Anime is a medium that has only gotten better with each passing year. As animation techniques improved and writers learned more from their predecessors, some of the most iconic anime of all time were born in the 2010s. One of the best places to see popularity of these anime is on MyListAnime.
The best anime of 2010s are the series that are not only popular, but also consistently rated highly by anime fans (above 8.0 on MAL) even over the years. It was anime series that set the trend for the next decade of Japanese animation.
ten Mob Psycho 100 – 8.48 (1.66 million MAL members)
ONE rocked the decade with not just one absolute adaptation of its work, but two. If his most popular work is undeniably A punch, Mob Psycho 100 is considered by many ONE fans to be his magnum opus. contrary to A punch, Mob Psycho 100 stays surprisingly close to ONE’s simplistic art style, and yet Studio Bones has done some amazing things that have made some of the best episodes not only Mob Psycho 100 but all anime.
Unremarkable eighth-grader Shigeo Kageyama (known as Mob to his friends) has a not-so-secret secret. He is one of the most powerful mediums in the world, but he doesn’t really think about his powers because they haven’t helped him to be liked by his peers. A con artist named Reigen recognizes his talents, however, and befriends the boy to perform exorcisms across the region.
9 Assassination Classroom – 8.10 (1.67 million MAL members)
One of the best shounen of a decade littered with iconic shounen, Assassination Classroom is an incredibly funny, heartwarming and action-packed story about the most extraordinary of circumstances. You wouldn’t expect all of these things when the whole premise is to teach a class of kids to kill their beloved teacher.
When a strange yellow octopus entity blows up a huge chunk of the moon, it catches the attention of every government in the world. Once he lands, he says he will destroy Earth in exactly one year unless his demands are met. His demands teach a class of children to murder him before graduation arrives. So begins one of the best shounen of the 2010s, with a class of kids opening fire on a giant yellow octopus. The anime is awesome.
8 Re:Zero – 8.25 (1.87 million MAL members)
Re: zero represents the absolute monopoly that modern isekai had on the fantasy genre in the 2010s. Re: zero is considered by many to be the benchmark for modern isekai alongside Sword Art Online and No game no life. The story begins like many modern isekai, with a NEET (a term meaning “not in education, employment, or training”, i.e. unemployed) suddenly transported to another world.
Shortly after this sudden visit, he is attacked and left for dead. However, a beautiful girl named Satella saves his life and he gratefully offers to help her. However, when they uncover dark secrets about the kingdom, they are both brutally murdered. Much to the shock of Subaru (and the audience), he finds himself in a familiar scene: with a gang attacking him. It is very similar to edge of tomorrow (which was also based on a Japanese light novel, All you need is to kill).
7 Your Lie in April – 8.67 (1.88M MAL Members)
One of the first drama anime of the 2010s, Your lie in April was responsible for many tears during its broadcast. Combining the surprisingly intense world of piano competitions with themes of passion and self-confidence, Your lie in AprilI is among the best anime about music of the last decade. It didn’t hit the heartstrings so much as it absolutely shredded them like a violin.
The story is about Kousei Arima, a former pianist who was a prodigy in his art until his mother died suddenly. After that, Kosei found himself unable to hear the melody that came so easily to him. However, everything changes when Kaori Miyazono comes into his life and inspires him to recreate music, but the journey to find his sound won’t be so easy.
6 No Game No Life – 8.12 (2.11 million MAL members)
With the second season that never was, No game no life is one of the reference isekai alongside Re: zero and Sword Art Onlinebut unlike those two shows, No game no life somehow didn’t appear in a multi-series franchise. However, it is a testament to the quality of the series that it remains one of the most requested series to have a sequel by anime fans everywhere.
No game no life is about two siblings collectively referred to as “Blank” in the online games they play. In this guise, they rule the PvP servers in every game they encounter. This reputation attracts the attention of the god Tet, a mischievous god who rules the world of Disboard. It takes them to a new world where everything is ruled by games, and for both siblings, it felt like paradise.
5 Steins;Gate – 9.09 (2.17 million MAL members)
Working in a run-down apartment, scientist Okabe spends most of his days inventing random (mostly useless) gadgets with the few people who can stand him. Amazingly, he breaks through with a machine called “Phone Microwave” that allows him to send texts back in time. However, a mysterious organization seems determined to take the machine from Okabe, and it’s up to him to find a way to keep the machine out of sinister hands.
One of the most ambitious stories of the last decade, Steins;Door is a series as disturbing and mysterious as its name suggests. Steins;Door is a critically acclaimed sci-fi anime that has rocked anime fans with its dark portrayal of scientific theory, which contrasts with some of the craziest events to happen with Okabe’s story.
4 Hunter X Hunter – 9.05 (2.28 million MAL members)
The second time the series has been adapted, this modern retelling of the shounen classic Hunter X Hunter is considered by many anime fans to be as high as shounen gets from the pre-2015 era and, possibly, into the rest of the decade. Although having fewer episodes than most of its contemporaries at the time (naruto and A play), Hunter X Hunter manages to break the mould.
The story is about hunters, people tasked with performing various potentially deadly tasks, such as exploring uncharted territories or defeating monsters guarding incredibly rare loot. Gon Freecss, a random kid from an unnamed village, dreams of being a hunter himself and finding his father, who was also a hunter. His journey takes him around the world and creates some of the best shounen anime stories viewers will ever see.
3 Demon Slayer – 8.56 (2.32 million MAL members)
demon slayer took the world by storm with its debut in 2019, quickly breaking all sorts of records as the hype for the series reached an all-time high, rivaling the likes of A punch and The attack of the Titans. The story is about Tanjiro Kamado, a boy whose entire family (except his sister Nezuko) is murdered by a demon. With fiery motivation, Tanjiro plans to become a demon slayer himself, avenge his family, and ensure that no other child experiences what he has done.
demon slayer was easily considered by many to be the perfect catwalk anime for the new generation of anime fans, and with its superb animation and gripping storylines, it’s hard not to see why. While demon slayer doesn’t break the mould, it certainly stands out as one of the modern shounen classics.
2 One Punch Man – 8.51 (2.71 million MAL members)
Saitama was once a wage earner who had no ambition to live until tomorrow. When he has a chance encounter with a child being attacked by a crab monster, however, he finds a spark within him he’s never felt before. After miraculously defeating the Crab Monster, Saitama aims to become a hero (for fun). His efforts are so strong, however, that he ends up being able to defeat any foe with a single punch, earning him the iconic title of One Punch Man (at least to the public).
A punch is a loving parody of shounen and superhero comics that takes the concept of super-powered heroes to the extreme. Despite the hilarity, however, A punch is still an incredibly hyped anime that keeps viewers just as excited for big monster hits as any good action-packed superhero story. It may be poking fun at the genre, but it’s also not afraid to savor the ridiculousness of it.
1 Attack on Titan – 8.52 (3.31 million MAL members)
In the world of The attack of the Titans, humanity has been reduced to a colony of people living inside the walls, under constant threat from the giant, human-eating Titans. When the outermost wall, Wall Maria, was breached by the Colossal Titan, thousands of lives were lost and humanity was reminded of its fragile existence as prey. Eren Jaeger, along with his friends, joins the Survey Corps to discover a way to defeat the threat of the Titans and possibly find out how it all started.
The attack of the Titans was undoubtedly the biggest anime of the 2010s and sparked excitement for the anime medium that hadn’t been seen for a long time at that time. Not only is The attack of the Titans the most popular anime of the last decade, but it’s also the most popular anime on MyAnimeList of all time with an impressive 3.3 million, surpassing classics such as Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Death threat.
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