All of the major streaming services have a certain flavor to their anime selections. Hulu has a great selection of classic offerings. Amazon Prime has a mix of hidden gems and newer franchises. What does Netflix offer?
The greatest hits.
The Netflix anime offerings aren't going to earn you any street cred, but they will keep you in anime long after the weekends. Here's a list of the 10 best anime to check out right now on Netflix.
Well, this is the big one, isn't it? The announcement that the legendary and scarcely available Evangelion was coming to Netflix was met with excitement and trepidation. The latter was especially prevalent given the news that the English dub was to be completely redone.
Is it worth your time? Of course. It's still Evangelion, even if the English dub and the retranslation choices are questionable to terrible.
9 Violet Evergarden
A bright light has been shined on the works of Kyoto Animation, the production studio that was the target of an arson attack that led to scores of deaths and the loss of countless hours of work. And rightfully so, as the studio has been low-key behind some of the best anime of the past decade, including the recent and incredible Violet Evergarden.
Added to Netflix as an exclusive, Violet Evergarden tells the tale of a former weapon of war trying to find a place in the world and her own struggle to simply just... be. It's a powerful tale and one of the best-looking shows of the last few years, making it a can't-miss series.
Speaking of Kyoto Animation...
8 A Silent Voice
A Silent Voice came out during the big push of anime OVAs coming out in 2017 that began with Your Name taking American theaters by storm. While A Silent Voice is certainly no Your Name, it is an excellent film by Kyoto Animation that tells a story of love, friendship, and the terror of being a teenager. Take the time to check out A Silent Voice and learn first-hand why Kyoto Animation is a studio to be cherished and remembered.
A series that came out of nowhere, Castlevania has done the improbable and converted a video game franchise beloved around the world into a respectable, quality television series. Combining elements of the game franchise into a mishmash of a story, the tale of Dracula and his campaign of terror is sharply animated, well written, and full of incredible action. Grab some holy water, find your spinning chain, and settle in for more vampire-killing action than you can handle.
6 JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
Follow the memes! At this point, everyone on the internet seems to know a meme or two from JoJo's, and for good reason: The show's strange, memorable looks and plot tend to stick in the brain. While only available subbed, JoJo's is still worth seeing just for the experience. After all, not too many other shows just throw a character named REO Speedwagon out there and just tell the viewer to deal with it.
5 Berserk The Golden Age Trilogy
One of the biggest letdowns in anime of the past ten years was the middling-to-terrible Berserk anime. An offputting art style and a plot that cared more about gore and guts than the story at hand, Berserk the animated series is a letdown.
So, go watch the three Berserk The Golden Age films instead. Telling the original tale of Guts that sets the stage for the dark knight's trail of revenge, The Golden Age is paced well and has the production values that the weekly series lacked.
Just be sure to steel yourself for the third film's climax. Ugh.
The feudal fairy tale known as Inuyasha is divisive among fans, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be watched as part of anime education. A landmark series that found success in OVAs, video games, merchandising, and more, Inuyasha is akin to Bleach in that they're both shows that simply couldn't end in a satisfying way. But, much like Yu Yu Hakusho it deserves to be placed alongside its contemporaries because of how much it accomplished as a franchise.
3 Hi Score Girl
Made with an assist from gaming publisher Capcom, Hi Score Girl is a love letter to the arcade era of Japan and the magic of competitive gaming. While the arcade as a concept came and went in America, they still stand in Japan today as a focal point of video game culture, something that Hi Score Girl taps into as it tells a tale as old as time: Boy meets girl, girl destroys all comers in Street Fighter.
I'm sure Disney is working on the live-action version as we speak.
2 One Punch Man
Saitama simply can't be stopped and neither can the success of One Punch Man. What sounds like a limited concept on paper, the success of One Punch Man comes from the deconstruction of shonen anime tropes while also understanding what makes those same shonen anime so great in the first place. The idea of an anime hero bored with his overwhelming power and success opens the door for an interesting examination of what makes anime heroes work, and so One Punch Man also works.
1 Sword Art Online
What feels like the original major anime available on streaming, Sword Art Online has seen more success than most franchises see in a half-decade, let alone a full decade. The original show still holds up, even in a world where the Isekai genre has taken over seasonal anime lineups and all seem to be so derivative of Sword Art. Part of what keeps SAO so fresh is its cast of characters, possessing some of the best, most engaging main characters in any franchise.
And, for the record: Sword Art Online 2 is Pretty Okay.