Best Anime of the 2010s

The anime industry has seen significant shifts in the volume and frequency with which shows are produced. In the era of seasonal anime dumps, many still have nostalgia for the great series of the 90s and early 2000s, such as Cowboy Bebop or Obituary.


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While it sometimes seems like the classics are still the best that anime has to offer, the 2010s saw a huge boom in anime’s popularity and brought with them a myriad of shows that have earned legendary status. Here are just some of the highlights of what may be anime’s greatest decade.

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10/10 Carole and Tuesday (2019)

Thanks to the likes of COULD, musical anime has quite a popular spot in the larger anime landscape. However, few anime are as in love with music as Carol and Tuesday.

From the creator of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, C&T is a sci-fi series where humans have colonized Mars and AI-produced music has taken over the industry. Carole and Tuesday are nevertheless committed to creating their own original music, leading to a wonderful journey to prove the value of the human dimension in art. The series is packed with great songs and eccentric characters, with copious tributes to real musical acts and songs.

9/10 Beastaren (2019)

3D anime is still a hot button topic for many in the anime community. disasters like Berserk (2016) have soured general opinion about 3D, and for understandable reasons. beastars however, is one of the best examples of the heights 3D anime can reach.

It explores a world of animals, divided between carnivores and herbivores, through the eyes of a young gray wolf. Exploration is the key word here, because beastars takes to places with its premise that are endlessly fascinating and rich in compelling character drama, from love triangles to personal battles and outright punchouts.

8/10 Parasyte: The Maxim (2014)

Initial, Parasyte seems like a pretty standard anime. The main character gains power in the form of a sentient being that connects with him, and must now use it to protect himself and those he loves.

What sets it apart, however, is how beautifully it tells the unfolding story. The invading aliens are given a deep and thorough characterization and protagonist Shinichi grows in ways that are not only heartbreaking but also realistic. And that aside, the series can also be credited with one of the few good portrayals of sex in anime.

7/10 Dororo (2019)

The original Dororo manga was released in 1967 by legendary manga artist Osamu Tezuka. It started in a very different entertainment landscape, so it’s no small feat to adapt it into a not only coherent, but also masterful and emotional anime.

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DororoMain character Hyakkimaru had his limbs and organs stolen as a baby and now uses a prosthesis to track down the demons to whom his father sold his body. His adventure with the young Dororo leads to a friendship that must survive not only a daily deluge of demons, but also the complex and often heartbreaking family drama that the series portrays.

6/10 The Tatami Galaxy (2010)

From legendary anime director Masaki Yuasa, Tatami Galaxy is a short series that takes credit for how thoroughly it uses the strengths of animation for its story.

The series follows an unnamed college student through repeated attempts to make the right decisions and achieve the life of his dreams. Each episode deals with a different set of decisions and relationships.

As Yuasa knows, the show stretches proportions and perspectives to wild extremes, putting the feeling ahead of staying the model. It is a visual delight that tells a recognizable, inspiring story of self-discovery and self-acceptance.

5/10 A Punch Man (2015)

One of the defining features of anime in the 2010s was the steady and deliberate popularization of the medium. In 2020, anime was no longer the niche oriental import it once was, and One Punch Man is one of the series that contributed to this.

Despite humble beginnings as a poorly drawn webcomic, OPM‘s anime came on the scene and became an instant legend. The comedy and characters maintain the quality that made the webcomic popular in the beginning, while the visuals absolutely explode with some of the best animation the decade had to offer.

4/10 Mafia Psycho 100 (2016)

Mafia Psycho 100 might be a lot better than his brother OPM. While the latter’s popularity was insane when it debuted, MP100 is just an overall better series.

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It takes the same exaggerated premise of the protagonist, but uses it in a more grounded way, characterizing Mob as a young boy who, despite his great strength, is more concerned with developing social skills and athleticism.

As a result, the story and characters are much more relatable, while also being able to end climactic paranormal battles in no time.

3/10 Hunter x Hunter (2011)

Hunter x Hunter already had an anime adaptation in the early 2000s, but many fans are much more familiar with the 2011 adaptation, and for good reason. While the older series is certainly not bad, HxH (2011) gave the series a modern aesthetic that defines it to this day.

The intro “Departure” is one of those anime OPs that will spark a chorus of joy in just a few notes, and that level of quality permeates the rest of the series. Not to mention that this version of the anime adapts a lot more of the original story, and will likely continue once more chapters become available, or the series ends.

2/10 Attack on Titan (2013)

Like OPM, Attack on Titan was an unexpected hit that took the anime world by storm and brought a huge injection of new anime fans to the community. Eren and friends’ quest to free themselves from the monstrous titans went missing four years after the original season, but the fact that fans were willing to wait shows just how big the series already was.

WHITE, the original studio behind AOT pumped out a legendary animation that is still acclaimed today, and a soundtrack by Hiroyuki Sawano elevates the action even higher. Add to that the already compelling drama from the manga, and it’s no wonder fans are still showing up AOT when a new season falls.

1/10 Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (2012)

For too long, one of the most influential series in the manga world has been missing a solid anime adaptation. Several attempts were made, but only when David Productions finally did a studio Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure moving to the standards it deserved.

Unlike other adaptations, David Prod. committed to adapt jojo from start to finish, and their mission is still ongoing. What they made is an anime that really enhances the source material. The music, voice acting and animation are all top notch, all without losing the spark that made it happen jojo popular to start with.

Even Stone Oceanthe final season, may struggle with the release schedule, the JJBA anime is still a great adaptation and has a few more years before it reaches its conclusion.

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