Originating in Japan, anime has spent the last several decades gradually building prominence in other countries all over the world, to the point where it is now a global pop culture phenomenon.
The genre encompasses a wide variety of stories, often presented in visually stunning ways using some of the finest animation in the entire film and television industry.
Netflix have begun asserting themselves as a place to be for anime fans, adding some iconic shows to its packed library in recent years. Here you’ll find some of the best shows the streaming service has to offer…
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Attack on Titan
One of the most famous anime offerings of recent memory, Attack on Titan became an international sensation when it debuted back in 2013, adapted from a popular series of manga novels. The story follows humanity’s struggle to survive in a world where gigantic man-eating monsters known as Titans roam freely, taking refuge in cities guarded by enormous walls.
All 51 episodes of the original Fullmetal Alchemist series are ready to binge on Netflix, telling the story of brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric, who use alchemy in an attempt to resurrect their late mother, but lose their own bodies as a result. This sets them on a desperate search for the Philosopher’s Stone, which holds within it the power to restore them.
Death Note has a delightfully dark premise, as Japanese high schooler Light discovers a mysterious book that has the power to kill anyone whose name he writes in it. Guided by the creepy spirit Ryuk, he uses the book exhaustively in an attempt to create a Utopian society, only to come onto the radar of an enigmatic detective called L, who plans to put an end to his murder spree.
This acclaimed comedy series follows Saitama, a superhero with such incredible power that he can easily defeat any opponent with just one punch (hence the name). Ultimately, he becomes bored with his lack of challengers and takes a young cyborg seeking revenge under his wing. The first season is undoubtedly the best, but One-Punch Man features some great jokes throughout.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
This more recent adaptation of the Fullmetal Alchemist series is preferred by some purists for how it sticks more faithfully to the plot of the original Manga. To be fair, the original anime was produced before the final books had been released, so it had no choice but to veer off in its own direction.
Anyone looking for some dark horror fantasy should check out Tokyo Ghoul, which is set in an alternate reality where the human race is terrorised by so-called ghouls, who look like normal people but actually feast on their flesh! After barely surviving an attack from one of these beasts, college student Ken Kaneki becomes half-human, half-ghoul, making his life a lot more complicated…
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
Based on the manga series of the same name, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure follows the Joestar family, who for generations have been destined to take down all manner of supernatural foes. Each part of the series centres on a different member of the clan, all of whom take on the moniker Jojo and rise to their respective challenge.
This high-concept sci-fi series follows a mad scientist and his friends after they invent a microwave phone that can send messages into the past and transport them through time. But their incredible discovery comes with a heavy burden, attracting the attention of dangerous people who want the machine for themselves, as well as offering an insight into a frightening future that must be changed…
A lot of people have complicated relationships with their parents, but none more so than young Rin Okumura, who discovers that he and his brother Yukio are the twin sons of Satan. They team up to train as exorcists at True Cross Academy and defeat their father once and for all, with the help of friends they make along the way.
Aggretsuko stands out as unique on this lost as it is a Netflix Original series, marking one of the first forays into anime for the streaming service. The comedy series follows a 25-year-old anthropomorphic red panda, who vents frustration with her boring desk job by singing death metal at karaoke bars in the evening.