A lot has changed for me over the last decade. For one thing, midway through 2016 I started this blog and the amount of anime I watched and discussed exploded. So looking back at the anime and taking a step back from the heat of the moment and snap judgements, I’m now getting the chance to think about the anime I most loved from the last ten years.
No. 1: No sequels of any kind. This kind of knocked Natsume Yuujinchou out of the lists straight away because the first season aired in 2008. That said, Natsume is awesome and is now six seasons in. It was a big part of my last decade of anime and hopefully we’ll get more in the next decade.
No. 2: Only one anime from each season which gave me 4 picks from each year. Let me point out, when we hit 2016 that became a big problem, but I resolved it by cheating and you’ll see how when we get to that post.
No. 3: Other than 2019 anime, no matter how brilliant an anime was if I hadn’t rewatched it since it aired then it didn’t make the list. If I don’t like it enough to watch it more than once then it doesn’t deserve to be on an anime of the decade list.
Otherwise I just decided to have fun and go on a nostalgic trip through the last decade of anime. Incidentally, my to be watched and rewatched anime lists grew massively as I came across titles I remembered wanting to watch and anime that I really meant to get to rewatching and hadn’t. I do love that we have access to so much anime these days.
I’ve previously gushed over my love of this series in this review but I’m going to gush a little here. Despite it now being ten years old, Katanagatari is an amazing anime and one that is highly underappreciated. The format is a little different with episodes running 40 minutes rather than 20, but the story that unfolds over the 12 episodes is well worth watching. Between the gorgeous and unique art style, the fun characters, and a solid and well structured narrative, Katanagatari is one of those anime that has withstood the decade and remains a solid piece of entertainment. I’d also solidly recommend reading the novels because so far I’ve been having a fantastic time with them.
Definitely a must watch anime. It has adventure, martial arts, love and drama all wrapped up inside a truly beautifully presented package.
Another anime I know I’ve gushed over on numerous occasions and definitely expressed my love for it in my series review here. Angel Beats is an odd anime that uses the whiplash between ridiculous slap-stick comedic moments, slice of life antics, over-the-top action and high stakes drama to drag the viewer through an emotional roller coaster before ripping your heart out of your chest and stomping on it. And just when you think you won’t get over that it makes you smile and feel all warm and melty inside. Sure, there’s plenty you could say to criticise this story but if it sweeps you away it is one of those moving viewing experiences that is unforgettable and this one gets better and better on multiple watches.
Totally recommend you give this one a try though mileage will vary. Those who don’t like abrupt tonal shifts or ‘whacky’ characters will find this one a bit draining early on and it really is contrived to play on your heart strings, though it is effective if you let it be. I love it and I do believe this anime is one of my most rewatched DVD’s.
A slow burning vampire horror story set in rural Japan? Yeah, Shiki was a must watch for me and ended up being the first full anime I ever reviewed on my blog. Needless to say, I love it though with all the anime I’ve watched since starting the blog I will admit some of the shine has come off of it. Still, in terms of horror anime, this is still one of my favourites. For me, the long and slow build up as we wait for the first characters to realise what is happening is the kind of tense viewing I love with horror and once all hell breaks loose it feels worth it. While the ending definitely goes for shock and gore, horror fans will definitely appreciate it. Even a decade later there are few horror anime that can stand up to this one in terms of enjoyment.
Note, this anime is absolutely not for everyone. If you aren’t into horror and you don’t like blood then you are really going to find a lot to dislike in this story. Also those who just want to get to the fighting part of the story will find this one on the slow side because it takes a long time before people accept that they are actually even under attack. That said, there’s a great ensemble cast here and with rewatches you really appreciate all the relationships that exist within the village. Definitely one I’m still in love with ten years on. Plus there’s this creepy scene:
Bakuman isn’t an anime I talk about much on the blog and while characters and ideas from it have ended up on some of my top 5 lists, I’ve yet to write a review of it. Part of the problem is I haven’t watched it since starting my blog though it did meet the requirement of having been watched twice to end up on the list. The thing is, Bakuman is an awesome story of two aspiring manga artists. I feel some of the drama is a little contrived and the whole I won’t speak to you until you succeed gimmick is idiotic, but the core of the story, the creation of a manga and trying to succeed is absolutely solid and entertaining. Despite that, it just isn’t the kind of story I want to watch over and over. Twice was enough. That said, if you have never seen Bakuman, then you are missing out on a very solid anime from 2010.
Now there are entire essays that can be written about the working conditions of manga artists, the gender stereotypes reinforced within this story, and a whole slew of other points, but the bottom line is that it is a fun anime and if you ever wanted to learn the basics of how manga is produced, this anime is definitely going to give you a starting point.
That was 2010. Tomorrow we will check out the year that was 2011. In the meantime, what are your must watch anime from 2010? Be sure to share in the comments.
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