30 Animes That Are Perfect For Binge-Watching And Definitely Not For Kids

Don’t make any plans because these shows might consume your life. Good animes tend to do that.

Disclaimer on the streaming sections: Streaming sites are constantly changing their listings. Also, Crunchyroll is a good resource for finding these, as well!

1. Attack on Titan

Funimation

Recommended if you like:
Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, very sad things constantly happening

The elevator pitch:
People live in walled cities hiding from giants that eat humans. Legions of knights who fly around like Spiderman with grappling hooks, hoping to stop the giants from eating people. A lot of people get eaten.

Streaming on:
Netflix, Hulu

2. Berserk

Madman Entertainment

Recommended if you like:
Game of Thrones, 300, just totally outrageous violence

The elevator pitch:
Berzerk is one giant bloody mess of a medeval slash-em-up knight story. It’s known as one of the rawer animes out there and for good reason. You’ve been warned.

Streaming on:
Netflix

3. Big O

Animax

Recommended if you like:
Batman: The Animated Series, Dark City, big robots

The elevator pitch:
Take a millionaire like Bruce Wayne, put him in a giant robot, and then have him fight other huge robots. Also, bonus, the whole show is one big quest to solve the mystery of how every single person in the city lost their memories all at the same time. It’s trippy and cool and definitely a weird, good time.

Streaming on:
Nowhere (officially)

4. Claymore

Madhouse

Recommended if you like:
Game of Thrones, 300, medieval slash-em-ups

The elevator pitch:
Female knights hunt down shapeshifters and kill them in a very loosely medieval kind of world.

Streaming on:
Hulu

5. Cowboy Bebop

Sunrise

Recommended if you like:
Firefly, Blade Runner, The Fifth Element

The elevator pitch:
Take the coolest crime noir you’ve ever seen and put it in space. It’s known for its gorgeous art and beautiful jazz-inspired soundtrack. There’s a reason it’s a modern classic.

Streaming on:
Adult Swim

6. Darker Than Black

Funimation

Recommended if you like:
Intense sci-fi mysteries like The X-Files or Lost

The elevator pitch:
A story full of assassinations and espionage set in a world where the gates to heaven and hell have opened up, giving certain people special powers.

Streaming on:
Hulu, Netflix

7. Death Note

Madhouse

Recommended if you like:
Hannibal, The Following, Orphan Black

The elevator pitch:
An overachieving high school student gets a notebook that will kill anyone whose name is written in it. When he starts killing bad guys with it, let’s just say things get out-of-hand real quick.

Streaming on:
Hulu

8. Fate/Zero

ufotable

Recommended if you like:
Alias, Merlin, magic and fantasy, coming-of-age stories

The elevator pitch:
Every 60 years a bunch of mages summon a great hero from the past, like Gilgamesh, or Alexander The Great, and make them fight each other. To tell you anymore would probably ruin it. Has some of the best fight choreography you’re bound to come across. Plus, it has a slew of insanely cool female characters!

Streaming on:
Hulu

9. FLCL

Gainax

Recommended if you like:
Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, Venture Bros, giant robots

The elevator pitch:
Oh boy, so FLCL is only six episodes long and let’s be glad it’s that short. An angsty teenager discovers that when he, uh, becomes aroused, giant monsters crawl out of his head and start to destroy the city. Luckily, he has a robot friend that helps him beat them. It’s also not really about any of that. But it is. But not really. You know what I mean?

Streaming on:
Nowhere (officially)

10. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Square Enix

Recommended if you like:
Inglorious Basterds, Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Harry Potter (especially the later books), steampunk

The elevator pitch:
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is technically a reimagining/sequel of the more kid-friendly Fullmetal Alchemist. It follows the Eldric brothers, two teenagers who have the ability to use a magic known as alchemy. Brotherhood is much darker than the first installment. It’s also much longer and has an epic feel to it that makes it an absolute must-see.

Streaming on:
Netflix, Hulu

11. Fushigi Yuugi

Studio Pierrot

Recommended if you like:
Chronicles of Narnia, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, world-spanning adventures

The elevator pitch:
A super-cute romance starring high schoolers who can jump between dimensions using a magical book they found in their school’s library.

Streaming on:
Nowhere (officially)

12. Future Diary

Asread

Recommended if you like:
The Hunger Games, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Pretty Little Liars

The elevator pitch:
Twelve people get cell phones that can predict the immediate future. Then they’re forced to try to kill each other. The winner of the battle royale becomes God. It’s sad and funny and has an outrageous love story that ends up hooking you in a really odd way.

Streaming on:
Hulu

13. Gantz

Gantz

Recommended if you like:
The X-Files, Twin Peaks, True Detective

The elevator pitch:
Oof, OK, this is a complicated one: Imagine if when you died, instead of dying, you were teleported into a room where a black ball named Gantz would force you and other dead people to hunt aliens. That’s pretty much how this one starts. Although, a fair warning, it’s a known fact this anime will really piss you off when you finish it.

Streaming on:
Nowhere (officially)

14. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Gainax

Recommended if you like:
Independence Day, Big Fish, The Wonder Years, huge robots, mind-bending sci-fi

The elevator pitch:
Starts as a goofy show about big robots and then becomes a heartbreaking coming-of-age story. It also set the record for largest robot ever shown on screen in an anime only to go on and break its own record in the movie adaptation of the series by showing an even bigger one.

Streaming on:
Hulu, Netflix

15. Hellsing

Gonzo

Recommended if you like:
Hellsing, Blade, World War II-era politics

The elevator pitch:
Vampires, Nazis, and the apocalypse, oh my! But seriously, Hellsing is known as a top-tier anime. It is not your typical by-the-books vampire story, at all.

Streaming on:
Netflix

16. Hunter X Hunter

Madhouse

Recommended if you like:
Indiana Jones, National Treasure, goofy paranormal action

The elevator pitch:
A standard search-for-lost-father fighter anime turns into an urban mafia detective story, an auction house drama, a reality-bending video game, and probably the scariest ecological disaster you’ll see in anime. This isn’t about the triumph of the plucky. At every moment, you’re worried that the people you’re rooting for are going to die.

Streaming on:
Hulu

17. Kill La Kill

Trigger

Recommended if you like:
Sailor Moon, Power Rangers, gross-out humor, coming-of-age stories

The elevator pitch:
It starts as your typical gross, kind of sexist magical girls anime set at a high school where students physically fight to be popular. But it gets turned on its head and transformed into something darker, more interesting, and incredibly tough to pin down.

Streaming on:
Hulu

18. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Shaft

Recommended if you like:
Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Teen Wolf, The Vampire Diaries

The elevator pitch:
Take the girliest, goofiest magical girl cartoon you can imagine, and then every episode it gets pushed darker and darker until it becomes something actually really groundbreaking.

Streaming on:
Hulu

19. Neon Genesis Evangelion

Gainax

Recommended if you like:
Pacific Rim, serious teenage angst, having your brain melted out of your ears

The elevator pitch:
You’ve never seen a big robot story like this before. Actually, to be completely honest, you’ve probably never seen anything like this before. There’s really no point in trying to pitch this to you quickly, but basically a teenage boy has to get in a big robot and kill angels that come down from maybe heaven to bring about what is maybe the rapture.

Streaming on:
Nowhere (officially)

20. Ouran High School Host Club

Bones

Recommended if you like:
Secret Life of the American Teenager, Awkward, The Carrie Diaries

The elevator pitch:
Super-cute, very goofy teen comedy, but pulls off the rom-com tropes well enough that even adults will find themselves hooked on the goings on of Ouran High School’s student body.

Streaming on:
Netflix

21. Paranoia Agent

Madhouse

Recommended if you like:
American Horror Story, Twin Peaks, True Detective, psychological thrillers

The elevator pitch:
You think you’re watching a story-of-the-week anthology series, then toward the end of it, characters and storylines start tying together to reveal a larger plot you literally couldn’t have seen coming. It’s also seriously creepy in the best way.

Streaming on:
Netflix

22. Planetes

Sunrise

Recommended if you like:
Gravity, Star Trek, workplace comedies, workplace rom-coms

The elevator pitch:
Basically, it’s a workplace comedy set in the very near future. It follows a ragtag group of space garbagemen who make sure spaceships can get around without getting hit by debris. It’s funny, but also, in the future they live in, their job means the difference between life and death.

Streaming:
Nowhere (officially)

23. Rurouni Kenshin

Studio Gallop

Recommended if you like:
When Harry Met Sally, sprawling samurai stories, lots of action

The elevator pitch:
There are samurai dramas about wandering ronin and then there is Ruroni Kenshin, which operates at such a high level, it’s in a league all its own. It’s also a pretty darn cute romance story.

Streaming on:
Hulu, Netflix

24. Samurai Champloo

Manglobe

Recommended if you like:
The Boondocks, alt-history, contemporary hip-hop culture, samurais

The elevator pitch:
It’s another wandering ronin series, but it’s sort of an alt-history thing with this weird/great mash-up of Edo period japan and American contemporary hip-hop culture. In the episodes themselves, there’ll be graffiti artists and beatbox battles, and there’s even an entire episode about defeating the Americans at their own game: baseball.

Streaming on:
Hulu, Netflix

25. Serial Experiments Lain

Triangle Staff

Recommended if you like:
The X-files, The Matrix, crime noirs

The elevator pitch:
Hackers and shadowy agencies fill up this dark — unfortunately short — cyberpunk drama. It’s definitely one of those you have to just watch it to get it kind of shows.

Streaming on:
Hulu

26. Soul Eater

Bones

Recommended if you like:
Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, dark science fiction and fantasy, coming-of-age dramas

The elevator pitch:
Basically, a bunch of students go to an academy whose headmaster is actually the grim reaper. Then they fight other schools for the chance to kill everyone else. Imagine an insanely out-there version of Harry Potter. Like a really, really out-there version.

Streaming on:
Hulu

27. Space Dandy

Bones

Recommended if you like:
Firefly, The Fifth Element, Army of Darkness

The elevator pitch:
A goofy interstellar adventure series following an alien hunter with lots of silly action and a lot of heart.

Streaming on:
Hulu

28. Steins;Gate

5pb.

Recommended if you like:
Groundhog Day, Butterfly Effect, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

The elevator pitch:
A bunch of nerds accidentally turn their microwave into a time machine and then they have to stop it from causing World War III. Oh, and they have to do that all that without ending up in a timeline where they don’t exist anymore.

Streaming on:
Hulu

29. The Eccentric Family

P.A. Works

Recommended if you like:
Veronica Mars, big ensemble comedies, murder mysteries

The elevator pitch:
One part dysfunctional family comedy, one part teen drama, one part murder mystery, full of huge characters and a super-intricate plot.

Streaming on:
Hulu

30. Trigun

Madhouse

Recommended if you like:
Deadwood, Breaking Bad, adventure stories

The elevator pitch:
If you’re into Westerns, you’ll love Trigun. If you’re not into Westerns, you’ll still love Trigun. It starts out goofy and then it gets real, and boy does it stay real.

Streaming on:
Hulu, Netflix

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