Best Anime Series Streaming On Netflix: Rurouni Kenshin, Deathnote, Mushishi And More


Netflix has seen the demand for Japanese animation and has been trying to please anime fans by expanding its library of series and movies for the past year.

The streaming service's library is still currently limited and may not satisfy the voracious appetites of true anime fans, but there are some notable selections worth watching, regardless. The service offers a meager collection of anime titles across genres, but at least there are some great series to watch, if that is any consolation.

Netflix does not seem to have long-term rights to the anime in its library, but it does offer some titles that exclusively stream.

Take a look at the best titles we've seen in Netflix's library.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Dubbed)

Puella Magi Madoka Magica is an excellent series that pulls the rug from under the magical girl trope we all know. Unlike the more classic titles from the magical girl genre, Madoka, her fellow magical girls, and the cat-like alien, Kyubey, are not simply fighting bad elements to keep the world safe. The series also delves deeper and questions the very core of what it means to be a magical girl.

It is all a series of fantastically woven cycles of cause and effect involving teenage girls who agree to fight witches in exchange for a wish they want granted — whether for themselves or for others — and its varying consequences. A magical girl hell-bent on stopping Madoka from becoming one of them. An extremely logical cat-like race of aliens that can grant any wish. And the grim truth about what magical girls and witches are.

The 12-episode series streaming on Netflix has a two-part movie summary version called Beginnings and Eternal and, while those two are excellent, trust us when we say that you would probably understand it better if you watch the 12-episode series instead. What is sad, however, is that Netflix does not have the third movie, Rebellion, which is also excellent in its own right.

Mushishi (Subbed)

Mushishi is a supernatural anime that has quite a relaxed pace because it focuses on the "mushi" or what the mushishi consider to be the very essence of life that, obviously, not everyone can see. Follow the strange but talented mushishi, Ginko, in his travels all over the land as he treats people with strange illnesses caused by the mushi. Just so you have an idea, the first episode deals with a boy living in the mountains who can create and bring anything to life simply by drawing them.

Too bad Netflix only has the first season available in its library, so we can only hope that its second and final season, Mushishi Zoku Shou, would be made available in 2017.

Rurouni Kenshin (Dubbed)

Does Rurouni Kenshin being on our list really need to be justified, considering how popular and well-loved the reverse-edged sword wielding former Samurai, Kenshin, is? No, not really, because this is hands-down one of the best classic anime in Netflix's library.

Durarara!! and Durarara!! X2 (Dubbed)

If you're looking for some excitement to break the monotony in your life, so is Mikado Ryuugamine, the main protagonist in Durarara!! So what Mikado does is to move to Ikebukuro to have a more exciting life, and his wish is granted when he and his fellow residents get mixed up in all the supernatural commotion happening in the area. The events in the series are seen from the perspective of different characters so viewers would definitely enjoy the narratives.

Deathnote (Dubbed)

Deathnote is one of the more popular anime titles, and it focuses on the themes of good, evil, justice, and the fine line separating those three, which the characters are treading on. The story is about a high school genius, Light Yagami, who stumbles upon the Deathnote, a notebook of the shinigami (death deities), which has the power to "kill" anyone simply by writing their name on it. Light decides to use the notebook to enforce justice on evildoers. But the mysterious genius "L" does not believe that justice is being served and works to bring the person responsible for the mysterious deaths to justice.

Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Dubbed)

Another classic anime in the Netflix library, Brotherhood is a reboot of the original Full Metal Alchemist series, though its story is closer to the original manga. This time, the focus is on the Elric brothers who seek the Philosopher's Stone to restore their original bodies. The reason why it's on the bottom of the list is because Full Metal Alchemist titles, whether series or movies, seem to come and go from the Netflix library; it can be quite a guessing game trying to determine how long you have to watch all 52 episodes.

Netflix Exclusives

As mentioned earlier, Netflix nabbed some anime series for excusive streaming in its service. Here are two titles exclusive to Netflix that may pique your interest:

Ajin: Demi Human (Subbed)

The story follows Kei Nagai, a medical student, who discovers he is part of an immortal race when an accident that was supposed to claim his life did not actually kill him. The bad news is that, since the discovery of the Ajin, humanity has considered the race to be a threat, so they are scorned and taken into custody immediately when discovered.

The series has an R 17+ rating due to violence, so you may want to watch it away from kids.

Knights of Sidonia (Dubbed)

Knights of Sidonia is an exciting sci-fi, mecha anime that takes place thousands of years after the alien race, Gauna, destroyed the Earth. The survivors living aboard the spaceships have developed giant robot suits to protect them as they are actively pursued by the Gauna, who aim to completely wipe out humanity.

It is worth noting that the Netflix anime library could change anytime and not always for the better. For instance, back in September 2016, the streaming service removed more than 10 series from its library and has added none so, if you want to watch a certain title, try to watch it before the month ends.

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