Best Anime Series On Netflix

By Douglas Helm | Published

When it comes to watching anime, there are certainly more robust selections than the offerings available on Netflix. However, just because the streamer’s selection isn’t overly vast doesn’t mean there aren’t some of the best series from the medium available to check out. If you have a Netflix account and you’re looking for quality anime to watch, we have you covered.

5. Cowboy Bebop


Cowboy Bebop has just 26 episodes and a movie, but what this series lacks in quantity, it vastly makes up for in quality. Widely considered one of the best animes of all time, Cowboy Bebop follows the bounty hunter Spike and his crew on various space adventures.

Directed by Shinchiro Watanabe and featuring a musically eclectic and jazzy score by Yoko Kanno, you’d be hard-pressed to find a flaw in the kinetic and gorgeously animated show.

The episodes range from character studies to action-packed thrillers to horror-tinged Batman: The Animated Series-inspired neo-noirs. The quality of the episodes rarely dips, and the legendary status of this series even led to Netflix trying (and failing) to adapt it for live-action.

Also, while most people will recommend the subbed version of their favorite animes, Cowboy Bebop has one of the best dubs out there, so make sure to watch it that way.

4. Neon Genesis Evangelion

Perhaps 26 is the magic number of episodes for an anime to be lauded as one of the greatest of all time, because that’s also the episode count for the incredible Neon Genesis Evangelion. While there are also various movies, all of which are worth watching after you finish the show, the original series will undoubtedly draw you in if you check it out on Netflix. Just don’t go in expecting a light-hearted romp.

Neon Genesis Evangelion follows 14-year-old Shinji Ikari, who is one of the child recruits who are brought on to pilot mechas to defend Earth from Angels who descend to Earth to destroy humanity. If that sounds like a heavy premise, you wouldn’t be wrong. Neon Genesis Evangelion is certainly one of the deepest and most nuanced animes you’re likely to see and will stay with you long after you finish your Netflix binge.

3. Naruto


After diving into the ‘greatest anime of all time’ category with shows like Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion, it’s time to dive into one of the most popular. Naruto is one of the Big Three shonen anime, along with the equally popular One Piece and the slightly less popular Bleach.

There will forever be debate about which of these three is the best, and the choice often comes down to which one you watched first as a kid.

Since Naruto and One Piece are the only ones on Netflix, I’m going with Naruto for that very reason. The series follows the titular protagonist, who is a ninja who dreams of being the leader of his village. T

he long-running series features numerous arcs, great fight scenes, and if you love it, you’ll have two sequel series — Naruto Shippuden (which you should watch) and Boruto (which you can probably skip).

2. Death Note

If you love a classic game of cat and mouse with a supernatural twist, then Death Note will be the perfect anime for you. It’s a great entry-level adult anime because the story is engaging, and the cat-and-mouse between protagonist Light Yagami and detective L remains one of the best rivalries in anime.

It’s worth noting that Netflix made a live-action film adaptation, but you can skip it.

Death Note follows the aforementioned Light Yagami, a high school student who discovers a book known as the Death Note. This book gives someone the power to kill someone else if you know their face and their name and write it in the book. While the series does lose a little bit of steam after the halfway point, it does end in a great finale.

1. Vinland Saga


Finally, we’ll wrap up the list with one of the newer animes that is quickly shaping up to be a fan favorite. Demon Slayer is also on Netflix and could fall into this category, but I’m going with the slightly more underrated option for this one. Though they’re definitely both worth checking out.

Vinland Saga is an epic Viking tale that follows a boy named Thorfinn, who sets out on a violent quest for vengeance. The series is actually inspired by real historical events, like the rise of King Cnut to power in Europe in the 10th Century. The series is gorgeously animated by MAPPA (Attack on Titan, Jujutsu Kaisen) and tells a mature tale of redemption through the two seasons available on Netflix.