The 30 Best Anime Series on Netflix, Ranked

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The 30 Best Anime Series on Netflix, Ranked

Over the past year, Netflix has added some incredible titles to its anime library. In addition to quintessential series, there are also a substantial amount of originals that are holding their own against titles already well-established in the canon. The streaming service took care to introduce a variety of genres: there are plenty of action, comedy and romance series to choose from. If you are ready to explore even the weirdest corners of Netflix to find binge-worthy content (and you should be), we are here for you.

Below, the Paste writers have catalogued 30 anime series on Netflix (starting with our favorite) that are sure to hold the attention of both experienced weeaboos and anime virgins alike. If it gets too weird, the safe word is yamero.

1. Hunter x Hunter

Original Run: 1999-2001

Watch on Netflix

There are countless shonens (and American TV shows, even) that focus on a group of young characters using supernatural abilities and deductive reasoning to problem solve. Hunter x Hunter is a rare find among this homogeneous archetype because of its attention to detail and emotional investment. This anime is filled with whimsical subplots that don’t always end with a major event, but let you know characters in this world were alive before you started watching them.

Hunter x Hunter begins with Gon Freecss, as he sets out on a journey to become a Hunter. He’s your typical savior-figure protagonist unique to shonen, but fortunately he keeps the annoying, repetitive mantras to himself. His determination to see the best in people becomes a marvel of the series, and his dedication to others drives the plot. He makes friends with a young boy from a family of assassins, and their polarized dynamic creates a connection that makes the series inspiring. The compelling relationship between these two boys demands emotional investment from you. Togashi emphasizes their youth and inexperience by pitting them against much older, more experienced villains, and introduces powerful mentors that help them evolve. He’s meticulous about tailoring his characters’ abilities to their personality, but everyone draws their strength from resolve. The feats of pure determination you’ll witness in this anime will change you.

Togashi has struggled with a medical condition for some years, but he claims the manga is far from over. Hopefully, the remastered anime gets a seventh season soon.—Jarrod Johnson II


2. Neon Genesis: Evangelion

Original Run: 1995-1996

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By now, most people have at least a cursory awareness of Neon Genesis Evangelion, whether it be from the overwhelming amount of branded merchandise or the consistent references in popular media. But for a show as ingrained in the animation canon as Evangelion, how we discuss it is in constant flux. Initially touted as a meaningful deconstruction of the mecha popularized by Gundam and Macross, the franchise later became bloated and rife with superfluous content much like the melodramas-as-merchandise they lampooned years before.

Nevertheless, Evangelion’s influence is palpable with a cultural overlay that can be seen anywhere from Persona 3 to Gurren Lagann, becoming a phenomenon that seems to exceed the show’s literal text. Much like Star Wars, its original creator Hideaki Anno has lost control of the franchise’s growth and has since augured the end of anime as we know it, once saying Japan’s animation world is “moving by inertia.” — Austin Jones


3. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

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Original Run: 2009-2010

Watch on Netflix

For many, Brotherhood is the essential anime experience, and it’s easy to see why. A more faithful adaptation to Hiromu Arakawa’s mega-popular manga series, Brotherhood contends with loss, grief, war, racism and ethics in mature and unique ways, ahead of its time in nearly every aspect. What’s more, the show is paced perfectly, with neatly wrapped arcs that lead into each other and bolster a greater global narrative on selected themes. Brotherhood is just the right length, never overstaying its welcome and proving how versatile and malleable the conventions of shounen anime can be.

Brotherhood has a sizeable cast of characters all of different nationalities and ideologies, with motivations that often oppose one another—the show manages to use these moving forces to form factions, alliances and foils that flow in multiple directions, paralleling the often messy, always chaotic nature of human relationships during wartime. The show’s emotional core revolves around the plight of the Elric brothers, Ed and Alphonse, two alchemists sponsored by the authoritarian Amestris military. It’s not your classic military drama, though, as Ed and Alphonse quickly learn how far Amestris’ authoritarianism stretches.

Where Brotherhood excels lies in the sensitivity it expresses for every one of the characters’ fighting for their desires and contending with their mistakes, with particular highlights on the plights of minorities and women. Ed and Alphonse struggle with the fallout after attempting forbidden alchemy to revive their recently deceased mother. Later, their childhood friend Winry is portrayed heroically for acting as an emergency midwife. Scar, initially introduced as a brutal serial killer, is one of the last remaining indigenous Ishvalans, an ethnic group purged during a colonial war at the hands of Amestris—his odyssey continues to ring more and more resonant as we stray further into a post-terror world. It’s why the series continues to wow today: it eschews cliche to make cogent points on human consciousness. — Austin Jones


4. Fate/Zero

Original Run: 2006-2007

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The second anime adaptation of Type-Moon’s Fate franchise of light novels, this 25-episode seinen, directed by Ei Aoki, follows a group of mages as they compete in a battle royale called the Fourth Holy Grail War over a mythical chalice (decidedly not the Cup of Christ, but sharing its name) capable of granting the wish of its possessor. Three families of mages have traditionally fought for control the Grail, but each war is waged among seven mages (called Masters) who summon Servants (immensely powerful figures of legend and world history), to fight as their representatives in the conflict—meaning that adrenaline junkie history buffs who have always wondered who would win in a battle between King Arthur (again, it’s really not that Holy Grail) and Alexander the Great will find this show plentifully rewarding. The somewhat bananas premise is counterbalanced by a gorgeous animation style, complexity of character, and legitimately heartrending plot twists. —John Maher


5. Baki

Original Run: 2018

Watch on Netflix

Baki is a thrilling showcase of hyper-masculine legends enacting an archetypal storyline of a young fighter training to surpass his father. This high-action shonen is full of tense showdowns between the buffest guys that could possibly be drawn. Seriously, if Netflix released a short video of all the shots of guys flexing and tensing their muscles it could be its own episode. If the muscles and hyper-tough voices weren’t enough, the knowing smirks and sneers make these characters embody the meathead tool spirit that drives the series. Baki affirms typical ideas of strength, but challenged it’s relevance to mercy and freedom.—Jarrod Johnson II


6. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

Original Run: 2012

Watch on Netflix

For some time, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure has been the anime I turn to when I need some R&R. Not that anything about it, at first glance, is particularly chill—it’s an anime full of men built like classical sculptures arguing as loud as they can over psychic battles they’re having, seemingly in molasses-slow time. What feels like hours encapsulates little more than a minute in JJBA’s universe. JJBA is so much more than that, though; it’s a journey that spans a century and obliterates the rules of how to tell a traditional adventure story, taking liberal inspiration from Indiana Jones, Versace, classic rock and any other fleeting interest of mangaka Hirohiko Araki to make an explosive hodgepodge of fast-paced absurdity, a language you’ll pick up on quickly and soon fine cozier than Sailor Moon. There’s a reason JJBA continues to be one of the most influential pieces of media out of the anime world. —Austin Jones


7. Beastars

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Original Run: 2019

Watch on Netflix

Beastars was the best anime to come out of 2019. This may be a controversial take, given last year was marked by sumptuous animation no matter where you looked—from the fluid, ballet-like fights of Demon Slayer and Mob Psycho 100 II to the high-stakes tension of The Promised Neverland and Vinland Saga, it was perhaps my favorite recent year for anime. Yet somehow, despite offerings from Kunihiko Ikuhara and Shinichiro Watanabe, two of my favorite directors (some of their finest work respectively, too), the oddly evocative melodrama of a wolf, rabbit, and deer captured me the most.

If there’s one binding force within the world of Beastars, it’s the imbalanced forms of power between carnivores and herbivores. The story opens with the grisly murder of an alpaca student named Tem. Whether there was a palpable schism before this event between students or not is questionable, but it certainly sets every species off into paranoia. Legoshi, a wolf, is a member of the drama club which has become known for its collaborative and positive body of members ranging from tiny squirrels to hulking tigers. The drama club is the perfect staging for much of the show’s themes—not only do we see the struggles of herbivores, eternally underestimated and living in constant fear of devourment, but we see the prejudices and stereotypes used against carnivores who, for the most part, are incredibly docile and peaceful. —Austin Jones


8. Devilman Crybaby

Original Run: 2018

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To put it lightly, Go Nagai is a man with a reputation. Aside from being one of the forefathers of the “Super Robo”’ subgenre of mecha for his creation Mazinger Z, he is also known for creating works that pushed taboos and prompted the anime industry’s shift from children-oriented fare to darker and more sexually-charged subject matter. Case in point: Devilman. Masaaki Yuasa’s contemporary reprise of Akira Fudo and Ryo Asuka’s “love” story is as orgiastically violent and unflinchingly risqué as Nagai’s original manga, a fitting tribute to both the creator’s oeuvre and the character’s storied legacy. Devilman’s influence can be seen everywhere from the Luciferian beauty of Berserk’s Griffith to the apocalyptic loneliness of Neon Genesis Evangelion. For all these reasons and more, Devilman Crybaby positions itself not only as one of the best series in recent memory, but one that will stand the test of time in the years to come. —Toussaint Egan


9. Puella Magi Madoka Magicka

Original Run: 2011

Watch on Netflix

If you’ve never heard the term “deconstruction” applied to anime, this is where to begin. This series takes the light-hearted “magical girl” archetype and completely juxtaposes it with a reality so grim it feels dystopian. The superpowers that usually empower characters becomes an unrelenting source of anxiety and peril in this anime, and lead to an inevitable end. Emotionally investing in these brave young women will be a masochistic practice you can’t stop once you learn the truth about what it means to be a magical girl. There’s only one season (on Netflix) that makes for a quick, convenient watch. —Jarrod Johnson II


10. Little Witch Academia

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Original Run: 2017

Watch on Netflix

With Trigger’s BNA: Brand New Animal set to come to Netflix later this year, it’s the perfect time to revisit the studio’s most underrated work to date. Little Witch Academia is the brainchild of Yoh Yoshinari, a prolific key animator whose work can be seen in FLCL and Gurren Lagann. The show itself a spin-off of two short animated films, the plot echoes the beloved The Worst Witch book series in many ways—it concerns a young girl, Atsuko Kagari, who aspires to be a world class witch to rival her personal hero Shiny Chariot. Despite coming from a non-magical background, she weasels her way into Luna Nova Magical Academy, of which Chariot is an alum.

With masterful pastel animation and a lot of heart, Little Witch Academia is a joyful ride from beginning to end and an absolute must for any fan of animation. The tone stays pretty lighthearted in its first half, with episodes parodying the Twilight fandom and slapstick comedy clearly influenced by Chuck Jones-era Looney Tunes, then gradually ups the intrigue in the show’s back half. The series particularly shines when it iterates on what magic means during increasingly modernizing times—as both a form of entertainment and a utility, it slowly is shown to be phased out in favor of technological and automated solutions. If you’ve ever been a fan of Ghibli, Dr. Seuss or Harry Potter, you’ll find something to love in the comfy world of Little Witch Academia, a wonderful show for kids and adults alike.— Austin Jones


11. Attack on Titan

Original Run: 2013

Watch on Netflix

Attack on Titan was nothing short of a cultural phenomenon when it burst onto the scene in 2013. Adapted from Hajime Isayama’s ongoing manga series, the anime depicts a post-apocalyptic world where humanity is pitted in unending struggle against a race of cannibalistic humanoid giants dubbed Titans. Eren Yeager, a youth raised in one of the last remaining cities on Earth, enlists in the military’s Survey Corps as a way of defending his homeland and avenging his family. A David vs. Goliath conflict infused with the velocity and violence of high-tech superhero drama, Attack on Titan has it all: Goya-esque monstrosities devouring hapless villagers, political intrigue and subterfuge, the smoldering tension of a unrequited romance, and a host of memorable characters that make the mounting mortal costs of humanity’s last stand deeply personal in addition to a battle worth fighting for. —Toussaint Egan


12. Kakegurui

Original Run: 2019

Watch on Netflix

From start to finish, Kakegurui is an insane work of increasingly high stakes and the devolution of mental states, all centered around its deranged and unpredictable lead. With stunning animation courtesy of studio MAPPA (Kids on the Slope, Yuri on Ice!), Kakegurui toys with grotesque sexuality and twisted power dynamics in such a way that we’re left with something resembling Yu-Gi-Oh! incensed with truly disturbing psychological horror. It’s the type of anime you can’t look away from, both because of its bizarrely resonant philosophizing and its maximalist bleed-out of style. Few other shows move you through every emotion known to man so quickly—especially ones with as narrow a subject matter as gambling. &#8212Austin Jones


13. Soul Eater

Original Run: 2008-2009

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This series follows Maka Albarn and her friends, Black Star and Death the Kid, a team of weapon meisters training with their weapons at the Death Weapon Meister Academy. The Grim Reaper is the dean of this school of meisters who wield their weapon-transforming classmates, and Maka’s father is one of his eight death scythes. We follow Maka as she struggles to live up to the expectations set by her parents, and this hinders her relationship with her weapon, Soul. Weapons and meisters must resonate their souls to get stronger, and all seven students (Death the Kid dual wields two pistols, Liz and Patty) harbor insecurities that keep their minds and bodies out of sync. The fears and insecurities these characters contain become plot devices that offer commentary on the role these anxieties have in violence and war. Like many anime, the series explores and compares each hero’s and villain’s reasons for fighting, but Soul Eater emphasizes that fear is the root of evil and malice. There are exciting fight scenes with unique abilities ranging from a parasitic demon-blade controlling it’s anxiety-ridden wielder to a mosquito that swells to the size of a muscle-bound mammoth when he sucks someone’s blood. The series matches its deep commentary with goofy comedy, so you get a balanced experience.—Jarrod Johnson II


14. Naruto

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Original Run: 2002-2008

Watch on Netflix

The fighting in this shonen is superb. Between the huge magic system and complex, smoothly-animated hand-to-hand combat, this anime will grab your attention. Excessive flashbacks and monologues are a particular deterrent in this series, but they didn’t stop this title creating its own unique iconography in popular culture.

Naruto is the angsty high-school romance that teaches every teenager that good people turn evil and relationships dissolve. Masashi Kishimoto introduces us to a community of ninjas that live and die to protect their community, before he breaks up their family far too soon. The story mainly focuses on Naruto losing Sasuke and tirelessly chasing him to bring him home, but writers put just as much emphasis on the community Naruto already had at the leaf village. The unity the Hidden Leaf Village displays in the face of war and terror is an integral part of the emotional framework in this meta series addressing unconditional friendship, vengeance, and the forgiveness that is the only way to peace. As the predecessor for Naruto: Shippuden, this anime lays the foundation of a network of spies, conspiracies and (secretly) connected subplots that come to fruition in the second series. Just beware of filler.—Jarrod Johnson II


15. Cells At Work

Original Run: 2018

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This animation is as clean and pretty as one would expect from an Aniplex production, with a cute, upbeat opening to match.Cells at Work is a high-energy comedy that builds a world within the human body. The episodes are centered around a particularly accident-prone red blood cell, as we follow her on her tasks throughout the body, stumbling upon the most dangerous viruses and bacteria all the while. The amount of threat-level emergencies these cells face becomes funny, once you stop counting. It’s hilarious watching these anthropogenic microorganisms scream bloody murder at even the tiniest scrape wound, and even funnier watching the manga-style adaptation of scientific processes in the body. Where else can you watch the exchange between a dendritic cell and a T-cell rewritten as a go-get-a-pep-talk-and-power-up-to-defeat-the-bad-guy scene? Maybe Osmosis Jones, but the white blood in this series cells bring a shonen-like deductive reasoning and fighter’s spirit that juxtaposes the humor to make a more outrageous experience. —Jarrod Johnson II


16. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K: Reawakened

Original Run: 2019

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This series is the second chapter of a comedy about a teenage boy born with psychic powers. You might think he uses these powers to make his life glamorous, or that he adheres to a self-righteous covenant to be some masked vigilante, but nah. He just wants to make it home without hearing spoilers for his favorite shows in the minds of his peers. Psychic powers come with their own minute inconveniences, and Kusuo struggles to manage them while keeping his powers a secret from his classmates, who all seem to have a screw loose. The second series revamps the wacky scenarios we loved in the first series, and pushes the envelope further with its six episodes (the most notable of which is about a creepy looking teacher who’s just so creepy looking he’s got to be the peeping tom everyone is looking for.) The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.: Reawakened is a Netflix original, so writers made sure to cater the animation to a broader audience. Creators maintained an exceptional balance between the hyperbolic nature of comedy in Japanese anime and the drier, sarcastic style prevalent in traditional (typically American) sitcoms. The typical Netflix viewer will have no problem laughing along. —Jarrod Johnson II


17. Bleach

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Original Run: 2004-2012

Watch on Netflix

One of the greatest fantasy action anime tropes of all is the BFS—that is, the “big fucking sword.” That’s true of Naruto, Claymore, Berserk, Rurouni Kenshin, and Inuyasha—and it’s true of Bleach. Our protagonist, Ichigo, has plenty more going on than his giant sword, of course; he’s compassionate, brave, and as a “Soul Reaper” he is responsible for defending humanity from evil spirits. But let’s not kid ourselves. Bleach is all about the sword. Like, it’s not as if Netflix skipped the sword when they made a live-action Bleach movie. It’s not like this would have run for eight years, 366 episodes, and even more pages of manga without kick-ass action with a big fucking sword. His sword is a zanpakuto named Zangetsu, and it’s awesome. —Eric Vilas-Boas


18. Fate/Stay Night

Original Run: 2006

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The encore for Fate/Zero, Fate Stay Night continues the story from the prequel. Tohsaka’s granddaughter, Rin, is about 17 when she summons Archer and one of her classmates summons Saber, and they fight in the Holy Grail war together. These younger leads could never be as cold and intense as Kiritsugu, but they offer a less grim adventure through the Holy War that are refreshing for some. There are conflicting love triangles that diminish the plot slightly, but UFOtable still brought their razor-sharp animations that make for cut-throat fight scenes. There’s less flashbacks and monologuing, and more close-ups and slow-motion shots of servants exchanging blows and showcasing their noble phantasms.Jarrod Johnson II


19. Ouran High School

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Original Run: 2006

Watch on Netflix

Largely a satire of the shoujo genre, Ouran High School Host Club blatantly employs and often twists our expectations of animated romantic comedies. The story follows Haruhi Fujioka, a normal girl attending the illustrious Ouran Academy on a hefty scholarship. A pragmatist who disagrees with shallow lifestyles, she’s mistaken as a boy because of her disheveled hair and slouchy outfits. She ends up indebted to the school’s host club, where they all slowly realize Haruhi is a woman (not that she hid it, per se) and is tasked with masquerading as a man to serve as a host until she pays back what she owes.—Austin Jones


20. A Silent Voice

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Original Run: 2016

Watch on Netflix

The empathy A Silent Voice extends to its two leads is often staggering. Over the years, Kyoto Animation have transitioned from masters of easy slice-of-life to distillers of rare beauty, experts at finding fragile moments and rendering them shimmery and vibrant. A Silent Voice is a touching examination of bullying and disability, the sort of twisting drama that both worsens for our protagonists as our sympathy for them flourishes. The work Kyoto Animation does is vital, a testament for the sensitivity innately interwoven in animation as a medium. Though intended for a teen audience, anyone can find meaning in A Silent Voice and, by the end, themselves. —Austin Jones


21. Berserk the Golden Age

Original Run: 2012

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The first adaptation of Kentaro Miura’s brutally visceral and viscera-laden manga Berserk, a TV series from 1997, is considered a classic. And while the first two films in this triptych from 15 years later receive a rather scornful treatment from most anime experts, its final offering is as riveting a watch as the form has to offer—and as violent, too. This grimdark fantasy, set in a feudal world clearly modeled on medieval Europe, follows a sellsword named Guts, who is forced to join the mercenary group called the Band of the Hawk once its leader defeats him in single combat twice in a row. From there on out, it’s all blood and Guts as an absolutely vicious cycle of battles, assassinations, sieges, duels, and the like pulls humans, bears, and demons alike into its vortex, with all parties vying to rip each other to shreds in the names of sex, power, and greed. And by Descent, the third entry, it’s as riveting and depressing as Game of Thrones at its best. —John Maher


22. Ghost In the Shell: Arise

Original Run: 2013

Watch on Netflix

Production I.G.’s reimagining of Mamoru Oshii’s ‘95 film might be lacking its meditative philosophy but makes up for it with a mature synthesis of Stand Alone Complex’s police procedural drama and increasingly modern musings on how we interact with our bodies and memories in a hyper-evolving world. The films portray a younger Major Kusanagi before Public Security Section 9’s formation, largely dealing with navigating now owning the rights to her fully prosthetic body. She’s a little more brash and often clashes with her employer, the federal 501 Organization, highlighting a new theme surrounding the military industrial complex.

The most fascinating aspect of the Arise films lay in their setting—Newport City resembles real world Japan much more than ever before, peeling back layers of aesthetic noise often married to the cyberpunk genre. The world we live in today is just as capable of conveying a Phillip K. Dick-esque narrative and often resonates because of it. Along with sleek new character designs and a minimalist, gentle soundtrack courtesy of electronic artist Cornelius, Arise is a fine introduction to the ever-evolving Ghost in the Shell franchise. —Austin Jones


23. Pop Team Epic

Original Run: 2018

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Pop Team Epic is an odd experience packaged neatly into 10-minute intervals which then loop back with the exact same script but opposite-sex voice actors. In each episode, the main duo—Pipimi and Popuko—are voiced twice by completely different voice actors, drawing on seiyuu recognizable to anyone who’s ever engaged with anime in any form. It all adds to the strange yet comfortable vibe the show manages to achieve. Based on a 4koma (4-panel comic) of the same name, Pop Team Epic fits the descriptor “a show about nothing” far better than Seinfeld. With its Robot Chicken-esque attention to surrealism, dark humor and pop culture, the show builds on iconic slice-of-life comedies such as Azumanga Daioh and Nichijou! to foster an immediate and deconstructive playground of insane situations and industry in-jokes. —Austin Jones


24. Sword Art Online

Original Run: 2014

Watch on Netflix

Sword Art Online is action/romance that takes place inside a video game, where players die in real life when their HP hit zero. We begin with Kirito, a solo player who seems unfazed by the danger of SAO, but still harbors trauma from a violent experience in a party. He’s a likeable protagonist, and most gamers are likely to identify with his “solo player’s hubris” that drives a lot of the badassery in the series. That badassery is matched by the equally likeable female protagonist, Asuna. The video-game world this cute couple get to live in completely transforms the dynamic of their relationship. The two stop put down their swords and move in together, pool their resources, and build a life for themselves in SAO. The intimacies of their relationship illustrate a dazzling escape from the loneliness that video games are meant to cure, but exacerbate sometimes. Not to mention the opening is one of the best. —Jarrod Johnson II


25. One-Punch Man

Original Run: 2015

Watch on Netflix

Even by the ridiculous standards of the superhero genre, One-Punch Man’s ballpark craziness is a league all its own. When a 25-year-old college graduate rescues a rosy-cheeked, butt-chinned boy from the murderous clutches of a lobster man-monster (see what I mean?), he abandons his search for a salaried job and devotes himself to a rigorous three-year training regimen with the intent of becoming a hero. Naturally, his hair falls out. With a Jim Lee-esque physique and face that would feel right at home in a Charles Schultz comic strip, Saitama is the world’s strongest hero, gifted with the awesome power to defeat enemies with a single punch. The crux of One-Punch Man’s appeal, aside from its exemplary animation and fight scenes courtesy of Madhouse, is the series’ commitment to being a superhero show filtered through the overactive imagination of child, a comedy of preposterous serial escalation, with every otherworldly adversary that rises up being swiftly smashed to viscera from the force of Saitama’s herculean indifference. —Toussaint Egan


26. Fairy Tale

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Original Run: 2009-2019

Watch on Netflix

This playful action-anime, regarded as classic for many, is a good starter series for fans of superpowered factions. Fairy Tale is a good source for that entertainment because it takes a very natural pace in introducing the audience to characters to a wide range of abilities early on. The show is driven by cliche tropes, but since it’s an earlier 2000’s release that it is to be expected. Still, the characters retain a genuineness through the recycled framework that’s very 2005. The main characters are extremely powerful, and have complex pasts that can make for some “Oh Snap!” moments. This show can be a light-hearted good time, even for the seasoned anime viewer. —Jarrod Johnson II


27. Seven Deadly Sins

Original Run: 2018

Watch on Netflix

Seven Deadly Sins is one of Netflix’s earlier original fighting series, and it’s exciting. This anime is a chivalric heroes’ tale surrounding a group of magically endowed fighters dubbed that are the series’ namesake. We get to know each Sin as their captain, the Sin of Wrath Meliodas, assembles them to stand against the Holy Knights. The show’s pacing makes time for each character to have a backstory as we meet them, which helps build anticipation around their abilities and how they develop. There are some impressive and creative powers, and since Aniplex had a hand in production, the animations for them are stunning. The characters, powers and storyline should make for an authentic experience, but fanservice holds this series back from more recognition in the canon (jiggle-effect and groping will only take you so far.) The animations, powers, and combination attacks, specifically, make the fight scenes in this anime exceptional. —Jarrod Johnson II


28. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic

Original Run: 2013

Watch on Netflix

Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic is a compelling story driven by ideas of wealth, friendship and the worth of a human life. The narrative takes place in a vast land of deserts, dungeons and hidden treasures, waiting to be explored. Alibabba is the young, idealistic lead who meets Aladdin, the young, extremely powerful type. They stand up to the businessman who enslaved them, then rescue Morgiana from her own sadistic slave trader who used her as a bodyguard. Her inhumanly strong legs make her the team’s muscle, balancing the group’s dynamic. The animated’ Arabian Nights theme that makes watching an aesthetic experience, too. While the aesthetics retain a classic anime feel, the fight scenes (Alibabba’s particularly) can be slow at times. Regardless, the series is well done and definitely deserves a watch. —Jarrod Johnson II


29. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon

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Original Run: 2015

Watch on Netflix

This series sends mixed messages even in the title, and that dissonance remains through the series. While it’s “supposed” to be a captivating action anime layered with comedy, fan service and cliche tropes diminish any chance of complexity the first couple of episodes lead you to anticipate. Bell’s fighting and dungeon-clearing seem to take a backseat to Hestia’s cleavage, and the cleavage of all the other girls constantly burying his face in their chests (which is why the series is so popular.) These antics feel like a distraction at first, but it’s likely you’ll find yourself laughing while you wait for the show to get “serious,” and eventually just stop waiting. The series would be phenomenal if the plot were more focused, or the action more exciting, but it’s an entertaining group of characters to start with. —Jarrod Johnson II


30. Inuyasha

Original Run: 1996-2008

Watch on Netflix

For me, Inuyasha is a marker of simpler times, when all an anime needed was fun battles, hilarious dialogue, and that melodramatic ‘90s style. This was the Demon Slayer we had before we loved ourselves, the show we’d stay up way past curfew to watch back-to-back on Adult Swim (often in non-sequential order, not that it matters all too much with Inuyasha’s long arcs and oodles of filler). The show surprisingly holds up and makes for a great group watch, practically a hotbed for drinking games: Take a shot every time Kagome and Inuyasha scream each other’s names, take a shot every time a beautiful woman turns out to be a grotesque buglike demon, take a shot every time Inuyasha fundamentally misunderstands how to behave like a respectful human. With right at 200 episodes and a whopping 4 feature length films, it’s a great show to keep you busy and an easy one to dip in and out of. —Austin Jones



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