The 10 Best Anime Series of 2003

2003 was quite a good year for anime. It saw the endings of a lot of amazing anime and the beginnings of some great new shows. In this article, I'll give you my picks for the 10 best anime series of 2003. One thing to note is that I'm only including anime on this list that started being aired in 2003. If an anime did not start in 2003 (i.e., if it started in a prior year), then I'm not including it on this list. So, with that in mind, let's get to the list.

10) Detective School Q

Detective School Q is the story of a group of young students from Class Q of Dan Detective School (DDS), a prestigious and renowned detective academy founded by Morihiko Dan, the most famous detective in Japan, and the adventures and mysteries they unfold and solve together. They eventually work against Pluto, a mysterious organization which creates almost fool-proof plans that only a handful of detectives can solve.

Source: Detective School Q, used under CC-BY-SA 3.0

9) Wolf's Rain

According to an old legend, when the end of the world comes, a place known as Paradise will appear. However, only wolves will know how to find it. Although wolves are believed to have been hunted to extinction nearly two hundred years ago, they still exist, surviving by casting illusions over themselves to make them appear human. Wolf's Rain follows the journey of four lone wolves who seek Paradise.

Source: Wolf's Rain, used under CC-BY-SA 3.0

8) Last Exile

The story is set on the fictional world of Prester whose inhabitants use aerial vehicles known as vanships as a means of transportation. On this world, which is divided in eternal conflict between the nations of Anatoray and Disith, sky couriers Claus Valca and Lavie Head must deliver a girl who holds the key to uniting the two factions.

Source: Last Exile, used under CC-BY-SA 3.0

7) Gungrave

Billion, a city that is ruled by a sinister man named Harry MacDowell and his organization, Millennion, has become the only safe place for a fugitive girl named Mika Asagi, who falls under the protection of an undead man called "Beyond The Grave". Grave, returning from the dead with no memory, wanders in search of his past, and after defeating some of Millennion's best soldiers, Harry's executive branch issues a manhunt on Grave, with Harry suffering from untold resentment for Grave.

Source: List of Gungrave episodes, used under CC-BY-SA 3.0

6) Cromartie High School

Cromartie High School follows the everyday life of Takashi Kamiyama and his odd classmates at Cromartie High School, an infamous school for delinquents. The series is a parody of Japanese "yankii" (juvenile delinquent) manga of the 1970s and 1980s. There are also many pop culture (especially music) parodies in the characters, chapter names, episode names, CD covers, and DVD covers of this series.

Source: Cromartie High School, used under CC-BY-SA 3.0

5) Kaleido Star

Kaleido Star is a Japanese anime series animated Japanese studio Gonzo. The series was created by Junichi Sato, who also directed the first season, and was written by Reiko Yoshida. It follows Sora Naegino, a young Japanese girl, who travels to the United States to fulfill her dream of performing at the world-famous Kaleido Stage.

Source: Kaleido Star, used under CC-BY-SA 3.0

4) Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu

Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu is a companion series to the anime series Full Metal Panic! by Kyoto Animation, and takes place between the first season and The Second Raid. Markedly different in tone to the first series, Fumoffu emphasizes the high school romantic comedy aspects of Full Metal Panic! (with often crude humor) and focuses on the romantic tension between the main characters Sousuke Sagara and Kaname Chidori. It frequently parodies itself and anime stereotypes.

Source: Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, used under CC-BY-SA 3.0

3) Planetes

The story of Planetes follows the crew of the DS-12 "Toy Box" of the Space Debris Section, a unit of Technora Corporation. Debris Section's purpose is to prevent the damage or destruction of satellites, space stations and spacecraft from collision with debris in Earth's and the Moon's orbits. They use a number of methods to dispose of the debris (mainly by burning it via atmospheric reentry or through salvage), accomplished through the use of EVA suits.

Source: Planetes, used under CC-BY-SA 3.0

2) Kino's Journey

In Kino's Journey, the protagonist, Kino, accompanied by a talking motorcycle named Hermes, travels through a mystical world of many different countries and forests, each unique in its customs and people. Kino only spends three days and two nights in every town, without exception, on the principle that three days is enough time to learn almost everything important about a place, while leaving time to explore new lands.

Source: Kino's Journey, used under CC-BY-SA 3.0

1) Fullmetal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist is based on a Japanese manga series that was written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa. Set in a fictional universe in which alchemy is one of the most advanced scientific techniques, the story of Fullmetal Alchemist follows two alchemist brothers named Edward and Alphonse Elric, who are searching for the philosopher's stone to restore their bodies after a failed attempt to bring their mother back to life using alchemy.

Source: Fullmetal Alchemist, used under CC-BY-SA 3.0

And Fullmetal Alchemist completes the list. I know that I left off a lot of other good shows from this list and maybe you liked some of them more than the ones that I picked for my top 10 of 2003. If that's the case, then feel free to leave a comment below and let me know what anime series you think should have made the list.


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