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Top 10 Best Anime Series Of The 2000s

VO: Dan Paradis
Script Written by Briana Lawrence New millennium. New decade. New Anime! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Anime Series of the 2000s. As companies began to license more anime, the 2000s became an important decade for the medium, so we’ll be looking at those series that made us save up for those shiny new box sets. We’ll be basing our picks on the original Japanese release dates, just to avoid confusion.
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Top 10 Anime Series Of The 2000s


New millennium. New decade. New Anime! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Anime Series of the 2000s.
As companies began to license more anime, the 2000s became an important decade for the medium, so we’ll be looking at those series that made us save up for those shiny new box sets. We’ll be basing our picks on the original Japanese release dates, just to avoid confusion.


#10: “Hellsing Ultimate” (2006-12)


Back in 2001, we were introduced to Hellsing... minus the Ultimate part. The series was dark, Alucard was cool, and there was plenty of blood to satisfy our vampiric needs. However, this version of Hellsing didn’t quite follow the manga. That’s not always a bad thing, but there were plot points and certain characters we didn’t get to fully experience -- cough cough Anderson cough cough. But that’s where Ultimate came in and gave us a story that followed the manga better, complete with glorious 40 to 60 minute episodes. The insane animation budget wasn’t half bad either.

#9: “Bleach” (2004-12)


Word of advice: if you see a monstrous hollow on the attack, leave it to a trained Shinigami, otherwise, you may end up taking their powers and unintentionally becoming a Soul Reaper. This is no easy task for Ichigo Kurosaki, not just because of the creatures he faces, but there are certain souls that are emotionally difficult to put to rest. Along the way, we’re introduced to a colorful cast of human, non-human, and stuffed characters, each with their own unique abilities for your action-packed, shonen anime needs.

#8: “Monster” (2004-05)


What is a doctor’s true purpose? For Dr. Kenzou Tenma, it was saving the life of his patient, Johan, even when those around him wanted him to treat the mayor instead. This led to the mayor’s death and Tenma being blacklisted... until the ones who blacklisted him turned up dead too. Hmm… Now promoted as the Chief of Surgery, Tenma spends the next nine years as a successful doctor... until Johan returns and reveals that he was the killer, something that Tenma has benefited from. So comes the real intriguing question of the series is... who’s the real monster?

#7: “Samurai Champloo” (2004-05)


There are certain directors that never let you down. Shinichiro Watanabe, the director for Cowboy Bebop, is one of them. As soon as we saw his name attached to this series we knew we’d be in for a treat, and Watanabe did not disappoint. When that opening theme starts you’re already bobbing your head to this stylish retelling of Japan’s Edo period. After that it’s a non-stop adventure between the rogue, Mugen, the ronin, Jin, and the waitress, Fuu, who convinces the two to help her in her quest to find “the samurai who smells like sunflowers.”

#6: “Gintama” (2006-16)


Speaking of retellings of the Edo period, this may be one of the funniest. Aliens are on the attack, and the Shogun bravely... surrenders when he realizes that they can’t win. This leads to the aliens taking all of the samurais’ swords, and the Edo period getting a futuristic makeover where old forcibly meets new. Perfectly timed comedy combined with this crazy premise make this one of the most hilarious series of the decade which can be surprisingly touching at times. In the middle of it all is Gintoki: a wavy haired, out-of-work samurai who reads Shonen Jump and gets upset over spilled parfaits.

#5: “Code Geass” (2006-08)


There’s some strange stuff happening to the folk in Area 11. Lelouch Lamperouge, for example, has gained the power of Geass, which lets him command people to do whatever he wants. Something he wants to use to take down daddy dearest, the emperor of Britannia. Lelouch decides to create a better world for his sister, a noble cause... that quickly spirals out of control. What follows is a series of mind games, mecha battles, and hilarious-yet-tragic killing-sprees. It can be a train-wreck at times, but a damned entertaining one throughout.

#4: “Naruto” (2002-07)


Once upon a time, there lived a ninja orphan who wanted to be the best in his village. Yep, the plot used to be that simple. Who knew that this ninja kid who left the milk out would be one of the most infamous characters in anime? Over the years, the series has blossomed from being about childish rivalries and fanservice-y jutsus to a tale full of deep, imaginative story arcs, memorable characters, amazing battles, and, of course, plenty of ramen. Naruto is here to stay, whether you believe it or not.

#3: “Death Note” (2006-07)


When some of us get bored, we spend way too much time in the youtube comment section. Others, like Ryuk, drop mystical notebooks that cause someone to die when you write their name in it. Things take an interesting turn when Light Yagami gets a hold of the book and decides to rid the world of its criminals. This leads to a moral battle of wits against the famous detective simply known as L. The two geniuses spend the series trying to take each other down while we all watch and wonder whose side we’re supposed to be on.

#2: “Gurren Lagann” (2007)


Have you ever watched an anime series that that gave you goose bumps every single episode? That’s our number two pick. Forced to live underground, our lead character, Simon, often leans on his best friend, Kamina, who has dreams of visiting the surface world. When Kamina convinces Simon to kick reason to the curb and join him, things get a bit... outlandish, and all of that bizarre mecha craziness is highlighted with a wild and colorful animation style – some of the best Gainax has to offer. What else can we say but: Row row, fight the powah!

Before we get to our number one pick, let’s pull these honorable mentions off ofour shelves:

“Bakemonogatari” (2009-10)

“FLCL” (2000-01)

“Mushishi” (2005-15)

“Hajime No Ippo” (2002-14)

“Baccano!” (2007)

#1: “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” (2009-10)


In 2003, we were thrust into the world of alchemy, where the rule of equivelant exchange governs all. The series took us through a gauntlet of emotions with the Elric brothers, and in the end we... kind of liked the ending. Few people expected the series to be rebooted, especially after just 5 years. With Brotherhood following the manga closer, we had an even greater story to digest, new characters, more fluid fight scenes, and more heart-crushing plot points. This was definitely the definitive version of the series to watch, and what could arguably be one of the greatest stories ever told.
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