Characters sit in a movie theater in the opening of 'Chainsaw Man'

The Best Anime on Hulu Right Now

Hulu, I put up with you because you have anime. You have good anime. You have some of the best anime, one might say.

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You never really let me down. Well, actually you do. Mostly because of your ads. See, I thought that my Spotify subscription was gonna give me the hook-up when they said that I’d get Hulu, too. But I didn’t realize I was getting basic-ass Hulu, which doesn’t even let you breathe without showing you a Tide ad featuring Doctor Strange. I don’t want Doctor Strange doing my laundry because he’d probably send it to another dimension where clothes wash people, and my dirty underwear would come back trying to get the C.I.A. to fund a fucking coup against me. And I will not have totalitarian authority over my own clothing questioned, do you understand?

So even though you show me ads that stoke the terrible fires of political revolution in my sock drawer, I will allow you to conduct your business freely under my iron-fisted regime.

But if ever you decide to get rid of these anime, I’m sending you to the gulag that I call my laundry basket. In the meantime, here are the best anime on Hulu right now.

Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan Characters Lev Ackerman, Eren Yeager, Armin Arlet and Mikasa Ackerman
(Wit Studio)

Attack on Titan is a cultural phenomenon that needs no explanation, but in case some of my readers have spent their lives living under a rock or behind three giant walls on an island in the middle of the ocean surrounded by flesh-eating giants, I’m going to explain it anyway. Well, I just did. The human population of the world lives in a three-walled kingdom on an island in the middle of nowhere surrounded by flesh eating giants, also known as “titans.”

Everything is chill for a while, but then one day a colossal titan literally kicks humanity’s door down, causing titans to run rampant and eat everybody inside. The mom of our main character, Eren Yeager, gets devoured right in front of him, so he does the classic anime boy protagonist thing and swears that he will not rest until he destroys every last titan. Easy, right? It’s just a classic murder quest not unlike Demon Slayer, right? The good guys are good and the bad guys are bad, and no morally gray shit ever happens, right?

Well, it starts that way. And then shit gets complicated …

Attack on Titan is full of conspiracies and political intrigue, not unlike the ones going on in my sock drawer right now. As the show goes on, one realizes that the titans are not the only thing humanity has to worry about. Eventually, certain groups of people resort to some pretty diabolical means to ensure their survival. I won’t tell you exactly what they are, but I assure you that the plot goes off the rails in the best way.

Samurai Champloo

Characters from Samurai Champloo
(FUNimation Entertainment)

Samurai Champloo is my personal favorite anime. Created by Shinichiro Watanabe (the man responsible for Cowboy Bebop), Samurai Champloo is a series set in an anachronistic Edo-period Japan populated by breakdance-fighting samurai and brushstroke-graffiti-painting youths. It tells the tale of two young warriors, Jin and Mugen, who lack place and purpose in the world. Though they come from different backgrounds (one a former pirate and the other a disgraced swordsmanship student), they are bonded by a mutual love of bloodshed and violence—which they inflict upon others an effort to give life meaning.

Like Cowboy Bebop, the series is a beautiful and subtle exploration of the human propensity to search for meaning in what seems to be a violent and meaningless world. Naturally, Samurai Champloo possesses some of the most beautiful and thrilling fight scenes that have ever graced my living room TV. Also, the series is set to amazingly chill AF hip hop beats created by Nujabes, the godfather of lo-fi hip hop. That’s a big a plus.

Steins;Gate

Kurisu blushing in 'Steins;Gate'
(White Fox)

Steins;Gate is one of the few true blue science-fiction anime. It concerns a young man named Rintaro Okabe and his quest to build a functional time machine. His quest is successful, but that’s the least of his problems. After completing the time machine, Rintaro discovers that his brilliant lab assistant Kurisu Makise has been murdered, and he goes on a quest to travel back in time and save her. Naturally, there are unintended consequences, as his meddling with time leads to other people getting murdered.

Fate is certainly stacked against Rintaro and Kurisu, as the powers that be in the world don’t want two kids with a time machine mucking up the status quo. Therefore, it’s better that they are eliminated to preserve global stability and hierarchy. Rintaro and Kurisu don’t intend to go down easy, however, and Steins;Gate becomes a cerebral thrill ride not unlike Death Note.

Related: Here’s the Best Anime from Each Decade on We Got This Covered

Mushishi

A man walks in a forest with a toothpick in his mouth in 'Mushishi'
(FUNimation)

Mushishi is kinda like House, if House was set in a version of 19th century Japan populated by strange little spiritual creatures called mushi, and Dr. House was an unlicensed medicine man who travels the countryside solving the problems he created. Mushi are not evil creatures. In fact, many of them are not even necessarily sentient. They are almost like plants, fungi, or strange spiritual microbes that simply do what they do. Most of them are harmless, but some of them can be harmful to people if they are exposed (one episode concerns a type of mushi that feeds on sound). For the most part, they live in waterfall caves where they can eat to their heart’s content (if they have hearts). But when this sort of mushi is exposed to humans, it might decide to take up residence in a human being’s ear, causing that person to slowly lose their hearing.

The Dr. House of this world, a man named Ginko, is a self-appointed “mushi master” who goes around finding solutions for cases such as these where traditional medicine fails to treat the problem. Mushishi is a slow, slow burn. It is understated, calm, and melancholic; like listening to an intimate singer-songwriter like Elliott Smith or Jeff Buckley. It will calm your nerves and make you think; maybe even cry.

Trigun

Vash the Stampede in 'Trigun'
(Crunchyroll)

The main character of Trigun may be the coolest dressed character in the history of anime, and for a genre about people who dress cool for a living THAT’S SAYING SOMETHING. Trigun is a classic. Set on a harsh desert planet in the proverbial backwoods of the galaxy, the story chronicles the trials, tribulations, and fabulous hair of Vash the Stampede. He’s a wanted gunslinger with a bounty of 60 billion double dollars! The best part? He’s a total pacifist! A misunderstood hero! And a little bit of perv. If you like gunfights in gullys with some incredible science-fiction, this is the series for you.

The Promised Neverland (season 1)

Norman getting serious in 'The Promised Neverland'
(CloverWorks)

The Promised Neverland is about a precocious bunch of orphans who live on a quaint little farm under the care of some kindly adults. And what is the crop of this farm? The children themselves. Unbeknownst to the kids, whenever their classmates are “adopted” and leave the farm, they are actually being given to demons to eat. Three of the oldest and smartest kids eventually get wise and attempt to stage an escape.

The first season is phenomenal, but I’m not including season 2. We don’t talk about season 2. It was trash. They tried to squish the rest of the manga into a few episodes and it doesn’t work. But the first season is so worth it that hopefully you pick up the manga afterwards.

Durarara

Celty Sturluson from 'Durarara' on a motorcycle
(Brain’s Base)

Durarara is an ensemble piece that takes places in the Tokyo neighborhood of Ikebukuro. Ikebukuro is a weird place already, and the anime makes it even more fantastical. It’s populated by bartenders with super strength, pop idols who moonlight as serial killers, and a headless horsewoman straight out of traditional Irish myth who deals out vigilante justice to the yakuza. If this doesn’t convince you, nothing will.

Psycho-Pass

Shinya Kogami from Psycho-Pass
(FUNimation)

Psycho-Pass is a cerebral anime that takes place in the distant future where society has become a dystopian nightmare. An AI surveillance system assigns people a “psycho-pass”—a number that predicts a person’s likelihood of criminal activity. If your psycho-pass is too high, you are deemed a “latent criminal” and can be arrested or executed on the spot. The series follows a young woman who is assigned to the city’s police force and has to team up with a latent criminal in order to stop a serial killer who is inexplicably escaping detection. It’s the True Detective of anime.

Kill La Kill

Ryuko Matoi getting frustrated in Kill La Kill
(Aniplex of America)

Kill La Kill is a series about clothes. Specifically, clothes that drink your blood and give you superpowers while shrinking into kinky outfits. Schoolgirl Ryuko Matoi travels to a totalitarian high school run by the woman she thinks killed her father. Scantily clad sword fights with blades made of scissors ensue. The series is the greatest “ecchi” anime ever made, and is an excellent send-up of the entire “lewd” genre.

Chainsaw Man

Denji, Aki, and Power have fun at the dinner table during ending 12 of Chainsaw Man
(MAPPA)

Chainsaw Man is a classic in the making. It follows a group of Public Service Devil Hunters who hunt down and destroy demonic spirits, each of which is a manifestation of a different human fear. Their newest member is a “hybrid” who is part human and part chainsaw devil. What does this mean? It means his face and hands turn into chainsaws and he uses them to slice up devils! What’s not to love?

Megalobox

A young man with a bandaged face smirks on a motorcycle
(TMS Entertainment)

Megalobox may just be one of the greatest sports anime ever made. It’s the story of a young man named Jnk Dog (no that isn’t a spelling error) who makes a living throwing megaloboxing matches in a futuristic Japan. What’s megaloboxing? Basically boxing, except the fighters in these matches use cybernetically enhanced exosuits called “gear” in order to augment their speed, power, and durability. After hearing about a world championship megaloboxing tournament, Jnk Dog adopts the moniker “Gearless Joe” and begins competing in matches without any gear on in order to gain notoriety. Competing and WINNING.

My Hero Academia

Deko and Bakugo wind up to punch each other in "My Hero Academia"
(Bones)

My Hero Academia is kind of like a combination of Harry Potter and Invincible. In a world where superpowers called “quirks” are commonplace, a young boy named Midoriya dreams of becoming the world’s greatest hero, like his role model All Might. The problem? He doesn’t have a quirk. Big muggle energy. The solution? Through a twist of fate, Midoriya ends up inheriting All Might’s incredible power, but doesn’t have the knowledge or physical fortitude to utilize it. So what does he do? Go to Hogwarts—I mean, superhero school! Someone’s gotta teach this kid how to make it in the fantasy world.

Naruto Shippuden

Nagato, a.k.a. Pain, in the anime series 'Naruto Shippuden'
(Pierrot)

If you have nothing to do with your life for the next couple of months, you can’t go wrong with Naruto Shippuden. Naruto is known as one of the Big Three of shonen anime for a reason. If you can get past the flashbacks, the filler, and the seemingly infinite number of episodes, Shippuden unfolds as one of the most compelling anime stories ever told. It’s about ninjas! But also demons! But also aliens! You just gotta watch it to get what I mean.

One Piece

Luffy and the rest of the Straw Hat crew stare confidently into the camera in "One Piece"
(Toei Animation)

If you have nothing to do with the rest of your life for … the rest of your life … then One Piece is for you! Before it was adapted into a live-action Netflix series, it was an anime that started in the ‘90s … and it’s STILL GOING. At over 1,000 episodes in, the young pirate Monkey D. Luffy is STILL on his quest to find the One Piece, a fabled treasure of fantastic value. Terrifyingly enough, the series is actually only 10% filler, meaning that over 900 episodes of the show are ALL CANON. You know what the even scarier thing is? The filler is actually good. This is a series to last you the rest of your waking life.

Cowboy Bebop

Spike aiming a gun at the camera with an intense look in 'Cowboy Bebop'
(Sunrise)

Cowboy Bebop is rightly hailed as one of the greatest—if not THE greatest—anime ever made. Set centuries into the future, the series follows Spike Spiegel, a bounty hunter who travels the Solar System tracking down criminals to scrape together a living. Influenced by the bizarre combination of sci-fi and jazz, the series absolutely oozes style. The locations are stunning, the fight scenes are a thrill, and the soundtrack is full of absolute bops.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

A blonde haired vampire named Dio Brando (voiced by Patrick Seitz) holding a rose in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood
(Viz Media)

Do you like men? Do you like strong men? Do you like strong men with coiffed hair, perfect bodies, and impeccable fashion sense? Would you like to watch those men trade blows with one another and imagine that it’s you they’re fighting for? I think you might be a fan of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.

On the surface, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is a classic good vs. evil story about a family of flawless male specimens who fight an equally fabulous ancient evil over well-dressed generations. Beneath that surface—like, a millimeter down at most—is the gay agenda! If you couldn’t tell at first glance (get your eyes checked), Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is one of the most gloriously and canonically queer anime in existence. Different gender identities and expressions abound, and the main villain is a confirmed bisexual! We love to see it.

Demon Slayer

Kyojuro Rengoku wreathed in flame in "Demon Slayer"
(Ufotable)

Demon Slayer is as formulaic as shonen anime come, but that formula may as well be the Krabby Patty Secret Formula because this show is just that good. The series revolves around a young boy named Tanjiro living in turn-of-the-century Japan. Everything is going okay for the kid! Sure, his dad isn’t in the picture, but he and his family get by on the money he makes from selling charcoal—at least until the King of Demons massacres them all and turns his sister into a demon. Tanjiro makes a sacred shonen vow to destroy all demons, and joins a superpowered corps of demon slayers in order to accomplish his goals. While the plot may be standard issue shonen, the series makes up for it with the brilliance of its fight scenes and the lovability of its many characters (Inosuke. I mean Inosuke).

One Punch Man

Saitama with his cape billowing on "One Punch Man"
(Madhouse)

In One Punch Man, a hero named Saitama has achieved what every other shonen anime protagonist can only dream of: he has become the strongest being in the universe. Now what? After three years of training (and eating a balanced breakfast), Saitama is able to defeat any foe in the universe with one single punch. And he’s feeling … existential about it. With no goal to work towards and no great challenges in his life, Saitama spends his time playing video games and puttering around at the grocery store. Meanwhile, the world is continually threatened by monsters who didn’t get the memo about Saitama, and the hero takes them down one punch at a time.

Death Note

L with Ryuk lurking in the background in 'Death Note'
(Madhouse)

What happens when you combine a sociopathic overachiever with a notebook that can kill anyone in the world? Mix in a little bit of alt fashion and you get Death Note. Light Yagami is a genius Japanese highschooler whose God complex is brought into full bloom after he finds a Death Note—a book that will kill anyone whose name is written in its pages. Rather than letting sleeping shinigami lie, Light decides to to use the Death Note to usher the world into a new age of peace, with he himself serving as its patron deity. At least that’s what he WANTS to do, unless a quirky boy genius detective hired by the Japanese government can stop him first.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Edward Elric in 'Fullmetal Alchemist.'
(Bones)

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is the Breaking Bad of anime. Five perfectly paced seasons that make up one of the most thrilling plot lines ever put to screen. The Elric brothers Edward and Alphonse lost their mother at a young age, and the two precocious little boys decided to attempt to bring her back to life with a forbidden alchemical ritual. It didn’t go well. Edward lost his arm and leg, while Alphonse lost his entire body. Fortunately, Edward was able to seal Alphonse’s soul to a suit of armor before it could float away forever. The pair embark on a quest to find their missing body parts, and in doing so uncover a government conspiracy that threatens to change the face of their home kingdom forever.

(featured image: Manglobe)


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Author
Image of Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.