Streaming heaven: our top seven anime on Netflix

As UK-based anime fans, we pay close attention to the comings and goings of Netflix’s otaku offerings. While there are plenty of quality shows, we’ve taken out the hard work and put together the top seven, so all you have to do is sit back, Netflix and chill. (Not like that. Or like that, if you want. Who are we to judge?)

Death Note

Image result for death note blu ray

The classic, and still a stunner. Accept no substitutes. More than just a notebook and your greater spotted teen with pretentions of superior knowledge, Death Note tells of the borders between religion and faith, righteousness and evil, loathing and lust. Light’s an unusual anti-hero who, repugnant as he is, maintains a fascination through the enigma of his motivations. His dance of domination with super sleuth L is a masterclass in putting the seduction back into the hero’s triumph, and the villain’s comeuppance.

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works

Image result for fate stay night unlimited blade works

“I am the bone of my sword.” Come on, who could resist that? This one might well be a grower for some, but once it gets its grip, you’re hooked for good. On its surface it’s a wish-fulfillment vehicle of lush proportions, especially for the history and mythology nerds out there. But as the human Masters and their Servants, warriors torn from all Earthly dimensions, clash in the Holy Grail War on epic levels of good and evil, you unlock this show’s secrets without even trying. The war and its warriors are beautiful, tragic and reflective; somehow, the stranger they get, the more we can see of ourselves.



The Mushi are primitive beings, ones that were around before the first bacteria on Earth. Ginko, a Mushi Master (Mushi-shi) is one of the few who can see them, and one of even fewer of the wanderers who attract them. He floats in the mist of dust under leaf cover, travelling from sleepy village to musty settlement, and helping people who find themselves troubled by the ancient spirits. The plot’s trajectory is drops in a river, the ripples rarely touching, the emphasis more on the atmosphere’s early morning chill.

Cowboy Bebop

Image result for cowboy bebop toys in the attic

For cowboys in space, there’s no promise of vengeance against your enemies, or even finding the job that will feed you and keep your ship in the air. Although we grow fond of the crew of the Bebop and want to see them take down that six-figure bounty, we never truly know them. We just cross them like stars in an endless night. It’s this character dynamic that makes Cowboy Bebop stand out among its fellows. Feeling in your gut that they’re only hitching rides together until they’re drawn down different roads, makes it no less heartbreaking when they go their separate ways.

Elfen Lied

Elfen Lied

A grim and gothic fairytale that’s grown over our hearts like a tangle of knotweed, Elfen Lied takes the princess in the high tower, tortures her and turns her loose on all who kept her prisoner. Lucy becomes the passive mask for the genetic weapon that is her race, the diclonius, would-be dominators of humanity. But it is humanity that would use her supernatural powers to their own ends, their abuse the catalyst for her fall into trauma, forgetting herself. Feminist subtext and touching themes of love and redemption make this one worth the watch, the gore no more than a bloody smear on its surface.

Fullmetal Alchemist/Brotherhood

Image result for fullmetal alchemist edward and alphonse

The power in this journey of two brothers in self-affirmed exile is in their bonds of love, friendship and comradeship made and broken. Edward and Alphonse Elric’s road is broken as it begins, the loss of their mother leading them to the darker temptations of alchemy. When they leave their home for good, it is to learn how to use the mystical technique for the better, and so we uncover its secrets beside them through determination, twisting investigation and majestic battles between good and evil. Their losses along the way only make them stronger, making them two of the greatest characters to urge on and aspire to.

Code Geass

Image result for lelouch vi britannia zero

Dripping with grandiose tragedy, look no further for your thrilling action balanced on the blade’s edge with poignant drama. Ex-prince Lelouch believes himself all-powerful when he unlocks the persuasive powers of the Geass, and uses his new ability to form a band of rebels, striking against the hated Britannian Empire that left him an outcast. But pride, as we know, comes before a fall, and the fall of Lelouch vi Britannia is a transcendent and dreadful one to witness. One that tempts you with every next episode, terrified of what’s to come.

Whatever your top pick from this list, have a great time watching! Just don’t blame us when you can’t tear yourself away from the screen. If you’re one of those smug lot already caught up, what do you think of the shows on this list? Comment with your thoughts, cuz we want to to hear them.

15 Comments on Streaming heaven: our top seven anime on Netflix

  1. Having quality shows on Netflix is a good way of expanding the anime audience, as the site is so popular. From this list I especially like FMA, Code Geass, Psycho Pass and Steins;Gate.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. There are a lot of differences in the line up and content between countries on Netflix. A shame really. Luckily I don’t need Netflix to keep up with Anime these days, but it is positive that Netflix is expanding their Anime list these days 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think my main issue with Netflix in Australia is the anime selection is kind of limited and mostly its the big names (most of hte ones on your list) that most of us have already seen (or not seen by choice). For casual fans it is great but for the rest of us it is a little lacking at the moment though they do keep adding. And there’s a couple of shows like Seven Deadly Sins and Ajin that it streams which were kind of great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elisabeth O'Neill // December 10, 2016 at 2:43 pm // Reply

      It is getting there slowly but surely in adding more surprises to its anime section, and the library is only going to become more diverse with time. I hope it starts to catch up for Australia soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, you’re lucky. I’d love to see Ghost in the Shell, Mushishi and Hunter X Hunter on Netflix. Sadly, in Australia, we don’t have the same vast catalogue of anime. Japan’s was pretty good; just about every Masterpiece theatre (Akage no Anne, Les Miserables) title, all of Aria, Fullmetal Alchemist and all of Darker than Black, all Makoto Shinkai’s movies, but even then, Hulu is Japan’s best viewing platform.

    That got tangential fast.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elisabeth O'Neill // December 10, 2016 at 2:45 pm // Reply

      Ahh, Darker Than Black is one we’ve been wanting to check out. Japan’s Netflix sounds great for anime, but then that’s to be expected 😆 The other territories should catch up at some point.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I just want FMA/B on Netflix in the US. 😭

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like your very succinct synopses that cut to the essence of the stories. Well-written!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nice selection, although I watched most of them 🙂 There are many more good anime that should be on Netflix 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Only show Aussie Netflix has is blade works. Ha ha aussie Netflix is lacking big time Lol 😂

    Liked by 1 person

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