There is so much modern anime constantly being produced every year that so much classic anime get forgotten altogether.
 
But it’s important to remember that some of the great anime that we have today only exist because of the anime that paved the way.
 
So, with this in mind, I want to give eight classic anime that changed the game.
Also, if you are wondering what defines a classic anime it is an anime that came out before 2010.
 
Not all these animes will catch your interest but need your recognition.
 
But, at least one anime on here should pique your interest and if it does give a watch.
There is so much modern anime constantly being produced every year that so much classic anime get forgotten altogether.
 
But it’s important to remember that some of the great anime that we have today only exist because of the anime that paved the way.
 
So, with this in mind, I want to give eight classic anime that changed the game.
Also, if you are wondering what defines a classic anime it is an anime that came out before 2010.
 
Not all these animes will catch your interest but need your recognition.
 
But, at least one anime on here should pique your interest and if it does give a watch.

Revolutionary Classic Anime #8 Akira 1988

Tetsuo fighting with Shoutarou

Tetsuo fighting with Shoutarou. Akira at 1 hour 4 minutes 29 seconds

What is Akira?

Akira is a famous anime that debuted in 1988.
For many people in the west, this was their first introduction to anime.
 
Without giving anything away the plot revolves around psychic powers, gangs, and many other great topics.

Why is Akira Revolutionary?

Akira is revolutionary for pushing the boundaries of what anime can be. At the time of release, it was the most expensive film.
 
 It was one of the first anime that mainstream audiences in the U.S watch.
 
So, much great anime took inspiration from this classic  including:
  • Ghost in the Shell,
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion,
  • Serial Experiment Lain

Learn More About Akira

Revolutionary Classic Anime #8 Akira 1988

Tetsuo fighting with Shoutarou

Tetsuo fighting with Shoutarou. Akira at 1 hour 4 minutes 29 seconds

What is Akira?

Akira is a famous anime that debuted in 1988.
For many people in the west, this was their first introduction to anime.
 
Without giving anything away the plot revolves around psychic powers, gangs, and many other great topics.

Why is Akira Revolutionary?

Akira is revolutionary for pushing the boundaries of what anime can be. At the time of release, it was the most expensive film.
 
 It was one of the first anime that mainstream audiences in the U.S watch.
 
So, much great anime took inspiration from this classic  including:
  • Ghost in the Shell,
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion,
  • Serial Experiment Lain

Learn More About Akira

Revolutionary Classic Anime #7 Dragon Ball Z 1989

Goku and the rest of the Dragon Ball Z Characters

Goku and the rest of the Dragon Ball Z Characters. Dragon Ball Z Fusion Reborn at 4 minutes 6 seconds.

What is Dragon Ball Z?

Even if you are somewhat familiar with anime you know what Dragon Ball Z is.
 
It’s the famous anime about
  • Goku,
  • Gohan,
  • Vegeta
  • Piccolo

and their journey to fighting powerful foes throughout the galaxy.

 The transformations are legendary and some of the best parts of this series.
 
This Akira Toriyama creation continues to live on to this day.

Why is Dragon Ball Z Revolutionary?

Dragon Ball Z is revolutionary for putting Shounen anime on the map.
Every major Shounen anime to come out copies Dragon Ball Z on some level.
 
So, while you may not like Dragon Ball Z but if you like My Hero Academia, Bleach, Naruto, etc then you owe it this anime for that.

Learn More About Dragon Ball Z

Revolutionary Classic Anime #7 Dragon Ball Z 1989

Goku and the rest of the Dragon Ball Z Characters

Goku and the rest of the Dragon Ball Z Characters. Dragon Ball Z Fusion Reborn at 4 minutes 6 seconds.

What is Dragon Ball Z?

Even if you are somewhat familiar with anime you know what Dragon Ball Z is.
 
It’s the famous anime about
  • Goku,
  • Gohan,
  • Vegeta
  • Piccolo

and their journey to fighting powerful foes throughout the galaxy.

 The transformations are legendary and some of the best parts of this series.
 
This Akira Toriyama creation continues to live on to this day.

Why is Dragon Ball Z Revolutionary?

Dragon Ball Z is revolutionary for putting Shounen anime on the map.
Every major Shounen anime to follow DBZ copied Dragon Ball Z on some level.
 
So, while you may not like Dragon Ball Z but if you like My Hero Academia, Bleach, Naruto, etc then you owe it this anime for that.

Learn More About Dragon Ball Z

Revolutionary Classic Anime #6 Satoshis Kon’s Perfect Blue 1998

Mima Kirigoe with a look of terror

Mima Kirigoe with a look of terror. Perfect Blue at 53 minutes and 52 seconds

What is Perfect Blue?

Perfect Blue is one of Satoshi Kon’s works and arguable his best one.
Perfect Blue is horror anime that centers around Mima as she transitions from pop singer to actress.
 
This movie involves
  • Stalkers,
  • The confusing of reality with fantasy,
  • The loss of innocence,
  • Extreme jealousy,
  • And frantically fans going too far.

Why is Perfect Blue Revolutionary?

This film changed the game for horror anime but not just anime as the movie Black Swan is famous for taking inspiration from this film.
However, this statement can be applied to all of Satoshi Kon’s films
 

Revolutionary Classic Anime #6 Satoshis Kon’s Perfect Blue 1998

Mima Kirigoe with a look of terror.

Mima Kirigoe with a look of terror. Perfect Blue at 53 minutes and 52 seconds

What is Perfect Blue?

Perfect Blue is one of Satoshi Kon’s works and arguable his best one.
Perfect Blue is horror anime that centers around Mima as she transitions from pop singer to actress.
 
This movie involves
  • Stalkers,
  • The confusing of reality with fantasy,
  • The loss of innocence,
  • Extreme jealousy,
  • And frantically fans going too far.

Why is Perfect Blue Revolutionary?

This film changed the game for horror anime but not just anime as the movie Black Swan is famous for taking inspiration from this film.
However, this statement can be applied to all of Satoshi Kon’s films
 

Revolutionary Classic Anime #5 Astroy Boy 1963

Umataro Tenma holding Astro Boy

Umataro Tenma holding Astro Boy. Astro Boy 1963 Episode 1 at 7 minutes 34 seconds.

What is Astro Boy?

Astro Boy comes from the mind of Tezuka Osamu who is considered to be the Walt Disney of Manga.
 
Astro Boy also is known as Might Atom follows a famous android boy created by Umataro Tenma after his son’s death.
 
The show has many versions including a prequel that came out in 2017.
So, if you do not want to watch the original there are plenty of other versions to checkout.

Why is Astro Boy Revolutionary?

Astro Boy is famous for being the first anime that was released in America.
It also for the longest time was one of the faces of anime.
 
If there was an Mt Rushmore of anime Astro Boy would definitely be on it.
 

Revolutionary Classic Anime #5 Astroy Boy 1963

Umataro Tenma holding Astro Boy

Umataro Tenma holding Astro Boy. Astro Boy 1963 Episode 1 at 7 minutes 34 seconds.

What is Astro Boy?

Astro Boy comes from the mind of Tezuka Osamu who is considered to be the Walt Disney of Manga.
 
Astro Boy also is known as Might Atom follows a famous android boy created by Umataro Tenma after his son’s death.
 
The show has many versions including a prequel that came out in 2017.
So, if you do not want to watch the original there are plenty of other versions to checkout.

Why is Astro Boy Revolutionary?

Astro Boy is famous for being the first anime that was released in America.
It also for the longest time was one of the faces of anime.
 
If there was an Mt Rushmore of anime Astro Boy would definitely be on it.
 

Revolutionary Classic Anime #4 Sailor Moon 1992

Usagi with Luna

Usagi with Luna. Sailor Moon episode 1 at 16 minutes and 5 seconds.

What is Sailor Moon?

Sailor Moon follows the story of Usaki and the other sailor scouts as they take on the forces of evil.
 
The scouts are named after planets in the solar system. Except for Sailor Moon.
 
Fun fact creator Naoka Takeuchi married the creator of Yu Yu Hakusho Yoshihiro Togashi.

Why is Sailor Moon Revolutionary?

Sailor Moon might be the biggest Shoujo anime ever created.
It brought the magical girl genre to the mainstream.
It many respects it’s the Shoujo equivalent to Dragon Ball Z
 
If The animation is not to your liking there is a new version called Sailor Moon Crystal which might appeal to you.

Revolutionary Classic Anime #4 Sailor Moon 1992

Usagi with Luna

Usagi with Luna. Sailor Moon episode 1 at 16 minutes and 5 seconds.

What is Sailor Moon?

Sailor Moon follows the story of Usaki and the other sailor scouts as they take on the forces of evil.
 
The scouts are named after planets in the solar system. Except for Sailor Moon.
 
Fun fact creator Naoka Takeuchi married the creator of Yu Yu Hakusho Yoshihiro Togashi.

Why is Sailor Moon Revolutionary?

Sailor Moon might be the biggest Shoujo anime ever created.
It brought the magical girl genre to the mainstream.
It many respects it’s the Shoujo equivalent to Dragon Ball Z

If The animation is not to your liking there is a new version called Sailor Moon Crystal which might appeal to you.

Learn More About Sailor Moon

Revolutionary Classic Anime #3 Mobile Suit Gundam 1979

Mobile Suit Gundam

Mobile Suit Gundam.Mobile Suit Gundam Episode 1 at 12 minutes and 57 seconds.

What is Mobile Suit Gundam?

It has tons of
  • sequels,
  • spinoffs,
  • prequels,
  • remakes, etc.
This anime might have the most expansive universe out there.
 
The one I am talking about is the first one and the main story.
Where the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon engage in war using giant robots known as mobile suits.
 
Ray Amuro pilots the Mobile Suit called Gundam to battle the forces of Zeon and one of their best soldiers Char.

Why is Mobile Suit Gundam Revolutionary?

It’s difficult to fully explain how this anime changed everything in a couple of sentences.
Basically it revolutionized the Mecha genre.
It was a cultural phenomenon in Japan and remains to this day.
 
Much like Astro Boy Gundam used to be the face of anime.
 

Revolutionary Classic Anime #3 Mobile Suit Gundam 1979

Mobile Suit Gundam

Mobile Suit Gundam.Mobile Suit Gundam Episode 1 at 12 minutes and 57 seconds.

What is Mobile Suit Gundam?

It has tons of
  • sequels,
  • spinoffs,
  • prequels,
  • remakes, etc.
This anime might have the most expansive universe out there.
 
The one I am talking about is the first one and the main story.
Where the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon engage in war using giant robots known as mobile suits.
 
Ray Amuro pilots the Mobile Suit called Gundam to battle the forces of Zeon and one of their best soldiers Char.

Why is Mobile Suit Gundam Revolutionary?

It’s difficult to fully explain how this anime changed everything in a couple of sentences.
Basically it revolutionized the Mecha genre.
It was a cultural phenomenon in Japan and remains to this day.
 
Much like Astro Boy Gundam used to be the face of anime.
 

Revolutionary Classic Anime #2 Legend of Galactic Heroes 1997

All the Main Characters in the Series

All the Main Characters in the Series. Link to Photo

What is Legend of Galatic Heroes?

This anime is a large space opera that involves a conflict between two interstellar superpowers.
They are the Galactic Empire and the Free planets Alliance.
 
This anime is more than just a clash of ships but of ideologies.

Why is Legend of Galatic Heroes Revolutionary?

You could also put Battle Ship Yamato as it is also one of the most influential space opera anime created.
 
Legend of Galactic Heroes is thought by many to be the Star Wars of anime.
 
It is one of the best space opera anime ever created.
 
Not many anime have come close to the intelligence that this series delivers.
If the animation is not to your liking, there is a remastered version of Legend of Galatic Heroes.

Revolutionary Classic Anime #2 Legend of Galactic Heroes 1997

All the Main Characters in the Series

All the Main Characters in the Series. Link to Photo

What is Legend of Galatic Heroes?

This anime is a large space opera that involves a conflict between two interstellar superpowers.
They are the Galactic Empire and the Free planets Alliance.
 
This anime is more than just a clash of ships but of ideologies.

Why is Legend of Galatic Heroes Revolutionary?

You could also put Battle Ship Yamato as it is also one of the most influential space opera anime created.
 
Legend of Galactic Heroes is thought by many to be the Star Wars of anime.
 
It is one of the best space opera anime ever created.
 
Not many anime have come close to the intelligence that this series delivers.
If the animation is not to your liking, there is a remastered version of Legend of Galatic Heroes.

Revolutionary Classic Anime #1 Neon Genesis Evangelion 1996

Shinji and Asuka in their Evas

Shinji and Asuka in their Evas. Episode 8 at 20 minutes and 57 seconds

What is Neon Genesis Evangelion?

Neon Genesis Evangelion follows the organization known as Nerv which constructs giant robots called Evas which they use to fight the invading Angels.
 
Our main protagonist is Shinji a 14-year-old boy and son of the leader of Nerv.
 
The anime is famous for the gory actions and deep psychological drama that the characters go through.

Why is Neon Genesis Evangelion Revolutionary?

This anime changed the Mecha genre again.
Prior to this most Mecha anime were more based on the conflicts and fighting.
 
There were not many deep psychological aspects to them.
 
This anime introduced these concepts to the genre which many now take for granted.
 
Many great Mecha anime took inspiration from this anime including:
  • Eureka Seven,
  • Code Geass,
  • Rahxephon, 
  • Guilty Crown

and even great non-mecha anime like Future Diary and Elfen lied.

 
This anime created the Mecha Psychological Drama and I am thankful every day for it.
 

Revolutionary Classic Anime #1 Neon Genesis Evangelion 1996

Shinji and Asuka in their Evas

Shinji and Asuka in their Evas. Episode 8 at 20 minutes and 57 seconds

What is Neon Genesis Evangelion?

Neon Genesis Evangelion follows the organization known as Nerv which constructs giant robots called Evas which they use to fight the invading Angels.
 
Our main protagonist is Shinji a 14-year-old boy and son of the leader of Nerv.
 
The anime is famous for the gory actions and deep psychological drama that the characters go through.

Why is Neon Genesis Evangelion Revolutionary?

This anime changed the Mecha genre again.
Prior to this most Mecha anime were more based on the conflicts and fighting.
 
There were not many deep psychological aspects to them.
 
This anime introduced these concepts to the genre which many now take for granted.
 
Many great Mecha anime took inspiration from this anime including:
  • Eureka Seven,
  • Code Geass,
  • Rahxephon, 
  • Guilty Crown

and even great non-mecha anime like Future Diary and Elfen lied.

 
This anime created the Mecha Psychological Drama and I am thankful every day for it.
 

Final thoughts

There we so many other classic anime that I wanted to put here.
 
Perhaps in the future, I will since so many other anime changed the industry as a whole.
 
Did you like or hated this list?
 
Whichever let me know in the comments.
 
If you hated it say why I love having discussions about anime.
 
Which classic anime do you think was the most revolutionary.
If you like this article please share it this helps me know what is popular and what people want.
Please give my facebook page a like it helps out alot.
Please join my email list to keep up with the current projects that I am working on.
Thanks so much for reading and have a great day
The following two tabs change content below.
Mymediachops is a blog created by a life long anime fan. My goal is to prove that anime is for everyone. I focus on created content to help new fans get into the medium while also discussing anime that made a big impact on my life.