Top 10 animated series that have aged well in 2023

Top 10 des séries animées qui ont bien vieilli en 2023

The explosion in popularity of anime over the past few years is nothing short of impressive. We've witnessed giant robots, giant humans, kaiju, power-ups, and every show of force imaginable. Among these stories, there were also human moments told by the characters to whom we became attached. To celebrate anime as a medium for storytelling, we've compiled a list of the 10 best anime series that have aged well in 2023. These series may not be objectively the best, but they're just so good that they manage to resonate with several generations of fans.

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10. Monster

Monster is a psychological thriller that follows the slow moral descent of a good man who makes a bad decision. His journey toward righting this wrong is an interesting work that questions human nature itself. This series approaches exposure in a way that keeps the obvious answers at bay in exchange for slowly peeling back its layers. When you are ready to get answers, you will have grown enough to appreciate what there is to learn.

Author Naoki Urasawa is a master at putting together complex thrillers, and Monster stands at the pinnacle of his oeuvre. After all these years, it's worth taking a look. Especially today, where many people enjoy media that explores complex villains. We think you'll find Monster's antagonist strangely compelling.

9. Yu Yu Hakusho

Yu Yu Hakusho

Ask any anime historian “what is the best tournament arc of all time?” and the answer will probably be Yu Yu Hakusho's Dark Tournament Saga. This series has everything you could want from a shonen, and it managed to avoid being a mess of clichés. Yu Yu Hakusho's characters have a lot of heart, and Yoshihiro Togashi gave us one of the best power systems we've seen in an anime series and explains why it has aged well.

This series is one of the most influential titles of the '90s, and it's not hard to see why. With Yusuke as the main character, we see him grow from a selfish delinquent to a powerful martial artist. All the allies he finds along the way are also very colorful, both in design and personality. It's easily a shonen with infinite rewatch value.

8. The shadow world

Aged animated series

When there's more power to reach, trust Goku and the Z Fighters to rise to the challenge. This anime series has spanned many eras that have their own distinct feelings and aesthetics and has aged incredibly. However, there's no denying that Goku remains one of the most exciting characters to see on screen. His larger-than-life personality and child-like curiosity made him a culture standout among his contemporaries.

After so many years, this martial arts story continues to take leaps forward to create new powers and improved versions of old adversaries. There's never a bad time to start learning about Dragon Ball.

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7. Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Hideaki Anno may have had an idea of ​​the impact Evangelion would have, but he could never have imagined the movement it became after all this time. Evangelion has managed to carve out its own identity outside of any labels within the anime community. Part of its notoriety is linked to its difficult ending and its story. It's hard to find people who managed to “get” Evangelion from the first viewing. However, the depth of the film is worth investigating. This is a poignant story that explores dark themes like depression while creating a surreal world-building experience. It's also a deeply personal work in the way it connects the threads to the secrets of Shinji and his father. It's a work of art that still resonates with today's generation of anime fans.

6. Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

Aged anime series

Nothing about this animated series is predictable, and we mean absolutely nothing, which is why it has aged so well over the years. As an outsider, hearing your friends and other anime fans talk about Jojo's is a bit strange. “You might be wondering why everyone is obsessed with these burly guys with weird poses. Well, there's a lot more to this franchise than what it seems on the surface. It follows generations of people from the same family, whose names are the origin of the word “Jojo” if we take into account the variations of nicknames.

Beyond the strange family aspect, Jojo's is also home to one of anime's most iconic power systems, the Stand. This is a spirit-like avatar that is controlled by a human for unique purposes. Stands come in all shapes and sizes, making watching battles in this series never a cliché experience.

5. Attack On Titan

Attack on Titan

A more recent title on this list, Attack On Titan, has managed to stand on the shoulders of giants, and it's not because of the anime's massive creatures. Hajime Isayama's manga is a masterpiece of storytelling that shocked the animation world in the best way possible. The way he handles the multiple story threads without missing a beat is impressive. Once things start to come together, they hit home in a way that most anime will never be able to match.

When it comes to combat and characters, Attack on Titan is one of the best you can find, even among iconic anime from decades past. It's completely relevant today, and its epic finale is sure to blow your mind.

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4. The Cowboy Bebop movie

Aged anime series

If there's one entry in this list that transcends anime, it's probably this one. Cowboy Bebop is an anime whose narrative approach is gentle and precise. Its protagonist, Spike Spiegel, is one of the most stylish MCs you can see in an anime, and the supporting characters are the model for many tropes found even outside of anime. The way this story respects itself is also worth admiring, and it ends with a conclusion that is considered one of the most heartfelt in anime.

The space opera theme, world building, sets and music are extraordinary on their own, but the way they combine to create this extraordinary story is unforgettable. Once you're done watching it, listen to Yoko Kanno's incredible jazz soundtrack on your speaker.

3. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

No such list would be complete without including the story that took us to a deeply personal level in an anime story. Fullmetal Alchemist may seem like most other anime in that it has a young and arrogant protagonist. But the way its main character, Edward Elric, approaches his motivations is deeply human. He's not just arrogant about the flaws in his world, and he must confront directly the morbid reality of drastic decisions. This theme is present throughout the story and is found in both Edward and Alphonse. Their quest is beautifully explored, and once you reach the end, you feel like you've grown with the characters.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood also touches on bigger topics outside of its main characters' lives. We see themes of genocide explored in some episodes, and how this is done isn't just presented as a footnote. This is a real subplot that affects certain characters permanently.

2. Death Note

Aged anime series

“I'm going to take this chip…and eat it!” Death Note contains some of the most memorable moments you can find in an anime, but it's the high-level psychological gameplay that makes us truly love it. The fight between Light Yagami and the mysterious L is one that's hard to look away from. It's nice to see the upper hand change so often, and seeing the two characters grow closer together as Light tries to trick L is nothing short of masterful.

The premise of the anime is also very simple, making it easy to understand for the uninitiated. Death Note is considered by many anime fans to be their first film. It's not difficult to understand why. The series is easy to access and enjoyable, even with its cat and mouse games.

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1. One Piece

One Piece

King of longevity, One Piece is an anime that has never stopped being relevant since its launch in 1999. This series is adapted from the famous manga by Eiichiro Oda, and it is easily the greatest anime in many regions of the world. One Piece, as a global phenomenon, is hard to beat. Even in the United States, it is one of the five most popular series, with the first place being taken by Pokemon.

One Piece has managed to keep its audience interested in its mysteries after all these years, and that can be attributed to Oda's brilliant approach to exposition. His characters are always larger than life, and it's hard to find two characters who are alike. Each arc features its own unique style, and the eras of the series are very distinct as well. Both pre- and post-time-skip One Piece are great, but the elements that make each part extraordinary are also very different.

Oda's vision has had a lasting impact, and there's an even bigger audience to capture with the upcoming Netflix One Piece series. If you're a long-time anime fan, you should check out One Piece one way or another.

Which animated series do you think has aged well in 2023?