The 25 Best Anime Series on Netflix Right Now

Japanese animation has become a major influence on Western cartoons, contemporary cinema, and even fashion design. Despite its reputation as lowbrow and nerdy, anime remains one of the most boundary-pushing genres in contemporary visual arts. However, It can be hard to get into it if you choose the wrong series from the get-go. The good news is: Netflix has some of the best anime series’ of all time currently streaming on its service. The bad news is: they also have a lot of really bad shows to sort through.

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Luckily, we’ve done the hard work of sorting through the deck and finding the hidden gems. From beloved classics to next wave brilliance, here are the best anime series currently streaming on Netflix in August 2020. Though we’ve also found the best anime on Hulu if you’re interested.

One Piece

One Piece is 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”.

Total Episodes: 130
IMDb Rating: 8.7

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Japan Sinks: 2020

As one of the newest Netflix anime series, this show is right in line with how the rest of 2020 has gone so far. The story follows an ordinary family that is put to the test as huge earthquakes through Japan into utter chaos. The show was adapted from the bestselling Sci-fi novel by Sakyo Komatsu and has the same director as Devilman Crybaby.

Total Episodes: 10
IMDb Rating: 7.6

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No Game, No Life

Siblings Sora and Shiro are two of the most feared pro gamers in the world. When the pair defeats a god in a seemingly innocuous chess match online, they find themselves thrust into an entirely different world where every dispute is settled by playing games.

Total Episodes: 12
IMDb Rating: 7.8

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Castlevania

This Netflix Original Series is based on Castlevania: Dracula’s Curse, the 3rd installment of the video game saga. The third season has arrived after an excellent first two parts. Though many of the best Anime series are made into English dubs eventually, this show was made first and foremost for its American audience. With loads of action, mystery, vampires, and witty one-liners, Castlevania is a must-watch if you’re looking to fill a sci-fi void in your heart.

Total Episodes: 22
IMDb Rating: 8.2

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Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion is widely touted as one of the greatest television series of all time, and with good reason. What begins as a relatively standard show about giant fighting robots turns into a post-modern meditation on the darkest depths of depression. This sci-fi masterpiece is as much an Oedipal psychodrama as it is an action-packed adventure. Don’t expect to understand what’s going on the first time around, but you’ll definitely be rewarded with a re-watch. (Note: the version currently on Netflix has been re-translated, re-dubbed, and re-scored from the original series that aired on TV in the 90’s due to ongoing licensing issues. The general consensus is that this new version is good enough, but not quite as iconic as the original.)

Total Episodes: 26
IMDb Rating: 8.5

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Food Wars!

If you can recall the mouthwatering meals from Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away, then 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 of the best cooking shows on Netflix if you’re looking for more like this.

Total Episodes: 10
IMDb Rating: 8.2

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One Punch Man

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.

Total Episodes: 12
IMDb Rating: 8.8

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Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Even the most casual of anime fans are dimly aware of the influence of Sailor Moon on what became known as the “magical girl” subgenre of cartoons — what Evangelion did for mechs, Madoka does for magical girls. In this show, the fantasy tweens who put on cute dresses to save the world are actually pawns in an internecine cosmic war for the fate of humanity, trapped in a futile struggle against the march of time. With avant-garde animation techniques rarely seen in anime, the series provides a dark counterargument to the naive optimism of kawaii culture.

Total Episodes: 12
IMDb Rating: 8.3

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Attack on Titan

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 over 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.

Total Episodes: 25
IMDb Rating: 8.8

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Death Note

An intelligent and cynical high school student suddenly finds himself in possession of a magical notebook that can kill anyone whose name is written in it. With such power, he attempts to cleanse the world of evil by taking out those who have committed atrocities.

Total Episodes: 37
IMDb Rating: 9.0

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Devilman: Crybaby

Loosely based on the classic 1970’s anime and manga franchise by creator Go Nagai, Devilman: Crybaby is a stand-alone update of the beloved series. An existentialist and apocalyptic parable, the beautiful art style of the series is as expressive as it is bizarrely cosmological. And while most anime is scored with uplifting pop, the abrasive and intense techno soundtrack of Crybaby gives the series a modern, fashionable edge.

Total Episodes: 10
IMDb Rating: 7.6

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Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Not quite as cerebral or surreal as other shows in this list, FMA is a tightly wound high-fantasy series that has garnered several generations of fans. A bit of explanation: Full Metal Alchemist takes a turn halfway through that changes the story vastly from the series’ source material (as the speed at which the TV show was being produced began outpacing publication of the manga, in a manner similar to what happened with Game of Thrones), while Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a more strictly adhered-to adaptation of the original books. Most FMA acolytes think the latter is far superior, but both are excellent. Telling the story of Edward and Alphonse Elric, brothers who survived a traumatic magical accident now hoping to right their mistakes of the past — the show explores themes of filial piety and the ramifications of global war.

Total Episodes: 64
IMDb Rating: 9.1

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Haikyu!!

Even if you don’t like sports, this series is so good that you may find yourself with a sudden appreciation for volleyball by the end of it. The story is centered around a short student named Hinata who dreams of one day making it to the national championship. Driven forward by sheer determination alone, he must refine his skills and master relationships with his teammates to become the best player he can be.

Total Episodes: 50
IMDb Rating8.7

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Hunter x Hunter

Gon Freecss is a young boy living a peaceful life on a remote island. But when he finds out his father, who he thought was dead, is actually one of the top Hunters in the world, he dedicates his life to becoming a Hunter as well.

Total Episodes: 75
IMDb Rating: 8.9

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The Seven Deadly Sins

The Seven Deadly Sins, who were once an active group of knights, were disbanded after a supposed plot to overthrow the king. Now that 10 years have passed, the kingdom is in danger from its new protectors and the third princess, Elizabeth, must seek out The Seven Deadly Sins for assistance again.

Total Episodes: 52
IMDb Rating: 8.1

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Kill la Kill

As an entry-level anime, Kill La Kill probably doesn’t work. The series is something of a hyperactive pastiche of shonen (anime/manga for boys) and shojo (anime/manga for girls) tropes, making it a bit incomprehensible if you haven’t seen the shows it consistently refers to. That being said: the extreme over-the-topness and wild action sequences are both goofy and erotically titillating. Don’t expect any kind of moral message or ideological coherence, though.

Total Episodes: 24
IMDb Rating: 7.9

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Aggretsuko

Retsuko is a 25-year-old red panda working a soul-sucking job as an accountant at a trading firm. She is much more than that though, she is also the star of this rather relatable workplace musical comedy. Retsuko deals with the frustrations of her office job by shrieking out death metal every night at her local karaoke bar. This Anime delivers something fresh, comedic, and character-driven that you’ll want to keep watching.

Total Episodes: 20
IMDb Rating: 8.0

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Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adventure

This action-packed series is a unique one. It follows the life and struggles of the Joestar bloodline as each descendant faces the forces of evil. Beginning in 1880 with Jonathan Joestar, each season takes you on a psychic-powered journey, or a “Bizarre” adventure if you will. Though it begins to follow a fairly common magical power hierarchy you’d expect to see in a series like this, surprising twist and turns make it a delightfully refreshing watch.

Total Episodes: 74
IMDb Rating: 8.4

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Gurren Lagann

The legendary animation studio Gainax (the same company that created the aforementioned magum opus, Evangelion) took another stab at giant fighting robots with Gurren Lagann, a far less serious interpretation of a timeworn subgenre. The heartwarming story arc explodes with feel-good positivity. Campy and flirtatious dialogue pairs well with the series’ high energy fight scenes.

Total Episodes: 27
IMDb Rating: 8.3

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Inuyasha

Combining the girly sweetness of teen romance and heavy-hitting fantasy combat, Inuyasha’s expansive and seemingly endless narrative arc is a good way to get started on a budding anime addiction. There’s definitely a lot of filler in the nearly 200 episodes, but the lovable cast of characters and simple, sometimes soap opera-inflected storytelling are a good introduction to the tropes that more highbrow works of art are riffing on.

Total Episodes: 50
IMDb Rating: 7.9

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Kakegurui

The absurd premise of Kakegurui — a high school populated by gambling geniuses — belies a raunchy story filled with more adult themes and imagery. Probably the most NSFW show on this list, the grotesque eroticism of the series makes for a bizarre art experience, and the twist-filled plot is consistently compelling. The series takes some truly strange turns in the second season but remains as addictive as playing the slots throughout.

Total Episodes: 24
IMDb Rating: 7.2

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The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.

Saiki Kusuo is an overpowered psychic who hates attracting any kind of attention at all. And yet, he finds himself surrounded by a colorful group of students at his high school. With the ability to hear the thoughts of others (among many other powers) Saiki can’t help himself from getting involved in just about everything going on at school.

Total Episodes: 22
IMDb Rating: 8.3

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Parasyte: The Maxim

When 17-year-old Shinichi Izumi is partially infected by an alien Parasyte, he finds he must learn how to coexist with this creature to survive. The Parasytes that managed to fully take over their human hosts pose an immense threat to both him and the rest of humanity.

Total Episodes: 24
IMDb Rating: 8.4

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Akame ga Kill!

One of the best things about Akame ga Kill! is that no character is protected by plot armor — anyone could die at any point in the story. It starts out following a young adventurer heading to the capital to make a name for himself in the army. But when he runs into a dangerous and feared group of assassins, he realizes there’s more to the capital than meets the eye.

Total Episodes: 24
IMDb Rating: 7.9

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Angel Beats!

This anime series puts a slight and unexpected twist on high-school drama. Based in an afterlife high school, a group of rebellious teens continuously fight in armed combat against a single superpowered girl named angel.

Total Episodes: 13
IMDb Rating: 7.7

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