8 of the Best Japanese Anime Series to Binge-Watch Now
By: Lauryn Jiles
Anime, derived from the word animation, is a style of animation in television and film, that originated in Japan. Anime is typically targeted toward adults (although a few series are aimed at younger audiences) and it comes in various genres including action, thriller, comedy, and more.
With series such as Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, and Attack on Titan, anime has gained an extreme amount of popularity in countries outside of Japan. Anime has become more and more well-known in the United States, with sites like Netflix, Hulu, and Funimation streaming multiple series on their platforms.
If you enjoy Japanese anime or want to start watching it, here are eight of the best Japanese anime series to binge-watch now!
The Promised Neverland
In this action/horror anime, a group of kids living at Grace Field Orphanage break the rules by going beyond the house and discovering the dark secret as to why they are kept there. When they learn the horror of what happens to children on adoption day, the kids devise a plan to escape—unaware of the horror that lies beyond the gates in the real world.
Where to watch it: Hulu, Funimation, and a live-action series coming to Amazon soon.
My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia follows Deku, whose dream is to become a great superhero. Born into a world where 80 percent of people have hero-like abilities, Deku falls into the unlucky 20 percent. After having an encounter with his favorite superhero, All-Might, Deku is given the power he needs to become a hero. With this extreme amount of power that he is given, Deku enrolls in a superhero academy, where he learns what it means to be a true hero.
Where to watch it: Hulu, Funimation
In this action series, the kids of a junior high school class are assigned their most difficult assignment—to kill their teacher before the school year ends. Their teacher, an eight-legged creature that is a government experiment gone wrong, threatens to blow up the earth if they fail. With students learning how to be assassins while balancing schoolwork and life as a teenager, this series is sure to keep you on your toes.
Where to watch it: Hulu, Funimation
Yu Yu Hakusho
After 14-year-old Yusuke Urameshi is hit by a car while trying to save another child, he is transported to the spirit world and realizes what he left behind on Earth. Yusuke is allowed a second chance at life, in exchange for a favor—he must become a spirit detective and track down evil spirits for Koenma, the ruler of the afterlife. In this action-adventure anime, Yusuke learns the power of friendship and what it means to sacrifice for others.
Where to watch it: Hulu and Funimation
In this 12-episode psychological thriller, 29-year-old Satoru Fujinama is a part-time pizza delivery guy with the power to travel back in time to prevent tragic events. When Satoru’s mother is tragically murdered, he uses his time-traveling ability to go back in time and is unknowingly set back 18 years, as an 11-year-old. Using clues and the help of his friends, Satoru tries to prevent a series of kidnappings and murders that ultimately led up to his mother’s death.
Where to watch it: Funimation, Hulu, live-action series on Netflix
Pirate captain Monkey D. Luffy and his crew of friends set off on an adventure to find a treasure called the one piece. When Luffy and his friends set sail, they realize that they will have to overcome a lot of obstacles to find this treasure. In this action anime, Luffy is determined to get to the one piece, finding friends, defeating enemies, and dodging government officials along the way.
Where to watch it: Netflix, Funimation
Hunter x Hunter
Hunter x Hunter is an action-adventure anime that follows 12-year-old Gon Freecss who aspires to be a hunter like his father. To become a hunter, Gon must pass a rigorous exam, which requires an intense amount of strength, intelligence, and physical activity. With the help of his friends, Gon sets out on an adventure to pass the hunting exam and re-connect with his father who left him as a baby.
Where to watch it: Netflix, Hulu, and Funimation
Dragon Ball Z
This action-adventure anime series premiered in 1989 and is one of the most popular anime series in both the U.S. and Japan. The series follows Goku, the strongest fighter on Earth, who battles enemies that show up in an attempt to beat him and destroy the planet he has sworn to protect. With the help of the Z-fighters, Goku and his friends search for the Dragon Balls (magical balls that grant them any wish) in an attempt to save planet Earth.
Where to watch it: Funimation