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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SSSS.Gridman Episode 12 Review – Awakening

Akane’s transformation

As Akane transforms into a kaiju, Gridman and Anti finish of the other ones. They return to the “human” forms and plan to defeat Alexis. Anti engages Akane in battle. Alexis informs Rikka that she just a “creation that thinks they’re human.” That she only believes that shes Akane’s friend. He welcomes Rikka to try to change Akane, as Yuta arrives to get her. Meanwhile, Anti has been fighting Akane this whole time and he finally exposes her “face,” which he then transforms back into his human form and breaks through it. Yuta and Rikka arrive at the hospital to get Utsumi, he’s skeptical that he can help but is convince that he can help.

Alexis attacking Anti

Anti reaches Akane and pulls her out of some liquid. She calls him a “failed creation,” then Alexis stabs him in the back. He absorbs Akane becoming a kaiju himself. At the shop all the members of the NGJHS, Yuta/Gridman and Anti gain “accepter’s,” Rikka and Utsumi enter the battle code Gridman. This results in the “True” form of Gridman. Alexis and Gridman have an epic battle. Alexis appears to be immortal, unharmed by the attacks from Gridman. He is able to feed of Akane’s negative feeling, giving him this power. Alexis explains that Akane needed to use kaiju to control the lives of her creations. However, he finds that she’s no longer useful.

Alexis in his kaiju form

Gridman uses Fixer Beam to reset the city and contact Akane. Rikka and Utsumi convince her to “free” herself from Alexis. Gridman defeats Alexis and seals him. Akane and Rikka have a tearful goodbye. To be honest the redemptive arc for Akane filed for me. I didn’t once feel sorry for her and didn’t care what happened to her. Gridman, the NGJHS return to Hyper World with Alexis. The city returns to normal and the actual Yuta wakes up in the company of Rikka and Utsumi. Anti is rescued by the kaiju girl, while Akane wakes up in the real world LITERALLY. That live action ending was surprising and kinda genius. I can’t effectively articulate the meta commentary that the ending presents but I liked it.

Yuta and NGJHS preparing to fight

However, the series wasn’t perfect. The Yuta is Gridman switch was confusing. Also, Yuta was a very flat character that I wasn’t really connected to. We don’t actually learn much about him leaving his characterization thin. I have note previously that I’m loved this series more than Darling in the Franxx and I think that this series was even more effective with it’s Evangelion homage. Overall, this series exceeded my expectations. It’s unlikely that another season will get made but hopefully Trigger will take inspiration for this series and use it for later ones.

Akane waking up in the real world

SSSS.Gridman Episode 11 Review – Decisive Battle

The penultimate episode of SSSS.Gridman, Decisive Battle focuses on the aftermath Yuta’s stabbing at the hands of Akane. Yuta is hospitalized. He’s in a coma but his life isn’t in danger. Due to the fact that the kaiju that maintained the city were destroyed in the previous battle the day doesn’t reset. Furthermore, every form of communication is now out of commission. Rikka searches for Akane at the school.

Alexis tries to get Akane to make more kaiju but she is too depress to do so. She also assumes that Yuta is dead. Regardless, Alexis uses the old kaiju instead. Anti arrives to the hospital to help as Gridknight. He quickly kills three kaiju with Gridknight Circular. They realize that since Junk and Yuta are connected, then repairing Junk should wake him up. They rush to the shop to try to fix it.

Yuta learns that he and Gridman are one in the same. Junk is repaired and Yuta awakens. Anti begins to get overwhelmed by the kaiju. Gridman takes over Yuta’s body. Gridman, Max, Bor, Vit and Calibur arrive to save Anti. Calibur partners with Anti to create Gridknight Calibur and the other combine to make Full Powered Gridman. They defeat the kaiju together. Rikka confronts Akane. She tells Akane that they are “friends.” Alexis arrives and turns Akane into a kaiju.

We learn that the reason Yuta has no memories is due to him being Gridman. Akane continues to unravel and as becomes a kaiju. Gridman keeps trying to give he some redemptive arc, but she keeps getting worst. Not killing Yuta was good (like he was going to die) but stabbing him in the first place was bad enough. As I’ve been predicting Anti becomes a good guy and is the reason things didn’t get worst.

Handling many of the previous kaiju, he buys a lot of time for Gridman. Speaking of Gridman, the Gridman is Yuta, Yuta is Gridman twists is confusing. As usually this episode answers many question and erects even more. Can the next episode wrap this season up answering all the questions? I doubt it, but we’ll see.

SSSS.Gridman Episode 09 Review – Dream

Is it all a dream?

Yuta awakens to find that Akane has replaced Rikka, as the episode recreates the first one. Akane attempts to convince Yuta that she was his girlfriend. Rikka relives her first encounter with Akane and Utsumi lives a dream where he and Akane becomes friends over there love of kaiju. Akane attempts convince them to join her. The Neon Genesis Junior High Students can’t wake the three of them up. 

Gridman not needed

Gridman attempts to wake them up from with dream. Gridman appears throughout the episode in windows, billboards, picture frames. His image appears in the most obvious and surprising places, it’s well done. Anti looks for Gridman, only to be told that he may not show up because of the kaiju. Anti immediately attacks it but simply flies through it. This kaiju is the reason that Rikka, Yuta and Utsumi are asleep. Surprisingly, Gridman doesn’t make an official appearance in this episode.  

Enter God Zenon

Without Gridman it’s up to the Neon Genesis Junior High Students to face the now materialized kaiju. The transformation sequence reminded me of the power rangers. Regardless, Zenon quickly destroy’s the kaiju. As a so called God, Akane isn’t very impressive. She fails all the time and doesn’t seems to have much control over her creations. Even creating an entire dream for each of the three title characters, they still managed to escape. Her power seems to be limited. Akane becomes depressed as her creations causes continue to reject her. She’s too evil for me to feel sorry for, but her character has gotten more complex in this episode. 

SSSS.Gridman Episode 07 Review – Scheme

Yuta informs Utsumi and Rikka that “Akane is a God.” He also tells them of the kaiju, they don’t believe him however. Yuta runs into Anti at his school and quickly flees. He’s caught by Anti who proclaims to no longer “care about Yuta,” that he “only wants Gridman.” Yuta tells him that “Gridman only shows when a kaiju does.” The rest of the team is still skeptical that Akane is the villain. They decide that Yuta should take to her. 

Yuta returns home only to find that Akane is sitting on his bed. She greets him as “Mr. Gridman.” She asks Yuta to become her ally. He says no, because he can’t “betray his friends.” She demands that he walk her home.  They stop at the shop of the father of the girl that Akane killed. She admits that she did it because “those girls smushed the bread she gave him.” Akane’s cruelty is on full display here. She chooses this restaurant without shame for what she did. When Yuta tells her that “people suffer when someone dies,” she say’s “yeah, that’s possible,” while playing on her phone. 

Alexis Kerib arrives. He and Akane have an casual conversation at the restaurant. The owner doesn’t seem to register Alexis odd look. Regardless, Yuta receives an alert that a kaiju is around. He heads outside to see a flying object or UFO. As Yuta runs to transform into Gridman, Akane is shocked to see that there’s a UFO, but when she turns around Alexis is gone. 

Yuta transforms and attacks the UFO destroying it. However, it regenerates and begins to attack. Akane returns home to find that Alexis has allowed Anti to create a kaiju. When she asks why he states that Anti “hates Gridman more than she does.” The strength in kaiju is determined by the hatred the creator has. The Neon Genesis Junior High Students send the Sky Vitter. Gridman transforms into Empyrean Combine Sky Gridman. They take flight and begin to battle, Gridman doesn’t sense anything.

He notices that there’s a main kaiju controlling the UFO. Anti transforms and teams up with the kaiju against Gridman. The air fight was impressive and it lead to the most surprising reveal the “city in the sky.” Gridman uses Gridknight Saber Slash to cut the new kaiju in half destroying it. Vitter attacks Anti with a barrage of lasers, using Laser Circus Amp. Anti is defeated and is punished by Alexis, attacking him with saw. The cruel treatment of Anti will backfire on Alexis and Akane one day, I’m sure of it. 

Another spectacular episode. It started of slow, but really picked ending with the most dynamic fight scene this series had. Both Alexis and Akane prove how evil they really are. Alexis treatment of Anti and Akane’s dismissive treatment of the father whose daughter she killed. I think that Anti will become a important part of this series and remains a wild card. However, he doesn’t seem to have control over when he transforms into a kaiju. Finally, the secret of Akane and Alexis is revealed, marking a massive change in the series.