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Great anime series of the decade

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I've been horribly spoiled by great anime series lately. Every night, before bedtime, I turn on the PC, let the episode load, then while watching it, I do my workout routine for 30 minutes. :mrgreen:

(Not in order)

Ergo Proxy: futuristic sci fi tale, elements of cyberpunk and steampunk and gothic

emphasis of psychology is somewhat pretensious but sometimes engrossing

My-Hime: secret high school for special girls with abilities to control photons

inconsistent mix of excitement and tedium

Code Geass: Set in alternate future where Britannia has conquered the world, a Japanese rebel with shrewd mastery of power and strategy declares independence

Extremely entertaining

Samurai Champloo: two apposite swashbuckling samurais escort a young girl during Endo period in Japan

Brilliant mix of grafitti and caligraphy, poignant and silly

The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi: a High School club of social outcasts

most original, unique and best-animated series I've seen this year

Baccano!: bizarre cast unleashed on an international train set in early 20th century

Three byzantine plots of terrorists, mafia, and mystic cult unfold like an early Guy Ritchie film.

Gunslinger Girl: young girls brainwashed into cybernetic assassins.

Poignant, minimalist, old-school anime

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: brilliant cyberpunk sci fi

more political and complicated than the films

Planetes: near-future realistic sci fi masterpiece about space garbage sanitation

near perfect writing and directing, authentic characters and strong plotting.

Haibane Renmei: after-death tale about angels who live in a special city.

Wise, warm and beautiful story full of mysteries about enigmas hidden in riddles.

Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (So Long, Mr. Despair!): twisted, outrageous comedy abt a pessimistic teacher and his whacky students

Most Insanely fun comic series ever

Simoun: excellent fantasy/scifi about enigmatic and enchanting world, near-original design, subversive commentary about religion, and story doubles as allegory for adolescence.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagan: excellent mecha series, great for the non-mecha fan.

Starts out modestly, and its ambitions grows with every episode. Stylish, edifying, whacky characters, the perfect anti-evangelion

Gankutsuou: anime adaptation of the Count of Monte Cristo, but set in a distant future, with vampires, advanced technology yet with the exact same victorian morality.

Brilliant adaptation, appropriately updated for our times.

Twelve Kingdoms: high school girl is forced to live in alternate world with different social rules and mystical beasts, and becomes an empress

well-conceived, well-executed series with excellent pacing and strong characters, although the initial arc is the strongest of the three.

Right now I'm watching Denou Coil, and it's actually children's anime but it doesn't seem that way at all. Very mature and very well-animated.

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Other good anime of this decade:

Mononoke: We follow around an unnamed protagonist known as the medicine seller. He basically travels around dealing with "mononoke" which are spirits. In order to defeat them, he must uncover the form, truth, and reason behind its manifestation. I'm sure the 5 or 6 mini-stories within the series is based on Japanese folklore. Apparently the series is a spin-off of "Ayakashi: Samurai Horror Tales". The stylistic animation employed is very unique and a treat for the eyes.

Black Lagoon: "Rock" is a Japanese businessman sent overseas to deliver a disc when his boat is hijacked by mercenaries from the Lagoon Company. He ends up joining them, and for about 25 episodes, we follow around Rock and the Lagoon Company as they go around making deliveries and doing various missions for Balalaika, ex-commander from the Afghan war and head of the Russian mafia. The show starts off a bit slow, but it soon takes off. It's your typical high-octane action show, but it won't insult your intelligence. There's occasionally some food for thought thrown in.

Minamike: Are you tired of slice-of-life genre which bores you with the same jokes over and over and doesn't really stay true to "slice-of-life" in any case? Then you need Minamike. What's this show about? It's about nothing. There is no plot. Have you ever seen Seinfeld? It's pretty much the anime version of Seinfeld, and it's hilarious. It's about the day-to-day lives of the 3 Minami sisters, 1 in elementary school, 1 in middle school, and 1 in high school. I like the way they "build" a joke over the whole episode, in much the same style that Seinfeld does, and characters inadvertently affect others and cause misfortune on accident. Really cute and funny show.

Death Note: Unbelievable show. Make sure you watch this show when you have some time off, because I guarantee once you get going, you won't stop until you've finished the whole thing. The show is about a "Death Note" that falls to Earth and is then discovered by the prodigy and son of a Japanese police chief known as Light. The Death Note is a notebook used by Shinigami (Shinigami = shinu (to die) + kami (god/spirit)) to kill others. Basically, when you write someone's name in the Death Note, and you know their face, they will die (there are some rules and what-not). Light begins using the Death Note to kill high profile criminals and begins aspiring to create a perfect world without crime since all the criminals will be dead. The deaths start being investigated by the Japanese police and the most successful detective in the world known as "L". Nobody knows who L is or what he looks like, and he only communicates through his butler Watari. As the story progresses, L and Light basically go head-to-head trying to outsmart each other in a game of deception and bluffing. You'll be on the edge of your seat the whole show, it's amazing.

5 Centimeters Per Second: A short movie animated by Shinkai Makoto who has now established his reputation because of the breathtaking visuals in his latest work. He was responsible for much of the animation in 5 cm/s. The amount of detail, and the lighting effects employed in 5 cm/s will blow you away. 1080p is a MUST when watching this movie. Even if you hate love stories, you should probably check out this movie just to see what animation can be. Stuff like this belongs right up there with van Gogh. Seriously.

Mushishi: Mushishi is what happens when you take traditional Japanese folklore, translate it for a modern audience, then make an anime out of it. We follow around Ginko, a simple merchant, who is known as a Mushi-shi. He has knowledge of "mushi" and how to deal with them when they cause problems in the human world. Mushi are a great concept. They can best be described as beings that are life itself, but they are not alive. They have no motivations or anything like that. They are something inbetween life and death. Moral of this anime: "Do not fear them or hate them, they are merely being as they are." - Ginko. You could say the same thing about people, I guess.

Welcome to the NHK!: This anime could produce a lot of discussion potentially. I would describe it as a black humor social commentary on the anxieties of modern middle-class Japanese society. I'm not going to call it "psychological" because that's such a cheap term often used to describe vacuous arthouse BS. However, it does make an attempt to explore the reasons behind a growing body of citizens in Japan known as hikikomori--people who shut themselves in their rooms for huge periods of time (years at a time), often being supported by their parents. They don't work or go outside. If they do go outside, it's often at night, and they are known for living off a convenience store diet. It also looks at paranoia, suicide, the odd sexual fetishisms of some anime otaku, desperation, obsession, dysfunctional families etc.... which could collectively be called the common anxieties of being a modern first-world middle-class citizen.

The character development in Welcome to the NHK! is awesome. Multi-dimensional, non-boring, memorable characters that evolve throughout the show, and an intelligent script that won't make you feel like an idiot to boot (please learn from this, animators, just have a good script, and your show will succeed).

I think part of the reason for the success of this show was that, while watching, people would often see something in the show that was a reflection of themselves or something they may have experienced at one point.

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