15 best anime on Netflix to kickstart your obsession

B: The Beginning - Credit: Netflix
B: The Beginning - Credit: Netflix /
3 of 15

Best Anime on Netflix: Children of the Whales

Another gorgeous anime with water-color tones and a heap of adventure, Children of the Whales is a fantasy, post-apocalyptic adventure anime with real-world themes presented in a much more abstract manner. If you’re a fan of shows that exercise symbolism and the philosophical depths of human consciousness, then this anime is a solid choice for best anime on Netflix to kickstart your obsession.

Children of the Whales has almost a Mad-Max setting, where characters live in a world covered by a sea of sand, only to survive in colonies on moving islands called Mud Whales. This anime follows the story of a boy named Chakuro, whose Mud Whale society is divided into two groups of people: the Marked, who have shortened lifespans due to their “thymia” powers that allow them to move objects with their minds, and the Unmarked, who have no powers but live out normally long lives. Because of the Marked members, controlled emotion is a requirement on the Mud Whale, something Chakuro struggles with intensely, unable to keep from crying every time a person passes in their colony.

Chakuro also hold the role of scribe on the Mud Whale, working to document the everyday lives of the people who live there, though he’s desperate to learn more about the outside world, which neither he nor many others in his colony have ever seen, until one day when the Mud Whale encounters an abandoned island. There, Chakuro finds a girl with unique physical features, an unusually stong thymia power, and many secrets about a war that is fast approaching Chakuro’s home.

Directed by Kyōhei Ishiguro, based on the manga by Abi Umeda, the 12-episode Children of the Whales is about the importance of emotion, even unbearably painful emotion, during times of crisis and the danger that comes with choosing to abandon one’s humanity in order to stay mentally stable. For an anime rooted in fantasy, it has a surprising amount of insight into the long-term effects of war with a truly creative take on grief and loss, making it a top pic in our list of best anime on Netflix.