Anime TV shows that will be your new Netflix obsession
Choosing the best anime on Netflix UK is harder than you might think, thanks to the sheer volume of shows and films the streaming giant licenses.
Whether you're after fantastical adventures, deep science-fiction epics, or something a little more down to earth, Netflix is home to a big range of anime shows.
But what should you binge first? That's where we come in. Join us here at Digital Spy as we highlight some of the very best anime series available to watch now on Netflix in the UK.
In what might be the most relatable anime ever made, Aggretsuko revolves around an adorable red panda who screams death metal music when office life becomes too stressful.
This is the perfect show for anyone who's ever had to deal with unrealistic pressures and expectations from bosses and parents alike. So basically, everyone.
Cowboy Bebop is a 90s classic and some of the best TV ever made. Shinichiro Watanabe’s masterpiece was a huge crossover hit in Japan and the USA, and is one of the few shows with an English dub every bit as engaging as the original voice work.
Join the crew of the Bebop as they scramble to make a living hunting bounties across the stars in a show that’s equal parts comedy, sci-fi action, and drama.
Carole and Tuesday
Fifty years after humans colonised Mars, all music and culture is now created by computers who follow algorithms to create the perfect art. Enter the titular leads, Carole and Tuesday, who fight to remind humanity of the soul and power of "real" music.
Each frame is almost as gorgeous as the unforgettable songs which are scattered across every episode, and the show has more to say about our media landscape than you might expect.
Demon Slayer, aka the biggest anime franchise in the world right now, tells the story of Tanjiro – a young man whose family are murdered by demons and who must enlist in a special demon-slaying organisation to save the life of his one remaining sister.
The show gained a reputation and following thanks to its truly mind-blowing action scenes and animation style, but it also packs a lot of heart into every episode. Netflix UK is currently streaming Demon Slayer season one and the Mugen Train arc of season two.
Devilman Crybaby has been a mainstay in Japanese culture since 1972, but this new adaptation is arguably the most accurate version of the original manga yet, following Akira Fudo as he uses his demonic connection to protect the earth from literally going to hell.
Violent, sexual and seriously intense, Devilman Crybaby flips superhero tropes on their head with a nihilism matched only by the likes of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
The suitably-named Jojo's Bizarre Adventure begins with a rivalry between adopted brothers and quickly escalates into some of the most bombastic and stylish action you can find.
Still not convinced? Jojo writer and artist Hirohiko Araki is so talented that some of his work has been displayed at the Louvre (!!!). Not every show can boast those kind of credentials.
Little Witch Academia
Three first-year wizarding students get into mischief while solving mysteries at their prestigious academy. Sound familiar? Little Witch Academia shares some similarities with another major franchise, but this bright and colorful anime is also unique in how much heart it packs into every 20-minute episode. The perfect cozy watch for anyone looking for a little bit of magic in their lives.
Mobile Suit Gundam
Gundam is a cultural behemoth in Japan, akin to Star Trek and Star Wars in terms of both scope and influence, but the franchise had humbler beginnings back in 1978 when the first TV series was released.
Mobile Suit Gundam is an epic story of space empires, child soldiers, and yes – giant mechs. Although the full 50-episode series is not available on Netflix, we’d encourage anyone who’s curious to watch the compilation movies (Mobile Suit Gundam I-III) to get a sense of where this historic franchise began.
My Hero Academia
If you’re a comic book fan then you have to check out My Hero Academia. Set in a world where 80% of the population has superpowers, the show focuses on Midoriya who is born ‘quirkless’ until he meets a mysterious stranger and has his life changed forever.
Perfect for YA fans and MCU fans alike, the first 13 episodes of My Hero Academia are available on Netflix, and the other five seasons (!) are available on Crunchyroll.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion was tough to legally watch outside of Japan for years, but now that all 26 episodes are available on Netflix, prepare yourself for one of the bleakest, yet most extraordinary shows you'll ever see.
Don't let the giant mechas put you off either. This groundbreaking masterpiece is actually far more interested in the human condition than giant robots, and that's why it's an absolute must-see.
Pokémon: Indigo League
Over two decades have passed since Ash first set out to "catch them all" and Pokémon is more popular than ever. Countless games and movies have helped keep the adorable franchise fighting fit, along with plenty of different takes on the anime too, but honestly, why mess with perfection?
The very first season of Pokémon which aired way back in 1997 wanted to be the very best, the best there ever was, and it managed to achieve exactly that, inspiring schoolchildren worldwide to traverse the Kanto region and sing that theme tune on a never ending loop of joy.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Magical teen girls are a dime a dozen in anime, but Puella Magi Madoka Magica is so much more than your standard take on this trope. Instead of adopting the usual cliches, this show actively subverts them with a more painfully realistic exploration of the teen psyche than we're used to seeing on screen.
Come for the magical powers. Stay for the affecting story of friendship and regret which you'll be talking about long after you've finished all twelve episodes.
If you’re a fan of vikings (the historical people, and the show) then you have to watch Vinland Saga. The historical action/epic anime has everything you want from a Viking story, alongside some gorgeous animation and a compelling tale of revenge, murder, and war.
Vinland Saga season one is available to stream on Netflix in the UK, and new episodes of season release every Monday on the platform.
Violet Evergarden is an Auto Memory Doll, and her job is to record the stories and emotions of people who are no longer to share their own memories.
The themes this show tackles might be nothing new for fans of Phillip K Dick or Isaac Asimov, but the beautifully-detailed animation helps set this apart from usual sci-fi fare, so it's absolutely worth adding to your watch list. Also, if you get hooked, Netflix is also streaming the show's sequel movie and various OVAs.
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