The 12 Best Anime Series for Beginners on Netflix

Netflix has several excellent anime series that are perfect for beginners who want to see how unique and compelling anime can be.
The 12 Best Anime Series for Beginners on Netflix

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Beyond anime-focused streaming services like Crunchyroll, no other streaming service has as much high-quality anime content as Netflix.

On top of licensing several popular anime series, Netflix has also been creating their own anime series for several years now.

All of that to say, Netflix is a solid streaming service for anyone who's interested in exploring anime for the first time. If you're already paying for Netflix, there's no need to commit to another service just yet.

If you're new to anime and want to dip your toes in to see why anime is growing so popular all over the world, you should check out the beginner-friendly anime series on Netflix!

What Makes a Beginner-Friendly Anime?

If an anime beginner is someone who's never seen a full anime series from start to finish, then there are a few factors I'd consider when recommending a first anime series to them.

First, it can't have too many episodes. For a beginner who doesn't know if they'll like anime, too many episodes can be daunting. That rules out a lot of the more popular options like Naruto, One Piece, Gintama, Fairy Tail, etc. Between 12 to 24 episodes is ideal.

Second, it should be relatively recent. I think classic anime series are still worth watching today, but only when you know you like anime and want to explore its history. Dated animations and conventions can be offputting for someone dipping their toes.

Third, it should be highly rated. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it should have an engrossing story with likable characters and a satisfying ending. The goal is to make a great first impression!

Here are the best anime series for beginners on Netflix who want to experience modern anime. For someone who's never watched anime, these beginner-friendly series are great entry points.

12. Sirius the Jaeger

Action, Historical, Supernatural

Originally aired 2018

12 episodes (1 season)

6.97 on MAL

Sirius the Jaeger centers on Yuliy, a werewolf (known as a Sirius) whose home was destroyed by Vampires. It's 1930 and he's part of the V Shipping Company—a group of vampire hunters called Jaegers—who are tracking down Vampires who fled China to Japan.

The Jaegers are at war with the Vampires as they both race to be the first to find and possess a sacred supernatural relic that grants power over all things. This war turns out to be bloodier and more difficult than they could've imagined.

11. Kakegurui

Drama, Mystery, School

Originally aired 2017 to 2019

24 episodes (2 seasons)

7.24 on MAL

Hyakkaou Private Academy is a prestigious school in Japan with one big quirk: the social hierarchy is determined by gambling.

Adapted from the manga of the same name, Kakegurui centers on a transfer student named Yumeko Jabami, who happens to secretly be a compulsive gambler. Her arrival causes a stark shake-up as she overturns the hierarchy of the school.

It's more than just gambling, as students owe contributions to the Student Council. Those who fail to gamble and fall into debt become slaves of the student body—and those who are unable to pay their debts must pay with their lives.

10. Ajin: Demi-Human

Action, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Supernatural

Originally aired 2016

26 episodes (2 seasons)

7.40 on MAL

In Ajin: Demi-Human, a select few humans known as Ajin are blessed with regeneration and immortality, but it's only triggered when they die. These Ajin can also create spectral projections called "black ghosts" that fight at their behest and can only be seen by other Ajin.

Of course, the public at large hates Ajin because they're deemed dangerous and inhuman, leading to wide-scale government capture and experimentation. But when one Ajin escapes confinement and vows to exact revenge, conflicts comes to a head.

Ajin: Demi-Human is an atypical anime series in that it uses 3D-generated animation, which can be offputting to established anime fans but shouldn't be too unusual for anime beginners. The story more than makes up for its animation techniques!

9. Hi Score Girl

Comedy, Romance, School

Originally aired 2018 to 2019

21 episodes (2 seasons)

7.77 on MAL

It's 1991 and coin-operated gaming arcades are all the rage. Haruo Yaguchi is a young boy gamer who's into fighting games and wants to become a professional gamer one day. Akira Ono is a young girl gamer who's quiet, smart, and capable.

When Akira effortlessly beats Haruo at Street Fighter II, his pride is crushed and he loathes her. But a part of him also respects her—and possibly more, as young high school boys are wont to do.

Hi Score Girl is a lighthearted anime series with a unique art style that immediately sticks out. This romantic comedy is an easy watch, and the true-to-life gaming references are just the cherry on top.

8. Castlevania

Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Originally aired 2017 to 2021

32 episodes (4 seasons)

8.3 on IMDb

Based on the video game series, Castlevania centers on Trevor Belmont, Alucard, and Sypha Belnades as they defend Wallachia against Dracula.

Dracula is hell-bent on destroying the nation as vengeance for his wife, who was falsely accused and burned for being a witch.

Split into four seasons, Castlevania is a quick but satisfying watch, making it an excellent first anime series for beginners.

Note: You might hear anime purists say that Castlevania isn't technically an anime because it wasn't produced in Japan, but it checks every other box and it's really good, so who cares?

7. High-Rise Invasion

Action, Horror, Isekai, Mystery

Originally aired 2021

12 episodes (1 season)

6.71 on MAL

If you're into survival stories, then High-Rise Invasion is a solid anime to check out. The premise is pretty simple: a high school girl named Yuri Honjō is suddenly transported to a world of skyscrapers, where she's hunted by people wearing masks.

This new world of hers is terrifyingly strange, and High-Rise Invasion ends up being a pretty dark anime series that touches on subjects of murder, massacre, and suicide. Plus, lots of plot twists.

High-Rise Invasion is based on the seinen manga series of the same name, which was written by Tsuina Miura and illustrated by Takahiro Oba.

6. Komi Can't Communicate

Comedy, Romance, School, Slice of Life

Originally aired 2021 to 2022

24 episodes (2 seasons)

7.91 on MAL

Komi Can't Communicate is a uniquely stirring anime series filled with exciting teen romance. Despite it being categorized as shōnen (often heavy on action and adventure), it feels more like a slice-of-life series.

The series centers on Shoko Komi, who has a communication disorder that makes it difficult for her to socialize. Unfortunately, on her first day at Itan Private High School, everyone flocks around her beauty.

But the good news is that she meets Hitohito Tadano, an extremely average boy who becomes her first friend and resolves to help her reach her goal of making 100 friends.

Other characters make appearances, but Komi Can't Communicate is primarily about the blossoming romance between Komi and Tadano, and it's a great romance anime series for beginners.

5. Lookism

Action, Comedy, Drama, Supernatural

Originally aired 2022

8 episodes (1 season)

7.51 on MAL

There are many webtoon-based anime series nowadays, but the latest one that's been turning heads is Lookism.

As the title suggests, Lookism is an exploration of topics touching on physical discrimination, personal and societal standards, and the differences between perfection and imperfection.

Daniel Park is a high school student who's often bullied because he's obese. However, when he switches schools, he also gains a new body that's fit and handsome. When he's in one body, the other is asleep—when he swaps, that body wakes up.

As he lives life between both bodies, he experiences just how differently the world treats him based on his physical appearance. Few anime series are this on-the-nose with their commentary, but Lookism remains an easy-to-watch, beginner-friendly anime.

4. Romantic Killer

Comedy, Romance, Supernatural

Originally aired 2022

12 episodes (1 season)

8.05 on MAL

Based on the manga of the same name, which was written and illustrated by Wataru Momose, Romantic Killer isn't your typical rom-com anime.

Romantic Killer follows the story of Anzu Hoshino, a high school girl who's perfectly content living her life without any romance whatsoever. She loves playing video games, eating chocolate, and petting her cat.

Unfortunately for her, a "love wizard" named Riri appears one day and starts orchestrating rom-com-type scenarios in the hopes that Anzu will fall in love and form a romantic relationship.

It's pretty silly at first glance, but Romantic Killer executes well. The fun, romantic, lighthearted plot is perfect for anime newbies who are tired of the usual rom-com stories and want something subversive.

3. One Punch Man

Action, Comedy, Superhero

Originally aired 2015 to 2019

24 episodes (2 seasons)

8.50 on MAL

One Punch Man is an action-heavy series with a strong dose of comedy that lightens the tone of the plot, which is full of world-shattering battles and end-of-the-world themes.

Unlike most beginner-friendly anime series that have small casts of characters, One Punch Man has tons of characters, from major characters to supporting ones, including the recurring characters.

What makes this a pretty good addition to this list is its straightforward story, which centers on the character of Saitama and his struggles in a world of heroes and monsters. When you're so strong that you can defeat anything with a single punch, how do you stave off boredom?

2. Dota: Dragon's Blood

Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Originally aired 2021 to 2022

24 episodes (3 seasons)

7.8 on IMDb

Dota: Dragon's Blood follows Davion the Dragon Knight, who lives to hunt dragons. But when one elder dragon ends up tricking him, Davion's soul becomes fused with the elder dragon's soul—and he becomes capable of turning into a dragon himself.

This turns out to be a huge problem as the demonic Terrorblade is also hunting dragons in order to collect their souls. Now Davion and his companion Mirana must stop Terrorblade at all costs, while learning more about what has happened to Davion.

If you've ever played the Dota 2 video game, then these characters should sound familiar! It's an anime adaptation of the game's lore, and a surprisingly good one at that. But even if you've never played, Dragon's Blood is certainly worth a watch.

1. Death Note

Mystery, Supernatural, Suspense

Originally aired 2006 to 2007

37 episodes (1 season)

8.62 on MAL

Light Yagami is a high school genius who one day stumbles across the "Death Note"—a mysterious book that grants its user the power to kill anyone by writing their name in its pages. He uses the Death Note to massacre criminals in pursuit of a better world.

In response, an elite task force led by an enigmatic detective named L is put together to uncover the identity of the vigilante who's been massacring criminals and bring him to justice. A thrilling cat-and-mouse game ensues between two mentally gifted individuals.

Death Note is the longest anime series on this list, but it's still short enough that it shouldn't deter first-timers. This is a modern classic anime series that's so well-crafted, you'll be hooked by the very first episode.