The rapid evolution of Netflix, especially in the animation genre, is reflected in this revised ranking of the service’s top animated TV shows. Popular older shows like Futurama, Family Guy, and Archer are no longer available as Netflix’s rivals dig in their heels for the Streaming Wars, but Netflix originals like Castlevania are steadily increasing their share of the roster.
What’s the most recent improvement? Our decision to include anime programs in the category of “animated TV shows” inevitably affected the order of the list. (Relatedly, you should check out our list of the top TV Series on Netflix, as well as our list of the best anime series on Netflix.)
Paste has something for everyone, whether you’re in the mood for a dark adult comedy, a Japanese import, or a family-friendly film.
Here are the top 10 animated series currently streaming on Netflix:
Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Jennifer Flackett, and Mark Levin’s animated comedy about puberty on Netflix follows four friends as they navigate the beginning of this trying time in their lives: Jessi (Jessi Klein) starts menstruation at the Statue of Liberty; Nick (Kroll) waits for his first pubic hairs; Jay (Jason Mantzoukas) comes up with rococo ways to get off with his pillow; Andrew (John Mulaney) has unpleasant erections.
It’s incredibly crude (the closing titles of one episode roll over a lengthy explanation of Andrew’s dad’s testicles) and hilariously sarcastic (one episode explains the blowjob “head push” and the word “mons pubis” with a note-perfect Seinfeld send-up). The show’s anthem, “Changes,” by Charles Bradley, suggests that it’s more tender than it seems at first.
It seeks to sever the bonds of shame that cover our “gross little dirtbag” selves and expose our normal desires for pleasure, touch, emotional connection, approval, confidence, intimacy, and love.
Big Mouth creates a setting where no topic is taboo and no answer is universally applicable by having its protagonist, Andrew, say in the pilot episode that “everything is so embarrassing” (and not just for teenagers). It’s like your sex education teacher passing out anonymous pieces of paper in class, except here the laughter is earned and the audience is empathetic.
One of the many recordings the late Anton Yelchin left behind before his untimely death in 2016 is featured in this critically praised adventure novel. In the role of the Trollhunter, a mystical hero who protects the planet from wicked trolls, Yelchin lends his voice to a young guy.
The show’s creators, Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy) and Marc Guggenheim (Arrow) provide it with a superb background from which to tell futuristic stories. Beautiful animation, fully realized characters, and plenty of action make this series a winner for audiences of all ages.
The discovery of a notebook belonging to a Shinigami, or god of death, that will kill anyone whose name is written in it, gives bored honor student Light Yagami a god complex.
But he’s not the only one with questionable morals; not even the hero/antagonist L can resist the temptation to lie, no matter how many cupcakes you feed him. Surprisingly, after Death Note begins to fall apart, it is the Shinigami community that becomes the most likable.
Voltron: Legendary Defender
Putting the appropriate people in control of a series about changing robots and a cosmic struggle against fascism is the key to making the show successful. Fans of animated media learned this lesson from the eight seasons of Netflix’s Voltron: Legendary Defender, which seemed more like a dynamic resurrection than a defibrillated cash grab.
Creators Lauren Montgomery and Joaquim Dos Santos, who previously worked on Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel, The Legend of Korra, recruited writers from both shows to infuse Voltron with compassion and creativity, making the characters and their relationships the show’s central focus.
Every set piece and fantasy logline resolves owing to the growth of a character, whether the Paladins are fighting a monstrous space worm/manta-ray that projected optical illusions to attract its prey, competing on an extraterrestrial game show, or navigating a white hole. The political and personal implications of Voltron make it more than just tasty pulp.
The Last Kids on Earth
This animated series, adapted from Max Brallier’s books of the same name, provides a post-apocalyptic plot with all the mayhem, monsters, and humor that will appeal to teenagers who aren’t into the realism of The Walking Dead. The Last Kids on Earth, a binge-able series consisting of three seasons and a special, embraces the bizarre and the concept of the absurdist discovered family.
The sharp and illustrative animation technique works nicely with the imaginative monster designs featured in the episode. The graphics are comedic rather than violent, yet the stakes are shockingly high and drive the plot along.
Masters of the Universe: Revelation
Kevin Smith’s new series is a continuation of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe’s storyline from the ’80s, with Sarah Michelle Geller’s Teela taking on the role of a hero in her own right as she fights to protect the world of Eternia and her best friend, Adam (Chris Wood), from the evil schemes of Mark Hamill’s Skeletor.
All your favorite He-Man characters are here, voiced by an all-star cast that manages to capture the essence of the original cartoon even as they take off on completely new and unexpected paths.
Love, Death & Robots
Love, Death & Robots is Tim Miller’s (Deadpool) and David Fincher’s (Zodiac) vision of where modern adult animation may go to experiment. It’s an anthology series that collects short films made by animators from all over the world, showcasing everything from 3D to stop-motion.
Season 2 gets more existential and offers an incredible collection of the greatest in the business, whereas Season 1 leans more heavily into sexualized cliches and tropes. This series, which has no restrictions on what can or cannot be shown, provides a fascinating overview of the work being done in the medium by brilliant artists all over the world when given the funding and resources to let their imaginations run wild.
Here we have also covered the other Netflix seasons. Check below to learn more about the seasons:
- What Time Will Nimona Be on Netflix? Here is The Link To Watch This Anime
- Will There Be A Season 3 For Human Resources?
Inside Job, created by Shion Takeuchi, is the crazed result of combining Futurama with The X-Files. Cognito, Inc., a workplace comedy set in the shadowy underbelly of the Deep State, is where the craziest conspiracy theories and government secrets are hatched and then unleashed upon the world.
The daughter of a co-founder, Reagan Ridley (Lizzy Caplan), is looking for a foothold in the conspiracy theory business. Inside Job is a provocative, humorous, and slightly terrifying satire that comes at you at a million miles an hour.
Maya and the Three
Jorge R. Gutiérrez’s (The Book of Life) newest work, Maya and the Three, is a historical drama in which the indigenous people of Mesoamerica play central roles. Princess Maya (Zoe Saldana) turns 15 and is given a mission to save humanity and atone for her family’s sins by the gods of the underworld.
Stunningly animated in the color palette and styles of the Indigenous nations of the Mesoamerican era, the miniseries has a strong and hilarious female protagonist who is a refreshing change from the typical Disney heroine.
When I go back to the days when an anime only needed exciting fight scenes, witty banter, and melodramatic ’90s flair, I think of Inuyasha. Before falling in love with ourselves, this program on Adult Swim was our go-to for staying up late to watch.
The show still holds up surprisingly well and is a lot of fun to watch with friends, making it a natural choice for drinking games like “take a shot every time Kagome and Inuyasha scream each other’s names.” The show’s nearly 200 episodes and four full-length movies make it perfect for binge-watching or casual viewing.
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