Netflix has become known for its wide array of animation, appealing to audiences of all ages. Some of their original hits include mature comedies like Hollywood satire Bojack Horseman and medieval adventure Disenchanted, alongside popular all-ages fare like Voltron: Legendary Defender or the spin-off cartoons based on Dreamworks movies like Trolls.
They also carry a wide range of animated series past and present from studios including Warner Brothers and Disney. Once animation fans have burned through all of Netflix's animated content and are looking for their next obsession, there's good news for them - Netflix has one of the biggest libraries of anime series available on the internet. Here at Netflix Update, we're ready to help you take that first step into Netflix's anime library.
What Is Anime?
Anime is a catch-all term for Japanese animation. Most Americans are likely familiar with anime series geared towards kids - all-ages anime series like Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Sailor Moon have been making their way to the United States in dubbed and edited form since the 1980s. In recent years, as the appetite for anime grows, more series have been arriving here unedited in both dubbed and subtitled forms.
Anime is not limited to one genre, and anime series and films cover all subject matters. The all-ages anime series market is worldwide and massive. The field is known for its horror and suspense anime series like Death Note, its romance anime series like Fruits Basket, and the surreal, genre-defying work of Hayao Miyazaki.
Popularity & Demographics
It is estimated that twenty to thirty million people watch anime series worldwide, and those fans are largely divided into five groups with different anime geared towards them.
Shonen anime is action-heavy adventures geared towards boys fifteen and younger. Popular anime series in this genre include Naruto, One Piece, and Pokemon.
Seinen anime is geared towards an older male audience and often include mature content. Popular anime series in this genre include Ghost in the Shell, Death Note, and Hellsing.
Shojo anime is geared towards young girls and generally focuses on a combination of romance and magical action. Popular series in this genre include Sailor Moon, Ouran High School Host Club, and Card Captor Sakura.
Josei anime is geared towards older women and often combine supernatural and romance elements with more mature themes. Popular series in this genre include Loveless and Paradise Kiss.
Kodomomuke anime is geared towards young children and feature a lot of comedy and cute characters. Popular series in this genre include Doraemon, Yotsuba, and Chibi Maruko-Chan.
10 Best Anime Series on Netflix
Whatever genre you're looking for, there are anime series on Netflix to your taste. Below, we'll look at ten of the best anime series available now on Netflix.
Based on the classic Konami video game franchise, this original anime series produced by Netflix is one of the crown jewels in the company's content library. Featuring the voices of Graham McTavish as the vengeful Count Dracula and Richard Armitage as monster hunter Trevor Belmont, Castlevania takes the standard Transylvanian horror story and transforms it into a tragic tale of love lost and what makes a man into a monster.
Featuring stunning animation and bloody horror, this anime has become beloved among fans of the macabre. One season consisting of four episodes is available now, meaning it can be binged in a single afternoon. A second season is scheduled for fall 2018.
One Punch Man (2015)
An elaborate satire of superhero conventions, One Punch Man, focuses on the character of Saitama, a powerhouse superhero who is utterly unbeatable and can defeat anyone with (you guessed it) one punch. All his mighty strength has left him is bored, bald, and more obsessed with the sales of his merchandise than the people he saves. Combining explosive action with slice-of-life comedy, One Punch Man is considered one of the best superhero anime series ever made. Currently available on Netflix in the original Japanese with English subtitles, its twelve-episode run can be binged over a two or three days.
Little Witch Academia (2017)
A Netflix original available in English and in subtitled Japanese, this high school sorcery anime is a must-watch for all Harry Potter fans who thought the series could use a little more girl power. Following a quartet of freshman witches - Clumsy, hyper Akko; shy Lotte; vaguely demonic Sucy; and prickly blue-blood Diana - at struggling sorcery school Luna Nova, the series takes place in a world where magic is an ancient tradition struggling to survive.
Each episode balances a mystery of the week involving the dangers lurking around the school with an overarching plot involving the missing legendary witch Shiny Chariot. The first half of the twenty-five episode series is episodic, with a major story arc beginning in the second half. Two short films are also available, showing an earlier version of the concept. The entire series can be binged in about a week.
Your Lie In April (2015)
Considered by many to be the best music anime ever made, this romantic tragedy centers around former piano prodigy Kosei. Kosei lost his passion and talent for the piano after the death of his mother, but he finds himself pulled back into the world of music by Kaori, a beautiful and unconventional violinist. The two develop a passionate bond that is threatened when Kaori develops a serious medical issue that threatens her career and life.
Acclaimed for its beautiful animation and music, as well as its poignant story of teenage love and loss, it is one of the finest romance anime series of the modern era. Your Lie In April is available on Netflix in the original Japanese with subtitles or in an English dub. Its twenty-two episode length makes it perfect to binge in about a week.
Attack On Titan (2013)
This post-apocalyptic anime has been at the forefront of the cultural conversation in Japan ever since its debut. Set in a world where most of humanity has been wiped out, and the remains live in a small walled fortress, the series focuses on the ongoing battle with the Titans - massive humanoid monsters with an unceasing hunger for human flesh.
Eren Yeager, the arrogant protagonist, forms a makeshift army out of his childhood friends to try to get revenge on the Titan that killed his mother and destroyed his village. As they travel beyond the walls in their war, the truth about the nature of the Titans is shockingly revealed. The twenty-five episode first season of Attack on Titan is available on Netflix in Japanese with English subtitles and can be binged in about a week.
Kill La Kill (2013)
Ever wished your high school anime came with a few more assassinations? Kill La Kill may be the series for you. When Ryuo Matoi finds her father killed by a mysterious red scissor blade, she is lured by an enchanted school uniform to the mysterious Honnouji Academy. There, she becomes embroiled in a battle with ruthless student council president Satsuki and learns to master the school's mysterious transforming uniforms to topple the strict hierarchy.
Kill La Kill has been highly praised for its thrilling martial arts fights and inventive take on the high school rivals genre. Its twenty-four episode run is available on Netflix in Japanese with English subtitles and is ideal to binge in about a week.
Looking for a deep dive into one of anime's modern classics? Bleach is an epic, genre-defying supernatural adventure that begins when high-schooler Ichigo Kurasaki discovers he can see ghosts. Looking to protect his family, he takes on the role of a Soul Reaper to battle evil spirits and send them back to their proper place in the afterlife. Along the way, he starts to discover that some of his classmates have supernatural powers as well and forms a makeshift team.
And just when this world is starting to make sense to him, he's brought to the underworld to answer to the mysterious Soul Society. The world of Bleach keeps expanding and shifting, and its epic length gives the story room to grow. Available on Netflix in English and the original Japanese, its three-season, 366-episode run should be savored over an extended watch.
A highly unusual departure in genre from Hello Kitty maker Sanrio, this comedy anime focuses on the titular Red Panda. She works as an office drone by day, does death-metal karaoke by night. It might be set in a world of funny animals, but it tackles real issues such as work-life balance and sexist pigs (literally) at work.
Highly relatable for the audience that grew up with Hello Kitty and is now navigating their adult years, Aggretsuko is praised for its nuanced, realistic takes on romance and female friendship. Its ten-episode first season is available in English and Japanese, and its short episode length means it can easily be binged in a day or two.
Violet Evergarden (2017)
From the acclaimed Kyoto Animation studio comes the Netflix exclusive multi-genre anime series Violet Evergarden. Set in the aftermath of a high-tech war, it focuses on the title character. Violet lost both of her arms during her service as a violent war machine and has had them replaced with high-tech prosthetics. With her function as a warrior over, she tries to integrate back into society as an auto-memory doll - a trained ghostwriter.
The series follows her as she learns to be human, and the series is praised for its nuanced sci-fi take on the question of what happens to soldiers when the war is through. Violet Evergarden is available on Netflix in English and Japanese, and its thirteen-episode run can be binged in two or three days.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica (2011)
The magical girl genre is one of anime's most popular branches, and this 2011 thriller puts a darker twist on its tropes. When two girls named Madoka and Sayaka encounter a small alien creature named Kyubey, he offers them a wish if they'll serve him as magical warriors. As they embrace their new powers, it is revealed that Kyubey's powers come with a dark cost, and the girls are forced to figure out how much they're willing to sacrifice to get free of the deal they made. The original twelve-episode anime is available on Netflix in both English and Japanese, although the three spinoffs and movies are not.
From tragic romance to supernatural adventure to funny animal comedy, there's an anime series for everyone on Netflix. Just decide what you're in the mood to watch today, log into your account, and discover a whole new world of entertainment.