Netflix is well aware that one of the crucial pillars of its platform is anime. It has an intense obsession with adapting animated series into live-action, which doesn’t always turn out well – well, let’s be honest, it never does – and yet, it continues to release new anime shows either created directly by Netflix or brought from timeless classics.
That’s why today we bring you the top 10 best anime series available on the platform… as long as they are short. Considering that there are shows with multiple seasons, we have focused on those that can be binge-watched in several sittings, serving as an introduction to the genre before diving into longer series like Naruto or Attack on Titan. They are ranked from worst to best according to our own criteria, although there is something for everyone’s taste.
10. Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese Tales of the Macabre
Junji Ito is the god of horror manga, and that’s something everyone knows. He is the best-selling author in the genre worldwide, and his recognizable style has made him one of the most successful mangaka globally. With the knowledge of his popularity, Netflix premiered an anthology series last year featuring some of his best stories. I must say that it falls quite short of the greatness of the manga, but as an introduction to his world, it is very interesting.
09. Japan Sinks: 2020
2020 was a catastrophic year, and Netflix was well aware of it. “Japan Sinks” is a post-apocalyptic series that depicts how, after the Tokyo Olympics, a series of catastrophic weather phenomena put Japan in peril. Following an earthquake in Tokyo, the Mutō family tries to escape the city as the effects of the catastrophe escalate. It’s a very interesting survival series, although it may feel a bit outdated for obvious reasons.
08. B: The Beginning
This 12-episode miniseries encompasses all the elements that define classic anime: cutting-edge technology, augmented humans, action, thriller, and a hint of romance. It’s a perfect series to binge-watch and get captivated by the format. Moreover, it has a second season of six episodes that serves as a sequel to the first one.
An anime about mafias with two friends as the main characters. The series follows the story of Worick Arcangelo and Nicolas Brown. Known as “Benriya,” they make a living as mercenaries in the chaotic streets of Ergastulum. It’s a short series that delves even deeper in the original manga, allowing fans to continue the story in a transmedia format.
06. Ajin: Demi-Human
This thirteen-episode anime also has several movies based on the same storyline, as it is one of the most popular seinen manga in Japan. It tells the story of Kei Nagai, a high school student who discovers he is an Ajin, immortal beings hunted by governments around the world who are interested in understanding them and exploiting their immortality for their own gain. Once again, it’s a classic anime in terms of format and genre, perfect for beginners.
As controversial —with claims of promoting gambling addiction— as it is addictive, this 12-episode series tells the story of a realm that exists between life and death, where everything revolves around bets and games of chance. The highest bidders can ascend to heaven, while the rest descend to hell. Despite initial impressions, the tension it creates is incredible.
This surprising short anime on Netflix narrates the life of Satoru, a young man with the ability to time travel, who returns to his childhood after finding his mother murdered. Wrapped in a macabre thriller, he must solve a complex puzzle to save her life in the future. It is one of the most perfect anime series for a binge-watch marathon and one of the most intriguing offerings from Netflix’s original content.
03. Black Lagoon
This two-season anime is a classic when it comes to discussing anime of the 21st century. Black Lagoon narrates the adventures of a team of mercenary pirates, known as the Lagoon Company, who operate in the lawless city of Roanapur, a fictional port city in Thailand, set in the Southeast Asia region in the early to mid-1990s. It is a series filled with escapades and adventures that continues to be among the favorites of the audience.
02. Devilman Crybaby
This incredible gem from Netflix only needs 10 episodes to create, through a unique style, the best adaptation of Devilman to date. It is a series with a wild pace and infinite possibilities that explores to the deepest level. The story updates the original setting from the 1970s manga to the 21st century but retains the basic premise of Go Nagai’s manga and adds a touch that suits it perfectly.
01. Neon Genesis Evangelion
Who hasn’t heard of Evangelion at some point? It is one of the greatest anime of all time and it only needed 26 episodes to become so. Created by Hideaki Anno, this series tells the story of Shinji Ikari, a young boy who is forced to pilot an EVA (a giant mecha robot) to combat the threat of the massive Angels attacking Earth. But what initially appears as an action and adventure series quickly evolves into an incredible philosophical journey.
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