Netflix Best-Of-The-Best 10 Anime Shows That Are Not One Piece: From Castlevania To Spy X Family...
Netflix Best-Of-The-Best 10 Anime Shows That Are Not One Piece: From Castlevania To Spy X Family…(Photo Credit –Imdb/Instagram)

Back in the day, everyone had Netflix, irrespective of whether we had our subscriptions or, let’s be honest, shared passwords with friends. But things have changed. Netflix is now cracking down on password sharing and has plans ranging from $6.99 to $19.99. Its library also is less extensive than it once used to be. Gone are the days when Netflix was your one-stop shop; now, we have Disney Plus, Paramount Plus, and others.

Netflix had its golden era, with iconic original series like ‘House of Cards’ becoming a cultural phenomenon. Who could forget the ’80s nostalgia trip with ‘Stranger Things‘? And ‘BoJack Horseman,’ the brilliant adult animated sitcom that won hearts.

When it comes to animated shows, there’s no place quite like the Land of the Rising Sun – known as the anime powerhouse. Netflix, while not matching Crunchyroll’s extensive anime library, offers its take on anime content. However, the question of what truly qualifies as ‘anime’ sparks debate. Conventionally, it’s believed that anime should be animated and created in Japan for a Japanese audience. Yet, the definition isn’t that clear-cut.

Many contend that if it’s produced outside of Japan, it doesn’t merit the ‘anime‘ label, even if it closely resembles the anime style. Netflix, on the other hand, often groups anime and anime-influenced titles together, leveraging the popularity of anime. In this article, we’ll consider these anime-like productions part of the anime world.

1. Castlevania


Castlevania, while originating from Japan as an inspired video game series, carries a distinct Western touch in its animated adaptation. The show received assistance from Japan’s D’Art Shtajio for the animation team but is primarily considered a Western production, with American studio Frederator Studios serving as a key producer.

The series delves into a dark medieval fantasy, following the last surviving member of the disgraced Belmont clan, Trevor Belmont. His mission is to save Eastern Europe from the looming threat of Vlad Dracula Tepes and his legion of vampires. Dracula seeks vengeance after his wife is unjustly accused of witchcraft and burned. As Dracula’s rage threatens to eradicate humanity, Belmont is joined by a band of misfit comrades. Together, they race against time to stop Dracula’s impending cataclysm.

The anticipation for the Castlevania animated series written by the acclaimed Warren Ellis was palpable among enthusiasts. The first season serves as an animated movie, laying the foundation for the epic adventures to come. Despite the animation style being slightly stiffer compared to later seasons, it remains well-executed and visually appealing. Accompanied by writing that breathes life into the characters and enriches their personalities while staying true to the source material, the first season offers a solid introduction to the unfolding narrative.

The fourth season effectively compensates for the previous season’s perceived shortcomings, showcasing a more focused storyline. Although some aspects of the ‘Curse of Darkness’ game narrative, particularly Hector’s story, have been set aside, the season successfully delivers on various fronts. This is attributable to the enhanced direction in this season, resulting in more fluid animation. There are occasional moments where 3D models seem to have been used to streamline the animation process, potentially due to time constraints, but they are noticeable. Despite these minor flaws, the animation quality in this season surpasses that of its predecessors.

The climax offers a grand and climactic showdown against the main villain, creating an epic conclusion. However, the epilogue may leave long-time Castlevania fans feeling somewhat puzzled. Nevertheless, the overall verdict remains highly positive, making it an exceptional conclusion to the saga of Trevor and his companions.

2. Devilman Crybaby

Devilman Crybaby
Devilman Crybaby

In Akira’s world, his closest friend delivers startling news: ancient demons have resurfaced, intent on reclaiming the world from humanity. He proposes an audacious solution – Akira must merge with a demon to become Devilman, a powerful entity armed with demon abilities yet retaining a human soul. Akira embarks on a relentless, brutal battle against malevolence.

The world succumbs to a pervasive fear of demons, ushering in an era of paranoia and brutality, and Akira takes it upon himself to rescue fellow demon-human hybrids. “Devilman Crybaby” unfolds as a 10-episode anime series under the masterful direction of Masaaki Yuasa, celebrated for his surreal and visually captivating animation style. Yuasa’s noteworthy works include “The Tatami Galaxy,” “Kaiba,” and “Ping Pong the Animation.”

This anime series boasts intense action, psychedelic visuals, and an electrifying electronic soundtrack harmonizing with its neon-infused cyberpunk ambiance. It traces the journey of the sensitive teenager Akira Fudou, whose fusion with a demon transmutes him into the valiant Devilman. Meanwhile, demons clandestinely infiltrate human society, setting the stage for explicit and gruesome content that justifies its TV-MA rating.

Masaaki Yuasa’s contemporary reinterpretation of Akira Fudo and Ryo Asuka’s complex story mirrors the orgiastic violence and daringly risqué tone of Nagai’s original manga. This rendition pays homage to both the creator’s oeuvre and the iconic character’s enduring legacy. It can be a challenging watch, especially for viewers unfamiliar with the Devilman franchise, but ignoring this stunningly crafted yet disturbing series would be a missed opportunity.

Yuasa’s narrative strategy, commencing the series with substantial action and lighthearted humor, only to pivot towards intense drama, sustains engagement throughout the 10 episodes. It traverses the spectrum from breathtaking to heart-wrenching without compromising its memorability.

Amidst the ultraviolence and profound themes, “Devilman Crybaby” offers lighter moments, thanks to its quirky sense of humor that has endeared Yuasa to fans. “Devilman Crybaby” is an incredibly intriguing show, characterized by its unique art style and compelling soundtrack. However, its ambitious scope sometimes feels constrained by the limited duration of ten episodes, leaving a sense of rushed storytelling.

3. Yasuke


Yasuke boldly steps into the realm of anime, injecting a much-needed dose of diversity with its groundbreaking samurai narrative. The series revolves around Yasuke, a remarkable historical figure who became the first foreign-born samurai of African descent. He confronts a multitude of adversaries, many of whom doubt the legitimacy of a foreigner as a samurai.

Inspired by true events, Yasuke seamlessly weaves together history and imagination, breathing life into this lesser-known yet culturally significant character. The mesmerizing music for the series, composed by Flying Lotus, adds an evocative layer, while LaKeith Stanfield’s English rendition of Yasuke brings the character to life.

Anchored by a stellar voice cast with the commanding presence of Lakeith Stanfield, Yasuke effortlessly blends elements of fantasy and history, crafting an epic homage to the titular samurai. It’s a unique anime that resonates beyond its genre, possessing an aura that defies erasure and showcases boundless creativity.

The series unfolds across six brisk half-hour episodes, catering to anime enthusiasts and introducing intriguing subversions within the samurai genre. Stanfield’s portrayal of Yasuke is a standout, even though the show surrounding him leaves room for improvement.

While Yasuke excels in delivering high-octane action for adult animation enthusiasts, those seeking deeper historical exploration may find themselves wanting. The show, in its delightful and visually striking manner, may not fully satisfy those yearning for a more profound historical narrative.

Yasuke is, at its core, an enjoyable and visually captivating series that juggles a myriad of intriguing concepts, although they don’t quite coalesce into a seamless whole. It remains an engaging tale of redemption and empowerment, warranting a watch for its distinct qualities.

4. Ajin: Demi-Human

Ajin: Demi-Human
Ajin: Demi-Human

Imagine having to flee your own government simply because you’re unable to die. This series takes a captivating twist in storytelling, offering a convincing exploration of a twisted world and its inhabitants. In a world where only two Ajin (demi-humans) are known to exist, finding them proves to be a challenging task, as their true nature remains concealed until death reveals the truth.

The story kicks off with a Japanese student’s life-changing encounter on his way home from school, surviving a fatal accident only to be met with immediate revival. What follows is a gripping tale that quickly garners the attention of many anime enthusiasts. As this teenager grapples with the revelation of his Ajin identity, he finds himself on the run from authorities eager to subject him to experiments. Meanwhile, other Ajin are organizing to fight back, and he must make a pivotal choice in the impending conflict.

Once you acclimate to the animation style, which might require a bit of patience, Ajin unfolds a truly captivating narrative. It delves into the life of a young boy whose reality shifts dramatically, leading him to question his own humanity. His journey becomes a profound exploration of self-discovery.

The clash between Ajin and humans adds an intriguing layer to the story, prompting thought-provoking reflections on what truly defines a human being. Ajins desire nothing more than recognition as human, but the authorities are driven by a singular obsession: solving the enigma of immortal humans, setting the stage for a deep-seated conflict between the two factions.

In summary, this series is truly excellent. With a plot, story, and character cast that bears similarities to Tokyo Ghoul, it offers a fresh perspective by introducing different powers and motives into the mix.

5. Gamera Rebirth

Gamera Rebirth
Gamera Rebirth

While Godzilla is typically the face of the kaiju subgenre, Gamera holds a respectable place in the hearts of cult classic enthusiasts. The Netflix-original series “Gamera Rebirth,” brought to life by studio Engi, serves as both a reboot of the franchise and a sequel to the 2006 live-action movie “Gamera the Brave.” Set in Tokyo during the summer of 1989, it unfolds the story of four children who bear witness to the emergence of the titular turtle monster. As Gamera confronts a series of hostile monsters, he takes on the role of humanity’s defender.

“Gamera Rebirth” takes a distinct approach, narrowing its focus to the monster’s clashes with five unique foes throughout its six-episode season. For fans of the kaiju genre, this series provides an action-packed and engaging adventure. Here’s a quick overview: a flying turtle kaiju becomes the protector of a group of children, defending them from attacks by giant monsters.

Gamera, the giant, flying, turtle-like guardian kaiju, is the central character in this 2023 Netflix Original anime series, “GAMERA -Rebirth-.” Created millennia ago for the purification of humanity by the ancestors of the Eustace Foundation, Gamera was subsequently stolen by another faction, disrupting their intentions.

“Gamera: Rebirth” offers a portrayal of the beloved creature that stands out as one of the best since 2005’s “Gamera: The Brave.” It paints Gamera as a “protector of all children,” emphasizing his unique connection with the young humans. The series is lauded for its compelling human story, well-crafted characters, engaging plot, phenomenal soundtrack, and intense kaiju action.

However, it’s not without its flaws. Critics point to glaring issues such as subpar animation quality and limited screentime for the kaiju. In some episodes, kaiju battles are disappointingly brief or end anticlimactically. Fans are left hoping for a potential second season to address these shortcomings.

6. B: The Beginning

B: The Beginning
B: The Beginning

The brilliant investigator Keith Flick reunites with the royal police force, RIS, just as a sinister serial killer known as “B” emerges and commits a double homicide. The enigmatic young man, Koku, enters the picture, and it remains unclear whether he’s an ally or a target of the group.

As RIS delves into a death seemingly linked to B, Keith expresses doubt about the crime’s connection to the elusive mastermind. When a member of RIS falls victim to an attack, suspicions of a traitor within the group arise.

Keith takes a drastic step after being labeled a murder suspect by turning himself in. Meanwhile, Koku finds himself in a life-and-death struggle. This captivating series comprises two seasons, and the first one sets the stage with a mysterious figure known as Killer B, hence the title.

“B: The Beginning” is another outstanding Netflix original anime, skillfully crafted by Kazuto Nakazawa. The series’ initial premise revolves around a scientist’s quest to create “new humans” in pursuit of universal peace. However, the story takes a dark turn when these individuals are kidnapped by a malevolent organization that exploits them for nefarious purposes.

Directed by Kazuto Nakazawa and Yoshiki Yamakawa, “B: The Beginning” artfully combines the best aspects of anime with the intrigue of the crime drama subgenre. While the series offers a compelling blend, it occasionally struggles to reconcile these elements.

This violent and enigmatic anime mystery demands its audience’s full attention, weaving intricate and convoluted storylines. If you’re willing to navigate its twists and turns, “B: The Beginning” will keep you engaged.

One reservation about the series is the relatively short second season, consisting of only six episodes, which leaves viewers on a cliffhanger. The resolution may remain uncertain unless additional episodes are produced.

7. Dota: Dragon’s Blood

Dota: Dragon's Blood
Dota: Dragon’s Blood

Derived from the popular Dota 2 video game, “Dota: Dragon’s Blood” is an animated fantasy series that plunges us into a world of epic adventures. The central character, Dragon Knight Davion, experiences a profound transformation when his soul merges with an ancient dragon. Alongside a moon princess, he embarks on a quest to confront the menacing demon Terrorblade.

As the renowned Dragon Knight, Davion finds himself entangled in a destiny far grander than he ever anticipated. His journey as a conflicted yet valiant hero unfolds, harnessing the potent dragon essence within him to thwart the deadly demon in this immersive fantasy narrative inspired by the online gaming universe.

While the series delves into intricate and expansive lore, it can sometimes become bewildering, leading to a narrative that feels scattered and complex. Nevertheless, the heart-pounding battle sequences between humans and dragons remain the standout feature of this fantasy series.

“Dota: Dragon’s Blood” thoughtfully avoids making assumptions about the viewer’s familiarity with the franchise, making it accessible to newcomers. However, it may not always ignite a strong desire to explore the lore in greater depth.

8. Hi Score Girl

Hi Score Girl
Hi Score Girl

In this Netflix anime, we follow a gamer who’s great at arcades but not so good at school and sports. His life changes when he meets a strong rival at the arcade, who turns out to be his rich classmate, Akira.

At first, it’s a charming gamer-romance-comedy, but as it goes on, it adds some drama, which can slow things down a bit. The nostalgia for the ’90s can become less obvious. In this world, gaming is a big deal, even affecting relationships, which might seem a bit crazy.

Character development is a bit tricky because of the focus on video games. The characters, who are avid gamers, have trouble communicating. The main character, Haruo, can be annoying at times – he complains a lot and is really into video games, which can be frustrating.

But there’s something good about the show – it’s a fun look at ’90s video game nostalgia. It also explores mental health through its characters. Haruo shows signs of ADHD, and Ono, the Hi Score Girl herself, has traits related to autism. She doesn’t talk much and communicates with grunts and gestures.

So, while the show is great for gamers who love nostalgia, it also goes deeper by showing the complex relationships between two teenagers with different needs, making it interesting to watch.

9. Spy X Family

Spy X Family
Spy X Family

Agent Twilight, the top spy from the nation of Westalis, assembles a fake family to infiltrate an exclusive private school, unknowingly including a psychic child and a legendary assassin seeking a cover. A spy, an assassin, and a telepath team up to pretend to be a family, each with their own motives, all while concealing their true identities.

Spy X Family is undeniably the hottest anime series of 2022. Fans are still enchanted by the adorable Anya and the hilarious antics of the Forger family. If we base our judgment solely on its impeccable humor and action, Spy x Family could easily contend for the best series of the past decade. However, its more touching moments propel it into the realm of potentially being one of the greatest anime and manga series ever.

10. The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf
The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf

“The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf” serves as a spin-off of the live-action series, “The Witcher”. Vesemir, a confident young witcher, takes immense joy in hunting and slaying monsters for profit. However, when a formidable new power emerges on the Continent, Vesemir discovers that some witcher missions hold a significance beyond mere coin.

For many anime enthusiasts, the film could easily be regarded as a standalone anime production due to its Japanese animation style. Yet, it’s important to note that this film is a collaborative effort between South Korea and the United States, with Studio Mir from South Korea contributing to its creation.

This gory and dark prequel to Netflix’s live-action series “The Witcher” offers a unique perspective on the world, filled with both inhuman monsters and morally complex humans. It’s an engaging 81-minute character exploration wrapped in chaos and enchantment. Like all well-crafted animated tales, it employs vibrant colors, fluid animations, and exceptional music to bring its world and its diverse, intricately layered characters to life.

In summary, while not every anime mentioned may suit your taste, there’s a strong likelihood that at least one will become your new favorite. This article aims to assist you in discovering the perfect show for your binge-watching enjoyment. If none of these options appeal to you, anime may simply not be your preferred choice.

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