Top 5 Netflix Anime That You Should Watch (2024)

Top 5 Netflix Anime That You Should Watch (2024)

I know, it’s early in the year and the new anime series that came out are just picking up on their episode count – so why not do a little backlog clearing and watch some of the great shows that came out on the platform last year, or are finishing up their season this year. Lay off a little bit on the Jujutsu Kaisen, and let Solo Levelling pick up a few episodes before diving in again – let’s add a little more culture to your list with some of the best anime that you can watch on Netflix right now. These are my picks for the top 5 anime on Netflix that you should watch in 2024:

Top 5 Netflix Anime That You Should Watch (2024)

  1. Pluto
  2. Oshi no Ko
  3. Apothecary Diaries
  4. Blue Eye Samurai
  5. Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End

5) Pluto

Top 5 Netflix Anime 2024 Pluto

Status: Finished – One Season Only

Episodes: 8

It’s hard to imagine that an anime series with such an illustrious pedigree – one engraved in the very origins of manga and anime itself, flew under most viewer radars last year… yet here we are. Pluto is Naoki Urusawa’s (the creator of Monster and 20th Century Boys, which are two of the most fascinating stories that ever made into the literary medium) reimagining of the “The Greatest Robot on Earth” story arc from the esteemed Osamu Tezuka classic – Astroboy (yeah, THAT 1950’s anime – the one that started it all). Unlike its more bright, family-friendly source material, this story is told in the darker tones of a suspense murder mystery.

The story follows Gesicht, who is a robot detective from Europol who’s tasked to solve several robot and human deaths that started with the destruction of a high-profile robot named Mont Blanc. The suspect seems to be targetting all seven of the great robots of the world – with Gesicht himself being one of them, along with humans connected to preserving the International Robot Laws, which grant robots equal rights.

The beautiful 90s aesthetic and the portrayal of a futuristic, modern world that’s straight from the sci-fi ideas of that time aside, I find that the best part of Pluto are the stories of both the robot and human cast and how these narratives lead to the exploration of what it means to be “human”; and if “perfection” is a goal that we should be striving for. Between these deep, complicated themes and the sci-fi mystery package that it’s all wrapped in, Pluto is a compelling show that shouldn’t be missed and easily makes it to my top 5 anime on Netflix that you should watch in 2024.

My Recommendation: If the beauty and intrigue of Episode 1 didn’t hook you in, I dunno what else will.

4) Oshi no Ko

Top 5 Netflix Anime 2024 Oshi no Ko

Status: Season 1 finished, with Season 2 announced.

Episodes: 11

Believe me when I say that Oshi no Ko is very, VERY hard to explain without spoiling anything or giving away major plot details, but there is a reason why this is THE anime that dominated the first quarter of last year and is easily a candidate for the top 5 anime on Netflix that you should watch in 2024.

The show is based on the Manga series by Aka Akasaka, who is best known for his previous work – Kaguya-sama: Love is War (which is another must-watch btw). The story follows Aqua and Ruby Hoshino as they enter the Japanese entertainment industry searching for a certain person, fueled by a grudge from an incident that happened years prior. As each challenging project moves them one step closer to the truth (and stardom), they must navigate the dangers from the industry’s darker side and the relationships (professional or otherwise) they’ve made with the other characters in the series.

Now the other half of the fun is learning how our main characters got to where they currently are – which is explained in their hour-long pilot episode, and I’m willing to bet that nobody watching for the very first time imagined Oshi no Ko’s story to start the way it did. It has a captivating (and frankly, a little weird) premise, but the overarching mystery, the characters, and how their relationships intertwine both in and out of the camera make it a compelling watch.

My Recommendation: Watch the hour-long Episode 1 and see if you’re hooked. By Episode 3 you’ll be singing along to YOASABI’s “Idol”, the show’s opening theme.

3) Apothecary Diaries

Top 5 Netflix Anime 2024 Apothecary Diaries


Status: Season 1 Ongoing

Out of the five shows I’m featuring today, this is the last one that I’ve watched – partly because other than Kingdom (the manga, not the Korean drama), I have little interest in stories set in ancient China, much less one that looked like it has the makings of a shojo series, what with the fancy imperial clothing and their super-handsome poster boy. Not gonna mince words: this didn’t look like a candidate for the top 5 Netflix anime that you should watch in 2024.

However, after seeing Maomao – the show’s heroine, shoot up the ranks in the polls as the most popular anime girl for that season – even past Frieren and Fern (more on them later), I knew that something was up with this show and decided to give it a shot. And then I realized, how very, VERY wrong my initial speculations of it were.

Apothecary Diaries takes place in a country that’s very much based on Imperial China and follows the story of the eccentric Maomao, who works as an apothecary in the red light district. She is kidnapped and forced to work at the Imperial Palace and is eventually drawn to the intrigues of the royal court when she uses her experience and skills from her job to solve the mysterious illness that fell on the Emperor’s children. This caught the eye of Jinshi, the handsome yet shrewd eunuch, and Gyokuyo, one of the Emperor’s concubines, who tasked her with solving other mysteries around the palace, and also became her supporters.

My reason for being drawn to each episode of Apothecary Diaries is often due to the mystery surrounding it. However, it’s the process of uncovering the hidden stories behind these mysteries that keeps me engaged. Many of the stories are linked to personal and political conflicts within the imperial court. With her expertise, Maomao discloses the motives behind each layer of intrigue until the true intentions of those involved are revealed.

My Recommendation: Watch until the first big mystery in Episode 3 and decide if it’s for you.

2) Blue Eye Samurai

Status: Season 1 finished

Episodes: 8

Just when we thought that there wouldn’t be another animated series that’ll be on par with 2022’s Arcane (which again, is another must-watch) Netflix has treated us to the most amazing year-ender that is Blue Eye Samurai. While calling the show an anime might be stretching it a bit, Michel Green and Amber Noizumi have undoubtedly created eight animated episodes of pure art, spectacle, and storytelling.

Blue Eye Samurai follows Mizu’s story of revenge as she hunts each of the four remaining foreigners during the Edo Period in Japan that ruined her life – one of which could be her father. Her search has led her through different parts of the land, where she encounters both friends and foes throughout her journey. Unknown to her, this path of violence she has embarked on will eventually drag her and her companions into uncovering a plot that threatens the stability of the nation itself.

The breathtaking visuals are already a given, but I think the greatest thing about the show is how they expanded a simple premise into such a compelling narrative. A lot of the heavy lifting is done by the characters – all of them are well-acted, have interesting stories, and are very, very flawed as people. This inherently creates a lot of powerful drama, as most of them both benefit from and suffer the consequences of their arrogance, loyalty, single-mindedness, personal codes, values, optimism, ambition, and lapses in judgment. Most of the time they (especially Mizu) can overcome these, but usually at a great cost. I also love how the show fully leans into the mature nature of the story and purposefully uses its adult themes to complement its narrative. Every bit of violence, nudity, or sex serves as a tool to emphasize a point or push the story forward and, just like the rest of the show, is done artistically.

My Recommendation: Watch Episode 1 above… which Netflix released on YouTube for free and before you know it, you’re probably subscribed and at Episode 8 at 5 in the morning.

1) Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End

Status: Season 1 Ongoing

There is no other fantasy anime I’ve seen that begins its story like Frieren. The tale starts with the Hero’s party – Himmel, Heiter, Eisen, and Frieren, coming back from their 10-year adventure after finally defeating the Demon King and saving the world. Because you see, the story isn’t about that – it’s what comes after. The party disbands and goes on their separate ways, agreeing to reunite 50 years later for one last simple adventure. They did so, and Himmel passed away not long after, while the Heiter and Eisen have confined themselves to their respective lives of peaceful retirement.

What makes this interesting is that Frieren is an elf who has lived for hundreds of years or more, and her little adventure with their party is but a footnote in her near-infinite lifespan, which made her initially apathetic to it. However, during Himmel’s funeral, she broke down with guilt and regret upon the realization that she wasn’t able to know anything about him at all during the time they had together. She then decides to embark on a journey and retrace the path their party took together, to understand humans more, and to reach this mythical place where souls rest so she can hopefully talk to Himmel and give him her true farewell. Accompanying Frieren on this new journey are her former companions’ proteges – Fern, and Stark.

I think what makes Frieren an easy recommendation for the top 5 Netflix anime that you should watch in 2024 is that it’s one of the best portrayals of a party that’s on an adventure. Not all moments are adrenaline-pumping battles, or big spectacles, or world-ending problems. A lot of the anime shows the beauty in the mundane – Frieren, Fern, and Stark are now living in a post-Demon King world, and oftentimes the quests they accept involve helping people with simple, everyday tasks. And it is in these slow, quiet moments where Frieren is at its most compelling as we learn more about our main characters, see them interact with others, learn their thoughts, memories, and motivations, and how these make them who they are in the present.

Because these slow moments are done so well, the important moments of action shine even more. Make no mistake – there are still threats looming at large in the world of Frieren that the party has to fight – dangerous monsters, remnants of the Demon King’s army, the occasional dungeon boss, and even other humans. Battles in Frieren are strategic and decisive, where those who prepare, study, train, adapt, and outwit their opponents come out on top despite differences in power.

Finally, it’s just a joy to watch Frieren grow as a character throughout the season. Being near-immortal is not without its flaws, and the years of apathy that she developed in the past for having a very different perception of time has left her strangely naive to a lot of things that humans value. But we see that gradually change as she remembers the moments she spent with Himmel and their party, as well as throughout the journey she’s currently on with Fern and Stark.

My Recommendation: Do not miss it.

So that’s it for my top 5 Netflix anime that you should watch this 2024. Start the year right with some great narratives, clear that backlog of shows that you’ve missed, and hopefully we’ll get treated to more this year!

Check out some of the other important anime news that we have covered in the past:

Read More:

Rejoice Anime Lovers: Studio Ghibli Films Coming to Netflix

Netflix Is Making Philippine Graphic Novel Trese Into An Anime Series

Our 5 Favorite Rurouni Kenshin Anime Moments

Not into anime? How about trying some of the best Trading Card Games this year?

Read More:

The Five New Trading Card Games You Should Play This Year

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