Apart from those popular titles in the old anime generation, such as Yuyu Hakusho, Dragon Ball Z and Flame of Recca, to include Naruto, Bleach, Death Note and Code Geass after the millennial period, many other anime shows, regardless of their popularity and rating on various anime sites such as on MAL, have drawn us into the most adventurous world of anime from reality to fantasy. For some reason, they might be partly overlooked but there were a lot of them which summed up our entire childhood life and left a strong impression on us. Surely, they were the hidden treasures we have delved deeper to realize their great value. As part of the legendary generation of anime, the most amazing part was that, we did endure watching a single episode on a daily basis of these old-school series on our local TV network, unless with such generosity, they would provide a marathon. Whether these series are either overrated or underrated depending how we viewed them subjectively and objectively, we still felt the greatest excitement watching these shows.
Despite lack of popularity in the mainstream of the anime industry, the following are 10 best anime shows of the early 2000s, in random order, that still deserve a wide attention. Rated with average score, this simply means that they aren’t masterpiece but are absolutely worth watching and allowed us to explore the hidden wonders of anime.
- Original Run: April 11, 2000 – July 4, 2000
- Episodes: 13
Incorporated with wide scope of romance, Boys Be primarily targets young viewers, teenagers in particular, who are prepared enough to enter the ups and downs of the romantic world. It doesn’t only focus on the positive side of being involved in this climactic period of one’s life, but also depicts the conflict that may arise as regrets and downfalls are common encounter some might experience in the bitterness of romance. The anime is a total reflection to youngsters to acknowledge their limitation and find out what is best for them to increase their self-esteem and build their confidence. A relationship-oriented show with realistic portrayal of narratives, you shouldn’t have skipped Boys Be.
- Original Run: April 3, 2000 – September 18, 2000
- Episodes: 24
A series set in the fictional world after the World War II where interdimensional beings have emerged to invade the earth, the show offers a good adventure of young high school students with their paranormal activities to open the dimensional gate that gives them superpowers towards defeating the invaders of the world. Anyone who enjoys watching far from the real world concept of anime as science fiction, to include good action-packed events with decent animation, Gatekeepers does not fail to meet your expectation.
- Original Run: April 8, 2000 – September 23, 2000
- Episodes: 25
Anime series based on the video game franchise of the same name, this is a story of Sakura Shinguji with her ultimate goal to defend her city from demonic forces. The show goes from the classical entity to the fictional environment of Japan where war between humans and supernatural beings is rather prevalent which is finely illustrated with good narratives and fun adventures of young girls with mecha stuffs. With notable character driven storytelling, the show even gets more entertaining as the episode goes by.
- Original Run: April 17, 1999 – September 30, 2001
- Episodes: 73
Let’s meet your video game addict young boy, Genki Sakura, who finds himself transported to the world of monster, the exact world of his game, Monster Rancher. His journey continues together with a newly met girl named Holy, and a cute monster out from a stone disk, Mocchi. Aside from the dynamic adventure of the series, it tries to give the most comical side of the protagonist along with his good-hearted and caring nature which is quite a good entertainment. The central theme of the show is friendship, the strong bonds of humans and monsters as they struggle to eliminate the evil forces of Moo, the main antagonist of the series.
- Original Run: April 3, 2001 – September 18, 2001
- Episodes: 24
Rune Soldier is an epic action-fantasy anime blended with hilarious character antics. The comical side of the main lead, Louie, is enough to make the entire show fun to watch. It is a good source of pure entertainment with great adventures of characters. Though with slow-paced storyline, the well-detailed art and decent animation create a vivid ambiance for the anime. You shouldn’t have missed the goodness and hilarity of this anime. Definitely, a must watch to those who like a refreshing splash of comedy,
Super Gals! Kotobuki Ran
- Original Run: April 1, 2001 – March 31, 2002
- Episodes: 52
This is a story of a young fashionable girl in the name of Ran Kotobuki who believes she is the greatest girl in Shibuya. The story mostly follows the “Gal Lifestyle” of Ran, battling rivals and finding true love. Together with her supportive pals, Mio and Aya, the show makes it more entertaining for young girls. It has a good mixture of drama, romance and comedy which is truly satisfying if you would want to taste a good spice of shoujo series.
Samurai Deeper Kyo
- Original Run: July 2, 2002 – December 23, 2002
- Episodes: 26
The anime has a little similarity to the popular series Rorouni Kenshin as to the main protagonist, Demon Eyes Kyo, who directly fused with the kind-hearted Kyoshiro after his defeat at the Battle of Sekigahara. While this resemblance is true to the show, Samurai Deeper Kyo is one of the most entertaining samurai-related series that should have been widely recognized since the old generation. Though historically inclined as to the setting, supernatural factors are present but it tries to maintain the most engaging aspect of the show which is the good execution of swordsmanship. If you want the real excitement of battle scenes among blood-thirsty warriors, with at least decent animation, you must re-consider Samurai Deeper Kyo.
The Twelve Kingdoms
- Original Run: April 9, 2002 – August 30, 2003
- Episodes: 45
Not to be confused with Seven Kingdoms, The Kingdom, or any anime titles with “Kingdom“, The Twelve Kingdom bears a little resemblance to Fushigi Yuugi as how the female protagonist, Youko Nakajima, finds herself being stranded in an unknown land with no means of returning home. The show is fairly good with its massive fantasy, adventure of the characters and classical concept. If you are fond of Chinese epic-inspired anime series with a little splash of romance, The Twelve Kingdoms is simply good to watch.
- Original Run: October 9, 2003 – February 19, 2004 (Season 1)
- Episodes: 13
This is a journey of innocent school girls with high caliber weaponry getting into massive gunfights. Aside from the well-presented animation, what makes the series more appealing is the entire environment which is based on the contemporary world of Italy with its realistic setting and art. Blended with good action, the realistic portrayal of combat and cute girls battling with strong and skilled people of the Italian government, the entire show makes it more compelling for many viewers who love spontaneous and realistic clash of guns.
- Original Run: May 20, 2003 – November 11, 2003
- Episodes: 26
A good blend of romance and fantasy, Ultra Maniac is your typical lighthearted show but maintains a good entertainment of the two main leads, Ayu and Nina, with their cutesy and soft personality that drive the light ambiance of the entire show. The romantic element is depicted in a cute and innocent way which is interesting for young viewers. If you want to let your spirit stands high from your immaturity in the stage of adolescence, this show is fairly good as a cup of tea.