Top 20 Anime from the 2010's (Part 4)

5. Mob Psycho 100 (2016)

Studio: Bones | MAL. 8.51 | Genre: Slice of Life

The first episode of Mob Psycho 100 hits you with a torrent of fluid action and vibrant colors. The art style strongly resembles that of it’s creator ONE. Like most of the anime on this list the action itself is worthy of praise, but it’s the characters that shine. Our main protagonist is Shigeo Kageyama (Mob). Quiet and reserved, Mob is mostly ordinary except for is ESP abilities. Under the guide (or manipulation) of his boss Reigen, Mob is trying to learn to control his emotions. He’s in constant fear of his powers, while lacking the control necessary to prevent exploding. Mob Psycho 100 features interesting characters like Reigen. The con man that uses Mob for profit. What could have been a one note character, becomes a more sophisticated one. Is he evil? Does he really have Mob’s best interest at heart? Mob Psycho 100 is a stand out series. It has it all, unique visuals, action, animation, humor and interesting characters.

Check Out My Review of Mob Psycho 100 Episode 1


4. Made in Abyss (2017)

Studio: Kinema Citrus | MAL: 8.83 | Genre: Dark Fantasy

When I first started watching Made in Abyss, I though this should be a fun series. The art style lulls you into a false sense of security. It’s very much intentional. Made in Abyss is a visual marvel, particularly the detailed environments. The initial tone of the series is betrayed by the events depicted. The adorable children are orphans. Not yet jaded or still ignorant of the horrors this world offers, they are excited to explore. That world is the Abyss. A massive chasm that reaches down into the Earth. Each layer getting more and more harrowing the further you go down. Individuals known as “Divers” fearlessly head into it, hoping to discover and understand the secrets of the Abyss. Our main character Riko and her friends will aim to follow in her mother legendary footsteps, it will cost her.

Check Out My Review of Made in Abyss Episode 1


3. One Punch Man (2015)

Studio: Madhouse | MAL. 8.68 | Genre: Parody

One Punch Man is the first series from ONE. It is his second anime/manga series in my top five. Based on a 2009 web comic of the same name, One Punch Man, is a parody series of shonen superheros. One Punch Man makes fun of the over dramatic stories and the inevitable result (the hero winning) of shonen series. Saitama is an unemployed part time superhero that has somehow become so powerful that he often defeats monsters with , well on punch. Saitama and other heroes battle against mutants, cyborgs, ninja’s, aliens, martial arts, kaiju and many other creatures that seem to get larger and larger. If Saitama is a calm and cool type, his “student” Genos is the straight man. Genos unlike his master is constantly getting stronger, learning from each battle and hoping to learn the secret of Saitama’s power. Despite being a cyborg he feels the most human when compared to the godly power of Saitama. The second season was disappointing compared to the near flawless masterpiece of the first, but One Punch Man still ranks highly regardless.

Check Out My Review of One Punch Man Episode 1


2. Attack on Titan (2013)

Studio: Wit Studio | MAL: 8.47 | Genre: Dark Fantasy

Attack on Titan is a stand out anime series. The tone is similar to that of Made in Abyss and The Promised Neverland. However, unlike those series, AOT started with this dire tone. Centuries ago, mankind was nearing extinction by mysterious giant humanoid creatures called Titans. To increase their likelihood of survival humanity retreated behind massive walls. For a century humanity was safe until their piece was destroyed by the Colossal Titan. Eren Yeager witnesses the death of his mother at the hands of one of those Titan, resulting in his vow to exterminate the Titans. Eren along with friends Armin and Mikasa join the Survey Corps. The war against the Titans are brutal, with the Corps consistently taking heavy casualties. As the characters struggle for humanity’s survival they suffer heartbreak, betrayal and pain, along with joy, laughter and friendship. AOT is a dark series that can be intense, but if you can stomach the hardships depicted in the series you will be rewarded.

Check Out My Review of Attack on Titan


1. Hunter X Hunter (2011)

Studio: Madhouse | MAL: 9.10 | Genre: Fantasy

Nobody is more surprised than me that Hunter X Hunter top’s my list of the top anime of the decade. I deliberately avoided the series assuming that it was merely a mediocre shonen series. I think that the manga is terrible. Like most shonen, the action is important to the series. It was watching an out of context fight seen from the series, that convinced me to give the show a chance. I was glad I did. On the surface, Hunter X Hunter is no different from other shonen series. Gon is your typical, dumb hero. However, he’s more selfish than originally let on. It’s this selfishness that results in Gon willingness to allow an innocent girl to die for his own revenge. The final arc, the “chimera arc,” is among the best and darkest arc in anime history. Hunter X Hunter is a series that is often underestimated, but with its variety of characters, complex fighting system and narrator, Hunter X Hunter is a series that must be witnessed.

If you enjoyed this list try Bandit Secret’s Top 100 Anime of the Decade

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My Top Ten Anime of All Time

To celebrate my 900th blog post, I decided to make my top ten anime of all time lists. When coming up with the top ten I focused on series that had the most impact on me. At the same time I also choose anime that can and have stood the test of time (even from an animation stand point), and I would recommend to anyone. I don’t think any of these series are going to be surprise anyone, as most are mainstream to an anime audience.

[Note] One Piece, Naruto and Bleach aren’t on the lists because I prefer(ed) the manga.


10. Dragon Ball Z

If this was a list of the series that I was the most nostalgic about Dragon Ball Z would be number one. Most of my childhood was centered on DBZ . The Cartoon Network would torture me by repeating the same arc’s over and over again. I must have watched the Radditz arc at least 50 times before they moved on to the saiyan arc. The series has come to define anime for many anime fans and non-anime fans. It’s hands down one of, if not the most popular anime series of all-time. Dragon Ball Z has been often mocked for it’s constant screaming and it’s “inaction sequences.” My mother would often comment “did they start fighting yet” as she would walk past the t.v. Despite it’s iconic status, DBZ as a series had a lot of problems. This is mostly due to running up against the manga. DBZ had many bad fillers, dragged out fights and at one point took ten episodes for planet Namek to explode. Even with this, the series had some of the most epic fights and has clearly left a mark on anime in general. Dragon Ball Z still remains an anime series that I consider a must see.


9. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

A mecha anime series by Gainax, Gurren Lagann focuses on mankind’s rise from a subterranean existence to the galactic exploration. Taking place in a future where Earth is ruled by the Spiral King, Lordgenome, a young digger named Simon and his “brother” Kamina dream of reaching the surface. As they and Team Gurren make their way to the skies, they engage in epic, over the top mecha battles. Gurren Lagann features high quality animation, surprising deaths, fanservice, theme music power ups and cool mecha designs. Gurren Lagann resulted in another anime classic for Gainax.


8. Made in Abyss

My favorite anime genre tends to be shonen, but Made in Abyss made me appreciate the seinen genre more. Made in Abyss plays with expectation, if you think the adorable characters are going to have a fun adventure, you are wrong. While only having one season under it’s belt, Made in Abyss had a profound impact on me. Exciting, ruthless, filled with body horror, tear jerking moments and has a intriguing mystery to discover. Made in Abyss is not for the faint of heart, but it’s worth the emotional scarring.


7. Hunter X Hunter

For some reason I kept avoiding Hunter X Hunter. After running into a little bit of an anime drought, I decided to give the series a try. I wasn’t disappointed. On the surface Hunter X Hunter feels like a typical shonen series, but it’s more than that. Gon Freecss, the main protagonists, is a prime example of the undermining of shonen tropes this series does. I loved it’s complicated power system (Nen), character development, action and the uses of a narrator. Narration seemed unnecessary at first but I think it is an amazing addition to the series that adds to it.


6. Mob Psycho 100

An anime from web-comic creator ONE, Mob Psycho 100, is about a 14 year old boy named Shigeo Kageyama. He aims to be ordinary despite the fact that he’s extraordinary with telekinesis. He is a complicated young man struggling with his emotions and fear of his power harming others. Mob Psycho 100 main moral lesson is that despite having an extraordinary abilities you still need work to improve yourself as a human. Mob in particular embodies this theme. Despite his psychic powers he doesn’t think he’s better than anyone. That said, Mob Psycho 100 is still a shonen series with fluid animation, bright colors, humor, funny characters and epic battles.


5. One Punch Man

The creator of Mob Psycho 100 is also the creator of One Punch Man. The title is to be taken literally, as the main protagonist, Saitama is capable of defeating most monsters with one punch. One Punch Man is a parody of the shonen superhero series. It makes fun of the over the top and somewhat silly nature of the typical shonen anime, that results in the main character always defeating the bad guy. It’s surprising how satisfying you find Saitama’s one hit victories. The series does have interesting action, usually it’s other less powerful characters are doing the fighting though. Despite this the series does manage to keep us wondering, which monster can make Saitama hit it more than once. The first season is considered perfect, the second one, not so much. Still, One Punch Man remains an important series for anime fans to watch.


4. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

The story of the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse is a sad, tragic tale. Born into a world that practices alchemy, the brothers arrogance leads them to believe that they can break one of the most important rules of alchemy. Trying to resurrect their mother, Ed loses his right arm and left leg and his brother loses his entire body. The brothers go in search of the “philosopher stone,” so they can transmute without consequences. While maintaining a sense of humor, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, is full of themes like sacrifice, death, selfishness, what is truth, and the value of life. If you want to watch an anime series that balances dark themes, comedy and great action, FMA is it.


3. Attack on Titan

If you read this far it’s clear that I love anime series that manage to successfully combine dark, mature themes with great action and top animation. Attack on Titan is a series that lives up to those standards. What separates Attack on Titan from typical series is the level of dreariness. While the main characters are largely safe, you’ll never certain. Secondary characters and any other character are fair game. With characters that are constantly underdogs, failure is the most likely outcome. Often in anime you feel that everything will be fine, in Attack on Titan your surprised that half the squad is still alive. Attack on Titan has mystery, what are titans (weird giant humanoids) and why do they eat humans? Conspiracies, what is the government doing? As they fight for human survival, the scouts deal with trauma, lost and death.


2. Cowboy Bebop

For many Cowboy Bebop is the greatest anime ever. Considered to be a masterpiece, Shinichiro Watanabe blends elements of westerns with elements of film noir. The classic anime series Lupin the third was a visual influence and the three main characters of Cowboy Bebop are inspired by Lupin, Jigen and Fujiko from Lupin. The overall story is influence by Japanese cinema. Cowboy Bebop also uses a jazz heavy soundtrack that is iconic on it’s own, marking a major departure from the common use of J Pop. Cowboy Bebop focuses on mature themes like loneliness and difficulties escaping the past, it’s well animated, well (voice) acted and generally entertaining. Cowboy Bebop is considered a “gateway series” for anime, and I couldn’t agree more.


1. Neon Genesis Evangelion

When I first began watching Neon Genesis Evangelion it was for the epic and violent mecha battles. I couldn’t comprehend the more complex themes and imagery woven into the narrative. Evangelion is credited with revolutionizing anime as a medium. Set in the year 2000, a global cataclysm called the “Second Impact,” changes the world. Antarctica is destroyed and the planet’s axis shifts, causing flooding and a altered climate. After nuclear war, half the worlds population is wiped out. Teenagers, Shinji Ikari, Asuka Langley Soryu and Rei Ayanami pilot massive mecha called Eva’s. Their enemy are physic altering monsters dubbed Angels.

Evangelion explores complex themes like depression, human subjectivity, and child abuse. The series makes many references to philosophical, psychoanalytic concepts, as well as references to Kabbalah, Christian and Jewish religions. Evangelion even uses religious texts like the Book of Genesis within the series and the Angels share names found in religion like Sachiel. The series has been described as both a ” both a critique and deconstruction of the mecha genre.” On the surface, Neon Genesis Evangelion, is a mecha anime with distinctly designed robots that engage in brutal battles. However, the series has levels of deeper and more sophisticated themes that makes Evangelion one of the most well regarded series ever.

One Punch Man S2 – Episode 12: Recap & Review

Garou taking a beating

Episode 12, Cleaning up the Disciple’s Mess

Bang dominates an injured Garou, as Genos notes that Bang is better than Garou. It seems unlikely that he would be able to win considering Genos, Bang and Bomb are so strong. Phoenix Man is flying around, tasked by Orochi to get Garou. He of course is hesitate as he would need to get past all the heroes. Garou concludes that in order to survive he would need to kill, Bomb, Bang and Genos. What is interesting is that despite Garou being hurt, Bomb AND Bang fight him together. Garou remembers his childhood which predictably saw him being bullied by his Tatsu. While playing hero, Garou is always casts as the “monster.” He associates his childhood with the belief that heroes fighting monsters is always unfair. This is important to know as Bang and Bomb prove his point by attacking him together. However, Phoenix Man arrives and takes Garou.

Bang and Bomb double team Garou

Genos decides that he’s going to kill them both with his Spiral Incineration Cannon. Elder Centipede interferes. Bomb, Genos and Bang rescue the fallen heroes. Phoenix Man explains to Garou that he should kill the heroes instead of leaving them alive.I think so far what has kept Garou from truly being a monster is this fact. Phoenix Man goes on to say that Elder Centipede is going to destroy “everything.” According to the monster strategist, Gyoro-Gyoro, there are ONLY four heroes that can defeat the Elder Centipede. Terrible Tornado, because of her psychic powers, Metal Knight, that “hoards military might on an unknown scale.” King, the “strongest human alive,” and the top hero Blast. Of course we know that King is weak and it’s Saitama that’s the strongest human. Regardless, Elder Centipede joined the Monster Association to get revenge.

Elder Centipede

Neither Genos or Bang aren’t well suited to combat Elder Centipede. When Bang and Bomb land a devastating attack it molts, and heals as if nothing happened. Genos decides that he will fight the Elder Centipede alone. Genos ends up cut in half but is able to reconnect himself. He gets swallowed and uses his Ultra Spiral Incineration Cannon. It still does nothing. Bang, Genos and Bomb flee with the other heroes. As Bang prepares to die fighting, King arrives claiming that he brought Blast. As the Elder Centipede comes to attack King, Saitama arrives and defeats it with One Punch.

Saitama destroys Elder Centipede

This is ended rather abruptly if you asked me. Maybe they didn’t have enough time or money to animated the entire arc? Regardless, I’m hoping they find a better animator for the next season. While I could tolerate this season it wasn’t the beautiful animation form the first season. Anyway, Saitama really took a step back this season. Instead we focused on a human villain. It was a bit refreshing. I’m predicting that Garou becomes a actually monster, as he’s not strong enough as he is. Genos seems to have figured out his limits. Genos has everything but “power.” This isn’t completely true as he is a S Class hero, but he’s also not as strong as many monsters or other S Class heroes. I wonder how strong he and Garou will become.

One Punch Man S2 – Episode 11: Recap & Review

Episode 11, Everyone’s Dignity

Death Gatling explains why they want to defeat Garou. Respect. The Hero Association only really pays attention to the S Class Heroes and ignores the rest. This dynamic seems to permeate throughout the series. How do lower heroes gain respect when they aren’t effective against the most dangers monster? The biggest dangers get the most attention and the heroes that defeat them are the strongest and therefore will get the most attention in return. Does that mean lower heroes don’t matter? Does that mean they never contribute to the betterment of society? The answer is clearly no.

However, lower ranked heroes fighting higher level villains can help them gain attention but if they fail it can be held against them. In addition to that if they defeat higher level monsters like Garou, wouldn’t they become S Class heroes? Seems like they will only ever continue the be trapped in this cycle, only becoming higher ranked leaving lower ranked to be ignored. Regardless, Garou defeats Chain Toad, Shooter, Gun Gun, Glasses, Stinger and Wildhorn. This leaves Death Gatling alone. Gatling uses his final move despite the Garou telling him about Tareo.

Of course Garou doesn’t have any trouble blocking all the bullets and defeats Death Gatling. Genos arrives and begins to fight with Garou. Genos nearly manages to kill Garou, who escapes proclaiming that he “as the monster that no one can defeat.” Genos responds that Saitama will defeat any monster because he “strong.” Garou basically responds “who’s that.” A group of monsters arrive to attack Genos. They’re easily defeated. Before Genos can attack Garou again, Bang arrives. They prepare to fight as Bang remembers the first time he meet Garou.

One Punch Man S2 – Episode 9 & 10: Recap & Review

Episode 9, The Ultimate Dilemma

Bakuzan remembers that Saitama is the one that defeated in the tournament. Now that he’s a demon he figures he can get his revenge. He begins with a series of attacks, first he uses Demon-Weeper Low Kick, Bear-Killer Mid Kick and Carnage Punch. Of course none of this matters, it’s Saitama we are talking about. As he tries to remember who Bakuzan is, Bakuzan uses Hell-Bringin Hand Chop. Bakuzan is defeated as most of his enemies are. Saitama introduces himself to Suiryu as a hero. He explains why he joined the tournaments to find the hero hunter (Garou).

Suiryu warns Saitama against Gouketsu. Saitama mostly ignores him. Suiryu overhears the fight between Saitama and Gouketsu. He assumes that Saitama is dead until he sees the decapitated of Gouketsu. After seeing Saitama he decides that he wants to become a hero. Meanwhile, Puri Puri Prisoner defeats a demon-level monster called Free Hugger. Saitama has a difficult time finding his excitement in being a hero. King tells him that he has ” lost track of himself and should aim to be the best hero.”

Garou is defeated by Watchdog Man. Garou says he’s lucky to have escaped, having difficulty fighting against the four legged style of Watchdog man. Garou seems excited that he can get “stronger.” However, he runs into Saitama and King. He attacks King, but Saitama simply kicks him through a wall. I don’t know why but I found this moment to be so funny. The human shaped hole in the wall is something that’s a was common in the old animated cartoons I use to watch as a child. Anyway, Saitama has easily defeated Garou twice now. Most humorously he doesn’t realize it.

Elsewhere, Genos is taken to Dr. Kuseno for repairs, while, Sonic is introduced to two powerful ninja, Gale Wind and Hellfire Flame. They offer him monster cells and he accepts. However, because he cooks them before he eats them he just get’s diarrhea. S Class Hero Rank 8 Zombieman decides to follow Martial Gorilla. He runs into the Armored Gorilla going to get some groceries. Martial Gorilla is upset that he’s trying to blend into society and attacks him. Armored Gorilla easily defeats Martial Gorilla. A monster manages to infiltrate the Hero Association to deliver a message.


Episode 10, The Encircling Net of Justice

Saitama loses to King multiple times in a fighting video game. Meanwhile, the message from the Monster association claims that they just want peace. It’s all bullshit as the monster association’s Destrochloridum kills an executive. S Class Rank 11 Superalloy Blackluster kills Destrochloridum. The monsters gather to plan the next attack. Lord Orochi eats Awakened Cockroach because he lost. Orochi asks where Gouketsu was. Meanwhile, Garou awakens assuming that King defeated him not Saitama. Elsewhere, Genos is repaired Dr. Kuseno. He’s given an upgrade. It is revealed that the Hero Association and Monster Association are going to “war.”

After reading the paper many monster head to find and join the monster association. However, Saitama kills them all while rushing to take the garbage out. Meanwhile, Garou tries to recover in a shack. The kid he’s been getting the hero book from, Tareo enters the shack to tell him to leave. Garou tells him that he should get stronger if doesn’t want to be picked on. Meanwhile, Death Gatling arrives with Stinger, Smile Man, Wildhorn, Chain Toad, Glasses, Gun Gun, and Shooter. Together they take on a limited Garou, that holds his own but clearly isn’t going to overpower all these heroes. My prediction is that either Garou will take Tareo hostage or Tareo will interfere allowing him to escape, I doubt that Garou will be defeated here.