So, What Do I Mean by “Classic Anime”?

Captain Harlock

Captain Harlock (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The term “classic” is extremely vague and carries the baggage of a general correlation to the age of the subject. To some, it could even be seen as a sort of a pejorative term as many regard older media as inferior and “not cool”. I remember several anime club meetings at my local college where certain members would whine about having to sit through anything “old”. This disregard for the history of the medium that we all love definitely highlighted a division between fans, one I feel should not be there. I do have a nostalgic sense for things from my youth, but hope that this blog doesn’t exist as yet another window into the life of a jaded thirty-something yelling at kids to get off his lawn. With that in mind, how do I use “classic”?


(Bubblegum Crisis〕 (Photo credit: ccsx)

The label “classic rock” means radio rock ‘n roll from the 70’s and 80’s, “classic film” means anything from before 1970, and classical music ends sometime in the early twentieth century. When speaking of “classic anime” I had to think up a definition of a term that many use, but very few define. For some, it simply means “80’s anime”, and for others it means things from five years ago. For me, the anime industry shifted drastically around the year 2000, and I see anything before that to be “classic”.

In 2000 digital animation became the norm, and traditional animal cels went the way of the dodo. Suddenly anime hit somewhat of a “fad” and became a mainstream medium. Best Buy suddenly had an anime section, Hollywood actors were doing voice over work, and popular TV shows had anime parodies. Then the bubble burst. We’re now closer to the “old days” in anime then we ever were a decade ago, and to me that’s both a good and bad thing. Anime is no longer over-saturating the market, but it definitely lost some fans.


Akira-Tetsuo-lift (Photo credit: AlphaBetaUnlimited)

That isn’t to say I won’t venture out into this modern era, but I feel that most modern anime fans know quite a bit about these sorts of shows / films. So whether it’s because of nostalgia, or some sort of educational purpose, I’d like to mostly discuss forgotten gems, old school favorites, and new features that have older sensibilities. Think of this blog as the “alternative scene” to the “anime top 40”, it’s not that I dislike things like Naruto, I’d just rather discuss Galaxy Express 999!   


13 thoughts on “So, What Do I Mean by “Classic Anime”?

  1. Pingback: Nineteen19 (1990) OVA | Classic Anime Blog

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  4. “…where certain members would whine about having to sit through anything “old”.”

    Man, just hate it. I really do. When people say it’s just too old and all. You’d think if you get into anime you’d at least be curious about the past. So much for that. Or maybe it’s just a reflection of sensibilities — as in, we want things immediate and mainstream nowadays, and some past stuff is none of the above. Or maybe we’re just jaded people. Or something bad.

    “We’re now closer to the “old days” in anime then we ever were a decade ago–”

    I…I disagree with that. Mostly because, sure, you don’t see anime in a lot of stores anymore, but back in the old days you couldn’t get every show and you had to download what was available. Now practically everything is available, streaming (on many devices I add), download, etc. And while some people showcase their perception of anime in a silly way, anime is known enough today. We just have people hiding behind avatars saying that haha

    • Ah yes, I did over-generalize a bit….LOL point taken with the internet, it’s far superior to tape trading and stuff. Luckily that was long before my day, as I became a fan in the “DVD Era” and had an anime club to attend to find new stuff. Have you seen that Daisuki website? This new era of simultaneous US/ Japan releases is something I would have never dreamed of years ago.

      Thanks for checking this blog out. feel free to recommend anything you’d like me to discuss on here.

      • Hmm…well since you bring up classic stuff, maybe write a post about a specific style of animation that isn’t used anymore, maybe some features on certain directors and animators of classic anime, something like that, along with you still looking at the anime made way back when. That’s all I can think of at the moment!

  5. Classic anime is the best! The animation has a certain charm to it lacking in the cutesy style that is done for todays less extreme anime. Although some of todays anime is alright; One Piece and Naruto, but you can top the good old days of graphic violence, blood, gore, nudity, and sex!
    Come check out my review of all three Violence Jack OVA’s.
    Violence Jack OVA Anime Collection Review

    • Nice review, That’s actually a classic anime I’ve never seen somehow. When I was younger I never had the chance to order the more gratuitious things at Blockbuster. Perhaps I should try to watch this pretty soon as well 🙂

  6. Pingback: Black Magic M-66 (1987) OVA | Arcadia Pod

  7. Pingback: Nineteen19 (1990) OVA | Arcadia Pod

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