Movies/TV Popular Culture

The 20 Best Anime You Should Be Watching Right Now

There’s a mind-boggling amount of anime in the world. For that reason alone, it can be hard to figure out exactly what you want to watch next. Do you want to stick to the same genre you usually watch, or do you want to try something new? Is that hot new show really all it’s cracked up to be? And how long of a time commitment are you going to have to put into a show before you feel like you’ve really gotten something out of it?

We get it. Seriously. Some series just aren’t worth putting all that time into, but when you find one that just clicks, you’ll spend hours diving in and getting immersed in a fantasy world that feels all your own. So to help you summon that feeling (and to save you some time), we’ve rounded up some of the best anime you should be watching right now, 20 at that, to jumpstart your next anime watch party.

From Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba to Jujutsu Kaisen, these shows will keep you on the edge of your seat. And you’ll finally be able to catch up with all your friends who have seen all the best of the best already. Here we go!

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1. ‘Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba’

A young man named Tanjiro Kamado makes his way out of the village where he lives with his family to sell charcoal in a nearby town. When he returns, he finds his mother and siblings have been slaughtered, with his remaining surviving sister, Nezuko, having been turned into a demon. Tanjiro vows to find a way to take revenge on the demon that destroyed his family and return Nezuko back to her original human form. To do that, he must train as a Demon Slayer and find the cure, all the while battling powerful demons and delving deep into the world of the Demon Slayer Corps. It’s an action-packed thrill ride that’ll tug at your heartstrings when you least expect it, especially since you’ll also want sweet Nezuko to go back to normal.

Watch Now, Funimation
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2. ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’

The Seven Deadly Sins may be one of the most addictive anime series out there at the moment. Every time one episode ends, you’re ready to fire up another one. Following a group of knights known as the Seven Deadly Sins in the land of Britannia, this series focuses on their leader, Meliodas. The group has since been disbanded after being accused of plotting a coup to take over the Liones Kingdom, but Meliodas is looking to get the group back together and work to clear their name before liberating Liones from the Holy Knights, those in charge of the kingdom at present. Along with Liones’s princess Elizabeth, Meliodas works with the Knights to restore peace to the kingdom while working to defeat the demon named Fraudrin, who’s trying to unseal the Demon Race from their prison. No pressure!

Watch Now, Netflix
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3. ‘Darling in the Franxx’

In the future, humanity is constantly under threat by massive creatures called “klaxosaurs.” In the post-apocalyptic world where there are only a few humans, mostly children, left to fight against them, kids have to pilot mecha called “Franxx” in male and female pairs. A team of ten, Squad 13 of Plantation 13, includes Hiro, a former pilot who can no longer sync with his partner. He ends up meeting a mysterious young Franxx pilot named Zero Two, who has klaxosaur blood flowing through her veins. Known as the “Partner Killer,” she has a reputation for killing those she pilots with. She and Hiro get along beautifully, however, and sync perfectly. They have to team up and slay the klaxosaurs, but can Hiro survive?

Watch Now, Funimation
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4. ‘Spy X Family’

Though it hasn’t been airing its anime adaptation long, Spy X Family is one of the hottest shows going right now, and you’ll want to get in on the ground floor. It follows a conflict between the rival nations of Westalis and Ostania, namely a Westalis agent, codenamed Twilight. He’s assigned to spy on the tumultuous leader of an Ostanian political part, and Twilight must get crafty about getting close to him. So he adopts a young girl named Anya and marries a woman named Yor Briar to create the “perfect” family. Yor is an assassin on her own, however, and knows nothing of Twilight’s plans, nor his secret identity. “Daughter” Anya is a mind reader and knows both their identities. Chaos ensues as the trio pretends to make the “perfect” family while carrying out their missions.

Watch Now, Hulu
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5. ‘Attack on Titan’

Large naked men with almost no intelligence have nearly exterminated humanity, which now hides in small enclaves behind three huge walls. Attack on Titan starts with the humans feeling fairly comfortable that the walls would hold. However, the appearance of a bigger titan that isn’t so dumb proves that’s not the case. Things get progressively weirder from there, as we come to understand the horrifying truth beyond the massive monsters. For one, they don’t need to eat. They also have no qualms about simply stuffing themselves full of humans just because. And humans? They have very little recourse beyond coordinated attacks to bring them to their knees. It’s full of twists and turns, and you can even binge-watch almost the whole thing since it’s reaching its end. Just beware if you’re squeamish because it’s certainly not for the faint of heart.

Watch Now, Crunchyroll
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6. ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’

High school student Yuji Itadori lives a fairly normal life, until one day his dying grandfather passes on two messages to him: “always help others” and “die surrounded by people”. When his friend Megumi Fushiguro and the members of the Occult Club fall under the curse of an entity named Ryomen Sukuna, Yuji swallows Sukuna’s rotten finger to protect them. As a result, Yuji becomes host to Sukuna, which is all but an assured death sentence, all the while collecting all of Sukuna’s fingers to dispel the curse. Yuji meets up with Megumi’s jujutsu teacher Satoru Gojo and heads to Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School with a solution: his death can be postponed until he consumes all the fingers. Cue Yuji training as hard as possible while trying to keep Sukuna suppressed. It’s not easy, but that’s what he’s got to do if he wants to live.

Watch Now, Crunchyroll
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7. ‘My Dress Up Darling’

My Dress Up Darling may be one of the most precious stories around, even if you’re not typically into romance anime. High schooler Wakana Gojo dreams of becoming a professional hina doll craftsman. One day, while in his school craft room, he runs into the extroverted, beautiful, and popular student Marin Kitagawa. Surprisingly, she’s hanging out in the craft room in a bid to salvage her secret cosplay. As it turns out, she’s a major otaku and loves Gojo’s craftsmanship on the doll costumes he’s working on. Marin asks him for help putting her outfit together, which sparks a maelstrom of surprising closeness between the two. They slowly bond over the similarities neither knew the other had, until love blossoms unexpectedly between this mismatched pair. It just goes to show, that you can never judge a book by its cover.

Watch Now, Crunchyroll
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8. ‘Dorohedoro’

Caiman seems like a regular guy clad in a black gas mask and a spiked head. The problem is just when he takes off his mask. Underneath, he looks more like a dinosaur than a man. His whole body is human except for the scaly, reptilian nature of his head. But he wasn’t born that way. As Dorohedoro begins, we find that Caiman was actually the victim of a wayward sorcerer.
With that in mind, Caiman was attacked with some sort of magic that left him with no memories and the bizarre head he finds himself with. But rather than totally give up on life as he knows it, he opts to work alongside his best friend Nikaido to track down the sorcerer who disfigured him. The mystery behind who transformed Caiman into this new being is part of what propels you forward through the series, but its colorful cast and intriguing setting are other pieces of the equation as well. Believe it or not, Caiman is only one piece of the puzzle that comprises the gritty, magical world of Dorohedoro. You’ll never see another show like this one!

Watch Now, Netflix
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9. ‘Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World’

When NEET Subaru Natsuki suddenly finds himself in a fantasy world, he’s taken aback by how different things are. When he meets a young half-elf named Emilia, he ends up getting killed in an effort to keep her from har. To his surprise, instead of dying for good, or returning to his world, he ends up coming back to life, with time having been turned back to before his death. This means he has a second chance at things and can approach scenarios with a different mindset. When he successfully helps Emilia, life changes dramatically. He falls in love with her and uses his ability to keep Emilia from harm, all while trying to help her become the next queen of the Kingdom of Lugunica. But as it turns out, the power he possesses isn’t quite what he thought it was. He has no idea when it’ll stop working, what he’ll be able to accomplish before it does, or why he even has it. That’s part of the wild ride of Re:Zero, and a great reason to jump on the bandwagon, even if the second season tends to take one of the best characters from us.

Watch Now, Funimation
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10. ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’

Widely considered one of the greatest anime series of all time, Neon Genesis Evangelion may technically be a mecha story, but it’s so much more than that. It follows teenager Shinji Ikari, a regular boy scooped up by his mysterious father Gendo Ikari to pilot a massive bio-mechanical machine called Evangelion to fight off the terrifying, alien-like creatures called Angels. Shinji is joined by two other pilots, Rei Ayanami and Asuka Langley Shikinami, and the flirtatious Misato as they work with a shadowy organization named NERV to stop the destruction of humanity. It’s about a lot more than that, but if all those stories beats intrigue you, you’re in for a wild ride that’ll have you second-guessing life and existence.

Watch Now, Netflix
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11. ‘Beastars’

Beastars takes place in a modern society where anthropomorphic animals live and work together as well as attend school, from wolves to chickens to dogs and everything in between. Legoshi is a wolf who attends Cherryton Academy, where he lives in a dorm alongside other carnivorous students. When he meets a young rabbit named Haru, his world is turned upside down. He must struggle with his instinct to eat Haru while also falling in love with her. Meanwhile, there are killings going on all throughout Cherryton Academy. Who’s behind them, and will the rest of the animals continue to villainize animals like Legoshi for being carnivores, or can all the animals continue to live in peace without distrust and fear among them?

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12. ‘Puella Magi Madoka Magica’

Need a swift deconstruction of the magical girl genre? Puella Magi Madoka Magica is just what the doctor ordered. Madoka Kaname and her friend Sayaka Miki meet a strange creature one day named Kyubey, whose 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. This isn’t the sugary sweet Sailor Moon-like story that thrives on love and justice. It’s a complete 180, and that’s why it’s such a must-watch.

Watch Now, Netflix
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13. ‘Cowboy Bebop’

The legendary Cowboy Bebop is a mandatory watch, especially if you’ve never seen it before. Hailed as one of the greatest animated series of all time, it’s a fantastic example of how a work can transcend genres and go down in history as such a memorable property. Set in a future where people can register as bounty hunters (Cowboys) and take to the stars to chase down criminals, Cowboy Bebop follows bounty hunters Spike Spiegel and Jet Black as they track down bounties, all the while Spike deals with his rivalry with the criminal Vicious, head of the Red Dragon Syndicate. Spike and Jet meet up with the amnesiac and beautiful Faye Valentine, child hacker Edward, and corgi Ein along their travels, which finds them all mixed up in a variety of intergalactic adventures. Just trust us on this one. Go watch it now.

Watch Now, Hulu
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14. ‘Devilman Crybaby’

This reimagining of a Go Nagai classic is one of the best modern reinventions for an anime series yet. Akira Fudo is the titular “crybaby” — his kind heart makes him an easy target for bullies, but his best friend Ryo Asuka helps him move away from this persona, just not in a healthy way at all. Ryo has a secret: he knows demons are real, and he can prove it. He uses a special power to draw the demons out of humans and plunges poor Akira into the center of it all. As a result, Akira becomes a “Devilman,” or a demon that can retain its human nature while gaining immense power from a demonic form. Ryo’s actions were hardly altruistic, as he plans to rule the world with Akira as a tool by his side. The result? An unforgettable bloody ballet of violence, gore, sex, and psychedelic visuals.

Watch Now, Netflix
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15. ‘Mob Psycho 100’

Shigeo Kageyama is just a regular middle school student. He goes by the name of Mob, but he doesn’t really stand out. You wouldn’t know it by looking at him, but he has unimaginable psychic power. He’s got to keep himself at bay and learn to control his abilities, and to do this, he works with con artist Reigen Arataka, who says he’s a spirit medium. Mob must learn to tussle with his powers and his ability as an esper by helping Reigen exorcise spirits for his wide variety of clients, all the while with his powerful abilities breaking through to the surface and having Mob explode with insane amounts of power. It’s chock-full of amazing animation, crazy anime breakouts, and hilarious scenes you won’t soon forget.

Watch Now, Funimation
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16. ‘Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’

Fullmetal Alchemist, at its core, is a story about brotherly love and family bonds, just like Demon Slayer. It follows the young Elric brothers, who desperately look for a way to bring their mother back to life using the power of alchemy while making some stark realizations along the way. While we like both the original series and Brotherhood, most fans prefer the latter due to it being much more faithful to the manga. It’s a series that’s consistently ranked one of the best anime ever made and is a must-watch for any aficionado.

Watch Now, Funimation
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17. ‘Hunter X Hunter’

Hunter x Hunter is another huge shonen title that follows a young boy named Gon who goes on a journey to find his father. To do so, he aims to become a Hunter, which is a kind of treasure/bounty hunter. There have been two anime series (so far), and the manga series is still ongoing (despite author Toshihiro Togashi being on hiatus since 2018). Tackling the manga is a significant undertaking, but the second anime (which most people recommend) is a scant 148 episodes.

Watch Now, Crunchyroll
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18. ‘JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’

JoJo is one of the best anime series ever created. That’s a fact. But you have to think about which part is your favorite if you’re going to start shouting it from the rooftops. Part of what makes it so good is that each season has a clearly defined objective and a hero with unwavering resolve, which is similar to Demon Slayer. JoJo drips with style and is as cool as it is silly. If you haven’t seen it, go introduce yourself to the Joestar family ASAP.

Watch Now, Netflix
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19. ‘Akame ga Kill!’

In Akame ga Kill!, a young man trying to raise money for his poor village travels to the corrupt Imperial Capital and is thrust into the middle of an insurgency when the assassin ground Night Raid finds him. This is a series that doesn’t pull any punches, and no character is safe from death. However, do yourself a favor if you’re watching it and read the last part of the manga to get the canon ending since the anime wrapped before it was completed.

Watch Now, Crunchyroll
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20. ‘My Hero Academia’

My Hero Academia is basically like Harry Potter with superheroes instead of wizards, and that’s better than it sounds. The anime has been tremendously possible and actually releases on a reliable schedule. After five years on the air, we’ve gotten five seasons, and a movie is on the way. So, if you’re looking for something less supernatural but with some of the same shonen vibes as some of the more contemporary action series, be sure to check this one out.

Watch Now, Funimation

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