Best Anime of the 2000s: The Ultimate Guide

The 2000s heralded a new golden age for anime, introducing series that defined a generation and continued influencing the medium. Here are the top picks, uniquely influential and beloved for their innovation, storytelling, and animation.

"Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" tops the list with its compelling blend of sci-fi, drama, and fantasy.
"Death Note" offers a psychological thriller that dives deep into the concept of justice.
"Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion" stands out for its strategic depth and political intrigue.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

  • Premiere: April 5, 2009
  • Episodes: 64
  • Studio: Bones
  • Highlights: A masterful blend of sci-fi, political drama, and fantasy, this series follows the Elric brothers on a quest to recover their bodies after a failed alchemical ritual, uncovering a deep government conspiracy.

Death Note

  • Premiere: October 4, 2006
  • Episodes: 37
  • Studio: Madhouse
  • Highlights: A psychological thriller following Light Yagami, who discovers a notebook allowing him to kill anyone by writing their name, leading to a deadly game of cat and mouse with the brilliant detective L.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

  • Premiere: October 6, 2006
  • Episodes: 50
  • Studio: Sunrise
  • Highlights: Set in a future where Japan is under Britannian rule, the exiled prince Lelouch gains the power of Geass to lead a rebellion against his family and liberate Japan.

Gurren Lagann

  • Premiere: April 1, 2007
  • Episodes: 27
  • Studio: Gainax
  • Highlights: In a future where humanity is forced underground, Simon and Kamina discover a mecha and lead a rebellion against the surface’s oppressive rulers.

Ouran High School Host Club

  • Premiere: April 5, 2006
  • Episodes: 26
  • Studio: Bones
  • Highlights: A romantic comedy revolving around Haruhi, a scholarship student at a prestigious academy, who is forced to join the school’s host club to repay a debt, leading to comedic and romantic misadventures.

Samurai Champloo

  • Premiere: May 20, 2004
  • Episodes: 26
  • Studio: Manglobe
  • Highlights: A unique blend of Edo-period drama and modern hip-hop elements, following an unlikely trio on a quest to find the “samurai who smells of sunflowers.”

Clannad: After Story

  • Premiere: October 3, 2008
  • Episodes: 24
  • Studio: Kyoto Animation
  • Highlights: A sequel to “Clannad,” focusing on the evolving relationship between Tomoya and Nagisa, covering their challenges and growth as they start a family.


  • Premiere: April 7, 2004
  • Episodes: 74
  • Studio: Madhouse
  • Highlights: A gripping thriller about Dr. Kenzo Tenma, who goes on a quest to stop a psychopath whose life he once saved, uncovering dark secrets along the way.


  • Premiere: October 23, 2005
  • Episodes: 46
  • Studio: Artland
  • Highlights: Follows Ginko, a “Mushi Master,” as he travels Japan, helping people affected by Mushi, ethereal creatures that cause supernatural phenomena.

This list represents the pinnacle of 2000s anime and shows the era’s diversity, from psychological thrillers to epic adventures and romantic comedies. Each series brought something new to the table. These anime series not only defined the 2000s but also set new standards for storytelling, animation, and character development in anime.

Marilyn Walters

Marilyn Walters is a seasoned news journalist with over two years of experience in the field. Known for her investigative reporting and insightful analysis, Marilyn has covered significant global events with an objective lens. Her relentless pursuit of truth and dedication to journalistic integrity have established her as a respected voice in today's dynamic news landscape.

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