Not everyone appreciates anime, but sometimes that's because they haven't watched the right series. Anime is a diverse art form in its own right, and storytelling varies from magical girls to end-of-the-world scenarios.
In the U.S., anime is a specific style of animation mostly seen in Japan (although many U.S. animation studios now copy that style). Although there are some anime series targeted towards children, most anime is for adults and has dark themes, settings and situations.
If you're new to anime or looking to get caught up on a series you might have missed, you could feel overwhelmed. However, never fear, because we've put together a list of the top five anime series now streaming on Netflix that you should definitely try out.
Sometimes, a little series comes along and captures your heart: Princess Jellyfish falls into that category. It tells the story of a group of awkward young women who all live together. These are the outcasts of society, the geeks, fangirls and the socially inept, struggling to make it in a world that wants to force them to adjust. When one of these girls brings home a new friend and discovers that he's a man in disguise, these young women see their lives turned upside down, for the better. In spite of themselves, they find their calling.
Unfortunately, there's only one season of Princess Jellyfish, but the end does provide some closure, still keeping this series as a must-watch.
Like most anime series, Knights of Sidonia started out as manga (the Japanese version of comic books). However, Netflix has exclusive rights for this science fiction series, so you can't watch it anywhere else. The story tells us about a boy named Nagate Tanikaze, who spent most of his life underground until he eventually finds his way to the surface. There, he must become a Guardian pilot and defend his world, Sidonia, a massive spaceship, against the Gauna, humanity's greatest threat.
This series has it all: space monsters, giant mecha and young people struggling to find their way in a world where the whole of what's left of humanity lives on a giant spaceship.
This anime series might start out with magical girls in cute costumes, but it gets dark fast. Madoka Kaname thinks she wants to become a magical girl. However, once she finds herself embedded in the underbelly of that world, where magical girls often die defending the planet against evil witches, she realizes that the cost of magic could be too high, even if it comes with her greatest wish coming true.
This is the anime series almost everyone talks about now, and it's definitely worth a watch. Taking place in a grim future where mankind has lost a war against people-eating giants called Titans, the scenes in this series are often disturbing to watch, which obviously makes it a compelling must-see. It covers a group of young people signing up for the armed forces to fight the monsters, even though most battles are already lost before they begin. That is, until one boy proves himself different. The series spawned a theme park attraction in Japan and there's even a rumor that Sony wants to turn it into a live-action film. So before this series eventually hits the big screen, catch up with it on Netflix.
In this series, Sword Art Online is a massively multiplayer fantasy-based video game where virtual reality plunges players into the action. Unfortunately, the man responsible for the game has other ideas and traps millions of players in the game, even adjusting their headsets so that if they die in-game, they die in real life. It is up to one player, Kirito, to beat the game and set himself and his friends free. But can he do it without losing the people he cares about?
[Photo Credit: Funimation]