My Top 10 Anime Of The Decade

With a new decade upon us, a lot of lists of the best anime of the decade have been springing up, and a lot of you wonderful people have been wondering about what my picks would be. So, I have put together a list of my top 10 anime of the decade!

Now, there are some things I’d like you to keep in mind with this list:

  • This list is, of course, all based on my opinion. It is neither definitive nor indicative of the anime industry as a whole. They are simply what I feel were the best.
  • I do not watch anime in the same abundance as many others do. In fact, it was a struggle for me to find 10 series to put on the list. So, if some of the bigger anime are not on this list, it isn’t because I don’t like them, it’s probably because I never got around to watching them or watching enough of them for me to feel as if I can call it one of the best series of the decade.

Enjoy, and Happy New Year to everyone!

#10 – Ouran High School Host Club

Ouran is about Haruhi, a new student at a very rich, prestigious school that features a Host Club, where good-looking male students spend time with and serve the female students. When Haruhi accidentally wanders in to the club room and causes some property damage, she is forced to work for them to pay them back. The problem, however, is that they want her to work for them as a Host, because they all think she’s a man!

Now you can probably assume from the description of the series that it’s full of comedy, and you would be absolutely right! Not only does Ouran boast some of the most ridiculous characters you could ever think of, it also has a lot of heart-warming moments. It also, in my opinion, makes very sly social comments about the arrogance of the rich and the flightiness and immaturity of young girls.

If you’re a fan of the manga, you’ll definitely get a lot of enjoyment out of the anime, but be warned that the manga is still going on in Japan and the anime was only 26 episodes long. This of course means a lot got cut out and they had to throw together an ending which, quite frankly, doesn’t measure up to the rest of the series. Still, it’s worth a watch and definitely took me by surprise as one of my favorite watches of the decade.

#9 – Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

What would happen if Tokyo were hit with an 8.0 magnitude earthquake? That is what Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is all about. The creators did tons of research to try and best simulate what would really happen if such an event occurred. Their findings are told through Mirai, a young girl who is out and about in town with her little brother Yuki when the earthquake happens. They run into a stranger, a woman named Mari, who cannot bear to let them try and make their way home alone, and the three of them go on an emotional quest to try and find the remnants of their families.

Without a doubt, this was one of the most emotional and visually stunning shows of the decade. We see the best and worst of humanity in this show, and it does a great job of pulling the viewers emotions in, making us really want to see these three poor souls find their ways home and reunite with their loved ones. This show also boasts one of the biggest emotional roller-coaster endings of the decade. I’m not ashamed to admit that it left me in tears.

The show is short and sweet at 11 episodes, but it still can feel rather slow-paced at times. However, the show has this interesting way of throwing something surprising into the mix as soon as the show begins to feel that way, so regardless of the pacing, you’ll never be bored with this series.

#8 – Bleach

Ichigo Kurosaki was just a normal teenager who could see spirits until an undead monster called a Hollow attacked his town. Rukia, a shinigami assigned to his town to put down these monsters, meets Ichigo and realizes he can see supernatural things. Their fates become intertwined as Ichigo is pulled into her world and become an important part of the fight against evil.

Bleach gets a lot of flack. Still, I am one of the many people out there who love this show. I love all of the characters and back stories as well as the memorable and over-the-top fights. It also has a good mix of tension and comedy as well. My favorite part of this show, however, is the music. Regardless of what you think of Bleach, you cannot deny that the music is top-notch.

Given the sheer size of the series, it of course suffers from a lot of pacing issues. There are also a LOT of characters to keep track of, and the filler arcs can be downright terrible. Being one of the ‘big three’ shounen series out now, it’s panned by a lot of people, but that won’t stop me from declaring proudly that it’s one of my favorite shows of the decade.

#7 – Fullmetal Alchemist

Ed and Al’s father was an alchemist, so when their mother died, they tried to use alchemy to bring her back to life. Unfortunately, doing such a thing is considered taboo in alchemy, and it resulted in Ed losing an arm and leg and Al losing his entire body, forcing Ed to seal his soul into a suit of armor. The two must now stick together as they join the military to try and find a way to make amends for their sins and get their normal bodies back.

I did an entire blog on Fullmetal Alchemist, so I won’t go too deeply into it here. The story is incredible, the characters are engaging, and the music is emotional and wonderful. The world that the story takes place in is rich as well, and it gives you the feeling of an epic quest, which is exactly what you get when you watch this show. It’s a series that is not to be missed by any anime fan.

#6 – Saint Seiya: Hades Chapter ~Sanctuary~

Saint Seiya is a series that was originally made in the 80’s, and is largely considered the grandfather of sentai anime. Masami Kurumada had written his Hades Arc into his manga, was which also released in the 80’s, but he never got around to animating it. So you can imagine the delight of the fans when he decided to pick this decade to finally animate this stunning story by releasing Saint Seiya: Hades Chapter ~Sanctuary~, Saint Seiya: Hades Chapter ~Inferno~, and Saint Seiya: Hades Chapter ~Elysion~.

Not only is this a more-than-worthy sequel to the original series, but they kept and even updated a lot of the original music, and the characters and fighting scenes are just as awe-inspiring as they were in the 80’s. It feels like it belongs with the original series, but is still gorgeously animated and feels fresh and new.

However, not all went as planned. Due to internal disagreements and copyright issues, there was a lot of switching of seiyuu, or voice actors, during the three sets of OVAs, as well as animators. The quality of animation dipped during ~Inferno~ and ~Elysion~ because of it, which is why I chose ~Sanctuary~ as the best of the three. Still, this 13 episode OVA was without a doubt one of my biggest anime highlights this decade.

#5 – Hayate no Gotoku!

Hayate is a poor teenager whose family leaves him in debt to some not-so-friendly people. He meets Nagi, a rich teenager and total stranger who oddly pays his debt for him. However, in order to pay her back, she hires him as her butler, which starts off a slew of hilarious events.

If you love comedic anime that are full of references to other anime and Japanese culture, then you are going to love this show. The animation is crisp, the music is addicting, the characters are hilarious and lovable, and playing ‘spot the reference’ only makes the experience of watching this show more enjoyable.

The only possibly negative thing I can think of about this show is how long it is, but even with it being 52 episodes, it never gets old or boring. You have no excuse not to check out this excellent series. It’s definitely one of the best of the decade.

#4 – Welcome to the NHK

Welcome to the NHK is about Sato, a hikikomori, or social recluse, who has dropped out of school, has no job, and is living alone secluded in his apartment. By a twist of fate, he meets a girl named Misaki who becomes determined to help him integrate back into society, intertwining their fates in a way that nobody ever imagined.

This series is one of the most emotional I have ever seen. The story is funny but is also very sad and raw in the way that it portrays how society treats people who are different and the darkness it can plunge those people into. It’s a look into both the dark and light sides of humanity, and it holds very little, if anything, back in this portrayal.

The one complaint I hear against this show is that it can be almost too depressing at times, and I do agree with that to a point. However, I think that is a poor reason to not watch this amazing piece of art. It doesn’t take away from it being one of the decades’ best anime offerings.

#3 – Fruits Basket

Tohru is living in a tent. What she doesn’t realize is that she’s also living on the property of the Sohma family. When her presence is discovered, she is invited to stay with them in their house. However, she soon finds out their secret: Their family is cursed to have 12 of their family members turn into animals of the Chinese zodiac when under stress or embraced by a member of the opposite sex. She vows to keep their secret, but as she delves deeper into the Sohma family, it becomes more and more dangerous to know what she does.

Fruits Basket is one of my favorite shows of all time. It’s funny, emotional, the animation is great, and the characters are incredible. There isn’t a person in the world who can’t relate to at least one of the members of the Sohma family as we see them go through everyday trials in some very unorthodox ways. It does a great job of balancing comedy with drama and tension.

I can’t really describe the love and connection I feel with this series, but if you give it a try, I bet you’ll feel the same.

#2 – Itazura na Kiss

Kotoko confesses her romantic feelings to Naoki, but he turns her down. Her day gets even worse when she returns home and her house collapses! A high school friend of her father offers them a place to stay until they can get back on their feet. However, in a twist of fate, her father’s high school friend is Naoki’s father! Living with Kotoko begins to change Naoki’s mind about her and the world around him, however, as they live together both he and Kotoko grow and change side-by-side.

What makes this series stand out is its masterful characterization. We get to see the characters go from high school students to adulthood, both main characters and side-characters. The evolution of each character is handled beautifully and each one is so realistic that you find yourself truly caring about their fates. This is also another title that masterfully blends comedy, romance, suspense, and at times, even drama and terror. The manga was so popular that it got made into several Japanese and Korean live-action drama shows before it even became an anime.

The unfortunate part of this story is that it was never finished. The creator died before she could finish it. However, she had told her husband of the ending she had wanted to have, and when it was made into an anime, he oversaw the ending to make sure it was exactly what she had wanted. She can rest in peace knowing that she left this incredible piece of work behind for all of us to enjoy.

#1 – Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni

Keiichi just moved to a small village called Hinamizawa. His new friends warn him that the god they worship will curse him if he doesn’t abide by the village’s rules, but when strange occurrences start happening, he begins thinking there may be more to this curse than his friends are telling him.

Higurashi is simply a masterpiece. The characters are deep and engaging, the music is perfection, and the story will go places that you won’t even be able to fathom. Despite its outward appearance, this show is gritty, gruesome, bloody, depraved, and all of the things that make up a great horror story. It is downright jaw-dropping and breathtaking to behold as everything unfolds and truths are revealed.

The one big flaw that this show has is its animation. It’s pretty, but the characters are drawn rather oddly with big heads and tiny bodies. However, it doesn’t deter from watching the show at all. Also, the show is laid out in arcs that reset the story every 4-6 episodes. It can get a little confusing, but it’s still very possible to follow the story and enjoy it, making it an exciting and unique way to view a story. This is, without a doubt, the best anime of the decade.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    […] and like the other two members of this little club, it gets a lot of flack. If you’ve read my blog on my top 10 anime of the decade, you know that I am quite the fan of Bleach despite this. However, […]

  2. 2

    sharpeyecolour said,

    i agree ,there is no doubt. higurashi is the best!

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