With the arrival of Netflix’s long-anticipated live-action “Cowboy Bebop,” renewed interest in the original 1998 series has once again highlighted the growing cultural permeation of Japanese anime in the mainstream.
While the popularity of anime in the U.S. is not entirely new — other classics like “Naruto,” “Sailor Moon” and “Dragon Ball” serve as a handful of early examples — there’s no question the medium has strengthened its foothold. Smash successes of franchise films like “My Hero Academia: World Heroes Mission” and “Demon Slayer: Mugen Train” at the box office indicate an explosion of interest from U.S. audiences. Further, celebrities like Megan Thee Stallion have embraced their own love of the Japanese medium. This Halloween alone saw anime-inspired costumes from “Euphoria” star Hunter Schafer, YouTuber Bretman Rock and more.
The phenomenon is one Netflix has quickly capitalized on, with the platform becoming a hub of sorts. Its expanding catalogue offers anime across genres and demographics, from light-hearted comedies including “Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun” to such originals as “Violet Evergarden.” Far from the days of hunting down multi-part YouTube videos of their favorite shows, anime fans now enjoy an abundant selection of content. Netflix has certainly shown interest in drawing their attention.
Below are some of the best of Netflix’s anime offerings, ready for you to watch after trekking across space with Spike Spiegel and crew.