Coronavirus Coping: 5 Old School Anime Series To Stream While Social Distancing


So many of us are spending more time at home to avoid catching COVID-19 (or spreading it). You might as well uplift your spirit with nostalgia by watching these 5 classic anime series!

The world is suffering from the Coronavirus outbreak and the anime industry is no exception. Anime conventions like Anime Boston and Anime Japan already have been canceled for safety reasons. More and more people are pulling out of cons due to the widespread fear and risk of contagion. Coronavirus is also messing up anime production schedules. For instance, the release of Re:ZERO’s second season is being postponed to July 2020 due to production delays caused by the coronavirus. While all of these measures are necessary for safety, the disruption is still a bummer for the otaku crowd.

Fortunately, there’s an abundance of old school anime series waiting for you to (re)watch them! The series I’m listing here have a lot of episodes, which is great for killing time. They’re also available on popular streaming services, making them easy to access online. Some of these shows are free to watch online. I find that the classic art style, animation, and unique stories found in old school anime calms my anxiety a bit. At the very least, it distracts my thoughts from spiraling into the Negaverse. Maybe it will do the same thing for you.

Here are 5 old school anime series to watch while you’re in quarantine:

Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon is the most popular magical girl anime in the history of anime. Usagi Tsukino is the clumsy protagonist/dumpling head who fights for justice alongside the other Sailor Senshi we all know and love. Plus, there are 2 talking cats in this series (Luna and Artemis)! This second wave is causing Sailor Moon fans everywhere to rejoice in the name of the moon. The iconic anime is available through the Hulu and VIZ streaming services. (By the way, episodes are free on VIZ). Warning: This anime has big ‘90s energy!

Creamy Mami

Creamy Mami is a charming magical girl anime that came out in 1983. The series follows a 10-year-old girl named Yuu who has the power to transform into a majestic pop idol named Creamy Mami. While Creamy Mami isn’t as popular as Sailor Moon, she’s got just as big of a heart as Usagi! She also has 2 cat sidekicks named Posi and Nega, which are shortened versions of the words “positive” and “negative.” I haven’t finished this series yet, but I love it so far and can’t wait to see what happens next. There are 50+ episodes available on Amazon Prime, so there’s plenty to watch while you’re holed up inside!

Ranma ½

Ranma ½ is a retro anime series by Rumiko Takahashi, the prolific anime creator and mangaka. First released in 1989, this show is great if you like anime that plays with the concept of gender. It’s about a martial artist/boy named Ranma Saotome who changes into a girl whenever he gets splashed with cold water. It takes warm water to change him back into a boy. Most of the characters in this show are martial artists, so a lot of fighting goes on between them. Watch all 7 seasons of this anime on Hulu.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

If you haven’t watched Puella Magi Madoka Magica, you’re missing out on serious magical girl action! The first season was released in 2011, so while it’s not that retro, it still counts as old school anime. This series follows Madoka Kaname and a group of middle school girls who become magical girls, but aren’t ready for all that comes with the territory. I appreciate this series because it shows the dark side of being a magical girl and has a very unique art style. Also, Kyubey is a hella cute alien! After you finish the first season, you can watch the second season with a more recent release year (2020). Both seasons are available on Crunchyroll.


The first Pokémon anime was released in 1997. Why not curl up on the couch and binge-watch the first season on Netflix? Netflix has every season of the anime series to fulfill your nostalgia needs. Seeing all the cute pokémon will take your mind back to a time when things were simpler. Afterward, watch Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution, the most recent Pokémon movie, to get back in touch with the times. If you don’t have Netflix, anyone can watch anime episodes on Pokémon TV for free through their official website.

A pandemic is upon us, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! Every day is #throwbackthursday or #flashbackfriday when you’re watching old school anime! In the meantime, please wash your hands and avoid going out if you’re sick. Also, check out these important tips for social distancing, quarantine, and isolation. Thanks for reading!


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