The anime medium saw a massive revolution in the 2000s. After a surge in popularity for a handful of 90s classics, the 2000s took anime to new heights with unique shows and movies and fees that were to become seminal works in their respective genres.
While every generation has its own beloved anime, fans of the 2000s era undoubtedly have some of the most important anime ever made in their catalog. These anime defied the odds and elevated the culture medium to household recognition, paving the way for anime’s cultural dominance in our modern zeitgeist.
ten Spirited Away is one of the greatest animated films to date.
When it comes to animated movies, the average person’s mind goes first to Disney, but one of the few artists who can challenge Disney’s hold on animation culture is undoubtedly Hayao Miyazaki.
Miyazaki gave the world some of his finest art, with Taken away as if by magic holding records for being one of the best-selling animated films to ever exist. While no one can top Disney when it comes to cultural awareness, Taken away as if by magic becomes extremely close and is arguably of an even higher quality.
9 Code Geass brought together Mechs, Politics and Geniuses
Code Geass is a special addition to the mech genre, using battle robots for large-scale political warfare unique to the anime world. Few anime can boast of having such a broad political scope as Code Geasswith characters competing in strategic chess-like battles for control of the world.
Code Geass helped popularize the genius protagonist archetype with Lelouch and set an exceptionally high bar that most anime has yet to reach. When fans want to see smart people engage in battles of wits, Code Geass is at the top of their list.
For an anime released in 2009, many fans would be surprised to learn that Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood always retains the highest rating on the whole MyListAnime. With over a decade of anime that have arrived since and countless anime that have come before it, it can be hard to imagine how a shonen battle reigns supreme.
But Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood fans know that its distinct power system, fascinating world structure, and deeply clever writing make it particularly unique in the world of anime. To this day, few anime do it as well as Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
7 Soul Eater was the coolest anime of its time
soul eater was a massively influential part of its viewers’ lives when it aired. It was one of the few anime to blend the Japanese animation medium with a hip-hop soundtrack, elevating the show to an unparalleled level of freshness.
The animation was smooth to watch and exciting in a way few other anime at the time could boast of. While it’s far from a perfect show, its unique aesthetic was more than enough for fans to overlook its few flaws.
6 Naruto is the face of Battle Shonen
Many anime have tapped into the cultural zeitgeist over the past few decades, but very rarely have they done so to a level comparable to naruto. Fans of different demographics know and have seen naruto.
It’s had a big influence in the market, with many newer anime trying to copy its formula to varying degrees of success. But no matter how many stories try to do what naruto did it, no one could ever come close to the impact that naruto had on the world.
5 Monster is anime’s best psychological thriller
Whether deserved or not, anime has a reputation among the average crowd for being juvenile and especially for kids. Many anime from every generation seek to refute this reputation and showcase the maturity that anime can offer, but very few have done it as well as Freak.
Of those who saw it, Freak has built a reputation as one of the greatest anime of all time. It’s a haunting psychological thriller with twists and turns that shock even the most seasoned anime watchers.
4 Death Note redefines what it means to be Shonen
Death threat created in the mid-2000s and redefined what it means to be shonen. The anime is a deep story about a game of cat and mouse between two geniuses who fight for the basic principles of justice.
Death threat written at a level of intellect that few anime could even dream of. Since its inception, it has been considered one of the most unique and significant anime to carry the shonen label. The anime expanded the scope of what shonen means and opened the door to a ton of new stories like this.
3 Baccano! Is a fun roller coaster from start to finish
Baccano! is the type of story that only comes up once every two years. It’s a gripping thriller from start to finish that keeps its audience on the edge of their seat, desperately trying to piece together its chaotic timeline.
While Baccano! is kind of a mystery, it’s a lot more fun than your average whodunit. While some anime have tried to replicate the feeling of Baccano!none have been able to fully capture their magic. Baccano! is a unique addition to the anime.
2 Samurai Champloo reinvents the samurai archetype
First in 2004, Samurai Champloo was an original anime television series following the lives of two ronin and their new friend. Together, they travel the lands in search of a samurai who smells of sunflowers. Samurai Champloo brought fluidity to its animation and design that made samurai feel new.
They were no longer stoic warriors wearing heavy metal armor. Instead, Samurai Champloo featured fast and agile samurai, dressed in light robes and wooden sandals. Few anime have managed to make samurai cool in the same way. Samurai Champloo did.
1 Ouran High School Host Club was a romantic comedy for everyone
Ouran High School Host Club is a reverse harem, romantic comedy anime that premiered in April 2006. Although initially a female-specific genre, Ouran High School Host Club stands out from the crowd with its ability to attract a diverse audience.
Its charming cast and comedic abilities helped it achieve popularity far beyond what one would expect. For many anime fans in the mid-2000s, Ouran High School Host Club had a defining influence on their young lives.
10 signs One Piece could be running out of steam
About the Author