10 Groundbreaking Anime Series That Aged Poorly

Split image of Sailor Moon and Astro Boy.

Anime is more popular than ever, but the genre that fans have come to love had to start from somewhere. Fans look back at the anime that inspired modern anime with nostalgia, but even they can admit most of those groundbreaking series don’t stand up to current standards.

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Whether it’s a problem with the animation, voice acting, or story, old anime just isn’t as good as people remember. Even if an anime changed the game of animation when it was first released, that doesn’t mean it’s still a story that most people would recommend to others.



10 Speed Racer

Speed Racer is known for popularizing anime internationally. For older anime fans, it was a gateway series that got them hooked on the genre, especially since most people didn’t even realize Speed Racer was anime when they first watched it.

However, it’s hard to take Speed Racer seriously these days, considering how low-quality the animation and voice acting is. Speed Racer may have introduced anime to the West, but it’s practically unwatchable when compared to modern anime.

9 Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z is responsible for creating modern shonen. The most popular anime series, One Piece, is heavily inspired by Dragon Ball Z, especially when it comes to Luffy’s goofy personality. When Dragon Ball Z first aired, a lot of effort was put into saving money, which made for a lot of low-quality episodes and a lot of filler.

The idea of one arc taking dozens of episodes seems completely preposterous now, but it’s something DBZ fans had to deal with back in the day. For anyone who prefers the fast-paced nature of modern series, the original Dragon Ball Z can be hard to get into.

8 Fruits Basket (2001)

The original Fruits Basket helped popularize shojo and is considered to be one of the best anime romances of all time. However, it deviated significantly from the source material, and the art style is pretty goofy-looking when compared to the modern remake.

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Shojo fans remember the original Fruits Basket fondly, but most prefer the remake over the original, especially since the remake has better character development and animation. The 2001 Fruits Basket will always be a groundbreaking series, but fans who want a story with more depth should watch the remake.

7 Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon is the best anime when it comes to female representation, especially since most people assume anime is a male-dominated hobby. However, there is a lot of censorship in the ’90s version of Sailor Moon that ruins its positive representation.

The English dub removed all references to the LGBTQ+ community and even removed references to Japanese culture. For fans who want to watch an authentic adaptation of Sailor Moon, the remake Sailor Moon Crystal is more faithful.

6 Astro Boy

There may have been animated cartoons before Astro Boy, but the 1963 series is considered to be the very first anime by most people. The character Astro Boy is an icon that’s just as recognizable as Totoro or Mickey Mouse.

However, the series is still dated, with inferior animation and no color. Anyone who would want to watch this series for history’s sake would probably find it impossible to get their hands on it. Astro Boy will always be iconic, but it’s a little too dated for the modern fan to reasonably enjoy.

5 Pokémon

Pokémon is one of the most famous IPs in Japan. Even people who have never heard of anime know what Pokémon is, especially since the games are so popular. Before fans fell in love with the games and cards, the series introduced fans to the universe.

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Even though the original Pokémon holds a lot of nostalgia for people and has one of the best theme songs, it’s still a little too childish for modern anime fans. Modern kids’ anime has far more complex stories than older ones, so the original Pokémon feels pretty dated.

4 Naruto

As a member of the Big Three, Naruto is one of the most famous anime of all time. It helped popularize anime for modern audiences and it helped save Shonen Jump from bankruptcy along with One Piece and Bleach in the early 2000s.

Most fans highly recommend Naruto, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its issues. The story is incredibly slow in the beginning, which isn’t helped by the inconsistent animation and voice acting. There’s also tons of filler, which is a huge turn-off for most people.

3 Rurouni Kenshin

Rurouni Kenshin is an old favorite for anime fans and has inspired a lot of modern anime, including Gintama and Bleach. It helped popularize Japanese history, and it created Western audiences’ fascination with samurai.

Just like most old anime, Rurouni Kenshin isheld back by its low-quality animation and voice acting. However, the biggest problem people have with this anime is because of the manga artist who created it. Many refuse to support the manga and the artist, Nobuhiro Watsuki, because he was arrested for possessing child pornography.

2 Transformers Generation One

Transformers isn’t as popular as Pokémon, but most people are somewhat familiar with it, especially because of Michael Bay’s Transformers movies. The popularization of mecha anime started with Transformers Generation One, along with Voltron and Gundam, but Transformers is the most recognizable.

However, compared to other mecha anime, the first generation is dated and cringy. Most fans would watch the Transformers movies over this series, despite the issues fans have with the movies.

1 Ranma 1/2

Ranma 1/2 is one of the most famous harem and reverse harem anime. It’s a slice-of-life comedy that most fans highly recommend. However, fans unfamiliar with the series would be surprised by the amount of filler it has.

Almost half of Ranma 1/2 is filler, which is a huge turn-off for modern fans. The harem genre is also done to death, so even if it’s one of the first harems, most fans are done with the genre entirely.

NEXT: 15 Groundbreaking Movies That Aged Poorly


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