The trend of anime studios signing deals with Netflix has been ongoing for a while now, bringing your favorite anime series under the hood of the popular streaming platform. Netflix now has a staggering collection of anime series available in its library, and it can be hard to narrow down on what to watch. That’s why we’ve found you 30 of the best anime shows to catch on Netflix below:
30 Best Anime on Netflix You Shouldn’t Miss
Without further ado, here are the top 30 best anime on Netflix in 2021.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender
- B: The Beginning
- Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
- The Way of the Househusband
- Death Note
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba
- Devilman Crybaby
- Fairy Tail
- Food Wars
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- Gurren Lagann
- Hunter x Hunter
- Japan Sinks: 2020
- Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
- Little Witch Academia
- Mobile Suit Gundam UC
- My Hero Academia
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Attack on Titan
- One-Punch Man
- Seven Deadly Sins
- The Disastrous Life of Saiki K
- Violet Evergarden
- Your Lie in April
- Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Aggretsuko is a cute anime with a simple art style that feels ever so relatable today. It stars 25-year-old Retsuko, who works in an insufferable day job like many millennials today. Between her intolerable co-workers, soul-reducing social media, and miserable career, she certainly needs a break. Thankfully, Retsuko does have a release: heavy metal karaoke sessions at her local bar.
The premise is simple, but it’s so comedic and uncomplicated that it’s incredibly entertaining. Moreover, it’s pretty relatable for millennials who deal with dating problems, friendship drama, and work-related stresses.
While there are many who wouldn’t consider Avatar: The Last Airbender an anime, it’s still worth a special mention for its anime-inspired art style. It is widely regarded as a modern classic, garnering a 97% and 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
While it was originally targeted towards children, Avatar certainly doesn’t shy away from adult topics. It tackles the effects of war, the psychology of villains, and has compelling characters that pull you in. Worldbuilding is also one of this show’s strongest points to help you better understand the context and nuances of the events that unfold onscreen.
What makes a good anime isn’t just a good plotline; it’s also solid execution and writing. B: The Beginning exemplifies all three, following the trail of Keith Flick, a retired antisocial detective on a case to find a serial killer dubbed “Killer B.”
This show blends three distinct elements into the story it tells: supernatural, thriller, and suspense. The plot is seamlessly unraveled, guaranteed to make you wish that it will last longer than its 18-episode runtime.
If you want revenge, political drama, and sci-fi elements with a touch of humor, then you should try Code Geass. This is a show that touches on heavy themes involving totalitarian states and an impending revolution.
Lelouch, the main character, is one of the rebels with mind-control powers who is out for revenge against his family. However, part of the twist is that Lelouch’s family is part of the ruling empire and he’s a banished prince. Like most dystopian revolutions, it touches on difficult topics such as whether the means justify the ends. Each episode feels thrilling and pulls you in every time.
Get set for a fresh new take on the comedy genre: The Way of the Househusband is set to deliver with its lovable protagonist Tatsu, former Yakuza legend turned househusband. Watch Tatsu navigate the domestic sphere with finesse, taking cues from both self-help guides and his Yakuza training to support his dear wife Miku.
Its unique brand of humor aside, The Way of the Househusband does a great job at challenging sexist Japanese traditions that expect men to be breadwinners and women housewives. Although the gendered roles are switched in Tatsu and Miku’s relationship, it still works very well as husband and wife ultimately work hand in hand to make their marriage a success.
If you had the power to kill anyone from afar by writing their name in a book, would you? That’s the question Death Note initially poses, as Light Yagami, the protagonist, walks down a dark path to justice. At first, Light kills criminals, whether convicted or acquitted, to cover holes in Japan’s justice system. However, he slowly becomes corrupted and walks a dark path where he kills people to cover up his crimes.
Of course, the police catch wind as an investigator named L joins the hunt. From there, it’s a battle of wits as the show tackles questions about justice that seem to have no answers.
Demon Slayer, or better known as Kimetsu no Yaiba, falls under the shounen genre, which means you can expect stylish displays of action and combat intertwined into the tale it tells. Follow the story of Tanjiro, who lives in a world that is constantly threatened by the malicious demons who gain sustenance from the blood of humans. After his family is brutally slain by demons and his sister Nezuko transforms into a demon from the attack, Tanjiro decides to walk the perilous path of the demon slayer.
Devilman Crybaby is not for the kids: this anime deals with explicit themes relating to drugs, violence, sex, and more. There is no true distinction between humans and devils in this show, as both are presented to be equally horrible. Watch as main protagonist Akira, possessed by a devil, navigates his demonic impulses and attempts to use them for good.
Erased falls under the time travel genre mixed with psychological thriller. It follows Satoru, a 29-year-old manga artist who works part-time jobs on the side. Beneath his seemingly mundane veneer, Satoru has a special ability: the power to travel a few minutes back in time whenever a tragedy occurs. Using his power, Satoru prevents lots of disasters that come his way. Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worse when he dies encountering a serial killer. Satoru suddenly finds himself back in fifth grade, aiming to stop the murder from occurring.
Fairy Tail is another popular shounen anime series gracing Netflix’s library, this one guaranteed to satisfy your thirst for fantasy and adventure. It follows Natsu Dragneel, a dragon slayer wizard fulfilling job requests in the Fairy Tail guild. He’s joined by Happy, Lucy, and others along the way as they battle against evil and help those in need.
Food Wars is an over-the-top anime series that is reminiscent of sports anime, except sports isn’t the main theme. Food is instead placed front and center, with characters duking it out to win culinary school competitions.
Be prepared to feel mind-numbingly hungry because of how delicious every dish prepared by the characters look onscreen.
Considered one of the best anime of all time, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is set in a fantasy world where the art of alchemy grants humans the power to create and fight. Featuring brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric as its main protagonists, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood depicts their journey following a freak alchemic accident resulting from their attempt to resurrect their deceased mother. You’ll find that this anime is not afraid to tackle taboo topics head-on, prompting you to reflect on the fragility of life and the concept of equivalent exchange in all that you do.
Gurren Lagann is set in a post-apocalyptic world, but this doesn’t mean that the anime is grim and depressing. Instead, typical of the shounen genre, this anime depicts a fun adventure filled with tons of flashy, stylish action. Follow the adventures of Kamina and Simon as they rise from the earth to save the world with giant fighting robots as their weapons of choice.
Haikyuu!! is an action-packed sports anime centered around volleyball. However, before you say, “I’m not a sports fan,” you should certainly watch it for yourself before deciding.
The story follows Hinata, an aspiring national player hoping to make it into the championships. While this plotline might seem pretty substandard at first, you’ll easily find yourself enjoying the show once you’re in it. It’s so engaging and inspiring that you might even find yourself wanting to play volleyball afterward.
Hunter x Hunter is a fantasy-adventure anime packed with lots of fun and martial arts. Of course, it doesn’t start that way. Initially, Gon Freecs, the protagonist, leads a simple life on a secluded island. However, his life changes when he learns his allegedly dead father is alive, living as one of the top hunters in the world. From then on, Gon sets out to become a hunter himself as he searches for his father.
Beneath the veneer of picturesque landscapes and polite citizens, Japan is a country that sits on a convergent plate boundary, making it highly susceptible to earthquakes and tsunamis. Japan Sinks 2020 is an anime series that presents this reality, taking inspiration from a 1973 sci-fi novel penned by Sayo Komatsu. The story in this series features the panic that ensues in a Japanese family when their lives are turned upside down by an earthquake.
Jojo Bizarre Adventure lives up to its name with its over-the-top characters, extravagant art style, and equally extravagant references to pop culture. But it is precisely this bizarreness that is its mainstay appeal: expect to cringe and laugh at the exaggerated fight and action sequences that unfold before you on your screen.
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Magic is a timeless trope in the fantasy genre Little Witch Academia captures this very well. While it isn’t as dark as you’d expect most magic-based anime to be, it’s certainly enjoyable and entertaining to watch. The main protagonist Atsuko Kagari, in particular, is especially relatable. As an underdog, she’s not as skilled as the others and has to make up for it through hard work. It’s exactly this quality that makes the audience root for her, and why people keep pining for additional seasons.
Mobile Suit Gundam UC might be an older series, but it still holds up well by today’s standards with the years of backstory and world-building it has built up. Think robots (aka the titular Gundams), special powers, and all sorts of intergalactic mayhem rolled into one action-packed anime.
My Hero Academia, or better known as Boku no Hero Academia in Japan, is one of the newer entries to the Shounen genre, designed to succeed longtime fan-favorites like Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece. Think of My Hero Academia as the anime version of Marvel, coming complete with a cast of Heroes duking it out with antagonistic Villains.
In this world, 80% of the population is born with superpowers called Quirks. Unsurprisingly, it’s the way someone uses their quirks that makes them a hero or a villain. You’ll traverse this world through the eyes of Izuku, an unassuming lad who was born without a Quirk but still aspires to become a Hero.
Neon Genesis Evangelion is another classic that continues to be relevant today, as it does not shy away from pursuing potentially controversial topics. Fitting right into the sci-fi action genre, this anime delves into the deepest parts of depression and mental health while also delivering an outstanding display of action and adventure.
You may have seen images of anime gargantuan humanoids making the rounds on the Internet, and you have Attack on Titan to thank for that. These giants are the eponymous “Titans,” grotesque beings who have a ravenous appetite for humans. Their existence in the world of this anime spells doom for mankind, and the series opens on a city confined within three walls, one of the last locations where humans can still live.
You’ll discover the horror of the Titans through Eren Yeager’s eyes, a troubled youth who loses his mother and hometown to the Titans’ destruction.
One-Punch Man has been the subject of many memes, with the iconic Saitama’s bald head and deadpan face serving as a source of inspiration for budding #fitspo folk. This action-comedy is set to bring you hours of entertainment, starting from the fact that Saitama is so ludicrously overpowered to the extent that he can defeat every foe he faces in one punch.
Clannad is a touching anime that showcases the lived reality of those who undergo trauma and struggle to deal with daily interactions. The main character Tomoya Okazaki represents these people, having lost his mother at an early age and living with a father who has seemingly lost the will to live. As fate would have it, Tomoya begins to break out of his protective shell when he meets five girls in high school, whose persistent encouragement motivates him to turn his life around.
The sequel to this anime, After Years, is not on Netflix, but it’s definitely well worth your time if you enjoy tearjerkers that tug at your heartstrings. MovieBox Pro is an app you can download to catch After Years.
The Seven Deadly Sins falls neatly into the fantasy genre, complete with knights, kingdoms, and grand adventures. Follow the path of Meliodas as he leads his knightly group, the titular Seven Deadly Sins, on a crusade to save the Kingdom of Lions and its people from its dictatorial rulers.
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K features a student named Saiki Kusuo, who, despite being gifted with overpowered psychic abilities, desires nothing more than to lead a peaceful life without drawing any attention to himself. However, things take a turn, and Saiki finds himself encircled by interesting characters. As a result, Saiki’s life becomes disastrous and he’s inevitably entangled in all of the school’s drama.
The titular Violet Evergarden was once an orphaned child soldier who was enlisted in the Leidenschaftlich Army, where she was renowned for her combat prowess. This anime series spans the aftermath of this devastating war, where Violet, having lost her arms in a fierce skirmish, attempts to adapt to a world of peace.
Haunted by the parting words of Gilbert, her mentor and love interest during the war, Violet signs up to become an Auto Memories Doll at the CH Postal Company, determined to understand the meaning of these words and learn what it means to be human.
Your Lie in April features Kousei, a piano prodigy who found himself unable to hear musical notes following the death of his mother. The story continues years later when Kousei meets a talented violinist Kaori, who reignites his love for the piano. Together with their friends, Kousei and Kaori embark on a journey of love, musical passion, and dealing with loss.
Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day is a tale of hope that can be found amidst loss and grief. This anime tells the tale of six childhood friends who drift apart after one of them, Meiko “Menma” Honma, perishes in an accident. You will then see how badly the accident impacted Jinta Yadomi, the leader of the group, as he is depicted as a social recluse five years later. Things take a twist as the ghost of Menma appears before him, beseeching him to fulfill her final wish so that she can pass on into the afterlife.
But here’s the catch: Menma is unable to remember what her wish is. Jinta thus brings together his estranged friends in an attempt to help Menma and, by extension, themselves, move on from the tragedy.
Start Watching Anime Today!
It doesn’t take too much to find the best anime on Netflix. There are a plethora of choices, from action to sci-fi to romance and drama. The best part is that you can freely watch everything (relatively speaking) if you have a Netflix account. All you need is to take your pick and start watching.