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The 18 best anime series on Hulu right now – Cowboy Bebop, Sonny Boy, and more

Anime series to add to your must-see list

Sonny Boy
Image used with permission by copyright holder

While there is a rather nice collection of anime series on Netflix, that streaming platform isn’t the only one with a penchant for Japanese animation. Hulu has some of the best anime you can stream online right now, and if you find yourself running out of Netflix shows to binge, now is a good time to have an account.

Since navigating the platform can get pretty tricky at times, we’ve gathered a list of the very best anime on Hulu to help you out. We’ve also put together a guide to help you watch cartoons online if you need more animated series in your life.

Afro Samurai (2007)

Afro Samurai
tv-ma
1 Season
Genre
Animation, Action & Adventure, Drama
Stars
Samuel L. Jackson, Phil LaMarr, Yuri Lowenthal
Created by
Takashi Okazaki
Watch on Hulu
This anime miniseries is exceptional in many ways but for one, it’s a short and sweet miniseries one can blow through in a day. Voiced by Samuel L. Jackson, this samurai is living his life to exact revenge and be super cool doing it. The animation is unique yet crisp while the originality of the characters and sequences makes it definitely worth the watch.

Sonny Boy (2021)

Sonny Boy
tv-14
1 Season
Genre
Animation, Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Stars
Aoi Ichikawa, Saori Onishi, Aoi Yuki
Watch on Hulu
A curious anime to get into is Sonny Boy, a truly original and creative mystery anime that was recently released on Hulu. When a group of 36 high schoolers is suddenly warped into another dimension with their school, they start to develop superpowers and worry about who will follow the rules they laid out and who will survive.

Bleach (2004)

Bleach
tv-14
2 Seasons
Genre
Action & Adventure, Animation, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Stars
Masakazu Morita, Fumiko Orikasa, Hiroki Yasumoto
Watch on Hulu
A show that some compare to the immortal greatness — and episode count — of anime like Naruto and One Piece, Bleach is great if you like big effin’ swords and supernatural, ghost-to-afterlife themes. Ichigo is a Soul Reaper, which means he is responsible for protecting humanity from evil souls and guiding the recently departed to the afterlife. It’s spooky, it’s emotional, it’s awesome.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (2019)

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
tv-ma
4 Seasons
Genre
Animation, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Stars
Natsuki Hanae, Akari Kito, Nobuhiko Okamoto
Created by
Koyoharu Gotouge
Watch on Hulu
A fairly new and original anime that has been sweeping anime pop culture is Demon Slayer Kimetsu No Yaiba. When a young boy’s family is killed by a demon, he is distraught that the only survivor — his sister — has become a demon herself. With nowhere left to turn, he vows to find and destroy demons in hopes that he can change his sister back. The action is fast-paced and exciting, while the story takes some awesome twists and turns that make it among the most dynamic animes out there.

Fire Force (2019)

Fire Force
tv-14
2 Seasons
Genre
Animation, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Comedy
Stars
Gakuto Kajiwara, Yusuke Kobayashi, Saeko Kamijo
Watch on Hulu
Focused on a main character who is trying to figure out his own superpowers, Fire Force is another tale of humans blocked off into districts where chaos and apocalypse reign. Humanity is struck with a plague where humans spontaneously combust, turning them into mindless and destructive creatures they call “Infernals.” After forming a department to locate and eradicate these problems, a mix of supernatural and super armored humans is the world’s last defense and one way to uncover the mystery behind it all.

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma (2015)

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma
tv-14
5 Seasons
Genre
Animation, Comedy, Drama
Stars
Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Ai Kayano, Maaya Uchida
Watch on Hulu
If you can recall the mouthwatering meals from Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away, you probably already know the importance of food in anime. Food Wars! is a fantastic anime series that takes that idea and runs away with it. The story follows a young and talented aspiring chef named Souma. Though he was content working with his father in their small eatery in Japan, he gets thrust into an entirely new world of cooking when he begins studying at a culinary academy with some of the finest young chefs in the world. We’ve also found some other great cooking shows to stream if you’re looking for more like this.

My Hero Academia (2016)

My Hero Academia
tv-14
6 Seasons
Genre
Action & Adventure, Animation
Stars
Daiki Yamashita, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Kenta Miyake
Watch on Hulu

My Hero Academia is one of the most popular new anime series at the moment and has an especially large following in America. The overall concept of the show isn’t exactly fresh, but the plot and character development make every episode better than the last. In a world full of powerful superhumans, a young boy with no powers or “quirks” dreams of one day becoming a superhero. But when he inherits the powers of the strongest man alive, he finds that he needs a lot more than just the heart of hero to succeed.

One Piece (1999)

One Piece
tv-14
21 Seasons
Genre
Action & Adventure, Comedy, Animation
Stars
Mayumi Tanaka, Kazuya Nakai, Akemi Okamura
Watch on Hulu
One Piece isn’t just one of the best anime shows on Hulu, it’s one of the best of all time. And if you’re looking for something wonderful with an overwhelming amount of episodes, this is it. The story follows a good-natured and adventurous young pirate named Monkey D. Luffy as he dives headfirst on a quest for the legendary “One Piece” treasure. Whoever can claim the treasure will claim the coveted title of “Pirate King.”

Space Dandy (2014)

Space Dandy
tv-14
2 Seasons
Genre
Animation, Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Action & Adventure
Stars
Junichi Suwabe, Uki Satake, Hiroyuki Yoshino
Watch on Hulu
Seemingly a play on a theme, Space Dandy is a simple-to-follow tale with lovable and ridiculous characters. Besides being visually spectacular and operating on multiple levels, this space explorer parody has a sort of chaotic artistry when it comes to the storytelling, surprising the audience in the strangest ways.

Assassination Classroom (2015)

Assassination Classroom
tv-14
2 Seasons
Genre
Animation, Comedy, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Stars
Jun Fukuyama, Mai Fuchigami, Nobuhiko Okamoto
Watch on Hulu
If you’re looking for a unique spin on a junior high school anime, then this one definitely stands out. As the earth is threatened by a powerful creature capable of destroying the moon, mankind is offered one chance to free itself from this impending doom — assassination. The creature in question, a tentacled yellow being, decides he wants to start working as a homeroom teacher to give the kids of a low-ranking class a chance to learn the ways of assassination and stop him before he destroys the world.

Attack on Titan (2013)

Attack on Titan
tv-ma
4 Seasons
Genre
Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Animation, Action & Adventure
Stars
Yuki Kaji, Yui Ishikawa, Marina Inoue
Watch on Hulu
Humans are on the brink of extinction, hiding behind huge walls in an attempt to escape giant humanoid creatures called Titans. Despite being safe within the confines of their own containment for more than 100 years, the Titans manage to break through the walls once again and attack an outer city. Two kids watch in horror as their loved ones are devoured alive, and they vow to survive and fight this menace.

One Punch Man (2015)

One Punch Man
tv-pg
3 Seasons
Genre
Action & Adventure, Animation, Comedy
Stars
Kazuhiro Yamaji, Yuichi Nakamura, Kenjiro Tsuda
Watch on Hulu
This anime series follows the life of Saitama, a hero that fights evil just because it’s fun to do so. Of course, fighting can only be so entertaining when you can defeat any enemy with a single punch. With comedy intricately intertwining with action, One Punch Man is a unique series that even anime newbies can enjoy from the start.

Cowboy Bebop (1998)

Cowboy Bebop
tv-14
1 Season
Genre
Animation, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Western
Stars
Koichi Yamadera, Unsho Ishizuka, Megumi Hayashibara
Watch on Hulu
Whether you’re new to anime or just love re-watching the classics, Cowboy Bebop is an essential watch. This 1998 series is a jazzy space western that can compete with even some of the most entertaining sci-fi movies around. The story follows the misadventures and tragedies of a bounty hunter named Spike Spiegal and his crew. There is even an adorable corgi that becomes an essential part of the show.

Naruto Shippūden (2007)

Naruto Shippūden
tv-pg
20 Seasons
Genre
Animation, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Stars
Junko Takeuchi, Chie Nakamura, Noriaki Sugiyama
Watch on Hulu
Starting where the original series left off, Naruto: Shippûden follows an adolescent ninja as he seeks to become the strongest in the clan. Though there are quite a few filler episodes, especially in the first three seasons, this show is a must-see for any anime fan. And with 500 episodes, it’s going to take a while to get through all of it.

Sword Art Online (2012)

Sword Art Online
tv-14
4 Seasons
Genre
Animation, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Action & Adventure
Stars
Ai Kayano, Rina Hidaka, Hiroaki Hirata
Watch on Hulu
Taking place in the year 2022, thousands of gamers find themselves trapped in a new and fully immersive virtual MMORPG. The series follows Kirito as he becomes one of the strongest players in the game in an attempt to escape. If you’ve ever enjoyed an online RPG game before, this RPG anime series is definitely worth a watch. And if you like this series, you can also browse our picks of the best sci-fi shows and movies on HBO Max for a broader selection.

Pokémon (1997)

Pokémon
tv-y7
25 Seasons
Genre
Animation, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Stars
Rica Matsumoto, Ikue Otani
Watch on Hulu
This classic Nintendo-owned property has a variety of forms, whether it be video games, action figures, or even trading cards. The anime with Ash and friends is one of the most iconic in this universe, though. Fans love the themes of loyalty, bravery, and adventure. The show is still going strong over two decades after its premiere.

Kill la Kill (2013)

Kill la Kill
tv-ma
1 Season
Genre
Action & Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Stars
Ryoka Yuzuki, Ami Koshimizu, Aya Suzaki
Watch on Hulu
This anime that follows Japanese schoolgirl Ryuko Matoi is a popular series focusing on the usual anime themes, such as revenge and fighting back for what you believe in. The use of a female protagonist and the incorporation of fashion into the plot lines give this one a unique lens compared to other programs. This show was adapted into a video game in 2019.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009)

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
tv-14
1 Season
Genre
Action & Adventure, Animation, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Comedy, Drama
Stars
Romi Park, Rie Kugimiya, Shin-ichiro Miki
Watch on Hulu
Widely considered one of the greatest anime of all time, this series is a coming-of-age story that follows two alchemist brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, on their quest to restore their bodies after a failed attempt to revive their deceased mother. Their search for a way to undo the damage takes them across the country, where they encounter military conspiracies, ancient secrets of alchemy, and an underlying plot that threatens the entire nation. This anime series appeals to fans of action, adventure, fantasy, and science fiction.

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Shawn Laib
Shawn Laib is a freelance writer with publications such as Den of Geek, Quote.com, Edge Media Network, diaTribe, SUPERJUMP…
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