With new shows coming to Amazon Prime Video constantly, it has some of the best anime to stream right now thanks to the genre’s global boom. There are several dedicated anime streaming platforms as well, like Crunchyroll and Funimation, but Prime Video remains a solid supplement. And given the fact that many consumers already use Amazon’s subscription service for shopping, its anime backlog provides added value.
Even as a backup option when it comes to streaming the genre, Amazon Prime Video has some of the best anime to watch right now, spanning movies, TV, classics, and modern hits.
For those who might be feeling a little overwhelmed, but are still intrigued by the genre, we also have worthwhile guides on the best anime on Netflix and the best anime on Hulu to help fans get the most value out of their subscriptions.
One of the most influential anime movies of all time, director Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell made a case for the genre’s appeal westward. Ghost in the Shell — adapting Masamune Shirow’s manga of the same name — takes place in a sci-fi future where Major Motoko Kusanagi and Section 9 are tasked with apprehending a highly skilled hacker.
The movie was animated by the experienced studio Production I.G with crisp animation work and striking visuals. A critically acclaimed anime that holds up today, Ghost in the Shell is a stylish hybrid of neo-noir and cyberpunk genres akin to Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.
Capcom’s Street Fighter franchise is one of the pillars of the fighting genre in video games. Given that status, it was only a matter of time before that success led to multimedia adaptations. Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie adapts the titular video game’s story to great effect.
The story involves the various iconic characters of the Street Fighter roster battling it out in M. Bison’s fighting tournament to decide who will be part of his organization’s plans for world domination. Animation studio Group TAC did excellent work in keeping the game’s original artistic style in character designs and recreating the high-octane action.
Writer Shuichi Shigeno’s Initial D manga series is iconic within the medium, and its anime adaptations have lived up to the prestige. Animation studios Liden Films and Sanzigen return for Initial D Legend 2: Racer, which condenses and recaps the early parts of the story covered in the source material and TV anime adaptation.
Following the surge in fame after the events of Legend 1: Awakening, Racer sees protagonist Takumi face a challenge from Takeshi Nakazato. The leader of the street-racing gang known as the Myogi NightKids, this challenger will put pressure on Takmu’s newfound reputation.
A manga and anime classic, Shuuichi Shigeno’s Initial D is perhaps the best racing-themed series in both mediums. Produced by animation studios Liden Films and Sanzigen, Initial D Legend 1: Awakening is a modernized remake and a movie adaptation of the classic story.
Covering the early parts of the manga, Awakening begins with protagonist and seemingly ordinary high schooler Takumi Fujiwara, who works as a gas station attendant and delivery boy for his father’s tofu restaurant. However, he’s also an elite street racer, leading to several gangs challenging him to test his mettle as a modern legend.
Back in the days when Weekly Shonen Jump Magazine’s “Big Three” reigned supreme, Naruto was helping lead the charge in manga alongside the likes of Bleach and One Piece. Masashi Kishimoto’s series was a phenomenon for both manga and anime on the international stage, and the original Naruto series still holds up as a nostalgic modern classic.
It follows young inspiring ninja and village outcast Naruto Uzumaki as he attempts to gain the respect of the Hidden Leaf Village and become its Hokage. Along the way, the series unravels multiple action-focused exploits and introduces a variety of colorful characters.
The penultimate installment in an anime movie reimagining, Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo begins 14 years after the cataclysmic event dubbed the Third Impact. Protagonist Shinji Ikari is trapped inside his Evangelion Unit-01 and is recovered by his friends and allies, only to find himself taken prisoner.
Who Shinji once thought of as his friends now treat him as hostile, casting suspicions and doubt on his character following the events of 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance. The Rebuild of Evangelion anime film series was a dragged-out process, but it all comes together thrillingly as a complete story after the finale, 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time.
An anime original series produced by studio Madhouse, Kaiba is one of the most conceptually and visually unique anime offerings available on the streamer. In a dystopian sci-fi future, life and death no longer carry the same meaning. People can view, alter, and transfer their memories to other bodies, effectively achieving a form of immortality.
Of course, this only benefits the rich who can afford to do so, while the vast majority of people are forced to sell their bodies as a means of simply getting by. Kaiba has been praised for using its striking art direction and fluid animation to dazzle, while also offering some poignant social commentary.
Rumiko Takahashi’s InuYasha manga was a shonen classic from the ’90s. and animation studio Sunrise’s adaptation was similarly well-received. Fifteen-year-old Kagome Higurashi finds herself transported to Sengoku-era Japan and meets a half-dog demon named Inuyasha.
Kagome and Inuyasha adventure across the countryside together to gather the pieces of the powerful Shikon Jewel before it falls into the wrong hands. InuYasha has been praised for its tasteful balance of action, fantastical setting, humor, and handling of darker themes.
While it may appear daunting for the uninitiated, the Rebuild of Evangelion collection of anime movies is a great way to expand upon the original hit TV series. This franchise has been praised as some of the best anime ever created, and it’s among the most compelling sci-fi mecha IPs as well. The second installment in the four-movie collection, Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance, continues the story of its predecessor, which follows the first six episodes of the TV anime almost exactly.
However, this sequel is where the story begins to notably deviate from the TV anime’s continuity, altering events from episodes 8-19 and even introducing new characters. It follows Shinji and company as they continue their fight as NERV pilots in the titular Evangelion mechs.
Based on a popular series of light novels, Grimoire of Zero centers on Zero, an experienced witch who must team with a mercenary to find a magical tome. Their relationship, combined with the epic scope of the series, help make it a standout among fantasy anime.
Vikings get the anime treatment in Vinland Saga, one of the newer entries on this list. The Vikings have dominated society for a thousand years and have an insatiable thirst for violence. Thorfinn grows up in this culture, spending much of his boyhood on a battlefield, building his skills to ultimately achieve revenge for his father’s murder.
A rom-com anime? Why not! Narumi changes jobs, only to reunite with Hirotaka, a childhood friend who has grown up into a good-looking, highly skilled employee. The two resume their chemistry from childhood and soon catch feelings for one another. However, they’re both secretly otaku — massive nerds. As such, a serious romantic relationship is difficult to find through all of the immense awkwardness.
An entertaining blend of science fiction, fantasy, and social commentary, Elfen Lied centers on Lucy, a member of the Diclonius species who has horn-life bone protusions on her forehead and possesses the power of telekinesis. The series chronicles Lucy’s journey as she struggles to escape being imprisoned just because she’s different and find the acceptance she has desired her entire life.
Ash Lynx is a 17-year-old gang leader on the streets of New York City, but he’s still under the thumb of mob boss Dino Golzine. When Ash discovers a mystery drug called “Banana Fish” on one of Dino’s men, Ash begins asking questions, falling down a rabbit hole that will draw him closer to the death of his older brother. There’s no telling just how high the conspiracy goes.
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