The 90s were a great age for anime. Production values were better than the 80s, but story lines were still king. This was the time when many young Americans picked up a random VHS with pretty box art at the local video store, took it home, and were suddenly addicted to this amazing new thing called anime.
There are many, many more excellent series, but these have all stood the test of time.
Classic dragon-slaying fantasy filled with slapstick comedy, Slayers featured the immensely popular Lina Inverse as the reluctant hero, saving the world and trying to get paid.
Cowboy Bebop introduced a generation of teens to anime when it aired on Cartoon Network's then-new Adult Swim block. Full of action, comedy, and great music, it is still well-loved today.
Evangelion is the penultimate mind-bending action-horror-sci-fi-drama. With an all-star vocal cast and some really, reaaaaally weird surreal stuff, Evangelion taught us one very important thing: never trust a clone.
Utena is in a class all its own. On the surface, it is a story about love, friendship, and being true to yourself. Keep watching, however, and you'll soon be delved into a world of anger, betrayal, mysteries, and dark secrets, from which you may never escape.
Tenchi Muyo was one of the original harem comedies (featuring a bunch of hot girls centered around one hapless twit of a man.) Except the girls were either mad scientists, alien princesses, or rogue space pirates.
select one here...