The Top 12 Anime Series on Netflix Right Now
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Viewers experimented with new types of entertainment in 2020, possibly more than in any previous year. Millions of individuals who were stranded at home craved something new and engrossing to distract themselves from the rigors of the pandemic, and they explored content ranging from Korean dramas to documentaries to recorded versions of Broadway plays and musicals.
While anime had a big following before 2020, its popularity skyrocketed this year, with viewing on Netflix in the United States increasing by more than 100 percent. Between October 2019 and September 2020, more than 100 million households viewed at least one anime title on the site.
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Anime, broadly described as Japanese animated works, is a diverse media. After each episode, there are fast-paced adventure shows with cliffhangers and slice-of-life shows that deeply touch the heart. Each episode is typically 20 minutes long, 20 minutes less than a conventional television show, yet filled with emotional intensity.
And while some link anime with the shows we watched as children and abandoned later in life, there is a plethora of series with severe and dark topics aimed at mature audiences.
(In reality, many of the choices on this list are unlikely to be appropriate for youngsters.) We collected the top anime series available on Netflix USA, ranging from psychological thrillers to coming-of-age dramas, nostalgic oldies top 2020 standouts. Anime and manga with more than 100 episodes (One Piece, Naruto, Hunter x Hunter, and others) are omitted.
All of these shows have English subtitles, and most of them also have English dubbing. Some shows have also been subtitled and dubbed in other languages.
Here are the 12 finest anime shows on Netflix right now, listed alphabetically.
1. Anohana: That Day's Flower (2011)
Following the death of Meiko "Menma" Honma in an accident, a group of six childhood closest friends progressively drifted apart. Years later, Menma's spirit appears to Jinta Yadomi, who used to be the group's outgoing leader but has now withdrawn himself and seldom attends school after Menma's death.
Menma begs Jinta to assist her in fulfilling her request, which is the only way for her to enter the hereafter. This request serves as a catalyst for Jinta and his friends to reconnect and, perhaps for the first time, process the pain caused by Menma's premature departure.
The magic of Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day resides in developing engaging backstories for each of the main characters and artistically fusing their past and present. The series also depicts the healing and freedom that may result from thoroughly addressing old scars.
2. Titan's Assault (2013-present)
For a hundred years, mankind lived happily inside a 50-meter (165-foot) wall guarded against anthropomorphic, man-eating monsters known as "titans." That serenity is shattered when a colossal titan comes and breaks the wall, allowing the horrific monsters to stream into civilization.
After seeing his mother's death, Eren Yeager joins the Scout Regiment, the military force entrusted with combating the titans. Each arc in Attack on Titan advances at breakneck speed, with little time to catch your breath. It's a narrative about clinging to the desire to live freely rather than merely survive.
The Scout Regiment's ace, Captain Levi Ackerman, is also introduced, joining the list of the most incredible people in anime.
3. Beacons (2019-present)
Anthropomorphic creatures dwell in a world with peace and harmony on the surface, but the tension between predators and herbivores simmers under the surface. Every character in this show is tagged with stereotypes connected with their species, even if they are inaccurate.
Legos, the main character, has a peaceful nature, but as a towering grey wolf, he is viewed with terror and is even suspected of murdering an alpaca theatre club kid. When Legos meets dwarf rabbit Haru and falls in love with her, restraining his predatory inclinations becomes the most challenging task he's ever faced. Beastars is, at its core, a tender portrait of attempting to define one's identity on one's own terms.
4. Lelouch of the Rebellion from Code Geass (2006-2007)
Japan has been overrun by the Holy Empire of Britannia and is now a totalitarian dictatorship known as "Area 11" in this dimension. The rebel forces against Britannia are still active, and one day Lelouch Lamperouge is caught up in a terrorist strike.
An unknown power known as Geass allows him to manipulate others after being rescued by a female. With this new skill, Lelouch, an exiled Brittanian prince, proceeds to hunt out those responsible for his mother's death and fights the government that has long oppressed Area 11.
Lelouch draws loyalty from everyone and anyone with his ability to gain commitment from others in Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion. The show poses a compelling question: Is there a virtuous method to achieve change?
5. Death Notification (2006-2007)
Light Yagami aspires to become a deity. After discovering "Death Note," a notebook delivered into the human world by a real god of death, the high school student learns that anybody whose name is inscribed in its pages dies.
He immediately begins scribbling the words of offenders to establish a world free of evil. It doesn't take long for worldwide law enforcement agencies to start looking for whoever is responsible for the unexplained run of deaths. They team up with a well-known but nameless investigator known only as "L," and the plot unfolds as Light and L try to outsmart one other at every turn.
The themes of Death Note are immediately apparent: What is justice, and how different are Light's deeds from those of the felons he kills? Aside from the societal satire, the series keeps viewers interested through the cunning strategies Light and L make to reveal the other's identity while safeguarding his own.
6. The Tragic Life of Saiki K. (2016-2019)
Kusou Saiki simply wishes to live an everyday, unremarkable existence. That's a tall order since he was born with a slew of extraordinary abilities ranging from mind-reading to telepathy to X-ray vision to psychokinesis.
Saiki tries everything to conceal his skills and divert attention away from himself, which frequently necessitates extreme mental gymnastics to look normal. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. is amusing and invigorating, with Saiki's deadpan internal monologue on the difficulties of possessing psychic talents serving as the show's centerpiece.
7. Dorohedoro (2020)
Dorohedoro is strange in every way. Caiman awakens with his human face changed with a reptile head and his memories erased when a sorcerer casts a spell on him. In many respects, it's not out of the usual, given that he lives in the barren and dismal "Hole," where magic users often perform curses on non-magic, leaving them deformed or dead.
Caiman sets off on a mission to discover and kill the sorcerer who cursed him for breaking the enchantment.
Dorohedoro is a vengeance story that meets black comedy most satisfactorily. It's violent and nasty, but it's also full of fun. Its most endearing feature is the creation of a cast of deadly but quirky villains who are just as sweet as, if not more adorable than, Caiman and his equally odd crew.
8. Deleted (2016)
Satoru Fujinuma has never fully comprehended why he possesses the "Revival" ability, which transports him back in time a few seconds before disaster strikes. His perplexity and sorrow are exacerbated when he is sent 18 years into the past after discovering his mother died in his apartment. Satoru, in 1988, went back to elementary school.
His attempt at preventing the two events from co-occurring is impeded by his realization that a kidnapping that killed a classmate from that year may have been linked to his mother's death. The stakes are enormous in both times, adding to the intrigue of this murder mystery.
More than the whodunit and time travel components, Erased draws the spectator in with its portrayal of a character who is first isolated in life but gradually finds meaning via friendship and family.
9. Shokugeki no Soma, (2015-2020)
It doesn't take long to notice that Food Wars! : Shokugeki no Soma has a peculiar sexual undertone. After eating any food, the characters experience unexpected sensual responses, which frequently include breaking free from their garments for no apparent reason.
But don't let the foodgasms put you off this charming coming-of-age narrative, which contains some of the most exquisite culinary animation and mouth-watering food visuals in anime. Soma Yukihira is a gifted young cook who has always hoped to operate his father's cafe one day but is unexpectedly transferred to a competitive culinary institution where pupils are often expelled for mediocrity.
Soma, unfazed, sets out to become the school's top student. Almost every character is specialized in a particular type of cuisine (say a molecular gastronomy specialist) or has an added approach (like medicinal cooking or molecular gastronomy), which adds variety to a show that is already very entertaining.
10. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood 10 (2009-2010)
If you ask any anime fan for a recommendation, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is likely to be one of their first choices. Fortunately for us, all 64 episodes of this adventure classic are available on Netflix.
The plot revolves around brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric, who began studying alchemy at an early age to resurrect their mother. There's only one problem: "human transformation" is forbidden in alchemy and comes at a great price.
When the Elrics were unable to resurrect their mother, they also lost parts of their bodies, with Alphonse's completely vanishing and Edward only sparing his younger brother's life by connecting Alphonse's soul to a suit of armor.
The brothers embark on a mission to return themselves to their natural human bodies. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood succeeds in creating a vast cast of characters that each play a crucial role in their emotional adventure, in addition to its dramatic story and rich world-building.
11. Outstanding Pretender (2020)
Makoto Edamura, a Japanese con artist, was highly confident in his swindling abilities until he met Laurent Thierry. Edamura is keen to prove his status as "Japan's best scammer" after being tricked by the French swindler and joins Laurent in his heists.
The first target is a Hollywood director, a mafia boss in charge of the West Coast's drug trade. Great Pretender features gorgeous graphics and a complex storyline, with striking attention to detail when depicting the cities Edamura explores from Los Angeles to Singapore to London. By juxtaposing the scammers' actions and the duped, the series also asks the spectator to ponder if either party is morally superior.
12. Haikyu! (2014-2020)
Shoyo Hinata has been training relentlessly in the hopes of one day defeating his enemy, "King of the Court" Tobio Kageyama, since a humiliating setback in a middle school volleyball game. When he walked into the gym on his first day of high school, the last thing he expected to see was Kageyama, who had enrolled at the same school and is now his teammate.
Together, the unlikely duo set out to reclaim Karasuno High School's "fallen champs" status and rise to become Japan's best high school team. For a good reason, Haikyu!!
In this groundbreaking sports anime, the viewer is immediately captivated by the action on the court. However, the bonds that develop between Hinata and Kageyama throughout the story captivate the audience as they each relinquish their egos and become better colleagues and, most importantly, friends.