Animes refer to animation in Japan, and despite their reputation for lowbrow graphics and nerdy content, they remain unique. They have been around for decades and are known for their gripping storylines. However, it can be hard to get into animes. If you are one of those or simply looking for the best animes to binge-watch, I got you covered!
I have compiled a list of the best animes to watch on Netflix and Hulu! Keep scrolling to find out.
- Total Episodes: 220
- IMDb rating: 8.3
- Genre: Action, fantasy, adventure
Did you really expect that Naruto won’t be a part of this list? Any Top-10 anime list is incomplete without Naruto. While this one needs no introduction, I will still talk about the show’s gist if you want to awaken the inner Hokage in you.
Naruto follows the life and adventures of Naruto Uzumaki (surprise, surprise). In a line, Naruto is all about how relationships fade away, and that good people turn evil. The story follows the life of a boy, who is orphaned at a young age, and how he finds his family in a fictional village of ninjas.
I’d recommend Naruto to those new to animes.
2. Death Note
- Total Episodes: 37
- IMDb rating: 9.0
- Genre: Crime, mystery, horror
Death Note is based on the manga published on the Weekly Shonen Jump. It is undoubtedly one of the best thriller animes out there!
Our teenage heartthrob Light Yagami stumbles upon a notebook which makes him God. You might be thinking, how exactly does a notebook make one as powerful as God? Because the notebook is called “Death Note,” and whoever’s name is written down in it, that person dies at the specified time.
Yagami starts unyielding this power to carry out a cleanse and starts killing “unworthy” people to make the world a better place.
While the characters in Death Note will make you question your morality, you will still be left reeling for more episodes. And that’s where Death Note will let you down because it only has 37 episodes. Nevertheless, Death Note is one of the best short anime series.
It will hook you sheerly for its high-level game of wits that keep you on your toes through to the end. And I am not kidding!
Caution: Steer clear of the Netflix movie on the same. It was a big letdown for many like me!
3. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
- Total Episodes: 34 and counting
- IMDb rating: 8.7
- Genre: Drama, action, dark fantasy
Demon Slayer is set in the early 20th century in Japan, in a land where humans and demons co-exist. Our protagonist is Tanjiro Kamado, whose family is killed by demons while he is not at home. His sister, Nezuko, is converted to a demon.
The plot follows Tanjiro as he decides to become a demon slayer, not to kill the demons of the world but to find a way to restore his sister to a human.
You will fall in love not just with Tanjiro and his companions but with the scintillating graphics at play here too. Demon Slayer makes for a gripping watch. Like the previous two in the list, Demon Slayer is also based on the manga by Koyoharu Gotoge.
Moreover, unlike others, this one marked the start of the quality anime, making it one of the best on Netflix if you want visual treats too.
4. Attack on Titan
- Total Episodes: 86 and counting
- IMDb rating: 9
- Genre: Dark fantasy, action
Attack on Titan, whose first season aired in 2013, has taken the world by storm. In this anime, humanity is restricted to live within huge walls. Outside of these walls, the world is ravaged by titans who eat humans for dinner.
Our protagonists include Eren Yeager and Mikasa Ackerman, who join the Survey Corps to hunt and kill titans. Eren is incredibly motivated and is hungry to kill titans, whereas Mikasa is laid back yet strong.
Attack on Titan will keep you on your toes with each episode, and you won’t find many other animes that will top the jubilation you will feel after watching this one.
5. My Hero Academia
- Total Episodes: 117
- IMDb rating: 8.4
- Genre: Fantasy, action
My Hero Academia has a different touch to it as compared to others on this list. While usual anime have a Japanese tinge to it, My Hero Academia has an American superhero flavor.
Superpowers have become the norm, everybody has one. Everybody except Izuku Midoriya. Izuku still dreams of becoming the best hero as he gets scouted by Japan’s “Captain America” – All Might.
Jam-packed with action, My Hero Academia has some exhilarating graphics, and the direction will leave you amazed. The anime has won over 20 awards and 18 nominations and is a must-watch.
6. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- Total Episodes: 69
- IMDb rating: 9.1
- Genre: Action, adventure
Have you ever about how you would bring someone back from the dead if magic existed? You’re not alone! Turns out that the writer of Fullmetal Alchemist thought the same too! It is about two brothers – Edward and Alphonse Elric, living in Amestris, where magic is real and is called Alchemy.
The duo tries to bring their dead mother back. However, bringing someone is considered a taboo in the world they live in, and they pay for it. Edward, the elder brother, loses his right arm and left leg, whereas the younger brother Alphonse loses his body, and his soul is trapped in a suit of armor. Because alchemy has a basic principle: to obtain, something of equal value must be lost.
The anime follows the journey of the two brothers while they try to get their bodies back. En route, we find out the dark secrets of alchemy.
As the name suggests, the anime is entwined with brotherhood, love, and courage. There won’t be a dull moment while watching Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood!
7. Tokyo Ghoul
- Total Episodes: 12
- IMDb rating: 9.1
- Genre: Dark fantasy, thriller
Tokyo Ghoul is a popular anime that aired in 2014. The premise of the anime is simple: some Ghouls live among us. While they look exactly like humans, they are actually vampire-like creatures who feast on human flesh.
This one is not for the light-hearted, as there is a lot of gore here. While there is some censoring, Tokyo Ghoul still contains many bloody action scenes.
The story is fast-paced, as the 60-chapter long manga is converted to a 12-episode thriller anime. So, there can be moments where you will feel confused as to what exactly is happening. Despite this, Tokyo Ghoul is still a must-watch if you’re a fan of dark fantasy anime.
8. Jujutsu Kaisen
- Total Episodes: 24
- IMDb rating: 8.7
- Genre: Supernatural fiction, dark fantasy, adventure
Jujutsu Kaisen is your typical anime where a boy gets powers, becomes a hero, and saves the world. EXCEPT IT’S NOT. The anime showcases that even heroes can lose and that it’s impossible to change the world.
Our hero is Yuji Itadori, who gets his powers from eating a cursed finger (gross). Yuji is scared to die, like the rest of us. The magic in Jujutsu Kaisen is called “Cursed Energy,” and it’s fuelled by humanity’s negative energy and emotions like shame, hatred, fear, and grief.
The ghosts are created when there are huge collections of negative feelings. Jujutsu Kaisen challenges and attempts to break the walls of traditional anime and is easily one of the most popular anime.
While the first season ended in 2020, Jujutsu Kaisen will also get a movie that’s supposed to launch soon.
9. One Punch Man
- Total Episodes: 25
- IMDb rating: 8.8
- Genre: Comedy, Superhero, action
One Punch Man follows the story of Saitama, who is arguably the strongest hero on the planet, but one who is the least passionate about being a hero. It’s because, after three years of intense training, Saitama has become so powerful that he can defeat anybody with just one punch (hence, the name of the anime).
Saitama loses interest in fighting the bad guys because there’s nobody to match his abilities and challenge him. But don’t think that this is a one-man show, as there are multiple subplots to the anime, and the cast is every bit as entertaining.
While the first season sets a great premise, the second season is a bit of a downer. But with multiple seasons in the pipeline, I am fully onboard the One Punch Man hype train and will definitely recommend this to any anime enthusiast.
- Total Episodes: 369
- IMDb rating: 8.1
- Genre: Thriller, supernatural, adventure, action
Bleach has a lot of characters but focuses on the mainstay that is Ichigo Kurosaki and his adventures as a Soul Reaper. Bleach has received much hatred for its murky storyline over the years, but I have still included it here because there is plenty to love about Bleach.
The anime follows Ichigo and his friends as they travel through the Soul Society and indulge in fights.
Not only does Ichigo win my heart over and again, but the fight sequences in the anime are also super cool. Many have criticized Bleach for its overcrowded cast, but that’s something I like about it.
And if you were worried about the length of the anime, there are over 350 episodes to keep you occupied.
That wraps up our list of the best animes to watch right now! Don’t see your favorites? Share them in the comments below!