Growing up, we all had our favorite channels and shows. Whether you were a devout Cartoon Network viewer, only watched the Nickelodeon classics, or dabbled in a bit of both, you would have to have been exposed to countless fantastic shows (some of which had a pretty surprising history behind them, but that’s for a whole different list!). As the years went on and on, some of us got into anime and saw what fantastic potential was presented right before them. Here at TheGamer, we’ve found twenty incredible artists that combined these passions of Western cartoons and Eastern animation to create these stunning works of fan art!
While we know that the title may just leave you wondering how necessary it was to make an anime rendition of Ed, Edd n Eddy or an adorably kawaii set of The Powerpuff Girls, this list is sure to convince you that these are 20 cartoons from the 2000s that we never knew we wanted to see as anime characters! While the days of that decade are a bit behind us now, this fan art shows that the nostalgia is still very much alive and showing no signs of slowing down anytime in the near future!
Which one was your favorite? Was there a cartoon from the 2000s that you wish would be redone as an anime? Have you found one we missed? Did this list inspire you to create your next combinative piece? Let us know in the comments section down below!
20 A Marvelous Adventure Indeed
While most children’s cartoons focused on a genre or two, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack had characters and even entire episodes embodying themes of adventure, fantasy, horror, comedy, surrealism, and even satire! The series was able to shift from the dark implications of a man performing surgery on patients to entirely basing an episode on a caricature of Jane Goodall.
The juxtaposition of humor and horror is no stranger to anime like what you can see in Black Butler or Death Note. Following that, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack fits perfectly into the concepts so familiar to anime. We can thank DeviantArt user ragecndy for bringing these together in such a well-drawn piece. It does a lot to emphasize that how out of place Flapjack is in the twisted harbor. This is something that the show often shows through his actions, focusing on his naivete and innocence.
19 Time To Go Ghost
Danny Phantom was my absolute favorite show as a child (well, that and Ben 10!). I felt like it was able to capture the feeling of being a student as well as having to balance school, social and extracurricular life in a way that so many shows attempted but weren’t able to emulate. The series followed Danny and his two friends, Sam and Tucker, as they played video games, attended protests, and fought ghosts, normal student things like that.
Presenting young characters with existential, and seemingly insurmountable tasks (like protecting the town from the invasions of poltergeists over and over again) is no stranger to anime like we can see in Fullmetal Alchemist. As such, it’s no surprise that DeviantArt user kvalificatsia to create this compelling piece that blends one of Butch Hartman’s most recognizable work with the style we experience through shows like One Punch Man and Bleach.
18 A Teenage Anime Robot
My Life as a Teenage Robot focused on a robot named XJ-9, or as she preferred to be called, Jenny. The series showed her attempting and succeeding at becoming more human. While the concept of a robot on a quest to become more human isn’t original, applying it to a high school setting is refreshing.
The gorgeous retrofuturism of the art style of the show is complemented perfectly with the anime touch brings to mind early anime like Ghost in the Shell (needless to say that a significant amount of the “retro” vibe of Ghost in the Shell comes from it being genuinely rather old). The styles were blended by DeviantArt user jyr0, experienced in drawing cartoon characters with this style like Teen Titans’ Raven, Danny Phantom’s Ember, and The Fairly OddParents’ Anti-Cosmo. If that interests you, head over to her page now!
17 Nothing Ever Changes
Dexter’s Laboratory, or more commonly referred to as simply Dexter’s Lab, was a show not dissimilar from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius in its premise of a boy genius conducting a few years’ worth of science experiments in the basement, but Dexter’s Laboratory focused more heavily on his sister and her interference with his experiments, often ruining them entirely or turning them against Dexter.
It isn’t uncommon for anime and JRPGs to show us a group of kids having to team up to face off against insurmountable odds or just the pressures of more adult situations. The connection between the two brought Deviant Art user (and owner of what just may be the most customized page I’ve seen on that site) TheHika to draw this rendition of Dexter and his sister in the anime style. I appreciate that, while she made the height difference slightly less ridiculous, she still kept it very noticeable!
16 School's Out
Hey Arnold! was a show about a kid and his grandparents living together in the inner city. He goes to school in the fictional town of Hillwood with a genuine feeling set of characters. The school is complete with bullies, love interests, friends, and combinations of the three. Episodes revolve around people helping him or him assisting others with interpersonal relationships. It all combines very well.
While re-watching some episodes, SvetlankaArt was inspired to draw several characters from the show, noting that she only drew the characters that inspired her to recreate them in this style. On her page, you can see similar anime-style fanart of properties like Nancy Drew, The Little Mermaid, and Pokémon Go! SvetlankaArt is one of the more active users on the site, with her piece on Nancy Drew being posted in January of this year!
15 Don't Fear The Reaper
A lot of us may remember The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy as a decidedly darker alternative to some of its counterparts of the time. While we love to talk about subtle, insidious hints given in an otherwise peachy show or video game, Billy and Mandy made no efforts to hide their rather grim themes. Though, that would be obvious just looking at the cast of characters!
Since anime is no stranger to dark tones with a cute coat of paint, DeviantArt user, mylittlerennie saw this as an opportunity to create the beautiful mix of themes that you see here! I love how Grim’s appearance evokes a similar vibe to Lord Death from Soul Eater. It’s worth noting that this piece is a few years old. In the meantime, the artist has drawn characters from and inspired by properties like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic!
14 Not So Imaginary After All
Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends was a charming idea presented through unique animation. The plot of the series revolved around a foster home for imaginary friends after their owners had outgrown them. Since 2004, we’ve been able to experience the property through the television series, animated shorts, a movie, and a weirdly entertaining MMO.
Well, DeviantArt user Ookami-Neko didn’t think this was enough and brought the series to the anime world as you see here! The artist was able to incorporate their personalities well from Eduardo’s cowardice to Wilt’s athleticism and Mr. Harrimen’s strict nature. While she isn’t active on that page anymore, you can see some of her other work there, including some that extends into 3D modeling! Her more recent work can be found at Katfayebrown where she showcases fan art, original characters, and commissions!
13 The Invasion Is Coming
Similar to those mentioned above The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, 2001’s Invader Zim was a notably darker series while still aimed at a younger audience. The story revolved around a young alien who seeks to take over the planet but isn’t remarkably competent. Fans remember the series fondly for its Lovecraftian view of humanity and its surprisingly dark humor. It’s gained such a following (even after its cancellation) that Nickelodeon has announced a TV movie to be made in the future!
Part of the following was a DeviantArt user fittingly named InvaderZimXR who uploads fanart, comics primarily focused around the Invader Zim universe, and occasionally pictures of their dog named Kakashi who appears in their comics under the name Zip. While most of their posts aren’t in the anime style, InvaderZimXR occasionally will post in that style like the piece that you see here!
12 A Real Crybaby
2007’s Chowder was notable for the remarkably unique use of surrealism in a children’s cartoon. Among other things, this earned the series a Primetime Emmy Award and quite a few nominations! The show featured quite a few stylistic choices such as naming characters after food and not moving the textures of fabrics as the cloth itself did. This, along with the charm and just all-around heart of the show, leaves it fondly remembered!
Anime is no stranger to a small, cute creature serving as a support to the lead characters like Fairy Tale’s Happy and One Piece’s Tony Tony Chopper. The entirety of Chowder seems to revolve around the idea of placing a character like that at the center of the action, so it was only a matter of time before someone like DeviantArt user RibbonDrop combined the style with the character gorgeously!
11 Anything's Possible
Many of us may remember Kim Possible as a progressive show and one of the only animated reasons to go to Disney Channel. The show did an excellent job of incorporating themes of female empowerment into children’s programming. The show featured a female lead (the titular Kim Possible) performing James Bond-style espionage and her vaguely incompetent sidekick, Ron Stoppable. Kim Possible emphasizes breaking stereotypes by going so far as to have Ron dress as a ballerina and Kim dress like a cowboy. Despite making trying to make Ron not the focus of the show, it did a fantastic job of making sure that he is still a well-developed and likable character.
The show inspired DeviantArt user Sunset-Sorcerer to create this piece reminiscent of early anime like the original Dragonball. The artist does, however, preserve the design and personality of Kim Possible quite well in this piece!
10 Secret Agent Kids
Codename: Kids Next Door centered around a group of kids that were a part of a global organization of kids that fought evil teenagers and adults. They used technology that looked like they were designed by MacGyver if he had been a stereotypical dad. The show featured over the top action that would feel at home in a James Bond film with an almost Looney Tunes arsenal.
I’ve said it somewhere between one and 400 times, but the concept of children and young adults in dramatic situations is something that Japanese media absolutely loves (just check out most JRPGs!). It’s no surprise that this brought DeviantArt user keersyn132 to combine the show with the anime art style we love so much. I have to say, though, whether it’s the show or keersyn132’s rendition of it, Numbuh 1 will always remind me of Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard.
9 The Band's Back Together
Now, I know that Hi Hi Puffy Amiyumi was about Japanese musicians and was a Japanese show, but it didn’t exactly utilize the anime style that we’re familiar with. The exaggerated art style looks like it would belong in a lot of shows like Courage the Cowardly Dog and Rocko’s Modern Life as opposed to anime like Full Metal Alchemist and Code Geass. Despite using an art style that fit the locale, Hi Hi Puffy Amiyumi only lasted for three seasons. If you haven’t checked it out, I’d highly recommend checking it out, though!
With a Japanese setting and Japanese characters, it’s no surprise that DeviantArt JaneVindom brought the characters to a much less exaggerated style while maintaining their personality flawlessly! JaneVindom also does art from things like Neir: Automata and Mystic Messenger as well as 3D modeling and cosplay!
8 Nothing Cowardly About This
One of the more popular entries on this list, Courage the Cowardly Dog was a children’s cartoon noted for a surprising emphasis on existentialism. The show revolved around a stray dog that was adopted by an old married couple who seem remarkably oblivious to the horrors that are around them seemingly constantly. This is another show that’s spawned countless fan theories, but one that I’d recommend whether you are familiar with them or not.
The role of Courage is a guardian for his adoptive family, but he is a sweet and innocent pup. As such, xNeoBeastx has taken the liberty of drawing him as a child with his iconic yo-yo. More recently, xNeoBeastx has drawn various versions of Pokémon, Heartless and, even Dora the Explorer’s Boots. The talent shown in the variety of adaptations xNeoBeastx has drawn shows a unique ability for it!
7 Sugar, Spice, And Everything Nice
The Powerpuff Girls, not to be confused with the reboot of the same name released in 2016, was focused on the lives of three sisters, Bubbles, Blossom, and Buttercup, who save the city of Townsville over and over again before bedtime. I’m sure we all remember the opening monologue ending with the iconic, “But Professor Utonium accidentally added an extra ingredient to the concoction... Chemical X.” The series went on for seven years before being rebooted and still going on to this day!
As I mentioned in the entry about Danny Phantom, young characters in serious roles is a standard (and often very effective) trope in anime. Combine that with the cute design of the characters, and you’ve got a much more PG Panty and Stocking with Garter Belt. This wasn’t lost on AlineSM, who created this gorgeous piece of a notably more kawaii set of Powerpuff girls.
6 Who's More Immature?
Butch Hartman has had a remarkable career so far, but by far his most recognizable series was the (extremely) long-running The Fairly OddParents. The show is known for being the longest-running fantasy TV series in American history as well as it’s iconic art style and wacky humor. The show’s plot is revealed pretty blatantly in the theme song that chimes that he has “magic little fish that grant his every wish,” which he uses to incite the somewhat nonsensical plots the series covers.
At some point in its run, it inspired DeviantArt user VeonKun to create this decidedly steamy piece, though it must be said that is significantly less so than some of his other works (I can’t even look at most of them without logging in, and that should tell you enough!)! The artist posts fanart of things like Kingdom Hearts and Teen Titans.
5 Friends Til The End
Personally, I loved Ed, Edd, n Eddy as a kid. I’ve heard a lot of theories about the cul-de-sac representing purgatory or the kids in it symbolizing America through various decades, but the show is fantastic whether you consider them or not while watching it! The series focuses mainly on three boys and their adventures that usually revolve around getting money, gumballs, and being hilarious all along the way. Need 25 cents? Might as well build an amusement park out of boxes and charge admission.
Honestly, when I read the topic for this piece, Ed, Edd, n Eddy wasn’t something I thought I'd find anime fanart of. While a lot of the shows on this list have similar artistic direction, I can’t think of much that connects Ed, Edd, n Eddy to anime.
That didn’t stop DeviantArt user NoomiBernadotte from combining the two.
4 Nothing Babyish About This
Now, I’m going to cheat for this next one just a little because Rugrats started in 1990, but it ran until 2006. While it began along cartoons like The Ren & Stimpy Show and Doug, Rugrats continued to be shown alongside many of the entries on this list including those on different channels and even referenced very directly in The Fairly OddParents! The show revolves around a group of babies and their families as they deal with their imaginations and social interactions.
I’ve mentioned that anime tends to focus on some younger characters, but DeviantArt user Rinka-Chan took this idea to a bit of an extreme, rendering two of the characters from Rugrats in a vibrant anime drawing. Rinka-Chan posts her similar pictures, though not all of them are themed in such a way, of many other cartoons of the era like Hey Arnold!, Dragonball, and Avatar: The Last Airbender.
3 Still Joined At Heart
The plot of CatDog was a bit like a trip with more continuity. The series focused on a set of conjoined twins, but one of them is a cat, the other a dog. The show featured an entire cast of animals like mice, rabbits, dogs, and the like. While they are connected, Cat can be sophisticated, if not pompous, but dog is unrefined and a bit of a slob. After writing that, I feel like it would be faster to say that it’s a cross between The Odd Couple and Zootopia with just a splash of Human Centipede added in for good measure.
This show inspired DeviantArt user sasukee23loveeer to create this piece that showcases an anime and (mostly) human cast of CatDog. On her page, sasukee23loveeer also posts works related to The Vampire Diaries, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, and Victorious.
2 From A Sponge To A Man
SpongeBob SquarePants may be one of the longest-running Nickelodeon shows and likely needs no introduction! The basic premise of the show revolves around SpongeBob, his group of friends, his job as a fry cook, and the goofy situations that they create. While this premise sounds simple, it’s kept the series going for over a decade of the television series, two movies, a multitude of video games, and seemingly countless memes.
With such a simple premise that focuses on the childlike emphasis of fun, it brings to mind anime like Yuri on Ice. As such, it’s no surprise that DeviantArt user Maryenta to draw this version of SpongeBob actually for the first time. Maryenta initially drew this in 2009, but redrew it as a part of the “Draw this again! Meme” in 2012. When she’s not drawing SpongeBob, Maryenta draws characters from things like Vocaloids and Hetalia.
1 The Boy Genius
The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius was a spin-off of the 2001 CGI film Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. The series revolved around Jimmy and his friends Carl and Sheen finding themselves in various predicaments. Despite being a spin-off, a lot of people remember the show better than they do the movie. The show was so successful, in fact, that it spawned its own spin-off, Planet Sheen, that featured one of the supporting characters arriving on another planet called Zeenu. Despite only lasting for three seasons, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius has left an impression on fans of the network that’ll last for years to come!
The rivalry (and occasional romance) between the titular Jimmy Neutron and a supporting character, Cindy, led DeviantArt user Acaciathorn to create this fantastic rendering of the two characters in an unsaturated scene reminiscent of one would expect to see in Death Note.