7 Best Netflix Original Anime series to watch
The updated list of top exclusive anime on Netflix streaming
Netflix, one of the most important a subscription-based streaming service, is showing an increasing interest towards the anime genre. In fact, the American streaming platform is planning more anime content, striking deals with 4 producers in Japan and Korea such as Japan’s NAZ, Science SARU, MAPPA, and Korea’s Studio Mir. Let’s see the list of best Netflix original animes updated in 2021!
What is a Netflix original anime?
- 1 What is a Netflix original anime?
- 2 Devilman Crybaby.
- 3 Violet Evergarden.
- 4 Great Pretender.
- 5 Karegurui – Compulsive Gambler.
- 6 B: The Beginning.
- 7 Beastars.
- 8 Dorohedoro.
- 9 Shaman King.
- 10 Other interesting Netflix Original Anime series.
- 11 A.I.C.O. Incarnation.
- 12 High-Rise Invasion.
A Netflix original anime is a anime series or anime movie either produced by Netflix or for which the streaming platform has obtained exclusive international distribution.
The list of the best Netflix Original Anime series
Devilman Crybaby is a 2018 Japanese anime series based on Go Nagai’s manga series Devilman. The series is directed by Masaaki Yuasa ì and produced by Aniplex and Dynamic Planning. Devilman Crybaby re-adapts the 1970 scenario of the manga series Crybaby updates the 1970s into a 21st-century setting: Devilman Crybaby is a dark gothic anime which does not bring back anything from the audience.
The plot of Devilman Crybaby.
The plot of Devilman Crybaby focuses on Akira Fudo, a weak and unassuming teenagers who is exposed by his childhood friend Ryo Asuka to the exixtence of the demons. Demons or ‘devils‘ cannot take form without a living host. However, if the will of an individual is strong enough, they can overcome the demon and make its power their own, becoming a Devilman. Ryo and Akira goes to a nightclub Sabbath: an immoral party where people start become possessed by demons. In a reckless attempt to save his best friend, Akira unwittingly merges with the devil Amon and becomes a Devilman, gaining an immense power. Devilman Crybaby offers a pessimistic view of the world governed by chaos and purseud by the violence of the humans. Akira Fudo, half man and half demon has now an immense power balanced by an insatiable and primeval needs of his new partner, Amon, the demon.
Is Devilman Crybaby a good anime?
Devilman Crybaby has raised very different critics by anime fans and experts. Someone has referred it has a masterpiece, but Devilman Crybaby has few weak points (for example, in some scenes on the quality od the drawings). According to us, it is a controversial anime that should be watched because of the raw storytelling which does not spare anything to the spectator. Overall Score: 85/100.
Violet Evergarden is a light novel produced by Kyoto Animation composed by 13 episodes and two OVAs. In fact, the second movie Violet Evergarden The Movie has been released in Japan on 18 September 2020. The series has been awarded as the best aninmation at 2019 Crunchyroll Anime Awards. We wrote a complete review of Violet Evergarden here (Violet Evergarden: is it possible to learn emotions?)
The plot of Violet Evergarden.
The anime is about Violet a young teenager girl who has already witnessed the atrocity of war by fighting as front line soldier. The difficult childhood of Violet has completely dried up her kindness and she behaves like an emotionless doll. After the loss of Mjor Gilbert in battle, she joins an Auto-Memory Doll company whose goal is to write letters and convey feelings for other people. Violet aims to reintegrate into society and finally understanding the meaning of Major Gilbert last words ‘I love you’.
Is Violet Evergarden a good anime?
Violet Evergarden is – with no doubts – an excellent anime series. The quality of the drawings, their colors and realism is quite difficult to find in other anime productions (maybe is comparable with Your Name or Weathering with You). The audience will remained astonished by the impressive and touching soundtracks which creates a perfect bound with the feelings of the audience. You should skip this anime series only of you detest light now or you feel too depressed after watching that. Overall score 88/100.
Great Pretender is a crime-comedy anime series produced by Studio Wit. It’s a very recent Netflix Original anime released in 2020. The anime series is constituted by 23 episodes and the storyplot is organised in (crime) cases. We wrote a dedicated article about here (5 reasons to watch Great Pretender)
The plot of Great Pretender.
The anime has an ‘episodic’ structure that can resemble that of Lupin III anime series. The Great Pretender plot follows the story of Makoto Edamura a very confident young Japanese guy who survives by cheating the other people. After being cheated out of his money by Laurient, he joins the adventures of the group ‘Great Pretenders‘ whose goal is very close to that of Robin Hood to restore social equality.
Is Great Pretender a good anime?
Great Pretender is one of the best anime produced by Netflix recently. The graphic design and music is very good even though not outstanding. The impression that Great Pretender leaves to the audience is similar to some other anime products like the most known Detective Conan (Case Closed) and Lupin III. Overall score 85/100.
Karegurui – Compulsive Gambler.
Karegurui is an anime adaptation produced by Studio MAPPA aired in Japan in 2017. A second season, Karegurui xx has been aired in 2019 for a comprehensive of 24 episodes of the two seasons. This anime original anime series is very peculiar since is based on the Homura Kawamoto’s manga who treats the thrilling and psychology of gambling.
The plot of Karegurui.
Kakegurui takes place in Hyakkaou Private Academy, a prestigious school where the student are the most wealthy and privileged students in all of Japan. This welathy and privileged students bet their fortunes against one another regularly, and those who become in debt are practically slaves to the holders of their wealth. The show focuses of Yumeko Jabami, a new student who gambles for the fun of it and is really good at it. Her actions end up disrupting the student hierarchy of Hyakkaou Academy, causing the Student Council to come up with ways to stop her. Throughout the show, Yumeko meets Ryouta Suzui and fellow gambling gal Meari Saotome who help her as she gambles to her heart’s content. Ironically, Yumeko’s first gamble at the academy is against Meari, and it is here where the first major problem of the show lies.
Is Karegurui a good anime?
Karegurui it’s not a recommendable show for anyone unless you really fancy a psychological thriller that deals with a crazy cast of characters. The show itself takes place at Hyakkaou Academy. It’s a peculiar school that prepares students for proficiency related to strategizing, mental strength, and of course gambling. To survive, you have to outsmart your opponents and become part of the hierarchy. In other words, it’s survival of the fittest. Overall score: 83/100.
B: The Beginning.
B: The Beginning is another Netflix Original Anime that deserve a mention. The anime series is composed by two season (B: The Beginning and B: The Beginning succession) for a total of 16 episodes with the last season aired since March 2021. Another sequel and anime renewal is expected to complete the story.
The plot of B: The Beginning.
B: The Beginning is a crime-supernatural story set on the fictional European archipelago nation of Cremona. One side, we have the detective Keith Flick who returns to the force after years in isolation to find his sister’s murderer. He believes they may be connected to a series of killings by a man the local police have named Killer B. In a parallel storyline, a young man named Koku uses his superpowers to fight a group of genetically-altered humans called “Reggies.” These two storylines will find a common meeting point on this anime Netflix Original.
Is B: The Beginning a good anime?
The results we attend after watching B: The Beginning is quite fine. It’s entertaining, and kept me hooked for the entire time I was watching. There’s probably a lot more religious and philosophy concepts about life and death and humanity sprinkled in the story and the ending of the series is actually relatively conclusive. It’s rare to see an anime of such high quality to take as many risks as B: The Beginning does. Sure it stumbles a bit along the way, but the final result is undeniably an ambitious and thoroughly entertaining ride worth watching. Overall score: 83/100.
The story takes place in a world of modern, civilized, anthropomorphic animals with a cultural division between carnivores and herbivores. The series takes its name from the in-universe rank of Beastar, an individual of great talent and notoriety. The anime series consists of 24 episodes (12 episodes each season) with the second season of Beastars scheduled to be premiered on July 2021.
The plot of Beastars.
In the wild, the food chain dictates that carnivores are at the top. No matter what the herbivores do, they cannot match up to the strength of these creatures meant to feast upon them. However, if there was a civilized world for animals, would carnivores and herbivores be able to live peacefully? Would a carnivore be able to resist its natural instincts and the temptation of tasting the flesh of others, especially that of a herbivore while being in the same room? In the world of Beastars we’re thrown into the story with the murder of an alpaca named Tem in Cherryton Academy. This gives rise to a level of tension between herbivores and carnivores, and of course, because it’s a developed society with certain “laws”, the carnivores are at the receiving end. The herbivores don’t say it but doubts begin to surface. And then, we have our main character, Legosi, a gray wolf, who’s a very gentle and calm carnivore otherwise suddenly awaken to his carnivorous instincts on a creepy night and almost eat a drawf white rabbit.
Is Beastars a good anime?
In Beastars, the psychological side is accurate and clever, the animal prejudices -which are used as metaphoras- along the societal structure and way the world works, do not only have their real life relevance and political satire factors in them, but do hell of an impressive job creating the anime’s very own universe. Despite we were skeptical about the CGI and 3D visuals we were thoroughly impressed and astonished by its brilliant imagery. Overall score: 80/100.
Studio MAPPA has managed to bring the atmosphere of the manga story of Dorohedoro. A good anime direction achieves an authentic madness along with a rhythm that feels fast and being faithful almost completely with the story and a scenario very well accomplished. The original manga story first appeared on manga on November 2000, has been adapated into a 12-episodes anime. Six OVA episodes were also made available on Netflix on October 2020 as one long singular episode, referred as episode 13.
The plot of Dorohedoro.
Dorohedoro takes place in a post apocalyptic future where class differences are at the forefront. There are two kinds of people: Magic users and the others. While magic users live in a better world, the people who can’t use magic live in a place called ‘Hole‘ and only magic users can travel between two worlds. For magic users, denizens of Hole are just crumbs and because of that, they are using them for their magic experiments. The inhabitants of the Hole try to fight back but their efforts are often inadequate. The protagonist, Caiman, is one of the people that live in Hole. He appears to be the victim of a magic-user, who laid a curse on his head and he has no memories of his previous life. Dorohedoro is an character driven anime where Caiman, long with his friend Nikaido, is searching for his real identity.
Is Dorohedoro a good anime?
The world of Dorohedoro is one of the rarest and most original ever seen. It’s violent, dark, confusing, with many strange things in it, without falling into the typical. All accompanied by a surreal and unpolished artistic style that gives you the feeling of being dirty and visceral, using elements such as magic, demons, curses, accompanied by comedy and dark humor, all with a steampunk aesthetic and that some might define like gothic-cyberpunk. Overall score: 80/100.
Shaman King is the second anime adaptation of Hiroyuki Takei’s manga of same name. The anime is directed by Jouji Furuta at animation studio Bridge. The series aired on April 1, 2021 in Japan. Netflix acquired the series and is set to debut on the streaming service on August 9, 2021.
The plot of Shaman King.
Shamans are extraordinary individuals with the ability to communicate with ghosts, spirits, and gods, which are invisible to ordinary people. The Shaman Fight—a prestigious tournament pitting shamans from all over the world against each other—is held every five hundred years, where the winner is crowned Shaman King. Shaman King follows the adventures of a 13-year-old shaman, Yoh Asakura, and his teammate a samurai warrior spirit, who traverse the world fighting evil spirits and misguided shamans on their journey to be the next Shaman King.
Is Shaman King (2021) a good anime?
The original shaman king was a huge part of my childhood, even before I was aware of anime. I used to watch it in primary school with my classmates. Overall, Shaman King 2021 is a gift from the Great Spirit. Pompadours off to Hiroyuki Takei and Studio Bridge!
I actually like Shaman King 2021 Netflix version a lot. It has a faster pacing, but in a good way. It has a more modern, fresh shonen vibe to it. The characters also have stronger personalities and their reasons to fight are highlighted more than in the original.
Why Netflix Shaman King is worth watching.
So the story up until now was within the expectations. I look forward to see how they will adapt some arcs later in the story. Fingers crossed
The art is very good. It kept the important aspects of the old shaman king, while giving it a contemporary and fresh vibe. The animation is very good, however I can still spot some scenes where the animators were a bit lazy. That said, it doesn’t ruin the mood though. The sound is ok.
The characters are a forte. They were done very well in this version. Their reasons and backstories seem more clear and they have more potential for development, if you look past the superficial tsundere personality of half of the characters.
I genuinely enjoy this show and I always look forward to the next episode. The fights are well done, and usually there’s at least one per episode. Overall score: 85/100.
Other interesting Netflix Original Anime series.
In the following list we have tried to collect some other few netflix original animes that, even less famous that the already mentioned ones, are quite fair and maybe deserve a try.
A.I.C.O. -Incarnation- is anime series produced by studio Bones. The series premiered worldwide on Netflix on March 2018.
A.I.C.O. Incarnation is an old school sci-fi thrill ride full of great action, plot twists, a good protagonist, and a story with a surprising amount of depth.
The plot of A.I.C.O. Incarnation
AICO takes place a futuristic city known for its advanced researching facilities. One day a catastrophe known as the “Burst” puts a swift end to the city’s utopian-like harmony. The Burst creates a giant mass of red matter that wreaks havoc on the outskirts of the city, killing dozens of people.
Through some relatively wordy exposition, we learn that researchers experimenting with artificial life were the cause of the Burst. Rather than incinerating the monster, the researchers choose to leave it be while they hide behind a wall around their city. They seek to learn how to create artificial humans by studying the monster, without caring about the actual people still surviving.
Only days before this catastrophe, our main character gets into a car accident, killing her father but leaving her barely alive. Both the mother and the brother of the protagonist, Aiko Tachibana, were killed in the Burst. Two years after the accident, Aiko is rehabilitating, temporally wheelchair-bound. She lives alone, peacefully ignorant of the horrors that occur just beyond the border, but with only the doctors to go home to every day. That is until the enigmatic Yuya Kanzaki transfers to her class, quickly becoming the most mysterious character in the show. From the moment they first meet, her character arc begins.
Is A.I.C.O. Incarnation a good anime?
Notably, every aspect of the high-tech future of AICO is intruiging, after discovering that Aiko body is an artificial copy created by her father and his fellow researchers before she was nearly killed in her car accident. Yuya urges her that she’s the key to stopping the chaotic red matter and that she must travel with him to outside the city to the matter’s source known as ”Primary Point”. The writer details so many pieces of technology in the setting and allows the characters to interact with, and the internal logic stays consistent that makes AICO anime an interesting work. Overall score: 75/100
High Rise Invasion is an original net animation (ONA) anime series adaptation by Zero-G which has been airing on Netflix since February 2021. The anime series is composed by 12-episodes.
The plot of High-Rise Invasion
High school student Yuri Honjō finds herself lost in an “abnormal space” where countless skyscrapers are connected by suspension bridges and “masked figures” mercilessly slaughter their confused and fleeing victims. To survive in this hellish world, she has two choices: kill the masked figures or run.
Is High-Rise Invasion a good anime?
High-Rise Invasion has an interesting premise and a very strong start, filled with mystery and suspense, but as it went on, those aspects decreased and the flaws of the show became more apparent. Overall score: 70/100