Best Anime of the Decade: 2000-2009

This is a list of my favorite anime that aired during 2000-2009. Please note that this list is highly subjective and based on how much I enjoyed the shows.

Inevitably, you might wonder why a particular anime is not on this list. It is likely that I just have not seen or have not completed it yet.

21. Abenobashi Mahoh Shotengai (2002)

Silly yet enjoyable series with numerous references to other anime and live-action films (poor Kubrick :P) that also contained some serious moments. Hideaki Anno himself participated in the development of episode 13 that featured parody to Eva. Is Texan accent really an English equivalent of Kansai-ben? This anime won an Agency for Cultural Affairs “Excellence Prize” at the 2002 (6th) Media Arts Festival.

20. Read or Die (R.O.D.) (2003)

I share love for books with the protagonists of this anime ๐Ÿ™‚ Being a writer is a challenging job, as we can see by the struggles Nenene goes through.

19. Byลsoku Go Senchimฤ“toru (2007)

My review..

18. Hoshi no Koe (2002)

One of the first Shinkai’s works that he produced by himself. The story is an interesting contrast to 5 cm/sec.

17. Haibane Renmei (2002)

Yoshitoshi Abe’s slow-paced slice-of-life anime with fascinating setting. Abe had much more control of character design in this anime compared to Lain.

16. Hagane no Renkinjutsushi (2003)

An anime about life and death that incorporated alchemic and Dharmic concepts among others. Excellent performance by Rie Kugimiya and Romi Paku (you can hear them in this AMV, and they really became close working on this anime ๐Ÿ˜› ) and wonderful music of Michiru Oshima further enhanced the viewing experience ๐Ÿ™‚

Next Page: 15-11

68 thoughts on “Best Anime of the Decade: 2000-2009

  1. Wow, I’m super surprised to see SZS at #3! SHOKKU. ๐Ÿ™‚ Damn there is a bunch of stuff I miseed, even in recent years. I’ll have to seriously note on Erin and make it a goal to watch this year.

    I wonder if Xamd will be on my list >_>

    1. haha I really enjoyed SZS ๐Ÿ™‚ The stories are not particularly mindblowing, but some were quite fun. The directing, editing, color design, cast among other things are almost perfect. Also, I just love Hasegawa’s music ๐Ÿ˜€

      Some people might find Erin too long or boring, so it depends on your preferences.

      Xam’d is quite good in some parts.

  2. I was surprised with some of your choices, but some others were expected from you (Hidamari Sketch, Kaiba, Sayonara) x)
    You have a pretty awesome list and I was especially happy to see Spirited Away up at number 4!
    Just as written by Ryan A I definitely need to give Erin a try, it looks interesting and seems like it focuses a lot on its character development, which I love to see ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Yes, I blogged about those three series ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ I really liked Spirited Away ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes, you can see how Erin grows from a little girl to a strong woman ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. wow, i’ve only seen one on that list, and i didn’t like it much. i guess i could a) see this as a wonderful opportunity to explore a whole new world of anime, or b)pretend i never read this post and move on. Hmm hmm hmm ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Interesting list. ๐Ÿ™‚ Quite a number of series I haven’t seen yet that I’ll take note of, and then maybe I’d aLSO get to make a decade list sometime in the middle of the year (I’ll wait for Cross Game to finish) xD

    Glad to see Spirited Away and TokiKake in your list! I liked Nakiami in Xam’d too and it was the first mecha-ish/futuristic-ish series that I ever managed to finish watching. xDD The ending was a tad disappointing, but the ride was fun.

    I should really get a move on and catch up with Erin and SZS (I’m still stuck at season 2) this Winter. I absolutely loved Moribito (also by Uehashi-sensei and IG) so I’m likely to enjoy Erin as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, it would be interesting to see your list ๐Ÿ™‚ I bet Cross Game will have very good ranking ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes, I enjoyed Spirited Away and Tokikake ๐Ÿ™‚

      I am also not very interested in mecha, but Xam’d was decent, and I liked Nakiami ๐Ÿ™‚

      Zoku SZS is my favorite season and you might like Erin, but it’ll feel somewhat different compared to Moribito, which is of high priority on my watch list ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Another list with Mushishi at #2!

    On another note, so many people have been praising Erin… I’d better watch it sometime. D:

  6. I’ve already been doting myself to watch Xamd but I just don’t want it… I’ll try again next time. I was also shocked to see azumanga on #6 and szs at #3 – still haven’t watched the latter.

    wooh. Read or Die is included in your list ๐Ÿ˜€ I really like that one as well.

    Your list is so dominated by films, and I really can’t say I’ve watch a large fraction of them since I only knew the Ghibli ones and Shinkai Makoto’s… I guess I should check out all the films here.

    1. That’s ok, you don’t have to force yourself to watch anything – pick something you enjoy the most and watch it first ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes, Azumanga and SZS are that awesome ๐Ÿ™‚ Yay for ROD! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Well, it is just about six films. The synopsis on ANN or other websites could give you an idea about the plot, and you could assess your interest level with priorities ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I knew what you would pick for #1 so that was no surprise but AMG caught me off guard. Quite a unique list, but certainly a reasonable one. I like it. ^^

    *p.s1: This is the first time I noticed that snowflakes on your blog follow my cursor;;
    *p.s2: I think it’s about time for me to get Abenobashi…

  8. We clearly shares the same taste as I see several Satoshi Kon’s and Makoto Shinkai’s works making their way into your list. I am currently watching Kaiba and I deeply regret waiting so long before start watching it. cheers

    1. Yes, our tastes overlap ๐Ÿ™‚

      You are watching Kaiba now, so it is all good ๐Ÿ™‚ There are many good anime in the world, but we can’t watch them all. That’s ok though – life goes on ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Good choices. If I compiled my own list we’d probably differ in the rankings (Haibane might end up somewhere in the top 5 for one), but we’ll see a lot of the same titles.

    I’m already planning to try out some of the ones I haven’t seen yet – including your #1 series.

  10. Nice list with lots of goodness on it (Yeah for Kaiba). Not really shocked to see what got put where though ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think I’m going to be a stickler about things and wait till next year since that’s the real end of the first decade of this century. (Which also gives me a year to prepare and watch older series that I missed out on like Abenobashi, Read or Die, Hidamari Sketch.)

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ Ah, you are one of the few who knows me well if you are not surprised ๐Ÿ™‚

      Alright, I look forward to you list next year ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Erin number 1?? If you’re 8 years old I would agree. It’s a pretty good children’s story but lacks maturity for adult viewers. A lot of the supposed drama had me in stitches because of it’s naivete.

    1. Indeed, Erin is a good anime for children, but it also featured excellent subtle storytelling that some adult viewers missed, and, of course, some people are more empathic than others ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. If I sounded combative before it’s just that I was shocked at how much I disliked this anime considering your recommendation.
        Subtlety isn’t lost on me (like your pass/aggr reply) in fact, I even chose to ignore many questionable but “convenient” plot devices used to advance the story because it’s a children’s show (people appearing out of nowhere to say something (Mist Guy), inability to deduce the newly transferred Poison Teacher as the Poison Assasin!!, the animals “whistle/faint” complex, etc.). The main problem is with the protagonist. Erin has several good traits, but in my opinion she is overshadowed by selfishness and/or naivete. There are numerous examples in the story I’ll just name a few. She knows going against the code is punishable by death yet has no problems having the entire school cover for her, putting them at grave risk (she’s even surprised when those foreseeable consequences materialize; she values the “well being” of animals over her fellow friends and humans (doesn’t ever visit her foster father, strongly believes in the “live wild” animal code but completely ignores it when it comes to other domesticated animals (sheep, horses, etc.), pretty much ignores her school friends, waits for the handlers to be fatally wounded, in fact tries to prevent them from defending themselves; tells Kirik “to live!” and not throw his life away and then moments later tries to commit suicide; and last she notably condemns war and violence but then uses it it when it suits her purposes (queen attack, shunan attack). She condemns things when it’s convenient for her but then turns around and does it when it serves her needs. It’s similar to how people uplift the virtues of freedom of speech, but when they come across something offensive they move to censor it.

        Overall I thought the program was good, but for children. For adults it’s somewhat problematic. Moribito from the same author is more mature and overall a much better work but to each his own.

        1. Paragraphs are your friends ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Unfortunately, hindsight bias and fundamental attribution error are quite prevalent. Fortitude != Hypocrisy

          Yes, Erin is naive at times and not perfect, but she is a kind person. It seems our perspectives on Erin differ substantially.

      1. im not saying these are bad but ive never heard of a single one of them..its just an awkward list and one clearly of someone who lives in japan i guess. the list of a person from north america is usually like … bleach, naruto, claymore, evangelion etc

        1. You will probably enjoy most of the recommended series if you watch them though they are mostly less action orientated than the ones you mention. I enjoyed Claymore and Evangelion but would not put them into my top 15. As for Bleach I was not impressed and I have not watched Naruto.

  12. I guess this is your choice of Japanese Animes really, not worldwide popular animes but that’s fine. I was kind of hoping to see Beyblade. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    But if you were going to include ๅƒใจๅƒๅฐ‹ใฎ็ฅž้š ใ—/Spirited Away, maybe another good film would have been My Neighbor Totoro or even Grave of the Fireflies.

  13. Great list! I’ve read a few of these lists and this one is probably the closest to what I would personally put down – which turned out great since I’ve discovered a few great shows thanks to you. (How did I manage to get through the decade and completely miss Xam’d and Erin? )

    Anyway thanks.

  14. though their are many good anime from this decade and previous decades.. but did not find any one as intense and gaming as code geass. Their is lot of politics and tricks and game plane that makes it really the only one. Though Gudam series are also really good but personnel all time favorite is code geass.

  15. the girl who leapt through time was sooo good. thanks for the list! but there was a lotta things that i didnt get, like y chiyaki wanted to see the painting so badly, and what makoto said she wanted to do at the end (was it going to the future? saving the painting?). o_0 and did the same thing that happened to makoto happen to her aunt in the past? maybe im just slow but… XD

    1. I also enjoyed the Girl Who Leapt Through Time ๐Ÿ™‚

      Actually, I don’t recall these details now – I just remember a positive impression of this anime ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. wow. forget about bleach, naruto…
    ~watched by newbies. what makes them great are the fight scenes, and twists and twists and more fightscenes, yea no one can beat that ??…

    when i saw spirited away and 5cm/s, i immediately copy the url to my special wordpad,. i ll watch the others u recommend here. thank you. im tired of seeing naruto, bleach on every “best anime” site.

    but wouldnt u recommend some love stories.. havent watched girl who leapt tru time…, my sister watch too much anime, and i just take a peak on love com… i thought it was trash,,,, and omg.. it was better than toradora. ~good animes with sense

    elfen lied is good too. too much humanity.
    thank you for your list… i have been searching for long for good ones with the same taste as mine.

    1. You are welcome! I am glad you like this list ๐Ÿ™‚

      Hmm… Love stories…. From this list, I would recommend:

      – Sennen Joyu (Millennium Princess, 2001) by Satoshi Kon (btw he passed away a few days ago)
      – Genius Party: Baby Blue. Short film by Shinichiro Watanabe
      – Ah Megamisama (Ah My Goddess TV1, 2, movie). This one is somewhat controversial and some people equate it to a harem series, but I really like it, primarily due to excellent Inoue voice acting ๐Ÿ™‚

      From those that are not on the list, there are many, but these two come to mind now:
      – Maison Ikkoku (TV)
      – Whisper of the Heart (movie)

      Many people seem to like Honey and Clover, Clannad, and Cross Game, but I have not finished any of these for various reasons.

      Here is a list of romance anime by ANN rank

  17. Very nice list, very similar to my own tastes. I would have had ‘5cm per second’ as it left me in complete tears.

    I did like darker then black which seamed to go under the radar of a lot of people. I also loved Ouran High School Host Club but I am a sucker for parodied herems.

  18. Nice list I agree largely with.

    What do you think about Serial Experiments Lain and Kino no Tabi?
    Or maybe they were produced before 2000…

  19. These mostly seem like chick choices. I liked Mushishi a great deal, and Spirited Away was good. Hagane no Renkinjutsushi seemed good until the 2009 series blew it away. I loved everything to do with Rurouni Kenshin, including all of the OVAs. But apart from that, most of the shows I’ve seen on this list I found to be sort of dull.

  20. Hehe, judging from your list I’d say that you prefer slow, deep or thoughtful animes with beautifully-drawn artwork, the artwork in many of these are stunning ^.^ There were a number of ones I’ve already seen and enjoyed in your list, and there were a lot more that I have a feeling I’ll be enjoying as well, thank you very much! It’s quite nice to see some anime lesser-known over here, Naruto and Bleach are all fine and dandy but we need to expand our horizons ^^

    By and by, if you’ve watched Mushishi, have you watched Kino no Tabi (Kino’s Journey) yet? It follows the same principle of a person constantly wandering to see more of the world (Mushishi = the beauty of the mushi, Kino no Tabi = the beauty of the world’s ugliness) and although the anime’s art is a bit simple, the original light novels’ art is quite lovely, and each episode talks about a different aspect of human nature, highly recommend it~
    I’d also recommend you watching the short film La Maison en Petits Cubes (it can be found on Youtube) as well ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Yes, I like such anime – you are very perceptive ๐Ÿ™‚

      You are welcome, I hope you’ll discover some interesting new anime ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes, I watched Kino no Tabi, but, although they are somewhat similar, I find it very different from Mushishi.

      Thank you, I watched La Maison en Petit Cubes – it was a good short animation.

    1. Best Anime doesn’t necessarily mean Most Popular, either…all Best Anime lists are going to be biased as well because different people have different preferences ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. I highly recommend “Welcome to the N.H.K.”,
    undoubtedly best anime i’ve seen. Realistic slice-of-life but unbelievable in every aspect (characters, soundtrack, plot, just everything). Might say it changed my life ๐Ÿ˜‰

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