Anime classics are well-known by most people, even non-anime fans. Series like Mobile Suit Gundam, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Cowboy Bebop spring to mind immediately. But the past 20 years of anime has been full of modern classics that deserve their own updated list.
As one of Australia’s biggest anime fans (self-proclaimed), I’m here to bring you a list of modern anime classics you must watch!
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009)
The Elric brothers attempt to bring their mother back to life with alchemy, despite knowing the rules about bringing people back from the dead. When the experiment goes wrong, Alphonse loses his whole body and Edward loses an arm and a leg. To get back their bodies and body parts, they go on a quest to find the Philosopher’s Stone.
FMA: Brotherhood is recognised by most as one of the best anime of all time and can be found on almost every anime classics list. A heart-wrenching tale of family, loss and the law of equivalent exchange told through the lens of relatable characters and raw emotion.
This remake of the 2003 version of the anime is a more faithful adaptation of the manga and is revered by anime fans around the world. You can watch it on Apple TV.
Attack on Titan (2013)
In the future, humans are forced to live behind giant walls to protect themselves from the Titans, massive, humanoid monsters that feed on people for fun. After witnessing his own mother being eaten by a Titan, Eren Yeager vows to slay as many Titans as he can to get his revenge.
A cult classic as soon as it aired, Attack on Titan has four seasons total. The final part of season four is currently airing on Crunchyroll.
Demon Slayer (2019)
Tanjirou Kamado returns home one day to find that his family has been slaughtered by a demon. Luckily, his sister Nezuko is still alive. Unluckily, she has been turned into a demon herself. To avenge his family and turn his sister back into a human, Tanjirou joins the Demon Slayer Corps.
Demon Slayer quickly joined the ranks as one of the best shounen anime of the modern era thanks to its delicate balance of drama, action, fantasy and comedy. Demon Slayer is available on Crunchyroll.
Rintarou Okabe is a scientist and inventor with a thirst for crazy technology, but the only thing he’s managed to make is a microwave that turns bananas into Flubber. But after attending Kurisu Makise’s lecture on time travel, he discovers that his banana-goo microwave is actually a time machine.
Time travel isn’t a new concept in anime, but Steins;Gate adds a suspenseful and psychological take on the theme. You can watch Steins;Gate on Crunchyroll.
There have always been sports anime, but none have been as generation-defining as Haikyuu!!.
Shouyou Hinata is a volleyball nut, but during middle school, nobody else cared about the sport. When he is accepted into Karasuno High School though, he’s given a chance to make his mark on the world of volleyball.
Haikyuu!! spawned a wave of new sports anime copycats that have struggled to live up to the hype of the volleyball series. In addition, volleyball has become an increasingly popular sport — especially amongst teens.
Haikyuu!! is streaming on Crunchyroll.
Hunter x Hunter (2011)
In a world where Hunters are revered as the best of the best, hundreds of people apply to join the profession each year. The entrance exam is gruelling and there’s no guarantee that the applicants will make it out alive. But 12 year old Gon Freecs is going to take the exam so he can finally meet his father, who left when he was a baby to become a Hunter himself.
A shounen classic, this remake of the 1999 series does the manga justice where the original couldn’t.
Hunter x Hunter is available on Crunchyroll.
Mob Psycho 100 (2016)
Being born with psychic powers might seem like a dream come true, but for Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama, this is far from the truth. His powers are powerful and dangerous if not handled correctly. He hides them in an attempt to fit in, but struggles to control them at the best of times. Mob enlists the help of the ‘psychic’ Reigen, a con artist who is using Mob to make money. Mob’s powers are continuing to grow within him, but can he manage to control them under Reigen’s tuition?
Mob Psycho 100 is a heartfelt supernatural comedy about growing up different. The characters are deep and the art style is interesting, cementing the series as a classic of the 21st century. You can find it on Crunchyroll.
During the Edo period in Japan, aliens came to Earth and took over as the rulers of the country. Under their reign, all swords are banned in public, resulting in samurai becoming… useless. But crime and trouble still exist, so Sakata Gintoki ignores the ban and does his best to help out the people of Japan in the most unconventional ways.
A series that parodies countless anime and the action genre in general, Gintama is comedy gold that uses gag humour to entertain audiences of all ages.
Gintama is available to stream on Crunchyroll
With hundreds of new anime airing each year, it’s important to know which ones to watch without having to wade through some questionable content. Modern anime is being added under the classics banner all the time, so having a new list of modern anime classics is vital in our media-saturated world.
From comedy to drama to action, there’s something on this list for everyone.
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