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The 50 best anime on Hulu right now

Even when it’s not the primary destination, Hulu is still easily among the best mainstream platforms to stream some of the best anime available. It’s an especially great supplement for audiences already fans of the streamer’s live-action originals, boasting impressive diversity in its anime offerings across film, TV, and various genres.

For customers who aren’t subscribed, the Disney Bundle is more than worth consideration to back up Hulu’s anime library. This package deal gives viewers countless hours of content through Disney+, ESPN+, and the base ad-supported Hulu plan. Fans will have access to all the Star Wars, Marvel Studios, National Geographic, and sports content they could hope for on top of Hulu’s anime catalog.

Fans around the world are surely thankful for the anime genre’s newfound accessibility in the modern age, but it can still be intimidating to know where to start. Thankfully, for prospective fans who might be feeling even a bit overwhelmed, we also have a guide on the best anime available on Netflix so fans can make the most of their options.

Recently added to Hulu

Hellsing Ultimate (2006)

Hellsing Ultimate
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Animation, Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Jouji Nakata, Fumiko Orikasa, Yoshiko Sakakibara
Created by Kohta Hirano

Though admirable in its own right, Hellsing Ultimate is the best anime adaptation of Kouta Hirano’s manga of the same name. A co-production between studios Satelight, Madhouse, and Graphinica, this 10-episode anime series is a faithful adaptation of the source material’s story. Hellsing Ultimate is about the eponymous Hellsing organization that deals with slaying the creatures of the night that plague the world.

Led by Integra, the organization’s greatest tool in this crusade is, ironically, a vampire named Alucard. Together, they have to deal with shadowy conspiracies threatening Hellsing on top of the gruesome monsters they’re tasked with fending off. Hellsing Ultimate is a thrilling adaptation of the manga, blending stylish and fiendish character designs with relentless action. It does justice to what is perhaps one of the best dark fantasy manga available.

Claymore (2007)

tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Action & Adventure, Animation, Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Houko Kuwashima, Romi Park, Motoki Takagi
Created by Yasuko Kobayashi, Hiroyuki Tanaka

For anime fans wanting more dark fantasy action, Claymore is another solid choice. An adaptation of Norihiro Yagi’s manga of the same name and animated by studio Madhouse, the series tells the story of Clare, a monster hunter tasked with exterminating the shapeshifting demons known as youma.

Clare is known as a Claymore — a half-human half-youma hybrid manufactured to kill these beasts as humanity’s best chance for survival. Claymore will satisfy fans of intense action in their anime while also unraveling some interesting secrets of the organization that creates these hybrid monster hunters.

Gintama (2006)

tv-14 11 Seasons
Genre Action & Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Tomokazu Sugita, Rie Kugimiya, Daisuke Sakaguchi

As with other series like One Piece, writer and illustrator Hideaki Sorachi’s Gintama has been acclaimed as one of the best long-form shounen in manga and anime. Animated by studios Sunrise and Bandai Namco, the story begins in an alternate Edo-era Japan where humanity was forced to surrender to an alien invasion and form an uneasy alliance, leading to the samurai creed and swords being banned.

However, Gintoki Sakata refuses to give up the lifestyle, going with his companions on a series of odd jobs that lead to even stranger misadventures. It’s a massive undertaking, but Gintama is a wildly entertaining and rewarding anime series to get invested in. The series’ anachronistic blend of sci-fi with 1800s Japan makes for a creative setting, and its use of action and comedy is consistently witty.

Assassination Classroom (2015)

Assassination Classroom
tv-14 2 Seasons
Genre Animation, Comedy, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Jun Fukuyama, Mai Fuchigami, Nobuhiko Okamoto

Writer and illustrator Yusei Matsui’s Assassination Classroom is one of the more bombastic action comedy series, and that applies to its anime adaptation. Animated by studio Lerche, the story focuses on a group of middle school delinquents and dropouts who have been looked down upon as lost causes.

However, events wildly change course for these kids as the government tasks them with defeating an octopus-like being — who’s also their teacher — threatening to destroy the planet within the year. Assassination Classroom satisfies when it embraces the sheer over-the-top nature of its premise and characters. If fans can get behind its brand of action and comedy, this series makes for an entertaining ride.

Tengoku Daimakyo (2023)

Tengoku Daimakyo
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Animation, Mystery, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Gen Sato, Sayaka Senbongi, Hibiku Yamamura

While it wasn’t one of the most prolific mainstream anime series of 2023, Tengoku Daimakyo — also known by its English title Heavenly Delusion — is a worthwhile dystopia tale. The series is an adaptation of writer and illustrator Masakazu Ishuguro’s manga of the same name and tells parallel stories. In a world where a disaster fractured Japan and left man-eating monsters in its wake, one story follows a group of children in a nursery who gradually learn the horrifying reality that lurks outside their haven’s walls.

Meanwhile, two teenagers named Maru and Kiruko team up to find a supposed place called Heaven for unique reasons, with elements of their pasts gradually coming to light. Heavenly Delusion makes the sci-fi dystopia premise stand out thanks to its combination of character-driven storytelling and enticing mystery elements at its core. The series also manages to tackle elements of societal and gender disparities with sincerity and nuance.

Death Parade (2015)

Death Parade
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Animation, Drama, Mystery
Cast Asami Seto, Tomoaki Maeno, Misa Kato

Animation studio Madhouse created an original story with an interesting premise with Death Parade. A supernatural and psychological thriller, this series centers around the strange bar Quindecim — a place between Heaven and Hell where only pairs of people who died at the same time can enter.

It’s run by the mysterious Decim, who acts as the bar’s arbiter and challenges these people to life-or-death games to decide whether they get reincarnated or banished to the void. On top of the deadly thrills, Death Parade gets surprisingly introspective and somber with its storytelling. As more challengers take part, the series fleshes out each one by delving into their various guilts and regrets about life.

Fate/Zero (2011)

tv-ma 2 Seasons
Genre Action & Adventure, Animation, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Ayako Kawasumi, Rikiya Koyama, Akio Otsuka
Created by Gen Urobuchi

The Fate franchise is one of the most lucrative multimedia endeavors in Japan, with the Fate/Zero TV series being one of its highlights in the anime genre. Adapted from Gen Urobuchi and Takashi Takeuchi’s light novel of the same name, studio Ufotable’s anime chronicles the story of the tournament dubbed the Fourth Holy Grail War, where seven mages summon various heroes from across human history to represent them.

The winner earns the Holy Grail, a magic chalice capable of granting the owner’s wishes. Fate/Zero was widely praised for its deep worldbuilding and diverse cast of characters. As expected from a studio like Ufotable, the anime series also featured some exhilarating action sequences.

Inuyasha (2000)

tv-14 2 Seasons
Genre Animation, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Comedy, Mystery
Cast Kappei Yamaguchi, Satsuki Yukino
Created by Rumiko Takahashi

Combining fantasy, comedy, action, and romance, writer and artist Rumiko Takahashi’s Inuyasha is a manga classic that ran from the mid ’90s to the late ’00s. Animation studio Sunrise’s adaptation did the source material justice, adapting teenage protagonist Kagome Higurashi’s story as she travels back in time to feudal Japan to help the young half-demon boy Inuyasha recover the fragments of the ancient Shikon Jewel before they fall into nefarious hands and threaten the world.

Inuyasha has been beloved as an icon of the shounen anime and manga genres, tastefully capturing a sense of colorful adventure and supernatural intrigue. The period-piece approach with the feudal Japan setting also proves to be a great way to experiment with historical fantasy.

SPY x FAMILY (2022) new

tv-14 2 Seasons
Genre Animation, Comedy, Action & Adventure
Cast Takuya Eguchi, Atsumi Tanezaki, Saori Hayami

Animation studios Wit and CloverWorks’ adaptation of Tatsuya Endo’s Spy x Family has become one of the biggest contemporary shounen hits. Follow along with Loid Forger — aka Agent Twilight — as he embarks on a covert mission to quell a potential international disaster. The show then morphs into a touching, fun, and humorous story about the “found family” theme, which has been a refreshing change of pace.

The rest of the cast comprised of Anya, Yor, and their dog, Bond Forger, complete this delightful anime rendition of sitcom tropes. And season 2 of Spy x Family has more than kept up the pace from its debut. Its episodic structure with an overarching plot sprinkled in makes the series easy to engage with.

Undead Unluck (2023) new

Undead Unluck
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Animation, Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Action & Adventure
Cast Moe Kahara, Yuichi Nakamura, Natsuki Hanae

David Production, the animation studio behind the beloved JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure adaptation, has brought Yoshifumi Tozuka’s Undead Unluck to the screen. Cursed with a mysterious ability that causes tragic death to anyone who touches her, Fuuko Izumo welcomes her death.

But just as she’s about to die, a strange man touches her, causing him to fall in front of an oncoming train — but he begins to regenerate and is revealed to be immortal. Fuuko dubs him Andy and teams up with him to give his life one last hurrah, but the duo faces the threat of a shadowy group trying to exploit their powers.

Tokyo Revengers (2021) new

Tokyo Revengers
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Drama, Animation, Action & Adventure, Crime
Cast Yuuki Shin, Azumi Waki, Ryota Osaka

One of the more recent shounen anime adaptations, studio LIDENFILMS’ take on Ken Wakui’s Tokyo Revengers is a middle-school-themed gangster series. A grown down-on-his-luck Takemichi Hanagaki struggles in his career and social life, later learning that his girlfriend from middle school — Hinata Tachibana — had been murdered by a vicious local gang.

It seems his life is about to take a dark and abrupt end when he’s accidentally pushed in front of an oncoming train, but shockingly flashes back to his life 12 years ago. From there, Takemichi sets out to course-correct his life and save Hinanta from her future death by joining the ranks of his school’s gang.

Bleach (2004)

tv-14 2 Seasons
Genre Action & Adventure, Animation, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Masakazu Morita, Fumiko Orikasa, Hiroki Yasumoto

Studio Pierrot and Tite Kubo’s Bleach aims to conclude the anime adaptation with Thousand-Year Blood War. This anime is a long time coming and adapts the final titular story arc of the manga, with vigilante Soul Reaper Ichigo Kurosaki and his friends and allies abruptly confronted by Asguiaro Ebern, who aims to reignite the vitriolic feud between the Soul Society and the ancient Quincy family.

With this, Asguiaro looks to pave the way for Quincy King Ywach to return and lay waste to both the human world and the Soul Society. So far, the first two parts of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War have been strongly received for their stylish and action-packed take on Kubo’s source material, with a third on the way in spring 2024.

Hellsing (2001)

tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Action & Adventure, Animation, Mystery, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Jouji Nakata, Fumiko Orikasa, Yoshiko Sakakibara
Created by Umanosuke Iida

Though the Hellsing Ultimate adaptation that would follow it years later earned stronger critical reception, the 2001 anime is still a worthwhile watch. Animated by studio Gonzo, Hellsing centers around the vampire Alucard as he’s used by his superior, Seras Victoria, from the shadows as a weapon to protect the British Empire from supernatural threats.

An unapologetically gruesome and bombastic series, Hellsing is a wildly fun gothic horror and action-packed anime for fans looking to satisfy a vampiric craving. The only thing that holds it back is how the creative team needed to improvise an ending to the anime, as the manga had yet to finish publication at the time.

Sonny Boy (2021)

Sonny Boy
tv-14 1 Season
Genre Animation, Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Aoi Ichikawa, Saori Onishi, Aoi Yuki
One of beloved animation studio Madhouse more overlooked productions, Sonny Boy is an intriguing supernatural mystery. Partway through their summer vacation, 36 middle school students find themselves — and their school — transported to an otherworldly void dimension drifting aimlessly. Sonny Boy‘s mystery plot thickens once the students realize that they have awakened in this strange space with supernatural abilities. These kids must now have to figure out how to survive in their radical change of environment, leading to rebellions and infighting within their group.

The Tatami Time Machine Blues (2022)

The Tatami Time Machine Blues
tv-14 1 Season
Genre Animation, Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Shintaro Asanuma, Maaya Sakamoto, Hiroyuki Yoshino
Based on the sequel novel by author Tomihiko Morimi, The Tatami Time Machine Blues makes a fun sci-fi mystery out of a comically simple premise. Adapted by studio Science SARU, the series begins with a young man named Watashi who finds himself at the mercy of the brutal summer heat when his air conditioner is inadvertently destroyed when Ozu spills a soda on it. To resolve this, the group decides to use a genuine time machine they find in their storage room to back in time to save the AC unit before Ozu has a chance to ruin it. From there, the plot of The Tatami Time Machine Blues spins out into a much more exciting sci-fi adventure, especially compared to the mundane event that sparks it.

ID: INVADED (2020)

tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Animation, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Drama
Cast Kenjiro Tsuda, Yoshimasa Hosoya, Mao Ichimichi
An anime-original TV series, ID: INVADED puts an entertaining sci-fi spin on the detective thriller premise. Animated by studio NAZ, ID: INVADED sees a gifted detective named Akihito Narihisago, now disgraced on the other side of the law, help the police solve a string of murder cases. The most intriguing element of this premise is how Akihito, also known as Sakaido, uses a complex A.I. system to invade a person’s identity and mind to piece together clues. It’s a highly morally dubious system, with its prerequisite for use being that the user must have killed someone themself — which is precisely what landed Sakaido behind bars.

Space Dandy (2014)

Space Dandy
tv-14 2 Seasons
Genre Animation, Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Action & Adventure
Cast Junichi Suwabe, Uki Satake, Hiroyuki Yoshino
One of the most beloved anime-original comedy series, Space Dandy is a refreshing change of pace thanks to its inherently zany world. Animation studio Bones’ series follows the titular and colorful bounty hunter as he galavants across the galaxy searching for unique alien species in exchange for hefty rewards. Joined by his companions QT — a vacuum cleaner robot — and Meow — a cat-like alien — Space Dandy succeeds for how unapologetically absurd and campy it is. Following the whacky sci-fi exploits of this Zap Brannigan/Han Solo hybrid protagonist is a comical change of pace from the world-ending threats of other anime.

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead (2023) new

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Animation, Action & Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Shuichiro Umeda, Tomori Kusunoki, Makoto Furukawa
There’s no doubt that shounen anime get the majority of the limelight in this scene, but it’s great when seinen manga get adaptations as well. Based on writer Haro Aso and artist Kotaro Takata’s manga of the same name, Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead is aiming to be one of the best anime premieres of the 2023 season. The series takes a colorfully satirical spin on the typical zombie apocalypse genre, following downtrodden 24-year-old salary man Akira Tendou. After spending three years at a soul-crushing corporation in Japan, a sudden zombie outbreak ignites a passion and optimism in him to break him out of his slump.

Dragon Ball Z Kai (2009) new

Dragon Ball Z Kai
tv-14 6 Seasons
Genre Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Animation, Action & Adventure, Comedy
Cast Masako Nozawa, Joji Yanami, Mayumi Tanaka
Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball franchise is among the most wildly lucrative in the industry. So much so that it’s a major reason anime was able to gain a mainstream foothold on an international level. Dragon Ball Z still stands as the most revered series in the overall anime and manga franchise, and Kai is one of the most accessible ways to watch it in the modern era. A remaster of the original adaptation, Dragon Ball Z Kai features polished visuals, smooth animation, and a more trim series runtime by cutting out the filler episodes. It’s perfect for newcomers looking to see what the excitement is about, as well as longtime fans.

Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai (2020) new

Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai
tv-pg 1 Season
Genre Animation, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Yuki Kaji, Mikako Komatsu, Toshiyuki Toyonaga

Square Enix’s Dragon Quest franchise is one of the pillars of the Japanese role-playing video game genre, alongside the likes of Final Fantasy. On top of the acclaimed flagship video game series, Dragon Quest has long since blossomed into a multimedia franchise.

Inspired by Dragon Ball’s Akira Toriyama’s artwork, Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai is an anime adaptation of writer Riku Sanjo and artist Koji Inada’s original manga. Media tie-in productions don’t always land, but The Adventure of Dai succeeds on its own terms as a delightfully original story. It keeps the spirit of the games, following the tale of Dai as he lives on an island in harmony with the monsters once unleashed by a demon lord. However, he and his friends embark on a grand adventure when the villain is resurrected.

Inu-Oh (2022) new

Genre Animation, Drama, Music
Stars Avu-chan, Mirai Moriyama, Tasuku Emoto
Directed by Masaaki Yuasa

Directed by Masaaki Yuasa and produced by animation studio Science SARU, Inu-Oh is an inventive historical musical anime. Adapting the novel Tales of the Heike: Inu-Oh by author Hideo Furukawa, this story centers around the friendship between the titular dancer born with unique physical features and a blind musician.

The two characters bond over how 14th-century Japanese society has ostracized them from the world, morphing Inu-Oh into an anime rock opera with elements of magical folklore. Inu-Oh is one of the most creative and poignant anime movies in recent years and is worth a watch.

Trigun: Badlands Rumble (2011)

Trigun: Badlands Rumble
Genre Action, Animation, Science Fiction, Adventure
Stars Masaya Onosaka, Satsuki Yukino, Hiromi Tsuru
Directed by Satoshi Nishimura

Trigun Stampede has proven to be an imaginative reboot of Yasuhiro Nightow’s classic manga, but 2010’s Trigun: Badlands Rumble is just as good. Directed by Satoshi Nishimura and once again produced by veteran animation studio Madhouse, Badlands Rumble tells an original story set sometime between episodes 10 and 12 of the ’90s anime adaptation.

Vash the Stampede travels to Macca City and is quickly caught in the crossfire of a massive gang war. Former gang leader Gasback Gallon Getaway returns to get revenge on the crew there that backstabbed him 20 years prior.

Made in Abyss: Journey's Dawn (2019)

Made in Abyss: Journey's Dawn
Genre Animation, Adventure, Mystery, Fantasy
Stars Miyu Tomita, Mariya Ise, Taishi Murata
Directed by Masayuki Kojima

Akihito Tsukushi’s Made in Abyss is one of the best ongoing manga and anime series today. Animation studio Kinema Citrus has done a great job of adapting the series to the screen, and Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn is a great new way to watch the anime.

A compilation movie, Journey’s Dawn condenses the first eight episodes of the TV show into a ~2-hour-long movie. This portion of the story follows orphaned and aspiring Cave Raider Riko with her robot friend Reg as they descend into the dangerous titular abyss to uncover its secrets. Along the way, Riko will also learn about her missing mother.

Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (2007)

Mobile Suit Gundam 00
tv-ma 2 Seasons
Genre Action & Adventure, Animation, Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, War & Politics
Cast Hiroshi Kamiya, Shin-ichiro Miki, Mamoru Miyano
Created by Seiji Mizushima

Japan’s Mobile Suit Gundam franchise remains one of the most enduring anime IPs and media franchises in general. Set within a universe dense with lore and world-building, Mobile Suit Gundam 00 is among the best standalone stories for longtime fans and newcomers alike.

Telling a story with underlying themes, Mobile Suit Gundam 00 follows a paramilitary group determined to end the bloody internal warfare over scraps of usable energy.

Trigun Stampede (2023)

Trigun Stampede
tv-14 1 Season
Genre Animation, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Sakura Ando, Kenji Matsuda

Veteran studio Madhouse’s original TV anime adaptation of Yasuhiro Nightow’s Trigun is celebrated as a ’90s classic. However, studio Orange has come along with Trigun Stampede as a CG reboot of the original story.

This style of animation is infamously treated with caution in many fandom circles, but this reimagining shows the strides the technology has made. Likewise, it’s made some creative twists for this continuity, like having Meryl Stryfe as an up-and-coming investigative journalist under the mentorship of the original character, Roberto De Niro.

Durarara!! (2010)

tv-14 2 Seasons
Genre Action & Adventure, Animation, Drama, Mystery
Cast Miyuki Sawashiro, Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Mamoru Miyano
Based on the light novel series of the same name, animation studio Brain’s Base’s adaptation of Durarara! is an urban supernatural mystery revolving a group of school kids. Young Mikado Ryuugamine has long craved for a dose of excitement in his life, and he jumps at the opportunity to move to Tokyo and attend school in the district of Ikebukuro. However, the area is rife with rumors of dangerous gangs and other intimidating figures. However, the mysterious legend of the “Black Rider,” a headless person that rides a black motorcycle, seems to give Mikado and co. more than they could bargain for.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans (2015)

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Animation, War & Politics, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Yoshimasa Hosoya, Kengo Kawanishi, Yuka Terasaki
One of the most historic anime IPs in the history of the genre, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans established itself among the best of the franchise’s TV series. Set in its own timeline, Iron-Blooded Orphans takes place around 300 years after a disastrous event dubbed the Calamity War, resulting in four corrupt economic blocs from Earth ruling it and the space colonies, and the Gjallarhorn operating as intergalactic peacekeepers. The story mainly follows child soldiers Mikazuki and Orga as they fight against their oppressors and the invading Gjallarhorn, and go on to accept a mission from aristocratic freedom-fighter Kudelia Aina Bernstein as a newly-formed mercenary group bound in brotherhood.

Gurren Lagann (2007) new

Gurren Lagann
tv-14 1 Season
Genre Animation, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Marina Inoue, Kiyoyuki Yanada, Michiko Neya
Often regarded by veteran anime fans as a modern classic, animation studio Gainax’s Gurren Lagann is another example of a superb anime-original series. Though it’s certainly a sci-fi mecha-action anime, the flashy action and visuals are vehicles for the surprisingly emotional plot. Gurren Lagann opens with Simon and Kamina as they toil in the work of maintaining their underground settlement while the daunting Spiral King rules all life aboveground and has compelled most of humanity to flee underneath. Kamina, in particular, has grand ambitions for humanity’s comeback, and that’s just the surface of what unravels into an investing and thoughtful character-driven story about willpower.

Psycho-Pass (2012) new

tv-ma 3 Seasons
Genre Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Animation, Action & Adventure
Cast Yuki Kaji, Kana Hanazawa, Yuichi Nakamura
An original anime story, Psycho-Pass is perhaps one of the best options out there for riveting sci-fi tales. Animated by Production I.G, Psycho-Pass takes place in a technological dystopia where the Japanese government enforces a Minority Report-style rule over citizens. In an authoritarian attempt to quash all crime, the government monitors brain biometrics to calculate an individual’s propensity for criminality. Should they fail this Psycho-Pass, the government isn’t above dealing out immediate lethal force. The series largely centers around the jaded Enforcers the Japanese government deploys until a novice Inspector with lofty ambitions for justice begins to shake things up. In addition to the Steven Spielberg thriller, Psycho-Pass has also been praised for its inspiration from Ridley Scott’s cyberpunk landmark film Blade Runner.

Dragon Ball (1986) new

Dragon Ball
tv-pg 1 Season
Genre Animation, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Masako Nozawa, Mayumi Tanaka, Hiromi Tsuru
While Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball franchise has since exploded into a global multimedia juggernaut, not enough of that credit goes to its original series. Dragon Ball Z was certainly a new peak, but the original Dragon Ball still stands as a shounen anime classic. This franchise launch pad follows Son Goku’s beginnings as a fish out of water who doesn’t know his own strength as he meets a colorful cast of heroes and villains on the way. Dragon Ball features classic villains like the Red Ribbon Army, as well as the antagonistic days of converted-hero King Piccolo.

My Hero Academia (2016)

My Hero Academia
tv-14 6 Seasons
Genre Action & Adventure, Animation
Cast Daiki Yamashita, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Kenta Miyake
My Hero Academia has been a shounen hit that’s also combined the mainstream popularity of the superhero genre. The story follows Izuku Midoriya, nicknamed Deku, as he starts out as a boy with poor luck for being born without a Quirk (the show’s name for powers) — despite 80% of the population manifesting one. These powers are also a reflection of the user’s personality. Regardless, Deku soldiers on and enrolls into the prestigious superhero academy U.A. High School. Season 6 premieres on Hulu on October 1, and after quickly tying up some loose ends from the prior season, it will lead into the climactic fight between the heroes of U.A. High School and the villains of the Paranormal Liberation Front — who are spearheaded by Tomura Shigaraki.

Chainsaw Man (2022)

Chainsaw Man
63 %
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Animation, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Kikunosuke Toya, Tomori Kusunoki, Shogo Sakata
Arguably one of the best shounen manga to publish in recent years, Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Chainsaw Man is finally getting an anime adaptation. Animated by the immensely talented animation studio MAPPA — of Attack on Titan: The Final Season and Jujustu Kaisen fame — Chainsaw Man tells the story of the tragically orphaned young man Denji as his life is drastically upended in a world of supernatural creatures. Having to do the local Yakuza’s dirty work as repayment for his father’s death, Denji’s best friend and dog-like devil Pochita saves his life when the organization inevitably turns on him. Now fused with the Chainsaw Devil, Denji joins the Japanese government agency responsible for hunting devils. Chainsaw Man is as over-the-top violent as the name suggests, but it’s also impressively nuanced and emotional as a coming-of-age tale. The anime premieres on Hulu on October 11.

Mob Psycho 100 (2016)

Mob Psycho 100
tv-14 3 Seasons
Genre Animation, Action & Adventure, Comedy
Cast Setsuo Ito, Takahiro Sakurai, Miyu Irino
From the writer ONE, who also brought fans the widely acclaimed superhero and shounen satire One-Punch Man, comes Mob Psycho 100. Adapted into anime format by veteran studio Bones, Mob Psycho 100 has been similarly lauded on its own merits in its first two seasons as it follows the story of the mild-mannered Shigeo Kageyama — also known as Mob. Mob is an esper with immense psychic powers that he tends to keep to himself in an attempt to lead a mundane life. However, along with his self-proclaimed psychic and con artist friend/mentor Reigen, Mob stumbles upon problem after problem that puts his control and patience through grueling tests. Mob Psycho 100 has all the dazzling visual spectacle and action fans would expect, in addition to charming art direction and a perfect balance of fights, comedy, and resonating coming-of-age themes. Season 3 premieres on Hulu on October 5.

Hunter x Hunter (2011)

Hunter x Hunter
tv-14 3 Seasons
Genre Action & Adventure, Animation, Drama
Cast Megumi Han, Mariya Ise, Miyuki Sawashiro
Animation studio Madhouse adapted a new-and-improved TV series based on writer Yoshihiro Togashi’s acclaimed shounen manga Hunter x Hunter. From the same mind that brought fans Yu Yu Hakusho, Hunter x Hunter is a sprawling and colorful modern fantasy that’s packed with world-building and intriguing characters. The young Gon Freecs sets out one day to become a world-class hunter — one who specializes in seeking out rare things, creatures, or locations — like the father who abandoned him. After he passes the examination for his license, Gon bands together with his new friends and allies, Killua, Kurapika, and Leorio, on a globetrotting adventure filled with supernatural perils and vibrant new worlds.

Dragon Ball Super (2015)

Dragon Ball Super
tv-14 1 Season
Genre Animation, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Masako Nozawa, Ryou Horikawa, Hiromi Tsuru
Created by Akira Toriyama
Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball franchise is one of the global icons of the anime genre. Dragon Ball Super is the long-awaited sequel series to the beloved Z, with Goku and company living a relatively peaceful life after the climactic fight against Majin Boo. However, after the God of Destruction Beerus comes down to Earth to test the mettle of its strongest combatants, the cast is drawn back into a life of high-octane action. From there, the story spirals into a bombastic adventure spanning the exploration of multiple timelines, with the Z Fighters meeting powerful new allies and foes along the way.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly (2018)

Dragon Ball Super: Broly
59 %
Genre Action, Science Fiction, Animation
Stars Masako Nozawa, Aya Hisakawa, Ryou Horikawa
Directed by Tatsuya Nagamine
Dragon Ball Super: Broly is another landmark for the franchise and veteran fans. This feature film marks the first canon appearance of fan-favorite villain Broly, taking place after the Tournament of Power arc from the TV anime with Goku and Vegeta facing off against the Legendary Super Saiyan. Just as well, it chronicles the history and demise of the Saiyan race on Planet Vegeta, painting Broly as a more sympathetic and misunderstood antihero in the process. Being manipulated for his daunting and rage-induced power, Goku, Vegeta, and even classic Dragon Ball Z villain Frieza get involved after the latter’s return from hell.

Mushi-shi (2005)

tv-14 2 Seasons
Genre Animation, Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Yuji Ueda, Daisuke Kishio, Mika Doi
Taking place in a fantasy rendition of this world rooted in magical realism, Mushi-shi is an introspective anime. Spiritual entities known as Mushi inhabit the world and are largely peaceful to mankind, unbothered by their earthly squabbling. To study and understand these difficult-to-perceive beings, Mushi masters are tasked with seeking them out. Enter the titular master Ginko, with his anthology-style adventures that take him across the countryside as he meets people and interacts with the Mushi.

Steins;Gate (2011)

tv-14 1 Season
Genre Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Animation, Mystery, Comedy, Drama
Cast Kana Hanazawa, Mamoru Miyano, Yu Kobayashi
Based on the visual novel video game of the same name, Steins;Gate is a thoroughly compelling sci-fi thriller. Self-professed mad scientist Rintaro Okabe has created delusions of thwarting a secret organized conspiracy. Along with Rintaro’s colorful cast of supportive friends, the group dive into the mystery behind achieving time travel. However, once Makise Kurisu finds herself involved, a darker mystery begins to unfold.

Attack on Titan (2013)

Attack on Titan
tv-ma 4 Seasons
Genre Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Animation, Action & Adventure
Cast Yuki Kaji, Yui Ishikawa, Marina Inoue
Attack on Titan has been one of the most popular anime series for the better part of a decade. And now that the final season is in progress, Hulu is premiering episodes the same week they debut in Japan. The series is set in a post-apocalyptic future where humanity lives in walled cities to escape the Titans, a race of giant humanoids with an appetite for destruction. Eren Jaeger loses his mother to the Titans at an early age and enlists in the Survey Corps to fight them. When Eren discovers his own ability to transform into a Titan, it gives humanity a chance to fight back while also exposing some of the Titans’ hidden secrets.

Parasyte -the maxim- (2014)

Parasyte -the maxim-
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Animation, Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Action & Adventure
Cast Nobunaga Shimazaki, Aya Hirano, Kana Hanazawa
Created by Shōji Yonemura
In Parasyte: The Maxim, a high school student named Shinichi Izumi finds himself thrust into the center of an alien invasion. The invaders are known as Parasytes, and they typically take total control of their victims’ brains. However, Shinichi’s Parasyte embeds itself in his arm instead of his brain. After the Parasyte develops its own personality and calls itself Migi, Shinichi forms an alliance with his personal invader as they take on other Parasytes within the city. Together, they may be humanity’s only real defense against the Parasytes’ invisible invasion.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (2019)

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
tv-ma 3 Seasons
Genre Animation, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Natsuki Hanae, Akari Kito, Hiro Shimono
Created by Ufotable
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is so huge right now that the anime movie that came out in 2020 recently beat the Mortal Kombat reboot and topped the U.S. box office. The anime series of the same name is also incredibly popular all over the world. It takes place in Japan’s distant history, as a teenager named Tanjiro loses his family to a demon attack. Tanjiro’s younger sister, Nezuko, is the only survivor, but unfortunately, she is transformed into a demon by the experience. To avenge his family and save his sister’s soul, Tanjiro undertakes a quest to become a demon slayer.


tv-ma 2 Seasons
Genre Animation, Action & Adventure, Drama
Cast Yoshimasa Hosoya, Hiroki Yasumoto, Michiyo Murase
Created by Katsuhiko Manabe, Kensaku Kojima
In the future, boxing has been spruced up a bit for the next generation. In Megalobox, the sweet science now includes fighters who battle with exoskeletons that enhance their strength. But that’s not enough for Junk Dog, aka Joe. He’s an underground fighter in scripted matches who wants to break into the real Megalobox competitions. After getting a chance to fight the Megalobox champion, Yuri, Joe is forced to start at the bottom and work his way back up to earn the right for a rematch. It’s not an easy road, even with technological enhancements. That’s why it’s going to take heart and determination for Joe to make his way to the top.

Yu Yu Hakusho (1992)

Yu Yu Hakusho
tv-pg 4 Seasons
Genre Animation, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Nozomu Sasaki, Shigeru Chiba, Megumi Ogata
Created by Studio Pierrot
At the start of Yu Yu Hakusho, the leading character, Yusuke, is anything but a hero. Instead, he’s a teenage narcissist who seemingly only cares for himself. And yet Yusuke surprises everyone, including himself, by sacrificing his life to prevent a young boy from being killed by an oncoming car. The powers that be in the afterlife are suitably impressed, and they allow Yusuke to come back to life as a Spirit Detective. Even Yusuke’s former rival, Kuwabara, becomes a part of his new life as they are drawn into the ongoing battle between monsters, demons, and humans for control of reality.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009)

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
tv-14 1 Season
Genre Action & Adventure, Animation, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Romi Park, Rie Kugimiya, Shin-ichiro Miki
Created by Hiroshi Ōnogi
Technically, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is not a reboot of the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist series. Instead, it’s simply a more faithful adaptation of Hiromu Arakawa’s original manga. In an alternate steampunk universe, Edward and his brother, Alphonse Elric, pay a heavy price when they try to resurrect their mother with alchemy. Edward loses an arm and a leg, while Al’s spirit is stuck in a suit of armor. Instead of giving up, Edward becomes a Fullmetal Alchemist and teams up with his brother on a quest to restore their bodies before facing a conspiracy that has links to their long-missing father.

One Piece (1999)

One Piece
tv-14 11 Seasons
Genre Action & Adventure, Comedy, Animation
Cast Mayumi Tanaka, Kazuya Nakai, Akemi Okamura
Created by Junki Takegami
How big is One Piece? The animated adaptation of Eiichiro Oda’s manga series began in 1999 … and it’s still going with more than 900 episodes produced to date. Not even The Simpsons can match that episode total! The show follows the ongoing tales of Monkey D. Luffy and his Straw Hat Pirates as they go from one thrilling adventure to the next. The search is on for the “One Piece,” the world’s ultimate treasure that could allow whoever finds it to become the new Pirate King. Monkey’s elastic body gives him an edge, but the Straw Hat Pirates have a lot of competition in the search for this prize.

Cowboy Bebop (1998)

Cowboy Bebop
tv-14 1 Season
Genre Action & Adventure, Animation, Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Koichi Yamadera, Unsho Ishizuka, Megumi Hayashibara
Created by Hajime Yatate
Netflix may have the upcoming live-action series, but Hulu has the original Cowboy Bebop. More than two decades after its initial debut, Cowboy Bebop remains a fan favorite thanks to its stylish mix of sci-fi, westerns, and noir. In the future, an unlikely group of bounty hunters makes their way among the interstellar colonies. However, the past is often present for Spike, Jet, Faye, Ed, and Ein. Cowboy Bebop only ran for 26 episodes, but the series’ fascinating journey and memorable ending still resonate to this day.

One-Punch Man (2015)

One-Punch Man
tv-pg 2 Seasons
Genre Action & Adventure, Animation, Comedy
Cast Kazuhiro Yamaji, Yuichi Nakamura, Kenjiro Tsuda
Created by ONE
Meet Saitama, the most powerful superhero in the world. Despite his slight physique, Saitama can defeat any foe as long as he can land a single punch. But that’s a big problem for the star of One-Punch Man. Saitama craves a challenge that he can never truly find, which leads to some very funny moments. The superheroes of this world simply can’t compare to Saitama, and they have a hard time believing that he is truly as humble as he appears. One-Punch Man is one of a kind, and it’s easily among the most memorable series of the past decade.

Death Note (2006)

Death Note
tv-14 1 Season
Genre Animation, Mystery
Cast Mamoru Miyano, Noriko Hidaka, Nozomu Sasaki
Created by Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata
Imagine holding the power of life and death in your hands. It’s not a hypothetical situation in Death Note, a series in which high-school student Light Yagami comes into possession of the Death Note, a book that allows Light to kill anyone whose name is written in it. Light quickly develops a God complex as he takes credit for killing “bad people” while using his alter ego, Kira. That leads to a delicious game of cat and mouse between Light and the enigmatic investigator known as L. But when the Death Note is in play, very few will make it out alive.

TRIGUN (1998)

tv-14 1 Season
Genre Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Animation
Cast Masaya Onosaka, Hiromi Tsuru, Satsuki Yukino
Created by Yasuhiro Nightow
In the Trigun anime, Vash the Stampede may be the deadliest man in the galaxy, and the best gunslinger as well. He also happens to be an upbeat pacifist who just can’t seem to stop leaving chaos and destruction in his wake. This series struck a chord with American viewers for its deft blend of action and comedy, while Vash’s story revealed hidden chapters of his past. Regardless of what he may or may not have done before the series, Vash is a fan-favorite anime icon, and his adventures in Trigun have made this series an enduring hit.

Samurai Champloo (2004)

Samurai Champloo
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Action & Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Drama
Cast Kazuya Nakai, Ginpei Sato, Steve Blum, Kirk Thornton
Created by Manglobef
Samurai Champloo is a wild mixture of comedy and martial arts action that utilizes real events from Japanese history while integrating them with modern culture and even hip-hop music. That’s a combination that doesn’t make much sense, but somehow, it just works. The trio at the heart of the show is a young woman named Fuu, and her two reluctant companions: Mugen and Jin. After saving the two warriors from execution, Fuu recruits them for her personal mission to track down an enigmatic samurai who is very important to her.

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Guillermo Kurten
Freelance Writer, Entertainment
A University of Houston graduate in Print Media Journalism, Guillermo has covered sports entertainment and practically all…
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