Top 8 Anime Shows of the 2010s



The “My Hero Academia” manga series sold more than 3.7 million copies worldwide in less than two years before being adapted into a T.V. show in 2016.

With the internet exploding in the 2010s, western audiences were exposed to more of what the east had to offer. One of the biggest sensations to take over the US this decade is anime, or Japanese animation. From 2010 to now, a stream of high quality shows were produced. Here are my personal favorites counting down to the best:

8.“Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun” (2014)

Episodes: 12 (Complete)

The romantic comedy show manages to mercilessly poke fun at the genre’s numerous tropes, like the oblivious love interest and the inhumanly shy protagonist, while presenting scenes that feel genuine and endearing. Its brisk pace and vibrant cast also makes viewing this 12-episode experience perfect for some quick entertainment.

7.”My Hero Academia” (2016)

Episodes: 70 (Ongoing)

Watching the opening episodes brought back a feeling I felt in 2005 when “Naruto” first aired on Toonami. Witnessing the protagonist’s growth from a weak child to one of the show’s most promising heroes is inspiring. It also helps that the show has an awesome concept where everyone wakes up with super powers of various strengths. A few downsides, however, would be that the main character becomes static toward the later episodes and the out-of-place fan service moments break the pacing of the show immensely.

6.”Steins;Gate” (2011)

Episodes: 24 (Complete)

The lighthearted beginning of “Steins;Gate” has viewers become accustomed to the goofy scenarios that the protagonist, who claims to be the world’s greatest scientist, would find himself in. All of that changes when he stumbles upon a formula that would lead him into discovering time travel. From there, the series takes a sharp turn in tone by confronting the leading character with the consequences of manipulating nature and time. The show can be difficult to watch at certain points because of its convoluted plot, which is to be expected when time travel is involved, but the writing carries the show through.

5.”Kids on the Slope” (2012)

Episodes: 12 (Complete)

The show’s strength is how it is able to tell a story through all means beside dialogue. From how characters are drawn to the way they play their instruments, viewers can pick up on the subtle messages that show how certain characters feel toward one another. The show also has the best music in animation this decade compiling songs like “My Favorite Things” and “Someday My Prince Will Come” into a sporadic celebration of jazz music.

4.”Attack on Titan” (2013)

Episodes: 59 (Ongoing)

The end of season three alone transcended the series from an intense thriller to a masterpiece. The big reveal to what was in the protagonist Eren Yeager’s basement is one of those plot points that make rewatching the show an entirely different experience. Luckily for viewers, the ride to that climax is just as good as they try to make sense of a world infested with man-eating giants.

3.”Ping Pong the Animation” (2014)

Episodes: 11 (Complete)

“Ping Pong the Animation” is ironically not about ping pong, but about getting over one’s self doubts. The series follows two friends who handle their problems in two different ways: one constantly sees his problems as results of his shortcomings while the other tries to avoid them entirely. Despite the show’s short length, a lot of internal change occurs with both the main characters and the supporting cast, which quickly builds a connection with them to the audience.

2.”Hunter X Hunter” (2011)

Episodes: 148 (Complete)

The consistency in quality throughout the series is mind-boggling. Usually when a show decides to switch up its genre, the plot becomes tangled and the execution sloppy. “Hunter X Hunter” at one point went from a crime syndicate arc to a video game arc and made the transition feel natural. The show is unpredictable and loads of fun due to its dynamic characters and deep battling system. As a fan of power classification, it made seeing new characters a joy as I tried to decipher which category their abilities belonged to.

1.”Mob Psycho 100” (2016)

Episodes: 25 (Ongoing)

The show, much like its main character, is deceiving. The simplistic (sometimes unappealing) look of its surface hides a show that offers a ton of laughs and heart that will leave an impression long after the final credits. I found myself on a constant emotional exercise as I watched the show’s two main characters develop together, especially in the second season. “Mob Psycho 100” comes with the right doses of comedy, action, and sincere moments to make it the most fulfilling anime of the decade.