If you are seeking something new to watch this month then consider checking out Netflix’s selection of anime. Sporting a surprising collection of quality shows, there are a ton of different options for new or veteran fans of the medium. While Netflix cannot compete with the likes of Crunchyroll, there are still some shows worth binge watching. Sadly, February didn’t see any big anime shows added, but there are still some great choices. To not repeat some of the same points we made last month, this piece will focus on some different shows.
For those wondering our selection for January can be found here and all of these shows are currently on Netflix at the time of writing this. Keep in mind, this list is not solely comprised of Netflix exclusives nor are these shows brand new. Here are some honorable mentions:
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- Fairy Tale
1. Soul Eater
Soul Eater is set in a world where kids are taught by the Grim Reaper to slay demonic beings known as Kishin. The catch is some of the children can transform into fantastical weapons, while others are trained to wield these powerful items. Over the course of 51 episodes, viewers will follow the story of three different pairings of students who are learning to become better hunters. While the plot is fairly straightforward – despite the fantastical setting – it’s still an entertaining time from start to finish.
Where Soul Eater really succeeds is in the magnificent world building that is full of unique and memorable characters. From a dissecting obsessed Dr. Frakenstein to the snake-loving Medusa, this anime’s variations on classic characters is exceptionally fun. Complimenting this is some great animation, solid voice work, a strong score, and wonderful action sequences. This is an anime worth watching.
2. Blue Exorcist
Imagine you were born with the ability to see demons roaming around the world. This is the reality for Blue Exorcist’s protagonist Rin who discovers that he is the son of Satan. After a personal tragedy, Rin is sent off to a special academy where he can learn to fight and exorcize these demonic beings. Even though the supernatural elements are well handled, the real meat of this anime is Rin’s relationship with his brother.
We won’t spoil the details or reasons, but it’s incredibly compelling and drives most of the character development. Rin is a fleshed out hero that breaks the typical anime mold, offering a surprising amount of depth. Just keep in mind that only the first season of Blue Exorcist is available on Netflix, so you’ll need to look elsewhere for the other seasons.
3. Attack on Titan
If you even have a passing interest in anime then there’s a high chance that you’ve heard of Attack on Titan. Set in a world where humanity has been pushed to the brink of extinction, the last remaining survivors live in cities behind giant walls. This is because there are a nearly endless amount of giant, man-eating monsters known as Titans. After seeing his city destroyed, a young boy named Eren decides to join the military and take the fight to these abominations. Along the way, Eren will uncover various secrets about the Titans and forge friendships in this bloody world.
Attack on Titan is an oppressive and dark show that doesn’t sugarcoat the type of world these characters live in. Death is a common occurrence and this show has a habit of snatching characters away that you might have grown attached to. This creates an unpredictability that very few anime possess and makes every episode a tense experience. Keep in mind this show is not for the faint of heart as it the action is quite brutal in places.
4. Little Witch Academia
For those looking for a more upbeat show, consider giving Little Witch Academia a view. The plot follows a young girl named Akko who dreams of going to the Luna Nova Magical Academy, despite having no magical powers. Inspired by her idol, Akko must navigate the tricky Magical Academy, attempt to make friends, and prove her worth. It’s an incredibly light-hearted and fun show that isn’t afraid to place its characters in ridiculous situations. The animation is wonderful and Studio Trigger did a great job with bringing these characters to life.
5. Berserk: The Golden Arc Saga
We’re going to break our rules here and showcase a movie trilogy that is absolutely worth watching. Berserk follows the story of a lone swordsman named Guts who is simply trying to make his way in the world. However, after participating in a castle siege, Guts is recruited into a famous mercenary group known as the Band of the Hawk. Despite the classic medieval background, there is always a sense of impending, supernatural dread looming over every character in this show. We won’t spoil what happens, but needless to say, it’s one of the most iconic moments in the entire medium.
Even for those familiar with Berserk, The Golden Arc movies are worth your time. The animation and action are top-notch, with many of the fight scenes conveying a real sense of brutality. Voice acting is also incredibly strong and many of the characters are well developed. This is an action anime that is fantastic from start to finish and is a great entry point for anyone new to anime in general.