Promotional image for Sand Land: The Series

The 10 Original Anime on Disney+/Hulu You Didn’t Know About, but Should

When you think of the big anime streamers, you think Crunchyroll, Netflix, and Hulu. You do not think Disney+. And yet, depending on where you live, Disney+ has an astounding amount of really good original anime that you can’t watch anywhere else.

Recommended Videos

Sure, the line between Disney+ and Hulu is now incredibly blurred, to the point where Disney+ will push you into a joint deal with Hulu before it tells you that you can, indeed, just have Disney+. The line gets even more confusing: Sand Land, for example, is a Disney+ show everywhere in the world … except the United States, which dubbed it a “Hulu Original.” This has happened over and over again. A series will be licensed by “Disney Platform Distribution,” and then premiere on Disney+ literally everywhere except the US, which gets it on Hulu.

This bizarre distribution trend might be part of the reason Disney+ and Hulu fumble the ball so badly in promoting their original anime. Hell, popular YouTuber Mother’s Basement recently dubbed Disney+ “where anime goes to die.” And he’s right! There are so many incredible series that are only available on Disney+ or as “Hulu Originals,” but because the promotion for them is so lacking, none of them got the shine they deserve.

So here are the best original series you can find on Disney+. Unless you live in the States, because then they’re technically on Hulu.

Code Geass: Rozé of the Recapture

Promotional image for Code Geass: Rozé of the Recapture

Did you know that there was a new Code Geass series which started releasing weekly in June 2024? Did you know?! Because I, a huge Code Geass fan whose first anime figure purchase ever was Lelouche, did not know. Even though the release of this series was, in Japan, as a four-part film.

The film explores the continuation of the alternate timeline put forth by the Code Geass film series. Meaning, a new timeline where, after the Britannia empire falls, a new version takes its place. And a new person has the power of geass.

However, if you want to watch it in Japanese, tough luck. Hulu is only airing the English dub, and there is no other legal way to currently want the series. Excuse me while I go and scream.

Tokyo Revengers

When Tokyo Revengers‘ first season dropped in 2021, it made a huge splash. Even if you didn’t watch it (guilty), you probably remember it, because everyone was talking about it. But did you know there have been two more seasons since then? Probably not, because they’re not on Crunchyroll. They’re only on Disney+ and Hulu.

And because they really love to mess with you, when I double-checked this just now (June 30, 2024), Disney+ only lists episode 6 of season 2 under the subtitled version. One mid-season episode. And the third season was gone from the dub. At least if you look on Disney+. Is it me?


A boy holds a sword over his shoulder in "Ishura"

Ishura is a breath of fresh air that very few have had the delight of catching wind of. It’s a dark fantasy, like Bleach, but a genre-bender with a unique setting. Superpowers are involved, big ol’ swords are involved. Just give it a try.

Sand Land

Beelzebub from Sand Land anime adaptation

Because the upcoming Dragon Ball anniversary series is based on an original idea, Sand Land will go down in history as the last adaptation of an Akira Toriyama manga made while Toriyama was still alive. It came out one month after Toriyama’s tragic death. Was it well promoted, buzzed, or elicit the kinds of online conversation it should have? Hell no.

If you search “sand” on Disney+ in the US, it’s the sixth result, behind—and this is true—Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

While it’s not the best series ever, Sand Land is a delightful romp and a fitting tribute to one of the most important figures in Japanese pop culture.

Go! Go! Loser Ranger!

Red Keeper in 'Go! Go! Loser Ranger!'

If the strength of this title alone wasn’t enough to get you interested, the plot of Go! Go! Loser Ranger! is basically, “what if the Power Rangers were evil”? It’s an absolutely wild romp and a ton of fun. One fan reviewer (PirateHasan) on Myanimelist aptly describes the series as “The Boys meets Power Rangers,” and that has absolutely defined how I think about this show.

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War

Ichigo Kurosaki from Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Trailer Part 3

As a member of the big three, Bleach is one of the biggest names in shounen. Thousand-Year Blood War is a huge deal, a continuation of Bleach‘s story eleven years after the previous season of the anime ended. Because it’s bringing one of the most famous shounen of all time closer to its end, Thousand-Year Blood War the best-publicized series on this list. But for how big it is, it still feels bizarrely like a series I should have been thinking about more.

The Tatami Time Machine Blues

Tatami Time Machine Blues
(Science SARU)

I got to see this movie when I was in Japan, and I loved it. Yes, movie. For whatever bizarre reason, the film was sliced up into six episodes for streaming distribution. Fortunately, it’s still excellent.

The Tatami Time Machine Blues is a direct sequel to one of my favorite anime of all time, Maasaki Yuasa’s The Tatami Galaxy. The two also take place in the same conceptual universe as Yuasa’s award-winning film, Night Is Short, Walk On Girl. I’d absolutely recommended watching The Tatami Galaxy as well … but it’s not on Disney+ / Hulu.

Undead Unluck

Andy running and laughing while holding a terrified Fuuko in his arms in "Undead Unluck"

Undead Unluck was a contender for all the year-end “best anime of 2023” lists. It’s an anime with a hell of a lot of heart, which has a sense of humor but explores some dark themes. It’s a freaking Shounen Jump series, too. From its gorgeous animation, excellent characters, and general bingeworthy-ness, Undead Unluck should be a hefty part of the conversation around the new generation of shonen.

Tengoku Daimakyo

Kona talking to Tokio from Heavenly Delusion's first season

Tengoku Daimakyo might be the best series of 2023 which not nearly enough people watched. Boasting an impressive 8.22 on Myanimelist, it might be Production I.G’s best series in years. Tengoku Daimakyo is a stunning show with a healthy dose of horror.

Infuriatingly, at least as of June 2024, Disney+ only offers the English dub.

Summer Time Rendering

Promotional image for Summer Time Rendering

Like so many of my generation of anime fans, Death Note was one of my first great loves. I realized that anime had a knack for approaching murder mystery thrillers which seemed uniquely suited to it. (Yes, in Death Note, you know the murderer, but similar rules apply.) This was further confirmed by series like Erased.

But there’s not too many murder mystery thriller series, so imagine my shock when I realized there was an A-tier (maybe even S-tier) series that I hadn’t watched yet. Summer Time Rendering came out in 2022, and it’s phenomenal. The less you know going in, the better.

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Kirsten Carey
Kirsten Carey
Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.