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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

Anime

Inuyashiki Last Hero Episode 10 Review

Hiro’s terrorism

The penultimate episode of Inuyashiki, The People of Tokyo saw the most action packed episode yet. The last episode saw Hiro cause a airplane to crash, it turned out that it was more severe than that as several planes were targeted. The first wave of planes crashed causing the deaths of the passengers and civilians on land. Inuyashiki and Ando were understandably horrified at this terrible act of terror. However, Inuyashiki would be quickly tasked with saving potential victims with a second wave of planes. Inuyashiki was successful in his attempt to rescue these citizens.

 

Hiro vs Inuyashiki

It’s rare that two main protagonists so infrequently in each others company, however, this episode finally saw them face-off. Hiro apparently didn’t think murdering innocent people “made him the villian,” but clearly he’s that naive. Inuyashiki notes that he feels “human” when saving lives and Hiro feels “human” only when he’s murdering people. Hiro begins an assault on Inuyashiki, we shockingly see Inuyashiki use his “air gun.” While, we know that said “air gun’s” are real, they do seem somewhat silly, considering the fact that both Hiro and Inuyashiki need to use verbal sound effects. During the aerial battle, Inuyashiki gains the advantage ripping the back of Hiro’s head off and tearing both his arms off. He leaves Hiro seemingly unconscious.

Inuyashiki’s recognition

Inuyashiki’s relationship with his daughter has been testy, but his rescuing of her has seemingly restored there relationship in a touching moment. After rescuing his daughter and her friend he continues to save citizens exposing himself to media, doctors and firefighters.  The social media that was criticized in previous episodes for aiding negativity is seen spreading the good and positive story of Inuyashiki’s efforts to save lives. This was another emotion episode that saw the defeat of Hiro, however, he’s not dead yet and will likely return finally accept his place as the villian.

Anime

Inuyashiki Last Hero Episode 9 Review

Hiro verses Japan

Hiro Shishigami plans to basically commit a genocide against the Japanese. Hiro goes on T.V. to broadcast the fact that he is willing to kill all 120 million citizens. He threatens to murder 1000 people daily. Hiro has followed the same path that Light from Death Note did. Once Light gained the power of the death note he was actual sympathetic even though he was killing criminals without making a distinction between their crimes. However, while Hiro originally claimed he was killing on the basis of establishing a new form of Justice, he has quickly devolved into a mass murder, killing indiscriminately.

Hiro begins his murder spree

To prove that he is serious he beings to kill 100 people during the day. He unsurprisingly creates a panic, he then telephones a TV presenter and murders him live while broadcasting. Ando realizes how Hiro is killing his victims, by using his smartphone. Inuyashiki issues a public warning, but due to the public’s obsession with smartphones many citizens risk their lives regardless. This series has criticized our societies dependence on social media and the internet. While, I think the ONE reason people would put their phones down would be if they believed that they would be shot and killed. Regardless, the behavior of seems reasonable, even if you have to stretch your imagination a bit.

Hiro vs Ando

Ando has been helping Inuyashiki, filling the gap in his lack of techno knowledge likely due to his age. Hiro now knows that Ando is aiding Inuyashiki and he now views Ando as his enemy. It’s larger predictable that they will become adversaries. I predict that Ando may end up being a major death in the series or an surprising hero. Together with Inuyashiki i think that they will ultimately be able to defeat Hiro. His popularity, however, continues to grow as many people begin to admire his horrific actions. Inuyashiki largely remained in the background this episode, I don’t think he can do that any longer, as Hiro escalated his terrorism by crashing a plane into the city.

Images from Geek Snipper

Anime

Inuyashiki Last Hero Episode 6 Review

Hiro attempted arrest

The last episode ended with Hiro being seized upon by the secret serviced. Shockingly, he doesn’t result to mass murder to free himself, but flees instead. This may be due primarily to his mothers present. Hiro seems to only care about people a handful of people and his most is clearly the most important. Hiro appears to reckon with his actions and becomes remorseful. However, his belief that some lives are less important than others remain.

Anti-media assault

One of the themes of this episode is the effects of the media. Unsurprisingly, Hiro creates a media sensation, Hiro witnesses his mother’s tearful apology for his actions. Later a news reports that his mother had committed suicide. Hiro becomes enraged at the media and massacres them while they ask his father questions. He then turns his hatred towards the members of a popular message board 2chan, who have attacked his mother and applauded her death. With his mothers death Hiro is likely to continue to become worst and now that he’s exposed as a mass murder he will feel more alone.

New abilities

While Hiro systematically killed each of the haters of 2chan, he revealed a new ability to kill people to through technology. This is frighteningly new ability that renders anyone an easy target. Meanwhile, Inuyashiki learns that he has a USB port under his fingernail, and can fly into space. Hiro’s youth seems to have given him an advantage over Inuyashiki, he appears to have a greater understanding of technology. However, Ando maybe able to bridge this gap as Inuyashiki will likely be unable to master tech.

 

Anime

Inuyashiki Last Hero Episode 4 Review

Inuyashiki gets darker

This series continues to get more dreary as it goes. This episode introduces the Yakuza, we open with the apparently dead body of a young woman. She seems to have been drugged and sexually assaulted by the Yakuza boss, Samejima. He clearly uses sexually assault as a way of displaying his power as he sexually assaults his underling by forcing him to perform oral sex on him in a sauna. This of course makes him an irredeemable character, that the audience can’t wait to see punished.

Fumino Inoue escapes

Fumino is the next victim for Samejima sexual assault, he targets her at the cafe where she works. She’s engaged to Satoru and the sweetness of their relationship contrasts with the horrible reality that will befall Fumino. The Yakuza successfully kidnaps and drugs Fumino. She awakes noticing the track marks, Samejima climbs on top of her but she headbutts him and grabs a samurai sword. She successfully manages to slit the wrist of Samejima, as he is tended to she escapes returning to her fiance.

Samejima’s revenge

All is not okay as Samejima finds them and proceeds to choke Satoru, Inuyashiki arrives and fights off the Yakuza. Samejima is no match for Inuyashiki in a hand to hand fight, but he’s shot in the head several times and he collapses. He awakens to find that the Yakuza have gone and Satoru is dead. However, Inuyashiki manages to revived him. He arrives at the home of the Yakuza boss and proceeds to beat Samejima to a pulp. He’s saved by his Yakuza as they riddle Inuyashiki with bullets. Inuyashiki’s defense mechanism activate and he kills and blinds them. He rescues Fumino and returns her to Satoru.

Despite the darkness of this episode it managed to balance the happiness of Satoru and Fumino. What’s interesting is that Fumino is a victim but not a weak one. She fights for her freedom and while short lived she gains it. This series is always an emotional roller-coaster and often features a character that is in tears. It’s telling that Inuyashiki doesn’t kill the boss of the Yakuza. It’s possible that Samejima will return later to cause more havoc.

 

Anime

Inuyashiki Last Hero Episode 3 Review

Hiro Shishigami is stunned that Inuyashiki wasn’t killed instead of engaging in a fight with him he flees. Inuyashiki is horrified at the massacre and that there’s “another him,” and what it means. He’s saddened by his inability to save the family. The following day Hiro is at his friend Ando’s house. Ando gets a paper cut and Hiro reveals that he has the ability to heal. Traveling home from work Inuyashiki encounters a group of criminals that skip the line at the cab stand. On person foolishly asks them to “wait their turn,” they forcibly walk him to a secluded spot to assault him. The man cries, pleading for his life but Inuyashiki interferes.

Inuyashiki “fights” in a manner appropriate to that of an old-man, he windmills and throws erratic punches. The scene is both an effective show of heroism and the series since of humor. The man thanks Inuyashiki, who uses his sensor to hear a little girl calling out to her father as their house burns down. Inuyashiki attempts to fly like Hiro did. He looks to Astro boy for inspiration. He manages to fall upward only to fall back to the ground. The second time he’s almost hit by air plane, but he does manage to get to the burning house in time. He successfully saves the father and the grandmother.

Hiro convinces Ando to return to school. After class a bully named Tetchan beings to pick on him. Hiro steps in to help nearly breaking Tetchan’s arm. Ando and Hiro head to a roof, where Hiro shows Ando that he can kill people without gunpowder, he explains that he can hack into government weapon systems, use the internet mentally and steal money from bank accounts. Inuyashiki is walking when a cat is killed by a car. He becomes distraught and discovers that he can heal with his new powers. His first instinct is to head to a nearby hospital and begins to heal patients. Meanwhile, Hiro returns home and decides that he will commit more murder. He kills a dog, the dog’s owner and he baby.

Another great episode from this series. The most noticeable aspect was the humor. The introduction of Hiro to this series added to the dreary tone. Hiro’s behavior toward Ando is dramatically different from his views on the rest of humanity. He appears to at least be mildly concerned with exposure despite his claim that no one could stop him anyway. Ando is unsurprisingly appalled by Hiro’s murderous behavior, but is surprisingly brave when he ends their friendship. Like most people probably did, I assumed that Hiro would kill him and was surprised that he didn’t. The last to moments of this episode exemplifies the differences between Hiro and Inuyashiki, as they commit murder and heal the sick respectively. Finally, I think people need to start locking their doors.

Anime

Inuyashiki Last Hero Episode 1 Review

The bad-ass old man is a common trope in anime. In general the old man has massive experience in combat which makes them superior in battle. They often use their acquired knowledge to help the future generation learn. However, the title character of Inuyashiki, Inuyashiki Ichiro is anything but. He’s 58 but looks 80, something that is mentioned in the first episode. He’s just moved into a new house with his nagging wife and unappreciative kids, they hate their new home and aren’t too embarrassed to tell him. They leave to go have dinner without him while he unpacks the moving boxes himself.

Inuyashiki heads to work where he seems to be the oldest person at work and is irritated by the young commuters on the train. He finds a dog and brings it home. His wife and kids seem annoyed that he did. He promises to keep it in his room and names it Hanako. The next day he receives news that he has cancer and will die within three months. Inuyashiki calls his family to inform them of the terrible news and none of them answer his calls.

While walking Hanako, he and a young man are hit by what appears to be a alien space ship. They “restore” the young man and Inuyashiki using their weapons systems. Inuyashiki awakes still in the park, he returns home and notices that he’s thirsty all the time, his back no longer hurts and he can see without his glasses. Unsurprisingly, his cancer “mysteriously” disappears, baffling the doctors. Inuyashiki begins to feel weird and triggers some sort of reaction and begins to give off steam. Hanako licks his palm resulting in his arm transforming into a gun like weapon, but it shoots his dinner from the day before on the wall.

Apparently, none of the teenagers in the series are good people, as a group of them torture an old homeless man. They shot him with firecrackers setting him on fire as he begs for his life. Inuyashiki arrives and begins to walk towards the teens, they surround him and beat him with bats. While on the ground apparently unconsciousness, a camera in the back of his head activates and scans the park, targeting the teens. He shoots white beams at them knocking them to the ground, saving the homeless man. The same camera downloads all the social media information and their identities posting them on t.v. for everyone to see. Inuyashiki is tearful as he realizes that despite his transformation into a robot he remains “a person.”

Most anime/manga don’t focus on older protagonists and that’s a little refreshing. The series is both nihilistic and hopeful, but at different times. Inuyashiki is miserable all the time, no one in his life seems to like him or want him to be around. As a result he was the only character that was sympathetic, however, the dog Hanako and the homeless man become sympathetic at the end of the episode.

All three characters share a sense of helplessness as they are abandoned and find themselves to be lonely. Inuyashiki saves all of them. Hiroya Oku clearly has some commentary regarding young people’s obsession with phones and social media and how both can make them dehumanize humanity. The opposite message seems to be represented by Inuyashiki, who is ostracized by the self involve society and he literally stops being human. However, he manages to remain a emotional being unlike the teens, despite no longer being a human. Oku’s message might be too ham handed for some, and his story might be too deary, but I’m invested.