Anime as a medium has seen a sharp increase in viewership over the past couple of years, and as everyone knows, where there is money to be made, there is competition. Netflix has built itself a sizable collection in the form of its Netflix Original Anime, alongside the hundreds of anime it hosts that it didn’t make.
Please note that this is by no means an exhaustive list. Instead, these 5 are the Netflix Original Anime that I chose to highlight in this list for one reason or another. If you would like me to do another one of these, you can always comment below. Without further ado, let’s check out the 5 Netflix Original Anime you should start watching right now.
5. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
The first anime we are talking about is the only one that doesn’t fit into this list properly, as The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. isn’t wholly a Netflix Original Anime. It first aired on television for two seasons and a one-hour special before Netflix acquired the rights and released a fourth season, called The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. Reawakened.
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. is hilarious and delightfully weird, with the colourful visuals providing a delightful backdrop to the content of the plot, which involves the protagonist who’s called Kusuo Saiki, or Saiki K. (Psychic, get it?) trying to hide his various superpowers to live a normal life.
The one-shots might be off-putting for some, but you know what you decided to get into once you started watching anime, especially ones of a comedic disposition. If you ever feel like you want to watch something easy that makes you laugh, Saiki K. is just the anime for you.
Based on a true story, Yasuke is set in an alternate universe in the 16th century, which tells the story of the first Black Samurai. The actual version of this story is interesting enough, but the directors LeSean Thomas and Takeru Sato thought- “Nah, this isn’t badass enough. Let’s add some killer robots to the mix”. Then Netflix pitched in to make it a Netflix Original Anime, and here we are.
Featuring the voice talents of Oscar Nominee LaKeith Stanfield, Yasuke is an intimidating presence throughout the anime’s admittedly short 6 episode run. One learns a lot about 16th century feudal Japan while watching the show, alongside various emotional moments.
If the only two bad things you can say about a Netflix Original Anime are that “it should have gone for longer”, and “maybe it would have been better if it told the original story, instead of the one with mechas.”, you’ve come across a great show.
3. Japan Sinks: 2020
If you’re wondering whether this is one of two Masaki Yuasa creations to be on this list of Netflix Original Anime, you are wrong. I do not like Devilman Crybaby, and no, I will not be elaborating. What I do like is the latest work by the director, Japan Sinks 2020.
Japan has started to collapse unto itself after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and two brothers try to escape the madness alongside their family. The animation is horrifying at times, as Yuasa doesn’t shy away from showing the dirty underbelly of what would really happen if the anime came true.
You’ll be scared, weirded out, and turned off by some of the events in Japan Sinks: 2020, and some episodes are better than the others, but you won’t be able to take your eyes off of it for a second. The music has also been very well done and thus earns special commendation. Don’t watch this one alone. You’ll thank me later.
If you’ve started on your daily 9 to 5 grind, there’s no anime you would appreciate more than Aggretsuko. Most anime, at least the popular ones, focus more on the life of teenagers. That’s all well and good, as we all like to revel in our lost youthfulness from time to time. That’s why when an anime like Aggretsuko comes into the limelight, it stands out ever so much more.
Aggretsuko, or Aggressive Retsuko, is a Netflix Original Anime about a 25-year-old Red Panda named Retsuko who works at a Japanese workplace and demonstrates all tops and turns of that lifestyle, alongside accurately displaying the stress that it induces upon its practicers. Retsuko is also a death metal singer by night, and the pathways that the show takes her are an absolute highlight of the series.
If anthropomorphic animals don’t excite you as much as they do others, You should still check out Aggretsuko. It genuinely has something in it for everyone, but especially for grown-ups.
Okay, wait here for a second. I don’t know what putting Aggretsuko and Beastars on this list simultaneously says about me, but it’s not what you think it is. I promise it is merely because of how good these two shows are. Would putting Kakegurui in the next Netflix Original Anime list lift this suspicion off of me, or would that make it worse, since good isn’t exactly what I’d use to describe that?
Beastars is a revelation in many ways, the first being that CGI animation can be just as good as traditional animation, if not even better at times. Even the 3D effects used in this series are fantastic, differing significantly from the standard view on 3D.
The world it is set in is also very similar to Zootopia, which is almost always the first thing people notice about Beastars. The story that the two choose to tell can’t be any different, though. Beastars, at times, can go extremely dark while exploring the differences between herbivores and carnivores. Romance also plays a significant role in Beastars, while Zootopia is a Disney property, so you can guess how that goes in there. Despite being about and featuring teenagers, Beastars goes a lot darker in its interpretation of its universe.
Beastars Season 3 has just been announced, so it is the perfect time for anyone to start watching this fantastic series. I promise you, you will not regret it.