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Friday, June 18, 2021

25+ Best Anime Series on Netflix to Watch in 2021

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Japanese animation has become a significant influence on Western cartoons, contemporary cinema, and even fashion design.

Despite its vulgar and cheesy reputation, anime remains one of the genres that pushes new visual art boundaries the most.

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However, it can be challenging to get into it if you pick the wrong streak early on. The good news is that Netflix currently streams some of the best-animated series of all time on its services. The bad news is that they also have a lot of bad TV shows to watch.

Luckily, we’ve worked hard to sort through the gear and find the hidden gems you’ll want to see. From classic favorites to the next wave of Netflix anime glitter, here we’ve rounded up the best anime series on Netflix.

We also found the best anime on Hulu and the best Netflix series, if that appeals to you.

Table of Contents

The 25 Best Anime Series on Netflix

Demon Slayer: Kimetzu no Yaiba

After his relative is attacked and killed by demons, Tanjiro discovers that only one of his sisters managed to survive. However, she also slowly transforms into a nightmare.

To find the means to cure his sister of the curse and get revenge on his family, Tanjiro intends to become a demon slayer. While the premise may sound like much other sci-fi animated series, Demon Slayer is a unique and fun experience that you can enjoy.

  • Total number of episodes: 26
  • IMDB Rating: 8.7
  • Watch now

Great Pretender

If you like scam movies or steal movies like Ocean 11, then this is the best original Netflix anime to bite you. The story follows a young Japanese con artist who ends up being involved in a far more giant scam than he could have imagined.

As the series progresses, you take a more profound and deeper look at each protagonist’s story as their complex flaws unfold. And of course, at the end of every scam, there is always a great find which is hugely satisfying.

  • Total number of episodes: 23
  • IMDB Rating: 8.0
  • Watch now

Food wars!

If you remember the Spirited Away Studio Ghibli show’s delicious food, you probably already know the importance of nutrition in anime.

Food wars! It is a fantastic animated series that takes that idea and carries it. The story follows a talented young chef named Souma.

Although he is happy to work with his father at their small restaurant in Japan, he immersed himself in a whole new world of cooking when he started studying at a culinary academy with some of the world’s best young chefs.

  • Total number of episodes: 10
  • IMDB Rating: 8.2
  • Watch now

B: The Beginning

This original Netflix animated series is dark, exciting, and full of uncertainty. If you’re a fan of good, uncertain anime and looking for a new show to overlook, it’s worth diving into.

Set in a tech-driven world, the legendary Royal Police investigator hunts down a serial killer nicknamed “Killer B.” The story, of course, unfolds from there, revealing a mysterious criminal organization and terrible human experiences.

  • Total number of episodes: 18
  • IMDB Rating: 7.2

Sword Art Online

In 2022, thousands of players find themselves trapped in a completely immersed new virtual MMORPG. The series follows Kirita as he becomes one of the strongest players in the game in an attempt to escape.

If you’ve ever loved online role-playing games, this animated role-playing game series is worth checking out. 

  • Total number of episodes: 74
  • IMDB Rating: 7.6
  • Watch now

Erased

As a psychological tension anime, Erased will draw you in and keep you on the lookout. The plot accompanies a 29-year-old man called Satoru, who has an uncontrollable power to reverse time whenever something terrible occurs in his immediate vicinity.

This ability has helped prevent many terrible things from happening in her life, but she never brought it back for more than a few seconds or minutes. But when the encounter with the serial killer brings back old memories and ends in death, Satoru discovers that he must return to his fifth-year body for 18 years to try to stop the killer.

  • Total number of episodes: 13
  • IMDB Rating: 8.5
  • Watch now

Blue Exorcist

Blue Exorcist is an excellent series that you can dive into if you haven’t already. The story follows a seemingly typical teenager named Rin Okumura, who discovers he is Satan’s son.

He was sent to True Cross Academy to train to become an exorcist and fight the world’s demons and the demons within him.

  • Total number of episodes: 39
  • IMDB Rating: 7.5
  • Watch now

Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Not as cerebral or surreal as the other shows on this list, FMA is a very closed-ended fantasy series that has won over generations of fans.

A little explanation: Full Metal Alchemist runs in the middle, which dramatically changes the story of the original material in the series, while Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a tighter adaptation of the original books.

Most FMA sidekicks consider the latter to be far superior, but both are excellent. Narrating the story of Edward and Alphonse Elric, brothers who survived a traumatic magical accident and now hope to correct their past mistakes, the show explores themes of filial piety and the aftermath of world war.

  • Total number of episodes: 64
  • IMDB Rating: 9.1
  • Watch now

One Piece

One Piece is amongst the best of all time, not just one of the best anime series on Netflix. And if you are looking for something extraordinary with a large number of episodes, this is the place.

The story follows a cheerful and adventurous young pirate named Monkey D. Luffy as he sets out in search of the legendary treasure of “One Piece.” Whoever can search for the treasure will pass the desired title of “Pirate King.”

  • Total number of episodes: 130
  • IMDB Rating: 8.7
  • Watch now

No Game, No Life

Brothers Sora and Shiro are the two most feared professionals in the world. When a couple beats God in a seemingly harmless online chess game, they are thrown into a whole different world where every dispute is resolved as they play.

  • Total number of episodes: 12
  • IMDB Rating: 7.8
  • Watch now

Castlevania

This original Netflix anime is based on Castlevania: Dracula’s Curse, the third part of a video game series. The third season comes after an excellent first two games.

While many of the best anime series ultimately did English dubbing, this show was created primarily for American audiences. With an abundance of action, mystery, vampires, and witty catchphrases, Castlevania is a must-visit if you want to fill that sci-fi void in your heart that never goes away.

  • Total number of episodes: 22
  • IMDB Rating: 8.2
  • Watch now

Parasyte: The Maxim

When Shinichi Izumi, 17, is partially infected with the alien Parasyte, he discovers that he must learn to live with this creature to survive. Parasites that have managed to take over their human hosts pose an immense threat to him and the rest of humanity entirely.

  • Total number of episodes: 24
  • IMDB Rating: 8.4
  • Watch now

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion is lengthy touted as one of the most remarkable TV series of all time and rightly among the best anime series on Netflix.

What starts as a relatively standard show about giant battle robots turns into a postmodern meditation on the darkest depths of depression. This science-fiction masterpiece is both an Oedipal psychodrama and an action-adventure.

Don’t expect to figure out what’s going on for the first time, but you will be rewarded with a new visualization. (Note: The version presently on Netflix has been edited, renamed, and labeled from the original series that aired on TV in the 1990s due to ongoing licensing issues.

The consensus is that this new version is pretty good, but not as iconic as the original.)

  • Total number of episodes: 26
  • IMDB Rating: 8.5
  • Watch now

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Even the most ordinary anime fans are vaguely aware of Sailor Moon’s influence on what has become a subgenre of “magic girl” cartoons: what Evangelion did for mechs, Madoka for them. Magical girls.

In this show, fantastic preteen girls dressed in cute dresses to save the world are pawns in the inner cosmic war for humankind’s fate, caught in a futile fight against the stages of time.

With cutting-edge animation techniques rarely seen in anime, the series offers a grim counter-argument to kawaii culture’s naive optimism.

  • Total number of episodes: 12
  • IMDB Rating: 8.3
  • Watch now

Attack on the Titans

Humans are on the fringe of extinction, hiding behind massive walls in an attempt to escape giant humanoid creatures called Titans.

Despite having trusted their prison confines for over 100 years, the Titans once again manage to break through the walls and attack the outer city. The two children watch in horror as their loved ones eat alive, promising to survive and fight this threat.

  • Total number of episodes: 25
  • IMDB Rating: 8.8
  • Watch now

Death Note

An innovative and cynical high school student suddenly finds himself in possession of a magic notebook that can kill anyone whose name is written on it. He tries to cleanse the world of evil by eliminating those who have committed crimes with such power.

  • Total number of episodes: 37
  • IMDB Rating: 9.0
  • Watch now

Haikyu !!

Even if you don’t like sports, this streak is so good that you might end up being surprised at volleyball. The story centers on a bit of a student named Hinata who dreams of reaching the state championship one day.

Guided by sheer determination, you must hone your skills and master your teammates’ relationships to become the best player you can be.

  • Total number of episodes: 50
  • IMDB Rating: 8.7
  • Watch now

Hunter x Hunter

Gon Freecss is a boy who leads a quiet life on a remote island. But when he finds out that his father, who he believed to be dead, is one of the world’s best hunters, he also devotes his life to being a hunter.

  • Total number of episodes: 75
  • IMDB Rating: 8.9
  • Watch now

Kill La Kill

As the initial anime, Kill La Kill probably won’t work. The series is a hyperactive pastiche of the tropics Chopin (anime/manga for boys) and Shojo (anime/manga for girls), making it a bit incomprehensible if you haven’t watched the shows it constantly refers to.

That being said: the extreme hype and wild action sequences are both silly and erotically exciting. However, don’t expect any moral message or ideological consistency.

  • Total number of episodes: 24
  • IMDB Rating: 7.9
  • Watch now

Aggretsuko

Retsuko is a 25-year-old red panda who works as an accountant in a trading company. He’s much more than that, but he’s also the star of this somewhat recognizable musical in the workplace. Retsuko copes with his office job’s frustrations by screaming death metal every night at his local karaoke bar.

This anime offers something new, comedic, and characterful that you’ll want to keep watching.

  • Total number of episodes: 30
  • IMDB Rating: 8.0
  • Watch now

Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adventure

This action series is unique. Follow the life and struggles of Joestar’s lineage as each descendant faces the forces of evil. From 1880 with Jonathan Joestar, each season takes you on a psychic journey or a “bizarre” adventure, if you will.

While it begins to follow the reasonably common hierarchy of magical power that you would expect to see in a series like this, the surprising twists make it a wonderfully refreshing watch.

  • Total number of episodes: 74
  • IMDB Rating: 8.4
  • Watch now

Gurren Lagann

Legendary animation studio Gainax (the same company that created the previous magnum work, Evangelion) once again stabbed giant battlebots with Gurren Lagann, a much less severe take on a worn-out subgenre.

The heart that comes from the heart explodes with a positive feeling. Cheesy and naughty dialogue combine well with energetic fight scenes. It’s one of the best anime series on Netflix you’ll find for action.

  • Total number of episodes: 27
  • IMDB Rating: 8.3
  • Watch now

One Punch Man

This animated series follows the life of Saitama, a hero who fights evil just because it’s fun. Of course, fighting can only be so much fun when you can take down any enemy with one hit.

With an action-packed comedy, One Punch Man is a unique series that even anime beginners can enjoy right from the start.

  • Total number of episodes: 12
  • IMDB Rating: 8.8
  • Watch now

Kakegurui

The absurd premise of Kakegurui, a high school, populated by ingenious games, contradicts an obscene story filled with multiple adult themes and imagery.

Probably the last NSFW shows on this list, the show’s grotesque erotica creates an unusual artistic experience, and the twisted plot is consistently compelling.

The series brings some bizarre twists and turns in the second season, but it’s still as addicting as playing the slots.

  • Total number of episodes: 24
  • IMDB Rating: 7.2
  • Watch now

The catastrophic life of Saiki K.

Saiki Kusuo is dominated by a medium that hates to attract attention. Yet, he finds himself surrounded by a group of dynamic students in his high school.

With the ability to hear others’ thoughts (among many other powers), Saiki can’t help but get involved in almost everything that happens at school.

  • Total number of episodes: 22
  • IMDB Rating: 8.3
  • Watch now

How we selected the best anime series on Netflix

The goal is to have a list of great animated series that cover many sub-genres. We’ve included a combination of famous classics like Evangelion and Fullmetal Alchemist, as well as relatively darker titles like Catastrophic Life of Saiki K. and Gurren Lagann here.

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Fadehan Emmanuel
Moore is an Associate Editor of Xplorion. Got a NEWS TIP related to this story or to anything else in the world of big tech? Please e-mail him: mooreplug[at]gmail.com. You can also connect with him via the connections below the box.
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1 COMMENT

  1. Nice combo list…. My favourite is the one piece and demon slayer. Though top list listed but some of these series have ended. I’m sure there can be a list on currently ongoing anime. Thanks

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