Netflix is releasing some amazing anime series as of late, with some even being their own originals or anime they are in association with, like Beastars, one of the best anime of 2019, Dorohedoro, one of the best anime of 2020, and Cyberpunk Edgerunners, my favorite anime of 2022.
Before I get into the best anime series on Netflix, I want to talk about why Netflix is one of the best streaming services to watch anime on and how you can find all of the anime on Netflix, because it can be somewhat difficult to find all of the anime series on their platform.
How to find all anime on Netflix
If you are in search of all of the anime streaming on Netflix, all you have to do is go to the following link, which lists all of the anime on Netflix, or you can search code 7424 on Netflix. If you are looking for the best anime on Netflix, though, check out my list below!
If you are looking for specific genres of anime to watch on Netflix, here are all of the codes you can use:
- Shonen Anime on Netflix (2867624)
- Seinen Anime on Netflix (2913945)
- Horror Anime on Netflix (10695)
- Drama Anime on Netflix (452)
- Sci-Fi Anime on Netflix (2729)
- Action Anime on Netflix (2653)
- Comedy Anime on Netflix (9302)
- Fantasy Anime on Netflix (11146)
- Dark Fantasy Anime on Netflix (2691049)
- Anime Movies on Netflix (3063)
- Anime Based on Manga on Netflix (2952508)
- Anime Based on Light Novels on Netflix (2867325)
Why Netflix is a great place to watch anime
Netflix is not only great for catching up on older anime series, but they are coming out with newer options as well that you may have yet to explore or get into. In the past, I found Netflix’s selection to have the bare minimum of releases with many being staple favorites, like Naruto. And while there’s nothing quite wrong with that, aside from an obvious lack of selection and the possibility that you’ve most likely already finished those series, there was still room for some improvement.
Recently, however, most likely due to more people streaming and searching anime, Netflix has expanded its catalog. It’s become a better experience for anime lovers of all stages, whether you are new to it all or have already watched nearly everything. I’ve combed through their current titles and watched all the new series to find the best anime series on Netflix right now.
Everyone has their favorites, but here are some of the best anime on Netflix and why I recommend them. I’ll keep this post updated as more anime is added to Netflix! If Hulu is more your thing or you have it in addition to Netflix, be sure to check out the best anime on Hulu as well.
Best Anime to Watch on Netflix
Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead
Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead is an exciting new comedy-horror anime from the minds of Haro Aso (known for Alice in Borderland) and Kotaro Takata (of Hallelujah Overdrive! and I Am Sherlock). There is no shortage of zombie apocalypse material in the world today, and as a result, a lot of these narratives can feel much the same. But I’m happy to report that Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead stands out from the rest and it is one of the best zombie anime I’ve ever watched.
What sets it apart isn’t just the impeccable adaptation and visually stunning animation that’s bursting with color, but also its unique approach to the zombie genre. While many stories in this genre showcase their protagonists in a desperate bid for survival, Zom 100 flips the narrative. Here, our main character isn’t driven by just mere survival, but by living his life to the absolute fullest.
In this series, you follow Akira, a 24-year-old office worker who, ironically, has become a metaphorical zombie due to his draining job. Each day at the office feels like an eternity, and he longs to break free but can’t muster the courage to quit. However, an unexpected zombie outbreak becomes his salvation. Waking up in this new reality, Akira is elated, not because of the looming dread, but because he finally gets a break from his monotonous job. Along the way, we meet a variety of characters, each with their own motivations and coping mechanisms. They add a lot to this story in addition to our main characters.
While a story set in a world that’s on the brink of collapse isn’t new, Zom 100 offers a refreshing twist by showcasing a protagonist who, amidst the chaos, is on a journey to live his life to the absolute fullest and make up for lost time. This unique perspective, combined with a harmonious blend of comedy and horror, makes the series stand out. While I love a good gorefest, there has to be more to the story, and Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead has that and so much more.
Episodes on Netflix: 10 episodes (1 season)
What is Cyberpunk Edgerunners about?
Cyberpunk Edgerunners is a 10-episode story about a street kid trying to survive in a technology and body modification-obsessed city of the future. With nothing left to lose, he chooses to become an edgerunner—a mercenary outlaw also known as a cyberpunk. It is set in the same universe as the Cyberpunk 2077 game, but it’s a stand-alone story with a completely different storyline, so you don’t have to play the game before watching the series.
Why Cyberpunk Edgerunners is one of the best anime on Netflix
Cyberpunk Edgerunners is set in the neon-lit world of Night City, but don’t be deceived by its beauty. It’s a dystopian society that’s full of struggles and corruption; where people indulge in their vices and have to fight for everything they have. But there’s a heart to the series, as well as an underlining camaraderie between the characters, that draws you back in time after time. Its mature nature makes it all the more appealing.
Cyberpunk Edgerunners‘ vibrant animation, bold color palette, and exciting action scenes, which were brought to us by the always impressive Trigger (Darling in the Franxx, Kill la Kill, Gurren Lagann, Promare), make it one of the best anime I’ve seen in 2022. When you pair that with its impactful and powerful story, you get a series that is as adrenaline-inducing and visually appealing as it is emotional.
After I finished watching its 10 episodes on Netflix, I was left with a strong impression. And even after a few days had passed, I couldn’t stop thinking about the series. Cyberpunk Edgerunners made me feel something, and I think this is one of the most important things that an anime can make us do. The series quickly became one of my favorite sci-fi anime of all time and I highly recommend it!
Read my full review of Cyberpunk Edgerunners!
Episodes on Netflix: 74 episodes (1 season)
Why Monster is one of the best anime on Netflix
Monster, which is animated by one of my favorite studios, Madhouse (Hunter x Hunter (2011), Death Note, Perfect Blue), is one of the newest additions to Netflix even though it was first released in 2004. It is adapted from the manga created by Naoki Urasawa, one of the best seinen manga ever, and it’s one of the best anime you can watch on Netflix right now.
Monster is an incredible psychological thriller that features a game of cat and mouse between a neurosurgeon Dr. Kenzo Tenma and a true monster, but it’s also very much a story about people coming together to right wrongs, overcoming one’s inner demons, and how our choices, whether big or small, can have consequences far beyond anything we could ever imagine. Dr. Tenma made a choice to save someone, and because he did so, a serial killer lived on.
Framed for murder by the one he saved, Dr. Tenma must evade the authorities all the while searching for answers to clear his name and uncover the true identity and origin of the monster he operated on. Naoki Urasawa is well-known for creating stories that are full of mystery and suspense, but he also is a master at weaving together different timelines, and they executed this well in the adaptation.
We get a glimpse into the psychology of a sociopath in Monster, while other stories just showcase the horrible things they’ve done. They take a look at the how, but not the why, and it’s the why that’s the most intriguing of all. The manga is an absolute masterpiece and Madhouse did an incredible job at bringing the series to life on screen.
Naoki Urasawa’s Pluto is also getting an anime adaptation on Netflix in 2023! Pluto is one of my favorite science fiction manga, so I highly recommend checking out the series when it comes out as well.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion has some of the most striking animation and iconic scenes in all of anime. It’s one I highly recommend in addition to its manga, which is one of the best manga of all time. The manga is an adaptation of the 1995 anime that has some notable differences, including its ending, but it was released first in 1994 because of the anime’s production delays. The anime is the original source material, though, and it is one of the most influential series to ever release.
Neon Genesis Evangelion follows a paramilitary research organization named NERV and its pilots, who pilot Evangelion, aka EVA Units, in their war against Angels, other-worldly and powerful entities that much is unknown about. It’s set in an immersive and unique post-apocalyptic world that’s full of mystery and secrets. Paired with its thrilling action and psychological elements, Neon Genesis Evangelion is as mind-bending as it is exciting to watch.
The story and visuals are amazing, but it also dives deep into the minds of its pilots, which allows you to connect with them more. Neon Genesis Evangelion highlights the battle between individuality and instrumentality and explores psychology in interesting ways. For these reasons and more, it’s unlike any other mecha anime I’ve seen before.
Episodes: 12 episodes (1 season)
Mononoke is supernatural anime unlike any other with its striking visuals, bold color palette, and unique take on Japanese folklore. It follows a Medicine Seller as he travels across Feudal Japan, but he’s not just any Medicine Seller, he’s on a mission to rid the world of malevolent spirits, also known as mononoke. Mononoke are born out of strong human emotions, so our MC has to uncover details about them, such as their Form, Truth, and Reason, so he can banish them for good.
Mononoke is episodic, but this works in its favor. You never get a chance to be bored with this series, because you are constantly being introduced to new stories as well as interesting new mononoke cases. Despite being a quick watch at only 12 episodes, the stories contained within Mononoke are fleshed out in a compelling and concise way.
The animation by Toei Animation (Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion, Slam Dunk) is beautiful and the style, which is inspired by ukiyo-e woodblock prints, is truly one of a kind. If you enjoy avant-garde anime with an atypical style or enjoy anime with supernatural or subtle horror themes, Mononoke is a must-watch. It’s one of the best anime you can watch on Netflix, but it’s one of the best anime to ever release as well.
Episodes on Netflix: 33 episodes (2 seasons)
Why Vinland Saga is one of the best anime on Netflix
Vinland Saga can sometimes feel like, as its name would suggest, a saga, but it serves the show well because it’s a story about Vikings and it is told realistically. I’ve always said if you are a fan of the History Channel’s show, Vikings, you’ll love this anime. If you are not a fan of this kind of thing, Vinland Saga probably isn’t for you, but you may be surprised, so I still think you should give it a chance.
Main characters like Thorfinn are intriguing because they are unpredictable and they show an immense amount of growth as the series develops. There’s also something to be said about the emotion that’s stirring within these characters. Underneath all that anger is sadness, and this is what makes Thorfinn a strong character.
There are a lot of characters in Vinland Saga with strong motivations that make them interesting. So, while it is a story about Vikings with plenty of blood and gore, it’s full of substance as well. The fight scenes are some of the best I’ve witnessed, but for me, it is really Thorfinn, who is being torn between two worlds that made the series for me.
You’ll see him hell-bent on avenging his father’s death, but his father gave up being a Viking and vowed to never kill again, so he has that running through his head as well. It is this struggle within him that really gives this series some weight.
Since it’s a historical anime about Vikings and the time they lived in, you’ll see the Vikings pillage villages and kill whoever stands in their way, but you’ll get so much more than that, especially with Askeladd, whose craftiness is entertaining to watch. And if that wasn’t enough to convince you, the animation, especially the scenery and sound production are first-class.
Kotaro Lives Alone
Episodes on Netflix: 10 (1 season)
What is Kotaro Lives Alone about?
Kotaro Lives Alone is about a young boy named Kotaro, who moves into an apartment building by himself. He makes friends with a broke manga artist who lives next door as well as the other residents that live in the building with him.
Why Kotaro Lives Alone is one of the best anime on Netflix
Kotaro Lives Alone is one of the most heartwarming anime I’ve watched to date. While it’s a heartbreaking watch given the nature of its content and the fact that Kotaro, who is very much a child even though he doesn’t act like one, had a tough upbringing that pushed him to live on his own, it feels light thanks to the interactions between the characters. Kotaro has been forced to grow up quickly, so he is very wise for his age, and the lessons he teaches the residents of the apartment building, who are much, much older than him are invaluable.
The kindness and warmth he shows toward them are not one-sided though. The residents are guardians of sorts to Kotaro, so he gains a lot from them as well. You see their relationships with one another grow over the course of the season, and you see Kotaro, whose family is not around, choosing a family of his own.
The adults as well as the children in this series, who are Kotaro’s friends and schoolmates, both add to this story. Kotaro often reminds the kids to be thankful for what they have, because he knows what it’s like to not have them. On the other hand, the kids show Kotaro, who is always adamant about being strong, that it’s okay to be a kid sometimes. The same goes for the adults in this anime.
All in all, Kotaro Lives Alone encourages you to appreciate what you have. It’s a beautiful anime that is as heartbreaking as it is touching, and even though it touches on complex issues, you’ll feel warm and fuzzy while watching thanks to Kotaro’s positive attitude and the colorful residents that live with him in the apartment building. It’s one of the best anime on Netflix, but it’s also one of the best anime of 2022 as well.
A Silent Voice
Watch time: 2h 9m
What is A Silent Voice about?
A Silent Voice follows Shoya Ishida, a young boy who used to bully Shoko Nishimiya, a girl with a hearing disability. However, when Shoko transfers schools, Shoya, who was once the bully is now bullied himself. Now that he’s older and he knows what it feels like to be bullied by the students in his class, he regrets his actions. A few years later, Shoya meets Shoko again and he decides to make things right.
Why A Silent Voice is one of the best anime on Netflix
A Silent Voice, which is adapted from the manga by Yoshitoki Oima, is a heartwarming and tear-jerking anime film about the importance of second chances, but even more so than that, it’s a moving story about redemption and how people, with time and experience, can change. It’s also very much so a story about communication and how difficult it can be to express one’s emotions.
Few anime series have made me feel as much as A Silent Voice. More accurately, few series have made me cry as much as A Silent Voice. Amazingly, though, it not only had me crying sad tears, but happy tears as well. That being said, it’s one that will take you on an emotional, but also an inspiring journey.
A Silent Voice is one of the best and most profound anime I’ve ever seen. With stunning animation by Kyoto Animation (Violet Evergarden, Hyouka) and a powerful message, it’s a series that’s meant to be watched, but also heard.
Romantic Killer was released in the Fall 2022 anime season and it’s one of my favorite Netflix originals. The series follows Anzu, whose life has been turned upside down by a match-making wizard named Riri that looks like a teddy bear. Suddenly, Anzu is stuck in a real-life otome game. In order to get her to focus on romance, Riri takes away Anzu’s three favorite things: Her cat, video games, and chocolate. Infuriated by this, Anzu vows to thwart Riri’s plans, but this becomes increasingly more difficult as a cast of attractive guys enters her world.
I related with the main character, Anzu, because my cats and video games, especially my cats, are two things that I can’t live without. If someone came in and took them away from me, I wouldn’t be happy either, so I immediately connected with the story. I found Anzu to be a refreshing rom-com protagonist. She doesn’t care about what people think, but it’s her sense of humor that captivated me the most.
Anzu is always trying her best to look unattractive and unappealing to these guys, so she doesn’t give in to Riri’s plot, and this adds to the comedy, but of course, things don’t always end up going according to her plans. The facial expressions are hilarious in this series too.
Romantic Killer is a charming parody that’s aware of the tropes that exist within a number of different series from otome to rom-com and reverse harems. Said tropes are used as a means of comedy, but it’s done in a lighthearted, harmless way that fans of rom-com or otome will enjoy. Because of this and more, Romantic Killer is one of the funniest series I’ve seen in a while and it’s one of the best anime you can watch on Netflix right now!
Episodes on Netflix: 50 episodes (2 seasons)
Magi is a fantasy anime that takes place in a magical world where mysterious towers known as dungeons have appeared all across the land. The story follows the adventures of Aladdin, a young magician with a magic flute, and Alibaba, a former slave with ambitions of wealth and power, as they join forces to conquer the treacherous dungeons. On their journey, they encounter a cast of memorable allies and foes and uncover the deep and complex secrets of the world they live in.
Magi has a unique blend of action, comedy, politics, and philosophy that make it stand out from the rest. Even though the series explores complex themes such as slavery, war, greed, and justice, it manages to do so in a way that never feels too heavy. It has great comedic moments and heartwarming interactions between its characters, which add a lot of warmth to the story.
Magi‘s characters are relatable and likable, but it’s set in a unique world too. The world-building in Magi is top-notch, with vividly realized depictions of diverse cultures and mythologies. The characters are well-developed and memorable, each with their own motivations and internal struggles, and I really connected with their stories as a result. All in all, Magi is a series that’s full of action and adventure, but it will move you in unexpected ways as well.
Komi Can’t Communicate
Episodes on Netflix: 24 episodes (1 season)
What is Komi Can’t Communicate about?
High school student Komi Shouko can’t even talk to people she already knows, let alone make friends. Since everyone mistakes her crippling social anxiety for cool reserve and she is unable to utter a single word, Komi fears she is doomed to be alone forever, but even so, she still dreams that one day she can make some friends. She may be closer to achieving her dream than she thinks, though, thanks to the help of her classmate Tadano.
Why Komi Can’t Communicate is one of the best anime on Netflix
Komi Can’t Communicate is based on the popular manga by Tomohito Oda and it is one of the best Netflix original anime to release to date. With a colorful cast of characters and the perfect balance of slice-of-life and comedy, Komi Can’t Communicate is a fun and entertaining watch.
It’s one of the funniest anime series I’ve seen as well, but as with most comedy anime, whether or not you’ll enjoy Komi Can’t Communicate will depend on your sense of humor and what makes you laugh. If you are someone who loves anime that makes use of over-exaggerated faces and expressions as a means of comedy, you will enjoy Komi Can’t Communicate.
Despite its humorous nature, Komi Can’t Communicate has its fair share of heartwarming moments as well, especially as you see her open up and connect with others, which make it that much more lovable. It’s one of the newest anime titles you can watch on Netflix, but it’s also one of the best.
Seasons on Netflix: 3 seasons
Kuroko’s Basketball, whether it be the anime or the manga by Tadatoshi Fujimaki, is sometimes criticized for being too unrealistic, but this is actually what I love so much about it. If you go in knowing that Kuroko’s Basketball has a tendency to be flashy and over-exaggerate things, you will enjoy it much more. For me, it only adds to the series’ charm, because these seemingly out-of-these-world plays, dunks, and abilities, make Kuroko’s Basketball an interesting series.
In this story, there’s a group of basketball prodigies called the “Generation of Miracles” that have these almost superpower-like abilities. They aren’t inhuman, but it definitely feels like they are when you watch them play. Later on, you find out that there was a phantom sixth man on the team, who just so happens to be our main character Kuroko. He decides to leave the team and join another to prove that he can stand apart on his own. That being said, Kuroko’s Basketball is a sports anime with an overpowered main character.
You’ll find yourself on the edge of your seat time and time again because you never know what incredible feat someone is going to perform next. On top of that, the games are thrilling to watch and the movements of the characters are animated beautifully. This is all thanks to Production I.G (Vinland Saga, Haikyu!!), who did a flawless job at bringing one of my all-time favorite sports manga to life on screen. They’ve actually animated six of my favorite sports anime, Haikyu!!, Ao Ashi, Kuroko’s Basketball, Run with the Wind, Welcome to the Ballroom, and Ace of the Diamond.
As with many sports series, Kuroko’s Basketball has a great sense of humor but it also has a lot of action-packed scenes as well. It’s a well-rounded series with a premise and characters that are anything but ordinary, and this makes it one of the most entertaining sports anime to release to date.
Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop
Duration: 1h 27m
What is Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop about?
In Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop, a relationship is forged between two people that have a hard time communicating with others—an introverted teenager who wears headphones and uses haiku poems to express his feelings, and a girl who wears a mask and likes to create online videos.
Why Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop is one of the best anime on Netflix
Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop is a Netflix-exclusive anime movie that was animated by Signal.MD and Sublimation. This anime has one of the most unique color palettes as well as one of the most interesting animation styles I’ve ever seen. This is one of the main reasons why I loved Great Pretender, which is also on this list.
Usually, in romance anime, one character will be an introvert and the other will be the extrovert that pushes them out of their shell as seen in other anime series like My Dress-Up Darling, but in Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop, both of the main characters are introverts, which makes it unique. They both work together to overcome their anxieties and it is beautiful to watch their relationship unfold.
It’s a relatively simple, straightforward movie, but it’s a feel-good anime series you can’t help but love. Plus, it’s an aesthetically-pleasing watch and it has an incredible soundtrack as expected from Kensuke Ushio (A Silent Voice, Devilman Crybaby, and Chainsaw Man)!
Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway
Duration: 1h 36m
What is Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway about?
After Char’s rebellion, Hathaway Noa leads an insurgency against Earth Federation, but meeting an enemy officer and a mysterious woman alters his fate.
Why Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway is one of the best anime on Netflix
Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway is not only one of the best anime streaming on Netflix, but it is also one of the best mecha anime on Netflix. Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway, the latest installment in the Universal Century timeline that began streaming on Netflix in July 2021, is a three-part series of films that is truly cinematic in nature. This is the first in a line of three films, and Netflix has confirmed that the rest are on the way.
As far as Gundam films go, Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway is one of the most cinematic and it features one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard. On top of that, the way the battles are animated is really unique and the perspectives are interesting. For instance, you see a battle from the perspective of Hathaway Noa, who is watching from the ground, which was not only cool to witness but is something I feel like I’ve never seen before.
Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway is less focused on battle than many other series in the Gundam franchise. Instead, this title emphasizes the characters and sets up future plot lines. It’s different from all of the other Gundam anime series I’ve watched, which was a nice surprise.
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K
Seasons on Netflix: 3 seasons
What is The Disastrous Life of Saiki K about?
High school sophomore Kusuo Saiki swore as a child that he would keep his psychic talents hidden, but his abilities still make his life difficult.
Why The Disastrous Life of Saiki K is one of the best anime on Netflix
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K is a comedy anime set in a school and it is one of my favorite Netflix original anime. This one really captured my attention because our main character Kusuo Saiki has psychic powers, and the list of what he can do with his abilities is long.
He’s an incredibly overpowered main character yet feels no need to use them, and he’s trying to keep this all a secret from his classmates, which only adds to this story’s humor and charm. If you have yet to check this one out, it is somewhere in the vein of Hinamatsuri and Mob Psycho 100 for me, so if you enjoy anime like these, The Disastrous Life of Saiki K is most likely right up your alley.
One thing I love about The Disastrous Life of Saiki K is its pacing. It’s really fast-paced, but nothing feels rushed, because the events that happen in this anime occur in Saiki’s everyday life. Since life is unpredictable, so is The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. That’s actually probably one of the best ways to describe the series; Unpredictable, because you never know what’s going to happen next whether it be in regards to the story or its humor. It’s just one of those really feel-good, never fails to cheer me up types of series and it has a special place in my heart because of this.
Seasons on Netflix: 2 seasons
What is Code Geass about?
A high-schooler with the power to make anyone obey becomes a rebel leader to bring an end to Britannia’s rule over Japan.
Why Code Geass is one of the best anime on Netflix
In my opinion, Code Geass is one of the best anime as well as one of the best mecha anime to ever release, and while this is completely subjective, there are many reasons why I think it lives up to its hype. A lot of people compare Code Geass and Death Note to one another, and while their characters have similar motivations and personalities and both have similar themes that center around the concept of justice, they are still different.
I do think Death Note fans will enjoy Code Geass, but I also think you shouldn’t go in with the preconceived notion that it’s going to be the same. The two have their similarities, yes, but Code Geass is different in the way that it’s more politically charged, which is very common for mecha anime, and there are a lot of characters in the mix in Code Geass.
Code Geass is unlike any mecha anime series I’ve seen and it’s one I often recommend to those who are new to the genre. In fact, there were many times when I felt like I wasn’t watching a mecha anime at all. And this is mainly because it focuses on the characters and their lives more so than just their battles and conflicts. Not to say that other mecha anime don’t do this because they do, but Code Geass develops its characters more so than most. The characters and the ways in which they evolve over the course of the series are part of the reason why I think Code Geass is so amazing.
They also include characters that are involved more in the main character’s everyday lives, but that isn’t involved in the overall struggles in the series, such as Shirley. This allows you to see the differing perspectives that exist between those who are outside but still affected by the conflict, and those who are in the middle, or at the front of it all. I also really enjoy the character designs by CLAMP (Tokyo Babylon, Cardcaptor Sakura). It’s an overall unique look for the genre, and this allows it to stand out even further from the rest. For these reasons and more, Code Geass is one of the best anime you can watch on Netflix!
Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba
Episodes on Netflix: 33 episodes (2 seasons), Season 3 arriving on May 1, 2023
What is Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba about?
After a demon attack leaves his family slain and his sister cursed, Tanjiro embarks upon a perilous journey to find a cure and avenge those he’s lost.
Why Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba is one of the best anime on Netflix
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is a popular anime series, and rightfully so, as one of the few anime as of late that immediately blew me away with its emotional story and distinct style. It’s set in a dark world, but it has bright characters, such as Tanjiro, Nezuko, Inosuke, Zenitsu, and more that light up its darkness.
While demons vs demon slayers is something that has been explored by other anime series before, few are as flawlessly executed as Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. It has a great story, but it also features great sound, music, and animation. The backdrops are more muted and feature darker shades, but the characters themselves, their clothing, and their different forms, such as Tanjiro’s Water Breathing technique, are boldly and vividly colored, so it’s aesthetically pleasing as well.
Demon Slayer‘s biggest asset, however, is its characters. Each side, whether they are “good” or “evil”, has personalities that you’ll be drawn to, and for me, this is one of the main things that separates a good anime from an amazing one. If you for whatever reason have yet to see it, I highly recommend taking the time to check it out!
Want more anime like Demon Slayer? Here are some of my favorite anime like Demon Slayer!
Cowboy Bebop is an unforgettable sci-fi classic that is special thanks to its noir and Western influences, but also its story, which is character-centric and follows the lives and the adventures of the Bebop crew, including Spike Spiegel, a bounty hunter with a unique past, Jet Black, an ex-officer turned bounty hunter, Faye Valentine, a wanted criminal turned bounty hunter, Ed, a genius hacker, and Ein, a corgi with enhanced intelligence.
Cowboy Bebop isn’t short on interesting personalities and it has one of the most diverse casts on this list. Each of their stories connects you further to the story, but you’ll meet new characters along the way that add even more interest. Spike’s backstory in particular is compelling, and he is an incredibly complex character, but every member of the crew will capture your heart.
Cowboy Bebop is fun and lighthearted and it’s full of action and mystery, but it’s also gritty and dark thanks to its noir feel and the topics it explores. In this series, our characters’ pasts haunt them, and no matter how hard they try to avoid or run away from their past, it always finds a way to catch up with them. There’s a lot of depth to this series and its characters as a result.
And then there’s its jazzy soundtrack, which further sets the mood and atmosphere and immerses you in this futuristic yet nostalgic world. Cowboy Bebop is often described as a Space Western, and while this is very much true, it’s so much more than that. It’s one of the best anime to release on Netflix, but it’s also one of the best sci-fi anime of all time.
Hunter × Hunter (2011)
Seasons on Netflix: 6 seasons
What is Hunter x Hunter about?
To fulfill his dreams of becoming a legendary Hunter like his dad, a young boy must pass a rigorous examination and find his missing father.
Why Hunter × Hunter is one of the best anime on Netflix
This one might seem obvious like some of the anime series I mentioned above, but I have to talk about Hunter x Hunter. Yeah, most likely, you’ve already seen it. But if you haven’t and you are just beginning to get into anime, this is one of the first you should binge. Why? That’s a loaded question because, as with many on this list, there are many reasons to love it.
I also have to mention that I’m putting Hunter x Hunter on this list, because I almost dropped it early on, and I’m glad I didn’t because it’s my favorite anime of all time. I have a feeling that there are people like me out there, who didn’t really give it the chance it deserved. Grant it, it might just not be your thing. But, if you stopped in the Hunter Exams, I highly recommend you pick it back up again because it does not disappoint.
Aside from having one of the most interesting stories and arcs, like the Chimera Ant Arc, which while isn’t on Netflix, gives you something to look forward to, Hunter x Hunter also has some of anime’s most distinctive and compelling characters, like Hisoka to name one of the many.
The complex and endearing relationship between Gon and Killua is one of the biggest strong suits of Hunter x Hunter. As they work to find out who they want to be as individuals, they also have to navigate their friendship and the struggles that come with it.
You can watch all the way through Season 4 on Netflix, but there are a total of six seasons in all. That will definitely give you a good start to see just why I recommend this anime.
Here are all of the Hunter x Hunter arcs ranked!
Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You
Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You follows a high school student named Sawako. Wild rumors about Sawako swirl around her school. Some believe she can see spirits, others believe she brings about misfortune. This paired with her long black hair has earned her the nickname Sadako. Sawako, no matter how much she tries to reach out, struggles to connect due to these misunderstandings, and oftentimes, her classmates will run from her before she even gets a chance to speak. That is, except for one, Shouta Kazehaya, one of the most popular boys in her class.
Over the course of the episodes, Sawako grows as a person. She becomes more outspoken and begins to tell people how she truly feels. But, growth, of course, is a process, and I appreciate the fact that the characters in Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You don’t change overnight, but develop over time as they would in real life. The characters as well as the relationships in the series are believable, but they are relatable too.
As Sawako opens up to others, they see her for the beautiful soul that she is, and she begins to make friends. The group dynamic that results and the chemistry between the characters is incredible. Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You is sweet, but it’s also humorous. This is thanks mostly to the funny misunderstandings that happen between our two main characters, but also the hilarious facial expressions that you’ll witness over the course of this series.
It is a slice-of-life anime, in addition to romance, so if you enjoy either you’ll want to check it out. You’ll especially want to do so if you enjoy shojo that feature believable relationships that develop at a realistic pace. The animation by Production I.G is striking too. Everything from the lighting to the atmosphere as well as the mood of the series is captured well.
Episodes on Netflix: 12 episodes (1 season)
What is Erased about?
Satoru Fujinuma can travel back in time to save others’ lives. When he wakes up 18 years in the past, he has a chance to save his murdered classmates.
Why Erased is one of the best anime on Netflix
One of my favorite anime series of all time is Erased. The story follows Satoru, who experiences this mysterious phenomenon called “Revival” that allows him to travel back in time. When a loved one is murdered, Satoru finds himself 18 years in the past now as his younger self, but with his adult mind. The place he grew up in is living in fear, because children, including Satoru’s classmates, are being kidnapped and murdered. He will have to race to unravel this murder mystery in order to not only change the past but hopefully the future as well.
As crime thrillers go, Erased sets the standard. It somehow manages to pack such a complex story in only 12 episodes without feeling rushed or underdeveloped. Everything about this anime was thought-out, and the story unravels in a way that makes it truly gripping. Once you start Erased, you won’t be able to stop watching, because you truly root for the kids and Satoru to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds.
Erased is a heart-wrenching anime that involves grim subjects, but it is also one of the most moving I’ve seen to date. You’ll be encapsulated by its story from beginning to end, and it is one that will stick with you long after you finish watching it.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
Episodes on Netflix: 50 episodes (2 seasons)
What is Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans about?
On a terraformed post-disaster Mars, a group of child security agents rebel against the adults who betrayed them and the oppressive Earth government.
Why Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans is one of the best anime on Netflix
Out of all the Gundam anime series out there, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans is one of my favorites. It obviously has action for days as with many in the Gundam universe, but the members of Tekkadan and their revolt is one to behold. Mikazuki, in particular, and his willingness to give his blood, sweat, tears, and much much more to his comrades on their quest for a brighter future, while albeit hard to watch, is beautifully conveyed.
Even if you have yet to delve deeply into mecha anime or aren’t a fan of the genre, Iron-Blooded Orphans‘ emotional story and well-developed characters will have your undivided attention from beginning to end. It’s a stand-alone anime series and you don’t need to watch anything else to understand it, so it’s an easy starting point for those of you who may be overwhelmed by the 40-year history of the franchise.
Into mecha anime? Here are the best mecha anime streaming on Netflix right now, including Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans and more!
Episodes on Netflix: 24 episodes (2 seasons)
What is Beastars about?
In a world where beasts of all kinds coexist, a gentle wolf awakens to his own predatory urges as his school deals with a murder within its midst.
Why Beastars is one of the best anime on Netflix
Beastars is full of stunning and dynamic visuals (This series has single-handedly changed my mind about CGI), it has a unique storyline that has a lot of substance, and finally, it’s strange but in an endearing and addicting way. All of these reasons and more made me binge the entire first season in a couple of days, and I continue to do so, with the release of each new season.
Beastars is not only one of our top anime to watch on Netflix, but it’s also one of our top anime of 2019!
The Promised Neverland
Episodes on Netflix: 12 episodes (1 season)
What is The Promised Neverland about?
When three gifted kids learn that their isolated orphanage isn’t the haven they thought, they vow to lead the other children in a risky escape plan.
Why The Promised Neverland is one of the best anime on Netflix
In The Promised Neverland, everything is not as it seems for the orphans of Grace Field House. As a result, this series is full of suspense and thrills, but it also has some pretty harrowing moments as well. If you are a fan of horror or psychological thrillers, you will love The Promised Neverland. Even if you aren’t, you can’t help but cheer on the kids in this series as they push for their freedom and a better life.
As you are watching, there’s a looming fear that they are going to get caught as they are plotting behind the scenes. You really feel the gravity of the situation these kids are in, and you’ll experience every feeling you can as they make for their escape.
And while it doesn’t sound pleasant to experience negative feelings, like fear and anxiety, it really is a testament to how well they’ve pulled you into the story. Its ability to spark these intense emotions within you is some of the best I’ve seen. The Promised Neverland is one of the best anime you can watch on Netflix right now thanks to its eerie atmosphere and well-developed and peculiar storyline.
Episodes on Netflix: 23 episodes (2 seasons)
What is Great Pretender about?
Supposedly Japan’s greatest swindler, Makoto Edamura gets more than he bargained for when he tries to con Laurent Thierry, a real world-class crook.
Why Great Pretender is one of the best anime on Netflix
Along with Dorohedoro, Great Pretender is a Netflix exclusive that made our Best Anime of 2020 list. It’s one that feels fresh thanks to its unique themes and perspectives and colorful backdrop. With bold and striking animation, Great Pretender is a true standout visually speaking, but most to thank for its success are its intriguing storyline and diverse group of characters and settings.
You’ll travel across the world and experience elaborate cons in this anime series, but there are interweaving stories throughout each that connect them to a different character. These cons each have significance, so while thrilling, there’s depth and meaning to them as well. As a result, what you get is a well-paced and well-told story that is as fun to watch as it is moving.
The premise itself was enough to get me watching, but it’s the characters that kept me watching. There’s something so captivating about personalities like Makoto, Laurent, Aby, and Cynthia. They shine together, but they shine just as much individually as you learn more about them and their backgrounds over the course of the series.
Great Pretender is one of those anime that will stick with you long after you watch it. It will awaken your sense of adventure as it introduces you to new people and new places around the world, but it’s one that will affect you emotionally as well.
Episodes on Netflix: 12 episodes (1 season)
What is Dorohedoro about?
Amnesiac Caiman seeks to undo his lizard head curse by killing the sorcerer responsible, with his friend Nikaido’s help. In the Hole, that’s a threat.
Why Dorohedoro is one of the best anime on Netflix
Dorohedoro‘s ability to not just set up a world, but make you feel like you are a part of it is unparalleled. While I don’t think the CGI was done as flawlessly as in anime series like Beastars, the backgrounds were some of the best I’ve seen in anime and they really suited Dorohedoro‘s unique art style. They truly made the characters’ surroundings stand out, and that made the environment come fully to life.
All in all, it’s a ridiculously fun watch that’s gritty and bloody and doesn’t hold anything back. I am confident in saying that it’s one of the best anime not just on Netflix, but also one of the best anime to release in 2020.
Episodes on Netflix: 13 (1 Season) + Violet Evergarden Special and Violet Evergarden the Movie
What is Violet Evergarden about?
The war is over, and Violet Evergarden needs a job. Scarred and emotionless, she takes a job as a letter writer to understand herself and her past.
Why Violet Evergarden is one of the best anime on Netflix
With stunning visuals and an engrossing premise, Violet Evergarden‘s first season had a strong impact on me. I instantly became emotionally invested in Violet’s journey to find meaning and purpose in her life now that she’s no longer at war.
Even more so endearing is her interactions and dialogue with her friends, coworkers, and acquaintances, which though humorous at times, shows off her strong desire to understand human connection and emotion. That humor I mentioned is sprinkled within all the seriousness, which I found to be enjoyable. It has moments of both sadness and joy, which make it an extremely heartfelt and well-rounded anime series.
Violet Evergarden was clearly made with extreme care and it shows in both the animation and the story-telling. If you are looking for something that is just as mentally stimulating as it is emotionally, check this one out! In addition to the first season, Netflix has the Violet Evergarden Special and Violet Evergarden the Movie available to stream on their platform.
Episodes on Netflix: 37 (1 Season)
What is Death Note about?
When a Japanese high schooler comes into possession of a mystical notebook, he finds he has the power to kill anybody whose name he enters in it.
Why Death Note is one of the best anime on Netflix
Death Note holds a special place in my heart because it’s one of the first anime I ever watched. My love for it though goes much deeper than that. The way the series tackles moral dilemmas is better than any I’ve seen.
Even though the battle between L and Light is one of wits not brawn, this classic anime series is not short on action and suspense. Their intense rivalry and interesting character profiles make these two characters some of the most exciting to watch in anime. If you haven’t checked out Death Note yet, you should give it a shot. It’s one that will have your mind and your heart buzzing thanks to it being one of the most thrilling and mentally-stimulating titles out there.
Attack on Titan
Episodes on Netflix: 25 episodes (1 season)
What is Attack on Titan about?
With his hometown in ruins, young Eren Yeager becomes determined to fight back against the giant Titans that threaten to destroy the human race.
Why Attack on Titan is one of the best anime on Netflix
Attack on Titan has become a colossal giant in anime since its release, and rightfully so. As one of the most thrilling anime series to release within the last decade, AOT’s premise is one that keeps you on the edge of your seat with the lore and mystery that is held both within and outside of its walls.
As you follow the Survey Corps with characters, like Eren, Mikasa, and Levi, you’ll see them mourn the comrades they were bound to lose along the way and you’ll see them kill some titans in some pretty badass ways also. Its gory nature at times makes the anime a true standout, but it doesn’t sacrifice the story, like many, in any way by doing so.
Want to get into the manga as well? Here are the best ways to read Attack on Titan!
One Punch Man
Episodes on Netflix: 12 (1 Season)
What is One Punch Man about?
The most powerful superhero in the world can kill anyone with one blow. But nothing and no one can beat Saitama, one of the most overpowered main characters in anime, so he struggles with ennui and depression. He is in search of a foe that will rival him, which proves to be more of a challenge than he expected.
Why One Punch Man is one of the best anime on Netflix
One Punch Man is somewhere between goofy and badass, and that gives it an interesting edge that makes it a true force to be reckoned with. As far as heroes go, Saitama is the most overpowered I’ve come across, and while some anime with an unbeatable hero can lose your interest over time, One Punch Man does not.
If you are worried that this is just going to be another run-of-the-mill, overpowered superhero story, don’t be. It is done well conceptually, and paired with its humor and interesting supporting roles, you’ll see why it’s unique and in a league of its own.
Saitama’s immense strength, boredom, and unbeatable record are what cause him to seek out a good fight, and it’s those interactions and scenes that make One Punch Man as entertaining as it is. The fact that almost everyone fails to take him seriously is another part of the comedy that makes this series shine.
In addition to all of that, the animation throughout is incredible and the fight scenes are dynamic and some of the best I’ve seen to date.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Seasons on Netflix: 5 seasons
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure follows the Joestar family and their battle against evil, but for reasons I cannot spoil, it is so much more than that. It’s one of the most influential as well as best anime released to date, and it develops in ways that will continuously surprise you.
The first five parts of the series, Phantom Blood, Battle Tendency, Stardust Crusaders, Diamond Is Unbreakable, and Golden Wind, are shonen. The first three are more so than the others, but as you get into the later parts, it becomes more so a seinen.
So far, the anime has been adapted up through Part 6 of the manga, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean, so the anime is starting to get into the more seinen-like arcs. That being said, if you are a fan of seinen and are looking to get into shonen anime, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is one of the tops that I recommend.
If you get into the anime and aren’t hooked by Season 1 (Phantom Blood/Battle Tendency), please stick with it, because it truly is one of the best to release and the series gets better with each season. I always thought JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure was great, but it wasn’t until Stardust Crusaders that I felt it became amazing. It wasn’t until Diamond Is Unbreakable and beyond, though, that I thought it was a masterpiece, so it’s well worth the time investment.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is one of the most creative and unique anime you can experience. It features exciting battles and stunning animation, has no shortage of interesting personalities, and the series gets better and better with each new season.
Seasons on Netflix: 13 seasons
One Piece, which is adapted from the manga by Eiichiro Oda, is an epic saga that’s full of adventure and it’s one of the most popular and highly-rated anime of all time. It follows the journey of Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates on their travels at sea, but it also highlights the friends and foes they meet along the way. There are many treasures to be found, but as seen in One Piece, friendship may be the best treasure of them all.
One area in which One Piece truly excels is its world-building. Eiichiro Oda created a completely unique world, where pirates and the military battle it out, and Toei Animation did an incredible job at bringing it to life. There are many different regions in One Piece that keep things fresh and exciting as you watch. You feel very much like you are exploring this world with Luffy and crew as they traverse the Blue Sea and beyond to islands, meet their people, and delve into their landscapes and customs.
With an incredible cast of characters, one of the best MCs in all of shonen, and some of the best world-building I’ve seen, One Piece is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best anime you can watch on Netflix.
These are the best anime on Netflix right now! As more anime is released on Netflix, we will update this post, so stay tuned for more recommendations. Want more anime? Check out all of the anime that’s releasing in 2023!