Netflix has been updating their anime catalog recently and they plan on following this trend by adding 30 more new shows this year. With so many good anime on Netflix, I’ve handpicked the best ones you can watch right now and broken them down by genres. Keep in mind that some of these Netflix anime may not be available for regions outside the US.
One Punch Man
Genres: Action, Comedy, Slice of Life
Animated by the studio giant Madhouse and written by ONE, One Punch Man is an action-packed comedy that does not fail to entertain. The story follows the bizarre adventures of an almost invincible hero called Saitama, whose ultimate goal is to find a worthy opponent. It’s a surprisingly solid parody on the superhero genre and one of the best anime featuring an overpowered main character to date. One Punch Man sets out to entertain, and it definitely delivers with its well-choreographed action and fantastic animation. One of my favorite action anime on Netflix, One Punch Man is a show that avid anime watchers as well as new anime watchers can both enjoy.
Alternative Names: Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan, Samurai X
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Historical, Romance
Rurouni Kenshin takes place during the Meiji Era of Japan and follows the life of Kenshin Himura, a friendly wandering samurai who hides a dark and bloody past. It’s a great classic from the 1990s that people grew up on and an amazing gateway anime for many. While the animation is a bit dated, Rurouni Kenshin still holds up to this day, it’s a testament to how incredibly enjoyable the story, action, and characters are.
Kill la Kill
Genres: Action, Comedy, Ecchi, School
Funny, stylish, and at times bizarre, Kill la Kill is the first televised anime series created under the newly formed Studio Trigger. This over-the-top action comedy is full of fanservice, provocative themes, and exaggerated animation; it’s an unpredictable spectacle that puts style over substance and entertainment over narrative. Overall it’s an absurdly fun series to watch and one of the most flashy action anime on Netflix.
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
Alternative Names: Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan (TV), Saiki Kusuo no Psi Nan
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy, Supernatural, School
Recently added to Netflix, The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. is a collection of short episodic stories starring Kusuo Saiki, an overpowered–but moderately restraint–psychic whose life-goal is to be ordinary and hassle-free. However, Kusuo’s life is far from normal; every day is a more ridiculous scenario and every character he meets is a hilarious oddity. One thing I love about the show is how both the Japanese and English voice actors really nail the main character’s lazy personality. Kusuo’s deadpan reactions and deliveries are great compliments to the everyday absurdities that he has to deal with and a hilarious contrast to the quirky side-characters he meets. It’s an extremely funny series, and frankly, one of the most underrated comedy anime on Netflix.
The Devil is a Part-Timer!
Alternative Names: Hataraku Maou-sama!
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Fantasy
What happens when the demon lord of a fantasy world is stripped of his powers and thrown into the real world? Hilarity ensues. The Devil is a Part-Timer! is a situational comedy that forces larger-than-life fantasy characters into everyday mundane activities like working, paying rent, and climbing the corporate ladder. It’s a fun character-driven anime with an interesting plot and relatable humor, a must-watch for anyone into comedy.
Alternative Names: Gin no Saji
Genres: Comedy, School, Slice of Life
Silver Spoon is a wonderful coming-of-age comedy created by Hiromu Arakawa, the brilliant mind behind the internationally hit series Fullmetal Alchemist. The story follows Yuugo Hachiken, a shy city-boy who enrolls in an agricultural school while having no prior experience in farming. It’s a light-hearted and heartwarming anime, but it’s definitely not afraid to leave the comfort-zone of humor to explore some somber and realistic themes. I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a more down-to-earth slice of life comedy.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Alternative Names: FMA, FMA Brotherhood, Fullmetal Alchemist (2009), Hagane no Renkinjutsushi
Genres: Action, Military, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Magic, Fantasy
“In order to obtain something, something of equal value must be lost.”
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is an epic fantasy anime that explores the different sides of morality and consequence: the good and bad, the right and wrong, the give and take. The show gets an enormous amount of praise from the community for its incredible story, fantastic characters, and expansive world-building. Currently ranked #1 on my fantasy anime list, Fullmetal Alchemist is one of (if not) the best anime series ever made.
Attack on Titan
Alternative Names: Shingeki no Kyojin, AoT
Genres: Action, Military, Drama, Fantasy, Thriller
After experiencing the horrors caused by man-eating titans, a boy named Eren Yeager swears revenge against them.
Attack on Titan is an epic cinematic fantasy layered with dynamic fight scenes, excellent storytelling, and vast world-building. It’s an engaging series and a potential masterpiece that focuses on character and story development. Not only that, there’s underlying political conflicts and countless thrilling mysteries that’ll keep you on the edge of your seats. Attack on Titan is an absolutely fantastic series for anyone looking for a darker fantasy. It’s also a mainstream popular show and a great introduction to anime for new watchers.
Little Witch Academia
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Magic, School
A young girl without any magical background enrolls in a witchcraft school and aims to become a great witch.
Little Witch Academia is a light-hearted story full of witches and wizardry; a magical journey of comedy, friendship, and adventure. It’s a charming fantasy series for all ages and a throwback to a simpler time in anime where friendship is prevalent and dreams are achieved through determination.
Genres: Action, Magic, Fantasy
Seven mages, along with their combat familiars, are pitted against each other in a secret battle royale. The victor is able to obtain the Holy Grail, a mystical relic that can grant any wish.
Fate/Zero is the prequel to Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works and the first anime you should watch in the Fate series. It’s arguably one the best animated fantasy series ever and a great introduction to an expansive anime franchise.
Alternative Names: Mushishi
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery, Slice of Life
Mushi is a supernatural spirit-like being that’s more primitive in design and nature than any other creatures. Only a few humans, known as Mushishi, are capable of seeing them. The story follows Ginko, one of those Mushishi who travels from place to place hoping to investigate and understand these creatures.
Mushi-shi is a supernatural fantasy series that’s surprisingly down-to-earth. This is a fantasy anime that excels in atmosphere; it’s a beautiful journey full of breathtaking art, incredible music, and imaginative stories. Unfortunately, only season two is on Netflix, but since Mushi-shi is episodic, you don’t need to watch the first season to enjoy the new one.
Genres: Mystery, Psychological, Supernatural, Thriller
A highschool prodigy named Light Yagami stumbles upon a mysterious notebook that seemingly fell from the sky. He opens the cover and finds a set of instructional messages, one of which reads, “The human whose name is written in this notebook shall die.” After confirming the legitimacy of the notebook, he begins to write the names of convicted criminals inside, hoping to enforce his justice on the world and cleansing it of evil.
Death Note is one of the most popular anime ever made and a must-watch classic for anyone that enjoys a good psychological thriller. It’s got a mature story with strong dramatic twists and a morally grey main character that’s not your average protagonist.
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Set in the medieval times, Castlevania follows the story of a vampire hunter named Victor Belmont through a gruesome tale full of blood, gore, monsters, and deaths.
A short and sweet dark fantasy series that harkens back to the old castlevania games. It’s a great introduction to a mature franchise and a refreshing assurance that video game anime adaptations can be good.
Alternative Names: Ajin: Demi-Human
Genres: Action, Mystery, Horror, Supernatural
Ajins are immortal humans with the ability to summon—and potentially command—invisible superhuman entities. They are considered extremely dangerous by the government and are actively hunted down.
Ajin is an action-filled supernatural anime that features light horror elements and enjoyable antagonists. Although the story has some pacing issues and the animation can be lacking at times, Ajin is still quite a fantastic series with a great soundtrack and entertaining storylines.
Genres: Action, Horror, Supernatural
Devilman: Crybaby is an adaption of a classic 1970s horror manga under a similar name. It features a morally unrestrained and emotionally wrenching story that helped influence many other brutally dark shows such as Evangelion and Berserk. Overall a delightfully disturbing anime that you have to be mentally prepared for, Devilman: Crybaby is a violently escalating ride with no breaks.
Your Lie in April
Alternative Names: Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
Genres: Drama, Music, Romance, School
A powerful romance series with breathtaking art, phenomenal soundtrack, and enjoyable characters. While it may seem like a heartwarming anime on the surface, Your Lie in April tackles realistically heavy—but sometimes overdramatic—problems that revolves around growing up and falling in love. It’s a visually stunning and emotionally captivating series that’ll put butterflies in your stomach and tears in your eyes. A must-watch for anyone that’s into drama, romance, or music.
Alternative Names: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Heavenly Breakthrough Gurren Lagann
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Mecha, Sci-Fi
Two kids who know nothing but the underground village they grew up in are given a glimpse of the sky.
Gurren Lagann is an all around extraordinary anime with an over-the-top story featuring a wide cast of larger-than-life characters. It’s an absolutely inspiring tale that starts small and ends in an epic fashion. One of the few anime that I consider a masterpiece, Gurren Lagann is a must-watch on Netflix.
Knights of Sidonia
Alternative Names: Sidonia no Kishi
Genres: Action, Mecha, Sci-Fi
In the distant future where earth is destroyed by massive shape-shifting aliens, what’s left of humanity scatters across the galaxy on gigantic seed ships in order to survive.
This series is a dark, cruel reminder of just how small and fragile humans are in the limitless immensity of space. But it also stands as a testament of our tenacity to adapt and survive against all odds. Knights of Sidonia is an amazing science fiction anime with a tense story backed by a phenomenal setting. It’s a constant thriller with entertaining mech fights and a great show to binge watch on Netflix.