This has been one of the best times for anime and the sheer evolution of the industry over these 10 years is crazy to consider. Just looking back on the number of anime that came out in one season in 2010 compared to a season now shows an explosion of growth. And sure, there’s been plenty of sequels, reboots, and rehashes of old tropes. However, there also have been stand out hits that did something unique and were immediate loves of mine at first watch.
So for this list, I didn’t restrict myself to one per year, nor any limitation of trying to number one anime above another. Instead, I just wanted to share anime that had a big impact on me and, I think, also the industry. So given when this list is coming out, let’s celebrate the holidays in alphabetical order with something morbid: Death!
Out of many great films that have been released in the past 2 years, A Silent Voice was one that I was probably the most excited to see, as the manga had been something I’ve heard about off-and-on for a while. I would also never pass up an opportunity to see a Kyoto Animation (KyoAni) work in theaters, as their style remains consistent, but are always continuing to build on what they’ve learned with their previous works.
One of the staple aspects of KyoAni and Naoka Yamada, the director of A Silent Voice, is the fact that subtlety is largely implemented in the stories of their films and it becomes a story told through the animation alongside the actual written story. While I won’t say that A Silent Voice is a narrative in the same vein as works such as K-ON! or Tamako Love Story (also both directed by her), the subtle nuances of the characters are absolutely there and are something to be appreciated throughout the film.