Netflix + anime: best series to stream

These eleven titles are a great introduction to Netflix's extensive anime collection.

Netflix boasts a large selection of anime titles across generations and genres, from early sci-fi action pieces like Mobile Suit Gundam (1979) to modern whimsical fantasies like Delicious in Dungeon (2024).

Whether you’re looking for your next binge watch, or you’re completely new to the anime oeuvre, here are our top Netflix anime picks to get you started.

We’ve added descriptions of each show in three words, as well as some pointers as to what non-anime movies and TV shows they are similar to, which should help guide you into something you’ll love.

The best anime on Netflix


What’s it about? In Aggretsuko, a 25-year-old red panda who often gets frustrated in her accounting job chooses to let that anger go by singing death metal at a karaoke bar. She’s an introvert who suffers from social anxiety, and is prone to unrealistic dreams – relatable! – and when her literal pig of a boss keeps piling on the work, only screaming violent lyrics at the top of her lungs makes everything better.

In three words: funny, relatable, quirky.

Watch if you like: workplace comedies like The Office and Parks and Rec, Aardman’s Creature Comforts Series, movies like Bridget Jones’ Diary and Fantastic Mr Fox.

Kotaro Lives Alone

What’s it about? Shin Karino, an unsuccessful manga artist, suddenly has to care for his new neighbour, a five-year-old named – you guessed it – Kotaro, who for some reason lives by himself in their apartment block with no adult supervision.

In three words: heartwarming, cute, slice-of-life.

Watch if you like: Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid, and Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters.

One Piece

What’s it about? In a seafaring world, a young pirate captain named Luffy, who has rubber-like powers, sets out with his crew to discover the mythical treasure known as ‘One Piece.’ Everything takes place on an alternate version of Earth, and one that is currently in the midst of the ‘Golden Age of Pirates’. This anime has over 1000 episodes, so be ready to commit to a long haul!

In three words: silly, action-packed, colourful.

Watch if you like: Shows like Our Flag Means Death, movies like Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer.

Spy x Family

What’s it about? The story follows a spy who has to ‘build a family’ to execute a mission, not realising that his adopted daughter is a telepath, and the woman he agrees to marry is a skilled assassin.

In three words: clever, heartwarming, fun.

Watch if you like: Movies like Mr and Mrs Smith, Spy Kids, and Kick Ass.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

What’s it about? It centres on a teenage boy recruited by a paramilitary organisation named NERV to control a giant cyborg called an Evangelion to fight monstrous beings known as Angels. The show takes place largely in a futuristic Tokyo years after a worldwide catastrophe.

In three words: epic, explosive, cerebral.

Watch if you like: Films like The Matrix, Donny Darko, and Pacific Rim.

Delicious in Dungeon

What’s it about? Laios and his friends Marcille and Chilchuck delve into an endless dungeon in search of his fallen sister, fighting monsters, starvation, and corruption. The knight Laios sets out with a skilled party to claim the treasure of a lost kingdom buried deep beneath the graveyard of a small village. What starts as an amusing guide to cooking monsters turns into something twistier than any of the protagonists could imagine.

In three words: hunger-inducing, thrilling, fun.

Watch if you like: DnD shows like Dimension 20 and Critical Role, and Huey’s Cooking Adventures (just kidding about that last one … or am I?).

Death Note

What’s it about? A battle of wits between a high school student and a mysterious detective known as ‘L’ where the student looks to cleanse the world of evil criminals with the help of a supernatural notebook while the detective wants to stop all these killings of criminals.

In three words: gripping, shocking, stylish.

Watch if you like: Movies like The Dark Night, Silence of the Lambs, shows like Dexter.

Cowboy Bebop

What’s it about? Amid a rising crime rate, the Inter Solar System Police (ISSP) set up a legalised contract system, in which registered bounty hunters (also referred to as ‘Cowboys’) chase criminals and bring them in alive in return for a reward. The series’ protagonists are bounty-hunters working from the spaceship Bebop.

In three words: fast-paced, punchy, jazzy

Watch if you like: Shows like Firefly and The Mandalorian, movies like Brick.

Great Pretender

What’s it about? The series follows Makoto Edamura, a modern-day, small-time con man in Japan, who gets swindled by French gentleman thief Laurent Thierry into following him from Tokyo to Los Angeles. There, Laurent entangles Edamura in his plot to swindle a powerful film producer/mafia don out of millions in a fake drug deal.

In three words: funny, zany, discombobulating.

Watch if you like: Movies like Ocean’s 11 and Logan Lucky, TV shows like Burn Notice and Good Girls.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

What’s it about? The series chronicles the struggles of the cursed Joestar bloodline against the forces of evil. Beginning in 1880, Part I follows Jonathan Joestar as he matures with and eventually combats his adoptive brother, the cunning, merciless Dio Brando. From there, each season jumps a generation or so to depict the adventures of the next Joestar heir.

In three words: intriguing, violent, bizarre (duh).

Watch if you like: Movies like Kill Bill, Hard Boiled and Rambo, and Everything Everywhere All At Once (if you thought it could do with less sentimentality and more bloodthirsty squirrels).

Japanese Tales of the Macabre

This Junji Ito manga-turned-series delves into the darkness of the human mind and brings its worst fears to light. Myths, legends, ghost, demons, or just a broken mind twisted by tragedy, every episode shows a different horror you didn’t know you should be scared of.

In three words: scary, fantastical, mind-melting.

Watch if you like: Goosebumps (and thought there should be a more adult version), Ring, and Hitchcock’s Vertigo.

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports