Many of us often find the words “anime” and “cartoons” confusing and use them interchangeably, without even knowing it. However, they are very different from each other. While “anime” is mostly referred to the Japanese style of motion picture animation, with distinct facial expressions, a higher level of maturity, characters with bigger eyes yet smaller mouths, “cartoons” are more kids’ centric with caricatures intended to induce humour into the story, and the features further from reality. “Anime” movies and tv shows have by far dominated the non-live-action world, and have raked in millions at the box office, thanks to the cult following they have gained over the years.
Netflix is one of the most popular streaming services of our times. Many of the best series and movies are available on it. They have even started to produce their own movies and series, branded as Netflix Originals. While Netflix is yet to completely venture into anime originals, it has thus far shown an immense potential to do so. So, it is evident that sooner or later, we will get to stream some of our favourite anime on Netflix. If you want to Netflix and chill, watching some nice anime then this list is definitely going to help. So, without further ado, here goes the list of really good anime on Netflix. You can also watch some of these best anime movies and series on Crunchyroll or YouTube.
25. Devilman: Crybaby (2018-)
A fairly recent anime ‘Devilman: Crybaby’ is a story about devils who manifest themselves in living hosts. But if you are strong-willed, you can actually control the devil and use its powers for your own benefits. Akira Fudou an emotional guy accepts his friend’s request for help in uncovering some devils. Their search leads them to a party or rather a Sabbath. Soon things get out of control as the devils start causing trouble. In an attempt to save his friend Akira fuses with a devil. The series is entertaining and has some nice action.
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24. Vampire Knight (2008-)
This Shojo Maga animated series surrounds Yuki, whose taken into a shelter by Kaname, a pureblood against a vicious vampire attack years ago. In the present day, Yuki Cross is the adoptive grown-up child of Kalen Cross, the chief of the Cross Academy and is the heir apparent and guardian angel of the vampire race. She still secretly has a crush on Kaname, who had saved her life years ago and generally hangs out with Zero Kiriyu, who hates vampires. From the looks of it, it appears as the vampires have risen above the petty crimes but it is not out in the open. Yuki needs to take a look at her past and the present before she can take a larger responsibility guarding the entire race of vampires. In the world of anime, I’d call ‘Vampire Knight’ a wee bit cliched.
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23. Blue Exorcist (2011-12)
Set in a world where demons and humans exist in two parallel dimensions, with a very rare dimensional transit happening between the worlds, ‘Blue Exorcist’ is the story of two boys – Rin and Yukio, two twins who are raised by their single father Shiro, who happens to be an exorcist. While the family lives in the human world, also known as Assaih, there have been instances of demons crossing over from their world, Gehenna, to the human world, by possessing humans, thus there’s a dire need of exorcists all around. Rin and Yukio soon learn that they’re the sons of Satan, the ruler of the demonic world. Their father dies soon while protecting them and Rin and Yukio strive to learn exorcism like their father. Despite being a little too old and run down multiple times, I’d still call ‘Blue Exorcist’ a decent, watchable manga series.
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22. Sword Art Online (2012)
Set in the dystopian future, ‘Sword Art Online’ is set in a virtual reality game in the year 2022, on the day of the launch of a game called ‘Sword Art Online’ – which is to be played using helmets equipped with a technology called “Nerve Gear”. Kirito is an enthusiastic player who is all geared up for the game, along with 10,000 other players. As they start playing and progress with the game, the players soon realize that they can’t die in the game or they’d die for real, they have absolutely no means to return to their actual bodies and they can’t log out of the game either. The only way they can exit the game is by beating the final villain on level 100. ‘Sword Art Online’ became one of the top-selling novel series of all the time.
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21. Magi: Adventure of Sinbad (2016)
I’d call ‘Magi: Adventure of Sinbad’ an artistic retelling of our beloved Sinbad the Sailor, but the course of events and the friends and foes he has in this series are very different of course. The series begins with Sinbad, the former king of Sindria and the president of Sindria Trading Company, one of the most renowned trading companies in the world, who is the leader of the Seven Seas Alliance. Initially, Sinbad is shown as a warrior who is on a “world-changing” spree with his powers and rightfully so, he does it as the series progresses, forging new alliances and eliminating his foes in epic battles. Watch it if you want a slight twist to your preconceived notions.
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20. The Devil is a Part-Timer! (2013)
Satan Jacob, later known as Sadao Mau, is the ruler of the demon world and strives to conquer Ente Isla – a priced possession if he could win it. With the help of his generals, he succeeds in killing his adversaries and capturing a few continents of Ente Isla. Satan Jacob is then caught off guard by Emilia, who is all powerful and even his powerful generals are no match for her. Satan then retreats from Ente Isla through Tokyo, where the lack of magic forces them to take human form and hit back harder than they earlier did. Satan assumes the identity of Sadao Mau and starts working part-time at a restaurant named MgRonald, while his companion Aciel serves as his assistant. He meets a girl named Emi Yusa, who is none other than Emilia in human’s form. Equations change and they have to rethink their rivalry before it is too late. This devil is really a part-timer!
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19. Soul Eater (2008)
This is an action/comedy genre anime. It is set in a city known as Death City famous for its academy to raise Death Scythes for demons. The academy is headed by Lord Death. Death Scythes are basically humans with special abilities to transform into weapons. However, to do so they need to consume 99 souls of evil beings and one soul of a witch. The story sees Evans, a soul eater, and a death scythe working alongside his wielder Maka. More fun and interesting characters are introduced to create a fun little anime.
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18. InuYasha (2000-2004)
The series begins with the present-day Tokyo where Kagome lives a sedentary life in the shrine her family has forever been associated with. On her 15th birthday, she is inadvertently drawn into the Bone Eater’s Well, an ancient well, and is teleported back in time to the Sengoku Period, when she realises that she has been the reincarnation of an ancient priestess called Kikyo, who has been guarding the “Jewel of Four Souls” and in the present day, the jewel has been embedded in her body. She meets InuYasha, a half demon-dog and when Shikon, a demon from the era tries to steal the jewel which has been embedded in her body, she shatters it into pieces and disperses it across Japan. Kagome and InuYasha then set themselves on a tour to recover the complete jewel before their adversaries. ‘InuYasha’ has been extremely popular in Japan under the Manga segment and has sold more than 40 million copies.
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17. Kiru ra kiru: KILL la KILL (2013-14)
Ryuuko Matoi was devastated after her father was murdered. She vowed to find her father’s killer and decided to follow the only clue she had in the form of a scissor blade. Her search leads her to Honnouji Academy, a unique school where the ruthless student council president Satsuki exerts her dominance. She also provides her underlings special clothes which allow them to have superhuman capabilities. After losing a fight against one such student Ryuuki runs home and later discovers a special Kamui that awakens and sticks to her granting her powers. With her newfound abilities will she be able to survive in the academy and find her father’s killer?
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16. Little Witch Academia (2017)
‘Little Witch Academia’ is a comedy/magic genre anime. The plot follows the life and adventures of Atsugo Kagari who wants to follow her idol Shiny Chariot, a famous witch, by enrolling in the Luna Nova academy for witches. The fact that she has no magical background doesn’t stop her as her determination fulfils this requirement. But she soon finds out life at the academy is not so simple as she has to face many challenges if she has to survive and thrive. At a time where people don’t support wizardry anymore, Atsugo wants to let the public know that magic is still a wonderful thing.
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15. Your Lie in April (2014-15)
Kousei Arima is a talented musician and is a prodigious pianist. But his life comes to a standstill after his mother passes away. This makes him sad and depressed and he finds himself unable to play and hear his piano. He eventually starts avoiding playing the piano and starts living a monotonous, lack-lustre life with two of his friends. His life begins to change when he meets a beautiful violinist, Kaori, who helps him get his life back and move on.
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14. Mob Psycho 100 (2016)
The manga of this anime has been created by ONE who also created the famous ‘One Punch Man’. So, it was evident that the theme or the story style would be similar. This series shows us what if Saitama from ‘One Punch Man’ had god-like psychic abilities rather than over-the-top physical prowess. Follow the life of Shigeo Kageyama as he tries to keep his powers in check and trains with a fake psychic (who he thinks is real). The anime is really funny and entertaining like the writer’s previous endeavour.
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13. Castlevania (2017)
This is an action-fueled vampire anime. The plot sees Count Vlad Dracula declare war on people in the region of Wallachia after they burn his wife at stake after falsely accusing her of practising witchcraft. His army of monsters starts decimating humans. To counter this Trevor Belmont, a monster hunter along with Sypha Belnades, a magician and Alucard a human-vampire hybrid takes arms against the Count.
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12. Fairy Tail (2009-)
This Manga-based series is the narrative of “Fairy Tail” a guild which protects the world from demonic forces but is infamous for its own reasons. Lucy is a wannabe wizard who joins the guild and befriends similar wizards namely Natsu, Gray and Erza. Because of repeat confrontations, the “Fairy Tail” faces a lot of adversaries and dangers alike and its wizards are shady characters, thus giving the anime tv series a dark, grim demeanour. But Lucy’s positive outlook and her friend’s supportiveness ultimately gains the upper hand in this endless battle of love and hate. A defining tv show of the anime sub-genre that you shouldn’t miss.
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11. The Seven Deadly Sins (2014)
‘The Seven Deadly Sins’ was referred to an active group of fierce knights in the region of Britannia, who fought wars against the Liones Kingdom in an attempt to throw it out of power but were disbanded and branded as traitors. Over the years, the Holy Knights of the kingdom have been successful in thwarting any attempts of a siege from the Seven Deadly Sins and things haven’t changed a lot ever since, despite the rumours that the tainted group members might still be alive and thriving for a surprise attack. Meanwhile, the Holy Knights have staged a coup and have captured the king. Elizabeth, the king’s daughter is all set to look out for the Seven Deadly Sins and regaining the throne with their help. The series went on to become one of the bestsellers upon its release.
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10. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. (2016)
As the name suggests, ‘The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.’ is the narrative of Kusuo Saiki, a pink-haired boy with antennae on his head, who was born to normal parents with all kinds of psychic powers – teleportation, telekinesis, astral projection, x-ray vision, levitation, clairvoyance, pyrokinesis, psychometrics, invisibility etc. Yet, he hates attention and the two antennae on his head, which others think are some sort of headgears, helps him control his powers which might otherwise blow out of proportion. Kusuo has to attend a very mediocre school at the behest of his parents and he cannot and doesn’t want to showcase his abilities to anyone at all. Still, he likes using his powers in secret without grabbing a lot of attention. You can now imagine how “disastrous” that sounds.
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9. Naruto (2002-07)
The widely appreciated and critically acclaimed manga series, ‘Naruto’ is mostly set in the village of Konoha, which is headed by the strongest Ninja warrior called as the Hokage. Long ago, when a great fox known as Nine-Tails attacks Konoha, the Fourth Hokage and the then leader of Konoha defends the place by sealing the fox inside the body of his newborn son, Naruto. Immediately after, the Fourth Hokage dies, leaving Naruto without any parents. Naruto has forever been despised by the villagers, for they believe him to be housing the evil fox for no reason. Naruto’s only life goal is to gain the villagers’ confidence and become the Hokage, just like his father once was. ‘Naruto’ is a tale of becoming, the rise and rise of a hero like none other.
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8. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (2007)
If you like some adventure in your sci-fi anime then ‘Gurren Lagann’ will not disappoint you. The plot begins with Simon and Kamina in their hidden underground city. The surface of Earth is a sort of fable for them. The story takes a turn when one day the duo finds an old war relic, a sort of armour. This helps them defend their city from a surprise attack from the surface. After the battle, the sky is in plain view which sparks interest in the kids as they decide to explore the surface of the earth.
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7. Ouran High School Host Club (2006)
Haruhi Fujioka is a girl with short hair and thin built and is generally mistaken for a boy based on her appearance. One fine day, when she’s looking for a quiet place in her elite private school – the Ouran Academy and stumbles upon the Host Club, the notorious clubs that employ women to entertain men over drinks and music. While realising her mistake and trying to escape, she breaks a vase which is worth millions of yen and is asked to repay, by serving as an errand boy at the club – for no one realizes she is a girl and not a boy. Soon, when people start realizing her true gender and identity, she’s asked to repay by bringing new customers to the club, before she’s made a host herself. Surprisingly, ‘Ouran High School Host Club’ has its own comic moments and regarded as one of those rare manga belonging to the comedy genre.
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6. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic (2012-13)
After Sinbad, get ready to witness the Japanese rendition of Alibaba, Aladdin, Ja’far, and Morgiana in this fantasy adventure manga series. The premise is set around Alibaba and Aladdin, who meet up accidentally and Alibaba realises that Aladdin has the ability to conjure mighty spirits using a flute. Together, Alibaba and Aladdin set themselves on an adventure spree, hunting dungeons, looking for Djinn metal vessels and using Rukh within their bodies to generate energy, power their weapons and garner new abilities. Although unrelated, this bringing together of all of our favourite middle-eastern characters in a completely different setting is somewhat delightful to watch.
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5. Violet Evergarden (2018-)
This is a beautiful series and has some of the best visually appealing scenes. The story follows an Auto-Memory Doll named Violet who was previously used in war. This made her lose both of her hands which were later replaced by prosthetics. She now is used as a ghostwriter for novels and letters. The anime follows her life after the war as she tries to blend into human society while trying to understand the complexities of being a human.
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4. Attack on Titan (2013-)
Set in the dystopian future, 2000 years from now, ‘Attack on Titan’ is set in a world dominated by the Titans – huge albeit less-intelligent creatures who have devoured most of the human beings from the earth for their sheer pleasure. In order to save themselves from the vicious titan attacks, many humans have taken shelter in a walled city, with walls higher than the Titans themselves and have shielded themselves for decades. 100 years later, the city hasn’t witnessed a single titan attack and the humans are thriving in peace. Eren and Mikasa, two siblings living within the city, are taken by surprise due to a Titan attack, while one of the Titan devours on his mother in front of them. Eren, shocked by the incident, then vows to avenge this dastardly act of the Titans. ‘Attack on Titan’ was the bestseller anime in Japan in the year of its release.
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3. One Punch Man (2015-)
The tale of an extraordinary hero, ‘One Punch Man’ is the narrative of Saitama, yet another hero in a world full of superheroes. His superpower – he can overcome his adversaries with one single punch. To me, he kind of sounds like ‘The Iron Fist’. Nonetheless, ‘One Punch Man’ showcases how ordinary and mundane life Saitama has, despite all the superpowers, he doesn’t command any respect, he is often ridiculed for his laidback attitude and he also has lost his hair owing to the training. A directionless superhero’s tale told from his point of view, ‘One Punch Man’ is a rib-tickling affair.
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2. Death Note (2006-2007)
To one of the most acclaimed Japanese anime tv shows of all time, ‘Death Note’ is the narrative of Light Yagami, a man who has found the “Death Note” – a black coloured notebook which has the power to kill anyone if the victim’s name and face are known to the one writing upon it. A morally upright Yagami sets himself on a cleansing spree upon finding this notebook and intends to keep it a closely guarded secret. Yagami, after killing several crime lords and gangsters, strives to kill the international criminals as well. Ryuk, the Japanese God of Death pays a visit to Yagami and reveals that it was his notebook that was dropped into the human world, but is impressed by Yagami’s work so far and accompanies him in his upcoming “ventures”. Personally, I never have watched such a satisfying and fulfilling anime series before as this one. Have you?
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1. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009-2012)
Edward and Elric are brothers who are being raised by a single mother Trisha in the country of Amestris. Their father was a renowned alchemist and after their father, Edward and Elric (known as Al) also started showing their interest in alchemy. After the demise of their mother due to prolonged illness, the brothers travel the world to master alchemy and upon their return, they plan to use their knowledge to resurrect their mother. As they fail in their venture, as a negative after effect, Al loses the whole of his body while Edward loses his left leg as a punitive recompense. Edward then sacrifices his right arm to bring back his brother’s soul and houses it in an armoured suit. Meanwhile, Edward receives his metal arm and leg from “automail” – the prosthetics gifted by a friend. Edward and Al move to the capital, become state alchemists and vow to look for the philosopher’s stone to get back to their original state. ‘Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’ is the highest rated manga anime series on IMDB and we see no reason why it shouldn’t be.
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