HomeMisc.AnimeStaff Picks: Best Anime of the Decade

Staff Picks: Best Anime of the Decade

The past decade has seen some great TV shows, movies, and video games, but what’s more is the skyrocket in anime availability and quality. Despite it being founded in 2006, Crunchyroll really seemed to hit its stride in the early 2010s with its spread on to gaming consoles like the Playstation 3 (which was the first time I had easy access to it) and then Funimation followed suit close behind in 2016 with FunimationNow – basically the last decade saw increased access to anime allowing for us to see some amazing shows we previously would have to scour the internet for (shout out to Geocities). Even with all these great new content, we had to narrow it down to our favorites to determine the best anime of the decade. – Rachel Freeman

Megalo Box – Rachel Freeman

Megalo Box was originally a single season anime from 2018 that was meant to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ashita No Joe. It was only one season, but it was such a hit that the series staff announced a second season at Anime NYC 2019 though the release for that is TBD.

Megalo Box is a boxing anime that takes place in a dystopic future and follows Junk Dog a.k.a. Gearless Joe. Joe is an underground Megalo Boxer, a form of boxing where the fighters wear a metal frame, making it even more dangerous of a sport. In order to pay back a mob boss and save both of their lives, Joe’s coach, Gansaku Nanbu, finds a way to enter him in to an official, worldwide, Megalo Boxing tournament.

What makes Joe such a special case though? He fights without gear (hence “Gearless Joe”) which puts him at a great disadvantage while also proving himself as a standout fighter, so much so that he catches the attention of the world champion, Yuri. I never thought I would like a boxing anime. But then I watched this and I fell in love. I couldn’t wait to watch the new episode every week – and I have re-watched it several times since. I cannot sing the praises of this show enough and even though it was only one season, it’s one of the best anime of the decade.

Megalo Box is now streaming on Hulu and Crunchyroll.


Garo: Vanishing Line – Bryant Donato

In a decade filled with many notable titles in the anime genre, picking one was a difficult task. I decided on one that I believed had a universal appeal, great setting, memorable character development, and of course, a healthy dose of action. Garo: Vanishing Line, is an anime adaptation to a long running live action show of a similar nomenclature. The premise is based on an age old feud of Makai Knights and their support network of demon slaying compatriots, and Horror, which are physical manifestations of negative emotions that possess humans in their most desperate times. This creates a detective show atmosphere where each reported occurrence must be tracked down as they hide in plain sight, blending in with society in between attacks on the innocent.

I believe that the carefully balanced world building and character development coupled with an intriguing hook that keeps you guessing how each episode is connected in the overarching story really pulls you to the next episode from start to finish. Heavy armored action paired with some very “feels” intensive episodes for every character establishes connections and relationships that are relatable, tragic, and triumphant, showing how each character has grown and continues to grow throughout the series, eventually reaching their goal and accepting the consequences of their actions. The series feels great as a stand-alone entry, and really piqued my interest in other entries in the franchise and I really feel that for such a long running series, this is a great entry into the whole franchise and one of the best anime of the decade.

Garo: Vanishing Line is now streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.


Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Alex Criscione

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki. The series is divided into 8 different parts with each following a different character part of the Joestar lineage. Each part of this anime is essentially a different genre of anime every time. With the main ‘JoJo’ gathering a group of allies to battle different enemies, learn their abilities, and ultimately face off with the leader of the villains.

The most memorable parts and what the series is known for is the rivalry between the Joestars and Dio Brando, who was the adopted brother of Jonathon Joestar, the first Joestar. This rivalry takes place over 3 parts and different lineages. Following this the story travels around the world following the Joestars in different times.

This anime is many shows in one. It starts off as a horror vampire hunting style of anime, and then delves into a battle of wits and literal manifestations of one’s mind, stands. Most popular animes now will reference this anime is a number of ways. Either with the over exaggerated poses that the characters do, to the dialogue, to the infamous ‘menacing’ text that will float around certain scenes. This anime has impacted the world of anime as a whole. With the deep evil villains and the likable cast of every part that people can grow with and understand.

Also, many references in the series when it comes to villains directly correlate to popular rock bands of the different time periods. It brings emotion, comedy, action, horror, psychological warfare, and even suspense in every part. As an anime of the decade JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure definitely takes the cake for most impactful for the numerous times other animes reference it. It just works.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is now streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and Crunchyroll.

These are our picks for best anime of the decade — let us know your favorites in the comments.

Rachel Freeman
Rachel Freeman
Rachel Freeman is a staff writer and comic review editor at Pop Break. She regularly contributes comic book reviews, such as The Power of the Dark Crystal, Savage Things, Mother Panic, Dark Nights: Metal, Rose, and more. She also contributes anime reviews, such as Berserk, Garo: Vanishing Line and Attack on Titan as well as TV reviews. She has been part of The BreakCast for the Definitive Defenders Podcast. Outside of her writing for Pop Break, Rachel is currently a pre-school teacher. She is a college graduate with her BA in History and MAED. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @Raychikinesis.

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