The Best Anime on Netflix [Summer 2020]

Anime’s popularity in the West has come a long way since its introduction in the 20th century. Though anime dates back to early 1900s Japan, the art form didn’t reach America until the 1960s, nearly two decades after the conclusion of World War II, starting with Astro Boy in 1964. The premiere of Astro Boy was a game changer in terms of bringing anime to the United States, and the next few years saw series like Kimba the White Lion and, of course, Speed Racer all appeared on television to close out the decade.

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In the fifty years since, anime has grown from a niche artform in the West to a fandom with a massive backing. The influence of series like Dragon Ball Z or Gundam helped to inspire major blockbuster films like The Matrix and its sequels or Pacific Rim. Shows like Cowboy Bebop and Death Note have attracted fans even from outside the world of anime, falling love with the world of both series and eventually moving onto other series. Movies like Ghost in the Shell and Akira have both taken from and contributed to western culture, with the former credited for inspiring filmmakers such as the Wachowskis and James Cameron, while the latter gave way for films like LooperInceptionChronicle, and Midnight Special.

Throughout the 2000s and again starting in 2012, Cartoon Network’s Toonami block was often seen as the gateway into anime, an easy way to start watching anime and to dive into Japanese culture. Since its revival, it’s become a new staple in American households for teens and 20-somethings around the country. But, perhaps more appropriately, the age of the internet has allowed for fans and newcomers alike from around the world to start watching new and old series from the start, revelling in the best the artform has to offer.

If you’re looking to check out some new anime or test the waters of the genre, Netflix is a great place to start. Not only does the streaming service offer a ton of popular and classic anime series, but Netflix has also been doubling down on their efforts to produce or distribute brand-new, original anime content for their subscribers, leading to some surprisingly great content. From comedies to historical fiction, fantasy to sci-fi, Netflix has something great in every genre. No matter what you’re looking for in anime, we think we have something to recommend for you. This is the best anime on Netflix for summer 2020, listed in alphabetical order.

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