The 2000s were a huge growth time period in cartoon, as the hobby became more popular in the United States and other regions outside of Japan. The period from 2001 to 2010 saw a large number of series produced, and many of them became respected classics, both in their genre and within micro anime in general. While some were part of larger franchises, many of the best anime of the 2000s were indie works based on manga.
There are too many great anime of the 2000s to list here, but here are 10 of the best that the decade has to offer. Narrowing down this list is quite difficult, so if you’re missing a favorite series, don’t be too hard; it’s probably about to be included.
10 Monsters (2004-2005)
Monster is a psychological thriller series that tells the story of Dr. Tenma, who got into a difficult situation and chose to save a child in front of a politician, causing him to lose his career. Unfortunately, that kid turns out to be a lunatic serial killer who is now haunted by Dr. Tenma, always stalking him and killing those around him. Tenma’s life is ruined, and he sets out on the run, desperate to prove he didn’t have a hand in these murders. The series is both dark and intense, and the atmosphere it’s carefully cultivated still easily holds up to this day.
9 Gurren Lagann (2007)
Gurren Lagann begins with a series about two boys, Kamina and Simon, who live underground but dream of going to the surface. Things get really wild when they actually make their way to the surface and discover other people living there who fight beastmen in large machines known as ganmen. The series is known for its brutal original twist, which is really best left unscathed, completely altering the tone and feel of the series over a long period of time. For fans of absurdly massive machine battles, Gurren Lagann is the movie that arguably does it best.
8 Code Geass (2006-2007)
Code Geass tells the story of Lelouch Vi Britannia, a prince exiled to Area 11, the area formerly known as Japan. Lelouch makes a deal with a mysterious girl known as CC (pronounced C-hai) and takes on the role of the vigilante known as Zero, who is not entirely on the side of Britannia or the Elevens. Lelouch uses his newly discovered ability to force people to obey his orders (a “geas”) to carry out his elaborate plans. There is also an ongoing resistance to the giant machine known as the Knightmare Frames, and Lelouch must carefully navigate complex political situations to achieve the peaceful world he dreams of, regardless of what price.
7 Paranoid Agents (2004)
An anime series by legendary anime film director Satoshi Kon, Paranoia Agent tells the story of a town experiencing a strange attack by a boy in roller skates with a baseball bat, known as Lil ‘Slugger. The series follows various characters as they go through their lives until they feel cornered, which is when Lil’ Slugger strikes. However, as the investigation continues, it becomes less and less clear who is responsible – or whether Lil’ Slugger is real. The series features some of the sensational animation Kon is famous for, as well as some heavy social satire aimed at Japan’s cute culture.
6 noises! (2007)
Baccano is an extremely stylish series set in the Restricted Zones of the United States of America over three time periods: 1930, 1931 and 1932. The story is told out of order, which can make it a bit difficult to follow. track, but everything ended up coming together wonderfully. Baccano is known for its entertaining style and characters, as well as having one of the best anime opening themes of all time. The unique setting for an anime series makes it worth watching alone, but the intricate mystery that unfolds is very well done, considering the jumping back and forth between the time periods.
5 The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2006)
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was an absolute phenomenon when it first came out, quickly becoming hugely popular even outside of Japan. The series revolves around Haruhi, a girl with the power to change reality who doesn’t seem to know it, and a lot of aliens, magical creatures and the like trying to make sure she doesn’t. discovered. Pulled into all of this is the ordinary guy Kyon, who suddenly has to placate Haruhi while keeping her a secret. It has some wild fantasy and sci-fi elements, all rolled into a story heavy on super-fictional references.
4 Samurai Champloo (2004)
Shinichiro Watanabe’s Cowboy Bebop sequel, Samurai Champloo blends (then) modern-day hip-hop culture with the era of the Samurai in Japan for a show unlike anything else. A young girl, Fu, sets out in search of “Sunflower-Smell Samurai” and tricks two very different swordsmen into being her bodyguards, the wild Mugen and the calm Jin. Like Bebop, this forever bankrupt trio wanders from town to town, getting into trouble and looking for clues. The show’s music is a big part of its appeal, and there’s a lot of action that still looks great.
Death Note 3 (2006)
This psychological thriller series follows its protagonist, Light Yagami, discovering the Death Note, a notebook that can kill anyone whose name is in it. He is determined to use it to change the world by eliminating crime, attracting the attention of the world’s greatest detective, L. Thus begins a complicated game of cat and mouse between detectives. death and guard the future of mankind. While the show can be a bit melodramatic at times, its intensity and craziness more than make up for that.
2 Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002)
The Ghost in the Shell movie from the ’90s is already an animated classic in itself, but fans shouldn’t miss the 2002 animated series, known for its subtitle Stand Alone Complex. The story focuses on Major Motoko Kusanagi, the main character in the film, and her team consisting of humans and robots dealing with security issues as part of Public Security Division 9, such as Human man smiling mysteriously. The show can be dense and hard to follow, but it respects the intelligence of its viewers by not spelling things out. Many of the show’s cyberpunk themes are more relevant to this day and age than they were then, so it’s a show that’s definitely been around for a while.
The second Fullmetal Alchemist anime series is more or less a direct adaptation of the manga and is considered by many to be one of the best anime ever, consistently ranking on both critic and fan lists tomb. The Brotherhood follows Edward and Alphonse Elric, two brothers who destroy their own bodies in an extraordinary attempt to revive their deceased mother. With the new goal of restoring their bodies back to normal, Edward joins the Alchemist of the State, hoping to access research on the Sorcerer’s Stone, which is said to allow any alchemical reaction. take place. The world is interesting and unique, while the characters are lovable and engaging. This is absolutely a must-see anime for beginners as well as veterans.
As noted above, the 2000s were a great time for anime, when popularity began to increase around the world. Animation quality also skyrocketed during this period, far exceeding the low frame rates and budget-saving techniques of the 80s and 90s. There are so many good anime series from that era that barely make it to the bottom. this list, so be sure to check out what looks interesting beyond cartoon display listed above.