Must own 80s anime


Student Council President
I’m curious what everyone’s must own movies/series are from this decade.

Some guidelines to make it more interesting:
  • No Akira and Ghibli properties (a bit too obvious)
  • Must be available to buy (or stream legally) with English subs or dubs
Have put in a bit of 1990 stuff to bulk the list out and there are tbf some 80s anime I couldn't include in this list cuz they don't meet the official release only criteria (Touch (1985) is the most noteworthy one), and some series that are a big deal that I haven't seen yet as well and really want to, but yeah this is my list:

Mobile Suit Gundam Movie Trilogy
SDF Macross (the ADV English dub is excellent)
Goshogun: The Time Etranger
Vampire Hunter D
Maison Ikkoku (admittedly a bit of a stretch as it's long out of print but at least it's fully dubbed so prob has a better than average chance of being license-rescued in future)
Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket
Patlabor Movie 1

(These are the three 1990 titles, YMMV and all that as to whether they can be included)

Nadia the Secret of Blue Water
Cyber City Oedo 808

Honorable mentions:

Sea Prince and the Fire Child
Barefoot Gen 1 & 2
Night on the Galactic Railroad
Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise
RadFemHedonist already touched on most of what I’d have mentioned, but as something of an Osamu Dezaki stan, I’d throw in Space Adventure Cobra, probably the movie more so than the series. Along with Golgo 13: The Professional, I think Cobra represents Dezaki at the peak of his powers as a director, but of the two, I feel Cobra is the more accessible. Stylistically, I think The Professional is a great film, but it‘s an acquired taste…

Lupin III: The Fuma Conspiracy is one I’d have brought up, but it’s been out of print for years now and, even if you could find it, I think the Discotek DVD was not their best release. It’s something I really wish they’d rerelease, it famously brought back a lot of the animators from Castle of Cagliostro and it really shows - the opening chase with the cars crashing through the bathhouse at the hot springs is worth the price of admission alone.

Urusei Yatsura also deserves a shout out now that you can actually buy it again!
It's tough to keep track of what is still in print, so apologies if some of these are hard to find.

Arcadia of My Youth (the original Captain Harlock TV series is a classic too, but that's 70s)
Bubblegum Crisis (don't bother with Crash or 2040)
City Hunter (the movies are pretty good, but the formula works best at TV episode length)
Fist of the North Star (try the movie first, and then the TV series if you want more)
Goshogun: The Time Etranger
Gundam movie trilogy
Zeta Gundam
Patlabor (TV, OAVs and movies)
Project A-ko (just the first movie; the quality of the sequels drops off a cliff)
Royal Space Force
Urusei Yatsura (TV series and movies 1, 2, and 4 are the best)
Vampire Hunter D (the 2000 movie Bloodlust is better, but the old OAV has its charms)
Space Adventure Cobra
Dominion Tank Police
Dragon Ball Z (Kai is the best version, since it chops out the massive amount of filler)
Galaxy Express 999 (definitely the first movie, but that's all I've seen)
Locke the Superman (if you get the Discotek DVD, it has one of the most gloriously cheesy English dubs ever, but that's not on the Blu-ray)
Lupin the 3rd: Mystery of Mamo (this is the only Lupin I really enjoy, but I'm in the minority there)
Macross: Do You Remember Love? (Its only official western release was a UK VHS unfortunately)
Maison Ikkoku (the DVDs cost a fortune now. The original manga is great too)
They Were Eleven
Ulysses 31
Venus Wars
3x3 Eyes (the first OAV series is great, the second is a mess)
Fire Tripper
Mermaid Forest