Japanese anime has had a significant impact on western shows, from cartoons to new movies. Anime shows have long been categorized as a cartoon that nerds and geek fans of manga can only love.
But the truth is anime series has always pushed boundaries when it comes to sensitive topics or genres. With seemingly every imaginable area covered, there’s something for everyone. From gore, action shows to heartfelt series that can bring tears to your eyes.
With Netflix and Amazon Prime being the forerunners of bringing hidden animes to global audiences, there’s a lot to watch. The only problem with so many choices is that it’s straightforward to pick a show that’s not good.
But you need not worry as we have you skimmed through the best Anime shows and movies you can watch on these OTT platforms for any weekend.
Popular Anime Shows/Movies to Check Out on Netflix/Amazon Prime
Inuyashiki: The Last Hero (2017)
IMDB – 7.7/10
Ichirou Inuyashiki is going through a rough time in life, and the disinterest his wife and children show him doesn’t help. Now 58 years old, he frequently suffers from back pain and has to take care of himself without family members’ help.
Despite all his shortcomings, Ichirou still smiles, thanks to a Shiba Inu he adopted. But as fate would have it, things take a turn for the worse when he is diagnosed with cancer and given three months to live.
Heartbroken, Ichirou finds some courage and announces the news to his family. As usual, they show no interest in his sufferings and ignore him. This caused an emotional breakdown, with nowhere to go, he runs off to find his Shiba and hugs him tightly.
Something extraordinary happened at that moment as a bright light and smoke suddenly surrounded Ichirou. As soon as the commotion clears, he realizes something remarkable has happened to him. He is reincarnated as a robot wearing the skin of his previous body.
Now gifted with extraordinary powers, Ichirou must decide if he wants to save lives or become a killing machine. It is a great plot that syncs characters’ development seamlessly in a story about different ideas that boil down to human emotions. Watch one of the best Anime shows on Prime from here.
Re: Creators (2017)
IMDB – 7/10
Set in a futuristic world where humans can create new worlds and characters out of their imagination. Souta Mizushino, a high school student, dreams of becoming a creator one day based on his light novel. For inspiration, he turns to anime, observing every episode.
One fateful day, while he was engrossed in a fight scene, he somehow gets transported to the fight. Upon returning to his real world, Souta gets bewildered as he realizes the anime’s heroine, Selestia, has returned with him. Soon after, different characters from anime start popping up everywhere in Japan, crowding the streets.
Among them is a mysterious woman who knows more about creators and how new worlds are created than she should. Despite this, no one knows her real identity. As lines between fiction and non-fiction blur, Souta and Selestia work to uncover the truth behind these happenings.
A fantastic work of creativity in a world full of the same old isekai stories, ‘Re: Creators’ has turned the tables against everyone with this series. Watch one of the best sci-fi Anime shows with a Prime subscription here.
Blue Exorcist (2011)
IMDB – 7.5/10
In this fiction world, humans and demons are quite alike; some may even say they are the different sides of a coin. Their respective worlds, Assiah and Gehenna, are also similar. The only way to travel between these worlds is by finding a suitable vessel to possess.
Almost everyone can travel this way, except the demon king Satan, who is unsuccessful in finding a suitable host. His dreams of conquering Assiah have always been on hold until one day he realizes that maybe his son could grow into becoming the right host.
In a desperate attempt, he sends his son to Earth and waits for him to grow. On Earth, Rin Okumura now starts his journey as a human without possessing memories of his past. He leads an everyday life, spending most of his time getting into trouble. His peace is, however, disrupted when demons ambush him out of nowhere.
This fateful encounter revealed his true identity and the plans of his father. Reluctant to join in the oppression of Assiah, Rin decides to become an exorcist and defend the home he loves.
The animation makes the story enjoyable and exciting at the same time capturing viewers attention effortlessly. You can watch it on Netflix.
GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka (2000)
IMDB – 8.6/10
22-year-old Onizuka is the conqueror of Shonan and an ex-biker gang leader. He dreams of becoming the most outstanding teacher in Japan all because of his perverted mindset. He wants a loving teenage wife to take care of him when he gets old. Still, his delinquent behavior is not all there is to Onizuka.
His talent is put to the test after selecting him as the homeroom teacher of the infamous class 3-4. This class has a special love for their teachers, waging psychological warfare, they force everyone to resign. However, Onizuka is someone they have never faced before.
His life as a delinquent helps him understand the root of their problems and solves them effectively. Slowly, he realizes that school can be fun if they are under great teacher Onizuka’s guidance.
A complete package comprising every human emotion possible. Although the anime is old, it still packs quite a punch. You can watch it with your Netflix subscription.
A Silent Voice (2016)
IMDB – 8.1/10
As responsible citizens, it’s fundamental to comprehend that nobody ought to be tormented because they are disabled. ‘A Silent Voice’ delightfully catches the account of Shoko Nishimiya, a girl who is deaf and always has to change schools.
Life’s difficult for her as she is harassed day by day at her new school, and Shoya Ishida, her colleague, made it his motivation to make her life hopeless. It developed to such a point that she needed to change her school once more. Shoya was alienated for this and lost every one of his companions. A long time later, he shows out the way of making up for himself. It hits home for the watchers as they get lost while watching, making it one of the most popular anime movies. Watch it on Netflix from here.
Great Pretender (2020)
IMDB – 8/10
Edamura Masato considered himself Japan’s best double-crosser until he encountered Laurent, a French vacationer. While attempting to trick the vacationer and take his cash, Edamura himself got cheated and understood that Laurent did it.
Edamura follows him to Los Angeles and soon discovers that Laurent has connections with the international crime organization and himself manages the mafia. Now caught in unbelievable tricks, will Edamura find an exit plan, or does he have a place with the mafia until the end of time?
Great Pretender’ has an extraordinary story, and dazzling liveliness makes for a remarkable experience story. Watch one of the most comic Anime shows on Netflix from here.
Vinland Saga (2019)
IMDB – 8.8/10
Young Thorfinn’s favorite bedtime stories were about listening to old sailors and how they reached the dreamland, Vinland. In contrast to his homeland, it is said that Vinland is warm, fertile, and no one needs to fight anyone.
His father always reminded him that it’s never okay to hurt anyone. But who knew this would be the farthest thing from truth in his life. The war between England and Danes doesn’t feel like it will stop anytime. Vikings, who work as mercenaries, are thriving because of this.
The balance scale will tip to whichever side the Vikings decide to join, and they are more than happy to take the spoils of war. Amidst fierce battles, Thorfinn must find a chance to kill Askeladd, the man responsible for killing his father.
They came across the frozen seas from the distant north and brought the sounds of war with them. Cold-blooded killings, the selfishness of humans, and what it means to be on a battlefield makes this a saga you’ve never experienced before. Watch it with your Prime Video login from here.
IMDB – 6.8/10
Guts, our protagonist, is destined to be chased by the demons till the day he takes his last breath. Not willing to accept this fate, Guts embarks on a remarkable journey to overturn the wheel of fortune while being chased by relentless demons.
With a focused mind, he picks up the dragonslayer sword and vows to take revenge on a person he once considered his closest friend. Guts meet some unlikely allies along his journey in the form of a small elf and a thief. This ragtag group now must face dangers like nothing before.
The sound effects are on point that you may feel the infamous dragonslayer is being used upon you. Watch it on Netflix, here’s the link for Berserk.
Ghost in the Shell: Arise (2013)
IMDB – 7.2/10
The year is 2027; it has been a year since the end of the fourth nuclear war. New Port City is still reeling from losses and the aftermaths of the war. Just as it seemed that good things are about to come, a sudden self-propelled mine causes an explosion wreaking havoc among the citizens.
On top of this, a military officer accused of accepting bribes when handling arm-deals is gunned down. Upon investigating the situation, Daisuke Aramaki from the Public Security Section comes across Motoko Kusanagi.
She is a cyborg considered to be a wizard-level hacker and is assigned to the 501st secret unit. Based on Daisuke’s and Batou’s suspicion, Kusanagi is placed under surveillance. Bold and cryptic serves as a perfect definition of this series, which serves as a reference for the best sci-fi anime show. The script exuberates sophistication making it one of the most sought Anime shows even after all these years. You might want to set your VPN for Japan to watch this on Netflix and here’s the link for it.
The End Of Evangelion (1997)
IMDB – 8.1/10
After the final angel disappears, Nerv can shift his focus towards his last enemies; Seele commands the human. Shinji Ikari gets very depressed as the series nears its end, and he must make an important decision.
Does he want to accept the existence of humanity or renounce everything about humans, including their individualities? Meanwhile, on the other side of the arc, Nerv and Rei Ayanami approach Lillith to accomplish their goals.
‘The End Of Evangelion’ focuses on an alternative ending to the famous series ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion.’ This time, the world’s fate is at stake as every character gets ready for the final battle.
It is one of the psychological anime shows that drags its audience into a world full of problems. The animation is incredibly flawless, and the sound effects complement each scene—some of the best anime movies on Netflix. You can watch it here.
Food Wars (2015)
IMDB – 8.2/10
Some used to help his father in the family-run eatery. Despite his appearance, Souma can be considered a prodigy as he easily comes up with new dishes. These inventions are often a weird combination of different materials and spices that no one uses together.
Due to some reasons, Souma’s father quit working at the eatery and joined his friend in a new venture. To save the restaurant, Souma decides to study at the prestigious Engetsu Teahouse Culinary Academy.
Now he must overcome all problems that come his way if he wants to graduate. A feat very few manage to accomplish, and those who do stand at the top of the culinary world. An anime on food is sure to pique the interest of many; the hilarity, the seriousness, and the rejections make this a binge-worthy show. Watch Food Wars on Netflix.
No Game, No Life (2014)
IMDB – 7.8/10
Two gamers are shrouded in mystery as they never enter their name; however, they consistently overwhelm each game they play. Their notoriety developed, and they have been named the Blank gamers who stayed undefeated in each game they played.
A dubious email grabbed their eye as they had been tested to a round of chess and guaranteed a prize if they beat him. Naturally, they won, and their award was getting teleported to a dreamland where a game decides everything.
There are no wars, no brutality, no gore; all things considered, a quiet game is played where the two sides put down their wager. This anime shocks you for reasons unknown, to be something entirely else from what you may accept. A mix of satire, hilarity, and betting makes this one an extraordinary watch. Watch this roller coaster of a mini-series on Netflix from here.
Sword Art Online (2012)
MyAnimeList – 7.58/10
Set in a world where virtual reality has improved immensely, allowing the launch of an online game called Sword Art Online. A new technology known as NerveGear allows the players to dive into the online game’s fictional world. What’s more interesting is that individuals can control their characters only using their thoughts.
Kazuto Kirigaya, nicknamed Kirito, is among the very few who get the privilege to try out this game. He gets transferred to the magical world of Aincrad, where medieval weapons and dangerous monsters are a real thing.
However, they soon realize that something is aloof; they can’t log out and are trapped in the game. What’s more threatening is dying in-game means dying in real life. To return home safely, they need to clear the 100 levels of the game.
Kirito must now navigate carefully and be wary of foes and learn to trust his allies if he wants to make it out alive. The animation is particularly sound effects; the characters grow close throughout the episode and real life. Watch it on Netflix from here.
IMDB – 8.5/10
Satoru Fujinuma is gifted with a mysterious power that sends him back whenever a tragedy happens. Satoru calls this power Revival and uses this to save lives whenever possible. However, one day he is accused of murdering someone he was close with.
This sudden accusation causes Satoru to be once again transported in the past, but this time the past is 1988, 18 years back from his present time. After some investigations, he concludes that the era that he is in is somehow related to the mysterious murder.
He finally gets the chance to make things right and vows to protect the ones he loves. The anime offers many thought-provoking philosophical themes along with many real ones. The main characters are very realistic and relatable as well. Watch it on Netflix.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009)
IMDB – 9.1/10
Two brothers are left all alone after losing their mother to an incurable disease. They turn to alchemy and use taboo magic in hopes of resurrecting their mother. Although they were not successful, they still had to pay a toll for using this forbidden magic.
Edward, the older brother, lost his leg; meanwhile, Alphonse, the younger brother, lost his entire body except for his soul. In a panicked state, Edward sacrifices one of his arms to affix his brother’s soul to metal armor.
One of their family friends fixes Edward’s body by giving him automail to work as his arm and leg. In hopes of returning their body to the normal state, Edward vows to obtain the philosopher’s stone. To receive this artifact, he must join the military and work for them.
An all-rounded anime that has a fantastic plot without any potholes. The first half is about the characters and their journey’s while the second half picks up the pace, delivering nail-biting moments. Watch it on Netflix from this link.
One Piece (1999)
IMDB – 8.7/10
Gol D. Roger was once considered the greatest pirate king. He had obtained unsurmountable amounts of treasure, power, and fame that landed him this title. Finally, after years of pursuit, he was captured and ordered to be executed.
While awaiting his death, Roger reveals that his most treasured One Piece is buried somewhere along the Grand Line. This news sent everyone in a frenzy as hordes of pirates began flocking toward the Grand Line in hopes of becoming the next pirate king.
Twenty-two years after his death, One Piece has still not been recovered. In comes our protagonist, Monkey D. Luffy, a young kid who dreams of becoming the pirate king.
Although the anime is still on-going, there are lots of meaningful life experiences in every episode. The anime teaches you to put your 100% if you want to achieve something. Watch it on Netflix.
IMDB – 8.2/10
Lisa Tepes is the beloved wife of Vlad Tepes, commonly known as Dracula. One day while Dracula was out on his journey, his wife, Lisa, is accused of practicing witchcraft by the Church. Soon she is put on a stake and burned to death in the city center.
Upon hearing this news, Dracula gets heartbroken and vows revenge on the people of Wallachia. He unleashes an army of monsters on the citizens, killing anyone that dare resists or hides.
Trevor Belmont, the last surviving member of one of the most famous monster-killing families, happens to be at the site of the incident. To everyone’s surprise, he agrees on the task of taking the war to Dracula itself.
The production, the cast, the plot, and critical element are present in this anime, making it one of the best anime to watch on Netflix.
Liked this list? We got tons of more Anime shows and movies lists you might be interested to check out:
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Jahnavi is a content writer who loves to binge-watch on Netflix, Disney+, and Prime in her free time. She loves to discuss plots, stories and characters – real and imaginary with anyone who enjoys it.