Top 12 Iconic Anime You Enjoyed More than a Decade Ago

best iconic anime

Are you ready to feel old? The following 11 series are some of the more iconic and memorable ones that aired a decade ago. Maybe they were among your first?

1. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Studio: Bones
Genre: Action / Adventure / Comedy / Fantasy / Science Fiction
Episodes: 64 + 4 OVAs + 1 Movie

Quick Pitch: Despite the success of their 2003 adaptation, studio Bones was allowed to produce a more faithful Fullmetal Alchemist anime. The sprawling adventure follows the Elric brothers as they seek the Philosopher’s Stone to undo the price of their attempted human transmutation alchemy. During the journey, the two are caught in-between a conspiracy that threatens the country’s shaky peace.

2. K-On!

Studio: Kyoto Animation
Genre: Comedy / Music / Slice of Life
Episodes: 13 + 1 OVA

Quick Pitch: K-On! arguably turned Kyoto Animation into a household name and popularized moe as we know it. One of the best-selling anime all-time, the story follows the members of the Light Music Club hanging out and playing music. Many shows have mimicked the formula, but fail to capture the cast’s interactions and growth — which can be seen following the second season and movie!

3. Bakemonogatari

Studio: Shaft
Genre: Mystery / Supernatural
Episodes: 15

Quick Pitch: Bakemonogatari is the first entry into this beloved series. On the surface, it follows Koyomi Araragi as he helps various girls who are suffering from supernatural ailments. It’s also filled with clever Japanese wordplay, abstract artistic choices, and a non-linear story.

4. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

Studio: Bones / Kinema Citrus
Genre: Drama / Tragedy
Episodes: 11

Quick Pitch: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is a speculative portrayal of the possible after-effects of a massive earthquake hitting Tokyo. Bones and Kinema Citrus worked with researchers in an attempt to realistically depict the events. This hard work resulted in a heart-wrenching tale as a courier tries to help two children return home safely.

5. Eden of the East

Studio: Production I.G.
Genre: Action / Drama / Mystery / Romance
Episodes: 11 + 3 Movies

Quick Pitch: Two strangers are forced into a death game following a non-fatal terror attack in Japan. Each of the 12 players is given cellphones loaded with 10 billion yen in digital cash, which is to be used in an attempt to “save Japan.”

6. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Studio: Kyoto Animation
Genre: Comedy / Mystery / Sci-Fi / Slice of Life
Episodes: 28 + 1 Movie

Quick Pitch: The 2009 rebroadcasting of Haruhi Suzumiya is the definitive version of the anime since it KyoAni added 14 new episodes. Well, technically 6 new episodes due to the whole Endless Eight thing — still it’s a fun series as a group of weirdos try to distract a girl from learning that she has god-like powers.

7. Summer Wars

Studio: Madhouse
Genre: Action / Comedy / Sci-Fi
Episodes: 1 Movie

Quick Pitch: Family drama and virtual gaming in a story that’s equal parts thrilling and emotional. Kenji is invited by his crush Natsuki on a summer trip to act as her fiancĂ©. During the visit, Kenji receives a coded a message that requires him to use his math skills and knowledge of the OZ virtual world.

8. Redline

Studio: Madhouse
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi / Sports
Episodes: 1 Movie

Quick Pitch: Every five years, a death-defying race called Redline is held. Racers from around the galaxy join to seek the ultimate thrill, and JP is hoping to win it. Roboworld is hosting the race, and the planet’s trigger-happy criminals are looking to spread havoc, which only adds to the racers’ excitement.

9. Evangelion 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance

Studio: Khara
Genre: Action / Mecha
Episodes: 1 Movie

Quick Pitch: If Evangelion 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone was too much of a retread, then you might like Evangelion 2.0. The movie makes drastic changes and goes down a different route from the show — the largest involving the introduction of Mari.

10. Dragon Ball Kai

Studio: Toei Animation
Genre: Action / Adventure / Comedy
Episodes: 167

Quick Pitch: Dragon Ball Kai is one of the many ways to experience the famed series. It’s a revision that features remastered visuals, re-recorded voice acting with most of the original cast, and filtering out the filler content.

11. Fairy Tail

Studio: A-1 Pictures / Satelight (2009 to 2013) / Bridge / CloverWorks
Genre: Action / Adventure / Comedy / Fantasy
Episodes: 328 (ongoing as of this writing)

Quick Pitch: Friendship, magical fighting, a lovable cast, and more friendship has made Fairy Tail a hit for nearly a decade. It follows the Fairy Tail guild embarking on many adventures, taking on enemies, and making tons of friends.

What are your favorite anime from 2009?