11 Best Anime Series on Netflix


While animes aren’t always everyone’s cup of tea, some people can very well find themselves one weekend wanting nothing more than to curl up in bed and binge watch some Netflix anime. But if you’re not all that familiar with the genre, or if you simply don’t have enough experience with the type of animation, you might find yourself at a loss. This is a list of the best anime shows on Netflix. We will not check out any of the anime movies on Netflix since that would make this a totally different list. Instead, we will only focus on the series that make up the best anime on Netflix. Our selection of top anime on Netflix was compiled by analyzing several key factors of an anime production such as voice acting, animation, story, and direction.

11. Darker than Black

Netflix Release Date: December 11, 2016
Directors:
Tensai OkamuraDaisuke ChibaHideki ItoTakefumi AnzaiShingo KanekoHideyo Yamamoto, and others
Runtime: 24 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8
Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/A
MPAA Rating: rated TV-MA in the USA; 15 in UK, South Korea, and Australia; PG in Canada & New Zealand; 12 to 16 in Germany
Streaming on: Netflix Germany; unfortunately, this movie is no longer available for streaming on Netflix US.

Darker than Black is a fantasy, horror, action, thriller, and sci-fi anime. Coming out in 2007 and lasting for two seasons and a short OVA, the anime exists in subbed and dubbed versions. Both the Japanese and the American voice actors did a great job with the characters, managing to depict them just as they were depicted in the manga of the same name.

The show, undoubtedly one of the best Netflix anime, follows the story of what happens to Tokyo after an impenetrable field known as Hell’s Gate appears above it. Around the same time, a number of super-powered individuals start appearing throughout the city. We can see glimpses into the life of one such individual, Hei, as he struggles with his morality and with trying to figure out how the two events connect. It’s definitely one of the best anime on Netflix at the moment; even though it got the last place in our top, it does have an 8* rating on IMDb!

10. Lupin The 3rd

Netflix Release Date: unknown
Directors:
 Hayao MiyazakiIsao TakahataMasaaki Ôsumi
Runtime: 23 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8
Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/A
MPAA Rating: rated TV-PG in USA
Streaming on: Netflix Japan; unfortunately, this series is no longer available for streaming in the rest of the world.

Widely considered one of the best crime stories in history, Lupin the 3rd follows the story of Arsène Lupin III, the grandson of the infamous French rogue, Arsène Lupin. During his adventures, Lupin and his team pull off some of some biggest heists in history, all while being chased by the resourceful Inspector Zenigata, who vowed on his life that he would capture the troublesome bunch.

The fact that a 30-something-year-old anime is on this list goes a long way to show just how memorable this show is. Packed with action, adventure, crime, and mystery, this show offers a perfect blend of seriousness and comedy. More than enough to keep watchers enticed for all of its 23 episodes. With its brilliant writing, voice acting, and storytelling, the show is totally worth being on this list of the best Netflix anime.

9. Code Geass: Lelouch of Rebellion

Netflix Release Date: unknown
Directors: 
Goro TaniguchiNoriaki AkitayaKazuo MiyakeMasato Miyoshi, and Kazuya Murata.
Runtime: 24 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.7
Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/A
MPAA Rating: some episodes are rated TV-MA in the USA and between 12+ and 14+ across the globe
Streaming on: Netflix France, UK, the Netherlands; unfortunately, this series is no longer available on Netflix US.

Big robots. A future society brilliantly divided between the opulent royalty and the oppressed masses. Extremely relatable and realistic characters. This action-adventure sci-fi thriller has perhaps one of the most emotional rides in the history of anime. Code Geass tells us the story of Lelouch and Suzaku, two friends who grew up under the oppression of the Empire of Britannia.

While Suzaku joins the Britannian military, Lelouch vows revenge against the crown which oppressed his country. Gaining the ability to give anyone an undisputable order, Lelouch sets out to help a bunch of rebels take down the corrupt and powerful, showing us that the ends are not always worth the means. This 2006 animation went on for two heart-wrenching seasons and is certainly one of the best anime on Netflix.

8. GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka

Netflix Release Date: unknown
Directors:
 Noriyuki Abe & Kino Abe
Runtime: 24 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.7
Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/A
MPAA Rating: rated TV-MA in USA, between M and MA15+ in Australia & New Zealand, between PG and 14A in Canada, 12 in Germany.
Streaming on: Netflix Japan; unfortunately, this series is no longer streaming on Netflix US or the rest of the world.

With a run of 43 episodes, this 1999 anime should have its own separate article. With some of the most well-written characters in anime history, GTO is not just one of the best Netflix anime movies. It’s also one of the most touching and memorable experiences through which you’ll ever sit. It is undoubtedly worth a try, regardless of what types of anime you usually prefer.

While the premise of GTO might seem a bit unrelatable at first, the characters and setting manage to get under your skin in a matter of a few episodes. 22-year old Eikichi Onizuka used to be one of the most vicious motorcycle gang leaders in Japan. But he gets tired of all the violence and destruction, so he decides to become the greatest high school teacher who ever lived. If you’re in high school, this is the best anime on Netflix for you!

7. Attack on Titan

Netflix Release Date: April 14, 2015
Directors:
 Tetsurô ArakiMasashi KoizukaHiroyuki TanakaShinpei EzakiKiyoshi Fukumoto, Shintaro Itoga, and others
Runtime: 24 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.8
Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/A
MPAA Rating: rated 15+ in Australia, UK, and Japan, 14+ in the US, Canada, 18+ in Brazil and South Korea
Streaming on: Netflix US, UK, Canada, France, and Spain

The story of Attack on Titan takes place about 2000 years from now when titans – giant humanoids – are close to exterminating the human race. And the worst part is, these titans seem to do it out of pure pleasure instead of for survival. The few people left on Earth have barricaded themselves in a city surrounded by very high walls.

Around 100 years go by without people noticing another titan when the first attack in Eren’s (a teenage boy) life hit. A giant destroyed the city walls and titans poured into what used to be a safe space for humans, devouring them without mercy. Sadly, Eren and his younger sister witnessed their mother being eaten alive by these monsters and the boy swears vengeance on this cruel race. Despite the gore displayed in this series, it’s one of the best anime on Netflix at the moment!

Recommended read: Find out all about the second season of Attack on Titan in our guide to its Netflix availability!

6. Steins;Gate

Netflix Release Date: July 21, 2017
Directors:
Kazuhiro OzawaKanji WakabayashiTomoki KobayashiKôji KobayashiTomoko HiramukiShigetaka IkedaHisato Shimoda, and others
Runtime: 24 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.8
Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/A
MPAA Rating: rated TV-14 n USA; 12 in UK, Russia, and Germany; between PG and 13+ in Canada; M in Australia and New Zealand; 
Streaming on:
Netflix France, the Netherlands; unfortunately, this series is no longer available on Netflix US.

Considered one of the best anime series of the past five years, Steins;Gate is the perfect blend of genres that can be gotten right only by animation. Mixing drama, comedy, romance, and sci-fi in a small, 25 episode-long package, this animation is certainly one of the best anime on Netflix.

Steins;Gate, intentionally stylized as such, is the story of a group of university students who unwittingly discover time travel. But the matters soon become much more serious. They end up having to try and fight an evil organization and their evil plans for world domination. Taking many cues from the state of technology today, this 2011 series takes a somewhat political stand, which can be a little off-putting for some.

5. Gintama

Netflix Release Date: unknown
Director: 
Chizuru Miyawaki, Yôichi FujitaShinji Takamatsu
Runtime: 25 minutes
IMDb Rating: 8.8
Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/A
MPAA Rating: rated TV-14 in USA; 19 in South Korea; NC16 in Singapore; G in Canada.
Update: Gintama is no longer available for streaming on Netflix.

Despite being nearly ten years old, Gintama remains one of the most creative and innovative animated titles of all times. It has everything: brilliant visuals, memorable characters, and a compelling storyline, which makes for some of the best anime on Netflix. Gintama reminds us of one of those good, instant classics – something we’d expect from Disney, maybe!

Gintama tells us the story of a samurai living in 1800s Japan. The country has been taken over by an alien force and the Shogunate has become the aliens’ corrupt puppet. Samurai are now being forced to retire and learn no useful skills whatsoever. Therefore Gintoki, a samurai handyman, takes matters into his own hands in an attempt to kick out the unlawful alien invaders. It’s one of the most intense and best anime series on Netflix.

4. Cowboy Bebop

Netflix Release Date: April 1, 2017
Directors: 
Shinichirô WatanabeYoshiyuki TakeiIkurô SatôKunihiro MoriHirokazu YamadaTetsuya Watanabe.
Runtime: 24 minutes
IMDb Rating: 9
Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/A
MPAA Rating: rated TV-MA – TV-14 in USA; MA15+ in Australia; 18 in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Peru, South Korea; rated 13+ in Canada; 16+ in Germany
Streaming on: Netflix France, Germany, UK, and Netherlands; unfortunately, this series is no longer streaming on Netflix US.

Considered by many to be not only the best action Netflix anime, but one of the best anime of all time, Cowboy Bebop is a true work of art. This 1998 TV show is a brilliant blend of action, adventure, drama, sci-fi, and thriller, which can draw in even the most skeptical watcher and make them unable to part from the screen.

The anime is set in the far future, as Spike Spiegel is a bounty hunter with deadly martial arts skills and a very easy-going attitude. Together with his crew, Spike hunts fugitives throughout the galaxy in a noir space western adventure with more than just a passing interest in jazz. The story is one of the most adult on this list, but not because of any sex, nudity, or other such scenes, but because of the realism of the characters, which also makes it one of the best anime on Netflix.

3. One Punch Man

Netflix Release Date: March 30, 2017
Directors
Shingo NatsumeYosuke HattaShin’ichirô Ushijima, Nobuhiro MutôShun’ichi Yoshizawa
Runtime: 24 minutes
IMDb Rating: 9
Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/A
MPAA Rating: 12+ in Brazil, France, Germany, Spain; 13+ in Malaysia; 14+ in Canada, US; 15+ in South Korea, UK
Streaming on: Netflix US, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, and Spain.

The story of One Punch Man takes place in another world: a world of superhumans, heroes, and villains. Saitama is one of them, and his ability is quite unique and easy to gather from the title: he can defeat his enemies with just one punch. It’s one of the funniest, cleverest, and best anime on Netflix at the moment.

However, given there are thousands of other heroes and superhumans in his world, Saitama does not get any recognition, praise, or satisfaction from his victories. He leads an empty and laidback life and is convinced everything is pointless in this world. Moreover, the intense training he went through to develop his ability left him bald, which is one of the inner conflicts our hero is battling.

2. Death Note

Netflix Release Date: October 15, 2016
Directors: 
Tetsuro Araki & others
Runtime: 24 minutes
IMDb Rating: 9
Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/A
MPAA Rating: some episodes are rated TV-14 in USA and between 12+ and 18+ in the rest of the world.
Streaming on: Netflix US, Canada, UK, Argentina, Brazil, France, Netherlands

A must-see for any fan of anime, Death Note is perhaps the best mystery thriller of all time. So much more than just a Netflix anime, Death Note has brought together entire generations under the guise of a regular TV show. It was a close second to the title of best anime of Netflix. Started in 2016, the anime went on for a couple of years, and it became one of the best-regarded animations of all time, better than many already-established films and documentaries.

Death Note does a fantastic job of presenting the story of Yagami Light, a high school student who one day discovers a black notebook called a Death Note. As Light discovers that he can use the notebook to kill anyone whose face and name he knows, he decides that he will use it to build a better world. In the meantime, L, the world’s greatest detective, is on his trail. Death Note is a deep exploration of morality, presented under a brilliant script full of compelling action and memorable characters.

If you are looking for anime series that will challenge you, make you think, and also laugh from time to time, this is the best anime on Netflix you could watch.

1. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Netflix Release Date: July 14, 2017
Directors: 
Yasuhiro Irie & others
Runtime: 24 minutes
IMDb Rating: 9.1
Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/A
MPAA Rating: some episodes are rated TV-14 in USA, and between 12+ and 18+ in the rest of the world.
Streaming on: Netflix UK, France, Germany, Netherlands; unfortunately, this series is no longer available on Netflix US.

Considered to be not just one of the best anime on Netflix and of all time, but one of the best stories ever animated, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a 2009 Netflix anime that has managed to entice and capture the interest of people across all age groups, all over the world. It is the second adaptation of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga, far more faithful to the original than the first one.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is the tragic tale of two brothers having to deal with the repercussions of a horribly poor decision they made years ago. With a fascinating lore, an extraordinary magic system, breathtaking visuals, and more moral, philosophical, and ethical questions than a full-fledged novel or a movie series, the anime will shock and awe you, it will comfort and disturb you, and it will make you question your notions of right and wrong.

Conclusion

Most, if not all, of the Netflix anime on this list are available for streaming in the US on  Netflix, with both English and Japanese subtitles and audio. We do not know which of them are available in Canada, the UK, or anywhere outside the country. While the Japanese audio stream is the one done best, the English dubs are also generally very well adapted. The all-around best anime on Netflix is Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood; however, it is not available in the US at the moment. Try out any of the other top-rated series like Death Note, One Punch Man, or Attack on Titan and let us know what you thought of them!

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