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The best anime movie on Netflix that you absolutely need to watch

The best anime movie on Netflix that you absolutely need to watch

Over the past decade, anime has gone from niche to mainstream. Do a quick google search and you’ll find no shortage of fan fiction, art and cosplay, all based on the creative and immersive worlds found in anime.

Netflix’s investment in this medium of storytelling may just be one of the reasons for anime’s rise in popularity. From distributing popular anime that aired in Japan to original creations, Netflix has become a powerhouse, rivaled only by streaming services dedicated to anime — most prominently, Crunchyroll. Anime is an electrifying art form, and it comes in just about every genre you can think of. Whatever your taste, chances are there’s an anime out there for you.

In no particular order, here are the best anime shows on Netflix.

Funimation

Attack on Titan is arguably one of the most popular anime right now. And with good reason. With spectacular animation, political intrigue, a compelling cast and major battles, this is a show you want to check out. Yes, the Titans – the giant, humanoid, man-eating monsters that force humanity to live behind high castle walls – are nervous and can scare you. But that’s half the fun, especially when we see our heroes take them down. Netflix only has Attack on Titan’s first season in its catalog, but the 25 episodes are enough to get you started.

VIZ Media

Hunter x Hunter (2011–2014)

Hunter x Hunter remains an unfinished story, having been abruptly put on hiatus after season 6. The manga’s writer, Yoshihiro Togashi, stopped writing and put Hunter x Hunter on hiatus. New chapters, Togashi recently announced, are coming. This anime starts with the protagonist Gon Freecss, who leaves home in search of his father, but the show quickly branches out from the simple narrative. The series is beloved for its world-building and emotional investment across its diverse cast.

Viz Media

A gripping game of cat and mouse for the ages, Death Note follows Light Yagami, a genius high schooler who finds a mysterious notebook (titled “Death Note”) that gives the user the ability to kill anyone whose name is written in it. Determined to create a new world free of crime, Light carries out a massacre, killing criminals and those Light considers morally unworthy. But the world’s greatest detective is on the case. Can light escape with it?

Viz Media

“Believe it” (as Naruto Uzumaki would say), you can’t have a best anime list without this show. This classic, beloved anime follows Naruto, a young ninja from Hidden Leaf Village who dreams of becoming the leader of his village. Beware: Naruto is one very long anime. So long that once you’ve made it through all nine seasons on Netflix (220 episodes total), covering Naruto’s pre-teens, you’ll still have another 500 episodes to cover in Naruto: Shippuden, which picks up two and a half years after the show’s original run. There are also a handful of Naruto movies available on the streaming service right now. Beware and skip the filler episodes, unless you’re really desperate for something to watch.

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Viz Media

Shonen’s latest darling, Demon Slayer, is a one-of-a-kind hit that breaks with many of the worn-out clichés of action anime. The story follows Tanjiro Kamado, who joins the ranks of demon slayers after the murder of his family by a demon. Only Nezuko Kamado, Tanjiro’s younger sister, survived the attack – but she was transformed into a demon. Tanjiro travels Taisho-era Japan with Nezuko in search of a cure and joins the Demon Slayer Corps, attempting to confront the original demon, Muzan Kibutsuji, who killed his family.

The animation and action are amazing, the characters are compelling and alive, the music is amazing and the dialogue is memorable. We couldn’t recommend this anime more. Season one is streaming on Netflix, but there’s another season out there if you’re craving more.

Yen pressure

You will be hooked after the first few episodes of this popular anime, trust us. This show isn’t your typical action anime – but that doesn’t make it any less exciting. In fact, the opposite is true. Kakegurui is set in an academy where the yardstick of a student is based on their gambling skills, be it at the roulette table or blackjack. Part psychological thriller, part drama, the stakes keep getting higher as the show progresses.

Netflix

A Netflix original inspired by the classic video games of the same name, Castlevania follows the last member of the disgraced Belmont family, Trevor Belmont. This dark medieval fantasy is full of gore, gothic horror and grotesque monsters. Trevor – and friends made along the way – venture out to defeat none other than Dracula himself, whose anger and grief over the unjust death of love is overrunning 15th-century Eastern Europe. You don’t want to miss this one.

Viz Media

Record of Ragnarok (2021-)

Have you ever wanted to see a fight between a Norse god and an ancient Chinese warrior? Or watch a Greek god duke it out with one of the best swordsmen in Japan’s history? Me neither, but now I’m glad I have it.

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The registration of Ragnarok’s premise is simple: through 13 one-on-one battles to the death, humanity must prove itself worthy to avoid annihilation by the gods. The first to seven wins wins. This anime is imaginative, entertaining, and packed with human history, so you’ll learn a few new things along the way. It’s also cool to see legends from all corners of the world collapsing into one myth. Only the first 12-episode season is out, making this a perfect anime to tide over your next couch session.

Viz Media

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (2012-)

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure follows generations of the Joestar family, from the 19th century to modern times, through decades of, you guessed it, bizarre adventures. Each member of the family bears the same name – Jojo – and each is imbued with great superhuman powers. The battles are as psychic and supernatural as the narrative is adventurous. Good that all five seasons are streaming on Netflix.

Sunrise

Another anime classic, Cowboy Bebop originally aired in 1998, and well, it never lost its appeal. The show brilliantly fused a number of genres – primarily science fiction and westerns (think space cowboys) – to create something completely new and compelling. The series takes place in 2071 and is about a group of traveling bounty hunters aboard their ship, Bebop. Netflix recently made a live-action version of the show, though it didn’t receive the same critical acclaim as the anime.

Viz Media

If you thought Naruto was long, think again. One Piece is the longest-running anime to date, spanning more than 1,000 episodes over 23 years of broadcasting. The show follows Monkey D. Luffy and his crew, the Straw Hat Pirates. They are in search of the ultimate treasure known as One Piece. Netflix recently extended its four-season run of One Piece to 13 seasons, giving you plenty to sink your teeth into. If you’re ever hoping to catch up, you better get to it!

Netflix

In a world where demons are reappearing, Akira Fudo unites with a demon, at the behest of his friend, to become a devilman, to wage a brutal war against the demons that now plague the earth.

Devilman Crybaby is based on the manga written by Go Nagai, which was originally adapted as an anime in the 70s. This newer series moves the time setting from the 1970s to modern times, and goes hardcore on mature themes and violent sequences. It is rated TV-MA, so this is not one for the kids.

Devilman Crybaby debuted to great acclaim in 2018, and so far only 10 episodes have been collected in one season.

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Netflix

Beastars is set in a world of anthropomorphic animals. These characters have jobs and go to school, reminiscent of Disney’s Zootopia. But while Beastars and Zootopia both tackle similar themes—predator versus prey, prejudice and discrimination versus compassion and inclusion—Beastars is definitely the emotionally heavier show. In fact, due to some of the sexual themes and violence in the show, it’s best to steer children away from this one. If you’re into melodramas that are heavy-handedly philosophical, this might be the best show for you yet.

Viz Media

One Punch Man (2015–2019)

How would you feel if you were so strong that you could defeat any enemy with just one blow? Triumphant? Boring? Lonely? This is the central question One Punch Man struggles with. The show follows the hero Saitama who has trained so hard that all his hair fell out. By the end of his training, he is able to defeat any enemy with one blow. The show is a satire of shonen manga and anime, subverting the usual tropes found in these stories. If you’re looking for a different spin on the modern superhero story, this might be your cup of tea.

Netflix

Netflix has a robust library of past Pokemon anime, and the newest series in the franchise is produced by Netflix itself. The story follows our favorite forever 10-year-old Ash Ketchum (go figure) as he continues his Pokémon journey. The show also introduces a number of new characters, including Goh and Chloe, and takes audiences to several regions of the Pokémon world, including the newest region, the Galar region. If you’re a fan of Pokemon, or have kids, this is a great anime to watch.

Nickelodeon

Honorable Mention: Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008)

Okay, Avatar: The Last Airbender isn’t technically anime, but it draws so much from the art form, and is so perfect, that it would be crazy not to mention it here. I missed this show when it was still on Nickelodeon, and when it reappeared on Netflix, I dismissed it as purely nostalgic hype. Boy, was I wrong. This show deals with complex themes such as war propaganda, genocide, duty and honor while remaining a light-hearted and optimistic epic story. Oh, and it also has one of the best character redemption arcs in TV history, period.

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