15 best anime on Netflix to kickstart your obsession
From the everyday and ever-relatable slice-of-life to the fantastical Isekai, Shoujo and Shonen, surfing through the diverse and sometimes visually dangerous oceans of anime is not a task for the faint of heart. It can take hours of research to find out exactly what you’re searching and weeks, months or years for anime newbies to find a show that fits their interests. But, we’re here to make things a little easier with our list of the best anime on Netflix to kickstart your obsession.
A big mistake most wannabe anime fans make is approaching anime like it’s simply a genre of television or film, similar to romance, action, or the like. The truth is, anime is basically its own Hollywood, having been around a few decades before Disney, the first verifiable anime dating back to 1906. Granted, most anime before the 80s is generally unappealing to anyone other than die-hard film buffs or long-time anime advocates. But that still leaves thousands of anime, dispersed throughout half a dozen or so differently-named genres, to sift through.
This might be the reason many older teens and adults, with no prior exposure to anime outside of Pokemon, have a hard time getting into this corner of the entertainment industry. As we said, it can take years to find an anime, or a genre of anime, that really fits your fancy. For some of us, it started in elementary school, the motivation to keep navigating through more and more anime fueled by anime-loving peers or older siblings who already had a long list of favorites they were anxious to showcase to a younger generation. For others, the anime interest only peaked recently, with Netflix now capitalizing off of Japan’s finest forms of animation.
But even with Netflix’s new anime outlet, there’s still over 40 anime to choose from. Where do you start without choosing a show that might turn you off entirely to the idea of giving anime a chance? Even the most highly recommended anime can sometimes be a lot to take in for those who aren’t familiar with the storytelling style. Our list of the best anime on Netflix to kickstart your obsession serves as a launching pad, with heart-warming, comical, beautiful and action-packed anime that is also still digestible to western audiences just starting off.
Best Anime on Netflix: Your Lie in April
This anime is first on our list of best anime on Netflix to kickstart your obsession for a number of reasons. It’s beautiful, it’s sweet, it’s relatable and it gives a lot of insight into music performance culture in Japan, regarding both the pressure to succeed and the desire to move people’s hearts.
Piano player Kōsei Arima has already gained a reputation for his exceptional performances among child musicians in Japan. But when Kōsei’s cold and competitive mother Saki passes away due to illness, the young prodigy has a complete breakdown on stage during one of his recitals. Suddenly, he can’t read his music and he can’t hear what he plays. Two years later, while the impairment is completely psychological, a now emotionally numb Kōsei has left his piano playing days behind and is totally uninterested in music. That is until he meets Kaori Miyazono.
Kaori, a 24-year-old free-spirited, multi-faceted musician expresses an interest in getting to know Kōsei and his friends Tsubaki Sawabe and Watari Ryōta under the guise that she has a crush on Watari. But when Kaori asks for Kōsei’s help to accompany her during a recital, Kōsei becomes drawn to Kaori’s manic violin playing and deep-rooted love for not only playing music, but playing for the audience. Kaori, in turn, aims to reignite Kōsei’s passion for the piano and for life, keeping a secret from him that her own life may not last as long as they both hope.
Romantics, music-lovers and drama fans will appreciate this 22-episode, slice-of-life anime which tells a captivating love story about the importance of finding your own happiness so that you can share it with the world. Your Lie in April, an incredibly raw anime, really shows the full strength of what Japanese animation and its storytelling can do to viewers on an emotional and psychological level. So read on to check out our list of the best anime on Netflix to kickstart your obsession.