melting, she nonetheless makes an attempt to save lots of her child. Oppenheimer can step apart as a result of Barefoot Gen is probably the most correct depiction of the results the atomic bomb had on the world.

Poster for Barefoot Gen movie

Barefoot Gen

Launch Date
June 13, 1992

Issei Miyazaki , Catherine Battistone , Yoshie Shimamura , Iona Morris , Masaki Kôda , Brianne Brozey , Barbara Goodson , Takao Inoue

83 Minutes

Keiji Nakazawa

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3 ‘Citadel within the Sky’ (1986)

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki

A robot holding up a girl and a boy in a greenhouse in Castle in the Sky
Picture through Studio Ghibli

The primary movie produced by the ever-talented and world-renowned Studio Ghibli, Castle in the Sky options Sheeta (Keiko Yokozawa) and Pazu (Mayumi Tanaka) as they race as quick as they will to succeed in a fortress positioned within the sky. Very similar to Hayao Miyazaki‘s different works, Citadel within the Sky options themes of childhood innocence and environmentalism and units the groundwork for Miyazaki’s later movies.

Citadel within the Sky is one way or the other fully underrated and never spoken about sufficient whereas additionally being thought of by critics as probably the greatest journey movies of all time. Sadly, the appreciable acclaim of Miyazaki’s future films, together with My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away, has all however overshadowed his first effort. With its groundbreaking animation high quality, story themes and influential course, Citadel within the Sky is one of Miyazaki’s best movies; sadly, it’s seldom talked about in conversations concerning his biggest works by mainstream audiences.

Castle in the Sky blu-ray cover

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2 ‘Robotic Carnival’ (1987)

Directed by Atsuko Fukushima, Hiroyuki Kitakubo, Hiroyuki Kitazume, Koji Morimoto, Takashi Nakamura, Yasuomi Umetsu, Manabu Ohashi, Hidetoshi Omori & Katsuhiro Otomo

A woman flying through space with robots in Robot Carnival
Picture through  Discotek Media

Robotic Carnival is in contrast to the others within the sense that it is a assortment of quick tales all through its 1-hour and 31-minute runtime quite than one single narrative. The catch is that every story has a connection and commentary on the subject of robots. Basically, it did Love Death + Robots earlier than Love Loss of life + Robots, simply with out love and dying in particular.

Robotic Carnival
collects 9 tales, every directed by totally different notable administrators.

Motion pictures like Robotic Carnival are particular, given the quantity of selection they may give over their runtime to maintain audiences engaged. Robotic Carnival collects 9 tales, every directed by totally different notable administrators. Every story brings viewers to totally different components of time and the universe to ship a slew of dramatic, comedic and thrilling sequences that’ll certainly maintain audiences entertained and infrequently challenged. Resulting from it being so distinctive in comparison with different extra easy anime choices of the last decade, Robotic Carnival is surprisingly not as mentioned because it deserves to be.

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1 ‘Patlabor: The Film’ (1989)

Directed by Mamoru Oshii & Koji Sawai

A robot fighting in a city in Patlabor- The Movie (1989) battle
Picture through Shochiku

With sea ranges rapidly rising in Japan, society has now turned to robots, often called Labors, to construct constructions and defend the nation. However all is just not nicely when a small group from the police discovers a horrible plan to contaminate Japan’s giant variety of 8,000 Labors with a virus that can make them rampage proper earlier than a robust storm is about to collide with Tokyo.

Patlabor: The Film is an addition to the mecha style that actually shakes up the sport compared to the typical mech story put out on this period. Generally often called a slower movie, the story is an excellent mixture of motion and smarts that is a little more severe than its anime tv counterpart. The animation high quality is total excellent however leaps to distinctive ranges when the Labors come into play. Exhilarating but surprisingly considerate, Patlabor: The Film will make sure you supply one thing new to those that really feel as if they might have seen every part.

Patlabor The TV Series Anime Poster

Patlabor: The TV Series

Launch Date
October 11, 1989

Mîna Tominaga , Toshio Furukawa , Michihiro Ikemizu , Issei Futamata , Daisuke Gôri , Shigeru Chiba , Osamu Saka , Ryûnosuke Ôbayashi


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