Top Anime Of The '00s

Top Anime Of The '00s

-Written by: Will

The 2000s was a transformative decade for many, especially for anime. Toonami, Crunchyroll, and our own online store brought more anime to the West, and showed that there was more to anime than just Pokemon. Let’s check ten titles that topped the decade.

FLCL - 2000

An American channel doesn’t revive a Japanese show after 18 years unless it’s good. Suburban teen Noata’s life is turned upside down when an alien girl arrives and messes with his life. Trippy in the best way, it’s one big metaphor about puberty and finding yourself along the way. It includes fantastic music from a band called The Pillows (you may have heard them at Anime Expo this year).

This Anime Classics FLCL collection contains episodes 1-6.

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Spirited Away – 2001

Considered to be one of the greatest anime films of all time, Spirited Away tells the story of Chihiro, a young girl who gets swept off into the spirit world. After being cast into this new world with her family, she’s forced to work in a bathhouse for spirits after her parents were suddenly turned into pigs! What follows is a metaphorically epic tale about growing up and facing your fears. It includes dragons, witches, romance, ducks with lily pads for hats, and anything else you could imagine.

Spirited Away includes a 12-page Booklet with statements from the Producer and Director.

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Haibane Renmei – 2002

What, you haven’t heard of this series? Well you should because it's great. The series concerns the Haibane (angel-looking beings) Rakka and Reki, who yearn to learn about their past lives so they can find fulfillment in their current life. To say more would spoil this short, but enticing 13 episode series. Just know that this spiritual journey is one of the true hidden gems.

Haibane Renmei DVD contains episodes 1-13.

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Fullmetal Alchemist – 2003

The steampunk fantasy tells the story of Edward and Alphonse Elric, brothers desperate to bring their deceased mother back to life. After their first attempt left Edward without an arm and Alphonse without a body, they become alchemists to study, gain strength, and try again. The series can range from tragedy to humor, and that makes it one of the greats.

If you'd like to check out something newer from the series, check out Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Movie: Sacred Star Of Milos!

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Mushi-Shi - 2005

The greatest anime television show of all time?

Many anime shows can entertain you, but how many make you think? Using the titular spirits as metaphors (much like Spirited Away) the show follows the wandering Ginko, a “Mushishi Master” that researches these spirits and helps people who are suffering from spirit-related problems. With beautiful stories that match the beautiful visuals, it’s a series that sticks with you long after it’s finished.

This S.A.V.E. edition Mushi-shi Complete Collection contains episodes 1-26 plus special features such as: interviews with the director, actor/director commentary, production studio tour, Mushi-Shi manga pages and more.

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Howl’s Moving Castle – 2006

Young girl Sophie has a chance encounter with Howl, a magical wizard. This catches the vengeful attention of the Witch of the Waste, who turns Sophie in a 90 year-old woman. Sophie then embarks on a journey to lift the curse. Hayao Miyazaki characters are never truly good nor bad, and that is at the forefront of this movie. Characters and relationships change, but Sophie’s determination to not let changing ages restrict her is a constant. The dub is pretty good too; Billy Crystal puts in a memorable performance as Calcifer, a talking fireball.

Howl's Moving Castle includes an 8-page Booklet with essays from the producer, producer's statement and more.

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The Girl Who Leapt Through Time - 2006

What happens when you give a teenager time-traveling powers? One of the best anime films of the century.

This coming of age tale (see a pattern in this list?) features a young girl who, through trial and error, becomes a young woman. The animation by Madhouse rivals the best of the medium and has the inventiveness to keep the watcher on their toes.

Includes Digital HD Ultraviolet (subject to expiration and only redeemable in U.S.)

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Paprika – 2006

Of all the “Inception before Inception” media, Satoshi Kon’s film takes the cake. Using a device that lets people view other's dreams, psychologist Atsuko Chiba attempts to covertly help her patients, with dire consequences. With animation that boggles the mind, this is the director’s last film before his passing in 2010. A visionary whose work is getting harder to find, we’re happy we have his best work.

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Clannad - 2007

From the visual novel that changed visual novels comes the anime adaption that changed anime adaptations. It’s about Tomoyo, a teen resorting to delinquency to deal with his abusive father and the death of mother. After a chance encounter with eligible bachelorette Nagisa, Tomoyo agrees to help restart the Drama Club. It’s a traditional setup, but the story takes unexpected turns, and soon you’ll be crying by the end. Anime like Steins;Gate wouldn’t be what they are without Clannad paving the way.

This collection contains Clannad Season 1 episodes 1-24 as well as Clannad After Story Season 2 episodes 1-25, where the emotional payoff truly begins.

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Bakemonogarari – 2009

The anime that proved the harem genre can be more than superficial fanservice. Koyomi is a high school student who was a former vampire, but was given a new lease on his humanity. Now he wants to do the same for other people (read: attractive women) with supernatural afflictions. What sets this apart is the artistry on display; the animation is smooth and the lighting is gorgeous. Mix that with excellent music and voice acting and you get one of the best television series of the decade.

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