Since I’m quarantining indoors, I’ve had more time on my hands. And more time for me, always means catching up on the anime I just haven’t had the time to watch. As new releases come out, I find myself with a backlog that’s just too long to catch up on. Netflix, in particular, is releasing some great series lately with some even being their own originals or anime they are in association with, like Beastars and Dorohedoro.
Netflix is not only great for catching up on older 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 their 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 shows to find the best anime on Netflix right now.
I’m going to try to avoid the more obvious anime you should watch that will be recommended to you in almost every post and Reddit thread, and for good reason, like Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Code Geass, and Neon Genesis Evangelion.
I am also going to leave out, but need to mention these more well-known and widely discussed anime, like One Piece, Naruto, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Fairy Tail, and Soul Eater. If you are just getting into anime, these as well as Hunter x Hunter, which I'll talk about later, are a good place to start.
All of the aforementioned series are great for different reasons and I highly recommend them as some of the best anime on Netflix, but I wanted to include and go into greater detail about some possibly different options you haven't heard about, tried, or fully watched yet.
Everyone has their favorites, but here are some of mine and why I recommend them. I'll keep this post updated as more anime is added to Netflix!
If Hulu is more your thing, be sure to check out our list of the best anime on Hulu!
Best Anime on Netflix
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Episodes on Netflix: 26 episodes (1 Season)
Synopsis: 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 I recommend Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is a popular 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 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”, have 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!
Hunter × Hunter
Episodes on Netflix: 75 episodes (4 seasons), Season 6 coming to Netflix on August 1, 2021
Synopsis: 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 I Recommend Hunter × Hunter: This one might seem obvious like some of the 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.
Episodes on Netflix: 12 episodes (1 season)
Synopsis: 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 I Recommend Erased: 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 under-developed. 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)
Synopsis: 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 I Recommend Iron-Blooded Orphans: Out of all the Gundam series out there, 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, and tears, and much much more to his comrades on their quest for a brighter future, while albeit it 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 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.
Episodes on Netflix: 12 episodes (1 season), Season 2 coming to Netflix on July 15, 2021
Synopsis: 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 I Recommend Beastars: Beastars’ first season 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 much more made me binge the entire season in a couple days. They are only on Season 1 right now with Season 2 slated to release sometime in 2021, so it’s an easy one to catch up on. Plus, hopefully you’ll have another series you can’t wait to pick back up on next year.
Top 10 Best Anime of 2019
The Promised Neverland
Episodes on Netflix: 12 episodes (1 season)
Synopsis: 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 I Recommend The Promised Neverland: 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 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)
Synopsis: 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 I Recommend Great Pretender: 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 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 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.
Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma
Episodes on Netflix: 37 episodes (2 seasons)
Synopsis: Young chef Soma enters the prestigious Totsuki Culinary Academy, where he must emerge victorious in over-the-top cooking battles or face expulsion.
Why I Recommend Food Wars: There are so many reasons why I love Food Wars. I must admit when I watched the first episode, I was unsure if it’d be one I’d enjoy. Yeah, there’s some nudity and it can get quite odd on occasion, but it’s all done in a way that makes it that much more lovable and humorous. If you are questioning after the first few episodes whether you will like this anime or not, please keep going and give it a shot, because you will quickly grow to love the characters and the premise.
I personally never thought I’d enjoy an anime that’s all about fighting it out in the kitchen, but the shokugeki battles are action-packed and entertaining. There’s much more to this anime once you scratch the surface. And if you don’t get any of that from watching it, it will, in the very least, teach you how to cook.
It is important to also note that Food Wars is currently still airing and is on its 5th and final season. Episodes were previously halted due to COVID-19, but will be resuming on July 17th. There aren’t many episodes on Netflix, but it will give you the chance to see if it’s something you want to dive further into.
All of the Anime Announced for 2021 So Far
Kill la Kill
Episodes on Netflix: 24 episodes (1 Season)
Synopsis: The "woman with the scissor blade" -- Ryuko Matoi -- searches for clues all around the world for the truth behind her father's death.
Why I Recommend Kill la Kill: With its offbeat humor and over-the-top characters, Kill la Kill is both fun and exciting to watch. And while it is a lot to take in and gives you sensory overload, it doesn't come across as overwhelming and overdone. If you are looking for a fast-paced, no filler watch, Kill la Kill is just what you are looking for.
It is important to note that there is a lot of fan service in the series, and if that's not something you are typically into, I implore you to try and look past it. If you don't, you are going to miss out on all the action, in addition to Kill la Kill's amazing storyline. Yeah, its absolutely insane and racy, but it's all done in a funny and endearing way that is sure to have you hooked if you give it a chance.
Episodes on Netflix: 12 episodes (1 season)
Synopsis: 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 I Recommend Dorohedoro: Let me start of by saying that I have yet to read the manga, so I can't speak as to how well the anime follows the story or does it justice. Coming in without any of those expectations, I have to say that 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 series like Beastars, the backgrounds were some of the best I've seen in anime and it 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, 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 thus far in 2020.
Episodes on Netflix: 13 (1 Season)
Synopsis: 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 I Recommend Violet Evergarden: 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 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!
The Devil is A Part-Timer
Episodes on Netflix: 13 (1 Season)
Synopsis: Thwarted in their attempt to take over the world of Ente Isla, Satan and his general Alciel land in modern-day Tokyo, where they take on human form.
Why I Recommend The Devil is A Part-Timer: As it stands, there is currently only one season of The Devil is A Part-Timer, but there is hope by many, including me, that more will be on the way in the future. On first glance of the visuals, you most likely have somewhat of a clue of what you are getting yourself into with this series. But, trust me, you won't have the full picture just yet.
When I watched the first episode, I was surprised in the best way possible with what I was greeted with. This show is much more badass than it appears. Albeit, Satan has been transported to Earth, where he has become a different, more human, form of himself, but the humor in that really shines as he navigates this new world.
The show has made me laugh more times than I can count, and though it's full of comedy, The Devil is A Part-Timer doesn't come across as substance-less or cheap. Trust me, there's still plenty of action and awesome fight scenes throughout that make this anime just as entertaining as it is funny.
The Devil is A Part-Timer isn't doing anything different by any means, but if that's something you can look past and just like it for what it is, it's an enjoyable watch.
Episodes on Netflix: 13 (1 Season)
Synopsis: Created for the 50th anniversary of manga "Ashita No Joe," mechanized human fighters known as Megalo Boxers battle each other for boxing supremacy.
Why I Recommend Megalobox: As someone who's not commonly a fan of sports anime, I have to say Megalobox has warmed me up to the idea of watching more.
If I could sum up what it's like, it's somewhere along the lines of Rocky meets Cowboy Bebop. It may have an old-school feel, but it's done in a fresh way. Some of the best aspects of this series is its striking visuals and soundtrack, which is one of the best I've heard as of late.
As you root for Joe to succeed, you'll become invested in his story and growth as both a fighter and a character. It's the classic underdog tale and while that's a classic path for most anime to take, it's for a reason. You just can't help but hope they come out victorious in the end, and that's no exception here.
As Joe fights these high-tech, suited up boxers with nothing but his own fists and skill, you witness that it's the person behind the gloves, not the machinery that makes the ultimate fighter. All in all, the dynamic between Joe and his team is one to behold even if you aren't a fan of the sport or this particular genre of anime.
Is Megalobox Worth Watching?
Episodes on Netflix: 37 (1 Season)
Synopsis: 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 I Recommend Death Note: 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, the series is not short on action and suspense. Their intense rivalry and interesting character profiles makes 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)
Synopsis: 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 I Recommend Attack on Titan: Attack on Titan has become a colossal giant in anime since its release, and rightfully so. As one of the most thrilling 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 their comrades they were bound to lose along the way and you'll see them kill some titans in some pretty badass ways also. It's gory nature at times make the show a true standout, but it doesn't sacrifice the story, like many, in any way by doing so.
5 Anime Like Kimetsu no Yaiba
Episodes on Netflix: 27 episodes (1 season)
Synopsis: When a young laborer escapes to the world aboveground, he discovers a violent land in which humans battle robots controlled by a power-hungry noble.
Why I Recommend Gurren Lagann: I'm a sucker for anime that feature a main character who starts out timid and afraid, but as the series goes on shows a tremendous amount of growth and becomes a true force of nature. And while I'm in luck because most anime features this type of character in some way or another, Gurren Lagann's Simon is one of the most exciting to watch.
It's also similar in the likes of anime like Kill la Kill with it being so over-the-top in a way that's lovable and fun; in addition to it's quirky animation style.
As far as mecha anime go, Gurren Lagann separates itself from the rest with it being a more whimsical watch that isn't afraid to get crazy and explore the more humorous side of things. And while I love the more serious side of the mecha genre, as seen with Iron-Blooded Orphans mentioned above, I appreciate the fact that Gurren Lagann doesn't take itself too seriously.
It has a lot to offer thanks to its uniqueness and likability, and it's overall just done really well.
Your Lie in April
Episodes on Netflix: 22 episodes (1 season)
Synopsis: After his mother's death, a piano prodigy's will to play disappears. But meeting a free-spirited girl who plays the violin turns his life around.
Why I Recommend Your Lie in April: I get if you're not into romance, because I'm not really either. But, there's a place for it, and when it's done really well, like Your Lie in April, it hits you hard emotionally.
The dialogue and visuals alone make this one worth watching, but it's the relationship between Kaori and Kousei that allows Your Lie in April to hit all the right notes. The symphony--both literally and figuratively--between these two characters is one that deserves to be witnessed and heard.
It is much more than a love story; It's also a story about rediscovery and even more so, overcoming one's traumas. That in itself makes it highly profound. Your Lie in April is one of the most touching and heart-breaking series I've watched, and while I will admit it took a few episodes before I was really hooked, I'm glad I continued on with the series, because it was well worth every moment in the end.
One Punch Man
Episodes on Netflix: 12 (1 Season)
Synopsis: The most powerful superhero in the world can kill anyone with one blow. But nothing can challenge him, so he struggles with ennui and depression.
Why I Recommend One Punch Man: 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 it's humor and interesting supporting roles, you'll see why its unique and in a league of its own.
Saitama's immense strength, boredom, and unbeatable record is what causes 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.
Those, in my opinion, are the best anime streaming on Netflix as of July 2021. Of course, I also want to include the following as some of the best anime on Netflix:
- Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- Code Geass Lelouch
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
- One Piece
- Fairy Tail
- Soul Eater
As mentioned in the introduction, I felt these anime, in particular, are ones you've probably already been recommended numerous times, and for good reason.
Other notable mentions: The Seven Deadly Sins, Sword Art Online (3 seasons), BNA, Magi, Toradora!, and Angel Beats!
In other anime news, check out all the anime that's releasing in Fall 2020!
Tags: Attack on Titan, Beastars, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Food Wars!, Great Pretender, Gurren Lagann, Hunter × Hunter, Kill la Kill, Megalobox, Mobile Suit Gundam, Netflix, One Punch Man, The Devil is A Part-Timer, Violet Evergarden, Your Lie in April