The 7 Anime Set In The 1960s (Swinging Sixties)

The 1960s are marked by much diversity and disparity around the world and were nicknamed the Swinging Sixties.

We see the sad raging of racism, especially in America, increasingly rampant and alarming. Other nations like Italy experience a moment of development, both technological and social.

Japan is enveloped in profound social inequality and uncertainty, which will prolong all the way down to the 70s.

The upper classes are doing well thanks in part to the brief economic boom, while the working classes experience a dark period, forced to live in slums.

All these scenarios will be present and decisive in this list of anime set during the ’60s.

This listicle will show you the best recommendations according to our experience and opinions.

7. Brigadoon


Marin is a little girl like any other. She lives with her friends in her apartment complex, but is teased by her schoolmates because she is poor and an orphan, unlike them.

From one moment to the next, mysterious monsters will start descending from the sky, which seems to target her specifically.

Fortunately, Miriam finds an amulet from which a creature named Meran Blue will emerge to protect her.

The series is set in 1969, abreast of our topic, in a fictional Japan given the presence of the monsters but realistic taken out of those.

The most realistic thing we will see is the disparity between social classes, and it will be reflected in the sad bullying Marin suffers.

6. Young Black Jack

Young Black Jack

Young Black Jack, as the title suggests, is a prequel to Black Jack, released in 2015 in 12 episodes.

Kuroo Hazama is a medical student who wants to follow in the steps of Dr. Jotaro Honma, the surgeon who saved his life when his body was torn apart by a bomb.

We will see many answers to frequently asked questions from Dr. Black Jack’s past, along with his emergence as a professional figure.

The series as a setting doesn’t offer a historically accurate setting, as it is set mainly in the hospital where Black Jack practices and its immediate surroundings.

But we know for a fact that the historical period is the 1960s, so the inclusion is due.

5. Only Yesterday

Only Yesterday

A breathtaking movie, released in 1991 but with a graphic style to be the envy of many more recent products.

Only Yesterday is a slice of life in the truest sense of the word, and it shows us the events of Taeko, a young woman in her 30s who has always lived in the city.

While vacationing in the countryside with relatives, however, she begins to remember her past, going back 20 years earlier to the tender age of 10.

We will see a continuous alternation between these two realities, in a story that is excellently interwoven.

You may be wondering, which of the two Taeko lives in the 1960s, and the answer is the one in the past, 10 years old. We will see a very realistic cross-section of the Japan of those times, with costumes and customs of the time.

It’s curious to say that only in the movie the two eras alternate since in the original work we will only see the child Taeko. A full immersion into the 1960s, then.

4. The Legend of Mahjong: Akagi

Mahjong Legend Akagi

Akagi is a 2005 26-episode anime with an unmistakable style. It’s impossible not to notice that it is by the same creator as Kaiji, and they even share the gambling theme.

Nangou is a gambling addict who has accumulated debts of more than three million yen. Desperate to make up for his debts, he bets his life on a game of Mahjong with the mafia.

The start is anything but positive, but to his aid will come, Akagi, a mysterious boy with gambling in his blood.

The vision is centered on mahjong and the psychology behind a game of the game, and it is set in a dark and cramped playing place, so historical context is lacking.

Although we know at least that it’s set in the 1960s.

3. From up on Poppy Hill

From Up On Poppy Hill

A 2011 production, again from the home of Japanese masterpiece feature movies, Studio Ghibli.

From Up On Poppy Hill is set during Japan’s 1963 economic boom, so after WWII. The story stars Umi Komatsuzaki, a student residing in the port city of Yokohama, who ends up falling in love with a boy named Shun’ya Kazama.

The two will get to know each other more and more, but within a short period of time, they will also learn of a secret shared in their past, casting a dramatic veil over the story.

A complete story that is unlikely not to grab you by making you feel like a fellow adventurer of the two boys. This is also one of the best anime set in Yokohama you can’t miss.

2. Lupin III

Lupin III

Lupin III is a hugely popular anime based on the works of Monkey Punch.

The iconic protagonist Lupin III is the grandson of Arsène Lupin, the gentleman thief. He is following in the footsteps of his grandfather by becoming a world-famous thief who is both feared and admired.

Many people decide to join his gang, such as Daisuke Jigen, a skilled gunman, and Goemon Ishikawa, an expert samurai. Lupin is also hunted down by the law, represented by Inspector Zenigata, who is always left speechless by the cunning of the thief.

The historical setting of this legendary anime is never clearly told to us, but we know that it is more or less contemporary with the historical period in which it was released.

And the manga, being released in 1967, therefore gives us the certainty that it is set in the late 1960s.

1. Kids on the Slope

Kids on the Slope

Kids on the Slope is an anime produced by Mappa studio, inspired by Yuki Kodama’s manga titled Jammin’ Apollon.

It tells the story of Kaoru Nishimi, an honor student who, due to his father’s difficult economic situation, is forced to move to the home of some of his relatives in the summer of 1966.

It is in this town that he will make the acquaintance of Sentaro Kawabuchi, a punk kid with a passion for jazz music.

It is no coincidence that an anime about jazz is set after World War II. Those in the know will know that in Japan, during the WWII period and in the immediate postwar period, Jazz was heavily censored, fingered as the music of the enemy.

After the removal of censorship precisely, this music had a second youth, so the 1960s setting is more than justified.

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Passionate about Japanese culture for years, serial devourer of manga, anime, and videogames that have now become part of my routine. My favorite series? Goodnight Punpun and One Piece.

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