Hello and welcome to my long overdue top 10 of the 2010’s for tv anime. yeah I’m overdue on this and I seen how a lot of people were doing top 5 and 10 of what they thought were the best of the 2010s. So, I’m gonna do tv anime and movies later of what I saw and thought were the best. my rules when selecting them is it does not matter when they started. as long as they managed to end their anime adaption within the 2010’s regardless if it’s seasonal or ongoing to do so. my picks are both personal as well as objective since I also take their source materials into account if they had any while accounting for the story and characters. with all that said I think I can start posting my top 10 and about half way through I will post some honorable mentions that I know were impactful but did not make it on my list.
Number 10: Naruto
So, yeah I know Naruto has a continuation by the name of Boruto but I don’t really see that as anything good or even worth of being a sequel since it has not done much to improve, expand, or be better than naruto and is an overall confused mess on what it wants to be. Naruto on the other hand was without doubt special. when it first started and much like Naruto himself no one really batted much of an eye at first and underestimated it but I guess after a couple of people read it or checked out the anime word of mouth started to spread and Naruto became a world wide phenomenon and impacted the anime culture in a very big way. in fact from the mid 2000s to early 2010s this was people’s initial gate anime over dragon ball or one piece. while I know one piece is a big deal and rightfully so but there was something about Naruto in both the character and story that drew people to it which in turn have them check out other series like one piece, bleach, and dragon ball or fairy tail. what makes Naruto good? well it is an underdog story of the boy who had nothing and was seen as monster but rather than let that be his identity he worked hard and showed he can be more than that as he strove to become the leader of his village. the stories of each arc are for the most part good and do hit some interesting directions and this is one of the few series to actually have had any good filler arcs or episodes for better and for worse. on that note, yeah naruto somewhere along the way started to lose traction whether cause it was so heavily focused on sasuke more than naruto himself, the lack of world building, or pretty much sidelining a lot of side characters who all had a story to tell that could add in to the world, culture, or build on naruto as a character that the last 2 to 3 or 4 arcs have been the biggest discussion of people’s issues with Naruto and even the ending felt a bit rushed and the anime didn’t even do that it just chose to close out as naruto and hinata walked down the isle to get married based on a light novel that wasn’t even written by kishimoto himself and had so little to do with naruto facing his next step into adulthood and not even doing a story arc in what did naruto have to do or learn to prove he can be more than just a hero and can show he can be a leader. despite that and a lot of other flaws Naruto with or without the boruto continuation dragging it down remains an important influence on anime culture and it doesn’t seem like he’ll be out of the lime light any time soon as people continue to find events for him at various cons or in japan.
Number 9: Monster Musume
yeah I also include lewd anime too cause aside from my own personal enjoyment lewdness is as much part of anime as much as shounen and drama anime. so what makes this one special? well Monster Musume was a big deal when it came out as a manga and that’s mostly due to people following the creator Okayado who mostly did this as comic strips at first but that was apparently enough to build a fan base as his art work improved and now has 2 manga series and whether you choose to believe it or not it’s cause of this series we’ve seen other similar monster girl series come out or be pushed more to the front. now to be fair I will say rosario vampire pushed this idea but okayado add a certain level of detail and type of culture to each monster race that others have. I’m not saying other monster girl manga or anime that come out since are not good but I do feel it’s important to acknowledge aside from great characters and waifus with strong personalities and an interesting idea of a story, Monster Musume was impactful and even changed some of the ways we look at monster girls these days. the anime itself was also a strong representation of those elements from solid voice acting and very high quality animation and great music especially how those albums sold like hot cakes. There are some points I can understand if you didn’t like this and prefer a different monster girl series which is fine but Monster Musume both in my opinion and from what I seen unravel in the 2010’s was a major factor for why those other monster girl series have a genre and limelight outside of hentai anime and manga.
Number 8: Beelzebub
Some of you may have forgotten but Beelzebub was another shounen jump series in both anime and manga I feel gets overlooked these days. Beelzebub stars a scummy rotten bastard named Oga Tatsumi who was the toughest bad ass in a school full of gangs and deliquents who likely won’t get any jobs outside of working at a 7-11 or mcdonalds or construction work and yeah this series makes it no secret college is the last thing on any of their minds as they all try to prove they’re the most hard core bad asses of a school dirty little bastards and rotten bitches. but then Tatsumi finds a naked baby who became attached to him cause he was a rotten bastard. why did this matter? well because this baby’s name is Beelzebub. yes, that Beelzebub that you hear about in bibles and deadly sins and all that jazz. along with demon maid Hilda Tatsumi is stuck with satan’s baby and has to raise it to destroy the world by being the surrogate dad while satan is… just getting drunk and chasing his blues away after a falling out with his wife. anyway putting the grim summary aside Beelzebub is surprisingly funny and has pretty cool action in and I’m kind of shocked not many people remember this series. The anime had its fair share of fillers and granted the anime ended on an anime only ending cause the manga was still ongoing back then but it is kind of an interesting story in how tatsumi and baby beel bond and in turn baby beel grants his immense demonic power to tatsumi in exchange leading to some well overblown fights and even though the overall conflict is just satan’s family having a falling out and dispute between satan and his wife having what can viewed as the most overblown custody battle for their kids that tatsumi eventually resolves by the end of the manga it is a fun read and watch and it’s kind of funny seeing tatsumi and all the character’s lives get turned around cause of one demonic baby that likes to be around the conflict and this was probably one of the more unique shounen jump series to come out.
Number 7: Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Yeah no surprise Madoka is here and for obvious reasons but I’m pretty sure I just pissed off a ton of people putting it in the bottom half of this list. Madoka is a dark focused take on the magical girl series and while I do understand why people love it so much I just don’t think it’s that ground breaking or game changing especially if you know the magical girl genre and it’s entire history and it can be easily noted how Madoka by no means has done anything that hasn’t been seen or written for magical girls before. and no I don’t think it has to do with the director akiyuki shinbo given people’s mixed views with him and his sense of directing that can come off as him… stroking his own ego. the credit lies more with how the story and themes were written by Gen Uroubuchi. if you’ve seen fate zero, fate stay night the eroge visual novel, kamen rider gaim, and that one weird saumrai puppet show he did that people loved then you know this is guy who is very talented in writing stories. when he’s given just the right amount of time and freedom his work is almost flawless with a few nit picks here and there and he has a subtle of telling a story where you’re supposed to make your own interpretation of it. in that regard Madoka is no different as even today people still don’t have a consensus on what to label it’s themes where the only thing we know is consistent is the theme of hope and despair which from a story telling perspective is done really well here and the music and visuals were also unique to the show’s identity and remains studio shaft’s most profitable series. that being said the tv original anime I will be honest did not have the best characters. let me be clear yes now the original characters have a lot more to their lore and stories but judging this as the tv anime was concerned the characters were it’s strength and weakness which on the one hand you don’t spend a lot of time with all of them and they’re more used for the themes being presented in the show. Sure these days now madoka and the original main girls now have a lot more depth to them but that was after the rebellion movie where more material especially the mobile app game came out where that added more to them despite the fact they’re of a different timeline and universe. I do get why people love this and I like it fine too, I just don’t think it was ever the big hype people make it out to be but never the less it does earn a spot here for being a culturally impacting series that still continues today.
Number 6: Yuuki Yuuna is a hero
I’m sure this one passed by all of you too but this is another magical girl series that came after madoka aired. it’s got some similiarities to Madoka but it is it’s own good thing I feel people should check out when they get a chance. Yuuki Yuuna and her hero club members get chosen to be magical warriors who protect their town from invading forces trying to destroy their town but things aren’t what they appear and the girls learn they paid a heavier price than they bargained for. If madoka’s best strength was the themes and story it had, Yuuki Yuuna’s would be the characters and their relationship. yeah Yuuki Yuuna’s story is simple and straight forward compared to madoka as is the theme but this has madoka beat in terms of the character building and interaction and I’m just gonna say it this had a lot more emotional impact because it was so focused on the characters. everything else is on equal level with madoka from the action and animation and even the music. these 2 have their weakness and strengths that make them great but I feel yuuki yuuna put more into the characters you feel more with their struggles and if you get a chance this is a definite must watch.
HALF WAY POINT! LET’S COVER THE HONORABLE MENTIONS!
Honorable mention 1: Interviews with monster girls. I meant what I said about monster musume, but interviews with monster girls is more calm and takes a slower approach by comparison. you got teacher takahashi talking to his students he learns have monster girl powers and helps them in the best he can where as he talks to them he learns about actual monster girls. it’s really heartwarming and sweet and it’s really great. I’m kind of surprised how they managed to pull it off so well.
Honorable mention 2: Sword Art Online. hooo boy… look I know people like this for one reason or another but despite my constant complaints on this anime I’m not afraid to admit a few things on it. SAO for better or worse did make an impact on the anime community where by that I mean it made it more mainstream. again for better and for worse. the animation and character designs are pretty good and it has it’s moments and definitely what people seem to agree on is mother’s rosario arc remains the best SAO story they’ve done. so yeah I can’t really fault people for liking or hating this series mostly cause reki kawahara doesn’t seem to know who he’s writing this story for which is why it can come off as confusing on if this is supposed to be a adult story, teen story, or kid story.
Number 3: AnoHana/We still don’t the name of the flower we saw that day. This one is kind of a honarable mention gem on the same grounds like clannad or air where this is an anime that tugs at the emotional heart strings and is well written for what it is. that’s also kind of it’s weakness since it needs you to be invested with the characters for this to have an emotional impact which not everyone is gonna be into but if it piqued your interest check it.
Honorable mention 4: and last honorable mentions Fate Zero and Unlimited blade works. both done by the same studio and take on some interesting philosophies and arguments on heroism and honor these are 2 fate anime that are always gonna be recommended to give watch which you can watch both on netflix in both english and japanese dubs which both of are done extremely well. I won’t say too much cause it’s fate and you’ll either like it or just hate it for being too complicated for its own good.
now back to the count down!
Number 5: High School DxD
Again even lewd ecchi anime have their worth on these lists. While yeah I could say To Love Ru was impactful but I chose High School DxD for one simple fact. This anime for whatever reason pushed lewd anime to their next level. again I know to love ru had it’s nude moments but a lot of that was after high school dxd gained a ton of popularity with how forward it was with the lewdness stuff to borderline hentai which to love ru didn’t push as much till darkness. regardless of which one pushed it first high school dxd definitely left a massive impact after it’s first season to the point more and more lewd anime try to push the boundaries further bit by bit to the point there’s almost no existing line between lewd anime and hentai. almost. yeah it can all come down to the old “sex sells” business model which is true and I don’t deny that reality but again it wasn’t till after high school dxd where more and more lewd anime started to become a lot more common in anime where before we had to wait till certain times of the season to know we’re getting nudity in certain anime and now we got like 4 to 6 of them a year maybe more now. all that fame aside high school dxd also proved it’s more than just a lewd series as it has a lot of story to it and character developments. the world building is surprisingly done really well and for a lewd series it dived pretty deep into various lores and mythologies. it’s kind of impressive it manages to fit to so many kinds of cultures in this one series without tripping over itself too much. even if this isn’t your kind of anime or light novel, high school dxd left an impact on the 2010’s that changed the way lewd anime are seen or thought of and 2020 is still showing how some studios are continuing to push boundaries.
Number 4: Zombieland Saga
One of the biggest surprises in recent years was Zombieland Saga. done by studio Mappa who have a lot of successes under their belt but with those other anime at least a good handful of them people already knew the source materials of those works. what makes zombieland saga different? well no one was really expecting this to be an idol anime especially not after the heavy metal sounding trailer and the dark lighting showing off zombies lol this was literally an underdog anime that competed with a few other contending anime such as studio trigger’s gridman and… season 2 of senran kagura for whatever that’s worth but managed to surprise a lot of people with it’s comedy and characters. while the CG animation may not be the best but I’d argue that was more than intentional to remind the viewers the girls are all zombies. what was probably more surprising was how emotional this show could be. we only got to know 5 of them deep enough to make a connection as the remaining 2 which were yugiri and tae have yet to have an arc story or episode of their own but that may change in season 2. anyway zombieland saga’s other surprise is how catchy and good the songs are. they tackled quite a few genres of music and to this point people still remain excited for them in where they will go next and I look forward to what their next season gives us.
Number 3: Rising of the Shield Hero
The Rising of the Shield Hero I wasn’t too sure on at first especially when at this point a lot of people were getting tire of the same old tropes with isekai. Thankfully Shield Hero provided an actual story that actually takes its time and builds up our hero from the literal and figuratively ground up. we got our usual isekai set up of being summoned and happy adventures to save the world and yada yada but on that same first episode shit hit the fan so fast as our main hero naofumi gets accused of raping his party member but turns out it was a set up as he was falsely accused and now his reputation is ruined which leaves him as a bitter angry man. he eventually gets himself a slave named Raphtalia and honestly I like the way the story helps both of these characters grow and even show there’s meaning to the things they do. I would talk about it more deeply but this is not a full review as it is just me putting in top 10 with some honorable mentions. it has to be kept brief.
Number 2: The Devil is a Part Timer
Now this came out before shield hero but even then people were noticing tiresome annoying tropes in isekai and to this day this is the one people talk about the most in how reverses the concept in bringing the magical world characters to ours. the devil and his right hand man get stuck in our world after escaping the hero only to find they can’t use magic use what little they have left to make false identities and the devil works at a mcdonalds. I know that sounds stupid and not all that interesting but trust me when I say this series will surprise you in a lot of ways and I’m honestly shocked there isn’t much I can complain on this series. the overall reception was pretty good and sad to say a season 2 never happened and I doubt it will at this point but this anime and it’s light novel source material are an excellent time to watch and read while eating your mcdoubles lol
and my number 1 anime of the 2010’s is….
Yep. the number 1 anime of the 2010 decade is the manga and anime with the interesting title that most would think would get boring and tiresome but to everyone’s surprise much like our main lead Koro Sensei himself, there was more to this series that you would think. Assassination Classroom was a definite unexpected surprise especially from shounen jump by that point. a massive explosion happens as it left the moon a permanent crescent shape and the culprit was this yellow tentacled being who his students call koro sensei cause he’s unkillable. a super high intelligent life form that move at mach 20 top speed and while yeah we know characters like the flash and sonic can out run him this series just has fun with the mach 20 limitation. What this creature’s motivation? well he wants to be a teacher and teach a specific group of students who all have personal troubles that landed them as the worst class in what’s considered the absolute top school in the world. the end game is to get them to get their grades up and they also have to kill their teacher before the end of the year as he will blow up with enough force to take out the entire planet. that shit is already a lot to take in going into it but it doesn’t drop you with a ton of exposition at the start it just sort of shows you and you just take notes on each episode to put the pieces together here and there. without going too much into spoilers I’m just so honestly surprised that this series came out with a character I don’t think many of us would get attached to and like other series it’s got flaws like not all the students get to be important but they’re there enough to show they’re part of the classroom. it’s got a lot of fun and comedic moments, a lot of drama and decent action even when it can be bit of that suspension of disbelief that kids took down trained killers but I think the story did its best to explain why and how they won. the story of assassination classroom is a lot like Koro sensei himself where it’s flawed but you can’t help but be immersed and enjoy it. if you got through all the episodes then it’s all the more impactful when you get to the the last 3 to 4 episodes. so if you haven’t this is definitely one anime I do recommend you check out from start to finish and it’s all available on hulu in both english and japanese dub.
that’s all I got for my top 10 of the 2010 decade. next time I’ll do a top 8 to 10 anime movies of the 2010 decade but for now feel free to agree or disagree with my top 10 of the decade and I’ll see y’all next time.