Tag Archives: 2010s

Highlighting the Best Anime of the 2010s (Part 2)

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations


Apologies for missing most of this week, but passing my classes does, in fact, take precedent over writing about anime. Speaking of, I promised last week that I would give you all the second half of my 2010s highlight list, so here it is. Enjoy!

Welcome back, tourists. Today I will be finishing off the list for the best anime of the last decade. Who knows, maybe I am giving up the good stuff a little too soon, but might as well get it out there before the 2010s slowly fade away from our collective memory. After all, between the death of beloved athlete Kobe Bryant, huge wildfires that are destroying Australia and the outbreak of the Coronavirus, 2020 seems to have enough to keep people occupied.

March Comes in Like a Lion – Fall 2016 – Studio: Shaft

Nowhere in the universe is there a show nearer and dearer to my heart than Studio Shaft’s masterpiece, March Comes in Like a Lion.

It tells the story of Rei Kiriyama, a middle school shogi prodigy turned high school depression case. While still involved in the world of shogi as one of its better players, Rei faces some of his most traumatic emotional scars, including the death of his birth family and the relationship with his adopted parents and sister. Despite only ever playing shogi because of his dad, Rei’s relationship with the game becomes fundamentally altered as he works out his problems.

It is rare that a singular show ever reaches such a wide range on the emotional spectrum as March Comes in Like a Lion. Even with its seemingly odd subject matter, and also seemingly because of it. The show manages to cover a wide range of topics outside of shogi, such as depression, abuse and bullying. 

Not only that, but the show also covers these topics well. Each of them is explored in-depth and through the perspective of multiple characters, all while resolving the main plot at hand in a way that makes sense narratively. In a lot of ways, the series reflects a lot of what is going on in society today, actively bringing awareness to mental health that was not there before. 

A Silent Voice – Fall 2016 – Studio: Kyoto Animation

I said series and movies at the beginning of this list for a reason, because not recognizing one of the most impactful films of the decade would be incredibly irresponsible, to say the least. 

A Silent Voice focuses on the topic of bullying from the perspective of Shouya Ishida, the resident bully of a girl who transferred to his school, Shouko Nishimiya. Shouko, as is revealed fairly early, is deaf, and because of this is targeted by almost everyone in the school. However, Shouya gets sold out as the main culprit by his classmates. Years later, after almost attempting suicide, Shouya attempts to make amends with Shouko.

Bullying has been and remains a popular topic of conversation, especially as it affects specific communities. A Silent Voice, however, portrays a specific aspect of bullying that is not often explored, that being what happens when a person attempts to befriend the person they bullied. From that perspective, it can be quite a jarring film. 

Still, its emotional resonance and message can not be overstated, and it’s easily one of the best animated films to be released this decade.


Made in Abyss – Summer 2017 – Studio: Kinema Citrus

If Game of Thrones has shown anything, it is that there is still a large appetite for good fantasy stories among the general population. Luckily, I have got a show that delivers just that. 

Made in Abyss is truly something special. It is set in a world where what is below the earth’s surface is arguably much more interesting than anything above. “The Abyss,” as it is dubbed, is a giant chasm that leads to an entire ecosystem below ground. Riko, a young orphan girl who grows up in the town surrounding the abyss, hopes to find out its secrets, including what happened to her mother.

Joined by Reg, a mysterious humanoid robot that has no memories of his past, Riko journeys into “The Abyss,” despite the dangers that are present. What sets Made in Abyss apart from other fantasy stories is just how unique its story really is. The universe that is constructed both around and within “The Abyss” is both original and interesting, from its creatures and plant life to the abyss explorers’ societal structure.

A Place Further Than the Universe – Winter 2018 – Madhouse

Between Wandering Son and A Silent Voice, there are already a number of emotionally powerful works on this list. Still, I think there is room for at least one more. Trust me, A Place Further Than the Universe deserves it. It is the high school drama adventure of the decade.

A Place Further Than the Universe follows Mari Tamaki and her quest to fulfill her goal of going on an adventure before she leaves high school. Right before giving up on her goal, she finds a million yen lying on the floor of a train station. After finding the girl it belongs to, Shirase Kobuchizawa, Mari decides to join Shirase on her journey to reach Antarctica.

Mari and Shirase’s trip ends up becoming much more than just a journey to Antarctica. Along the way the two meet up with Hinata Miyake and Yuzuki Shiraishi, who help them acquire the means to get there in the first place. Early on in the series, it is also revealed that the reason Shirase wants to go on this journey is because of her mom, who was a researcher in Antarctica but lost her life while on an expedition.

A Place Further Than the Universe is a phenomenal anime and one that hits home for many. At its core, the show is about looking inward, finding oneself and seeing that identity through to the end. 


“Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai” – Fall 2018 – Cloverworks

In case anyone is wondering, no the title for this anime is not wrong. Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai is, in fact, the real English name. Despite that, it is still a phenomenal work that should be talked about. 

The series makes sure that, even with its incredibly strange title, it lets the audience know it is a serious show. The first episode features Sakuta Azusagawa running into fellow classmate and acclaimed actress Mai Sakurajima, except, as he finds out, she has been affected by a disease that he himself has dealt with in the past, Puberty Syndrome. Puberty Syndrome changes people’s realities by materializing their insecurities. 

Deciding to help Mai through her problem of people suddenly not knowing who she is despite being famous across Japan leads him to meet with others who also have the disease. This includes one of his close friends Rio Futaba. Sakuta’s world becomes even more confusing than his mundane high school life already was. All of it forces him to realize that there are a lot of things that are more important than one’s own comfort. 

That, my lovely tourists, is the list. It is by no means a complete list of everything worth watching from the last decade, but it is what I consider to be the best. After watching a few of the things from this list, it would certainly be worthwhile to venture out further into the world of anime.

Now that the list on this site is complete, I’ll ask again: did I miss anything important? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Special shoutout to Jenn for continuing to support us on Patreon, it is greatly appreciated.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!


Reflecting on Anime in the 2010s and the Turbulence of Life

If there is any a more potent reminder that time is starting to move more quickly, it is the end of a decade. In just a few more months, 2019 will end, marking the beginning of another 10 years. Before I inevitably forget to write my obligatory end of the year post welcoming and hoping for a better next year, I wanted to take some time to talk about Anime in this decade, what affect it has had on me, and where I see myself going.

A Decade of Anime: A Medium Growing Stronger

I’ll admit that, given my younger age and relative inexperience with older series, this next statement is going to be incredibly biased, but anime in the 2010s has been a truly wonderful experience. It seems to be the case that as the medium has grown in popularity, especially in the West, the diversity in its genre’s and overall storytelling has gone up. Part of it is likely due to the overall growth allowing for experimentation and risk at animation studios, such as at Studio Trigger. However, part of it also seems to come from the influence of and involvement of cultures and people outside of Japan, such as with LeSean Thomas and Kevin Pinkerton.

Many Studios, including the previously mentioned Trigger, alongside others like Madhouse and Ufotable, have been pushing against the grain when it comes to anime’s generally less polished nature. Ufotable in particular has done amazing work, and has seen great success in this this year’s Demon Slayer.

The mainstream acceptance of anime in many more places across the western cultural landscape has also meant an increased an number of fans getting involved in the medium. Of course, in the short term, as someone who writes about anime, this generally benefits me, but it also means that those who enjoy it are less likely to be isolated from others who share the same interest. More discussion can only serve to enhance and expand understanding of these shows, which will serve to enrich future discussion.

It seems as though anime in the during this decade has gone through sort of cultural shift that video games went through in the later part of the 2000s. As more people became familiar with video games, and the medium started getting mainstream acceptance, people came to see it as just another thing people do. Anime has, slowly, but surely, gone through roughly the same process.

2010 Anime’s Affect on Me.

I try not to treat certain eras of any given medium of entertainment as a monolith, because every era can be defined by a quite a number of things. However, Anime in the 2010s did seem to be noticeably different, for a lot of the reasons I already mentioned. The result of this, at least for me, is that I have only become more fascinated by the possibilities of anime.

Another effect is one that I have mentioned pretty often at this point, but is worth repeating here: without a lot of the shows from this decade, I probably would not have gone as deep down the rabbit whole into anime as I have. Growing up with anime has defined a large part of who I am, and through all my ups and downs it has been there with me, even if only in the background.

Anime with the Most Personal Impact

I have watched a lot of anime, most of it from this decade. However, I wanted to quickly shout-out some of the shows that have had a pretty profound impact on me and on my general approach to life.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

After seeing the goofy English title and a few small snippets from the first episode, it was hard to imagine that this show was going to have any serious impact on me, but man am I glad to be wrong. Bunny Girl Senpai is a show that I can only really describe as deceptively wise, in that it is a show whose messages can only really come from people who have a lot of life experience. Granted, that is nothing special in an of itself, but it also came to me at a point in time when I needed to hear it.


I could probably write an entire separate article even longer than this one likely will be about how much Yugioh and other cards games influenced me as a person. But, as is true a lot of others like myself, I would have never gotten into the card game if it were not for the anime it spawned. The show kept me entertained for hours, and I would always go onto YouTube and rewatch a lot of the duels from the show, and While I do not play much of the game or even keep up to date with the latest series anymore, the franchise still has an important place in my heart.

and finally…

March Comes in Like a Lion

I don’t know if I need to say much at this point, but I will say a little anyway. Rei Kiriyama has been one of the more relatable characters that I have ever come across, and his story, despite being fairly distant in subject matter, is incredibly saddening even just on a human level. The feeling of the not knowing who you are is a universal one, and March Comes in Like a Lion conveys it incredibly well.

Looking Forward to the Future

I think what I am trying to say with this post overall is that anime is in a really good place, both for me and as a community. There are so many wonderful elements of anime to enjoy, and it is definitely much easier to be a fan than it was in the past. Here is to another decade of anime, making friends, and enjoying life.

How do you guys feel about anime in the 2010s? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!