The anime realm has seen its fair share of protagonists and antagonists these last ten years. Sometimes a hero has to step up to the plate in order to save the world; other times all a hero has to be is a good parent to a young child. Villains come in different shapes and sizes, ranging from jealous siblings and petty thieves to the biggest threats the universe has ever seen. In retrospect, anime has showcased a wide foray of these heroes of villains, even in the tiniest of slice-of-life series. With that all being said, let us continue on our quest for the best anime series of the last decade!
WRITER'S NOTE: To qualify, the anime must have premiered between the years 2006 and 2015. New seasons of older anime will not be counted.
30: Mekakucity Actors
It's impossible to sum up Mekakucity Actors in just one paragraph. The adaptation of Jin's Kagerou Daze light novels and Kagerou Project music was all over the place with its plethora of uniquely-powered main characters and story arcs. However, taking the Durarara!! route, Mekakucity Actors managed to bring everything together to create one wow-factored story filled with action, comedy, and some surprisingly genuine warmth tossed in for good measure. Just make sure you watch Episode 9 on disc and not online, as the latter's opening will haunt your nightmares for weeks!
29: Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Sōma
Just hearing its premise would make any foodie salivate. High schooler and cooking extraordinaire Sōma Yukihira is sent to an elite culinary school, where only the truly best graduate. Although he makes a horrible first impression, Sōma quickly finds himself with some likeminded individuals at the Polar Star Dormitory. Soon he find himself in some heated (or cooled, depending on what's on the menu) battles with both students and teachers, concocting some of the most epic dishes your tongue wish it could touch. Each week, Food Wars! made viewers wish they could eat their TVs, crafting a delicious tale with the right amount of sweetness and spice. Now if they can just publish a cookbook or open up a chain of restaurants based off the show...
28: Assassination Classroom
The premise of a classroom that's tasked to kill their teacher sounds rather brutal, until you see that the head of the class is a yellow-tentacled monster who can destroy the world. What could've been just a straight-up ridiculous comedy (and yes, it gets very ridiculous!) instead winds up transforming into a tale of a strange teacher who does all he can to help the 3-E students of Kunugigaoka Junior High reach their potential. It shows its heart in the least-likely of places, sometimes in the midst of an action-packed battle. Whatever teaching tools Koro Sensei used in Assassination Classroom, they worked for both the students and viewers, leading towards one very satisfying -- albeit heartbreaking -- ending.
27: Black Lagoon
Thought Faye Valentine was a badass? You haven't met Revy, the chain-smoking, beer-swilling, foul-mouthed anti-hero of Black Lagoon. After kidnapping/recruiting Japanese salaryman Rock with her fellow Lagoon Company pirate compadres, the merciless gunner takes on a mixture of kind-hearted and nasty clients throughout Southeast Asia. Whatever adventure Black Lagoon took its viewers on, it was always bound to end with the right amount of bullets, explosions, and cussing...and sometimes a tavern would get totally trashed.
26: Nagasarete Airantou
One boy, an island of women, and no other man in sight. Nagasarete Airantou could've easily taken the ecchi/fan-service route and been one of the lamest excuses for perversion imaginable. Instead, we got one of the smartest and funniest harems created in the last decade. Yes, the boy Ikuto often gets chased by the ladies of the Airantou, but the series mostly goes for the more fish-outta-water approach and presents viewers with the young lad growing and adjusting to his new surroundings. With the help of Suzu, Rin, Machi, and the rest of the island's patrons, Ikuto's life teeters between getting wonderfully better and hilariously worse.
Currently unlicensed, and streaming on Daisuki
25: No Game No Life
The brother/sister duo of Sora and Shiro conquer the video game realm with their skills, so it comes as no surprise when a chance opportunity to dive in the game-based world Disboard gives the step-siblings a chance to put their skills to real-life use. Studio Madhouse delivered No Game No Life with the most brightest of colors and beautiful of animation, all wrapped up nicely with a fun and thought-provoking story that surprisingly got philosophical in some places. Never afraid to go the distance -- so long as they were close-enough together -- Sora and Shiro's quest to conquer all sixteen races of Disboard was always entertaining while also knowing how to keep its viewers on the edge of their seats. Next time, though, less Shiro fan-service, okay, Madhouse?
24: Love Live! School Idol Project
Once upon a time, I used to dislike the idol scene. Love Live! School Idol Project made me rethink this mentality, showcasing the fun, hard work, and determination that the nine members of μ's had when they hit the stage. Not only did it feature a great foray of unique characters, but the series presented the idol scene in a more positive light than most. Most important of all, the music of μ's wound up sounding great, along with the CG performances that got better looking in-between the seasonal gap. Love Live! was an anime music dramedy filled with the right amount of heart and personality, something that real-life idol groups sometimes miss the mark on.
Licensed by NIS America, and streaming on Crunchyroll
23: Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
Depending on the dungeon you're in, the answer the title asks will vary. Nevertheless, the story of adventurer Bell Cranel and his goddess Hestia brought forth a fantastic mixture of fantasy battles, silly comedy, and lovable character development. Satirizing both the Middle Ages era and the RPG genre that likes to peer its nose in ever-so-often, Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? was a joy to watch from start-to-finish, not to mention delivering a fantastic dose of eye-candy with the beautiful detail put into the worlds and weaponry used throughout its run. With the pitch-perfect crew in tow, viewers found it very easy to pull up a chair each week with Hestia's Familiar Myth and dive into the journeys at hand.
22: Princess Jellyfish
A shut-in befriends a transvestite, flipping her whole world upside-down. That's Princess Jellyfish in a nutshell, and in its 11-episode run the story of Tsukimi, Kuranosuke, and the weird tenants of Amamizukan brought forth a great dose of humor with lessons on inner beauty and taking the world by its reins. Its smart writing made the series shine brighter than most live-action programming from both sides of the Pacific, making the trials and turmoils of Tsukimi and Kuranosuke's lives fell all the more relatable.
Licensed by FUNimation, and streaming on FUNimation
21: My Bride Is A Mermaid
Remember that Ron Howard movie Splash? Well My Bride Is A Mermaid ran with that idea and stuffed it with some of the funniest scenarios possible above and below the deepest of seas. Nagasumi goes on vacation with his parents, and returns home with Sun, the mermaid daughter of an underwater yakuza leader. One would think that'd be all the trouble this young teen should muster, until pop idol rivals, jealous husbands-to-be, and perhaps the funniest pair of mafioso fathers to be brought to life on-screen come hurtling over to do all they can to wedge a gap between Sun and Nagasumi. The end result: an anime comedy that's so funny, you may wanna make sure you're waist-deep in the ocean before you piss yourself with laughter.
Check back next week for the fourth segment of this Top 50 anime countdown!