Do you like anime?has a surprisingly definitive library, featuring everything from classics like Cowboy Bebop and Naruto to the latest and greatest shows like Demon Slayer and Attack on Titan.
There is so much to see. If you’re looking for more niche stuff, Netflix also has shows like Beastars and Recod of Ragnarok to check out. Get stuck!
The best anime shows on Netflix
The latest shonen darling, Demon Slayer is a smash hit that breaks down many of the worn-out clichés in action anime. The story follows Tanjiro Kamado who joins the ranks of demon slayers after his family is killed by a demon. Only Nezuko Kamado, Tanjiro’s younger sister, survived the attack, but she was turned into a demon. Tanjiro travels around Taisho-era Japan with Nezuko in search of a cure and joins the Demon Slayer Corps, trying to confront the original demon Muzan Kibutsuji, who killed his family.
The animation and action are breathtaking, the characters are compelling and vibrant, the music is stellar, and the dialogue is memorable. We cannot recommend this anime more. The first season is streaming on Netflix, but there’s another season if you want more.
“Believe it” (as Naruto Uzumaki would say), you can’t have a best anime list without this show. This classic, much-loved anime follows Naruto, a young ninja from the Village of Hidden Leaves who dreams of becoming the leader of his village. Warning: Naruto is a a lot long anime. So long that once you get through all nine Netflix seasons (a total of 220 episodes) that cover Naruto’s pre-teen years, 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 several Naruto movies available on the streaming service right now. Be sure to skip the full episodes unless you’re really desperate for something to watch.
Another anime classic, Cowboy Bebop originally aired in 1998 and has never lost its appeal. The show brilliantly blended different genres – mostly sci-fi and westerns (think space cowboys) – to create something completely new and compelling. Set in the year 2071, the series follows a group of traveling bounty hunters aboard their ship, the Bebop. Netflix recently made a live-action version of the show, though it didn’t receive the same critical acclaim as the anime.
Attack on Titan (2013-2023)
Attack on Titan is without a doubt one of the most popular anime right now. And there is a reason. With spectacular animation, political intrigue, a compelling cast of characters and larger-than-life battles, this is one show you’ll want to see. Yes, Titans – the giant, humanoid, man-eating monsters that force humanity to live behind towering castle walls – are unnerving and can scare you. But that’s half the fun, especially when we see our heroes take them down. Netflix only has the first season of Attack on Titan in its catalog, but these 25 episodes are enough to get you started.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (2012-)
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure follows generations of the Joestar family, from the 19th century to modern day, through decades of, you guessed it, bizarre adventures. Every member of the family has 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 thing all five seasons are streaming on Netflix.
Hunter x Hunter (2011-2014)
Hunter x Hunter remains an unfinished story, abruptly halted after season 6. The manga’s author, Yoshihiro Togashi, stopped writing, leaving Hunter x Hunter on hiatus. New chapters are coming, Togashi announced recently. This anime begins with the main character Gon Fries leaving home in search of his father, but the show quickly diverges from this simple narrative. The series is beloved for its world-building and emotional investment in its diverse cast of characters.
A gripping game of cat and mouse for the ages, Death Note follows Light Yagami, a genius high school student who finds a mysterious notebook (the titular “Death Note”) that gives its owner the ability to kill anyone whose name is written in it. Hellbent to create a new crime-free world, Light goes on a rampage, killing criminals and those whom Light deems morally unworthy. But the world’s greatest detective is on the case. Can Light get away?
You’ll 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 compelling. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Kakegurui is set in an academy where the measure of a student is based on their gambling ability, whether it’s at the roulette table or playing blackjack. It’s part psychological thriller, part drama, and the stakes get higher as the show progresses.
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 – dare to defeat none other than Dracula himself, whose anger and grief over the unjust death of his love grips Eastern Europe in the 1400s. You don’t want to miss this one.
Ragnarok Record (2021-)
Have you ever wanted to see a fight between a Norse god and an ancient Chinese warrior? Or watch a Greek god fight one of the best swordsmen in Japanese history? Me neither, but now I’m glad I have.
Ragnarok’s premise entry is simple: through 13 one-on-one battles to the death, humanity must prove itself worthy of avoiding destruction by the gods. First to seven wins wins. This anime is imaginative, funny, and full of human history, so you’ll learn some new things along the way. It’s also cool to see legends from all over the world converging into one myth. Only the first 12-episode season is out, making this the perfect anime to binge on your next sofa session.
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 airing. The show follows Monkey D. Luffy and his crew, the Straw Hat Pirates. They are looking for the ultimate treasure known as One Piece. Netflix recently expanded its collection from four seasons of One Piece to 13 seasons, giving you plenty to sink your teeth into. If you ever hope to catch up, you better go for it!
In a world where demons have reappeared, Akira Fudo unites with a demon, at the behest of his friend, to become a devil-man 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 1970s. This newer series moves the setting from the 1970s to modern times and goes hardcore with mature themes and violent sequences. It’s rated TV-MA, so this isn’t for kids.
Devilman Crybaby debuted to great acclaim in 2018 and so far has only had 10 episodes collected in one season.
Beastars is set in a world of anthropomorphic animals. These characters have jobs and go to school, reminiscent of Disney’s Zootopia. But while both Beasts and Zootopia deal with similar themes—predator vs. prey, prejudice and discrimination vs. compassion and inclusion—Beasts is definitely the more emotionally heavy show. In fact, due to some of the sexual themes and violence in the show, it’s best to steer children away from it. If you’re into melodramas that are heavy on philosophy, this might be the best show for you yet.
One Punch Man (2015-2019)
How would you feel if you were so strong that you could defeat any enemy with just one punch? Triumphant? Bored? lonely? This is the main question that One Punch Man wrestles with. The show follows the character Saitama, who has been training so hard that all his hair has fallen out. By the end of his training, he is able to defeat any enemy with a single blow. The show is a satire of shonen manga and anime, subverting the common 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 has a robust library of past Pokemon anime, and the latest series in the franchise is being produced by Netflix itself. The story follows our forever favorite 10-year-old, Ash Ketchum (see figure) as he continues his Pokémon journey. The show also introduces a host of new characters, including Go and Chloe, and takes audiences to multiple regions of the Pokemon world, including the newest, the Galar region. If you are a Pokemon fan or have kids, this is a great anime to watch.
Honorable Mention: Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008)
Okay, Avatar: The Last Airbender isn’t technically an 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 pure nostalgia advertising. Boy, was I wrong. This series tackles complex themes of war propaganda, genocide, duty and honor while remaining a light-hearted and upbeat epic narrative. Oh, and it also has one of the best character redemption arcs in TV history, period.