Netflix is known for the high quality of its programming. The streaming service has such a large array of great shows that many people get paralyzed by the choices available to them. But, while Netflix has spent a sizable chunk of money investing into new series, not everything is going to be a hit. On the contrary, there’s a bunch of anime series currently on Netflix which could best be described as, to put it lightly, a hot mess.
For this list, we’re going through some of Netflix’s worst series, as rated by IMDb. Most of these couldn’t even crack a six, meaning they’re firmly at the “average” level for series, and should be avoided if people are looking for a new series to binge.
10 Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac
Coming in with the absolute lowest score of the bunch at 4.5 is the new Saint Seiya series. This series was likely always going to be in trouble, regardless of the actual quality involved. For one, it’s a CGI remake of a series which was originally just animation. For another, they altered the gender of one of the main characters, the kind of major change that won’t sit well with purists for a number of reasons, not the least of which is a shift to a more expected heteronormative role.
Nonetheless, Seiya’s quest to become a Bronze Saint for Athena is just getting started with only six episodes, so perhaps it can get better.
9 Fate/Extra Last Encore
The Fate series has gradually grown into this massive monster of a series with almost as much continuity as the MCU. In Last Encore, Hakuno Kishinami finds himself in the middle of another one of the Holy Grail Wars, with no idea of what’s going on.
Fortunately, he’s lucky enough to have Saber fighting with him as his Servant, helping him stay alive in a world that’s more dangerous than ever. Ultimately, the story of this series is told in a far too convoluted manner, meaning even the 5.3 average is probably boosted because of the Fate fans desperate for a new series.
8 Beyblade: Metal Fusion
Beyblades should only come up amongst even anime-loving adults the same way every time: “Remember Beyblades?” And that should be about it, especially a series like Beyblade: Metal Fusion, which is a series starring all-new characters. What’s even the point if Tyson and Kai aren’t around?
Still, Metal Fusion continues its trend of taking spin tops too seriously, as the lead character Ginga has to fight with his friends against the forces of Dark Nebula to save the world. This is one of several series following Ginga, with each one having progressively lower scores, and this one finally coming in at a 5.4.
7 Cyborg 009: Call of Justice
Anyone who remembers the Toonami era of Cartoon Network will remember Cyborg 009. A 2001 adaptation of a manga from creative visionary Shotaro Ishinomori, it followed nine cyborgs battling against their creators, the Black Ghost, fighting for the rest of humanity’s freedom.
In 2016, a series of new, 3D CGI films known as Cyborg 009: Call of Justice were released in Japan, which were then re-edited into 12 episodes that made their way to Netflix a year later. Fans didn’t react well to this series, and it lands at a 5.8 on IMDb.
6 Last Hope
Last Hope narrowly scores a 5.8. Referred to as Unit Pandora in Japan, Last Hope is set in a world where AIs go out of control and cause something known as the Cambrian Explosion, resulting in all life on Earth other than humans rapidly evolving. Humans try their best to narrowly survive in this world, but it’s a losing battle until scientist Leon Lau creates a thing which allows humanity to fuse with machines in their own way, opening the path for evolution.
While the animation is up to par for Satelight, the characters are too dull and the plot too boring for this to be worth much. This is mainly just Macross creator Shoji Kawamori’s break series before returning to Macross, like Aquarion.
5 Neo Yokio
Neo Yokio is what happens when a company has too much money. Lead vocalist Erza Koenig of Vampire Weekend gets to create a series animated by Production I.G. and Studio DEEN then gets a voice cast of Jaden Smith and Desus and Mero. This could have only been utter genius or a total mess, no in-betweens.
The series is set in an alternate version of New York where magicians saved the city from demons and have been elevated to a higher social status. Coming in at a 5.8, it seems Netflix anime fans simply didn’t care for Jaden’s portrayal of Kaz Kaan, a “Magistocrat” who can just barely remember his job is to hunt demons, not become the most eligible bachelor of Neo Yokio
Landing on the higher end of this terrible list is ID-0, a series directed by Goro Taniguchi, the director responsible for Code Geass. ID-0 sees young Maya Mikuri joining a group of illegal excavators in the far future. Working with this group, Maya learns about the robots known as I-Machines, mecha capable of taking the pilot’s consciousness inside their operating system. The team works on mining Orichalt, the mineral which aids humanity in traveling through space. Opinions on this one are more polarizing, causing it to clock in at a 6.0.
3 Sword Gai: The Animation
Sword Gai tells the story of Gai Ogata, a young man wielding the power of Shiryu, a cursed blade responsible for the death of his parents. With the sword bonded to him as an arm, Gai learns to rein in the blade’s demonic impulses.
There are two types of people in the world: those who think having a blade for an arm means it’s a perfect anime and those who think it’s incredibly stupid, particularly considering it makes the name of the series literal. Regardless of which camp one falls into, Sword Gai snagged a 6.0, yet another mediocre start for a show only airing on Netflix.
2 Hero Mask
An original series, the show is set in London, where police officer James Blood comes into contact with criminals who are wearing some form of mask which grants them superpowers.
The series was animated by veteran group Pierrot and aired from December 2018 until August of 2019, as it recently received a second season. As interesting as the concept was, it seems like the pay off wasn’t nearly as solid, and it winds up being a trope-riddled Western action riff. One of the better Netflix original series gets a 6.2, which is the highest record on this list. Still, sooner or later, Netflix is going to strike gold.
1 A.I.C.O. Incarnation
Aiko Tachibana is a teenaged girl who lost her family during the “Burst” incident, caused by errant experiments with artificial life. This has resulted in a new life called “Matter” starting to overrun all of Japan, destroying anything it touches.
Aiko learns of her connection to the Burst incident and starts searching for the truth... but it’s too bad none of it was interesting enough to get this series a score above 6.4. The series is absolutely gorgeous, which isn’t surprising considering it was animated by Bones. Yet, for whatever reason, it never really connected with the audience. A shame, considering this is one of Netflix’s truly original series.