2002 was a year that introduced a lot of fans to anime due to its variety of mecha, action, and romance shows. It was during the early years of the modern community, so let’s see how many you can remember!
1Full Metal Panic!
Full Metal Panic! blended comedic hijinks, mecha combat, and romance. Sousuke is an eccentric military stud who must protect the difficult Kaname from being targeted by various organizations.
Onegai Teacher is a classic sci-fi, romance series about the budding love between a group of high school friends and their alien teacher.
RahXephon is one of Studio Bones’ first projects. It’s a mecha series with a Mesoamerican aesthetic and music playing a key role in the story (though, it’s not idol based.)
Kanon gave birth to the “uguu” meme thanks to Toei Animation’s subpar art. It’s still a worthwhile romance from Key Visual and would be remade by Kyoto Animation in 2006.
5Voices of a Different Star
Makoto Shinkai wrote, produced, directed, animated, and edited the entire short on his own. It follows a young couple who try to maintain contact despite being separated by the vastness of space.
Chobits examines the relationship between humans and technology, making it a timely story for this era. It balances humor, cute romance, and drama with great pacing.
.hack//Sign is a popular multi-media franchise that fulfilled many fantasies about being stuck in a video game world. It’s more of a drama series compared to modern virtual-reality anime.
9The Twelve Kingdoms
The Twelve Kingdoms sits in this weird netherworld. At the time of release, it was popular due to it’s “isekai” story of a Tokyo girl being transported to a world inspired by Chinese mythology. Now, it’s a little obscure due to the oversaturation of isekai stories.
10Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi offers biting commentary on otaku culture and the dangers of shutting people out in favor of escapism.
11Tokyo Mew Mew
Magical neko girls. While not as big as Sailor Moon or Precure, the series has a cult following due to being one of few magical girl anime to be shown on international TV channels.
12Ai Yori Aoshi
Ai Yori Aoshi is a heartwarming romance about a college student and girl trying to find her way in life.
13Full Moon o Sagashite
Full Moon o Sagashite is one of the saddest anime: it follows a cancer patient who hopes to become an idol.
14Tenchi Muyo! GXP
Most franchise fans feel Tenchi Muyo! GXP is the last “good” entry. It’s an action harem anime that follows Seina as he is recruited to join the Galaxy Police force.
Princess Tutu turned ballet into a psychological battlefield of the mind and soul. It’s also about a cute little duck who wants to be human.
Saikano‘s animation is a little rough, but the heartbreaking story of a girl being turned into a weapon of mass destruction is worth experiencing again.
A new generation of fans was introduced to anime thanks to Naruto. The long-running story of a Naruto and his dream of becoming Hokage holds a special place for legions of fans.
18Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is one of the most known anime in the U.S. due to being syndicated on Adult Swim and Toonami for nearly 15 years! It follows Major Kusanagi and Section 9 as they combat the Laughing Man.
Haibane Renmei was overshadowed when it first came out: it was competing against Naruto, Ghost in the Shell, and Gundam SEED. It has become a minor cult classic due to it’s symbolism and for Yoshitoshi ABe’s art.
20Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
Gundam SEED is the most popular entry in Japan. The series has set franchise sales and rating records. It follows Kira Yamato who takes control of the Strike Gundam during the middle of a terrorist attack.
What anime did you obsess over in 2002?