10 Best Anime Films Of The '80s

The '80s is often touted as the "golden age" of anime, so picking just TEN films is no easy task.

Robot Carnival
Beam Entertainment

Ah, the '80s. The decade of big hair, spandex, Depeche Mode, and, most importantly, great anime films. Now a list like this will, undoubtedly, piss a few people off. Picking the top ten anime films from any decade is no easy job, but picking them from the '80s is a particularly difficult task because this decade in anime history is arguably its most influential period.

A lot of the stylistic trappings that are now commonplace in anime were first seen in the '80s, a little studio you may have heard of called Studio Ghibli was founded in 1985, and many of what are considered THE best anime films of all time came out during this ten-year span. So how exactly do you condense such an incredible period in anime history down to just ten spots?

With great difficulty, that's how. Honestly, this list could be fifty entries long and you'd still have a hell of a time trying to decide exactly which films to leave off. This ten-year stretch just had that many bangers.

Before we start, it's important we give a shout out to a few films that weren't lucky enough to grab a spot on this list but are still incredibly deserving of your attention, such as: Space Adventure Cobra, Golgo 13: The Professional, The Dagger of Kamui, Barefoot Gen, Laputa: Castle in the Sky, and even My Neighbor Totoro.

You know it was a great period for anime when you have to leave My Neighbor Totoro off the list.

10. Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer (1984)

Robot Carnival
Toho

If you're not familiar with the name "Mamoru Oshii", firstly - how dare you? - and secondly, you may want to take note of the name as it certainly won't be the last time you see it pop up on this list.

Oshii is the director of several critically lauded films, including the increasingly popular Ghost in the Shell, with his work landing him nominations for both a Golden Lion award and a Palme d'Or.

Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer is a sequel to Urusei Yatsura: Only You, also directed by Oshii, adapted from the manga of the same name. Whilst Only You is a brilliant film in its own right, it was a rather faithful adaptation of its source material. The sequel Beautiful Dreamer is instead a massive departure from the Urusei Yatsura manga, so much so that the author Rumiko Takahashi initially rejected its script.

Thank god Takahashi did come around though, as once Oshii was free to adapt the source material he ended up creating a sweet, yet thought-provoking piece on time-loops and dream worlds that taught him to finally understand, in his own words, "how to make a film". For that alone, Beautiful Dreamer deserves its spot.

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Lewis Parker hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would tell you to follow him on Twitter @LPCantLose, and to make sure you stay hydrated.