Top 20 Anime from the 2010’s (Part 1)

I intended to keep this list short at ten, however, I just couldn’t leave out the many top anime from 2010-2019. If the late 80’s and 90’s are known as the greatest era of anime, the 2010’s should be known as the most prolific. With that said, let’s get to the list.


20. Dororo (2019)

Hyakkimaru and Tahomaru clash

Studio: MAPPA | MAL: 8.23 | Genre: Samurai, Historical

Dororo would rank higher if it wasn’t for the dramatic dip in animation quality throughout the series. However, despite that, Dororo remains one of the best anime of the decade. The series focuses on the orphan girl, Dororo and the samurai she befriends Hyakkimaru. The child of the power hungry Lord Daigo Kagemitsu, Hyakkimaru body sacrificed to demons. Born with no limbs, nose, eyes, ears or skin, Hyakkimaru is saved by a doctor. Armed with prosthetic limbs with weapons embedded within them, Dororo and Hyakkimaru, aim to defeat demon to restores his body. Dororo explores whether the sacrifice of the few is ever acceptable if it benefits the many.

Check Out My Review of Dororo Episode 1


19. SSSS.Gridman (2018)

Yuta and the Girdman Alliance
Yuta and the Girdman Alliance

Studio: Trigger | MAL: 7.31 | Genre: Mecha

After the disappointing Darling in the Franxx, I was surprised with SSSS.Gridman. Based on Denkou Choujin Gridman (1993), Gridman follows Yuta Hibiki. A high school freshman who wakes up in the home of his classmate Rikka Takarada. With no memory, Yuta hears a mysterious figure calling to him from an old computer. He’s the only one that can see and hear he figure and the giant Kaiju’s outside. Yuta starts to wonder if he’s going insane. Tasked with the mission giving to him, he merges with Gridman to fight against the Kaiju. SSSS.Gridman is a series with gorgeous animation, an intriguing story and several complex characters. One day I’ll give Darling in the Franxx a second look, but right now of the two SSSS.Gridman is the superior series.

Check Out My Review of SSSS.Gridman Episode 1


18. Tokyo Ghoul (2014)

Ken Kaneki after his surgery

Studio: Pierrot | MAL: 7.93 | Genre: Horror

I rarely watch horror anime, but I heard so much about Tokyo Ghoul I had to give it a try. I wasn’t disappointed. Based on the best-selling manga of the same name, Tokyo Ghoul follows Ken Kaneki as he is forced into the world of ghouls by Rize Kamishiro. Set in an alternate world where ghouls (humanoid beings that eat human flesh) live in secrecy. Half-ghouls can be born or created artificially. They’re usually stronger than pure blooded ghouls. After experimental surgery, Kaneki becomes a hybrid of a ghoul and human. He’s taken in by ghouls that manage the coffee shop “Anteiku”. He must struggle to find out where he fits in a world when the societies of the ghouls and humanity are in conflict.

Check Out My Review of Tokyo Ghoul Episode 1


17. Devilman Crybaby (2018)

Devilman Crybaby, Netflix

Studio: Science SARU | MAL: 7.94 | Genre: Supernatural

If somewhat graphic sex, ultra violence and gore are off putting to you then Devilman Crybaby isn’t for you. However, if you want an anime series that will push your boundaries, Devilman is your best choice. The sensitive Akira Fudou is asked by childhood friend Ryou Asuka to aid him with uncovering devils. To Akira’s shock, Ryou takes him to a Sabbath, a party full of debauchery. During the party, demons possess the party goers including Akira. Merged with the devil Amon, Akira becomes the Devilman.

Check Out My Review of Devilman Crybaby


16. Inuyashiki (2017)

Ichiro Inuyashiki becomes an electromechanical cyborg

Studio: MAPPA | MAL: 7.79 | Genre: Sci-Fi

Generally anime focuses on teenagers as the main protagonists. Inuyashiki takes a departure from this trope focusing on a 58 year old protagonists. Personally, I think that Inuyashiki looks more like an 80 year old. Regardless, he’s going through a tough time. His family doesn’t appreciate him (they seem to hate him), he has back problems and to top things off he learns that he has stomach cancer. With three months left to live, Inuyashiki becomes distraught. While standing in a nearby field he is transformed into a cyborg by mysterious extraterrestrials. Saved from his death sentence, Inuyashiki finds purpose in being a hero, rescuing citizens from the psychopathic Hiro.

Check Out My Review of Inuyashiki Episode 1

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Dororo Episode 24: Recap & Review

Hyakkimaru and Tahomaru accept each other

Episode 24, Dororo and Hyakkimaru

The final episode of Dororo begins with Tahomaru and Hyakkimaru continuing their battle among the blaze of Daigo castle. Both lay claims to the castle and their mother. As Oku head into the hidden passage to the castle, she asks Dororo to stay by her son side like she always had. Oku and Jukai meet as the brothers continues their brutal battle. Hyakkimaru finally gets the upper hand and decides not to kill Tahomaru because “they are both human.” Tahomaru concedes that he “lost.”

Oku apologizes

However, the demon takes control over Tahomaru. He removes the eyes which then return to Hyakkimaru when he defeats the demon beneath the floor. Oku apologizes to both her sons, she decides to stay with Tahomaru as he dies in her arms. Daigo hears the news from the castle and continues his war effort. The final demon statue crumbles as well. Dororo decides that she’s going to use the money to help the people build up their own country. Hyakkimaru finally meets his father in the Hall of Hell. Daigo has learn nothing, suggesting that if he must he will simply feed “another human” to the demons. This includes Hyakkimaru as well.

Tahomaru dies in his mother’s arm

His only regret is that he left Hyakkimaru to a midwife, instead of strangling him. Hyakkimaru refrains from killing his father, instead telling him that he “better not become a demon.” Daigo wonders if he hadn’t struck a deal with a demon, Hyakkimaru may have had the strength to save the land. Hyakkimaru leaves Dororo behind looking to find himself. The ending wasn’t to clear to me, but it does show that Dororo grows up and appears to meet Hyakkimaru in the golden rice fields. Regardless, the series ending was bitter sweet.

Dororo all grown up

Overall, this series was well worth it. While some of the animation was poorly rendered the story of tragedy and triumph was the most important part of this series. The theme of the importance of a individual or larger society is never clearly concluded. However, Dororo deciding to help the people build their own society suggest that a compromise is possible, each individual can contribute to the success of their society. The anime series does change some things from the manga. Instead of 48 demons, Hyakkimaru has to fight 12. Jukai’s story is expanded upon, and many of the events, detail and tone are change. Dororo is a good , albeit a darker adaptation.

Hyakkimaru in the golden rice field

Dororo Episode 22 and 23: Recap & Review

Midoro the demon horse

Episode 22, The Story of Nui

Tahomaru and his group return home with Dororo now captured. Daigo is preparing to fight against the Asakura Clan at Banmon. Finding out that Dororo has been kidnapped, Hyakkimaru becomes enraged. His anger attracts the demonic horse. Oku decides to free Dororo because she became the friend of Hyakkimaru. Oku leaves with Dororo. They are caught in a current and their ship is destroyed. They are rescued by Daigo refugees, Biwa-Hoshi is among them.

Mutsu with Hyakkimaru’s arm

Oku decides to remain with the group and help the sick and wounded. Meanwhile, Hyakkimaru riding on Midoro is slaughtering Daigo’s soldiers in search for Dororo. Mutsu, the sister of Hyogo offers herself to the demon’s in the temple in exchange for the protection of the land and people. Her offer is rejected. However, when Tahomaru, Mutsu and Hyogo encounter Hyakkimaru their wounds are healed. This is due to the demon, and the demon has given them the arms of Hyakkimaru and both his eyes.

Hyakkimaru and Tahomaru clash

Midoro bites Mutsu’s head

Episode 23, The Story of the Demons

As the villagers prepare for war, Hyakkimaru fights Tahomaru, Hyogo and Mutsu. Oku and Dororo arrive at the battle. They are stopped by Biwa-Hoshi. Midoro attacks Mutsu and Hyogo. However, Midoro is distracted when her foal arrives. Midoro decapitates Hyogo and crushes Mutsu. The demon still has control over their bodies and uses the arms it gave them to mortally wound Midoro. After Mutsu and Hyogo die, Hyakkimaru’s arms return to him. Leaving Tahomaru heartbroken, then enraged.

Tahomaru with Hyakkimaru’s eye’s

He grabs the two sword blades with his new arms and clashes with Tahomaru. Hyakkimaru flees when he’s senses Dororo and Oku’s sadness. As he runs away he asks himself “what is a human.” He and Tahomaru fight again, only this time Hyakkimaru’s reach is longer. Dororo, Biwa-Hoshi , Oku and the villagers discuss the value of one (Hyakkimaru) and the many (the villagers). Hyakkimaru and Tahomaru clash in the castle, knocking over a candle. As a fire starts, Hyakkimaru fights for his last two parts. Oku and Dororo rush towards the burning castle.

Hyakkimaru clashing for the last time?

Dororo is reaching it’s end and I’m not sure what will happen. The major theme of this series now seems to be the lives of the few verses the lives of the many. The series introduces some Buddhist concepts regarding human desires and the costs of such desires. The question I have is if Hyakkimaru dies does what would happen to the prosperity? Regardless, I think this season will end with some devastating death.

Dororo Episode 20 and 21: Recap & Review

The Nue eats Saburota

Episode 20, The Story of the Nue

The Diago villages begin suffer from what Tahomaru believes is the result of demons being upset that Hyakkimaru is alive. Diago realizes that his deal with the demons must have been revoked and the prosperity he received is now over. Hyakkimaru and Dororo meet Saburota that is hunting a demon that ate his mother. A massive Nue appears, but when Hyakkimaru tries to fight it he’s interrupted by Saburota. He claims that he now likes to feed travelers to the demon. This is yet another human that has sided with demons. I wonder if this is a coincidence or part of a larger them.

Hyakkimaru spirit

Dodging the demon both Hyakkimaru and Dororo fall of the cliff. Dororo gets her arm stuck and Hyakkimaru struggles to free her. Water begins to rise almost drowning Dororo. Hyakkimaru panics and begins to smash his head against the rocks. Biwa-Hoshi arrives and swiftly saves Dororo, breaking his sword in the process. The inability to save Dororo due to his prosthetic arms seems to cause him to become desperate for his real body. He runs to find Saburota and Nue. He fights the Nue. It becomes desperate as Hyakkimaru dominates it cutting the head of the Nue in half. The Nue eats Saburota.

Dororo is concerned with Hyakkimaru

It gains wings and attacks Hyakkimaru. Dororo arrives later to find the Nue cut into pieces. Saburota sees the spirit of Hyakkimaru and notes that he’s not “human.” After failing to get his limbs back, Hyakkimaru becomes enraged. Unfortunately, it seems that Hyakkimaru is destined to go off the deep end. It’s still not clear why killing demons doesn’t result in receiving a limb automatically. However, I have a hunch that if he kills a demon for the sake of killing he won’t receive a limb but if he does it save someone he will. Regardless, it seems like this might end badly for Hyakkimaru.


Dororo in tears

Episode 21, The Story of Breaking the Cycle of Suffering

Hyakkimaru is for Daigo’s territory determined to get his body back. Dororo is sad to see how single minded he has become. A villager notices him and Dororo and informs Daigo. Villagers are becoming ill and are burned to death. Young men that are able, are forced to join the army. Horses including a nursing horse named Midoro are requisitioned. Tahomaru decides that he, together with Mutsu and Hyogo will go find and kill Hyakkimaru.

The spirits of Tahomaru, Mutsu and Hyogo

They find Dororo and Hyakkimaru at a ravine that’s filled with dead bodies. Tahomaru and his men attack Hyakkimaru. Dororo doesn’t want him to fight his brother. He takes on all three and manages to cut Mutsu’s arm off. Dororo begins to cry as Hyakkimaru fights against his brother. The fight is interrupted by Kagemitsu men. The leader riding on Midoro sends the horse to crash into Hyakkimaru and kills it by blowing it up. Hyakkimaru is knocked into the ravine. Dororo is captured. Hyakkimaru survives the fall and the horse becomes possessed by a demon, becoming a flaming horse.

The brothers clash again

One weird thing that happened in this episode is when Hyakkimaru looks at his brother, Mutsu and Hyogo their spirit are pure white. They are trying to kill Hyakkimaru but for the good of the people in the territory. I’m assuming that intent is important in determining what’s in someone heart. I don’t like that Dororo seems to be on the side of Tahomaru, when he keeps trying to kill Hyakkimaru. Granted Dororo is a child so maybe she being immature. However, the series has set Hyakkimaru to be the accidental villain. We’ll see. The series is clearly playing around with what makes someone evil or not.

The demon horse

Dororo Episode 18 and 19: Recap & Review

Hyakkimaru kills Shiranui

Episode 18, The Story of the Cape of No Mercy

Shiranui calls Jiromaru to “eat all their enemies.” It then consumes the corpse of Saburomaru becoming a grotesque white shark that can move on land. It quickly tries to eat Dororo, who’s saved by Hyakkimaru. He slays Jiromaru and tells Dororo that he “came for her.” Hyakkimaru leg grows back (which of course means that it wasn’t necessary to get an new artificial one in episode 17). Meanwhile, Itachi finds the cave. Two men enter and are blown up for their efforts. Tahomaru arrives with a fleet and he orders his men to “leave no one alive.”

Tahomaru arrives with his fleet

Itachi’s men are attacked and killed by Tahomaru and his men. Hyakkimaru faces off against Tahomaru, Mutsu and Hyogo. Dororo and Itachi are attacked by Tahomaru’s men. Itachi is riddled with arrows, while Hyakkimaru is overwhelmed fighting 3 against 1, he and Tahomaru clash. Shiranui decides he’s going to blow up the mountain top killing everyone and himself. He fails to accomplish this. Hyogo gets injured and Itachi dies in the cave with the treasure. Dororo decides to leave the treasure there. He and Hyakkimaru leave the island together.


The Amanojaku (demon)

Episode 19, The Story of the Amanojaku

This episode was largely just filler. Hyakkimaru and Dororo looks for a swordsmith to repair his prosthetics sword arms. For some reason the townspeople tell them that Munetsuna is a bad swordsmith and his daughter Okowa is ugly. A amanojaku (demon) uses it’s power to cast a spell on Hyakkimaru resulting in him saying the opposite of what he means. As a result he ends his journey, an decides to marry Okowa. Dororo releases that everyone in the village says the opposite of what they mean. If he wears one of the masks from Munetsuna wall they are able to tell the truth. Eventually the demon is resealed by Munetsuna and Hyakkimaru gets his new sword. This episode is largely a waste of time, but I guess Hyakkimaru needed his swords back.