The 2000s marked an incredible era for anime, featuring shows that have left an enduring legacy.
Although the early 2000s may appear as a distant memory to some, the decade spanning from 2000 to 2009 is a treasure trove of anime classics. While the 90s was a golden age for animation, the 2000s seamlessly carried on this legacy. This period boasts a wide array of anime series that can evoke profound emotions, deliver high-octane action, and offer comedic brilliance.
Many of these series remain beloved and maintain devoted fan followings to this day. Some have even seen revivals and sequels in recent times. With an abundance of exceptional 2000s anime to explore, newcomers have a plethora of excellent entry points. Each of the best 2000s anime has been detailed with specific attributes for your reference.
7 Best Anime From The 2000s
Bleach, a shonen anime of substantial renown and enduring popularity, made its mark during the 2000s. This anime narrative trails the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki, who experiences a transformative encounter when he acquires the powers of a Soul Reaper. As he grapples with the mastery of his newfound abilities, he stumbles upon the revelation that many of his comrades possess latent powers of their own. While the series commences with a lighter and more upbeat tone, a significant twist occurs when Rukia, the Soul Reaper who bequeathed her powers to Ichigo, faces the peril of execution as punishment. In a gripping turn of events, Ichigo and his allies embark on a perilous quest to infiltrate the Soul Society, aiming to rescue Rukia, and unwittingly become embroiled in a far-reaching and intricate plot.
Bleach is replete with exhilarating action sequences that elevate sword fights to a whole new echelon. Enthusiasts of anime seeking a protracted and action-packed series will unquestionably find Bleach an exceptional choice. The original series spans an impressive 366 episodes. Additionally, in a delightful development for fans, Bleach made a triumphant return in the fall of 2022, with the latest adaptation currently covering the manga’s concluding arc.
Naruto & Naruto Shippuden
Naruto stands as one of the most renowned shonen anime series, encompassing all the quintessential elements cherished by enthusiasts of the genre. The narrative revolves around the escapades of Naruto, a spirited and mischievous young ninja who grapples with the stigma of being an outcast. In his quest for acknowledgment and his aspiration to ascend to the esteemed position of Hokage, the leader of his village, Naruto embarks on a journey fraught with challenges. Along the way, he forges both profound friendships and fierce rivalries and comes to realize that he is the host of a potent fox spirit, a malevolent entity previously responsible for a devastating assault on his village.
The complete series unfolds in two distinct segments and has even spawned a sequel. The initial part, simply known as Naruto, originally aired between 2002 and 2007, setting the stage for the saga. The sequel, Naruto: Shippuden, constitutes the second phase of the narrative, captivating audiences from 2007 to 2017. Subsequently, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations carries the torch, offering a fresh perspective on the characters’ lives once the conflicts of the original series have been resolved, shifting the focus to their offspring and the new generation.
Anime enthusiasts seeking a more mature and intellectually engaging experience should definitely delve into Death Note. The storyline revolves around Light Yagami, an exemplary student and the offspring of the local police chief, who stumbles upon a mysterious notebook. This seemingly innocuous book, as it turns out, is a Death Note, an instrument employed by shinigami, a type of grim reaper, to eliminate individuals. Light promptly seizes the opportunity to employ the Death Note to forge a crime-free society by inscribing the names of known criminals.
However, his grand design takes an unforeseen twist, and when pitted against the equally brilliant detective known solely as L, Light descends into a perilous god complex. The interplay between Light and the Death Note leads to one of the most intricate and renowned battles of wits in the annals of anime. The series masterfully navigates through a plethora of mature themes, consistently keeping newcomers on tenterhooks as they ponder the next intriguing twist in the tale.
Code Geass: Lelouch Of The Rebellion
The Code Geass franchise presents a compelling 2000s anime series that will particularly resonate with fans who appreciate the strategic brilliance of Light Yagami in Death Note. The central narrative revolves around Lelouch vi Britannia. An exiled prince, who experiences a fateful encounter with a mysterious woman, later revealed to be C2. She bestows upon him the formidable power of Geass, granting him the ability to command anyone to fulfill his desires.
The story unfolds in the aftermath of the Holy Britannian Empire’s conquest of Japan, facilitated by the deployment of colossal mechs. Empowered by Geass, Lelouch emerges as the leader of a resistance movement, driven by a burning desire for vengeance against his royal lineage. This series caters to action enthusiasts with an abundance of epic mech battles. While also serving up a healthy dose of intrigue, betrayals, and intricate plotting.
In Samurai Champloo, a captivating fusion of Edo-era aesthetics with contemporary styles and cultural references comes to life. The narrative centers around an unlikely trio on a quest to find “the samurai who exudes the fragrance of sunflowers.” The trio comprises a spirited young woman named Fuu, a brash and itinerant wanderer named Mugen. And a more composed and traditional masterless samurai named Jin. It’s worth noting that Samurai Champloo shares its director with the critically acclaimed series Cowboy Bebop.
Within Samurai Champloo, viewers will encounter numerous scenes and allusions that connect to real historical events. References to figures like Alexander Cartwright and Hishikawa Moronobu add a layer of depth for history enthusiasts. Moreover, the series’ renowned soundtrack draws heavy inspiration from the realm of hip-hop music, with its very title reflecting the genre’s fusion and mash-up of influences.
In an alternate reality where Earth succumbed to alien domination during the Edo period. A peculiar world has emerged, blending the realms of rocket technology and the way of the samurai. Within this context, Gintama unfolds, chronicling the often unpredictable escapades of the Yorozuya crew as they take on a myriad of peculiar assignments.
Gintama primarily operates as a parody of shonen anime and excels in delivering an abundance of humor. The city of Edo serves as the backdrop for this animated narrative. Housing an expansive and diverse ensemble of comedic characters rarely paralleled in the realm of anime. Gintama consistently employs audacious fourth wall breaches, incorporates mature humor, and serves up uproarious slapstick comedy at a relentless pace. Yet, when the series ventures into more serious territory, it transitions into a realm of intense, poignant, and indelible storytelling.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Many anime enthusiasts engage in ongoing debates regarding their preferred version of Fullmetal Alchemist. The first adaptation, Fullmetal Alchemist (2003), takes considerable creative liberties with the source material. Veering into a significantly different narrative trajectory in its latter half. In contrast, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009) remains faithful to the original manga’s storyline.
Both anime series follow the extraordinary journeys of the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse. As they embark on a quest to restore their physical bodies. Along the way, they unravel the mysteries surrounding the elusive Philosopher’s Stone. Uncovering government conspiracies aimed at concealing the stone’s true origins.
While these series incorporate lighthearted moments and ample comedic interludes. They also skillfully introduce somber themes that can subtly tug at the heartstrings of the audience. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, in particular. Boasts a wealth of inspirational episodes, emphasizing the importance of resilience and moving forward in the face of adversity.
The 2000s marked a golden era for anime, giving birth to numerous classics that have continued to captivate and inspire audiences worldwide. In this article, we’ve revisited some of the best anime from that decade. Celebrating their enduring impact on the world of animation and storytelling. From thrilling adventures to heartwarming dramas. These series have left an indelible mark on the hearts of anime enthusiasts. Reminding us of the timeless appeal of these remarkable shows.
Suggested Read: Best Anime From The 90s