The last decade has been responsible for consolidating superheroes definitely in pop culture. With Marvel and DC releasing several movies every year, the characters in the comics have taken on unprecedented roles so far.
And just as it affected Hollywood, it was also exploited by artists around the world. Not by chance, the last few years have given rise to several manga and anime with different views on people with superpowers.
Check out the CBR list of the 10 best superhero anime, organized according to the IMDb rating.
Batman Ninja (5.6)
When the United States tries to produce a manga or anime adaptation, it is normal that the result is not as impactful as the original material. But when DC teamed up with Kamikaze Douga to produce an anime-style Batman adaptation, the result was surprisingly better than the idea originally seemed. In addition to working on the hypothesis of how Batman would perform if he were in feudal Japan, the animation manages to blend the languages of classic US comics well with the narrative style of Japanese animation.
Concrete Revolutio: Chôjin gensô (5,9)
Film fans with a special spotlight on special effects (in Japan, these productions are called tokusatsu ) may find Concrete Revolutio some interesting news. The advantages that an animation has, not depending on high investments to produce visually beautiful sequences can be seen in this anime. The story also tries to bring something new by showing the control of the heroes and the consequence of their actions.
Flamenco Samurai (6.6)
Speaking of tokusatsu, Samurai Flamenco is an excellent example of style parody, which also brings several references to superhero classics. It’s a kind of ironic joke with a very charismatic protagonist. The protagonist, Masayoshi Hazama, is used to show the consequences caused when someone tries to become a hero, almost like a 21st century Batman – and with much less money.
Heroman may not be the most original anime of the last decade, but he gets it right by recognizing himself as a heroes’ animation, and he does so while paying tribute to Stan Lee. It’s as if everything one of the biggest names in the comic book industry has already been placed in the same animated series.
Gatchaman Crowds (7.0)
Gatchaman is a well-established anime franchise, which in 2013 underwent a reboot, giving rise to Gatchaman Crowds. As a major novelty, the way the story is told brings a welcome update, making the story more modern (both rhythm and narrative).
A kind and “Japanese X-Men”, Hamatora debuted in 2015, without drawing much attention, but with a plot that mixes good fight scenes, with a creative discourse about power (and empowerment). The episodes manage to exploit the conflicts, which are often not in the confrontation with villains, but within the superheroes themselves.
Tiger & Bunny (7,5)
Another production that seeks to bring a different look to the heroes is Tiger & Bunny. Here, in addition to the powers being “common”, being a superhero is a profession, which in some cases may even yield sponsorship. This generates some well-addressed conflicts of interest in a not very conventional pair of heroes.
Infini-T Force (7.6)
Infini-T Force can be summed up as a great crossover with some of the main characters from Tatsunoko animation studio. The characters are connected through an artifact, which plays with the idea that they exist in a parallel universe. For fans of animations like Casshan, Hurricane Polymar and the aforementioned Gatchaman, this anime is a nice mix of tribute with nostalgia.
My Hero Gym (8.5)
My Hero Academy is not only one of the best anime of the last decade, but also one of the most creative stories about superheroes. In a world where 80% of people have super powers, the plot follows a boy who has no special abilities but dreams of becoming a hero. His path to achieving his goal is beyond the hero’s classic journey, making it a creative, fun and exciting story about what superpower really means.
One Punch Man (8.9)
When something gets too big, subverting expectation is an interesting way to avoid falling into clichés. One Punch Man is the result of this subversion in the superhero world. The anime plays with the best and the worst among the super powerful beings, while having its own story, without excessively long bows. If pop culture experiences the consequences of the ever-increasing number of superhero works, One Punch Man is the best answer that could have come up.