Netflix has some of the best anime right now as the genre’s popularity booms globally. Even with the streamer’s reputation for chaotically axing and renewing shows, Netflix’s decision to double down on expanding animation is impressive. Whether it’s the service’s original anime content or legacy additions to the catalog, Netflix boasts some of the best anime to stream right now.
Admittedly, Crunchyroll and Funimation are great anime-centric platforms. Nonetheless, Netflix remains a respectable mainstream destination for fans of the genre. As accessible as anime now is, it can be a bit intimidating to figure out where to start. Thankfully, we’ve curated an updated list to help you find something to suit your tastes.
If you want more options, check out our other guides to the best anime on Hulu and the best anime available on Amazon Prime Video.
Demon Slayer is one of the biggest hits in the modern anime and manga scene. Especially so for the former, as Ufotable brilliantly adapted Koyoharu Gotouge’s manga of the same name to film and TV.
Netflix now finally has the rights to stream the second season of the series after adding the first season and the Mugen Train arc. Demon Slayer season 2 covers the Entertainment District arc, which sees Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke go to the titular Japanese district in Yoshiwara to investigate a prowling demon wreaking havoc there.
The Mobile Suit Gundam franchise has long been an anime icon, as well as the face of the mecha subgenre. Animated by studio Sunrise, the 2015 Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans series became one of the best for the franchise on TV. The series follows Mikazuki Augus and Orga Itsuka, who go from being slaves of a private security company to leaders of their own mercenary group.
Things expand exponentially in scale once they take on a job to escort martian noblewoman Kudelia Aina Bernstein to potentially negotiate the independence of her home. Iron-Blooded Orphans doesn’t take its stakes lightly for anyone involved, is filled with thrilling robot action, and features storylines packed with political drama.
Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece is one of the most lucrative manga and anime properties in the world. Fans all over the world are invested in the Straw Hat Pirate crew’s colorful exploits, and its success spawned several anime movies. The non-canonical One Piece Film: Z ranks among the best of the franchise’s theatrical efforts, pitting Luffy and company against a powerful new foe.
As the group navigates the waters of the New World searching for Gol D. Roger’s treasure, they cross paths with the renegade former Marine Admiral Z. He’s being suspected of stealing powerful weapons capable of eliminating the pirate world as they know it — and taking countless innocent lives as collateral along with it.
Another anime and manga phenomenon from Shonen Jump Magazine’s era of the “Big Three,” Naruto has effectively become a modern classic for newer generations of anime fans.
Masashi Kishimoto’s ninja series follows the titular Naruto Uzumaki going from village outcast to hometown hero, as he and the rest of Team 7 tackle an increasingly dangerous set of foes. It’s part of his grand dream to become the Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village, but Naruto has also become known for having a wide cast of fan-favorite characters.
A manga classic of the ’90s and ’00s, Rumiko Takahashi’s Inuyasha is another beloved shonen series that shouldn’t be forgotten among its contemporaries. The original anime adaptation was done by the well-known Mobile Suit Gundam studio Sunrise and was generally well-received for being faithful to the source material.
In a radical and unexpected turn of events, 15-year-old Kagome Higurashi is pulled by a demon into her family’s well and into the feudal past, in an age where demons were prominent. Eventually, she meets and teams up with the half-demon boy Inuyasha to find the pieces of the powerful Shikon Jewel before more nefarious hands reach them.
An anime original series created by veteran studio Production I.G (Ghost in the Shell, Haikyuu!!), B: The Beginning is a detective-thriller story. The plot centers around trying to apprehend the elusive vigilante dubbed “Killer B” on the island nation of Cremona.
In this world, society is under the control of highly-advanced technology and crime, with some going as far as to celebrate Killer B for taking the law into both his super-human hands. The Royal Investigation Service is desperate to capture this vigilante, with the organization bringing back its eccentric former detective Keith Flick to handle the job.
Taking a break from the high-octane action and bombast of other typical anime offerings, Blue Period is a refreshing and down-to-earth story. Fitting nicely within the slice-of-life anime subgenre, animation studio Seven Arcs’ Blue Period adapts Tsubasa Yamaguchi’s manga of the same name. Centering around the story of Yatora Yaguchi, the high-school delinquent with top-notch grades finds himself feeling empty by his life of keeping up with his schoolwork and hanging around a group of unambitious friends.
He finds his true passion in the arts — painting, to be specific. From there, Yatora embarks on a journey to enroll in the competitive Tokyo University of the Arts. Blue Period has been acclaimed for its investing cast of characters and coming-of-age-themed storytelling.
A Netflix original story developed by famed animators Wit Studio (Vinland Saga season 1, Attack on Titan seasons 1-3), Great Pretender is a vibrant heist comedy. Starting with the petty ventures of a common thief named Makoto Edamura in Japan, the series expands onto a grander scale when he’s unwittingly recruited by a master con man and his colorful cast of colleagues.
Each story arc is cleverly separated into cases, with each detailing equal parts thrilling new capers and genuinely emotional character development of the main cast. Complemented by its stunning art direction, Great Pretender is easily one of Netflix’s greatest original anime series.
A Netflix anime original, veteran animation studio Bones’ Super Crooks is an adaptation of writer Mark Millar and artist Leinil Francis Yu’s Marvel Comics series of the same name. The series follows the exploits of a small-time crook named Johnny Bolt as he strings together one big heist to help the world’s most beloved “supercrook” out of a gambling jam.
Bolt forms a team of supervillains to pull off a massive heist, traveling to Spain and attempting to rob one of the most infamous supervillains of all time. It’s a fun twist on conventional superhero storytelling and utilizes anime format to excellent effect.
And now, with that series concluded, The Seven Deadly Sins: Grudge of Edinburgh Part 1 will serve as a cinematic prequel to the sequel series Four Knights of the Apocalypse, which ushers in a new generation of heroes. This time, the story follows Tristan, the son of Meliodas and Elizabeth, a young boy will travel to the titular Edinburgh Castle.[/dt_media]
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