What is an original series? It’s one that is not based on any pre-existing source material or part of an established franchise. That means no manga, light novels or mobile games to set the stage.
The decade was stacked with incredible anime across the board, and these original series went above and beyond to stand out among the competition.
Presenting the fan-voted favorite original series of the decade:
Kill la Kill (2013)
It’s Studio Trigger creating a highly-stylized, action series about a girl looking to solve her father’s murder. What’s not to love? Kill la Kill exploded onto the scene in 2013 as a visual treat unlike fans of the genre, or even the studio, had seen before.
Everything from the matchups of the Naturals Election to the world-ending cataclysms of the show’s final episodes offers a scene to remember. Kill la Kill is fast, it’s bold, and it’s the fan-favorite original series of the decade.
Death Parade (2015)
I don’t think anyone expected a show about a bar to be as amazing as Death Parade was. Then again, the Quindecim isn’t your average bar. When the patrons are all recently deceased souls unconsciously coming for one final test, things were bound to get interesting.
The final struggle for these humans to prove themselves, and the existential thinking that comes along with it, is only a part of what makes Death Parade so memorable. Decim’s struggle with his latent emotions and how that affects his role as an arbiter make it a unique and complete story that leaves fans with questions while also making everything feel resolved.
Ever since the first season was released at the beginning of the decade, there’s no way to think about sci-fi anime without PSYCHO-PASS popping into your head. From a supposedly all-knowing computer system that monitors and judges citizens’ mental states to a weapon that’s the perfect representation of the genre itself, this Gen Urobuchi original series checks all the right boxes.
The stories that unfold in this futuristic Japan make viewers consider difficult topics like morality and the price of peace and happiness. The Inspectors and Enforcers of the Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Division are tasked with solving crimes, all while trusting that the Sibyl System provides fair and accurate mental readings for the people they encounter.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica (2011)
If you think you know everything you could about magical girls, think again. Another original series written by Gen Urobuchi, Puella Magi Madoka Magica follows Madoka Kaname and Sayaka Miki who go from typical middle school students to Magical Girls when they come across the adorably deceptive Kyubey.
But don’t be fooled! In exchange for becoming a Magical Girl and being granted one wish, there’s a catch. We’ll leave that to the series to reveal, but it’s clear why this is one of the original series favorites of the decade.
Yuri!!! on ICE (2016)
This show took 2016 by storm. No one expected a sports series about figure skating to have as much of an impact on the anime community as it did. But Yuri!!! on ICE was about so much more than just figure skating, which is what made it so special.
After a series of devastating losses, Yuri Katsuki thinks it might be time to end his professional skating career. Only after his idol, world champion Victor Nikiforov, agrees to become his coach, does he start to unlock his true potential. Yuri!!! on ICE is as much a story about overcoming personal doubts as it is about athletics and competition.
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