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Some of the best anime already on your fave streaming services

Contributed by
Nov 17, 2017

Looking for a new anime series to absolutely tear into? You don't need to pay extra for anime-centric streaming services to find one. There's a wealth of excellent anime you can already find right on your favorite streaming services like Hulu and Netflix. Next time you scroll through looking for something to watch before giving up and munching popcorn through another episode of Stranger Things, why not check this list for some awesome anime to get lost in? The best part? You don't even have to sign up for Crunchyroll. Bookmark this list for some easy picks and reliably fantastic anime series that you need to get on, pronto.

Psycho-Pass

Imagine a world where every citizen has a "crime coefficient," or a number that measures the likelihood they'll commit a crime. That’s the world of Psycho-Pass, a psychological thriller set in a futuristic vision of Japan. Under the Sibyl System, every citizen is measured for their Psycho-Pass assessment, measured by the crime coefficient, and then killed if deemed too dangerous. The series follows an Enforcer named Shinya Kogami, partnered with Akane Tsunemori, a new police inspector, as they navigate the bizarre world they find themselves in, while mixing up with criminals and other ne’er-do-wells. There are far more twists and turns than that, but for the sake of keeping things secret, we won’t go into them here.

Available on: Hulu

Death Note

Imagine carrying the power to kill anyone in your pocket. That’s what college student Light Yagami finds in Death Note, which is also the name of the notebook dropped into the human world by a god of death, or shinigami. This isn’t the horrendous live-action adaptation of the anime, but the series itself, which is also available on Netflix. Light becomes a callous “god” in his own mind as he takes the punishment of evildoers into his own hands, with criminals dropping left and right. When world-famous detective L is assigned to the “Kira” case, as Light has now dubbed himself, the series turns into a gripping cat and mouse game that’ll have you on the edge of your seat.

Available on: Netflix, Hulu

Fruits Basket

Grab your tissues now, because this one’s going to take you on an emotional journey. Fruits Basket is the tale of a chipper young woman named Tohru Honda, who finds herself mixed up with the Sohma family, who share an unusual curse. Each one of the family members turns into one of the 12 animal members of the zodiac. Tohru becomes close to each of the Sohmas one by one, from fiery Kyo to princely Yuki, in an effort to figure out how to break the curse, and how to get along with her newfound family.

Available on: Hulu

Mushi-shi

Mushi-shi is an eerie, otherworldly collection of tales surrounding creatures known as “mushi,” which most humans can’t see with the naked eye. Mushi master Ginko travels the world in an effort to help those who have been plagued by issues caused by the otherworldly beings. From losing an eye to an infestation of mushi to being kidnapped by them, Ginko takes on every situation with a unique perspective. It’s utterly unnerving from time to time, but also inherently beautiful, as well. It’s your cure for the common episodic story, that’s for sure.

Available on: NetflixHulu

One Punch Man

One Punch Man is a hilarious superhero anime that totally subverts all the normal tropes you'd expect from such a series. The main character, Saitama, simply earned his "superpowers" by training every single day, enough to where he's gone bald. The result? He can defeat just about any enemy with just a single punch, hence the anime title. Things start to get a little murky when he starts facing more powerful enemies, but in the end, no one's a match for Saitama. That's a problem too, though...

Available on: NetflixHulu

Hellsing

Vampires aren’t sparkly. End of story. Meet Alucard, an integral part of the Hellsing Organization, helmed by Sir Integra Hellsing. He may be one of the most powerful vampires to have ever existed, but he’s also a vampire hunter. Hellsing is a gritty and gory look at the fate of a young police girl (Seras Victoria) who falls victim to one of the “bad” vampires and blossoms under Alucard’s tutelage. The adventures of the Hellsing Organization are not ones to be missed, especially if you hunger for more adult vampire-related fare.

Available on: Hulu

Cowboy Bebop

What is there to say about Cowboy Bebop that hasn’t already been said a thousand times over? If you haven’t seen it by now, you’re missing out on a veritable anime classic. The adventures of Spike, Jet, Faye, Ed, and Win are some of the best-written and most beloved episodes in the realm of anime. The bounty hunters (and a young girl, and a dog) travel from place to place in their ship called the Bebop, seeking bounties, outrunning the past, and learning more about themselves and the world around them at every turn.

Available on: Hulu

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

After living below the earth for so long, young Simon yearns to see the surface and the world beyond. Everything changes for him one day when he happens upon a magical drill key that fits a mecha known as Gurren Lagann, his ticket to the outside world and beyond. Taking up arms against the Spiral King, Lordgenome, who lives on the surface, Simon and friends work to take back the surface and everything out there in the wide, wide world Simon never even thought he’d be able to see. Equal parts action, mecha, and comedy, this is a new classic that Gainax fans should drop everything and watch.

Available on: Hulu, Netflix

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Madoka Kaname and her friend Sayaka Miki meet a strange creature one day named Kyubey, who's impossibly adorable, but is hiding a terrifying secret. He offers a contract for the girls to gain magical powers so they may fight against terrifying creatures known as witches, in return for one special wish: anything they desire. There are several magical girls recruited by Kyubey to go out on witch hunts, and while they're dangerous and treacherous affairs, they don't seem too bad... until the bitter truth comes out. There's an extreme amount of existential terror and dread in this tale, and it's absolutely worth delving into, especially if you grew up with the sugary sweet pop of magical girl anime. Madoka Magica is considered one of the greats, so make it your business to give it a look.
 
Available on: Hulu, Netflix
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Elfen Lied

The Diclonii are a mutant species that look just like humans, but they have two horns on their head and a penchant for telekinesis. Using “vectors,” or transparent arms that can be controlled to manipulate objects, they’re deadly when cornered. A young diclonius girl named Lucy is the star of Elfen Lied, as she breaks out of the research facility where she was imprisoned and forced to undergo torturous experiments. What ensues is an extremely violent (and at times adorable) tale of Lucy, her redemption, and her human companions as they struggle to lie together in an increasingly tense world.

Available on: Hulu