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We’ve all heard of those animes that you absolutely, positively should be watching. Like Dragon Ball. Or Rurouni Kenshin. Or Sailor Moon. Or Naruto. Or… you get the essence. Every medium has its own classics and, of course, with those classics come die-hards and stans. And out of them comes a fantasy that has no end (in the case of One Piece, quite literally). So what exactly makes this show a classic? Is this a cool story? swoon-worthy MC? The super unique concept they are set in? Yes, that’s right, it’s all above. And thus, we’ve put together a list of all the recent anime’s crme de la crme, because as the medium’s list continues to grow, so does the list of watches! Our top 10 modern anime classics feature all the essential anime of the current era and we’re sure you’ll find your new favorite on this list, provided you haven’t already bingeed through all the titles!
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10. Sword Art Online
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Arguably one of the greatest isekai of 2010, there isn’t a single anime connoisseur out there who hasn’t heard of Sword Art Online. Follow Kirihito and Asuna as they overcome the challenges of Ankarad, previously a cute VR game set in a fictional medieval landscape that soon turns into a nightmare when the creator traps thousands of players in the game itself. There’s only one way to escape: through Aincrad’s 100 incredibly complex levels. Isekai anime is a monster of a genre with so many different subparts, unique takes, and parodies but somehow, still nothing like SAO which, for many people, marked a new era of its popularity does, thus cementing its place. Theory of the modern classics of the medium.
9. Mob Psycho 100
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Deadpan comedy and a deadpan MC are two of the most recognizable qualities of Mob Psycho 100. Funny, cheeky, and so pretty, this anime is (literally) a work of art, both in terms of its story, its comedy, and its execution. Shigeo ‘Mob’ Kageyama is an eighth grader with amazing psychic abilities. To work to keep his powers under control, he spends his time working for his mentor (read: exploiter) Regen Arataka, who daily helps exorcise evil spirits, and as a result, Regen’s demons. Provides a degree of credibility to the spiritual scam. However, Mob is a ticking time bomb. If his feelings linger in the slightest, a cataclysmic world-ending apocalypse is sure to follow. Of course, this is not a problem provided the mob keeps their teenage anger under control. Part school comedy, part supernatural showdown making, Mob Psycho is a class act in 100 comedy. Silly, poignant, and sensitive, it’s a layered story that maintains its absurdity while making it a uniquely compelling comedy thus earning it a spot on our list of top modern anime classics.
8. Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia)
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The anime most widely credited for reviving the shonen genre, My Hero Academia, is simultaneously a unique take on the genre and a tribute to its most quintessential features. An underdog MC (Midoria, you sweet summer child), a childhood rival, an All-Might(y) mentor, an idyllic society on the surface with powers deep beneath the surface, superpowers, and a double dose of heart and patience . It’s a near-perfect superhero shonen, however, with its comic book art style, a fresh look at the supernatural society, superhero school life setting, and world-building is refreshing and puts a new spin on the well-established tropes we all know. are and love. When an anime is this revolutionary (yet so sweetly familiar), there’s no question it’s a classic of the medium.
7. Haiku! (HiQ!!)
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Sports anime is an interesting genre. For most people, sport is a specific interest in a specific sport, however, when it comes to anime it is a purely ball game (pun intended). Sports anime hit right in the feel, they conjure up the emotions we’re all familiar with; Freedom from passion, ambition, devastation, and hope. These all spin together (usually) in beautifully animated vignettes that follow all our favorite kinds of characters and tropes, underdogs and prodigies, rivals and friends. And on top of this genre is an anime that gives Slam Dunk a run for its money: Haiku! A down-on-the-luck high school volleyball team slowly comes together as its latest additions learn the value of teamwork and sportsmanship, while pursuing their ambitions. Hinata, Kageyama, and the rest of the Karasuno high school volleyball team overcome painful losses and setbacks as they grow individually and as a team in a truly inspiring story that makes it not only at the top of their genre but also through the medium.
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Arguably the king of parody, Gintama is undoubtedly one of the most iconic comedies in the current era of anime. A sci-fi samurai space-edo action comedy, Gintama has all the shonen goodness, but with a twist: it lampoons all the tropes of the genre and makes the anime go for the same with some well-timed comedic references. goes. Sakata Gintoki is an eccentric (read: lazy) samurai, who insists on maintaining his status in an era of banality, and drives a yoroyuja with two equally eccentric allies: Shinpachi, wearing glasses (supposedly is) the apprentice samurai, and Kagura, the ever-hungry weird-strong alien girl. This awesome trio will accept any job no matter how big or small, from dealing with exotic royalty to locating lost cats and somehow, things will never go according to plan. An anime that’s entertaining for newcomers but downright hilarious for those of us familiar with the medium, Gintama is truly a hidden gem; 50% tribute 50% lampoon, and 100% worth your time.
5. Jujutsu Kaisen
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Which everyone is discussing: Jujutsu is kaiseen anime that has been credited as the next evolutionary stage of the shonen genre. A supernatural action-adventure story, this anime ditches shonen tropes a shade darker and allows the genre to take a more mature stance. Through a series of unfortunate coincidences, Yuuji Itadori shares his body with a 1000+-year-old curse named Tsukuna. He is sentenced to death after absorbing all of Tsukuna’s essence in order to end the curse once and for all. The compassionate nature of our MCs has led them to team up with those they might have to put an end to in order to fight the growing wave of curses that have been praying on fearless masses. The magician in question, Megumi Fushiguro, Nobara Kugisaki, Satoru Gozou, and the rest of the people at Tokyo Technical Jujutsu High School have their work cut out for them as the dark forces of their world continue to grow day by day, the darkest of which is unfortunately stuck between them. A unique supernatural anime, Jujutsu Kaisen has been one of the most anticipated shows in recent years, and it hasn’t disappointed in the slightest. From the moment it aired, there was no doubt that it would make its mark on the anime medium and we’re not in the least surprised that it made its way to our list of the Top 10 Modern Classics.
4. Yahari Or No Seshun Love Comedy Wa Machigeteiru. (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU)
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Oregaro is simply amazing. As cliche as it sounds, there really isn’t another word for it. A deep and insightful glimpse into adolescence and adolescent relationships, Oregaroo dissects the resolutions of emotional development. When weary and misanthropic student Hachiman Hikigaya writes an essay mocking social interactions, his punishment is to join a volunteer club whose only other member is the cold and blunt Yukinoshita. Neither particularly loving to their peers, nor socially savvy, they still find themselves at the forefront of other people’s problems, seeing that their only club activity is to help those in need. who contact them. A strange and dry story that dives into the complexities of young minds who are too cynical and burned out to enjoy their youth, Oregaroo is a cathartic look at the human connection. It is a coming-of-age story that allows the injured self to heal itself and grow into a beautifully composed narrative that will touch one’s own heart. A sweet shojo rom-com drama that will surely spark some tears, Oregaru is an unforgettable anime that certainly raises the bar in its own unconventional way.
3. Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba)
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One of the highest grossing anime of all time (hello, Mugen Train), our modern classic list could never be considered complete without Demon Slayer. Heroic hero, villainous villain, and comic relief, Demon Slayer is a historical, suspenseful, fantasy epic. After the brutal murder of his family, Tanjirou Kamado sets out to find a way to save his only surviving relative: his sister Nezuko who has been turned into a demon. Unfortunately, the only way to do this is through what poses the biggest threat to Nezuko’s current situation: a demon slayer. Tanjirou discovers a miracle to save his sister, as well as rising up as a warrior to avenge the man who murdered his family and cursed Nezuko, the gritty world of the Demon Slayer Corps. has been pulled in. Heartbreaking, painful yet poignant, dangerous but daring, Demon Slayer hits the sweet spot where all contradictions intersect, creating a compelling narrative that can’t help but charm one . Weaving together several thematic strands, there’s something to everyone on this show and so it’s no surprise, in fact, that it’s made it so high on our list.
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2. Fruit Basket First Season (Fruit Basket 2019 First Season)
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The only reboot to make the list! Fruits Basket is a touching drama and a coming-of-age story. The original was great, but the reboot is a masterpiece of the shjo genre. Beautifully illustrated, beautifully written, and beautifully moving, honestly, this anime is beautiful both thematically and artistically and through. Tohru Honda is in a difficult position, but with her can-do attitude, she believes she can overcome any difficulty. Lucky for her, this charming optimism has three members of the famed Soma family ready to pick her up and help her get back on track. However, SOMAs have their own problems. Their blood carries the curse of the zodiac which brings another set of mysterious problems. So with all this emotional (and supernatural) stuff, it’s no surprise that Fruit Basket evolves into a poignant, cathartic story as Somas (extended family included) and Tohru lean on each other and blended families. As we learn to be okay together. A carefully crafted study of human interactions and what it means to be the Fruit Basket is the shjo anime of recent years, and thus there is no doubt that it deserves to be part of the modern classic canon.
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1. Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)
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Can a list about the current era of anime be complete without Attack on Titan? A god-level anime that has it all; With action, drama, intrigue, and some deadpan comedy (looking at you Levi), it’s no wonder this anime made the top of our list. The story of Eren Jagger is painful, and the world it belongs to can only be described as cruel. Along with monstrous, humanoid, human-eating giants, the Titans called Amok, who, by the way, have virtually no weaknesses, society has been entrusted with hiding behind giant walls. Everything (barely) looks good until the Titans find a way behind Wall Maria and wreak havoc and terror in the outlying districts of Paradis Island. Eren, his friends Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Earlert join the Survey Corps service to fight against the ever-increasing threat of the Titans, beginning a dark saga brimming with blood, sweat and gore. Attack on Titan is a story like no other and honestly, this is a show that everyone should take a chance on (of course, of course).
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And that’s a wrap on our list! From quintessential humor to unstoppable action, there are tons of anime to choose from. We have jotted down some of the essentials in this article, but with all the quality content being churned out season by season, we are sure we need to keep adding to our tally. So what would you classify as a modern classic? Do you agree with our choice? Did we miss an anime that deserves a spot on our list? Let us know in the comments below!
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