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5 Essential Animes Available On Netflix for Beginners

From fantastical plotlines to melodramatic twists and turns, here are five must-watch shows

Rolling Stone India Jun 11, 2021

Japanese animation series 'Death Note'

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The Japanese animation industry is as big as the motion picture ecosystem in other parts of the world. Over decades, anime culture began percolating beyond borders and is now watched by people everywhere on the planet. There is an addictive quality to Japanese animated series as they bring us superhuman fantasies with a sense of heightened emotions. The soundtracks play an extremely crucial part in not just aiding the story but giving an identity to the anime. Everyone feels just a little more than human in an anime, and when you watch it, you do too. 

We bring you a short list of beginner-friendly anime to watch if you are just starting out: 

  1. Death Note (2006)

Death Note is among the most notable anime series ever made. It is also one of the most popular beginner-friendly anime despite its daunting storyline and blood-thirsty supernatural characters. An inventive crime thriller, Death Note changed the game with a captivating and suspenseful plot that revolves around a notebook that kills with a mere mention of a name within its pages. A simple high-school student gets his hands on this little black notebook and what ensues is just the tip of the iceberg. A continuous battle between the most brilliant brains in the world, Death Note has a string of unpredictable plot twists up its sleeve with the typical fantastical and over-the-top approach of an anime. 

Watch Death Note.

  1. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (2019)
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A shonen (young boy) genre series released by Japanese animation studio Ufotable broken up into 26 episodes, Demon Slayer traces the story of young Tanjiro Kamado, who becomes a demon slayer after his family is murdered and his younger sister has turned into a demon. However, these young siblings are a rare pairing. So Tanjiro must do everything in his power to transform his sister back into a human – even if it means battling the most powerful demon ever to exist. The easily binge-able quality of this anime will keep you hooked to your screen, and the breathtaking animation will make you want to go on an adventure with Tanjiro and his friends. 

Watch Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.

  1. Violet Evergarden (2018)

Violet Evergarden is a light-hearted historical fiction about a young girl Violet suffering from the aftermath of The Great War, where she was used as a tool for destruction and only knows how to take orders. She embarks on a journey searching for a greater meaning in life and a deeper connection with human emotion. She chances upon Auto Memory Dolls who transcribe people’s deepest thoughts onto paper and thus becomes one herself to not only reshape strangers’ lives but also to unearth the truth of her past of which she has no recollection. Released on Netflix in 2018, this 12-episode long anime is regarded as one of the most emotionally driven series and won the Best Animation award at the 2019 Crunchyroll Anime Awards. 

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Watch Violet Evergarden.

  1. Haikyu!! (2014 – present)

One of the most fan-favorite slice-of-life sports anime, Haikyu!!, is a story about Hinata Shoyo, who wants to become a volleyball pro player despite his short stature – inspired by a national player called ‘Little Giant.’ Across four seasons so far, the series is a tale about how he meets a fun-loving yet passionate team of teenage boys in his new high school. Finally, he finds a way to channel his energy in the right direction but has to overcome many hurdles and opponents on his way to the top, smashing volleyballs from court to court in an attempt to become the best pro in his country. 

Watch Haikyu!!

  1. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009) 

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is the second anime series from the Fullmetal Alchemist franchise. It is an independent storyline that follows two brothers, who are also alchemists, Edward and Alphonse Elric, on their journey to rebuild their human bodies, which they lost after a failed alchemy experiment to bring their mother back to life. This series is better liked than its first counterpart as it follows the manga as expected and is 64 episodes long. FMAB is one of the cult classics in the anime world and combines adventure, action, and emotion.  

Watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

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