From TV Trope's entry on essential anime, meant to highlight trendsetting and defining works, those with of historical note, and major works of various genres. Targeted more for people who are first getting into anime and have literally no idea where to start or common conventions, sub genres, or tropes.
For other complete lists of animation by year, check my lists overview:
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Previously released series or movies I want to watch.
Currently Watching: https://trakt.tv/users/asterlea/lists/anime-currently-watching