The 8 best anime on Netflix

From xenomorphs to the Holy Grail - drawn delights await you on the world's most popular streaming service

In addition to possessing an intimidating library of live-action TV and cinema, Netflix has also invested in some fantastic anime series that you'd be mad to overlook.

The selection of anime pales in comparison to some of the streaming site's more popular categories, but its select acquisitions have been shrewd choices. Dedicated anime sites such as Crunchyroll require users to sift through a catalogue of questionable shows to reach the gems; Netflix's collection is, on average, of a much higher standard. Whether you're a Breaking Bad fanatic or go nuts for Battlestar Galactica, there's almost certainly an anime out there that's also right up your street.

Additional words: Khumail Thakur

Sword Art Online

This manga-turned-anime is about to reach peak relevance as we approach the dawn of VR.

Sword Art Online is the story of a virtual reality MMORPG that takes a sour turn. As the revolutionary game launches, its excited throngs of players discover, much to their dismay, that they are trapped inside the game and that anyone attempting to leave Sword Art Online will immediately have their brains scrambled. To make matters worse, anyone whose health bar drops to zero will suffer the same treatment. The only option for escape is to complete all 100 levels of the gargantuan MMO.

As you might expect it all goes a bit Lord of the Flies as the players' primal instincts take over. An exceedingly strong opening half is slightly marred by Sword Art Online's more curious narrative meanderings in its latter segment, but it's worth watching all the same. Characterisation and art style score highly, as does the show's depiction of societal breakdown among the trapped denizens of the MMO.

Watch Sword Art Online on Netflix

My Hero Academia

Another superhero show that displays supernatural abilities in abundance. My Hero Academia is set in a world where everyone is born with some supernatural abilities except one unlucky Izuku Midoriya. Naturally, things go differently for him after meeting his favourite superhero who also shares the secret to his superpowers.

With an academy to nourish upcoming students with best talents, My Hero Acadamia offers amazing fight scenes and a gripping storyline slightly different from the expected  norm.

Watch My Hero Academia here on Netflix

 

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

What's the worst thing you've ever done? Burnt the toast? Failed to record Strictly Come Dancing? Whatever it is, it's probably insignificant in comparison to the defining sin of Edward Elric, whose attempts to revive his dead mother result in the complete disembodiment of his little brother and the loss of his right arm. So begins the pennant journey of Edward and Alphonse, who seek the return of their lost bodies in Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.

This sprawling series is one of the largest anime available on Netflix, standing at 64 episodes. Don't be mistaken though, the quality here is as plentiful as the quantity - the series is regularly ranked as one of the top ten anime ever created.

Watch Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood on Netflix

Mob Psycho 100

Shigeo Kageyama whose nickname is Mob is an average school kid with not-so-average psychic abilities. In fact, he’s over-the-top powerful, sound similar? It’s because it is from the writer of One Punch Man. The comic relief and art style is very similar to One Punch Man. So if you’ve already seen One Punch Man, chances are you’ll be binging on Mob Psycho 100 after the second episode. We guarantee it.

Fare warning, it picks up pace after the second episode. After which you’ll be itching to finish the show in no time.

Watch Mob Psycho 100 here on Netflix

 

 

Voltron: Legendary Defender

A reboot of a reboot. Voltron is a Japanese anime series that been around since 1981 and was named Beast King GoLion after which it was adapted for American audiences and renamed Voltron: Defender of the Universe in 1984.

Currently, DreamWorks studios is working on it with a Netflix Original title gemmed into its crown for a more refined animation style and an anime-esque approach. The story remains somewhat similar. There are five massive robo lions with each having a pilot to scurry around and destroy the evil Galra empire. Together the lions come together and form Voltron which is nearly indestructible but the story arc and interesting character build up is what deserves a mention in Stuff India. There’s a reason why this series has be remade over and over again.  

Watch Voltron: Legendary Defender here on Netflix

 

 

One Punch Man

What seems at first a totally ridiculous premise for a show quickly reveals itself a stroke of genius.

Saitama is a superhero in a world filled with heroes and monsters. But unlike most of his caped counterparts, Saitama is able to dispatch villainous mutants, super-sized crabs, or any of the various and creatively designed fiends the show presents, with a single punch. That’s it.

The result is a show which gleefully mocks the ‘get stronger, fight bigger enemy, get stronger, fight even bigger enemy’ setup of other shonen anime. The order is often reversed (Saitama finds himself fighting skyscraper sized enemies in the first few episodes), and instead of finding himself increasingly challenged, Saitama finds himself bored and struggling for recognition amid a pantheon of heroes.

Importantly, One Punch Man manages to do this without sacrificing drama. The parody also doesn’t take away from the mind-blowingly beautiful fight scenes in which whole city districts go kaboom and single swings are meteorically powerful. The show’s animation department does an incredible job of conveying power overwhelming, creating a show of style and substance that will keep you glued to the screen.

Watch One Punch Man on Netflix

Erased

If you could jump back into the past and change one event in your life, what would it be? It’s an oft-asked question which is hardly a novel idea for a piece of media in 2018, but Erased pulls it off in style.

The show follows Satoru Fujinuma as he is dragged backwards in time to solve, and prevent, a series of child murders in his hometown. What follows is a surprisingly competent thriller that manages to deftly juggle different tones, and keep you on your toes.

If you’re seeking chronological confusion, or a wildy fragmented narrative, then Erased probably isn’t for you: it doesn’t mess with the timeline anywhere near enough to boggle the brain. The real drama lies in the whodunnit mystery, alongside a story of abuse and neglect which is at times difficult to watch.

Watched Erased on Netflix

Castlevania

Hearts were sent aflutter when Netflix announced that it was producing an anime series of the hallowed Konami Castlevania games from the 80s and 90s. With acclaimed story-man Warren Ellis (of Marvel fame) joining as writer and executive producer, anticipation reached a fever pitch.

What eventually arrived was short, at only 4 episodes, but undoubtedly the best anime series which Netflix has commissioned to date. It’s a gruesome realisation of the dark and muddy world inhabited by Dracula, who is on a fiery rampage after his wife meets a nasty end at the hands of humanity. Be prepared for lots of blood, lots of demons, and a somewhat unrelenting tide of nasty deeds. Thankfully it’s realised with such a deft hand, both in terms of script and visual quality, that you’ll be enamoured with the grotesque spectacle of it all.

In slightly less bleak news, a second series is on the way, with Ellis at the helm again. We’re excited to see how he expands on the game’s universe in what must be recognised as one of the most successful translations from game to film / TV yet.

Watch Castlevania on Netflix