Netflix’s anime output and viewership has been steadily growing over the past few years. You can binge a number of classic series like Seven Deadly Sins and Fairy Tail; the site has also begun acquiring and producing brand new anime series. During their Netflix Anime Festival 2020, the streamer revealed a series of radical anime coming to screens in 2021. We’ve picked eight of the shows that we’re most excited about to highlight here. There’s a great range of genre, tone, and story that will likely excite lifelong anime lovers and new fans alike.
The Way of the Househusband
What it’s about: Tatsu was once the most feared Yakuza in Japan. Now he’s retired, hopeful to become a househusband for his darling wife. The manga largely centers on Tatsu’s struggle to leave behind his life of crime, as well as his delightful escapades into home care, cooking, and running errands. This series will likely expand on the comic strip style of Kosuke Oono’s manga, which is one of the best series of the last few years.
Who’s behind it: Chiaki Kon, director of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal the Movie, helms the new series.
You’ll like this if you like…: Cooking anime, crime anime, romance anime… this is a smorgasbord of genres and humor. Food Wars fans will immediately love this one.
Godzilla Singular Point
What it’s about: Following the Godzilla anime trilogy, Netflix is offering another animated collaboration with Toei. This time the story goes for a more classical take: two young engineers team up to take on “an unprecedented threat.” The new Kaiju designs are really interesting; they seem to veer closer to dinosaurs than traditional giant-sized monsters.
Who’s behind it: Atsushi Takahashi (assistant director on Spirited Away) directs. Toh Enjoe, author of Self-Reference ENGINE, will write and compose the series. Character designs come from Kazue Kato (creator of the Blue Exorcistmanga), with kaiju designs from Eiji Yamamori, the key animator for several Miyazaki movies.
You’ll like this if you like…: Neon Genesis Evangelion and Kagewani.
Rilakkuma’s Theme Park Adventure
What it’s about: The stunning stop motion anime Rilakkuma and Kaoru is one of the loveliest Netflix originals ever. This series takes those delightful characters and throws them into a day at the theme park that’s about to close down. The first series mixed cute visuals and cutting edge animation with thoughtful, mature themes and existential humor. We hope to see more of that here!
Who’s behind it: Rilakkuma and Kaoru‘sMasahito Kobayashi returns to direct the new series.
You’ll like this if you like…: Slice of life stories, stop-motion, and of course Netflix’s Rilakkuma and Kaoru.
Pacific Rim: The Black
What it’s about: Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim is an all-out monster mash. After the underrated sequel, this anime series is aiming to expand the world even more. When Kaiju take over Australia the whole continent has to be evacuated. The only people left behind are two twins who have to restore an old Jager in order to survive. Sounds like some classic mecha anime setup to us.
Who’s behind it: Craig Kyle (screenwriter for Thor: Ragnarok) runs the show with Greg Johnson.
You’ll like this if you like…: Pacific Rim (naturally) and Voltron.
What it’s about: This series stars Lakeith Stanfield as real life Black samurai Yasuke. The African retainer served under the legendary Oda Nobunaga. But this version will offer up a Lone Wolf and Cub-style twist on his tale, with Yasuke transporting “a mysterious child who is the target of dark forces and bloodthirsty warlords.”
Who’s behind it: Directed and created by LeSean Thomas, who has worked on Black Dynamite and The Boondocks. Character designs come from Takeshi Koike, director of three Lupin the Third projects and a segment of The Animatrix.
You’ll like this if you like…: Lone Wolf and Cub, Ninja Scroll, and Afro Samurai.
RESIDENT EVIL: Infinite Darkness
What it’s about: This CG series is the newest addition to Netflix and Capcom’s collaboration. As you can see from the newly released image, this is a fully computer animated show. Focusing on the classic horror game series, Infinite Darkness will pick up after Resident Evil: Vendetta.
Who’s behind it: Capcom and Quebico… otherwise details are scarce.
You’ll like this if you like…: Other than Resident Evilitself—Castlevania, and horror in general.
Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy – EARTHRISE
What it’s about: Netflix’s first addition to the Transformers canon introduced a shocking backstory for the car-shaped aliens. That series follows the Autobots and Decepticons as they fight for survival on Cybertron. This second entry will be a direct sequel to the first chapter, with the Decepticons left on the dying planet and the Autobots looking for a new home.
Who’s behind it: F.J. DeSanto (of Transformers: Titans Return) and Matt Murray (Transformers: Power of the Primes) team up for this new chapter.
You’ll like this if you like…: Gundam and Bubblegum Crisis.
What it’s about: This classic manga and anime was huge in the ’80s and ’90s, and now it’s back. Spriggan centers on a world where an ancient race was destroyed by the mysterious tech they created. To save future generations, they leave cryptic messages explaining why their tech should be forgotten. Instead, humans seek out the artifacts in order to harness their power. The Spriggans aim to stop them.
Who’s behind it: Spriggan enlists Hiroshi Kobayashi, director and animator on Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan, to direct. Hiroshi Seko (The Empire of Corpses) composes and writes the series. Character designs come from Shuhei Handa (Sword Art Online).
You’ll like this if you like…: Akira, Appleseed, and any classic hero saving the day.
Featured Image: Netflix