Best Anime on Netflix Right Now

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For people looking to get into anime, Netflix is one of the only options that many may have. Compared to other movies and shows, there’s not as much anime available on the streaming site, but there’s still enough that someone can be unsure what to pick. So with that in mind, here’s a handy guide to the top twelve anime on Netflix in April of 2017!

This will be a  guide on everything you need to know, including the studio, the source material, the director and a quick summary and breakdown of what to expect. This guide will also tell you if the series in question is available in it’s entierety on Netflix or if it's just partially available I’ll also let you know in the summary whether the anime itself is a complete story.

So without further ado, let’s dig in! 

  1. Blue Exorcist (Originally aired: 2011)

    Studio: A-1 Pictures

    Director: Tensai Okamura

    Adapted from: The Blue Exorcist manga by Kazue Kato

    Netflix Status: Season 1 Complete

    Blue Exorcist revolves around the adventures of Rin Okamura, a teenager who discovers he’s the son of Satan himself. After going through a tragedy, he trains to become an exorcist to defeat his father. This supernatural action series is full of heart-pounding fight scenes, but also has great moments of comedy. It has a well-balanced cast of characters, lots of magical shenanigans and a main character that struggles with his own dark heritage.

    The first season is available on Netflix, however the most recent season, Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga, is not available. The second season only came out last month however (there were five years between the first and second season), so it’s very possible Netflix will have it soon. 

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  2. Durarara (Originally Released: 2010, 2016)

    Studio: Brain’s Base

    Director: Takahiro Omori

    Adapted from: The Durarara!! light novels manga by Ryohgo Narita

    Netflix Status: complete

    Durarara!! tells the story of a varied group of people hanging out in a commercial district in Tokyo, a cast that includes an internet based gang called the Dollars, a Dullahan (headless person seen in Irish myth) working for the underworld and other weird, fantastical people who are causing a lot of trouble.

    The story is told from the perspective of eleven different characters at first with each episode focusing on a different one. The whole narrative is dark, dense, chaotic and focuses on a varied cast whose lives intersect in surprising and unlikely ways. Expect some heavy stuff like gore, stalking, incest and so on.

  3. Gurren Lagann (Originally Aired: 2007)

    Studio: Gainax

    Director: Hiroyuji Imaishi

    Original Anime

    Netflix Status: Complete

    Gurren Lagann is one of the most beloved giant robot anime out there. Known for its vivid, bombastic animation, sci-fi weirdness, highly quirky and quotable characters and totally amazing and over-the-top fight scenes, it’s a classic for a reason. The series focuses on two young men named Kamina and Simon, who, with the help of a girl named Yoko, escape the subterranean village they are forcibly confined to by an evil overlord and join the resistance against them. They use robots to fight the beastmen who work for the tyrant. 

  4. Death Note (Originally Aired 2006-2007)

    Studio: Madhouse

    Directors: Tetsurō Araki

    Adapted from: The Death Note Manga by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Ohbata

    Netflix Status: complete

    Death Note tells the story of a young man named Light Yagami, a clean-cut honors student who happens across a notebook with strange powers one day. If the notebook’s order knows a person’s name and face, they can write the name of that person in the notebook and that person will die. Light decides to use the notebook’s powers to kill the world’s criminals. This naturally catches the attention of law enforcement and soon Light is caught in a cat-and-mouse game with a brilliant and enignmatic detective.

    Death Note is a suspenseful tale that deals with the corrupting influence of unlimited power, questions of morality and the idea of what true “justice” is. People who like thrillers and somewhat-villainous protagonists will likely enjoy the series, which is popular enough it’s gotten several adaptations.

  5. Silver Spoon (Originally aired: 2013-2014)

    Studio: A-1 Pictures

    Directors: Tomohiko Itō and Kotomi Deai

    Adapted from: The Silver Spoon manga by Hiromu Arakawa

    Netflix Status: Complete

    This warm-hearted slice-of-life anime focuses on a boy called Yugo Hachiken, who goes to a farming school to escape a high pressure homelife and overbearing father and grows up a whole lot in the process. The series has loveable characters and lots of comedy while also dealing with thorny moral questions about raising livestock and shedding light on the tough situation Japan’s farmers face. If you enjoyed Fullmetal Alchemist, I’d definitely recommend checking this out as it comes from the same author. The manga is still ongoing, however, so the anime won’t have the full story.

     

  6. Attack on Titan (originally aired 2013)

    Studio: Witt Studio

    Director: Tetsuro Araki

    Adapted from: The Attack on Titan manga by Hajime Isayama

    Netflix Status: First Season Complete

    Attack on Titan focuses on the story of Eren Yeager and his friends, who live in a word where what remains of humanity must sequester themselves within giant walls to avoid being eaten by man-eating giants called Titans. After a titan breaks through some the walls, Eren and the gang sign up to join the military, who undertake the dangerous mission of trying to exterminate the Titans.

    Attack on Titan is super dark, super gory, super intense and has a super catchy opening theme song. This anime took the world by storm when it came out, wowing people with its combo of horror, action and tragedy as well as its brutal and well-animated fight scenes. The second season of the series is currently airing elsewhere, but Netflix has the first season in its entirety. 

  7. Bleach (Originally Released: 2004-2012)

    Studio: Studio Peirrot

    Director: Noriyuki Abe

    Adapted from: The Bleach manga by Tite Kubo

    Netflix Status: Incomplete

    Bleach is one of the more well-known action anime out there and it has a healthy fanbase, so it would be remiss not to include it. The series focuses on a teenager named Ichigo Kurosaki, who obtains the powers of a Shinigami (which translates as “death god”, similar to a grim reaper) and takes on the task of defending people from evil spirits and guiding souls to the afterlife.

    Bleach is known for its relentless action sequences, dense continuity, huge cast of characters and for having at least one pretty cool plot twist- but fair warning, the anime is also famous for being fairly dragged out. It’s actually around 366 episodes long, but Netflix appears to have less than 100 of those available. Even if you track down the complete anime, the show won’t really have an ending- it stopped before it finished adapting its manga source material. 

  8. Hunter X Hunter (Originally Aired 2011-2014)

    Studio: Madhouse

    Director: Noriyuki Abe

    Adapted from: The Hunter x Hunter manga by Yoshihiro Togashi

    Netflix Status: Incomplete (First 5 Seasons Available)

    Hunter x Hunter is a complex action-extravaganza that gets steadily darker as it goes on. The story centers around a young boy named Gon whose father abandoned him at a young age to become a Hunter, a person licensed to do adventurous things like treasure-hunting, exploring and so on. Gon decides to become a Hunter himself in order to find his father and go on adventures.  On the way, he discovers his own strange powers and encounters many new friends.

    Hunter x Hunter has truly amazing animation, next-level fight-scenes, several exciting fantastical settings and a sprawling cast of characters. If you’re a fan of fighting shows with a fantasy-and-adventure twist, it’s worth a look. Netflix does not have the entire anime available, but they do have a very large portion of it.

  9. Mushishi: Next Passage (Originally Aired 2014)

    Studio: Artland

    Director: Hiroshi Nagahama

    Adapted from: The Mushishi manga by Yuki Urushibara

    Netflix Status: Complete (First Season not available)

    Mushishi: Next Passage is the second season of Mushishi. However, since the show is episodic in nature, you really be lost of have an ongoing plot to catch up on, at least. It focuses on a man named Ginko who inhabits a fantastical version of 19th century Japan. He travels the country researching mushi, which are ethereal, supernatural beings. He will both aid mushi and protect people from them if need be.

    This is a dreamy show that feels as ethereal as the creatures that inhabit it, full of breath-taking imagery and short, emotional stories filled with subtlety and grace. If you want something fantastical, relaxing and mesmerizing, try this series out. 

  10. Magi (Originally Aired 2012-2014)

    Studio: A-1 Pictures

    Director: Koji Masunari

    Adapted from: The Maji: The Lanbrynth of Magic manga by Shinobu Ohtaka

    Netflix Status: Complete

    Magi follows a boy named Alibaba who wishes to be a treasure hunter who explores dungeons. He meets up with a boy called Aladdin who has the powers of Djinn (Genie) on his side. They go on adventures together and are eventually accompanied by a poweful girl named Morgiana. Magi is another vibrant action-fantasy. It’s based on Arabian Nights and takes place in a fantastical world inspired by ancient times. Netflix has both the first season (Magi: Labrynth of Magic) and second season (Magi: Kingdom of Magic) available.

  11. Little Witch Academia and Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade (Originally aired 2013 and 2015)

    Studio: Studio Trigger

    Director: Yoh Yoshinari

    Original Anime

    Netflix Status: OVA and Movie currently available, anime series to come

    Little Witch Academia focuses on a young girl named Akko who attends an academy for witches. She’s clumsy and a bit of a failure at magic, but she’s determined to be an amazing witch like her idol, Shiny Chariot. She gets into many mishaps and misadventures and discovers her inner power.

    With high-quality, colorful animation, quirky characters and lots of all-ages fun, Little Witch Academia is a total treat with wide appeal. Currently, the animated original short and The Enchanted Parade movie are on Netflix- they’re both stand-alone short stories. However, Netflix will be streaming the complete 25-episode anime series once it airs as well. 

  12. Naruto (Originally aired 2002-2007)

    Studio: Studio Pierrot

    Director: Katsuyuki Sumisawa and Junki Takegami

    Adapted from: The Naruto manga by Masashi Kishimoto

    Neflix Status: Incomplete

    Naruto is one of the most beloved, popular and well-known anime out there, so it just has to be included. The series focuses on a young ninja-in-training named Naruto who is shunned by the people in his village due to the fact he had a demon fox sealed inside him as a child. Naruto is determined to become the best ninja there is and win everyone’s adoration by becoming the village’s leader and the series shows his journey towards this goal as he trains at ninja academy.

    This was the action anime that won the hearts of so many children when it first came out and its still extremely successful to this day. Netflix does not have the complete series, but they have a good bit of the anime.