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Forgotten 2000's: The Anime Classics of Your Childhood

Updated: Sep 26, 2021

Written by: Adrian Andulan
Published on: September 24, 2021 at 20:00 PHT (GMT+8)

The 2000’s were a glorious time for anime, bringing out some of the biggest names in anime such as Naruto, Bleach, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Death Note. With the return of titles such as Shaman King, it’s obvious that people cherish these anime classics. But as much as some of these titles lasted the test of time, others seem to have been forgotten from the mainstream. This list is dedicated to some of the anime released between 2000 to 2009 that might just trigger a good hit of nostalgia.

With the troubling times the world has faced, sometimes a bit of nostalgia can help ease the burden of worry. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the wave of childhood memories.

1. D.Gray-Man
D.Gray-man poster
D.Gray-man | PHOTO CREDIT: TMS Entertainment

“D. Gray-man” tells the story of Allen Walker, who lives in an alternate 19th century where demons (also known as “Akuma”) run rampant and are hunted down by people called exorcists using holy weapons known as Innocence. Allen Walker is a new recruit to an organization of exorcists called the Black Order, who are dedicated to the destruction of Akuma and the mysterious Millenium Earl, the greatest threat to humanity.

“D. Gray-man”has all the action and comedy that shounen fans are familiar with, but also has the bits of dark fantasy and gothic aesthetics to add flavor to your typical shounen battle series. This series was a hit during its run, spawning a dedicated fanbase and even returning in 2016 with a sequel series titled “D.Gray-Man: Hallow”. And while it may seem dated compared to more contemporary demon slaying titles like “Demon Slayer” and “Jujutsu Kaisen”, it’s no less entertaining or fascinating.

2. Vampire Knight
Poster for anime Vampire Knight
Vampire Knight | PHOTO CREDIT: Studio Deen

The story of “Vampire Knight” centers around Yuki Cross, a student at the prestigious Cross Academy. Here, the classes are separated into Day Class and Night Class. While the Day Class hosts the humans, the Night Class hosts the elite vampire society. Yuki is a member of the disciplinary committee, who must maintain order between the two classes. She must also find a way to solve the tension that she feels between Kaname, a Pureblood vampire that saved her as a child, and Zero, a human and member of the discipline committee that has a hatred for vampires.

From love triangles, gothic soundtracks, and sexy vampires, “Vampire Knight” checked all the boxes for the perfect, angsty, mid-2000’s vampire romance that everyone craved. And while it might not shine as well as it did before (let’s be real it had a lot of problematic issues), it still managed to be one of the most well known shoujo fantasy romances of the time. And everybody loves the idea of vampire boyfriends.

3. School Rumble

School Rumble | PHOTO CREDIT: Studio Comet

Tenma Tsukamoto and Kenji Harima are two high school students who just want to confess their feelings to the one they like. Tenma wants to confess to Oji Karasuma, but is struggling to tell him how she feels. Meanwhile Kenji is in love with Tenma, but situations keep happening that make it impossible for him to confess. The two get caught up in ridiculous situations as they try to get through high school and deal with the ridiculous troubles they find in love.

“School Rumble”is everything you love in a school comedy romance, including misunderstandings, love triangles, and a lot of over-the-top comedy. It’s everything you’ll need for a successful slice-of-life comedy and, if the legacy left by “School Rumble” is anything to go by, the makings of an anime classic.

4. Katekyo Hitman Reborn!
Katekyo Hitman Reborn! poster
Katekyo Hitman Reborn! | PHOTO CREDIT: Artland

Sawada Tsunayoshi is the quintessential school loser. Unpopular, untalented, and super shy, Sawada is barely surviving school. Until it changes when he meets Reborn, a baby who also happens to be a hitman who tells Sawada that he is a member of the most powerful Mafia family in Italy. And the Vongola Famiglia has finally decided to bring their trouble to Sawada. Now Sawada, and his friends, must learn to gain the strength to survive the hardships that the Mafia will bring..

“Katekyo Hitman Reborn!” is funny, action-packed, and has a ton of fun characters. With the weird combination of magical Mafia action with comedy, “Katekyo Hitman Reborn!” became an instant classic that spawned 200 episodes of shounen fun that could rival the likes of Naruto and Bleach at its peak. And while it might not have summoned the same level of fanfare as other shounen titles,“Katekyo Hitman Reborn!” still managed to carve its place in the hearts of young anime fans.

5. Getbackers
Getbackers poster
Getbackers | PHOTO CREDIT: Studio Deen

Ban Mido and Ginji Amano are just your average regular guys trying to make a living in the world. Ban is a rude and egotistical but kind hearted man who has super strength and the ability to cast powerful illusions. Ginji is an adorable blonde himbo who can control electricity and was once a dangerous gang leader. Working a small agency known as “Get Backers”, they specialize in retrieving anything a client wants to get back. Whether it’s a small toy or a missing person, they promise to reunite their client with whatever they lost. And if they happen to encounter super powered villains and supernatural places along the way, then that’s just part of their life.

Released back in 2002, “GetBackers” came in the same year as many anime classics such as “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex”, “Beyblade”, “Full Metal Panic!”, and “Naruto”. But despite the big leagues of competition, “GetBackers” managed to stand out thanks to combining its fun super power premise with the comedic adventures of Ban and Ginji. It might not be the most original, but the “rule of cool” approach to its story more than made up for it.

6. Yakitate!! Japan
Yakitate!! Japan | PHOTO CREDIT: Sunrise

Azuma Kazuma is a young baker with big dreams. Possessing the mystical power of “Solar Hands”, Kazuma can is a genius in bread making. He wants to create the perfect bread that can represent Japan, bread that can rival the national bread of other countries worldwide. To aid in his dreams, he joins Pantasia, the most prestigious bakery chain in Japan. Through Pantasia, he goes through the tough competitive world of baking, and must learn to develop his skills and make friends along the way.

“Yakitate!! Japan” is not a battle anime, and it doesn’t really rely on cool action to capture the audience. It shines thanks to the over-the-top comedy and the ridiculous approach to the story. Bread making has never looked as chaotic or as fun as it did with “Yakitate!! Japan” (and also managing to be strangely educational at the same time). Before “Food Wars” and it’s proclivity for bare skin and weird visuals, there was “Yakitate!! Japan” and the many moments where people would cry and reach enlightenment thanks to bread. It’s a perfectly great time for those tired of

7. Wagamama Fairy: Mirumo de Pon! (Mirmo Zibang!)
Wagamama Fairy: Mirumo de Pon! | PHOTO CREDIT: Studio Hibari

Katie Minami (Kaede Minami in the Japanese dub) is a young teen who just wants to date. One day, she stumbles on a mysterious shop and buys a strange blue mug that can supposedly summon a love fairy called “muglox”. When she does, she meets the young muglox named Mirmo (Mirumo in the Japanese dub) who is the prince of the mugloxes and was trying to escape his engagement by running to the human world. The two find themselves in a series of adventures as they try to live together, human and muglox.

While much more child-friendly compared to the rest of the titles on this list, “Mirumo de Pon!” managed to make its mark in the 2000’s, running between 2002 to 2005 and with over 172 episodes to boast. It’s not the most complex, but the adorable muglox and their adventures were a fun treat. True, it’s easy to see that “Mirumo de Pon!” was a show aimed to make merchandise, if the variety of mugs and cute characters that became plushies weren’t obvious, but it also had a simple story that aimed to be light-hearted entertainment for kids. It might not be as big as “Hamtaro”, but “Mirumo de Pon” still became a warm memory for the little kids who just started loving anime.


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