Best 10 Drama TV Anime Of 2003 Everyone Should Watch at Least Once

They’re the best Anime that 2003 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Tantei Gakuen Q, Texhnolyze, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, and more!

10: Tantei Gakuen Q

English: Detective School Q
Japanese: 探偵学園Q
MAL Score: 7.75
Type: TV
Episodes: 45

Synopsis

Kyuu is your average boy with a knack for logic and reasoning. Desiring to become a detective, he finds out about the existence of the Dan Detective School (DDS); a famed school where students are allowed to bear arms. Together with Megu, a girl with photographic memory, the martial arts master Kinta, the genius programmer Kazuma and the mysterious Ryuu, Kyuu tackles many well planned out crimes, always seeking the truth.

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9: Texhnolyze

English: Texhnolyze
Japanese: TEXHNOLYZE
MAL Score: 7.76
Type: TV
Episodes: 22

Synopsis

Texhnolyze takes place in the city of Lux, a man-made underground city that has crumbled after years of neglect and lack of repairs. Citizens of Lux have come to refer to their home as simply “The City” and treat it as though it has a mind and will of its own. Three major factions battle to control Lux: Organo, a group of “professionals” who collaborate with the criminal underworld that controls Texhnolyze (prosthetics), the Salvation Union, a populist group that seeks to disrupt Organo’s business, and Racan, a collection of young individuals with Texhnolyzes that use their abilities for personal gain.

Ichise was once an orphan who has made a place for himself in Lux as a prize fighter. One day, a fight promoter grows angry with him and the altercation that follows results in Ichise losing an arm and a leg. Before death can take him, Ichise is found by the scientist Eriko Kamata, who uses him as a test subject for her newly designed Texhnolyze. With these powerful new limbs at his disposal, Ichise begins to work for Oonishi, the leader of Organo. He soon meets a mysterious young girl, Ran, who has the power to see possible futures. Together, they soon realize that Lux is on the brink of war and collapse, and that they may be the only ones who can save The City.

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8: Mobile Suit Gundam SEED

English: Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
Japanese: 機動戦士ガンダムSEED
MAL Score: 7.77
Type: TV
Episodes: 50

Synopsis

In the year Cosmic Era 0071, the space colony Heliopolis remains neutral in the great war raging across the galaxy between Coordinators, human beings whose biological traits have been altered before birth, and Naturals, unaltered people who remain on the planet Earth. The Naturals’ deep hatred of the Coordinators drove the advanced beings into space, seeking shelter in man-made colonies.

Kira Yamato is a Coordinator and university student on Heliopolis, when his life is thrown into disarray as ZAFT, the military organization composed of rebellious Coordinators, attacks the colony in an effort to steal a set of five state-of-the-art military mobile suits known as Gundams.

While ZAFT manages to make off with four of the mobile suits, Kira take control of the final Gundam, the Strike. Surviving the battle, Kira and his college friends join the crew of the Archangel, a ship run by the Earth Alliance, and the young soldiers experience the horrors of war and the loss that comes with it.

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7: Wolf’s Rain

English: Wolf’s Rain
Japanese: ウルフズレイン
MAL Score: 7.81
Type: TV
Episodes: 26

Synopsis

In a dying world, there exists an ancient legend: when the world ends, the gateway to paradise will be opened. This utopia is the sole salvation for the remnants of life in this barren land, but the legend also dictates that only wolves can find their way to this mythical realm. Though long thought to be extinct, wolves still exist and live amongst humans, disguising themselves through elaborate illusions.

A lone wolf named Kiba finds himself drawn by an intoxicating scent to Freeze City, an impoverished town under the rule of the callous Lord Orkham. Here, Kiba discovers that wolves Hige, Tsume, and Toboe have been drawn in by the same aroma. By following the fragrance of “Lunar Flowers,” said to be the key to opening the door to their ideal world, the wolves set off on a journey across desolate landscapes and crumbling cities to find their legendary promised land. However, they are not the only ones seeking paradise, and those with more sinister intentions will do anything in their power to reach it first.

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6: Kaleido Star

English: Kaleido Star
Japanese: カレイドスター
MAL Score: 7.92
Type: TV
Episodes: 51

Synopsis

The Kaleido Stage is known throughout the world for captivating audiences with its amazing acrobatics, innovative routines, and extravagant costumes and sets. It is a place for guests to believe in magic, and Sora Naegino wants nothing more than to be a part of that magic—by becoming an acrobat for the famed circus herself.

To realize her dream, she travels from Japan to California to audition for a place in the group. However, Sora learns that she needs much more than her natural talent to bring joy to the faces in the crowd. She quickly discovers just how difficult it is to be a professional performer where the stakes—and the stunts—are higher and mistakes spell danger! To put on performances worthy of the Kaleido Stage, she will need to endure rigorous training, unconventional assignments, fierce competition, and the antics of a mischievous spirit named Fool.

Can Sora reach new heights, make new friends, conquer her fears, and surpass her limits to become a Kaleido Star?

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5: Full Moon wo Sagashite

English: Searching for the Full Moon
Japanese: 満月をさがして
MAL Score: 7.95
Type: TV
Episodes: 52

Synopsis

Two years ago, Mitsuki Kouyama’s friend, Eichi Sakurai, moved to America before she could confess her feelings to him. Though she cannot contact him, they made a promise to fulfill their respective dreams: Mitsuki wants to become a professional singer, and Eichi an astronomer. She hopes that one day her music will reach him across the world with a brilliance like that of the full moon.

There is just one catch: Mitsuki suffers from throat cancer, which makes her voice quiet and singing strenuous. Her grandmother, who has a hatred of music, insists that Mitsuki undergo surgery to remove the cancer, but she refuses due to the risk of losing her voice. One day, two shinigami—Meroko Yui and Takuto Kira—appear to tell her that she only has one year left to live. This sudden revelation spurs Mitsuki into action, and she decides that with Meroko and Takuto’s help, she will become a professional singer in the time she has left.

Full Moon wo Sagashite follows the emotional story of Mitsuki and her shinigami friends as they discover what it means to sing—and ultimately, what it means to live.

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4: Hanada Shounen-shi

Japanese: 花田少年史
MAL Score: 8.00
Type: TV
Episodes: 25

Synopsis

Ichiro Hanada is a hyperactive little boy who lives with his parents, sister, and grandfather in a rural town. He is always up to some kind of mischief, often teasing his sister or making rude comments to others. Consequently, his mother constantly scolds him, and even the neighbours express disturbance from time to time on how rowdy he can be.

One day, after pulling a terrible prank, Ichiro sprints onto the streets as his mother chases him. He steals a nearby bicycle and takes on a dangerous route, eventually being hit by a truck. Miraculously, he survives the crash, requiring nine stitches to the back of his head and balding for the surgery. However, the near-death experience gains him the ability to see ghosts—the last thing he needs in his life.

Since Ichiro is the only one who can communicate with them, several ghosts of people who have recently died come to him, seeking help to fulfill their last wishes before achieving enlightenment. Each adventure with a ghost leaves the young and curious boy with a different lesson that gradually makes him wiser.

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3: Fullmetal Alchemist

English: Fullmetal Alchemist
Japanese: 鋼の錬金術師
MAL Score: 8.13
Type: TV
Episodes: 51

Synopsis

Edward Elric, a young, brilliant alchemist, has lost much in his twelve-year life: when he and his brother Alphonse try to resurrect their dead mother through the forbidden act of human transmutation, Edward loses his brother as well as two of his limbs. With his supreme alchemy skills, Edward binds Alphonse’s soul to a large suit of armor.

A year later, Edward, now promoted to the fullmetal alchemist of the state, embarks on a journey with his younger brother to obtain the Philosopher’s Stone. The fabled mythical object is rumored to be capable of amplifying an alchemist’s abilities by leaps and bounds, thus allowing them to override the fundamental law of alchemy: to gain something, an alchemist must sacrifice something of equal value. Edward hopes to draw into the military’s resources to find the fabled stone and restore his and Alphonse’s bodies to normal. However, the Elric brothers soon discover that there is more to the legendary stone than meets the eye, as they are led to the epicenter of a far darker battle than they could have ever imagined.

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2: Princess Tutu

English: Princess Tutu
Japanese: プリンセスチュチュ
MAL Score: 8.13
Type: TV
Episodes: 38

Synopsis

In a fairy tale come to life, the clumsy, sweet, and gentle Ahiru (Japanese for “duck”) seems like an unlikely protagonist. In reality, Ahiru is just as magical as the talking cats and crocodiles that inhabit her town—for Ahiru really is a duck! Transformed by the mysterious Drosselmeyer into a human girl, Ahiru soon learns the reason for her existence. Using her magical egg-shaped pendant, Ahiru can transform into Princess Tutu—a beautiful and talented ballet dancer whose dances relieve people of the turmoil in their hearts. With her newfound ability, Ahiru accepts the challenge of collecting the lost shards of her prince’s heart, for long ago he had shattered it in order to seal an evil raven away for all eternity.

Princess Tutu is a tale of heroes and their struggle against fate. Their beliefs, their feelings, and ultimately their actions will determine whether this fairy tale can reach its “happily ever after.”

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1: Planetes

English: Planetes
Japanese: プラネテス
MAL Score: 8.29
Type: TV
Episodes: 26

Synopsis

In 2075, space travel is no longer just a dream, but an everyday reality for mankind. Advancements in science and technology have led to the colonization of the moon, the commercialization of outer space, and the formation of large space corporations. Ai Tanabe, an upbeat woman whose interests lie in the cosmos, joins Technora Corporation as a member of their Debris Section, a department dedicated to the removal of dangerous space junk between the orbits of the Earth and Moon.

However, Ai soon discovers how unappreciated her job is. As the laughingstock of Technora, the Debris Section is severely understaffed, poorly funded, and is forced to use a dilapidated spaceship nicknamed the “Toy Box” for debris retrieval. Undeterred, Ai perseveres and gradually becomes acquainted with the strange personalities that make up the Debris Section’s staff, such as the bumbling but good-natured chief clerk Philippe Myers; the mysterious and tight-lipped temp worker Edelgard Rivera; and the hotheaded and passionate Hachirouta Hoshino, who longs for a spaceship to call his own.

Planetes is an unconventional sci-fi series that portrays the vastness of space as a backdrop for the personal lives of ordinary people—people who may have been born on Earth, but whose hopes and dreams lie amongst the stars.

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Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!

1. Planetes
2. Fullmetal Alchemist
3. Princess Tutu
4. Hanada Shounen-shi
5. Full Moon wo Sagashite
6. Kaleido Star
7. Wolf’s Rain
8. Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
9. Texhnolyze
10. Tantei Gakuen Q

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