The 25 Best Animated Series of the Decade

Find out where we rank ‘Rick and Morty,’ ‘Adventure Time,’ ‘Bob’s Burgers,’ and more!
Decade Animatedseries
By  · Published on December 8th, 2019

20. Castlevania


Castlevania is one of the several titles on this list that can’t be recommended to younger audiences due to the content and is the only series on this list to be adapted from a video game franchise. But unlike terrible to average movies based on video games, Castlevania is spectacular. With legendary comic book writer Warren Ellis on the script, plus mesmerizing visuals and an atmosphere that captures the feel of the game franchise, it is easy to see why it was one of the most popular series when it originally aired on Netflix in 2017. Castlevania is perfect for audiences wanting to see more violence and other mature elements in an animated series. (Carl Broughton)

19. Kill La Kill

Kill La Kill

Studio Trigger’s debut original series features the kind of intense action sequences that Hiroyuki Imaishi is known for, but it also makes unique use of limited animation for slapstick comedy. Characters slide around the screen in static poses, conveying personality through minimalism, and these same minimalist animation tricks are frequently used to keep up the movement and energy of more static scenes. The main character of the show is Ryuuko Matoi, a punk high school student out to avenge her father, and the sentient school uniform she bonds with. Kill La Kill is steeped in the over-the-top absurdity that Imaishi has all but trademarked, and it’s a masterpiece of traditional 2D animation. (Hans Qu)

18. One-Punch Man

One Punch Man

<spOne-Punch Man is a goofy superhero satire about Saitama, a comically bald underachiever in an increasingly self-serious world who happens to be the strongest man alive. The series follows his adventures overcoming increasingly ludicrous end-of-the-world scenarios with ease as onlookers watch in amazement and wonder at the secret to his strength. Season 1 features gorgeous action sequences by Madhouse, and while the second season faced criticism for a dip in visual quality, the story remains true to form. For all its silliness, One-Punch Man still manages to tackle themes about the meaning of heroism and the purpose of strength. (Hans Qu)

17. Big Mouth

Big Mouth Season

Big Mouth is a force to be reckoned with, reaching such popularity and critical acclaim that it has already been renewed for six seasons despite premiering two years ago, and there’s a spinoff already in the works. This success is mainly due to Big Mouth‘s hilarious but brutal honesty of puberty shown through the eyes of seventh-graders who have hormone monsters guiding them. It’s imbued with important life lessons, such as being proud of your body and most importantly that it is ok to have sexual desires. Not a lot of shows, let alone animated series, talk about sex in such detail and positive light as Big Mouth. (Carl Broughton)

16. Over the Garden Wall

Over The Garden Wall

Over the Garden Wall is the rare show that says what it has to say beautifully and succinctly and is never heard from again (Okay, there’s a comic, but we’re not here to talk about comics). With just 10 short episodes that aired over five consecutive nights on Cartoon Network, the show entered our hearts, sang us a song, gave us a handful of mashed potatoes, and then disappeared off into the night. Created by Adventure Time alum Pat McHale, Over the Garden Wall is an absolutely joyous mix of old-timey animation, self-aware dialogue, and a refreshing style of humor that never fails to keep you on your toes. Oh, and it’s also got a perfect conclusion (see our Best Episodes of the Decade list to see more on “Into the Unknown,” the penultimate episode in which, ironically, everything finally comes to light). Over the Garden Wall is the definition of short and sweet, and any show tempted to hang around past its welcome would do well to learn from it. (Liz Baessler)

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Central Florida based Film Critic striving to be the best. Fighting for the ten percent.