Japanese animation has become super popular in all of the world. Despite its reputation as nerdy and not for adults, anime remains one of the fastest growing genres in entertainment category. However, It can be hard to get into it if you choose the wrong series from the first-go. The good news is: Netflix has some of the best anime series of all time currently streaming on its service. The bad news is: they also have a lot of really bad series streaming as well.
Luckily, I’ve done the hard work of sorting through the platform and finding the hidden gems you’d love to watch. From Love Stories to Hardcore Action to Mystery thriller to Fantasy World, I’ve gathered the 20 best anime on Netflix for 2020.
20. AJIN: Demi-Human
Seasons – 2 (Two), Total Episodes – 26, First Aired in 2016, Genre- Dark,Suspenseful
Plot – 17 years ago, immortals first appeared on the battlefields of Africa. Later, rare, unknown new immortal lifeforms began appearing among humans, and they became known as “Ajin” (demi-humans). Just before summer vacation, a Japanese high school student is instantly killed in a traffic accident on his way home from school. However, he is revived, and a price is placed on his head. Thus begins a boy’s life on the run from all of humankind. Source- animenewsnetwork.com
Seasons – 1 (One), Total Episodes – 13, First Aired in 2012, Genre- Chilling,Scary,Suspenseful
Plot – Twenty-six years ago, in a third-year classroom of a middle school, there was a student named Misaki. As an honors student who was also good at sports, the charming boy was popular with his classmates. When he suddenly died, his classmates decided to carry on as if he was still alive until graduation. Then, in the spring of 1998, a boy named Sakakibara Kouichi transfers to that classroom, and he grows suspicious of the fearful atmosphere in that classroom. In particular, there is a beautiful, aloof girl named Mei Misaki who wears an eye-patch and is always alone drawing pictures. Written by (Summaries provided by ANN and AniDB)
Seasons – 1 (One) (Although Ghost In The Shell has Many Variants), Total Episodes – 12, First Aired in 2020, Genre- Action,Forceful,Suspenseful,Exciting
Plot – Hired as a mercenary unit, the former members of Japan’s elite Section 9 are faced with the sudden appearance of “Post-Human,” a being with tremendous intelligence and physical capabilities.
Seasons – 3 (Three), Total Episodes – 39, First Aired in 2015, Genre- Fantasy,Action,RPG
Plot- The final hour of the popular virtual reality game Yggdrasil has come. However, Momonga, a powerful wizard and master of the dark guild Ainz Ooal Gown, decides to spend his last few moments in the game as the servers begin to shut down. To his surprise, despite the clock having struck midnight, Momonga is still fully conscious as his character and, moreover, the non-player characters appear to have developed personalities of their own!Confronted with this abnormal situation, Momonga commands his loyal servants to help him investigate and take control of this new world, with the hopes of figuring out what has caused this development and if there may be others in the same predicament.
16. No Game No Life
Seasons – 1 (One), Total Episodes – 12, First Aired in 2014, Genre- Offbeat,Suspenseful
Plot- Two siblings are known to be two of the mysterious blank gamers they are called this because they never fill in their name. Blank gamers are considered to be the best gamers in the world having never lost a game no matter what game. The two siblings one day get a mysterious email and finally teleported onto an other world. The God of this world stated that their be no wars, no stealing and no violence instead everything is decided with a game, any game. Written by Milo Schouten
15. Tokyo Ghoul
Seasons – 2 (Two, but only First is available on Netflix but that’s okay as season 2 is a disaster), Total Episodes S1 – 24, First Aired in 2018, Genre- Dark,Vampire
Plot- suspense horror/dark fantasy story is set in Tokyo, which is haunted by mysterious “ghouls” who are devouring humans. People are gripped by the fear of these ghouls whose identities are masked in mystery. An ordinary college student named Kaneki encounters Rize, a girl who is an avid reader like him, at the café he frequents. Little does he realize that his fate will change overnight.
Seasons – 4 (Four), Total Episodes – 73, First Aired in 2014, Genre- Sports,Inspiring
Plot- Determined to be like the volleyball championship’s star player Shouyou, a short boy nicknamed “the small giant,” joins his school’s volleyball club.
13. Cells at Work!
Seasons – 1 (One), Total Episodes – 13, First Aired in 2018, Genre- Comedy,Biology
Plot- The human body consists of approximately 37 trillion cells. These cells are hard at work every day within a world that is your body. From the oxygen carrying Red Blood Cells to the bacteria fighting White Blood Cells, Get to know the unsung heroes and the drama that unfolds inside of you. Written by Crunchyroll
Seasons – 2 (Two), Total Episodes – 47, First Aired in 2015, Genre- Comedy,Absurd,Shoujo
Plot- The Earth is threatened by a powerful creature who destroyed 70% of the Moon with its power, rendering into the shape of a crescent moon forever. The creature claims that within a year, Earth will also be destroyed by him, but he offers mankind a chance to avert this fate. In class 3-E at Kunugigaoka Junior High School, he starts working as a homeroom teacher where he teaches his students not only regular subjects, but the ways of assassination. The Japanese government promises a reward of ¥10 billion (i.e. 100 million USD) to whoever among the students succeeds to kill their teacher, whom they have named “Korosensei” . However, this has proven to be an almost impossible task, as he has several inhuman abilities at his disposal, including the capacity of moving at Mach 20.
11. Yowamushi Pedal
Seasons – 3 (Three), Total Episodes – 87, First Aired in 2013, Genre- Sports,Inspiring
Plot- Onoda is a cheerful otaku looking to join his new school’s anime club, eager to finally make some friends. Unfortunately, the club has been disbanded and somehow he stumbled into the bicycle club.
Seasons – 1 (One), Total Episodes – 25, First Aired in 2011, Genre- Witty,Suspenseful
Plot- Okabe Rintarou, a university student who refers to himself as Crazy Mad Scientist Hououin Kyouma and his lab’s members work on a microwave device that can transfer messages to the past. Without getting captured, they should get it working in order to beat the evil organization, SERN and stop their evil plans.
Seasons – 2 (Two), Total Episodes – 25, First Aired in 2015, Genre- Action,Superpower
Plot- In a world of superhuman beings, Saitama is a unique hero, he can defeat enemies with a single punch. But being just one hero in a world filled with them, his life is empty and hollow: he gets no respect from anyone, he displays a laidback attitude to everything and for the most part, he finds his overall hero life pointless… and worst of all, he lost his hair due to intense training. These are the adventures of an ordinary yet extraordinary hero.
Seasons – 3 (Three), Total Episodes – 63, First Aired in 2016, Genre- Action,Superpower
Plot- In a world populated with superhumans, the superhero-loving Izuku Midoriya is without power. However, after the Quirkless dreamer Izuku inherits the powers of the world’s best superhero, All Might, his hopes of becoming the top hero are now possible. Once enrolled in the high school for heroes, U.A., Izuku soon discovers being a hero is much more complicated than it appears.
Seasons – 1 (One on netflix, however its an ongoing anime with over 900+ episodes), Total Episodes – 52, Aired in 2014, Genre- Suspenseful,detective
Plot- Shinichi Kudo, a seventeen year old master detective, had it all. He could solve any case brought to his attention and in record time. His highschool friend, Ran, is a karate expert, and her father is a bumbling P.I. who is driven crazy by the fact that Shinichi gets all of the great cases. One day, while Shinichi and Ran are at an amusement park, the pair become separated. Shinichi catches wind of a dirty deal going down, and spies on a pair of men in dark trenchcoats. He’s caught and the men use an experimental poison on him, intending to kill him. However, things don’t work exactly as planned. When Shinichi comes to his senses, he finds he’s shrunken down to the size of a fourth grader. He goes to the goofball inventor that lives next door to him for help, and the inventor agrees to give him a hand. When Ran comes looking for Shinichi, he and the inventor come up with a story saying that Shinichi is a child named Conan Edogawa (Conan as in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
6. Black Clover
Seasons – 3 (Three), Total Episodes – 153(only 52 episode available on netflix), First Aired in 2017, Genre- Magic,Action
Plot- Asta and Yuno were abandoned together at the same church and have been inseparable since. As children, they promised that they would compete against each other to see who would become the next Emperor Magus. However, latrine as they grew up, some differences between them became plain. Yuno was a genius with magic, with amazing power and control, while Asta could not use magic at all, and tried to make up for his lack by training physically. When they received their Grimoires at age 15, Yuno got a spectacular book with a four-leaf clover (most people receive a three-leaf-clover), while Asta received nothing at all. However, when Yuno was threatened, the truth about Asta’s power was revealed, he received a five-leaf clover Grimoire, a “black clover”. Now the two friends are heading out in the world, both seeking the same goal.
Seasons – 1 (One), Total Episodes – 12, First Aired in 2019, Genre- Fantasy,Action
Plot- The goddess Rista summons a hero to help her hard mode video game-like world. The hero, Seiya, is exceptional in every way, but he is incredibly cautious. He does things like buy three sets of armor (one to wear, a spare, and a spare for the spare) and go full power against weak slimes (just in case). Fifth Best Anime On Netflix.
Seasons – 1 (One), Total Episodes – 24, First Aired in 2018, Genre- Fantasy,Comedy
Plot- Lonely thirty-seven-year-old Mikami Satoru is stuck in a dead-end job, unhappy with his mundane life, but after dying at the hands of a robber, he awakens to a fresh start in a fantasy realm…as a slime monster. As he acclimates to his goopy new existence, his exploits with the other monsters set off a chain of events that will change his new world forever. Fourth Best Anime On Netflix.
Seasons – 1 (One), Total Episodes – 25, First Aired in 2016, Genre- Fantasy,Mind-Twister
Plot- Suddenly, high school student Subaru Natsuki has been summoned to another world on the way back from the convenience store. With the biggest crisis of his life being summoned to another world, and with no sign of the one who summoned him, things become even worse when he is attacked. But when he is saved by a mysterious, silver-haired girl with a fairy cat, Subaru cooperates with her to return the favor. When they finally manage to get a clue, Subaru and the girl are attacked and killed by someone. Subaru then awakens in the place he was summoned and notices he gained the ability “Returns by Death” and has become a helpless boy that only has the ability to rewind time by dying. Beyond the despair, can he save the girl from the fate of death? Third Best Anime On Netflix.
Seasons – 5 (Five), Total Episodes – 25, First Aired in 2009, Genre- Fantasy,Emotional
Plot- Two brothers lose their mother to an incurable disease. With the power of “alchemy”, they use taboo knowledge to resurrect her. The process fails, and as a toll for using this type of alchemy, the older brother, Edward Elric loses his left leg while the younger brother, Alphonse Elric loses his entire body. To save his brother, Edward sacrifices his right arm and is able to affix his brother’s soul to a suit of armor. With the help of a family friend, Edward receives metal limbs – “automail” – to replace his lost ones. With that, Edward vows to search for the Philosopher’s Stone to return the brothers to their original bodies, even if it means becoming a “State Alchemist”, one who uses his/her alchemy for the military. Second Best Anime On Netflix.
1. DEATH NOTE
Seasons – 1 (Five), Total Episodes – 37, First Aired in 2006, Genre- LEGENDARY!!!!!
Plot- After an intelligent yet cynical high school student begins to cleanse the world from evil with the help of a magical notebook that can kill anyone whose name is written on it, international authorities call upon a mysterious detective known as “L” to thwart his efforts.
These are the best anime on Netflix you can watch in my opinion. I’ll update this post with new titles once they launch.