The best 20 anime on Netflix right now (October 2022)

The unease around Netflix's rapid cancellation policy has led to the current increase in volatility in the streaming industry. On the plus side, Netflix has surprisingly increased its focus on anime and animation for its platform. While anime especially has achieved an all-time high in terms of public appeal and accessibility, animation as a whole has gone a long way and still deserves more recognition and time in the spotlight.

The days when seasoned anime fans had to scour shady websites for fan subs and dubs of the newest series are long gone since big streaming companies now see anime as a way to draw in new users. In September, Netflix added a few notable anime titles, but there is also a sizable backlog of shows and films to watch on top of them.

Given the genre's increasing popularity and mainstream acceptance, it might be intimidating for newbies to know where to begin.

The best 20 anime on Netflix right now (September 2022)

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1. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners (2022)

Animated by industry veterans and fan-favorite studio Studio Trigger (Promare, Kill la Kill) comes an original story set within video game developer CD Projekt Red’s world of Cyberpunk 2077. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners takes place in the same technologically-obsessed dystopia filled with cutthroat factions, following a young boy attempting to survive through it all. In order to have a fighting chance, the body-modified street kid joins the ranks of the titular mercenary Edgerunners also known as a Cyberpunk. The series is planned as a standalone 10-episode story, with expectations high that it will be a visually stunning and explosive series if Studio Trigger’s esteemed reputation is anything to go by. The series premieres on September 13th.

2. Violet Evergarden: The Movie (2020)

To help get the complete engrossing and deeply emotional story of Violet Evergarden, Violet Evergarden the Movie continues the titular war veteran’s heartfelt quest of understanding. Years after the Great War ended, technology continues to advance and makes the advent of telephones more relevant. This means that the need for Auto Memory Dolls is waning, but Violet’s fame for writing letters maintains even in this new technological age. She continues to learn about the meaning and concept of human emotion — love in particular — but she still longs to reunite with her long-lost commanding officer who first uttered those words to her years ago.

3. Vampire in the Garden (2022)

Animated by Wit Studio (Attack on Titan seasons 1 to 3, Vinland Saga season 1), Vampire in the Garden is another anime original series that is set in a fantasy world. In a future where humanity lost supremacy over the world in a war with vampires, survivors reside in a city-state protected by walls of light. Inside the stronghold, a young girl named Momo dreams of a new future where humans and vampires can coexist again, while the vampire queen on the outside who once loved a human, Fine, deserts the battlefield against the humans. In a fated encounter between the two, Momo and Fine end up embarking on a quest to find a fabled utopia of peace.

4. Komi Can't Communicate (2021)

In Komi Can’t Communicate, high school student Hitohito Tadano just wants to blend into his new surroundings and avoid any unwanted attention, but he eventually gets partially put into the spotlight by sitting next to the popular Shouko Komi. However, he finds out that Komi has a communication disorder and she wants him to help her learn how to socialize. From there, Tadano, Komi, and company make it their mission to help her make 100 friends.

5. Vinland Saga (2019)

After his father was killed in a duel against the Viking Askelaad, Thorfinn joins his band of mercenaries in the hope of becoming strong enough to challenge and get his revenge. However, what unfolds in Vinland Saga is a much more intimate story of character growth. Thorfinn spends his young years focused on vengeance, with his supporting cast also embarking on journeys of introspection — punctuated by cathartic Viking-themed action. Season 1 of Vinland Saga unlocks on Netflix outside of Japan on July 7.

6. One Piece (1999)

Years ago, when the legendary pirate Gol D. Roger was set for execution, his last words were a challenge to the world to find his titular treasure. In the present, young Monkey D. Luffy feels inspired to become a pirate and uncover the One Piece bounty. He then embarks on a globetrotting odyssey across the Grand Line with the other members of his Straw Hat crew in a myriad of adventures meeting a colorful and revolving cast of friends and villains.

7. Death Note (2006)

Death Note is one of the most popular manga and anime series in the world, perhaps because of its intriguing premise. Teenager Light Yagami comes across a supernatural notebook with a deadly power. If Light, or anyone else, writes a name in the notebook, the person they named will die. Unfortunately for Light, he becomes intoxicated with the power, and he resolves to remake the world by eliminating “bad people.” This captures the attention of the cops, including the mysterious Detective L. Light soon realizes that L might be able to deduce his identity, but he can’t be killed until Light discovers L’s real name.

8. Yasuke (2021)

In Japanese history, Yasuke was the first and only African warrior to enter the service of Oda Nobunaga in the 16th century. The Yasuke anime takes several liberties with history by introducing magic and advanced tech to the mix. In the story, several years have passed since Yasuke left his life of violence behind. A singer named Ichika hires Yasuke to escort herself and her daughter, Saki, in order to save the young girl’s life. However, Ichika’s murder leaves Saki under Yasuke’s direct protection as their deadly journey begins.

9. One-Punch Man (2015)

Imagine being so powerful that life as a superhero is boring. That’s the curse of One-Punch Man. Saitama’s inexplicable strength would be a great blessing if it also provided him with a challenge. Without that, Saitama’s passion for the heroic life has turned into depression. He doesn’t even get the credit he deserves! Regardless, there are still some enemies for Saitama to fight. And he’ll find that it can be difficult to be a One-Punch Man when he can’t even land a single blow on his opponent.

10. Hunter x Hunter (2011)

The word “hunter” doesn’t have its traditional meaning in the latest adaptation of Hunter x Hunter. In this world, Hunters are the adventurous men and women who can locate lost treasures, missing people, and find rare creatures. Very few Hunters are chosen, which is one of the reasons why a young boy named Gon is so obsessed with becoming a Hunter himself. Years ago, Gon’s father, Ging, abandoned the family to chase his dream of becoming a Hunter. Now, Gon is following in Ging’s footsteps, and he will face some incredibly difficult ordeals in order to earn his place among the Hunters.

11. Arcane (2021)

Do you play League of Legends or any of its spinoffs? While that can definitely help your enjoyment of Arcane: League of Legends, it’s not necessary. This show has been designed to largely stand on its own while expanding upon the League of Legends mythos. The beautiful CGI animation is another strong point for this series, and it feels several steps beyond traditionally animated series. As for the individual episodes, the focus falls on pre-existing characters like Vi (Hailee Steinfeld) and Powder (Mia Sinclair Jenness) while establishing their backstories and charting their futures.

12. Record of Ragnarok (2021)

The gods have determined that humanity is irredeemable and must be destroyed. Oh well, we had a good run … Except the valkyrie Brunhilde has other plans in Record of Ragnarok. In order to save humanity and avenge herself against the gods, Brunhilde convinces the deities to hold a fighting tournament between 13 men and gods from across the whole of history. Humanity is represented by the first man, Adam, as well as Jack the Ripper, Grigori Rasputin, and even King Leonidas of Sparta. They will have to face Thor, Heracles, Zeus, Poseidon, Ares, and other gods if they want a chance to save their species from destruction.

13. Fireworks (2017)

Nazuna (Yuki Kaji), a middle school student, wants to get away from her life. Her friend, Norimichi (Nobuo Tobita), is looking for the same reprieve. When Norimichi throws a magic marble, the artifact ends up rewinding time, allowing him and Nazuna to live through alternate versions of crucial events that transpired between them. An adaptation of the live-action TV film of the same name, Fireworks is a fitting reimagining of its source material, adding another 40 minutes to the runtime of the original to further flesh out its story and characters.

14. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (2012)

Based on the long-running manga series of the same name, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure follows the almighty Joestar clan. Taking place over a series of different eras, members of the Joestar family all come to learn that they possess supernatural abilities that will allow them to thwart a series of mischievous foes, with battles occurring from the 19th century all the way into modern times. Each Joestar uses the same handle of “JoJo” in their respective story. Catch the first three seasons on Netflix.

15. Attack on Titan (2013)

Adapted from the manga series of the same name, Attack on Titan finds humanity trapped behind towering walls in three cities. The reason for the partitions is a world overrun by monstrous humanoid creatures known as Titans. When one Titan manages to get over the walls of Eren Jaegar’s (Harume Miara) city, the creature wreaks havoc on the populace. Vowing revenge, Eren and his friends join up with the Scout Regiment to fight back against the Titan hordes.

16. Kakegurui (2017)

Adapted from the Homura Kawamoto manga series of the same name, Kakegurui follows Yumeko Jabami, a newly enrolled student at Japan’s Hyakkaou Private Academy. Unlike your standard academic institution, the students at Hyakkaou are divided into hierarchical tiers based on gambling and riches. Fresh meat for the high-rollers, Yumeko must prove her monetary worth before the students at the top of the pyramid swallow her whole.

17. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (2019)

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba has been one of the recent anime sensations on Netflix. This adaptation of the wildly popular manga chronicles the story of Tanjiro Kamado, a young man who narrowly survives a demon attack that claims the lives of most of his family. Tanjiro’s sister, Nezuko, also survives the attack, but she is transformed into a demon herself. To save his sister and avenge his family, Tanjiro joins the Demon Slayer Corps and trains for the final showdown. But if Tanjiro hopes to triumph over evil then he may have to give up more than just his life.

18. The Seven Deadly Sins (2014)

The titular stars of The Seven Deadly Sins aren’t just the embodiment of humanity’s famous vices. They were once respected knights in the fantasy land of Britannia … at least until they were framed for trying to overthrow the kingdom and forced to disband. A decade later, Princess Elizabeth Liones is deposed from the throne by the Holy Knights, which sends her on the run. She finds an ally in Meliodas, the leader of the Seven, and he agrees to bring his team back together. But Meliodas also has a secret connection to Elizabeth that may come back to doom them all.

19. Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I -- The Egg of the King (2012)

In another major deal involving Netflix’s continued emphasis on anime, the original 1997 Berserk TV anime is poised to be added to the streamer. However, if fans want their fix of Kentaro Miura’s acclaimed dark-fantasy epic sooner, The Golden Age Arc trilogy is available now. Animated by Studio 4°C, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I — The Egg of the King chronicles protagonist Guts’ early years and his recruitment into the ambitious leader Griffith’s army. The Band of the Hawk is then recruited by the kingdom of Midland to finish an age-old war against the Tudor Empire. Amid the political turmoil, harrowing battles, and beastly supernatural forces, though, Griffith seems to hold some lofty — and dark — ulterior motives

20. Sirius the Jaegar (2018)

The titular Jaegars are a pact of relentless vampire hunters. Chief amongst them is Yuliy, a werewolf survivor of a vampire attack that wiped out his entire village. Part of a royal bloodline, an ancient artifact was promised to Yuliy’s years before, a relic known as the Ark of Sirius. Capable of incredible powers, Yuliy and his Jaegar companions will stop at nothing to protect the talisman from their vampiric foe.

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