November 29, 2023

10 Best Anime Series From the Past 5 Years, Ranked


Ever since 2012, anime and manga have been a growing industry globally. Anime such as Attack on Titan, One Piece, Dragon Ball, and One Punch Man have garnered much of the attention of anime viewers, but as many great anime end, new ones come to light.

Though some of these anime might not be as long as some of the greats, in such short seasons, these shows tell great stories that interest and engage the viewer in a variety of ways.

10 Vinland Saga (2019-2023)

Image Via NHK General TV

Vinland Saga follows Thorfinn, a young boy who lost his father to pirate Askeladd. After witnessing his father’s death, Thorfinn decides to follow Askeladd to one day defeat him in a warrior’s duel to avenge his father.

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This anime follows the manga of the same name, and does so successfully, venturing from lighthearted territory into a much more darker and oftentimes emotional one. The theme of vengeance is at the forefront of the anime, as viewers will undoubtedly hope for Thorfinn’s success.

9 Violet Evergarden (2018-2020)

Image via Kyoto Animation

This anime follows a young war-torn soldier by the name of Violet who is recovering from her injuries. However, she is not like any other person, as she continuously views and refers to herself as a tool for a war Major, leaving her very little room to adjust to her new life as a free woman.

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Violet Evergarden is not only a visually stunning anime, but it is also a meaningful story full of beauty. Violet is looking to understand words and the meaning behind them, and along the way, she learns life lessons from every letter she writes.

8 Lookism (2022)

lookism anime netflix students looking at audience
Image via Netflix

Lookism is a Korean anime based on a webtoon. Hyeong Seok is an average high schooler with one significant problem: he is constantly bullied and picked on for his appearance which many consider unsightly. Then one day, after spending a day in a new town, he wakes up in the middle of the night in a completely different body.

Now with a fresh face, he learns that he has a second chance to make something of himself with the new advantage of the attractive body he has control over. Lookism focuses on the themes of bias and bullying due to one’s outward appearance; even though Hyeong Seok is unattractive in his real body, people are attracted to the real him in his fake body and give him a chance.

7 Cyberpunk Edgerunners (2022)

David Martinez holding a gun in 'Cyberpunk: Edgerunners'
Image via Netflix/CD Projekt RED

David is a young delinquent attending a special academy to climb his way up into the corporate world and out of poverty. However, after getting into an argument with his mother about dropping out, they are caught in the middle of gunfire while driving in the street. The accident leaves David alone and his mother dead. Then he meets the eccentric Lucy, changing his life completely.

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Cyberpunk: Edgerunners speaks heavily on the topics of inequality and the violence that stems from it. It’s a dark anime with heavy topics that are not commonly seen in a lot of anime, making this a standout all on its own with its interesting yet complicated tech in a futuristic setting.

6 Devilman Crybaby (2018)

Image via Netflix

If you can stomach the disturbing gore and nudity, Devilman Crybaby is worth the watch due to its abstract concepts of devils and how they work. Best friends Akira and Ryo are on a mission to find evidence of demons. Akira is the crybaby, and Ryo is the stronger one of the two. After misleading his friend, Ryo turns Akira into a devil.

Although many might be turned off by this anime due to its animation style and excess gore and nudity, the horror story itself and the biblical elements it borrows create a really interesting experience. Devilman Crybaby does well at catching the viewer’s attention, as it feels like more of a mystery at first, with no one really understanding Ryo’s intentions, nor where the plot will lead now that Akira is a devil.

5 Wonder Egg Priority (2021)

Wonder Egg Priority Ai Ohto Fighting
Image via CloverWorks

Wonder Egg Priority is an interesting anime from the very start. It begins with an obscure egg that Ai Ohto receives one day. Upon breaking it in a dream, Ai realizes that she has to save the people who are hatched from the egg, which she hopes will eventually save her best friend who passed away.

Although lighthearted oftentimes, Wonder Egg Priority deals with heavy topics of harassment and suicide, which does not, by any means, make it an easy watch for the average viewer. Still, the obscurity of the anime makes it worth the watch as it engages the viewer almost immediately.

4 Made in the Abyss (2017-2022)

Made in the Abyss Riko and Reg Looking Downward
Image via Kinema Citrus

After escaping a near-death experience with a creature, orphan Riko, on her hunt for artifacts, discovers a half-robot, half-human kid named Reg. After bringing him back home with her, Riko learns of what happened to her mother and decides to descend into the abyss with Reg, just as her mother did, in hopes of finding her mother and exploring the abyss.

Made in the Abyss is a very cute-looking anime that places children at its forefront. As a result, it initially comes off as a lighthearted and easy-going anime. However, as the story goes on, there is some bloodshed and sometimes bleak moments, and its interesting setting makes it a fun watch.

3 Jujutsu Kaisen (2020-2023)

Image via Viz Media

Yuji Itadori is a normal high school student in a supernatural-themed club. But one day, he encounters Megumi who is in search of a cursed object otherwise known as Sukuna’s finger. However, as Megumi faces impossible odds against an enemy, Yuji devours the finger to help him and thus joins the jujutsu sorcerers.

Jujutsu Kaisen is one of those anime shows that diverts expectations but does so successfully. Not to mention, it has strong female characters that prove their worth is equal to that of the men in the show, and the premise itself of Itadori having to devour more body parts of Sukuna is all the more interesting, as this means that the main character will have to eventually be executed.

2 Demon Slayer (2019-2023)

Image via Ufotable

Demon Slayer follows Tanjiro as he hunts down demons to protect the innocent lives of villagers and to find Muzan, the demon who slaughtered his family. There are plenty of demon slayers out in the world, but the difference between Tanjiro and the rest is that his sister has been turned into a demon, and he is determined that he can turn her back into a human.

This show is another visually stunning anime with a fun cast of characters. The best part of Demon Slayer is its emotionally gripping scenes, as many characters have lost loved ones to demons. It makes it even more satisfying as Tanjiro releases the demons’ suffering souls as he chases down Muzan.

1 Chainsaw Man (2023)

Image via TX

Chainsaw Man follows teenager Denji who gains the powers of the chainsaw devil after being attacked. He is then recruited by Makima to join Public Safety as a Devil Hunter.

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Although Chainsaw Man has yet to release a Season 2, the first season introduces such a wide variety of interesting and unique characters that it’s hard not to fall in love with the cast, which is the most enjoyable part of this show. Both funny and dark at the same time, Chainsaw Man is never exhausting or heavy in content, allowing for a fun and entertaining watch.

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