The tea time girls still have it! Despite being the oldest anime among the nominees, K-ON!! managed to emerge victorious and claim the Anime of the Decade Title for the 2010s, defeating A Place Further than the Universe in an epic all-Cute Girls doing Cute Things/Slice of Life showdown! Initially airing in 2009, the musical anime produced by Kyoto Animation has conquered the test of time as its influence is still felt among today’s generation of anime fans. Even in the industry, K-ON!! is credited for kicking off the rise of Slice of Life anime, specifically in the CGCDT genre. K-ON!!’s story is simple: a group of high school girls make the most of their day by messing around, drinking tea, and eating cakes… while also pursuing musical success. Although it’s a straightforward premise, K-ON!! has impacted many fans, as every moment of their silliness left a mark on them. Others have even been inspired to take music lessons just because of this anime.
On the other hand, despite losing, A Place Further than the Universe — or Yorimoi — should still be praised for its run in the Decade Awards Tournament. It defeated juggernaut titles like Sword Art Online and even the 2011 remake of Hunter x Hunter, another Madhouse anime, in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively. More impressively, Yorimoi placed as the seventh seed during the quarter-finals but still made it to the finals. This anime clinched a Decade Awards nomination by winning the 2019 Anime of the Year Title during the 5th Anime Trending Awards — outlasting Sword Art Online once again and even beating another juggernaut anime in Attack on Titan, which only placed eighth and ninth respectively.Yorimoi was also featured in an article of a popular news outlet, The New York Times, which listed it as one of their best TV show of 2018. Yorimoi is a Slice of Life anime that features the inspiring story of four high school students who joined an expedition team towards Antarctica. Though most of their days are fun, they still tackle their individual problems, help each other grow, and prove their doubters wrong in the end.
Meanwhile, Hachiman Hikigaya (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU) emerges as the victor during the “battle of the geniuses” against Houtarou Oreki (Hyouka) for the title of Man of the Decade. Hikigaya had a bit of an advantage going into the finals, considering that SNAFU was airing at the time of the polls. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU was one of the anime that got delayed to Summer 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Despite this advantage, though, Oreki still managed to stay within a close margin behind Hikigaya, who was only up by 5.08% of the votes — not bad for an anime character whose show ended eight years ago.
Both Hikigaya and Oreki were late additions for the Man of the Decade Nominees, as they won the Run-off Polls for 2013 and 2012 respectively. Both gentlemen were noted for their sheer wits and intelligence — the former excelled when it came to reading the situation around problems he was asked to solve, while the latter excelled in solving mysteries and puzzles.
Shouko Nishimiya (A Silent Voice) gives Kyoto Animation another victory in the Decade Awards as she claimed the title of Girl of the Decade against Mikoto Misaka (A Certain Scientific Railgun). Her impressive victory is a huge upset — Misaka had been dominating the yearly Light Novel Chararacter Rankings from Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi!, an annual light novel guide book. Still, props to Misaka as she made it all the way to the finals, despite being the last seed among the quarter-finalists.
Additionally, Misaka is from an anime franchise that is already more than a decade old and is currently airing, while Nishimiya is from an anime film that was only about two hours long. That comparatively short time illustrating her challenges with bullies, her hearing impairment, and how she overcomes her feelings of uselessness and self-guilt — alongside her former bully — was enough for voters to be on her side. Nishimiya has the largest lead among the Decade Award winners, with a 7.72% lead over Misaka. She also garnered the largest number of votes among the winners with 17,992 votes.
The couple of Koutarou Azumi and Akane Mizuno (Tsuki ga Kirei) completes the list of victors of the Decade Awards.They scored the biggest upset win of the whole tournament by winning the Couple Ship of the Decade Award, despite only being placed as the eighth seed after the first round. The couple defeated power couples like Sakuta Azusagawa and Mai Sakurajima (Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai, produced by CloverWorks), who were the first seed in the quarter-finals, Nishikata and Takagi (Skilled Teaser Takagi-san, produced by Shin-Ei Animation) in the semi-finals, and, finally, Yuuta Togashi and Rikka Takanashi (Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, produced by Kyoto Animation) in the finals.
Azumi and Mizuno’s relationship was praised for being realistic and relatable, as stated by many of the Tsuki ga Kirei fans and viewers. The anime provided well-paced progress for their relationship, which starts as an innocent encounter between two shy middle school students and develops into a strong love that has stood the test of time. More importantly, Azumi and Mizuno get to enjoy their well-deserved happy ending! Tsuki ga Kirei also clinched the Bronze Medal for Anime of the Decade, defeating Hunter x Hunter during the third-place match. Just like Azumi and Mizuno, the anime was placed as the eighth seed and defeated My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU in the quarter-finals, before falling to the eventual champion, K-ON!!, in the semi-finals. Tsuki ga Kirei became an Anime of the Decade nominee by winning the 2017 Anime of the Year Title by defeating Made in Abyss by a close margin.
For the full Decade Awards Final Round Results, click here. We are currently developing a new page that provides the breakdown of votes cast for the Final Round per gender, country, and age group, and also the archive of the general results of all the other rounds of the Decade Awards – including the Run-off Qualifying Polls. Please watch out for it!