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My Top Japanese Anime Series and Movies to Watch on Netflix

My Favorite Anime is Primarily of the Sci-fi, Space, and Apocalyptic Subgenres

If you have never watched “anime” which is “Japanese animation” you have been missing out because the characters and plots are just as good or better than most Hollywood movies. Maybe that is why Hollywood has been turning to anime to adapt it to feature-length movies from Dragonball Z, Edge of Tomorrow, Ghost in the Shell, to James Cameron’s Alita: Battle Angel – Unfortunately, the first few attempts have been horrendous.

It is Really Hard to Know What to Watch

If you want to watch some anime, the hardest thing to do or know is what to watch since there are thousands of titles within a dozen or more anime genres that mirror the ones found in Hollywood movies although the subgenres range from hentai (can be found on porn sites), mecha, post-apocalyptic, sports, to vampire (this is not all of them, so if you want the complete list, check out this fantastic page).

If you want to know what to watch, but you have a short attention span, just scroll down and read these text blocks with the summary.

Limited Time Only, as of August 2018

Netflix won’t have these series or movies permanently on the platform, so you will want to make sure you watch it before it is gone.

Listed in alphabetical order

1. Aggretsuko

Imagine tiny cute little animal characters who work in a Tokyo office, and to unwind from a day’s work, they have a night of karaoke belting out death metal tunes. That is exactly what one character does, and if that sounds a little too cutesy, it is although the relationships and characters are very nuanced. Trust me, I definitely was not expecting to like it, but this is one of the best anime series that is available on Netflix.

You’re an office worker, you have a love/hate relationship with your coworkers, boss, and you like karaoke or death metal.

  • Language (audio): English, Japanese, Spanish, French and Cantonese. (Subtitles): English, Japanese, Spanish, and Simplified/Traditional Chinese.
  • Scope (series): Only 10 episodes that range from 15 to 18 minutes in duration, and I wish there was more.

2. ARISE / Ghost in the Shell

The creator, is Masamune Shirow, the guy behind Appleseed and Ghost in the Shell to a name a few, so if you’re into design, sci-fi (takes place in 2027), and LE/military/guns, etc. this is the show for you.

You like sci-fi tech, you’re an industrial designer/student, or in law enforcement, and you know what the difference is between a 5.56 and a 7.62.

  • Languages: Netflix has parts 1 and 2 available for streaming in English and part 3 in Japanese audio with English subtitles in selected territories.
  • Scope (series): Netflix has 3 parts although there are 5 parts.

3. Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin)

Big naked people with no genitals and big mouths (think Steven Tyler looking) go around eating tiny hoo-mans. All of which takes place in a steampunk world made up of a civilization protected by towering concentric walls which shield the tiny people from Steven Tyler.

Steampunk lovers or people who dream of being genitalless giants and fantasize of eating people.

  • Languages: Only in Japanese with English subtitles, but this is the best way to watch anime.
  • Scope (series): Only the first season is available on Netflix (the 3rd season was just released, 3 episodes in as of this post), and if you want to watch the second season you’ll either have to wait for Netflix to release it, or you can find it illegally online, to the free version of Crunchyroll that is laden in ads that you want to gouge out your eyes because they’ll repeat commercials 5x’s in a row if you’re not a paid member.

4. Berserk

Big jock dude who yields a big sword meets skinny effeminate dude who knows how to handle his smaller sword which is why skinny dude owns big dude in a battle. Due to that loss, big dude is forced to join skinny dudes band of brothers/mercenaries.

You think, “what if Game of Thrones had a Japanese touch” although you really just want to watch a big dude with a giant sword (penis) cut through people, more people, and a horse or two.

  • Languages: I usually can’t stand dubbed English anime, but it’s not all that bad with Berserk although you can watch it in the original Japanese with only English subtitles.
  • Scope (movie): Released in 2012 to 2013, it takes place over three movies available on Netflix although there are two other series starting in 1997 and 2016-2017 in which you’ll ideally want to watch 1997 (available on YouTube…yea YouTube for free), the three movies (all of which are a little over an hour-long), and the 2016-2017 series/24 episodes.

5. Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan

It is about a girl (Hisone) who is in the Japan Air Self Defense Force, and she wants to be a pilot. If that just bored you, let me tell you that she is the pilot of an OTF (Organic Transformed Flyers) which are secretly dragons…. you still with me? Yea, a dragon, the dragon (Masotan) is clad in the body of an F-15 jet, and to pilot Masotan, she has to get swallowed by him because she hangs out in his upper digestive tract to pilot the dragon… you still with me? If that sounds absurd, wait till you watch it because the premise does not seem so outlandish because the series is so well written and funny.

A female air force pilot gets swallowed by a dragon that is disguised as an F-15 fighter jet that she pilots from the upper digestive tract, and you’re only thinking “is this a true story.”

  • Languages: available in 5 languages: German, English, Spanish, French and Japanese. Subtitles and available in English, Japanese (CC), Spanish, and traditional and simplified Chinese.
  • Scope (movie): 12 episodes, 25 minutes each.

6. Blame

I have a thing for futuristic, post apocalyptic movies, and if you’re building an underground bunker, this movie will make you feel justified for dumping all that money into it although you are on your own when it comes to deciding which board games to stock (my vote Rummikub and Scrabble).

Blame (supposedly pronounced “Blam”) takes place most likely in a distant future where humans live several levels underground in world and scale that looks to be massive, but the technology that humans had developed turned against them… just like your grandparents ability to set the clock on most of their electronic devices.

You’re cleaning your AR right now, and you’re hoping for Judgement Day aka Terminators/Cyberdyne systems taking over.

  • Languages: available in 5 languages: German, English (the dub is not bad at all), Spanish, French and Japanese. Subtitles and available in English, Japanese (CC), Spanish, and traditional and simplified Chinese.
  • Scope (series): 106 minute film that came out in 2017

7. In This Corner of the World (Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni)

After world war 2 in Japan, it was prohibited to produce movies about the war, so it was not until the last couple of decades that you see movies depicting that time period in more vivid detail. This is one such movie that takes place prior to the war in the 1930’s to after it from 1944 to 1945.

What takes this movie over the top is that even though it is fictional, a lot of the incidents are factual and heavily researched. Also if you have ever watched “Graveyard of the Fireflies,” don’t worry, it is nowhere near as depressing which was another movie based upon the same topic/time period.

You love history and you want to know what it was like for a female and the average person living in Japan before and after the war.

  • Languages: English (the dub sucks) and Japanese (watch it in Japanese) with subtitles in English, Polish, and Traditional and Simplified Chinese – I really want to know how Polish came about, and I’m sure there might be a cool back story to it (I’ll have to research it).
  • Scope (movie): Released in 2016, it runs 129 minutes.

8. Death Note

Think of somebody you really dislike. Now imagine being able to write that person’s name down in a book, along with the way you would like to see them die (example: Billy hit by a bus). Although if you’re not the details type, you can opt for dealer’s choice and have them die in a random way. Now imagine if you really did have that power. How would you use it?

Also, if your first thought would be to start with my name, well, you also have to know what the person looks like in order for it to work…sucka.

Your doodling involves knives, guns, nooses, and you think the birds are all dead because you are so emo.

  • Languages: English and Japanese, but the subtitles are only in English or in some parts of the country, they call it “speaking Muuuurican.”
  • Scope (series): The entire 1-37 episodes are available on Netflix, but if you want to experience what disappointment feels like, you can talk to my parents, or you can watch the live-action movie by Netflix which is a dumbed down version of the anime. Just go into expecting an emo version that tries to blend in some Donnie Darko into it although there is one shining star to the movie which is the perfectly cast Willem Defoe as the voice of one of the key characters.

9. Knights of Sidonia

This one takes place in 3394 (let’s do the math: 2018-3394=1,376 years later) after Earth has been destroyed by some alien creatures. Yup, by aliens, not by us humans launching nukes at eat other or the killing off of all pandas which led to a zombie outbreak, yea, none of that.

After the complete destruction of the planet, the remaining Earthlings who resemble the Japanese take to space, and they can now reproduce asexually and genetic engineering has allowed for them to photosynthesize (yea right, the Japanese would never do that, and they would engineer tentacle penises). If that doesn’t all sound great, did I mention giant mechs with guns?

Being on a spinning ball hurtling through space was never your thing, so you weren’t all that upset when aliens destroyed Earth because you like the idea of exploring space on a large spacecraft built out of a massive asteroid.

  • Languages: English (not bad at all), Spanish, and Japanese with subtitles in English and Spanish.
  • Scope (series): a series released in 2014-2015 which consists of 2 seasons with 12 episodes per season.

10. Robotech

The opening sequence and music is so ingrained in my childhood, so if I’m going to talk about anime, it’ll be about Robotech even though the Japanese version is Macross although the first “series” is almost identical. The storylines and character names vary and the 2nd and 3rd parts are a combination of other anime titles merged into one storyline under the Robotech title because of TV syndication.

You miss the 80’s, love triangles, and you love J-pop mixed with transforming robots who fight aliens.

  • Language: English with subtitles in Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.
  • Scope (series): it came out in 1985 and it is an 85 episode series that was ground breaking for its time because in the U.S. “cartoons” didn’t have characters dying, interracial relationships, or the imagery of characters being blown to bits by missiles.

Honorable Mentions


  • Violet Evergarden
  • Your Lie in April
  • Ajin
  • A.I.C.O
  • Sword Art Online


  • Gantz:0
  • Mary and the Witch’s Flower

Popular Titles

  • Bleach
  • Devilman Crybaby
  • Gurren Lagann
  • Inuyusha
  • Naruto
  • One Punch Man
  • Pokemon

If you have a favorite that you think I need to check out, let me know in the comments section.

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Very nice list! Here are a few of my favorites:

Rurouni Kenshin
Samurai Champloo

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