The 15th anniversary is an important milestone for pop culture since it highlights a lasting impact a work has on its industry. 2003 was home to tons of anime, but many of them have faded away as newer works came out. But not these following works! They are still talked about by new and old fans alike, showcasing their impact.
Studio Bones’ first Fullmetal Alchemist adaptation aired in 2003! Nearly half of the anime is original content since the manga was still ongoing, and mangaka Hiromu Arakawa supported many of the changes. Bones’ would later produce a more faithful adaptation in 2009.
Satoshi Kon directed this holiday classic, which follows three homeless people searching for an abandoned baby’s parents. You’ll laugh, cry, and learn the meaning of family.
3Cromartie High School
This hilarious comedy parodies high school delinquent stereotypes and is filled with pop culture references. Witnessing a delinquent deal with an internet troll never gets old!
4Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World
This is the good adaptation of Kino’s Journey. While not as pretty as last year’s version, the 2003 adaptation has a richer story and dives deeper into people’s various modes of societal living.
5Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu
Can you believe that Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu is Kyoto Animation’s first TV anime?
Goro Taniguchi directed Planetes before going on to create Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion. This realistic space-drama features garbage collectors cleaning up space debris while they try to join a mission to explore Jupiter.
Wolf’s Rain is easily one of the top anime from 2003. Its unique premise of wolves living among humans is melancholic and filled with morally grey choices that are thrown at the protagonists. Seriously, you’ll shed more than a tear.
Texhnolyze is incredibly divisive, which adds to its appeal. Fans throw praise to its effective use of minimal dialogue and nihilistic themes while haters criticize it for being confusing and pretentious. You’ll really have to give Texhnolyze a chance to see which side of the fence you belong on.
Last Exile is a charming steampunk series about sky couriers living in a war-ravaged country. It’s one of studio Gonzo’s more memorable works and feels a lot like Miyazaki’s Nausicaä and the Valley of the Wind.