With the introduction of anime to its extensive library, Netflix has become an integral player in the anime industry, with original shows like Aggretsuko and Castlevania garnering critical acclaim. If you haven’t had a chance to check out one of their original titles, allow us to give you a sneak peek of what Netflix has to offer.
- Kotaro Lives Alone
Kotaro Lives Alone follows a 4-year-old boy named Kotaro who suddenly moves into an apartment complex by himself. Although Kotaro does his best to be self-sufficient, providing for himself and traveling alone, his neighbors collectively pitch in to lend Kotaro a helping hand. Kotaro gets especially close to Shin: a lonely mangaka who takes Kotaro under his wing. As Shin and Kotaro grow closer, Shin becomes less of a friend and more of a guardian as he starts to uncover more details about Kotaro’s mysterious past and the whereabouts of his parents. Don’t let the adorable main character fool you; this show gets deep, touching on heartbreaking themes of love, abandonment, and child abuse. It cleverly masks these topics with cozy slice-of-life vibes and light-hearted humor that makes the show easy to watch. Kotaro Lives Alone is a true gem, and with only ten episodes in the series, it won’t take long to get through.
- Seven Deadly Sins
Seven Deadly Sins takes us to the Kingdom of Liones, a Britain-based kingdom that’s currently under attack by those who swore to protect it. When the royal family of Liones is seized by the treacherous Holy Knights, Princess Elizabeth manages to escape and sets off in search of the only group of warriors powerful enough to run to the Kingdom’s aid: the legendary Seven Deadly Sins (a crew of renegade knights that personify each of the seven sins.)
With Seven Deadly Sins, you can expect a medieval series that focuses more on story development and less on individual characters, sacrificing character development for the sake of advancing the overarching plot. Its genre-bending elements will give you a little dose of everything: a little bit of romance, comedy, and suspense to counter all the Akira Toriyama-esque action and drama. Since its premiere, Seven Deadly Sins has made quite a name for itself. The series had an impressive five-season run, two films, and three OVAs making it one of the most successful anime titles from the Netflix catalog.
- DOTA: Dragon’s Blood
Based on Valve’s Dota 2, DOTA: Dragon’s Blood follows the story of Davion the Dragon Knight who teams up with a warrior princess to save the world from a powerful demon. With the appearance of everything from brothels, dragons, taverns, and sword fighting, it’s basically the anime equivalent of Game of Thrones. The DOTA cast is made up of every race and class you would expect to see in a show based in the Middle Ages, including everything from warrior princesses to elves, dragon knights, and demons. The characters are fleshed out in such great detail that they come off as real. Even their dialogue flows naturally. One of the best things about the series is the writing; it manages to string together multiple storylines at once and introduce characters often without causing frustration or confusion. DOTA’s cinematic storytelling, gruesome battles, and mystifying lore make it not only one of the best Netflix originals but one of the best video game adaptations ever made for TV.
- Cyberpunk: Edgerunners
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners takes us to Night City, a cyberpunk metropolis where money is everything. Here, we meet David Martinez, an underprivileged kid who’s down on his luck. A misfit and an outcast, David tries everything in his power to stay on the straight and narrow path until an unfortunate tragedy leaves him without care or guidance. With his back to the wall and nowhere else to go, he turns to a life of crime and gets taken in by a crew of degenerates, who make a living doing odd jobs on the underground: the aptly named Cyberpunks. Packed with a killer soundtrack and S-tier visuals, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is grade-A adult animation whose graphic violence, dialogue, and sexual content make it NSFW. Ironically, Cyberpunk’s tone is a complete contrast to its dazzling neon aesthetic, giving us a hard, gritty tale of one kid’s fall from grace. After witnessing the shadiness of the dog-eat-dog world of Night City, there’s only one thing viewers will take away: trust no one.
BEASTARS is an intriguing story about oppression, discrimination, and internal struggle. In the BEASTARS universe, carnivores are ostracized in society and labeled as monsters for their natural abilities. Eating meat is illegal, having fangs is frowned upon, and herbivores talk down to them on a regular basis. This treatment is made worse when an herbivore is devoured at Cherryton Academy, creating tension among the student body. It’s here that we meet Legoshi, a wolf whose reputation precedes him. Despite his daunting appearance, Legoshi is a gentle giant who has struggled to resist his animal instincts since he was a pup. His strength is tested when he falls in love with a rabbit, a controversial pairing that tests his willpower. BEASTARS’ dramatic tale of love and prejudice is complemented by its unique art style, with heavily outlined illustrations that really get straight to the heart of you. The script is so poetic, it’s almost lyrical, cleverly showcasing the inner dialogue of its cast. With two seasons out and another one on the way, it’s definitely one of the best anime Netflix has to offer.
With the announcement of new anime like the Scott Pilgrim series, we know the Netflix original lineup is only getting better from here. You can check out anime like BEASTARS and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners streaming now on Netflix. What’s your favorite Netflix original anime? Let us know on social media @blackgirlnerds.
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Kaillaby is a writer from The Bronx with infectious high energy and a passion for geek culture. She loves connecting with Blerds like herself and hopes to create her own cartoon someday.