Top 5 best old anime cartoons of all time

5 min


Anime has become a global phenomenon in recent years, captivating audiences with its unique storytelling, vivid animation, and unforgettable characters. While there are countless new anime series being released every year, there is a certain charm and nostalgia associated with the old anime cartoons that still holds a special place in our hearts. In this article, we will take a trip down memory lane and explore the top 5 best old anime cartoons of all time that have stood the test of time and continue to be beloved by fans around the world.

Top 5 best old anime cartoons of all time
Top 5 best old anime cartoons of all time

Top 1. Tonari no Totoro

  • Release year: 1988
  • Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Screenwriter: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Duration: 86 minutes
  • Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
Tonari no Totoro
Tonari no Totoro

In 1988, Japan produced a beloved animated film that continues to captivate audiences 2 decades later. My Neighbor Totoro has earned its place among Empire film magazine’s “100 national films” with a ranking of 41, solidifying its position as one of the best economy films of all time. This heartwarming movie tells the story of two sisters, Satsuki and Mei, as they discover a haunted home in a remote suburb. But the girls aren’t scared, in fact, they are thrilled and embark on a journey to uncover the mysteries of their new environment. Along the way, they encounter Totoro, a giant, lovable mascot who adds endless joy and laughter to their childhood. My Neighbor Totoro is a timeless masterpiece that continues to inspire and delight generations.


Top 2. Grave of Fireflies

  • Release date: April 16, 1988
  • Duration: 89 minutes
Grave of Fireflies
Grave of Fireflies

Transport yourself back to WWII and discover the heart-wrenching story of Seita and Setsuko. “Grave of the Fireflies,” a masterpiece from the acclaimed Japanese animation studio Ghibli, vividly portrays their struggle to survive amidst the relentless bombing campaign by the US Air Force. With their father at war and their mother tragically killed, the siblings are left to fend for themselves and face unimaginable hardships. From dodging enemy fire to finding ways to simply stay alive, their harrowing tale will leave you on the edge of your seat.


Top 3. Ponyo

  • Release year: 2008
  • Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Screenwriter: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Duration: 101 minutes
  • Genre: Adventure, Comedy

The mesmerizing Japanese animation, Little Mermaid Ponyo (Gake no Ue no Ponyo), holds a special place in the hearts of many. It won the acclaimed “Best Animated Film of the Year” award in 2008 from the Japan Academy – a testament to its incredible storytelling and visuals.

Meet Brunhilde – an energetic and mischievous mermaid who escapes the confines of her father’s underwater kingdom, only to end up trapped in a bottle. Fortunately, she’s rescued by the kind-hearted 5-year-old boy named Sousuke, who affectionately renames her Ponyo. As Ponyo adapts to life on land, Sousuke takes on the important duty of looking after her with love and care.


Top 4. Hotarubi no mori e

  • Release date: September 17, 2014
  • Duration: 45 minutes
Hotarubi no mori e
Hotarubi no mori e

Lost in the Forest of Fireflies” is an exquisite Japanese animated movie that took the world by storm back in 2011. The film tells the enchanting tale of two unlikely companions – the curious girl, Takegawa Hotaru and the mysterious spirit, Gin, who lives in the lush and mystical forest of the gods. After getting lost, Hotaru is rescued by Gin, and a profound bond is formed between the two. Despite developing romantic feelings for each other, their love remains unrequited, as they cannot physically touch each other. Will their love conquer all, or will fate keep them apart forever?


Top 5. Spirited Away

  • Release year: 2001
  • Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Screenwriter: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Duration: 125 minutes
  • Genre: Adventure, Family

Topping the charts and winning an Oscar, Spirited Away is the animated masterpiece brought to us by the creative geniuses at Studio Ghibli. This heartwarming adventure follows Chihiro, a kind-hearted girl who, after getting lost in the spirit world with her parents during a house move, must work tirelessly to find a way to break the curse that has turned them into pigs. Not only did Spirited Away bring in an impressive revenue of $289 million, but it also won the hearts of millions around the world with its magical and enchanting storytelling.


Old anime list

  1. Cowboy Bebop
  2. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
  3. Dragon Ball Z
  4. Hunter x Hunter
  5. Neon Genesis Evangelion
  6. Pokémon
  7. Death Note
  8. Inuyasha
  9. Mobile Suit Gundam
  10. Steins;Gate
  11. Attack on Titan
  12. Bleach
  13. Code Geass
  14. Lupin III
  15. One Piece
  16. Ranma
  17. Rurouni Kenshin
  18. Conan
  19. Sailor Moon
  20. Astro Boy
  21. Doraemon
  22. Naruto

Old anime characters

  • Dragon Ball Z
  • Sailor Moon
  • Rurouni Kenshin
  • Pokemon
  • Detective Conan
  • Trigun
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • Hunter x Hunter
  • Ghost in the Shell
  • Serial Experiments Lain
  • Princess Mononoke
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing

Old anime aesthetic

The Wind Rises - Gió nổi (2013) phim anime hay nhất mọi thời đại

phim hoạt hình anime hay Wolf Children – Những đứa con của sói (2012)

A Letter to Momo - Lá thư gửi đến Momo (2011)

phim anime hay Khu rừng đom đóm -Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light

Những đứa trẻ đuổi theo tinh tú phim anime hay nhất mọi thời đại

From Up on Poppy Hill - Ngọn đồi hoa hồng anh (2011)

The Secret World of Arrietty - Thế giới bí mật của Arrietty (2010) phim anime hay nhất mọi thời đại

Five Centimeters Per Second - Năm centimet trên giây (2007) phim anime tình yêu hay nhất

Howl’s Moving Castle - Lâu đài bay của pháp sư Howl (2004)

Phim anime Nhật bản hay nhất - Steam Boy

Tokyo Godfather (2003) phim anime tình cảm hay nhất


In conclusion, the old anime cartoons mentioned in this article have left a lasting impact on the world of anime and continue to be cherished by fans of all ages. These classic shows have paved the way for the anime industry as we know it today, inspiring countless creators and entertaining audiences for decades. From the epic battles of Dragon Ball Z to the heartfelt coming-of-age story of Sailor Moon, these anime classics have something for everyone. While there are many other old anime cartoons that could have made the list, the five highlighted here are some of the most iconic and beloved of all time. Whether you are a longtime anime fan or a newcomer to the genre, these classic shows are definitely worth checking out.


Like it? Share with your friends!


With over a decade of writing obituaries for the local paper, Jane has a uniquely wry voice that shines through in her newest collection of essays, which explore the importance we place on legacy.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *