Top 10 Action Manga of 1990
1. Battle Angel Alita
In a dump in the lawless settlement of Scrapyard, far beneath the mysterious space city of Zalem, disgraced cyber-doctor Daisuke Ido makes a strange find: the detached head of a cyborg woman who has lost all her memories. He names her Alita and equips her with a powerful new body, the Berserker. While Alita remembers no details of her former life, a moment of desperation reawakens in her nerves the legendary school of martial arts known as Panzer Kunst. In a place where there is no justice but what people make for themselves, Alita decides to become a hunter-killer, tracking down and taking out those who prey on the weak. But can she hold onto her humanity as she begins to revel in her own bloodlust?
(Source: Kodansha Comics)
2. Yu Yu Hakusho
Yusuke Urameshi was a tough teen delinquent until one selfless act changed his life...by ending it. When he died saving a little kid from a speeding car, the afterlife didn't know what to do with him, so it gave him a second chance at life. Now, Yusuke is a ghost with a mission, performing good deeds at the behest of Botan, the ferrywoman of the River Styx, and Koenma, the pacifier-sucking judge of the dead.
Two young men vow to transform the destiny of Japan, by any means. As children, they survived the horrors of the Cambodian killing fields together. Now, can they topple the leaders of both the Japanese Parliament and the yakuza crime syndicate?
Although cold and calculating when need be, Hojo and Asami exemplify the traits their colleagues lack: loyalty to friends, compassion for the downtrodden...and an irresistible way with women.
Deputy Police Chief Ishihara sets out to expose their ingenious machinations, but instead falls helplessly in love with Hojo...
Harumichi Bouya transfers to a Suzuran mid-year, but this isn't just any school, it is know as Crow High where all the delinquent students go to. Bouya just wants to be the number one fighter in school and in doing so he sets off a chain of events of high school gang warfare in the area.
Crows is the prequel of the manga "Worst", and it a story occurring in Suzuran two years before the story of "Worst."
5. The Legend of Mother Sarah
Orbiting serenely above a long-ago poisoned earth, the last bastion of human civilization is the space colonies. After a terrorist attack, the colonists are forced into exile on the blighted planet below. In the confusion, a young mother is separated from her family and is flung into a bleak, uncertain future...
But Sarah will not rest until she finds her children. Katsuhiro Otomo has explored the dark side of the psyche with Domu and the corruption that comes with absolute power in Akira. Now Otomo has set his sights on the enduring power of hope. Welcome to The Legend of Mother Sarah. This volume collects all eight issues this compelling series, one of the finest ever produced.
(Source: Dark Horse)
6. Nijiiro Tougarashi
The story is set in a place very similar in appearance to Earth in the Edo period. However, Adachi (the mangaka) regularly reminds the reader all throughout the series that the setting is another planet in the distant future which just happens to look like Earth.
After the death of his mother, Shichimi sets out to join his step-brothers and -sister who live together in Karakuri Tenement, a place provided by the father they have never met. He finds out that each of them had different mothers (all of whom have died), but were fathered by the same man. Not long after Shichimi's arrival, the siblings decide to journey to visit the graves of each of their mothers. On this journey, they encounter many dangers.
7. Mobile Suit Gundam F90
Universal Century 0120
Phantom mobile suits, oh my! Renegade Zeon mobile suits steal the newly developed Gundam F90 during it's testing phase! The Federation Forces give pursuit to Mars where the Oldsmobile Army is about to unleash it's ultimate assault against the Earth! Who will survive?!
8. Kuradaruma: Tokime Densetsu
Kuji Shousuke’s life changed forever when he was running through an airport trying to get a story for the magazine he writes for and he accidentally wound up stumbling into and kissing a pop star named Cynthia. Everyone was outraged, including Cynthia, but she kissed him back. That’s when things started going strange for Shousuke; he saw people naked instead of clothed, he blacked out, he attacked people without remembering any of it.
Just when it looks like his life is going straight to hell, he meets Yuma, who fairly quickly figures out that something was done to him. Yuma is a psychic, and with her band of followers they try to figure out what was done to Shousuke. And that’s when things get truly strange...
10. Emblem Take 2
Shinjuku, 1979. A member of the Kaeda Yakuza gang, Akutsu Jouji, has lost in a brawl with a university cheering squad, and begs for forgiveness through bitter tears. Since then, nothing has gone well in Jouji's life, until 10 years later in 1989, his friend was ordered to kill him, and as he ran away he killed himself, ending his miserable life.
But when Jouji opened his eyes, he was in Shinjuku in 1979, at the fight with the university students that caused things to go wrong. Now with ten more years of memories and experience, Jouji repels the university students with spirit and wisdom. Now he swears to wear a gold emblem around town, and begins his life anew.
(Source: Hokuto no Gun)