NANI?!? Anime and Chill?
Thanks to the advent of platforms such as Netflix, anime has become one of the simple joys in life that you can experience with other people. From classics that never get old, to modern originals that Netflix themselves have funded, the streaming platform has quickly risen up to be a haven for anime lovers both old and new.
It’s a very welcome development as Japan has traditionally been very shrewd about sharing their licenses to more modern platforms and making them accessible outside of their own region. Netflix has almost become a “must have” for anime fans due to the strong library it now holds.
Want to get started? Here’s a list of 8 animes that makes Netflix worth it.
While this list may not cover everything, (seriously, the Netflix anime library has become quite robust despite the region locks) It’s not a “best of” list nor is it a “most popular” list, but it’s something you can dip your toes into if you’re starting off with anime or if you’re curious of what the platform can offer in terms of anime.
A very popular anime based on the video game of the same name, this series starts off slow but ramps it up to 100 into its web of sci-fi, mystery, internet conspiracies and time travel. The quirky cast of characters includes Rintaro Okabe, a self-proclaimed “Mad Scientist”; Mayuri Shiina and her famous “Tutturus~”; Daru Hashida, an overweight hacker; and Kurisu Makise, who’s in the center of the events that gets the story rolling.
If you haven’t seen Steins;Gate or if you were planning to see it in the first place, you now have a chance to unravel the mystery in just a few clicks
Red pandas, cute art, office drama, mean bosses and death metal? That’s Aggretsuko in a nutshell and it’s very entertaining.
The musical comedy starring Sanrio’s mascot is very easy to digest at only 15 minutes for each episode and in case you want more, the second season just released a few weeks ago. Sometimes you just gotta scream it out.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Originally shown 10 years ago, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is one of those whimsical, ridiculous animes that you just have to see to believe. It follows the SOS Club lead by the titular character Haruhi Suzumiya in hunting down aliens and other weird incidents that can only really be described in one word: whack.
If you’re looking for zany fun and comedy, look no further. Best of all, you get to watch it chronologically on Netflix unlike the original broadcast version.
Based off the award winning light novel series, Violet Evergarden follows the titular character in a coming of age story set after the war. Now working as an “Auto Memory Doll”- basically a job where you write for others, Violet looks for meaning and identity in her life after her role as a soldier in the battlefield.
Known for its gorgeous art and animation, this anime is certainly a feast for the eyes visually as it took home Crunchyroll’s Best Animation award. If you’re looking for something more emotionally gripping, then Violet Evergarden is a good bet.
A gambling anime that delves into psychology, mind games and risk taking, Kakegurui is certainly one of the best and more unique animes that Netflix has licensed. Yumeko Jabami, a compulsive gambler has just transferred to Hyakkaou Private Academy, a school where rules are decided by taking gambles, and power is decided by who wins several unique gambling games that you’ve probably never heard of.
This is definitely one of the animes that will keep you hooked with its intensity and gripping plot.
Megalo Box is not your typical sports anime. It’s a unique adaptation and a mix of the classic boxing anime, Ashita no Joe and a little bit of that Real Steel Hugh Jackman movie.
It’s set in a dystopian future where fame and fortune lies in boxing with a futuristic twist. Here fighters wear an enhanced armored “frame” to enhance their abilities in the ring in contrast to the main character, Junk Dog. We get treated to a very interesting set of characters and rivals during the short but sweet journey towards glory.
Megalo Box gives off a lot of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo vibes due to its art and music, so definitely add this one to My List if you’re a fan of those. Just like the end of each episode says, definitely Not Dead Yet!
Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood
If there was an anime that could be considered as close to perfect, this would be it. Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood is one of those quintessential animes that are simply a must watch, and are we glad it’s on Netflix for those who haven’t seen it.
The series follows the Elric brothers as they attempt to undo a terrible mistake that has lead Edward Elric to be missing an arm, and Alphonse Elric to be missing his whole body, left to live in a Knight’s armor. It’s a series full of several twists, tragedies, interesting characters and really top notch action. It always finds a way to push forward the story, sparing no second in unravelling the conspiracy.
For newcomers to the series, both Full Metal Alchemist and Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood are on Netflix. While both start off similarly, Brotherhood is the newer one that follows the manga almost from page to page and gives the story a conclusive end the way the creators meant it to be. Truly a must watch for anyone interested in anime. Best anime ever? It’s certainly in contention.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Another one of the quintessential anime series, Evangelion is considered the “Star Wars” of Japan in terms of cultural influence and impact. After 20 years, Evangelion and its thought provoking and relatable characters are still influencing a whole generation of Japanese young adults and anime fans globally.
What starts off as what it seems as another classic mecha anime ends up as something really messed up towards the end. Shinji, Rei and Asuka, the three main characters as well as everyone in the series have some kind of fundamental flaw and psychological weakness that take center stage. The stakes in the series gets larger and larger as more threatening enemies and Shinji’s complicated relationship with his father clash together for a heavy assault on the senses.
While it’s truly a blessing to have this classic series easily accessible via Netflix, keep in mind that the new version is controversial for its omissions in terms of music and english subtitles which were changed and neutered much to the dismay of long time series fans. Still though, the series is there pretty much intact along with the true movie ending, The End of Evangelion. It’s definitely worth checking out or rewatching just to hear “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis” once again.
If that list hasn’t convinced you that Netflix is quickly becoming a haven for anime, there’s plenty more where that came from. Favorites and Originals such as Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Gundam, Hunter X Hunter, Food Wars, the new Ultraman, Rilakkuma, the ultra popular My Hero Academia, mainstream favorites such as Naruto along with the excellent Castlevania are also on the platform. And that’s not even counting the regional content that are available depending on your location or access to depending on your VPN resources. Japan gets access to the whole Dragon Ball Z library on Netflix for example, other regions have the maho shojo classic Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Gurren Lagann, etc. the list goes on!
Netflix is seeking to diversify their library in the face of new competition and anime is clearly taking a huge focus in their efforts.
Is Netflix worth it if you’re just subscribing for anime? Considering everything in the list would cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in DVDs, Blu-rays or wherever other licensed platform you had to buy them on? It’s a definite yes!
If you’re feeling a void of “bakas” and “nanis” and “masakas” or if you simply want to relive your favorite classics, Netflix isn’t too shabby of a choice for your anime fill. So sit back, relax, grab some sushi take out and let the viewing party begin.