Once upon a time anime was considered to be a very niche market, with Western viewers being held as Japanophiles or Otakus. But now with the huge scope of shows available and the convenience of online streaming, anime has really found its feet in the West. And Netflix is one of the best places to check it out whether you're new to the genre or not.
Netflix has the some of the big names like Bleach and Naruto available (both of which are good starting points for the uninitiated) but what else is there? Well, quite a lot actually. Here's our guide to some of the best anime on Netflix you might not have seen yet.
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Note: This list will be updated monthly to reflect the best new anime movies & TV shows added to Netflix. Newest additions are at the top.
11. 'One Punch Man'
One Punch Man may have started life as a webcomic parody of superhero animes, but it's gone on to become extremely popular in its own right, both in Japan and in the west.
On a planet much like Earth, monsters roam and are met by both the superheroes and the supervillains of that world. The strongest hero in the world — Saitama — comes from City Z to combat the monsters, whom he can defeat with a single punch. While this sounds like it would be an exciting life, Saitama is extremely bored due to the fact that his strength means that nobody alive is a challenge for him, not even the monsters.
Combined with this, Saitama is rarely recognized for his strength, credit for his victories in battle often going to other characters. As part of his search for an opponent, he joins the world's Hero Association, but finds that getting recognition is harder than he imaged, especially due to his plain, unassuming appearance.
All 12 episodes of One Punch Man are available on Netflix starting this month.
10. 'Gargantia On The Verdurous Planet'
Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet is a series from 2013, and it hits Netflix this month. Set in the distant future where human kind lives amongst the stars, the Galactic Alliance of Humankind is at war with the alien species the Hideauze. In this world, the planet Earth is a mere myth, a story told of the origin of humanity.
Into this war comes the 16-year-old soldier Ledo, raised from birth to fight for the Alliance in a battle suit named "Chamber." Following a failed attempt by the Alliance to attack the Hideauze's superweapon, Ledo falls through a wormhole and awakens again on Earth — which is now mostly ocean — and is discovered by a group of human scavengers aboard the salvage ship Gargantia.
Stranded back on the home planet he thought was a myth, Ledo must learn to work with the group he meets there as he tries to figure out how to return to his own world. The series was critically acclaimed, and nominated for the Japanese Seiun Award in 2014.
K — also known as K Project — is a 2012 series which has spawned numerous manga prequels, anime sequels, and light novels. It follows protagonist Yashiro Isana, a young man living a fairly normal life in the technologically advanced city of Shizume.
In this city resides HOMRA — the Red Clan — a mysterious organization whose members wield a special power, called Aura. When a high-level member of HOMRA is murdered by a man who looks like Yashiro, he finds his normal world turned upside down when he is suspected of murder. Worse still, his life is threatened by members of the Clan, who are seeking vengeance upon him for the murder that he didn't commit.
Before long, Yashiro is drawn into a war between the Seven Clans of Color — secretive clans that rule Japan from the shadows. As he struggles to stay alive, he must also learn to navigate the world of the clans — and discover the truth of his identity.
8. 'Nura: Rise Of The Yokai Clan' Season 2
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan began life as a manga series, and was first adapted into a anime back in 2010. As you might be able to tell from the name, the series follows the stories of clans composed of yōkai (Japanese monsters).
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan protagonist Rikuo Nura is a mixture of human and monster — 3/4 human and 1/4 yōkai. During the day he appears as a human, but at night he transforms into a yōkai. He lives alongside his yōkai grandfather, but struggles with his heritage, trying to help humans and attempt to escape the part of him that is a monster. But his grandfather has other ideas — he wants Rikuo to take his place as the head of the Nura Clan.
At its heart the series tells a familiar tale, a protagonist struggling to come to terms with who — and what — he is. But even as Rikuo tries to accept the monster inside him, he faces threats in all directions from those who would take his place as head of the Clan. Season 2 of the series comes to Netflix this month.
7. 'The House Of Small Cubes'
La Maison en Petits Cubes — which translates as The House of Small Cubes — is a new addition to Netflix anime this month. Don't let the French name fool you though, The House of Small Cubes was produced by Robot Communications in Japan. Created by animator Kunio Katō, The House of Small Cubes is a short film, and it won awards both at home and internationally.
The short tells the tale of a town slowly becoming flooded with water, in which an elderly man who has lost his wife lives. As the water level rises around him, he has to build his home higher and higher to escape the rising floods. But one day he drops his favorite pipe down into the waters, and is forced to search below the surface to retrieve the item. As he dives deeper down into the flood water, so does he begin to relive memories from his life.
At only around 12-minutes long, The House of Small Cubes is a cute and unusual little piece of Japanese animation, well worth a short portion of your time.
6. 'Death Note'
After being removed from Netflix earlier this year, Death Note returns to Netflix October 2016 with all 37 episodes. One of the biggest and most iconic anime series ever made, Death Note tells the tale of death gods (shinigami) upon Earth, their power bestowed upon a select few humans through the power of notebooks known as Death Notes.
One such Death Note is discovered by genius high-schooler Light Yagami, and triggers his mission to cleanse the world of evil, using the notebook to become a god of death himself. Opposing him is the world's greatest detective — known only as L —and the two begin a deadly game of cat and mouse as each try to outsmart the other even as their lives become more and more entwined.
A long time series of critical acclaim based upon an award winning manga, it's been nearly a decade now since Death Note finished airing but the mark it has left upon the genre cannot be denied. Check it out if you like your supernatural with a hint of maturity and puzzle solving about it.
5. 'Kuromukuro' Season 2
An important stopping point in the mecha genre of anime is Kuromukuro, a new series which arrived earlier this year and now comes exclusively to Netflix. Season 2 arrives this October, continuing the stories of Kennosuke, Yukina, Muetta and Sophie — young mecha pilots who hold the safety of the world in their hands.
Kennosuke is a samurai warrior from 450 years past, awoken to again fight against the alien force of the Efy Dolgh, extraterrestrial warriors who Kennosuke and the Washiba Clan combated with mecha hundreds of years before. Teaming up with Yukina — the daughter of a United Nations facility director — Kennosuke must take his mecha, the Black Relic, back into battle against the aliens once again to protect the Earth.
Despite suspicially cliche elements, Kuromukuro has been well received by fans for its character development, emotional focus and a more grounded, melee approach to mecha combat. If you're looking for something less confusing than Neon Genesis Evangelion, try Kuromukuro.
Another mecha anime, Robotech hails back to the 1980s and is a 85-episode adaptation of three different animes under the same banner. The series charts the events following the crash landing of an alien battle fortress ship on an island upon Earth, arriving in the (then) future of the 1990s to stop a world war.
The scientists of the world come together to rebuild the damaged alien ship, an attempt which takes a decade. But then, in 2009, when the ship is ready to be relaunched, alien warriors called the Zentraedi arrive, attacking Earth in a bid to recapture their lost ship. A young pilot named Rick Hunter is one of the many who take up arms to protect the planet, wielding mecha robot created by Earth scientists using technology captured from the crashed spaceship.
A very highly rated anime, Robotech still manages to stand the test of time, which makes it an even more impressive feat.
3. 'Hunter X Hunter'
Adapted from the critically acclaimed manga of the same name, Hunter x Hunter is a surprisingly profound take on the shōnen genre. Originally airing from 1999 to 2001, Hunter x Hunter tells the tale of young orphan Gon Freecss, who sets out to find his missing father, previously believed to be dead.
He learns that his father is in fact still alive, and a member of an elite organisation called Hunters, who seek dangerous hunts for rare animal species, treasures, villains and undiscovered locations. Gon decides to follow in his father's footsteps, setting out to become the world's greatest Hunter, passing the ultimate test to find his father and prove his worth to him.
Filled with interesting supporting characters and surprisingly mature themes for what seems like a childish tale on the surface, Hunter x Hunter is perfect for those both new to and veterans of the genre.
2. 'Kill la Kill'
If you like superhero shows and girls fighting in ridiculous armor then Kill la Kill might be the one for you. The series follows rebellious schoolgirl Ryuko Matoi and her search for her father's killer. Said search takes her to Honnouji Academy, a Tokyo high school, which is populated by students who wear living uniforms which give them superpowers. It's kinda like Sailor Moon on steroids.
In Ryuko's search for justice she comes up against the powerful student council, led by the katana wielding council president Satsuki Kiryuin. She fights her way through the council in order to find her father's killer, and there's plenty of twists, turns and raids along the way. Also aliens.
As you can probably tell, Kill la Kill doesn't take itself too seriously, and it definitely errs on the sleazy side of things, so it's perfect if you want something fun and action packed to watch.
1. 'Attack On Titan' Season 1
Not for the faint of heart! Attack on Titan is an anime which has gained a lot of popularity over the past few years, and not just because it's dark and gory as anything.
In the world of Attack on Titan the last remnants of humanity live in fear within giant walled cities, because outside the walls roam Titans — giant (sometimes skinless) humanoid monsters who kill and eat people on sight. The series follows adopted brother and sister Eren Jaeger and Mikasa Ackerman who lose their home and their parents to a Titan attack during their childhood.
In order to avenge their family they — along with their childhood friend Armin Arlert — join the Scout Regiment, an elite group of soldiers who battle the Titans using a suspension system called Three Dimensional Maneuver Gear. Of course there's plenty of twists and secrets to be uncovered in this frightfest, so jump on in.
Which is your favorite anime on Netflix right now? Tell us in the comments below!