Of course, I'll put my disclaimer here stating that I do not own any of these intellectual properties and they are copyright to their individual owners.
Hit the jump to get to the videoy goodness inside.
This intro starts our countdown off because it was groundbreaking in that it was one of the first anime to use a rock based theme song, Ai wo Torimodose, rather than the typical pop-styled song. The intro also has some really cool visuals, and once you've heard the phrase "You wa SHOCK!" how can you ever forget it?
I can't really say I'm a fan of Saint Seiya, have read only a small portion of the manga and not seeing the anime, but I really, really like this intro. The song, Pegasus Fantasy, is awesome and the animation is action packed, and really does a good job making the show look interesting... which is why I may have to give it another shot.
The Ducktales intro would've been higher on the list if it hadn't been mostly a clip intro- meaning an introduction made up of clips from episodes. Despite that detail though, I still put it in my top ten intros simply on the strength of the theme song, which is one of the most memorable cartoon themes of my childhood.
Probably the second most still relevant 80's IP behind The Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles really came in and crushed its competition after airing in 1987 and would be the biggest US animated show through the early 90's. This intro really hit all the right elements needed to make it perfect and iconic- the animation is top notch, making sure everything is easy to read while looking fluid and dynamic, and the theme song is catchy and informative- giving us information on our lead characters before we've even seen the show. It's an intro that's just as iconic now as it was when it first appeared.
Dragonball is the quintessential shonen anime series and it's comic and cartoon have its origins in the 80's. While the song Makafushigi Adventure was the theme song for the entire run of the original Dragonball series, I particularly liked the animation for the second variation of the intro. I really like how the whole intro has a 70's kung fu vibe from the song to the settings to the characters' poses.
Every fan of 80's animation knows the Thundercats, especially the iconic intro featuring some really incredible high end animation and a very catchy theme song. It was great to see the show again with the recent remake, but since it was on Cartoon Network it was unfortunately doomed to fail...
Like its predecessor, the aforementioned Thundercats, Silverhawks was another Rankin/Bass Productions show centered on humanoid characters with animal related powers. This show was set in space, but was very loosely tied in with it's sister series. Also like Thundercats, the intro for Silverhawks was animated in Japan with a great budget and awesome story boarding and animation quality. I especially like the brief clip of Bluegrass playing his guitar.
I first saw Guyver when I got into anime back in 1994, it was the third video I rented from my local Blockbuster Video right behind Project A-ko and Dominion Tank Police. It was also the first animation that I saw with this level of gore, which of course made it a favorite. The theme song and U.S. Renditions' translation of the lyrics also made it stand out by being catchy and over the top to match the show.
I've met a surprisingly few number of people who actually remember this show... Anyway, I remember watching this show as a kid and the toys with the cool "bionic" parts they were known for and I always had a soft spot for the series growing up. The theme song was catchy also and so was buried deep in my psyche.
My favorite intro is a Gundam intro. My favorite part of this entire intro only last about half a second, it's the clip of series protagonist Kamille Bidan closing the visor on his helmet and giving the thumbs up. The reflection on the visor looks so cool. I also love the use of colored lines for Four Murasame during her sparkly fly by. Other than that, I really dig the unquestionably 80's-ness of the song, Mizu no Hoshi he Ai wo Komete, and really enjoy how the intro immediately sets up some of the intrigue for the series' story involving Char and Scirocco. Looking back, I'm surprised Hamon wasn't included here.