We live in an age where anime is available with just a few clicks, all for less than the price of a standard DVD. This is a far cry from the days of 60 dollar box sets and limited selections. Anime going mainstream now means that a number of streaming services offer all the Japanese animation you can handle.
The Hulu anime library is almost as varied as Crunchyroll or VRV, although the streaming service lacks newer series or original content offered by the likes of Netflix. So, what's good? Let's go over the 10 anime to watch on Hulu at this very moment.
10 Darling in the Franxx
Hey, if you can't get the license to Evangelion, then why not have something in the same lane? Darling in the Franxx has enough similarities to the seminal "giant robot anime that secretly is a psychological hot mess" series that it'll feel fresh and familiar at the same time.
Franxx goes from mecha anime to fractured romance tale and then over to mystical sci-fi epic all before most shows can even wrap up a single season. Sound tiring? Maybe, but it's also a heck of a ride.
9 Grave of the Fireflies
Watch Grave of the Fireflies once, then never do it again. From the legendary Studio Ghibli and based on the 1967 short story by Akiyuki Nosaka, Fireflies is a harrowing tale that will break your heart and ruin your evening in the best ways.
This tale of World War II collateral damage and two siblings trying to survive in the wake of a disaster is a must-see for anyone who has ever watched anime. But, seriously: Don't watch it more than once. Even masochists have limits.
8 Cowboy Bebop
What kind of anime list of things to watch would be complete without Cowboy Bebop? The series that made anime cool in the West, Cowboy Bebop has also been tough to track down and watch without buying an expensive boxset.
The 1998 series is an absolute requirement for anyone wanting to see where anime was and is going, as even almost 20 years later, there are shows still trying to replicate the accomplishments of Hajime Yatate's masterpiece. Just do us all a favor and don't name your dog Ein unless you're trying to be basic.
Few shows manage to capture the mystical, otherworldliness of Japanese lore and history quite as splendidly as Mushi-shi. Originally a best-selling manga, the series has a story of the week feel while still tying together larger plot pieces, creating a rich narrative that is also easy to jump into and start watching.
Also of note is that Mushi-shi has had multiple opening and closing themes done by English-speaking artists, including Lucy Rose and Ally Kerr.
6 Persona 5: The Animation
"Well, it's no Persona 4" feels like something that gets said a lot about Persona 5, whether we're talking about the game or the anime based off the game. This isn't to say that Persona 5: The Animation is bad, far from it.
The series has the same strange, somewhat corny aura that made Persona 4 and Persona 4: The Golden Animation both such enjoyable shows. The difference is that out of all three shows, Persona 5 has the shakiest landing. It is still worth experiencing for those who have not played the JRPG, as the story is quite interesting.
Furthermore, Morgana > Teddy. It's just the truth.
5 Puella Magi Madoka Magica
We aren't going to talk specifics about Madoka Magica. Like Fight Club, that's the first rule of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, the much-lauded 2011 anime and amazing deconstruction of the magical girl genre. To spoil even one small part of Madoka is like taking away ingredients from a recipe - sure, it may not run the whole experience but every single small piece deserves a chance to shine.
Just go watch it. Right now. Don't worry, the list will still be here when you get back.
4 Yu Yu Hakusho
One of the most often overlooked, at least compared to its contemporaries, classic shonen anime is Yu Yu Hakusho. Sure, it was there in the Toonami heyday along with Dragon Ball Z, Bleach, and One Piece, but the series is often mentioned in an "oh, that too" kind of way.
Yu Yu Hakusho deserves better, as it's one of the best action anime of the '90s and a show that didn't stop at just being a derivative of the Dragon Ball formula.
Speaking of Dragon Ball...
3 Dragon Ball
For the longest time, the original Dragon Ball was shockingly hard to watch in a non-hobbled version. The show wasn't dubbed until long after the western success of Dragon Ball Z took root in the late 1990s, with the original Dragon Ball not appearing on Cartoon Network until around 2001.
Dragon Ball is a very different show than Z or Super, and it is also quite indicative of its time in regards to tone and scope. The tale of a young Goku and the multiple world tournaments that happen along the way are some of his best adventures and not to be missed.
2 Eden of the East
If you love high-concept shows that unravel over time, think Lost or 24, then Eden of the East may be right up your alley. Divisive among anime fans thanks in part to a wonky ending, Eden of the East is still a cool love story and high-action thriller combined into an anime that feels somewhat inspired by Western work.
Sure, you'll need to ignore some things along the way for the sake of sanity (who brings a gun to the White House?) but Eden of the East is worth the time.
1 Rurouni Kenshin
One of the most influential manga and anime of all time, as a whole, Ruroni Kenshin's anime adaptation is somewhat unbalanced; however, it has some of the highest highs in all of anime.
The story of the wandering samurai searching for redemption is a mix of historical anime, romance, action, and comedy -- all without ever feeling like it can't decide what kind of show it wants to be. Most of all, its "Kyoto Arc" is probably one of, if not the best, anime arcs of all time.