When anime companies come to mind in the West, Funimation is probably the first name most fans think of. They built their name off the back of series like Dragon Ball Z in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, and they’ve survived numerous changes and shifts in the anime world over multiple decades.
Though they kept a partnership going with places like Hulu and Crunchyroll, they’ve also had their own streaming service going for quite some time! They’ve got an enormous library of classics and newer series quickly rising in popularity, and here’s a look at ten series you can stream from them right now.
10 AFRO SAMURAI
Takashi Okazaki’s seinen manga Afro Samurai was brought to life in 2007 courtesy of studio Gonzo. The series told the story of Afro Samurai, a young man who lost his father because he possessed the Number 1 headband, which denoted the best and most powerful swordsman in the world. Afro goes on a quest to gain the right to challenge the man who killed his father, attaining the Number 2 headband and fighting off anyone who would challenge him before he could defeat the Number 1. One of the few anime series to win an Emmy, Afro Samurai is a must-watch for any fans of classic samurai fiction.
9 AIR GEAR
Air Gear creator Oh! Great’s worlds are much like his art style: overdetailed to the point of making the reader sometimes unsure of what’s even going on. Nonetheless, when he’s at his best he’s untouchable. Air Gear starts out as a fairly simple story set in a world where inline skates have been reinvented as rocket skates known as Air Gears, and groups of Air Gear fans known as Storm Riders seek to reach the top of the Trophaeum Tower. Though the series doesn’t reach a conclusive finish, it’s still easily one of the most unique “sports” anime available.
8 AND YOU THOUGHT THERE IS NEVER A GIRL ONLINE
Online boy meets online girl. Online boy gets married to online girl. Online girl reveals she’s really real life boy. It’s a tale as old as time…QuickTime, at least. But Hideki Nishimura is thrown quite the curveball when he finds out that not only is the girl who wants to marry him on his favorite game Legendary Age a girl in real life...but his entire guild, known as the Alley Cats, is made up of girls! Not only that, but they all go to his school. A hilarious romcom with a surprisingly great dub, gaming fans everywhere should aim to check this show out.
7 CONCRETE REVOLUTIO
Concrete Revolutio is a story of two separate narratives—one in the past, where the Superhuman Bureau works to keep the existence of superpowered and supernatural beings under wraps. The other is the present, where one of the members of the Superhuman Bureau strikes out on his own as the others are forced to confront what they did in the past when they were less experienced. Featuring homages to everything from kaiju and Ultraman to the Dark Ages of comic books, every superhero fan should give this one a chance.
6 COWBOY BEBOP
Is there anyone who hasn’t seen this series? It ran on Adult Swim for something like a decade, after all. Nonetheless, for those who haven’t seen it Funimation has it on deck. Set around 2070, Cowboy Bebop is a space western centered around Jet and Spike, a pair of bounty hunters...who aren’t very successful at making money despite being quite successful at finishing their jobs.
Both of them are on the run from their past, and both eventually find out that even in space, your past eventually catches up to you. Featuring timeless animation and the best soundtrack in anime hands down, even if you’ve seen this it’s always worth a rewatch.
5 HAKATA TONKOTSU RAMENS
Fukuoka is just like any other city—bustling with people trying to figure their way through life, people trying to figure out how to get rich...and murderers. Yes, Fukuoka’s Hakata area is filled with assassins...even if they are some of the most likable, well-adjusted assassins in anime. The series focuses on Zenji Banba, a detective with a background as a former assassin himself, attempting to dismantle some of the crime organizations in his town. Teaming up with an eclectic cast of fellow former (and current!) hitmen, Banba makes the town of Hakata a little more safe. When he’s not playing baseball, at least.
4 INITIAL D
Takumi Fujiwara is a high school kid who hates driving, because he’s spent most of his early teen years working as a delivery driver for his dad’s tofu shop. But doing so teaches him incredible handling skills, making him a talented driver...which is kinda crucial when your best friend pulls you into the world of underground street racing. This series is perfect for every car and racing fanatic, not to mention any Fast and the Furious fans. There’s even a connection there, as Initial D’s consultant Keiichi Tsuchiya, also worked on Tokyo Drift as a stunt coordinator/stuntman.
3 KIDDY GRADE
It’s easy to hear the name and see the costumes of the lead characters and think this is just another dumb fanservice centered series. And the early episodes of it certainly lean in that direction, but as the series develops it pulls viewers in through the development of both its world and it’s characters.
The leads in Kiddy Grade are Eclair and Lumiere, members of the Galactic Organization of Trade and Tarriffs, a special police force that deals with crime throughout the galaxy. While this is a straightforward enough premise, not everything is as it seems, as Eclair and Lumiere learn more about their own pasts, and begin to rebel a GOTT that seems more pre-occupied with preserving status quo than doing the right thing.
2 MICHIKO & HATCHIN
Michiko Malandro manages to escape from one of the most dangerous prisons on Earth. Does she go into hiding? Of course not. She tracks down Hannah Morenos, the daughter of her former lover Hiroshi, and kidnaps her in the hopes of finding Hiroshi’s whereabouts. Directed by Sayo Yamomoto and produced by the now defunct studio Manglobe, Michiko and Hatchin is an adventure series following these two girls as they travel through South America, with the law and Hatchin’s parents at their backs. An underrated classic every experienced anime fan should want under their belt.
Mai Tokiha was a normal girl looking to get into a good school. Responsible not only for herself but for her young brother, she eagerly takes the opportunity to get into Fuuka Academy, a prestigious yet curious school where tons of mysteries abound. Though Mai wants to live a regular life, she winds up dragged into a battle between HiMes, young girls capable of summoning weapons and monsters, and Orphans, powerful creatures with destructive intent. An action series that places women at the forefront, My-HiMe is a forerunner to series like Madoka Magica, with Final Fantasy-esque monster summons added. What's not to love about that?