20 Awesomest Anime of the Decade (2000-2009)

I’ve seen me lots of animu in the last decade. I started watching this stuff in late 2001, and it’s ruined my life ever since. That being said, I felt it was my obligation to impart upon you the fact that there are good anime out there. It’s not all moeblobs and slice of life bullshit. So, as it’s so trendy to do right now, I’m giving you my list of the 20 Most Awesomest Anime of 2000’s. Keep in mind that even though I have ranked these, they are all equally awesome. My list probably won’t sit well with the pretentious arthouse goons or the moe-loving fapboys, but rest assured these anime are actually good shows.

20.) Boogiepop Phantom (2000) – This is one of those series where the fun comes in figuring out what the hell is going on. It’s a supernatural thriller, with each episode taking place from the point of view of a different character. I love the washed out color palette, the haunting music, the “realistic” look of the characters (i.e. no crazy hair colors), and the non-linear story. Instead of spoon feeding the viewer, it allows you to deduce what really happened on your own, although this may require multiple viewings. As the “angel of death,” Boogiepop doesn’t really have a name that would inspire fear in anybody, but if you watch this series late at night with the lights off, you might get a little freaked out.

19.) Paprika (2006) – A film from a true master, Satoshi Kon. While Millenium Actress is probably his most praised work, I find that there is something intangibly better about this movie. Kon continually plays with themes of identity and reality, and he does so to perfection here. In a future world where people can use technology to enter dreams, a doctor is attempting to use it to help psychiatric patients. She uses a persona known as Paprika. As the movie progresses, the line between what is real and what is the dream world blurs. Eventually, things spiral out of control, and climax in one of the weirdest and most incredible finales ever put to film.

18.) Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu (2003) – This is a series that doesn’t have quite the lofty artistic aspirations of the previous two entries. However, I’ll be damned if it isn’t a hell of a lot of fun to watch. I would place this amongst the top three funniest anime series I have ever seen. As a sequel to Full Metal Panic!, it requires you to be familiar with the characters. If you are, then there are plenty of laughs to be had. Each episode is comprised of two 10-minute segments which are loosely related. As the series goes on, things become more manic and out of control. There is a ton of action and comedy, which are blended perfectly. You’d be hard pressed to find a funnier series. Also, the animation and acting are both top notch.

17.) Gunslinger Girl (2003) – I find it nearly impossible to find a single flaw within this series. The story follows a group of pre-teen girls who are bionically upgraded, and turned into assassins by the Italian government. Obviously, the premise is cliche and overdone. However, the execution is the real payoff. The show takes a very realistic and serious approach. It doesn’t have any of the typical anime “circle eyes,” nosebleeds, or giant sweatdrops. The animation is extremely detailed, and the violence is short and graphic and terrible, just like it would be in real life. The violence is not at all glamorized, which is what makes the series so compelling. It is interesting to watch as it is a snapshot of a period in the girls’ lives, not a lengthy, epic storyline. Be sure to avoid the inferior second season.

16.) Wolf’s Rain (2003) – Without a doubt this is one of the most tragic anime I’ve seen. Don’t go into this one expecting something uplifting, because you certainly won’t get that here. According to an old legend, when the end of the world comes, Paradise will appear; however, only wolves will know how to find it. Although wolves are believed to have been hunted to extinction nearly two hundred years ago, they still exist, surviving by taking human form. The story is essentially one big road trip to find Paradise. Here, it isn’t about the destination, but rather the journey. One of the things that made this series great was that I never knew what would happen next. The writing was fresh and original, and rarely veered into cliched territory. It had great animation, fantastic music, excellent acting, and a phenomenal story. You owe it to yourself to watch this.

15.) The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) – This film is able to blend comedy and drama perfectly. The human emotions on display here are completely genuine. The story centers around a high school girl who gains the ability to travel back in time. Unbeknownst to her, she only has a limited number of “leaps,” and she uses them to fix frivolous things. While the animation is a little rough around the edges, you will hardly notice. The story is so compelling you will easily get sucked into the film. It has a great story, and is a lot of fun. There are moments that will have you laughing, and others on the edge of your seat. It is truly a masterpiece.

14.) Voices of a Distant Star (2002) – Even though this is just a 25 minute OVA, you can’t deny this is a powerful short film. At first you think it will be about giant space robots fighting a war against aliens. But it really isn’t about that at all. It’s about loss and hope. If you’ve ever been in love or lost someone important to you, then you will find something to identify with here. As Makoto Shinkai’s first major work, it shows a level of maturity that he (unfortunately) has not yet been able to recapture. Nevertheless, this is a fantastic show, and one I cannot recommend enough.

13.) Welcome to the N.H.K. (2006) – I’ve already given this one a full review on my blog, so I’ll spare you the details. I love that this is a character-driven story, and that they show natural growth throughout. They don’t grow so much that it’s unbelievable, or so little that it’s frustrating. It’s a perfect snapshot of a short period in the lives of otaku. It’s a great, satirical look at the world of those who watch anime. Much better than that crap anime Genshiken. Every self proclaimed fan of anime needs to watch this show. They will find a lot of themselves in the characters. Without a doubt, this is Gonzo’s best series.

12.) Sword of the Stranger (2007) – It’s really rare for Japan to actually produce a good samurai tale. Akira Kurosawa basically closed the book on the genre with his opus Seven Samurai. While the first Rurouni Kenshin OVA/movie was indeed excellent, there has been little else samurai-related that was worth a shit. It seems that the Japanese can’t help but add a bunch of mystical shit and idiotic super powers (e.g. Basilisk) which ruin everything. What I love about this movie is that it is a samurai story set in the real world.  Sure, the bad guys believe in the supernatural, but nobody has any super powers. It’s a straight-forward good vs evil movie. It’s nice to see sword fighting without spell-casting or powering up. And that is what makes it so refreshing. It’s a simple tale, with great action, incredible animation, a compelling story, and wonderful acting. You really can’t ask for anything more than that.

11.) Read or Die (2001) – Yomiko Readman A.K.A. The Paper (or Zah Peipah if you’re weeaboo) is one of my all time favorite anime characters. As I mentioned for Sword of the Stranger, I generally like it when anime take on a completely realisitic approach. This OVA, however, is the complete opposite of that, and I still love it. Here we have a bookworm superhero whose power allows for the manipulation of paper. She uses it as transportation, shields, weapons, pretty much anything. I think it’s the most unique super power I’ve ever seen. The OVA is only three episodes long, and is a hell of a lot of fun to watch. There’s nothing heavy here, just light plot, great action, and a kick-ass soundtrack. There is also a TV series that followed, although it was vastly inferior to the OVA.

10.) Paranoia Agent (2004) – Another entry from Satoshi Kon, and this time it’s a TV series. And this is a seriously cracked out, David Lynch-esque series. A mysterious boy named Lil Slugger is appearing all over Tokyo and assaulting people. Strangely enough, each person is undergoing a crisis, and after they are hit with Lil Slugger’s baseball bat, they seem to have an improvement in their lives. As with all of Kon’s work, the line between truth and fiction are blurred. Hidden beneath the stories is Kon’s own commentary about modern day Japan, as well as humanity itself. While this show can be a head-scratcher at times, it is a lot of fun figuring out what’s going on, and who exactly is Lil Slugger.

9.) Aim for the Top 2! Diebuster (2004) – As a sequel to Aim for the Top! Gunbuster, this six episode OVA had a lot to live up to. Thankfully, it delivered in spades. In fact, I find it to be superior to the original. It takes place approximately 12,000 years after the events of the first OVA, so it is indeed a loose sequel. However, there are many nods and echoes to the original in terms of both homages and plot points. As in the original, this anime follows a young girl as she dreams of going into space, only to fight hordes of space monsters. The animation is top-notch, the action scenes incredible, and the plot twists a bit surprising at the end. It continues the hyper-kinetic look and feel of FLCL, and it should as it has the same director, Kazuya Tsurumaki.

8.) Spirited Away (2001) / Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) / Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea (2008) – Hayao Miyazaki is the man. Pretty much everything he makes turns to gold. That’s why it’s so hard to just pick one of his movies. All three that he directed in this decade were incredible in their own rights. I’m not sure where Miyazaki gets his crack, but it must be good stuff. He always has vibrant visuals and fun (if not slightly insane) stories. His movies aren’t just for kids, they appeal to everyone.

7.) Monster (2004) – This is another one of those near-perfect series with nary a flaw to be found anywhere. It also features an amazing cast of characters including Inspector “I am Japanese” Runge, DOKUTAH TENMA, and the scariest villain of all time, Johan. Monster is an epic 74 episode series which tells the story of Doctor Kenzo Tenma as he attempts to track down the psychopath/sociopath Johan who has ruined his life, as well as the lives of many others. As the story slowly unfolds we learn more about the depths of Johan’s cruel insanity. And it further cements just how much someone needs to stop him. While the series can move a  bit slowly at times, it is never dull. There is always something happening, and it is usually quite suspenseful. Even though this show doesn’t get a lot of love from most anime fans, it really should. It’s incredible. This is storytelling at its best.

6.5) Detroit Metal City (2008) – First of all, my apologies to Johannes Krauser II. When I initially made this list I had yet to see this series, and after watching it, I realized it demanded a position. Krauser is the Emperor of Hell (as well as Death Metal), and is the star of the show. DMC has a simple, yet hilarious premise. It features a shy, extremely gentle (some would say a pussy) man named Souichi Negishi who wants nothing more than to become a light-pop music star. Unfortunately, things don’t pan out for him, and he winds up as the lead singer of the world’s most infamous death metal band, Detroit Metal City. His on stage persona, Krauser, is so hardcore that people actually believe he is a terrorist from Hell. He’s just that metal. The comedy stems from Negishi’s attempts to keep his true self separate from his secret life as Krauser. While this seems very sitcom-ish, it actually comes across far better. I guarantee you that the execution and originality of the jokes will have you laughing your ass off. I have never laughed harder at any anime (or live action) series. If you like comedy, if you like anime, you have to watch DMC.

6.) The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2006) – This series is a phenomenon. Never before have people been so obsessed with an anime. Otaku were performing chereographed dances in the streets of Japan by the dozens, dressed up as the characters. And there is a good reason why they were so obsessed. This is a great series. The episodes are mixed up and tell the story in a non-linear way, which makes it difficult yet fun to figure out what’s going on. There are crazy plot twists, and it turns out that Haruhi is an incredibly important figure in our universe. The main character and narrator, Kyon, narrates with hilarious sarcasm, and provides a perfect foil for the manic Haruhi. There is a lot to love here.

5.) Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002, 2004, 2006) – There are three dates listed here to correspond to the two seasons of the TV series, and the film. This is a tour de force of storytelling. Each season and the film manages to tell a complete story, yet there is an overarching plot that encompasses all three. The story takes place in the future, and revolves around Public Security Section 9. They investigate various cyber-crimes which have serious implications for the government, as well as the world at large. It posits interesting philosophical ideas about the nature of humanity, consciousness, and the soul. And, unlike Mamoru Oshii’s inferior 1995 and 2004 movies (set in a different continuity), it manages to do so while having ample amounts of action. It is never boring, and is always entertaining. This series is a masterpiece.

4.) Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) – This series follows the adventures of Edward and Alphonse Elric in a fictional, industrial revolution type of world. While it boasts great animation, fun action sequences, great acting, and a cool soundtrack, those are not the reasons I love this show. I love it because the story is great. The bond of brotherhood between the two main characters is strong, and it is the main driving force behind everything that happens. There aren’t a lot of anime with magical powers that manage to pull you in emotionally, but this one does. From beginning to end you will experience all the same emotions (love, anger, sadness) that the Elric Brothers feel. This is a huge testament to great storytelling. Even though some critics say this is overhyped, I dare them to find any series that is as emotionally involving and as endearing.

3.) Haibane Renmei (2002) – Another masterpiece series, this time coming from long time character designer Yoshitoshi ABe. I find this show to be incredibly relaxing. There is something about its laid back pace and relative lack of urgency that really chills me out whenever I watch it. Don’t confuse that with boring, because this series is anything but. It follows the story of the Haibane, young angel-like girls, who live in a strange walled city that they can not leave. The real mystery here is figuring out what exactly are the Haibane. One theory promotes the idea that the city is the afterlife and they are children who have died, and the sin-bound ones are those who committed suicide. There are some hints dropped throughout the series which do seem to back that up. However, it is left widely open to interpretation, so you can feel free to think whatever you like. This is another strong, character driven tale, which is one of the best anime of all time, not just of this decade.

2.) FLCL (2000) – This is highly regarded as one of the best and most insane anime ever produced. As a six episode OVA from Kazuya Tsurumaki, it practically invented the hyper-kinetic style of anime. The plot revolves around Naota’s life as a young boy in a sleepy town, doing nothing particularly interesting. One day he is hit in the head with the guitar of a space pirate named Haruhara Haruko. Things quickly spiral out of control as aliens and robots sprout from Naota’s head. Essentially, it’s a coming of age story, but it is also so much more than that. It’s a quirky, wild, schizophrenic ride with awesome animation, references to everything from Evangelion to South Park, and a cool story. The soundtrack is also legendary amongst anime fans. This is a show you will never forget.

1.) Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (2007) – Coming from late in the decade is a series that is the ultimate homage to the giant robot genre. It mixed together disparate bits from a bunch of different shows, and combined them into what has got to be the most exhilarating series ever produced. It’s shocking that the pace never lets up. It gathers momentum, and when you think they can’t keep this up, they somehow manage to do so. For 27 episodes. It features the most epic final battle ever, and the animation quality remains superb throughout. Despite featuring robots so giant they can hurl galaxies at one another as weapons, this series has a surprising amount of depth. What I love about Gurren Lagann is that it has excellent character arcs. The main character Simon goes from being a shrimpy coward, to coming out of Kamina’s shadow, to becoming the ultimate badass. The other characters like Yoko, Kittan, and Viral also have good, complete character arcs. It’s surprising how few anime actually tell a complete story, or have characters that show truly significant growth. This anime does both of those things, and does them exceedingly well.  Gurren Lagann is an optimistic story, and also promotes the nature of humanity (or of all life in general): always move forward, and never give up. Those are themes that I like, as opposed to the typical anime theme of: moeblob merchandise. It’s impossible to watch Gurren Lagann and not cheer for the good guys as they face seemingly insurmountable odds. And it would also be impossible to find any anime more epic, grander in scope, than Gurren Lagann.

108 Responses to “20 Awesomest Anime of the Decade (2000-2009)”

  1. January 3, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Good job! This list definitely tops that Japanator Top 50 piece of crap. I will definitely have to check out these shows I haven’t seen.

  2. January 4, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    Many of your selection also appear in my list of the decade. I’m especially impressed by your choosing Paprika. No one else seems to like this one. My only objection is probably Wolf’s Rain, an ambitious project without any doubt but still far from perfect 🙂

  3. January 9, 2010 at 4:27 am

    haven’t seen Paprika but I heard it was kick-ass. FLCL shouldn’t be 2 IMO, it was really ground breaking but it still didn’t make any damn sense to me.

    btw, do you want to link exchange? Both of our blogs could use some more readers/comments. Check mine out @ GuideToBeingaTeenager.com and click the “Link Me & I’ll Link You” page (at the top). Comment back and let me know.

  4. 4 Chee
    January 11, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Although I disagree with some of your selections and omissions (rating Gurren Lagann over Monster, FLCL, SAC and Paranoia Agent? No Oshii or Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei? Putting Ponyo on the same rank as Howl and Spirited Away? FFFFFFF), this is overall a pretty solid list.

  5. March 1, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Can’t thank you enough for posting these … spent the entire weekend watching Gurren Lagann and it RULES!

  6. May 31, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Really decent post… I love it. Keep ’em coming… 🙂

  7. 7 shenemet
    July 31, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Epic list thanks.

  8. 8 A.
    August 8, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Odd that you liked Haruhi… (it’s just not my style)
    Everything else I agreed with.

  9. 9 Ap
    October 25, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    No Mushishi ?
    If you haven’t yet, you should most definitely check it out.
    It has the slowness of Haibane Renmei, which I also really liked, and is very different from most other anime. Look it up on anidb, I’m sure you like it.

    And if you liked Mushishi, check out Mononoke (not Princess Mononoke, fuck no).

  10. November 30, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    I was kinda hoping to see Haruhi in at least the top 3 but no complaints here. Nicely done here mate.

  11. 11 Friend
    December 16, 2010 at 3:18 am

    Were are Blech and Naruto Shippuden ? They should be also in the list…

    • 12 Tori
      August 28, 2016 at 9:34 pm

      No. Bleach started well but quickly went downhill when they diverged from the manga. Continuously keeping up quality is definitely a requirement of a great series overall.
      And Naruto…no. Yeah, it has it’s moments. But are you rivetted to every episode? Nope.

  12. 13 lipeto
    January 2, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Basilisk is great you idiot.

  13. 14 Anonymous
    January 5, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Wow, this is one of the only good lists for the decade that I have seen so far. I am glad that someone finally managed to write one that does not include Naruto Shippuden or Bleach. I’d say that I agree with all of your choices except for FMA, Gurren Lagann, and FMP: Fumoffu. But hey, considering the disparity of opinion amongst anime fans, 17/20 probably makes this some sort of masterpiece. In fact, this is probably the best list I have read so far (and I’ve read quite a few).

  14. January 17, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Sadly, I have been out of touch with the anime scene for several years now and have only seen a few of the anime you listed here… but you’ve definitely given me some fresh direction with what “new” anime I’d like to start watching. Thank you for sharing!

  15. 16 nikolaaaaa
    February 1, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    sword of the stranger…omg…that movie sucks so bad…

  16. 17 mmm...
    February 5, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    No Code Geass? mmm…

  17. 18 ken
    March 28, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Awesome! I liked the Japanator list as well, but this one is quite good.

  18. July 6, 2011 at 2:26 am

    I love your list. Check mine out!!!!

  19. 20 Tarnsman
    September 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Great list. I don’t agree with all of it, but for the most part they’re all great shows.

  20. 21 anaract
    March 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    I agree with all of this, except for gurren lagann. I think it deserves to be deep into the list of terrible anime. It was pretty good, up-beat, humorous anime for the first half. and then it made attempts to become serious, while still retaining it’s comedic style, and the result was a mash of every anime stereotype known to man shoved together in 10 episodes. It was terrible. The fighting made NO SENSE whatsoever, it had the occasional serious moment that was actually good, but then they would rape it in the ass with some sort of shitty comedic action scene immediately after.
    and then the ending happened. any hope for the series was just lost. The anti-spirals, whose sole purpose was to keep spiral life in check so it doesn’t destroy the universe, was defeated. Except that the reason they fucking existed was to save the universe. And Simon, being retarded, decides that he likes Neah, so the Universe can go fuck itsself cuz he wants a wife. Except that she dies soon after. and then Simon disappears. And the universe is now ripe and ready to go fucking destroy itsself because Simon is a fuckwad who just killed the only thing keeping the universe from not blowing up.


  21. 22 Rice
    June 22, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Naruto/ Naruto Shippuden should be on this list. I think people don\’t want to give this series its credit because it caught on and is so popular. Take your favorite TV show, how long has it been on, 5 seasons, 7, 9? How many episodes per season, 15, 20? How about 487 episodes so far, you can even take out 100 for filler if you like.
    Talk about depth, and attachment to characters. Take out filler and you have easily 100 hours worth of anime to get to know these characters. I have laughed and cried with this series.
    Some of you will say I don\’t know shit and that might be true. But I don’t like it because everyone else does. I have a friend that told me it was amazing and that I should start from the beginning. He was right. The volume of episodes and character development alone should put this series in the conversation. I’ve watched these characters grow up, it\’s fantastic.
    On a side note, I have caught a couple episodes that are english dubbed. It really bothers me that people see these and think they have seen the show. The actors that play these characters in Japanese add so many layers and subtleties with their voices. The english doesn’t come close and I can’t even bear to watch it.

  22. 23 SIddharth Jain
    July 16, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Dude you missed Cowboy Bebop! Epic Fail!

  23. 24 SIddharth Jain
    July 16, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Oh my mistake, Cowboy Bebop is from 1998. I agree with your list now.

  24. 25 Pedal
    August 23, 2012 at 9:11 am

    The list is very good, but Naruto/naruto shippuden deserves to be number 1..my question to you is have you ever sit down and watch 5 episodes from 1-5 of the english sub…your leaving it out on the sole basis that its popularity. You should be asking yourself why its so popular in the first place.

  25. January 4, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I started scrolling at first and i’m like:’Ohhh… another one of these “best anime” ever articles… but wait. Let’s just see them all and read a bit.’ (Don’t ask how i got here! A google roller-coaster ride.)
    And that’s where you got me man.
    First, the choice of anime. Not the usual animes you get to see in lists.
    Second, the explanation for choosing that anime. I’m surprised to see someone with so much knowledge of the subject plus the well-written form.
    Lastly, i really love the fact that you don’t inlist anime like bleach, naruto or one piece. They are great anime but not the best of the decade for the fact that they don’t offer anything more than the anime of the past decades.
    Good job!

  26. 28 Michael
    February 6, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    You’re missing a whole lot of amazing anime. Cowboy bebop, samurai champloo, and of course the famous Naruto and bleach just proves how immature this list is. I like the list personally but, those are just some honorable mentions that must to be in this decade’s list period.

    • February 7, 2013 at 7:58 am

      Cowboy Bebop is my all-time favorite anime. It wasn’t included because it was produced in 1998, therefore excluding it from this list. I’ll give you Champloo, it’s a pretty great show. I never liked Naruto, personally.

  27. 30 John
    February 20, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    This makes me want to go back and watch some of the anime that I was too young to appreciate earlier on in the decade. I agree with leaving Naruto, Bleach, and even One Piece out. Naruto (original series) was nice and I probably wouldn’t be offended is that made the list but shippuden is not my cup of tea. Also, none of those series (unless you count Naruto) are completed series… that being said, if you followed that logic, I don’t know if they will ever end so you might as well add them now if you love them… Also, Samurai Shamploo is great but enough of what’s NOT on the list, I really enjoyed most of what is on it! The only one that I am unsure about is Wolf’s Rain, I will have to go back and re-watch those. Otherwise, what I have watched of these I have loved and it has given me some things to put in my queue. Thank you very much for a comprehensive and *mature list of anime.

    • February 21, 2013 at 7:47 am

      I’m glad you liked the list. You should definitely give Wolf’s Rain another try, but skip the four recap episodes. Hopefully, you’ll find several new series to enjoy from this list.

      • 32 cydriex luna
        July 18, 2013 at 9:37 pm

        i agree with your listings and how you rated gurren laggan. gurren laggan really shows a lot of epic moments which are rarely found in any anime these days. some hate hate gurren laggan because they say its too ridiculous and over rated but what they do not see is that the desire to break the impossible is a human nature that goes unnoticed the show itself is an image of dreams and hopes that one person can desire in his life the message that i can see in gurren laggan is that the current generation holds the the key on how will we make the new generation see the importance of hopes and dreams. p.s i dont care what others say about gurren laggan for me it rocks!

      • July 19, 2013 at 6:13 pm

        Glad you agree. Gurren Lagann is incredible. I recommend it to everyone.

  28. 34 Prokhor Zakharov
    March 6, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Great list. Monster rules.

  29. 37 TwinS
    May 17, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Here’s a comparison between the beloved Gurren Lagann and the failure called Air, complete with Air being destroyed at the end:

  30. 40 Metal Man
    May 26, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Since you loved Gurren Lagann, chances are you’ll love Hajime no Ippo as well. Ippo is pretty much the Gurren Lagann of boxing, in that the protagonists of both shows are faced with rapidly escalating odds, face their fears to become stronger, and topple some really powerful opponents.

  31. 42 Launch Octopus
    June 10, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Though Monster couldn’t keep my attention for long, I sure agree with Fullmetal Alchemist, FLCL, and Gurren Lagann.

  32. 44 Storm Eagle
    June 16, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Gurren Lagann RULEZ. BTW, Air and Clannad had fight scenes (for the sake of fight scenes) that equate to a child smashing toys together. Compare that to GL’s, which have story, impossible odds, monstrous mechs, and facial expressions.

  33. 46 megaroad1
    June 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Excellent list you’ve made here, well researched and argued for.

    The only show I would add to your list is Bakemonogatari, if anything, because of it’s unique art and memorable characters. But that is of course if you like it in the first place.

  34. 48 Fire Man
    July 10, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Watching Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood right now. It’s even better than the 2003 version.

  35. 50 Alex
    August 28, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    You made a great list and I have used it extensively. Your descriptions are accurate and rankings reasonable. Thanks for that it helped a lot. Great job. If there’s one thing I’m really puzzled about is your ranking of the anime Gurren Lagann as #1. It is an entertaining anime, one that is probably very attractive to the mecha lovers, but its lack of psychological deepness is only equal to its excess on youthful ideology. If Gurren Lagann is the #1 anime of the 2000’s and the 90’s had Neon Genesis Evangelion, then we had quite an unsatisfying decade in terms of anime, especially mecha! Anyways sorry for the argument. I really love your work, keep it on.
    P.S.: do you have other lists similar to that one?

    • 51 Alex
      August 29, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      youthful idealism* not ideology lol

    • August 31, 2013 at 7:54 am

      Thanks, I’m glad you liked the list. The reason Gurren Lagann is #1 is simply the culmination of so many things. It does everything right. Great animation, great action, great storytelling, and great fun. The characters don’t have to be as deep as the ones in Evangelion. Its characters may not be as multi-dimensional, but they have depth, and they complete full character arcs. Most series are unable to do that at all. I wouldn’t say the 2000s were disappointing at all, although I do think the 90s have the edge in terms of overall quality. The only other list similar to this one is my Shittiest Anime of the Decade list. I keep wanting to make a Best of the 90s anime list, but I haven’t ever gotten around to it.

  36. 54 AAn
    December 24, 2013 at 12:18 am

    A list to looked after.
    Why don’t you add Planetes? Solid story and realistic sound effect.
    And also Bakuman. Check it out man.

  37. 56 eternalbeta
    January 4, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    This is honestly one of the most sensible lists of this type that I have found. Thank you for including Voices of a Distant Star, as it is vastly underappreciated and honestly brought my to the brink of tears. As with most people, I have to ask about an omission to the list, my personal favorite series of not just the decade, but my favorite period, RahXephon. On the surface, some people dismiss it as an Eva wannabe, but I feel like the series brings so much to the slightly supernatural mecha genre. It is also one of the only series (minimizing spoliers) that carries through on the “changing the world” goal of characters in the series.

    • January 11, 2014 at 8:42 am

      You are welcome. I thought it surprising that more people hadn’t put VoaDS on their best of list. I didn’t add RahXephone because I didn’t really like it. The ending was cool, I guess, but it was too much of an Eva clone for my tastes. I know the fans will argue otherwise, but I couldn’t get into it.

  38. 58 Air Man
    January 10, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Hey, somepony really likes Gurren Lagann. http://tinyurl.com/kesyqut

  39. 60 David Binder
    March 9, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Thank you for mentioning Wolf’s Rain. I have been reading many lists for this decade (and for the most part they are good, if I agree with them or not is another matter) .Wolf’s Rain was a series that was sooooo overlooked. The animation, the story and we cannot forget the wonderful Yoko Kanno soundtrack.

    • March 10, 2014 at 8:56 am

      I’m glad to hear from another Wolf’s Rain fan. The anime is absolutely incredible. I cannot understand why it is so overlooked. It truly was one of the best of the decade.

  40. 62 Batman in Arkham
    March 21, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    I’m kind of disappointed that The Twelve Kingdoms didn’t make it on here, or Higurashi no Naka Koro Ni.

  41. 63 James
    May 3, 2014 at 4:39 am

    I have no idea how Voices Of a Distant Star made it onto this list. It was a pretty bad anime in my opinion. Sure, the voice acting was done by a total of two people, and the anime was made almost entirely by one person with visuals that look decent, but that doesn’t really make it any better. It’s quite good for one person’s effort, but it seems like the only thing this anime has going for it is that it was made almost entirely by one person. What’s the story about, exactly? It’s the constant switching of viewpoints between two people who love each other very deeply (for whatever reason, it’s never really explained why), and the drama is the equivalent of two people complaining. That 25 minutes felt like hours. It was so incredibly boring. I mean, maybe some people might like the idea of two people complaining for 25 minutes, but it isn’t really my idea of entertainment. With poor character designs, bad camera angles, a mediocre story and mediocre characters, this anime is praised to no end, and I have no idea why.

    • 64 James
      May 3, 2014 at 4:41 am

      Your list is somewhat good, I suppose. There are good anime there, and some pretty mediocre anime. Though, since it’s probably a subjective list, I can’t really disagree with your opinion. I’m only sharing mine.

  42. 65 RogerSmith2004
    May 3, 2014 at 6:19 am

    I have seen quite a few anime on this list and I enjoyed all of them. Paranoia Agent was a rather good series, and it has a great atmosphere. Monster is a drama that sometimes really left me on the edge of my seat, it was really good. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex was another great series, I never saw any of the movies, but I really liked the very political story as well as the music in the show. Fullmetal Alchemist is one of my favorites, and I vastly prefer it over Brotherhood. FLCL was a great OVA series that was fun and crazy. Read or Die was a very fun OVA series as well, I still do want to see R.O.D. the TV. Spirited Away is a classic, and Howl’s Moving Castle, while not one of my favorite Miyazaki films, was still enjoyable. Welcome to the N.H.K. is another great series that really captures the “otaku lifestyle” perfectly without making it look like it was pandering to them.
    Then, of course, my favorite anime series of all time, Wolf’s Rain was on the list as well. Which I am a huge fan of.

    I still want to see Gurren Lagann and Haibane Renmei. I also haven’t seen Haruhi yet, but I have heard some of the songs and the show seems like it would be fun. Same thing with Full Metal Panic! Fumoffu. Overall, a great list.

  43. May 12, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Brick you magnificent bastard this list is amazing! I’ve gotten through almost half on the list (currently starting Monster) and I enjoyed them all. As someone who doesn’t have the time to sift through the deep cuts of anime, this is a godsend. Keep doing your thing bruh.

  44. 68 Princess Luna
    June 13, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    It’s easy to see why bronies like Gurren Lagann too. Just like it, their favorite show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has action, high-quality storytelling and characters, important and inspiring life lessons, and always something happening. MLP: FiM may look moe, but rest assured, it is NOTHING like – say, Kanon.

  45. 70 squire
    June 23, 2014 at 5:37 am

    This list makes no sense.
    Worst of any list i ever read.
    I feel sorry for you dickhead actionholic.

    • June 23, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      It’s not often I get hate for actually liking things. You say the list makes no sense. It’s a list, it did exactly what it was supposed to do, don’t overthink it.

  46. 72 Jack
    June 28, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    “I find it nearly impossible to find a single flaw within this series.”

    “The story follows a group of pre-teen girls who are bionically upgraded, and turned into assassins by the Italian government.”

    “The show takes a very realistic and serious approach.”

    I lol’ed at your description of Gunslinger Girls.

  47. 74 Rebyuu
    September 17, 2014 at 3:50 am

    Gunslinger girl and monster I approve, the rest are just unique artistically or have some comedy moments with inferior characters compared to the two I’ve mentioned, FLCL is not a masterpiece, it’s a pretentious coming of age story that gets fans for its “insane mind boggling animation” when in reality it’s just a piece of shit trying to be different.

    • September 20, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      I appreciate the comment, but I really get the sense that you haven’t seen much of the anime on this list. Paprika, Wolf’s Rain, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Haibane Renmei, and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex are all insanely fantastic anime. And since when is being uniquely artistic something to not be lauded? When there is so much generic shit out there, something unique should get our praise, or at the very least our attention.

  48. 76 ruwan
    September 27, 2014 at 4:53 am

    good list… keep it up…… 🙂

  49. 79 anon
    January 2, 2015 at 7:21 am

    late to the party but i’d say that ‘5cm per second’ is a way better entry than ‘voices of a distant star’…while a great vignette, and very moving, i just think that voices is way too short for the topic. it’s like a teaser. 5cm per second has so much more, and better executed imo.

    • January 8, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      On “5cm” he definitely had a budget and a staff and more free time to do it. I’m just impressed with “Voices” and how he was able to do everything on his own.

  50. 81 UrsusArctos
    February 8, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Hmm, Mononoke with its Kusuriuri-san doesn’t seem to feature on that list. I watched Mononoke on your recommendation and I found it incredible and so radically different from the rest that I thought it’d turn up on this list. I completely agree with your choice of TTGL for the top, though – that show was just pure, unadulterated awesome.

  51. 83 Daniel Patrick O'Brien IV
    March 29, 2015 at 12:40 pm


    P.S. I am actually currently in the process of writing a paper on the study of Fooly Cooly on behalf of those who do not understand its beauty.

  52. 84 Ranzu
    April 8, 2015 at 10:53 am

    I really need to watch Guren Lagann Q_Q

  53. June 10, 2015 at 8:43 am

    I personally was looking for InuYasha,,,oh well!

  54. July 22, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    I’ve only seen eight episodes of Kanon, but a single episode of TTGL had more impact on me than those eight put together. And that really says something! Same for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’s episodes – each MLP episode spawns fan art, social events, and even great music! And half the time in Kanon, I was thinking of anything else. By the time My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’s epic movie comes out in 2017, I can imagine the fandom becoming too big for a single universe to contain, but something tells me that Kanon will truly fade out with its last fanboy losing interest in it.

  55. August 11, 2015 at 11:00 am

    The girl who leapt through time is awesome. So is fullmetal alchemist. My friend 🙂

  56. 90 200
    November 25, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    >Mamoru Oshii’s inferior 1995 and 2004 movies

    Lord, give me strength.

  57. 91 chris
    June 1, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Your number 1 is probably in my top 20 worst animes from the 00’s haha. I have a completely different list than this.

  58. 93 foyc
    June 18, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Hi guys, It sounds oot but I feel like to know my childhood favorite anime. Well, all I remember is this anime is full of chibi-like girls who have superpower, they live like in alternative univers, one of them named ‘Hui’ who has this light grey hair-am not even sure the name of the character since it has been ages ago-, the anime is in year around 2000-2005. Anyone who recognize the almost vague feature above please tell me the possibility of the title. Thx!

  59. 94 Anonymous
    November 15, 2016 at 8:16 am

    It’s funny how you have a decent list for the 10 best and the shittiest list for the 10 worst.

  60. 95 Leif Red
    June 22, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Guess I am the only one who remembers Dennou Coil then, that is Number 3 for me. It’s fine I just thought at least one person here would at least remember Dennou Coil. Also Summer Wars. That is one of the greatest anime period and yet it is not here. Overall, good list, I like how you didn’t just go with the masses and instead put your own ideas in.

    • June 24, 2017 at 11:51 am

      I haven’t seen Dennou Coil, but it is on my list of things to see. Yes, Summer Wars is really good. I hadn’t seen it when I wrote this post. Thanks for reading the post!

  61. 97 Niko The Exile
    December 14, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    You forgot Mushishi and Texhnolyze other than that list is solid.

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January 2010


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