When it comes to fantastic animation, look no further than the history of anime. No matter the series, each has its own sense of style, its presentation of sakuga, or its use of a watercolor palette. And this decade was no stranger to incredible animation.
From the mind-bending battles of Mob Psycho 100 to the feudal brutality in motion of Dororo, animation in anime was the glue that helped make good series great and great series some of the best ever.
Presenting the fan-voted favorite animation of the decade:
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (2019)
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is a lot of things. It’s a shounen series about a boy trying to save his sister. It’s a brutal adventure with some incredible characters. But it’s also an amazing, eye-catching bit of animated magic.
The team at ufotable reminded anime fans exactly why they’re known for their ability to seamlessly mix 2D hand-drawn animation with 3D CG and unique camera movements, a feat that brought the story’s rotating rooms and various breathing forms to life in a way most other studios could never match. Add to that a small but mighty cast of lovable misfits, and it’s no surprise that this series is one that will be remembered for years to come.
Attack on Titan (2013)
You’ll always remember your first titan transformation. The skill of WIT Studio truly shines in Attack on Titan, which blends the twisted, grotesque movements of towering monstrosities with the beauty of flight by way of the Titan-hunting cadets in motion. It’s quite beautiful.
On top of that, the series is a gripping, brutal tale of adventure, mystery and discovery as it brings viewers into its characters’ relationships and experiences. From the commanding Erwin Smith to the smug like-ability of Levi Ackermann, there’s something for everyone to stand for in Attack on Titan.
Mob Psycho 100 (2016)
Mob! Viewers were treated to a visual feast this decade with the mind-bending Mob Psycho 100 and Mob Psycho 100 II. Bones is in full force with this show, not only showcasing how twisted and wild the world can be, but by utilizing a fluidity that you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
Mob Psycho 100 follows Shigeo Kageyama, also known as Mob, as he manages the trials of going to school, joining a club, being a good brother and managing incredibly powerful psychic abilities. Throw in a cast of colorful characters, spirits and more and you’ve got something wholly unique.
One Punch Man (2015)
You can always count on Saitama. One Punch Man prides itself as a parody of the history of shounen anime, but it truly shines when it’s in motion. Every action scene, fight or movement is meticulously crafted, with Madhouse pulling out all the stops to set this series apart.
The series stars Saitama, a fairly awkward guy who also happens to be the strongest hero ever, capable of taking out any force of evil with a single punch. His lax attitude is contrasted by an edgy ally, Genos, and the rest of the Hero Association. It’s this whimsical antithesis that allows One Punch Man to rise above its competition in the space.
Violet Evergarden (2018)
There aren’t many series quite as visually stunning as Violet Evergarden. A feast for the eyes, Kyoto Animation continued to prove just how ridiculously talented their animation team is.
Set in a steampunk world, the story follows Violet as she does her best to join society now that war is over. Unversed in societal norms, she becomes an Auto Memory Doll, someone who is hired to write for someone else. Desperate to understand her major’s last words, Violet looks to others to help her decipher the meaning of three simple words: “I love you.”
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