Anime has been popular for a long time now, and in the 80s it was no different. There were shows that were considered anime that you might not believe but then there were shows that were absolutely awesome since they went so far over the top so as to be completely out of bounds and ridiculous since the characters were so incredibly powerful. This was the kind of anime that people really loved and the kind that kind of geared them up for the 90s when they came and everything got a little edgier and a little more serious for a while. But these shows, despite not being the forerunners that the 70s cartoons were, did manage to bridge the gap between the 70s and the 80s in a way that made an enormous amount of sense and created heroes and villains that people loved to watch go at it on the screen in epic battles the likes of which tore apart entire countrysides and even world sometimes.
Here are some of the best anime shows from the 80s.
5. Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam
This series focused largely on the view of Kamille Bidan, who was a civilian teen and amateur mobile suit pilot. The series took place after the events of Mobile Suit Gundam and features a rebel group known as as the Ant-Earth Union Group that are attempting to try and defeat the Titans. The Titans are an elite task force that belongs to the Earth Federation and are specifically tasked with hunting down the Zeon remnants and killing anyone that demands equal rights for space citizens. As the series moves forward both sides go each other mercilessly, forcing both to incur heavy losses. After the Titans take his parents to force Kamille to return a stolen Gundam Mk-II he eventually joins the AEUG.
4. Bubblegum Crisis
This series starts out in the year 2032 after the Second great Kanto earthquake split Tokyo geographically, and culturally, in two. The first episode shows how the wealth disparities affect the city and are far more pronounced than in any previous period in post-war Japan. Genom, the main antagonist, is a megacorporation that has immense power and widespread global influence. The product it pushes are artificial cybernetic life forms that usually come in the form of humans known as cyberoids. The Boomers are initially supposed to serve mankind, but eventually they become deadly weapons in the hands of those that feel that their better used as tools.
3. Dragon Ball Z
Dragon Ball Z has been one of the favorite shows of many upon many people for a long, long time now. Goku, Vegeta, and the entire cast have been burned into the memories of the fans, as have their many varied back stories and increasingly hard to remember transformations and power-ups and varying abilities that seem to increase and grow in number as they increase their training and their power. There aren’t a lot of honest to goodness weaklings in Dragon Ball Z and a lot of the characters seem to possess the kind of power that could level planets if they really let it loose at times.
2. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross
In the year 1999 a spacecraft the size of a city crashed into South Ataria Island on planet earth. Over the course of a decade the military organization U.N. Spacy managed to reverse-engineer the technology and built their own spacecraft, naming it the SDF-1 Macross. Unfortunately when it was about to be launched a group of humanoid aliens arrived with a war fleet and recognized the craft as a former battleship belonging to their enemies. As the newcomers approached the initial programming of the Macross overrode the commands of the crew and attacked the aliens, wiping out the scouts and kicking off a war. When the Macross is accidentally taken via Fold System, which is a faster than light drive, to the edge of the known solar system, the crew has to find a way back to earth using conventional means.
It’s kind of amusing to realize that Voltron was a product of other ideas, one of those being a series called King Beast LionGo. Most kids in the 80s just thought that Voltron was too cool for words and wanted every bit of merchandise they could get and were smitten with the show since it featured giant lion bots that formed into one megabot that was so awesome that it could take on just about any enemy in the universe. Plus that sword, watching it being drawn was one of the coolest parts of the entire show since it came out as a beam of light and turned into one of the greatest weapons ever designed for a show.
Anime in the 80s was awesome simply because it played to the wider universe and made people take on a much bigger view of the universes in which their favorite shows existed.