musings on best of 00s

2009 is almost over, and, more significantly, the 00s. It’s been quite a decade for anime– unparalleled worldwide growth thanks to the internet, digital fansubs, and the advent of streaming video. Also anime advanced from being hand drawn cels to computer generated 3D eye candy. Not to mention the rise of anime forums, blogs, and social networks. It’s been quite a decade. Naturally, it got me thinking. What was the best anime of the decade?

(I’m not going to answer that question here. Maybe later. I think to think about it more, and this post, I guess, is why I need to think about it more.)

Now, how do I even begin to answer this question… “best” is subjective. Hell, it’s more subjective than “best NBA player” or “best cookie recipe.” For relevant stats, do you go by the anime that makes the most money? The one that gets the most viewers? Does that matter? Do you go with the funny-y-est? The drama-y-est? The train wreck-y-est? The enjoy-y-est? Does that matter? Needless to say, it’s not easy.

Do you consider historical impact? Would Love Hina deserve consideration for being the first completely digital anime (in terms of production and fansubs)? Do we penalize earlier shows for not being part of the high definition revolution? Do we consider external factors? Does Bakemonogatari get shafted because it never generated the rabid fanbase of Raki Suta? Do we consider just the good or just the great or everything in between? Would Gundam Seed get consideration for re-inventing the Gundam franchise and setting the stage for the glorious Gundam Seed Destiny and Gundam 00? Would the opposite be true and penalize show for subpar sequels? (Yes, I’m looking at you… Me– Magical Lyrical Girl Nanoha StrikerS.) What else matters? Animation quality? Voice over work? See, this is becoming more complicated than overhauling the health care system.

I got thinking. What do I want in my best anime series of 2000s?

1. It has to be one of the best of its year. Maybe it aged better than its contemporaries, but it has to be one of the best. Fortunately, this blog has been around for seven of the ten years of this decade, and I’ve been doing that Best of thing. Some titles to think about: Elfen Lied, Guardian of the Sacred Spirit, Mushishi, Kamichu, Kino’s Travels, Banner of the Stars, Rozen Maiden, Full Metal Panic Fumoffu. Some titles you don’t have to think about: Full Moon o Sagashite, Najica Blitz Tactics, Happy Lesson, pretty much anything made by Gonzo, Futakoi.

2. It has to be iconic. You have to be able to point back at a series and remember fondly why you were so fond about it. We remember Mahoro for “Ecchi na no wa ikenai to omoimasu!” We remember Afternoon Tea Time for Don’t Say “Lazy”. We remember Code Geass for OH GEASS NO! We remember Azumanga Daioh quite fondly for Chiyo-chan’s hair. We remember School Days for… shoot, what do we remember School Days for? (Oh reminds me, gratz to Gundamu and 0utf0xZer0 for utterly failing the last time I used this joke mechanic.) We remember Black Lagoon for a boat somehow flying and colliding with a helicopter. Any Best of 00s needs to be iconic for something positive at the very least.

3. This ain’t no thin slicing. The premise of thin slicing is to make a decision with the least amount of information available… well… for Best of 00s, I think it’s to make a decision with the most information available. Do we consider Stand Alone Complex‘s contribution to popularizing anime in America? Do we consider the buzz Mai Hime gets vs. the lack of buzz that Minami-ke gets? Do we consider that I enjoy writing a Maria+Holic post more than writing a Shuffle post?

4. Does it pass the tests? I feel like there’s a minimum amount of litmus tests that a series has to pass. These should be quickies– if you have to think, probably not. If I were flipping channels, and this series came on, would I stop and watch it, or would I keep flipping? (Muteki Kanban Musume, I’d stop and watch. Air, no.) Is this series accessible to general anime fans, not just ones who would read an esoteric anime blog? (Keroro, definitely. Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, not so much.) Is this an anime that you looked forward to watching every week? (USO DA!) Is there a top tier character in the anime– like pantheon good? (Kogarashi? Pass. Maria? Pass. Shana-tan? Pass. The cast of Mahoraba? No.) Am I going to remember this anime five years from now? (What the fuck was Gad Guard about again?) Did you have fun watching this show?

5. The choice has make sense. It’s has to have a defendable position, much like the Union troops at Gettysburg. Sure, it’s not a perfect choice, but others can at least see the angle you’re coming from. Haruhi Suzumiya was the first great series in high def, launched the career of Aya Hirano, had a pantheon episode, and had a greatly Niconico’ed ED. Gurren Lagann had a great motif, epic battles, resurrected Gainax, and made gar sexy again. Clannad‘s theme was excellent, made the viewer run a gamut of emotions, had a pantheon gym storage shed scene, was well-written and executed, and had plenty of Sunohara Tomoyo. Of course, Hanaukyo Meido La Verite… well, it’s defensible on this blog, at least.

(I was going to write “Needless is the best show of 2009, had the best ED ever, had a phenomenal plot twist, a great running gag with the names, featured the Pretty Girl Squad complete with Mio Hip Attack, and has the most muscles and panty shots per minute of any anime in history. Plus, Eve can dopplegang me any day.” before deciding that my readers wouldn’t be able to figure out that it’s a joke. Actually, the more I read this, the more I think Needless has a defensible position. Mmm…)

6. Something special is… was… still is in the air. You should know it’s something special as you’re watching the show for the first time, much like how Lamar and Khloe felt when they first met.

Over the next couple of weeks (or months), I’ll be going through a run down of some of the best anime from the 00s. This was a great decade for anime. Let’s remember it together.

63 Responses to “musings on best of 00s”

  1. Let’s just skip the formalities and go with the anime with the best traps- I mean, female cast.

  2. Yo Jason I’m happy for you and imma let you finish but Haruhi was the greatest anime of all time! All time!

  3. This seems a worthy endeavor, as it is not simple. Some would argue that it’s pointless, but I’ll be looking forward to this series of posts. The 2006 apex will make this interesting imo ^^


  4. The best is Haibane Renmei. By a decent margin too. The rest would be closely contested by a plethora of anime, like GitS:SAC, Haruhi, Kino’s Journey, Mushishi, Baccano!, Plantes, Gurren Lagann, Bakemonogatari, Elfen Lied, R.O.D/the tv, Eve no Jikan, Last Exile, Eden of the East, FMA, Honey and Clover, RahXephon (though i dont like it), FMP!, Paranoia Agent, Dennou Coil, Tokyo Marble Chocolate, Samurai Champloo (yes, seriously) and maybe a few others. Im ignoring comedies, though they are very entertaining, as they dont really stack up in a head-to-head fight. I was going to mention Nodame and Mahoromatic as well, but they have flaws that just cannot be ignored.

  5. With ten years of anime, how are you going to make sure absolutely nothing gets overlooked? I mean, being an engineering student doesn’t really give you the time to watch EVERYTHING. (Then again, procrastination is a vital part of engineering…).

    Now where can I get a copy of that game?

  6. Eden of the East, Bakemonogatari, Elfen Lied, Haibane Renmei, FMP: TSR, Haruhi, Clannad? I have a hard time drawing the line between “best of” and “my favorite.” (Even though I’d never consider Lucky Star, K-ON! or GitS:SAC despite my love for them, so maybe that line exists after all.) Looking forward to your reviews. (And I’d have to say Clannad since it was so flawlessly executed on all fronts and is the type of show I’d recommend to anyone.)

  7. Down, Kanye, down boy! Shit, I didn’t realize the decade was coming to an end, despite spending most of it mulling how weird a decade this has been. But the millenium started in 2001, so the decade and millenium don’t line up?? I like this topic, much more than I like best-of topics (which is not at all), but at the same time, the past couple of years have featured a lot of arguments that anime is dying or at least in a slump, the latest coming from the mangaka of The World God Only Knows himself! Can these two positions really co-exist? I look forward to the coming arguments.

    By the way, I like the header pic; it favors shows I enjoyed, and even has alt versions of characters (and not crappy evil alts, unless you consider loli and/or tanned evil). Took me a while to realize one of the fighters is Kyonko. OTL

  8. So I started up the Gurren Lagann OST. First time in ages.

    Still brought a tear to my eye.

  9. ome titles you don’t have to think about: Full Moon o Sagashite, Najica Blitz Tactics, Happy Lesson, pretty much anything made by Gonzo

    Up through the first half of the decade, Gonzo’s “A” team (Range Murata, Mahiro Maeda, etc) did interesting stuff. I think the story, world design and art design in “Last Exile” stands up pretty well, for instance. There was always something a bit “off” in their productions, but there’s no such thing as a perfect studio, and it didn’t completely dominate their better stuff. Only in the second half of the decade did cackhanded, sleazy production become so predominant in Gonzo shows.

  10. A decade worth of anime huh? I recon this should take at least till new year. If you’re going to re-watch some series can I join? xD

  11. Other shows to think about:

    Full Metal Alchemist (the original)
    Princess Tutu
    Twelve Kingdoms
    Fruits Basket

    Also, what about OAVs and movies? Read or Die and Spirited Away are both vintage zeros.

  12. This seems an infinitely difficult task. Just think, can you really compare Mushishi and Detroit Metal City? I think your best metric would be assigning points for various criteria and then ordering based on those results. However, even using this method I think a subjective element would play a dominant role.

    Still, I am curious what you think, since I generally defer to your thin slicing posts on what animes to start watching haha.

  13. I think you should go straight on and declare: this was the best… -IN MY OPINION-
    Who cares if it’s a defendable choice?
    Personally, my favorite is, and probably will always be, Azumanga Daioh

  14. I have to say this was an interesting decade for me. For great shows such as bakamonogatari, gurren lagann, Suzumiya (season 1) :( etc. I had suffered and laugh at train wrecks and traps over the years as my perspective of animes had made me more jaded and so twisted that my young self would never thought on how he got to this point in his life. And my knowledge of Gundam wouldnt be so enormous if it wasn’t for cartoon network and adult swim/toonami that would have me think that robots are fun.

    Also for 4kids for making me scream in fright for every edit dubs out in America because it further progressed my taste for subs in japanese audio faster than Suzaku impaling Lelouch ( OH GEASS NO ). And finally you Jason for making the best damn blog i ever seen in my life. I never seen a tech geek that is so engross in his hobbies. Too bad I am not much of a sports fan but at least your heart is in the right place :D I appreciated that you keep on writing even though you almost gave up on this site. Thank you and hope to see you write about the Gundam movies next year

  15. Ah, the question of whether to consider sequels.

    Do we consider EF’s Kuze one of the most angsty and annoying characters in recent memory or do we take inspiration from his uniform collection when we ask the cute EF cosplayer at a convention if she has an e-mail address she wants her photos sent to?

  16. First seed i hate it, made the original seem full of bi shi’s and mainly stupid then again i loved the original mainly.

    Secondly i think it was around 2000 a new animation style was used in anime the one we see mainly now unless watching an older one.

    and i had to watch the episode to be sure afterward i figured it was though.

  17. By the way you define it, it feels like Code Geass is the series of the decade. Wow… and it’s not even my favorite series.

  18. SPIN ON!

  19. Maybe it would be helpful to consider the best of the previous decade (is it a given that it would be Evangelion, or am I forgetting something bigger?) and why it earned its spot. I think it fares pretty well on the checlklist in this post…

  20. Reading this makes me miss Toonami.

  21. Omg. Naruto fits in those listed requirements. It’s (partly) defendable. Omg.

  22. I don’t think this would be right without putting FLCL up for consideration. It did a lot with 6 episodes.

  23. I don’t think there can be only one best anime, because the medium is so diverse and people have different tastes.

    So much to choose from….this was a good decade, I became an anime fan in this decade.

  24. Well to be pedantic, the 00s may be over soon but the decade won’t. It changes when the year changes to 2011. Reason being, the calendar does not count from year zero but year one – there’s no 0 AD.

    As for the best anime… I think it is an impossible question. I prefer my method of instead having a vague top ten, all that I hold in more or less equal value. :)

  25. I don’t think you can define a best anime for a decade as while many can agree on what are the great series, the final choice is completely personal. The simplest question I could ask would be “If you could only watch one anime series from the 2000’s for a whole year, what would it be?” The first show you think of is your answer.

  26. Northernshadows, that’s only true when discussing ordinal decades or centuries, like the “20th century”. The 201st decade will end in 2010, but Jason is talking about the 00s and they end in 52 days.

  27. Yo Jason I’m happy for you and imma let you finish but Haruhi was the greatest anime of all time! All time!

    Yo Eroge I’m real happy for you and imma let you finish but Endless Eight-

    Yo Eroge I’m real happy for you and imma let you finish but…

    I figure “best” is subjective to the person anyway. I may like Kampfer better than Bakemonogatari. You may disagree, and you’re welcome to disagree, but I stand by my opinion. I also welcome your opinion, and well screw you if you don’t think I’m right.

  28. Wait…not one mention of Death Note. Top 10 on both ANN and MAL. Most popular anime of all time according to MAL again. Spawned worldwide controversy with weird teens carrying Death Notes into schools and even some reports of Death Note inspired police cases. Who will ever forget the weirdness of L, the cry of ‘EXACTLY AS PLANNED’ and so on.

    I’ve always figured the best of the 00’s will be a face off between Haruhi and Death Note, with Geass, FMA and Elfen Lied rounding off the top 5.

  29. You’ve just put yourself some heavy and uncomfortable shoes, Jason. I predict this will end in total war in the comments to your entries, lest you pick as best of ’00s an anime so broken we couldn’t do anything but agree. Yet, which was the most broken anime of the decade? Minami-ke with mako-cakes? Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei? Revolutionary Girl Suzaku?
    I’m always afraid it’s because of my age, but I can’t see in this decade titles as resounding as some of the earlier decades (Evangelion, CowBe, Kenshin OVAs, even Lain for the 90s, Macross, Saint Seiya, DragonBall, Sailor Moon and some others for the 80s). Haruhi is obviously one of the highlights, but 2009 wasn’t a good year for it. I loved Gurren Lagann, it probably is the best of 2007, but I don’t think it will transcend as the ones I mentioned. I refuse to accept Death Note as the best anime of the decade. Come on. Bakemonogatari is too new, although from the DVD/BD sales figures, it’s a resounding success. Series like Samurai Champloo, Monster or the more recent Eden of the East may be considered masterpieces by some people, but they failed to grab massive attention.
    Also, some genres suffer from over-saturation, like school romance, love comedy or ecchi. There are good titles, but are drowned in an ocean of mediocrity. Those jewels are hard to find and often they look greater than what they really are when compared to similar series (like Honey & Clover, though I’m sure people will hate for saying this).
    So yeah. We’ll have to make do with Haruhi.
    Oh, and if you ask me, I think I put Ergo Proxy among the candidates for best anime of the decade, despite your uncontrollable laughter.

  30. Paranoia Agent, Planetes, Princess Tutu and Boogiepop Phantom are amongst the most underrated.
    Azumanga Daioh: almost objectively best and most iconic/influential comedy.
    OVAs: Furi Kuri and little else…
    My 2 cents.

  31. Maybe it would be helpful to consider the best of the previous decade (is it a given that it would be Evangelion, or am I forgetting something bigger?) and why it earned its spot. I think it fares pretty well on the checlklist in this post…

    The only thing I can think of is Cowboy Bebop, which everyone seems to forget was made nearly 11 years ago, in 1998. That being said, I think you’re right about Evangelion being the #1 anime of the 90s.

  32. Forgive the long post and double post, but I was trying to decide which show I would argue for as the Best of the 00s, and though having a list of the top series, year by year, would be a big help. I still haven’t decided yet, but I think the list makes a good case for the 00s being the Golden Age of Anime Series. Check it out. (Note: I’m not arguing any order here, and I’m 100% certain I missed some shows. Still a good start.)

    Digimon Adventure, FLCL, InuYasha, Love Hina
    Ouch. Let’s just move on.

    Angelic Layer, Hellsing, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Noir, Read or Die
    Things start to get a little better – the quantity is about the same, but the quality is much better overall.

    Azumanga Daioh, Chobits, Full Metal Panic!, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, .hack//Sign, Haibane Renmei, Macross Zero, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Naruto, Onegai Teacher!, RahXephon, Witch Hunter Robin
    A really solid year and the start of a run of great years. The quality isn’t as uniform as some, but all of these are very watchable or are fun train wrecks and a few are in the argument for all-time shows.

    Full Metal Panic? Fummoffu, Fullmetal Alchemist, Kanon, Last Exile, Maburaho, Planetes, R.O.D. the TV, Wolf’s Rain
    Fewer big shows than the previous year, but the overall quality is amazing. When ROD TV and Wolf’s Rain are the weak links, it’s a good year.

    BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad, Bleach, Elfen Lied, Genshiken, Ghost in the Shell : S.A.C. 2nd Gig, Kerero Gunso, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Maria-sama ga Miteru, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, My-HiME, Paranoia Agent, Rozen Maiden, Samurai Champloo
    My vote for the most underrated year. Just an absolute murderer’s row of underrated shows, all time classics, and epic train wrecks. Plus, it doubles as the Year of Yuri with three series that still make up 80% of the posts on /u/.

    Ah! My Goddess!, Blood+, Eureka Seven, Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid, Gun x Sword, He Is My Master, Kino’s Journey, Mushishi, My-Otome, Noein, Pani Poni Dash, Rozen Maiden: Träumend, Shuffle!
    Not quite as good as 2004 overall, but it has two all time greats, two awesome follow-on seasons, a solid crack series, a solid harem series, a surprisingly watchable mecha show, and an epic train wreck.

    Black Lagoon, Code Geass, Death Note, Ergo Proxy, Fate/stay night, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Kanon, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Ouran High School Host Club, Simoun, Utawarerumono, Welcome to N.H.K., xxxHolic
    Just as good as 2005, possibly as good as 2004. Shockingly, the first half of the year was awful – the stand out series was Magikano. Yes, you read that correctly.

    Baccano!, Bamboo Blade, Clannad, Denno Coil, Ef: A Tale of Memories, Guardian of the Sacred Spirit, Hayate the Combat Butler, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, Lucky Star, Minami-ke, Nodame Cantabile, Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei, Shakugan no Shana, Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
    Holy shit. Speaks for itself.

    Code Geass: Lelouch of the Revolution R2, Kamen no Maid Guy, Macross Frontier, Mnemosyne, Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Nodame Cantible: Paris-Hen, Slayers, Spice and Wolf, Soul Eater, The Tower of Druaga, (Zoku) Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei
    A fairly big fall off, but considering the prior year was possibly the Greatest Anime Year Ever, it’s understandable. Still includes at least one great show and a bunch of very watchable ones.

    Bakemonogatari, Eden of the East, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, K-On!, Maria Holic, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Needless, Seitokai no Ichizon, Tears to Tiara, Zan: Sayonara Zetsubo-Sensei
    This one you should know.

  33. I’m the type of person who likes category separations. The best overall is very subjective when it comes down to comparing across different years with variables such as the season’s other shows stealing viewing share and even the general socioeconomic conditions of the time. I suppose the Oscars and the like can end up doing it because of the narrower time frame for each of those events but even then it’s hotly debated.

    You’ve done it before, but I’d certainly like to see category winners. Genre-defining, definitive pieces of work that might not even be someone’s favorite show but holding that same timeless quality you mentioned.

    I’m guessing these standings will be determined from our (the western/non-native viewer) perspective right? I’m not really sure if it’s fair to do so but should those series that were released in the US after the 2000s count? Although I’m sure elitists would scoff, I would wager a goodly portion of the current Western anime audience were initiated into fandom by the likes of Cartoon Network. Series such as Cowboy Bebop (Japanese run April 1998- April 1999) were, for me at least, firmly entrenched in my memories of this decade.

    I suppose it’d also be fair just to define this era by the growth and expansion of Internet accessibility and resources as well as the birth of digital subbing and distribution.

  34. Some impressions:
    Paranoia Agent and Boogiepop Phantom (but maybe even Planetes, Princess Tutu and Gunslinger Girl) are probably the most underrated.
    In comedy, Azumanga Daioh’s almost objectively the best and most influential/iconic series, and Guu one of the most unfairly overlooked.
    In OVAs, Furi Kuri seems to me the only real standout.

  35. (Please delete this post and the first one of mine, I waited an hour but it didn’t show up, plus was incomplete, so I posted another one)

  36. A few additions for things I missed.

    2000 – Boogiepop Phantom
    2001 – Fruits Basket, s-CRY-ed
    2002 – Mahoramatic, Princess Tutu
    2004 – Monster, School Rumble
    2005 – Honey and Clover, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A’s
    2006 – Nana
    2008 – Daughter of Twenty Faces

    The only ones I will defend my missing are Mahoramatic (I had it on the list and deleted it by accident), Princess Tutu (not even remotely in my wheelhouse) and Fruits Basket (which I always think is from the late 90s). I’m adding Nana even though it’s really not very good because of how awful everything else in its genre tends to be. The rest I simply forgot.

  37. Wow, Love Hina was a 2000s show? It does have to be given credit for the fact that as a harem type show it’s lasted so long in the communities consciousness. I don’t see any of today’s 10 a season harem knockoffs having the same longevity.

    Fumoffu is the only instance that comes to mind of a sequel being better than it’s original series. Every episode is a winner, and it’s still just as good to watch today as it was years ago.

    Haruhi S1 has got to be my favourite, a complete breath of fresh air when it first aired, and brought with it all the things that Haruhi S2 didn’t have. Detailed animation, fantastic adaptation of cherrypicked stories from the source material, quick pacing. It went from being an nonentity to gathering a massive rabid fanbase that kept going even once it stopped airing. And then KyoAni pissed all over the sequel.

    Kanon 2006 is an interesting one too, my first introduction to dating-sim-turned-animes. Oddly, even with its two major flaws (the one that went uguu~ and the one that went auuu~) I preferred it to Clannad S1, despite the overall weaker cast (though Shiori, Nayuki and Mai are all top tier haremettes). The atmosphere of the snowy, partially forgotten town, and how it was expressed through the artwork and the BGM was very well done.

    Gurren Lagann was a fantastic romp of an adventure, spanning three distinctly different phases, and having what’s probably the best ending I’ve ever seen in an anime. A real victory for Gainax.

  38. I’d rate FLCL as the best OVA, but it wasn’t the only good one; Diebuster was awesome.

  39. One thing to help cull the list a bit: can one honestly declare something to be THE anime of the decade if it didn’t manage a run on American TV? Sure, Haruhi had a big impact in Japan and with the fandom here, but I don’t think you can really say it’s THE ONE without the TV crowd. At a bare minimum, if a series can’t even get someone to license it for R1, it’s hard to see how it can really be “big” enough to merit the title.

    Given this constraint, I’d have to lean towards Code Geass or Death Note (and no Dennou Coil or SZS)… and the person who suggested Naruto (or Bleach for that matter) as possibility is probably not too far off the mark (though I think the animation quality of the longer-running shounen shows probably puts them down a couple of spots).

  40. So by that logic we should be voting for Pokemon as anime of the decade?

  41. Grab some popcorn, adjust the seat, sit back relaxed…

    I am so ready for the flame war to begin…

  42. Oh man, ohhhhhh man.

    Can’t wait for this list.

  43. Anime of the decade: Bible Black.
    Anime of the last 2 decades: Evangelion.

  44. CBongo

    One thing to help cull the list a bit: can one honestly declare something to be THE anime of the decade if it didn’t manage a run on American TV?

    I don’t think this is a useful way to narrow the list at all. I do agree that we shouldn’t just dismiss Naruto, Bleach, or similar shows, but getting onto American TV is a total crapshoot. Certain series have unfair advantages to begin with, and the American TV situation has drastically changed in the last four or five years. CN dropped Toonami and decided it would rather push it’s crappy “original” series on Adult Swim instead of using it as a vehicle to introduce people to anime, and no one has really picked up the slack. Combined with the fact that the online scene has expanded to an incredible degree, and I don’t think its at all fair to dismiss a series because American TV inexplicably decided anime wasn’t worth airing anymore.

    I do think it should be considered. Death Note, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Ghost in the Shell: SAC get major boosts for their runs on American television. On the other hand, being on American TV didn’t do much for TTGL or Guardian of the Sacred Spirit. So it should be part of the equation, but not the deciding factor.

  45. Gorbash Kazdar, no biggie, but Shana came out in 2005, not 2007. But my god, the years really fly by and Shana is getting a bit old. But she still feels young to the touch, as always.

  46. There’s going to be a lot of name dropping, and lots of people are going to whine that you missed one show or other. I also think it’s pretty impossible to pick just one show; you’ll likely come up with a handful of 5 or 6, each arguably “the one” depending on what criteria you’re measuring them on, since there is no clear cut choice. I’d actually prefer it a categorical approach, as it paints a better picture of the decade, but whatever floats your boat I suppose.

    I have my picks as well, but I’ll just mention the title not getting recognition here: Spirited Away. It should have been Miyazaki’s career capper, and despite happening a couple years after it’s release in Japan, winning that Oscar was anime’s high point of acceptance in mainstream America.

  47. Oh yeah, how are you gonna do this? Watch/re-watch every viable series? Write a series of Nomination: Defense posts? Impromptu polling of your commenters? Debate in a panel? This process might take a whole nother decade.

  48. While I somewhat agree that an American TV broadcast isn’t an absolute requirement, I think it’s still pretty important. It’s sort of like trying to say Peyton Manning is THE NFL QB of the 00’s before he finally got his ring. Without it, he was always stuck just below the true top tier.

    I’d lump Pokemon in with Bleach and Naruto as being “big” but not “best”. THE Anime of the Decade needs to be both. One could argue that 5cm/Second or Mushishi was the “best”, but they’re not nearly “big” enough to deserve THE title.

    Note that this only applies to the very top slot; if you are putting together a rough top 5/top 10 I don’t think you need to be as particular. Ditto for “catergories”. There’s no point in requiring a US broadcast for THE Shoujo Drama of the Decade, for example…

    Should we also include how well an anime (to borrow the Iron Chef metric) articulates the themes of the decade? That is, how well does it place itself as being made in 2000-2009? I suppose that anyone who forgot that a particular show aired when it did would cause immediate disqualification under this rule, though :)

    If we’re including movies in the mix, a US theatrical release seems like a must. Spirited Away seems like it could be reasonably considered. Haven’t seen the Death Note ones. The first Bleach one is out due to TV-quality animation.

  49. Papa

    Gorbash Kazdar, no biggie, but Shana came out in 2005, not 2007.

    Oops. <:3c

    kadian 1364

    I have my picks as well, but I’ll just mention the title not getting recognition here: Spirited Away.

    I think we’re focusing on anime series (and OVAs?), but you’re right – if there’s an anime movie of the 00s, I don’t see how it’s anything but Spirited Away. (For the 90s, it has to to come down to Princess Mononoke or Ghost in the Shell, doesn’t it?)


    While I somewhat agree that an American TV broadcast isn’t an absolute requirement, I think it’s still pretty important. It’s sort of like trying to say Peyton Manning is THE NFL QB of the 00’s before he finally got his ring.

    Dammit, I’m a Patriots fan! How am I supposed to argue against that rationally?

    Still, I do think I have a counter sports analogy that fits. An American TV broadcast is less like a championship ring than it is an MVP trophy. It’s still a major boost to any argument about who (or what) is the best, but you have to admit sometimes the choices are truly bizarre in retrospect. Either the choices were purely financial (whatever was cheapest to license) or the execs who made the decisions were incapable of learning (CN was the only channel to give complex, smart shows like Death Note, GitS, and Paranoia Agent a chance… and then ran away from anime as fast as they could towards the end of the decade, and no one else has made a serious attempt to steal an audience that is already proven to exist).
    To me, limiting the choices for the Best of the 00s to shows with an American broadcast – especially on an enthusiast blog – would be like putting a minimum gross limit on the Best Picture Academy Award. Not to say it’s equivalent in value or anything.

  50. 5 Centimetres per Second.

    Enough said. :P

  51. I would still argue that Akiyuki Shinbo made the biggest impact in this anime-watching decade. For me, anyway. He’s responsible for the SHAFT being SHAFT, as we know today, and I enjoy everything he’s touched so far. He’s like King Midas. He could turn stale, overused concepts into solid gold.

    But my sweetest cake of the decade still goes to K-ON!. Definitely. That and if Yotsuba&! ever makes it into the animation world.

  52. Well, if there was an award for this too, my the Movie Director of the Decade would be… PLEASE SIT DOWN, TETSUYA NOMURA.

    Satoshi Kon. Millenium Actress and Paprika have been the most mind-blowing non mecha-gunshow anime movies ive seen this decade. Sorry, Hayao Miyazaki fans, but I’m gonna give it to the guy who pushes the envelope.

  53. Sorry Jason, but I WILL cry if you don’t say Clannad was the best :^( .

  54. FMA, Haruhi, Gurren-Lagann, Bakemonogatari, Eden of the East, Death Note, Haibane Renmei, Clannad, FMP: TSR, FLCL, Azumanga Daioh.
    These eleven should likely dominate the top of any list, with special attention being given to Haruhi, if only for the cultural impact it had, and Gurren-Lagann(!).

  55. I feel so old right now, damn it. Does anyone notice any tend difference in that time?

  56. All I will say is that I want that game!

  57. Why is everybody forgetting the show that started this decade off with a bang? FLCL ftw! If FLCL doesn’t get at least a passing mention, I’ll personally use my Ninja-Maids to track you down and incapacitate you! (Should be rather easy).

  58. It’s one thing to list out the best anime of the season or the year, but the best of the decade would be on a whole new scale :D

    Not to mention I’m looking forward to discovering good series that I’ve missed out this decade ;)

  59. You know what I just realised has been left out of ALL the discussion here?
    One Piece.

    Here we have an epic (and epically long) show, full of hot-blooded shonen action, able to out-DBZ… well, DBZ, and we’re passing it up for… Naruto?
    Come on, guys. Let the 6yr-old boy in us all out!

  60. Actually, I don’t think we should count a show if it’s still running, especially if it _spans_ the decade.

  61. Just to cram one more quality show into 2008 – Potemayo.

  62. Gorbash, you are forgetting Gungrave. I can’t remember if it was 2003 or 2004 tho.

  63. Kikmaru wrote:
    You know what I just realised has been left out of ALL the discussion here?
    One Piece.

    Didn’t One Piece start in 1999? :D

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