Netflix is a low-key good source for anime. You can find older classics like Rurouni Kenshin for a good Sunday evening binge. Netflix also licenses anime specifically for the platform. Some examples include the Little Witch Academia, Knights of Sidonia, and Seven Deadly Sins. The mixture of titles and genres is good enough for most anime fans, although Netflix pales in comparison to sites like Funimation, VRV, or Crunchyroll. Still, there are a ton of options with some old classics as well as newer anime. Let’s take a look at the best anime on Netflix!
Slice of Life and Moe
Drama and Romance
Mystery and Thriller
Horror and Gore
There are a ton of great anime on Netflix, but we couldn’t fit all the ones we like into the list above. Here are a bunch of honorable mentions in case you want even more options. Please note, we don’t list several shows like Fairy Tail, Attack on Titan, Sword Art Online, Bleach, Case Closed, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and Naruto. Netflix doesn’t have the full run of any of these shows and that makes them incomplete experiences. They are still good anime, though.
Black Butler – Black Butler is a comedy drama about a 12-year old kid who makes a contract with a demon butler to find and kill the people who killed his parents. The show features tons of adult themes, dark comedy, and entertaining storylines. The episodic nature of the show gives it a slower than usual pace, but the characters are memorable and enjoyable. Don’t let your kids watch this one, trust us.
Castlevania – Castlevania isn’t actually an anime in the traditional sense. It’s an American made show with Japanese anime style animation. It follows the basic plot from Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse from 1989. The show currently runs for 20 episodes with good pacing. It’s an excellent nostalgia trip for people who played the original Castlevania games.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion – Code Geass is a cult classic action-drama show. You follow the adventures of Lelouch, a dramatic student with some big goals. The show leans heavily on its consistent plot twists, Lelouch’s flair for the dramatic, and a few good mecha battles. Once you really lean into the show’s absurdities, it’s a wildly entertaining thrill ride. Netflix has the entire anime run, but none of the OVAs, unfortunately.
The Fate Series – Netflix has several Fate shows to choose from. They include Fate/stay Night: Unlimited Bladeworks, Fate/Apocrypha, and Fate/EXTRA Last Encore. These are reasonably good action-adventure shows with fantasy elements. Characters battle for the Holy Grail, an ancient relic capable of granting one wish. Netflix has every episode from each show, but it doesn’t have every Fate show in the series.
Fullmetal Alchemist (and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood) – Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood are two of the most popular anime ever made. Both shows follow the Elric brothers through a story of action, adventure, fantasy, and mystery. The original Fullmetal Alchemist had better pacing and story telling while Brotherhood had a better ending and a more adult feel to it. You can’t go wrong either way. Both shows are fairly old, but hold up well to today’s standards.
The Devil is a Part-Timer! – This comedy anime features the devil himself. He gets locked out of his realm and must make do in the real world. He gets a 9-5 job at this anime’s version of McDonald’s (called MgRonald’s) and hilarity ensues. The show only lasts for 13 episodes, so it’s easy to binge over the course of a weekend. You won’t be blown away by its premise or execution, but it’s still a good show.
Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet – This one is an adventure-fantasy show with excellent animation quality and a good pace. It follows a mecha pilot stranding on a world made almost entirely out of water. The 13-episode show has one major story arc with a good climax and some decent action. It’s a bit procedural as anime goes, but the memorable characters and animation really helps this one stick out.
Hunter X Hunter – Hunter X Hunter is another older anime and a precursor to MMORPG anime like Sword Art Online and others. The show revolves around Hunters who slay beasts, hunt for treasure, and track down people. The show has excellent fantasy action, but it’s also one of the older anime on the list.
InuYasha – InuYasha is a very popular action-fantasy anime. You may remember this one being on TV when you were younger. It follows the half-demon InuYasha in his search for jewel shards. It’s a classic style action show from the 2000’s, so there is plenty of yelling, fighting, and some bits of comedy to keep the flow moving. This definitely aged better than many similar anime and it’s still a fun watch.
The Magi series – The Magi series comprises of three anime, Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Magi: The Kingdom of Magic, and finally, The Adventures of Sinbad (in that order). It follows a child magic user and his pals as they figure out the secrets of a particular dungeon and then take part in a massive struggle. The premise definitely isn’t unique, but the execution is fun to watch.
Revisions – Revisions is a mecha action show and one of several Netflix Originals on this list. It starts with a trip 300 years into the future to battle Revisions, a race of cyborgs. Netflix has the 12-episode first season available now and it has excellent animation, pacing, and English voice overs. You should be able to get through it quickly over the course of a weekend.
Rurouni Kenshin – Rurouni Kenshin is a nostalgia trip for many anime fans. The action-adventure show takes place in late 1800’s Japan and follows the story of Kenshin as he saves Japan from evil. The show originally aired in the 1990’s and suffers from a lot of the animation and English dub setbacks of that era. Thus, it didn’t age quite as well as some other old shows on the list.
If we missed any great anime on Netflix, tell us about it in the comments!