As part of my
exclusive work for Anime Vice to commemorate my tenth year as an anime fan, I
will be doing a ten-part weekly article series where I offer you guys a look
into the best anime I seen for each year throughout the decade where I started
off my anime fandom: the 2000s. I will be doing either a top five or top ten
list for each year depending on the number of titles I had enjoyed from that
time. Be warned that whatever I present for these articles is my personal
opinion. So do not take things too personally if I do not include an anime you
To be honest, there weren’t too many anime I had a chance to check out in 2000 nor any of a reasonable length compared to other years in the decade. A good number of the titles I seen for the year were either continuing from 1999 thus it wouldn’t be fair for me to judge them based on 1-3 months worth of content or they only had one or two episodes released as an OAV series for the year. Some titles like Angel Sanctuary and Descendants of Darkness I found to be too subpar to be worth even bothering with. Still, there were a few gems I could see from the year which got my attention. Here’s a look into the top five anime titles I enjoyed from 2000.
5. Card Captor Sakura 2: The Sealed Card
If you were to ask me what mahou shoujo title I would be a sap for during the 1990s, I would say Card Captor Sakura in a heartbeat. The series offered enough fresh material to subvert the typical clichés of the magical girl genre, featured a cast of likeable characters who were fleshed out enough for you to connect with them, it wasn’t afraid of delivering enough teasing of romantic angles to its audience and the characters were drawn to be cute without being too overbearingly so like the many moeblob titles that have come out in recent years. This second movie from the series serves as the finale to CCS focusing on the developing relationship with Sakura and Syaoran that was left hanging from the TV series. The movie introduces a new Clow Card called The Void which gets released from its seal from the remains of Clow Reed’s old home and is after all of the Clow Cards in Sakura’s possession. The means in which Sakura would have to seal The Void would literally cost her the relationship she is developing with Syaoran, which is enough to put her character in conflict over how to handle this new threat without having to sacrifice her potential first love. The movie retains the light-hearted humor and character quirks one would love from the TV series, while at the same time having a better quality visual presentation and more fluid animation than the TV series. Watching the entire TV series is a necessity to know of all the developments that led up to this point in the Card Captor Sakura series. But if you pressed your way through the series, then The Sealed Card makes for a solid conclusion to this well done work from CLAMP.
4. Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust
Those of you who crave vampire action titles will get a treat out of this more recent anime adaptation of Hideyuki Kikuchi’s well known novel series. Bloodlust offers up thrilling action and romantic developments as it focuses on our dhamphir (half man, half vampire) hero D being hired to rescue a young woman named Charlotte from a vampire named Meier Link. As events press on with the movie, there are points in which we see that not all is what it seems with the situation at hand. Compared to the original 1985 film which has a cookie-cutter plot with its villain Magnus Lee, Meier Link is painted as more of a tragic villain with what we come to learn about his reasons for abducting Charlotte and the movie also sheds some light on the challenges faced by D and bounty hunter Leila with the former’s status as a dhamphir making him an outcast to many and the latter struggling to be remembered in some way. Bloodlust is quite notable for its impressive animation sporting dark, vivid colors; plenty of details with scenery and character designs; and Western/ gothic settings that go along very well with the movie’s vampire-focused plot. It also sports fluid and intense battle scenes which are quite a sight to see onscreen. Fans of Vampire Hunter D or any vampire titles in general should give this movie a shot.
3. Ayashi no Ceres
This fantasy/ romantic drama offers up some pretty tragic developments mainly focused on the struggles of teenager Aya Mikage when she learns she is the reincarnation of a celestial maiden named Ceres and members of her family are either out to kill her or seek her out for experimentation. Besides Aya, the series focused on other prominent characters who have tragic backgrounds connected to the celestial maidens and romance, including those who are seemingly inhumane and villainous in their actions at first glance. The series tends to dabble into the typical subjects explored in shoujo anime such as love, fate, hate and tragedy. But with much of its cast having justifications for their actions from their tragic upbringings, it is quite easy to sympathize with these characters as they clash over their personal beliefs and get into conflict with one another. Anyone looking to bring tragedy into their shoujo titles can’t go wrong with giving Ayashi no Ceres a shot.
2. Banner of the Stars
This second chapter of the well-known Stars space opera saga continued its focus on the bond between Abh princess Lafiel and planetary lord Jinto three years after the events of the first series, Crest of the Stars. This season of the franchise features Lafiel and Jinto experiencing first hand the challenges of war as Lafiel leads her own fleet against the United Humankind forces and Jinto serves as one of her subordinates. Much like the first series, Banner retains its grey morality in exploring events of the intergalactic war from the perspective of the Abh as there is some subtle humor provided from the eccentric personalities of the commanding officers of Abh fleets and we see first hand the decisions they make in battles. Focus is also retained on Lafiel and Jinto’s bond as you get to see their thoughts on the challenges they face in battle and also one occasion where they attempt to make reprimands with the daughter of a corrupt planetary lord the two kill off from the first series. This season does greatly limit its focus on how the Abh are viewed by those in the United Humankind empire compared to Crest of the Stars. But the focus on how the Abh handle situations in battle and the continued developments of Jinto and Lafiel’s bond throughout the conflict more than make up for this minor shortcoming.
1. Great Teacher Onizuka
Some folks might scream foul at me for including the series on this list since part of the series aired in 1999. But considering much of it ran into 2000, I think enough developments from the series were presented where it was worth adding to and deserving this top spot on my list. If you’ve already seen my Top 25 Best Anime of All Time video, then you know what praises I already have to say about GTO. It’s a fun comedy/drama coming off the ridiculous actions from Eikichi Onizuka to tame the antics of the middle school students he has to teach and we learn of the differing problems of each student that Onizuka either tries to either help or reprimand. It is perhaps the best overall shounen anime I have had a chance of seeing thus far in my ten years of fandom. Whether you get anime legally or not so legally, definitely give Great Teacher Onizuka a shot when you can.