Originally published on 6th January, 2020.
With 2020 on the horizon, now is the perfect time to look back at the anime this decade has brought us. Thus, this listicle will list 50 titles – in no particular order, and including movies as well as series – from the 2010s that totally deserve to be watched.
Of course, a single viewpoint and a mere list of 50 won’t be able to account for all the great 2010s anime out there. If you feel that an unmentioned show should’ve been on the list, go ahead and mention it in the comments!
Without further ado, let’s begin.
#1. A Silent Voice (2016, Kyoto Animation)
A Silent Voice is a compelling redemption story about a socially anxious teen who tries to make amends with the deaf girl he once bullied. It looks beautiful, and the muted soundtrack by Kensuke Ushio is unique and immersive.
I remember the movie best for a simple yet clever shot involving an umbrella, but the uncomfortable bullying scenes are hard to forget as well.
#2. A Place Further Than The Universe (2018, Madhouse)
A Place Further Than The Universe is about four high school girls and their inspiring journey to Antarctica. The girls, each with distinct personalities and motives, begin the show as strangers.
But by the end of the show, they’ve grown close enough to not just laugh, but cry together. It’s a fun adventure, and an incredibly heart-warming depiction of friendship.
#3. Shirobako (2014, P.A. Works)
Aoi Miyamori is a production assistant at Musashino Animation, and the series follows the lives of her and her former high school Anime Club members as they try to survive, or break into, the anime industry.
The show is as much about five friends trying to achieve their dreams as it is about anime production, and that’s what makes it work.
#4. Monogatari Series: Second Season (2013, Shaft)
The best parts of the stylized and wordy Monogatari shows are arguably their character interactions and conversations. However, Second Season (it’s not actually the second season, though) also has some of the most compelling and exciting story arcs in the series.
It culminates with Hitagi End, where a sharp-tongued, self-proclaimed tsundere hires a gloomy conman to trick a vengeful girl-turned-god. Great stuff.
#5. Fate/Zero (2011, Ufotable)
Unlike Fate/Stay Night, Fate/Zero‘s Holy Grail War participants are mainly adults who know what they’re doing. That makes things a lot more fascinating, but it also helps that the original novel was written by Gen Urobuchi. Tragedy and grimness pervade the show, and happy endings are scarce. Fate/Zero doesn’t have the series’ most impressive Servant battles, but the final duel between “mage-killer” Kiritsugu Emiya and messed-up priest Kotomine Kirei is also one for the ages.