Best Anime Series on Netflix Right Now (February 2022)

Animated content receives an incredible push from Netflix (for which we remain ever grateful). And with its own top-level original series beginning with Castlevania (four seasons) and continuing with recent additions like, Arcane and DOTA: Dragon’s Blood knocking it out of the park, the question over whether anime-style series should be categorized alongside the hand-drawn and computer-generated animation originated in Japan remains. The struggle is real.

Slow months for anime on the platform are the perfect time to slip these other animated series onto your watchlist. And January was definitely slow. It did, however, end on a high note with the release of the streaming giant’s first major animated title of the year, The Orbital Children.

If this series wasn’t already on your radar, I’ll try not to judge…much. When it comes to anime, Mitsuo Iso projects should always stir some excitement. So, block out some time STAT. The Orbital Children’s makes an immediate entry onto the best on Netflix list. And lucky you won’t even have long to wait for more; because the second six-episode season arrives February 11, 2022.

A few other re-watches and new seasons binges means, it’s time to keep this list reboot going with more new additions and returning series making a comeback. You never know when something will just ‘hit’ differently. That’s one of the great things about anime, there’s something for everyone and every mood. You love to see it.

Note: As this is a list of anime series and shows to watch, no anime movies were considered for this feature. This list applies to U.S. Netflix subscribers. Some titles may not currently be available on international platforms (yet). This list will also be periodically amended to remove series no longer available on Netflix, as well as add anime shows now available for streaming on the service.

The Orbital Children

Set in 2045 The Orbital Children, also known as Extra-terrestrial Boys and Girls, follows two children born on the moon and three from Earth. The story takes place in outer space (where internet and artificial intelligence are widespread) on a Japanese commercial space station. A massive accident leaves this group of kids stranded with little hope of rescue. They must rely on their wits, limited communications, and what’s available to try and avert further disaster…and possible death.

Written and directed by Mitsuo Iso (Ghost in the Shell, Rurouni Kenshin and Blade Runner: Black Lotus) this two part science fiction series not only takes anime to space, it stares directly into the distance and asks, are humans necessary? Iso takes direct aim at the ticking clock on Earth’s ability to adequately sustain human life. Then it ponders whether humans are capable of doing what’s necessary to save themselves.

Although this philosophical schism should come as no surprise given it is Mitsuo Iso, The Orbital Children blends smooth animation, a striking color palette, relatable character design – that puts its excellent voice cast to great use – turning this into a coming of age story and full blown existential (and literal) crisis that shouldn’t be missed.

Record of Ragnarok

If you’re a fan of The Seven Deadly Sins, list mate JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure or the just idea of the gods giving humanity one last chance to prove itself tournament-style appeals, then get into the twelve episode first season of Record of Ragnarok. The pace is binge-perfect, the animation traditional, and the battles over the top (it’s a race to seven victories out of thirteen rounds). If we must contemplate our own humanity and face the end, let it be watching 13 champions fight their way through the pantheon of gods.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

After a demon attack leaves most of his family slaughtered and his sister turned, Tanjirou Kamado swears to save her and avenge his family. He joins a mysterious group calling themselves the Demon Slayer Corps intent on doing anything to exact revenge. If you’ve finished all the few remaining seasons of Attack on Titans the streamer has in its library but still want your fight scenes crisp then give Demon Slayer a go. You won’t be disappointed.

7 Seeds

You’re minding your business, living your life. Then between one thing and the next, the world ends; leaving you behind. What would you do? Those left behind are confronted with giant bugs and flooded cities being reclaimed by nature. What a time to realize you weren’t ready for the apocalypse.

Aggretsuko

December 2021 meant a fourth season for Aggretsuko fans. This slice of life anime is full of subtle lessons about not letting life’s challenges get the best of you. Turns out, ten more episodes following 25 year-old Retsukothe as she deals with the highs and lows of her crap job as a police accountant, lackluster dating life, and life’s frustrations with heavy metal (and her werewolf-esque transformations) as her main outlet surprisingly still isn’t too much of a good thing. The simple art style is a perfect foil for the wry, witty writing and fully-loaded soundtrack. This is one series possibly destined tolist staple as long as it remains in the Netflix library.

Super Crooks

Based on the four-issue comic series by Mark Millar and Leinil Francis Yu, Super Crooks debuted on the platform in December. This prequel to the comic series follows Johnny Bolt and his band of crooks as they attempt to pull off the ultimate heist. This world of super-powered people offers a slick opening, simple, yet action-packed story full of quips, quirks, interesting characters, and crisp (Studio Bones) visuals. Although it won’t be to everyone’s taste (if redemption arcs and character growth are your bag then you’ll be left wanting), this 13-episode was definitely a 2021 surprise.

Akame ga Kill!

Adapted from the manga of the same name, Akame ga Kill! is a dark anime series with mature themes and some of the best character development to be had in shonen stories. Akame follows Tatsumi, the newest member of the assassins group Night Raid, as he and fellow assassins fight a corrupt Imperial Kingdom. With A-level writing and animation, this series doesn’t waste a single episode. If you like your character’s backstories morbid and your action brutal and bloody then Tatsumi’s journey to becoming an assassin with a cause is calling your name.

B: The Beginning

The vigilante “Killer B”’s turning the island of Cremona into their personal hunting ground. To catch this escalating killer, the Royal Investigation Service calls its ace – if eccentric – detective Keith Flick back into active duty. But the kills aren’t what they seem and Flick will need to unravel dangerous secrets in order to solve these crimes. If you’re in the mood for a cat-and-mouse detective story – with more than a few science fiction twists – then look no further than B: The Beginning. This visually stunning story offers a blend of mystery and horror for fans who like their anime to take ambitious risks (even if it doesn’t always stick the landing).

Code Geass

Sent to Japan as a hostage, Lelouch, a prince of Britannia, escapes after an encounter leaves him with the power to control anyone. Lelouch becomes the masked rebel known as Zero and begins to mercilessly exact vengeance against Britannia. Code Geass is a genre blend with action, charisma, and just the right amount of bombasticness to carry the story from episode to episode. This alternate history full of mechs and magic is a wild ride.

Dorohedoro

Set in a grim world, Dorohedoro is a quixotic and disorderly series about a big crocodile man who loves gyoza. It’s almost equal parts comedy and carnage. It’s a bizarre, gory, sci-fi world full of surprisingly compelling characters. With bold color and a brisk pace, Dorohedoro makes the most of its strange world to confuse and entertain.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

Based on the wildly popular manga series, this multigenerational story follows the adventures of a Joestar family member – each with the same titular nickname and endowed with immense psychic strength – as they battle against rivals (and evil) down through the ages. With each new protagonist comes an independent story that expands the universe and keeps the narrative fresh and engaging. It’s sly wit and frequent hattips to popular Western trends add just the right amount of hilarity to this adventure-driven fantasy. With five quality seasons (Stone Ocean being the latest installment) now available on Netflix as of December 1st, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’s addition to the best of list may just be a bit overdue.

Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop’s set in a world where a hyperspace gateway accident’s left Earth inhabitable. What remains of humanity colonized the rocky planets and moons in the solar system. Fifty years of rising crime prompts the Inter Solar System Police to legal bounty hunting and authorized hunters, known as Cowboys, to track and capture criminals across the system in order to bring them to justice. The series follows the crew of spacecraft Bebop as they hunt down criminals in 2071. This Japanese sci-fi noir and it’s now iconic soundtrack and vintage (but still solidly stylish) animation style offers up the space (mis)adventures of former syndicate member and hitman Spike, his former ISSP officer partner Jet Black along with a con artist with memory gaps, a wacky hacker and Ein a too-cute- for its own good genetically engineered Welsh Corgi with human-like intelligence.

The twenty-six episode series offers a genre-blending narrative, visually kinetic action, and audacious good fun for long-time fans and is a great place to start for those new to the anime space. Only time will tell if dropping the entire anime run just ahead of the live-action Cowboy Bebop November 19, 2021 premiere helped or hurt the movie franchise. Be sure to check out how IGN thinks film adaptation stacks up against the source material.

Bleach

Bleach is based on the massive manga run written and illustrated by Tite Kubo. It’s adaptation played a pivotal role in mainstreaming anime in the US. A fateful series of tragic and extraordinary events turn Ichigo Kurosaki from ordinary high schooler to a Soul Reaper. But when the Soul Reaper who granted him use of her powers is unable to regain them, Ichigo must not only master these new abilities but pick up the fight tracking down the corrupt spirits known as the Hollows to keep them from devouring human souls. Bleach is best as a gateway into anime; the first three seasons are possibly the best of the entire run. They are tense, action-packed, witty, and character-driven. With the promise of a new arc about the Thousand-Year Blood War in the offing for 2022, now’s a good time to start that series re-watch.

If you prefer your shounen occasionally NSFW and built on a narrative designed to explore themes like prejudice, choice, introspection then Beastars may be the slice of life fantasy series for you. This drama-heavy mystery series digs into the lives of anthropomorphic animals; where carnivores and herbivores are trying to coexist peacefully. If Zootopia-eques that dig into slice-of-life stories and self-discovery are what grab and hold your interest then Beastars is definitely an anime series for you.

Violet Evergarden

Based on a light novel series this thirteen episode show brings to life a story of post-war reintegration into civilian life through the lens of fourteen-year-old Violet Evergarden. This fantasy coming-of-age story tells the tale of the young orphan’s attempt to find purpose beyond soldiering. It’s an introspective and touching narrative with a phenomenal score. This series is why phrases like “visually stunning” won’t soon go out of use. It is simply one of the most beautifully animated series around.

Now’s an excellent time to revisit this show then pick up with Violet Evergarden: The Movie added to the streamer on October 13, 2021.

Your Lie in April

Based on the manga series of the same name, Your Lie in April follows piano prodigy Kousei Arima as he rediscovers his love of music, and ability to hear his piano in the aftermath of his abusive mother’s death. This show aims right for all those emotional weak spots as it takes you on a heartfelt journey full of music and drama. The pastel-drenched color palette and deceptively straightforward narratives will reel you in and make you a believer in music-driven stories henceforth.

Erased

Follow 29-year-old Satoru Fujinuma as he discovers an ability to time travel and ends up in the past trying to solve a murder mystery. This powerful ability he calls “Revival” permits him to jump back to the recent past (a few minutes) to change events and save lives. But after being accused of a murder himself, however, Satoru wakes up, as his younger self, eighteen years in the past. Soon realizing the crime he’s accused of is connected to an abduction and death of a classmate, Sartoru strikes out to unravel the mystery, prevent his classmate’s death, and ultimately clear his (future) name. Erased is a gripping adaptation of Kei Sanbe’s full manga run. The story is dynamic and brought to life through gritty and immersive animation. Set aside time, because it’s a binge-worthy series.

Hunter x Hunter

It’s pronounced Hunter, Hunter (the x really is silent). Young Gon sets out to find his missing father. Along the way, he makes new friends, enters a martial arts tournament, and comes face to face with creatures – on his quest to become a Hunter – that any horror prop master would kill to get their hands on. Gon’s enemies have zero chill so between the action sequences and well-crafted story Hunter x Hunter is some of the best shonen anime has to offer, ever. Come for the familiar premise, stay for the character depth, darker tone, and its engrossing and increasingly complex story arc.

The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.

All-powerful psychic Kusuo Saiki attempts to fly under the radar are continually thwarted and result in a high comedy. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. follows Saiki as he tries to navigate school drama free despite his magnetic ability to attract people. It’s quirky, full of lovable characters, and hijinks. Despite its lighter tone, The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. offers a quality crowd-pleasing story.

Great Pretender

Makoto Edamura’s a con man on the run. But don’t think that’ll stop him from falling head-first into new schemes instead of laying low. The Great Pretender is colorful, quick-step, offering all the elements of a perfectly designed heist film. If you like your anime stylish and your character’s too-slick for words, then this Netflix exclusive is tailor-made for you.

Parasyte: The Maxim

Based on the horror manga series by Hitoshi Iwaaki, Parasyte (re)sets the bar for horror anime. This stunning blend of sci-fi/horror isn’t just for horror fans. If you like your storylines built on dark humor and complex character development then following Schinchi Izumi as he struggles to establish a symbiotic relationship with the alien parasite intent on taking him over then, Parasyte is an absolute must watch.

New Anime Series on Netflix

The slow roll out of new anime series continues into February. Season two The Orbital Children may have to hold you. There is, however, a big anime movie release, Child of Kamiari Month to work into schedule. This Netflix exclusive (outside of Japan) is a fantasy anime directed by Takana Shirai. According to the trailer, it debuts on the streamer Tuesday, February 8th, 2022. But as for new anime series, Netflix is keeping some of those specific release dates close to the chest. So, we know Cyberpunk: Edgerunners (Season 1) is definitely slated for 2022; but not exactly when.

How We Choose the Best Anime Series on Netflix

The goal is to have a list of great anime series that span many subgenres. We’ve included a mix of popular classics like Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, along with relatively more obscure titles like The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. Whether you’re a complete anime newbie or a hardcore otaku, there’s something for everyone here.

Or follow these links for the best of other genres:

Related Posts

Next Week on Xbox: July 4 to 8

Welcome to Next Week on Xbox! In this weekly feature we cover all the games coming soon to Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows PC, and Game …

Read more

Star Ocean The Divine Force Launches October 27 on Xbox

Get ready for an adventure that’s out of this world… literally! Star Ocean The Divine Force launches October 27 on Xbox! This latest entry in the Star …

Read more

House Flipper – Renovating Old Fixer-Uppers is Available Now with Xbox Game Pass!

I feel like summer is always a busy season when it comes to the gaming industry – it’s no different in our company, so I wasn’t surprised …

Read more

Master Chief Dives into Fall Guys with the Spartan Showdown Challenges

The time has come, we’re finally doing it, the big Bean-117… Our team here at Fall Guys HQ is so excited to be collaborating with the incredible …

Read more

The Xbox App is Available Today on Samsung 2022 Smart TVs

Today, we’re excited to celebrate the launch of the Xbox App on Samsung 2022 Smart TVs, enabling you to play hundreds of cloud-enabled Xbox Game Pass games …

Read more

Cooking up a New Composition for Cuphead – The Delicious Last Course

Summary We chat with Composer Kris Maddigan and Studio MDHR Creative Director Chad Moldenhauer about the collection of brand-new songs for Cuphead – The Delicious Last Course. …

Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.