Anime is lighting up in North America and around the world. Simply put, people watch more anime now than they ever have before. Luckily, there are actually a ton of great anime on most streaming services. It’s mostly a matter of finding them. We have covered the best anime on Netflix and Hulu in the past. Today, we’re tackling Amazon Prime Video. It’s not quite as robust of a platform as others for anime, but you can find some good gems there. Here are the best anime on Amazon Prime Video.
Amazon is a bit of a weird case. The company not only streams video but also sells it. For the sake of simplicity, we’re going to cover anime you stream from the platform as part of the platform and not ones you have to purchase.
Finally, we have one more distinction. There are some excellent anime on Amazon Prime without complete seasons. For instance, we highly recommend Blue Exorcist. However, season one isn’t available on Amazon Prime Video. We’re not going to recommend anime in those types of situations.
Cowboy Bebop – Sci-fi
Cowboy Bebop was actually a popular anime during its run. It aired on US television via Adult Swim. The show takes place in a dystopian future and mashes up elements of space opera, noir, and cyberpunk. It focuses on Spike Spiegel’s past and its effect on him in the future. He’s surrounded by a lovable cast and memorable antagonists. We don’t want to spoil even one moment of this show because it’s one of the truly great anime of the last 25 years. The show spans 26 total episodes.
Dororo – Dark fantasy
Dororo is one of the oldest properties on the list. The manga originally launched in the 1960s with an anime in the late 1960s. However, a modern adaptation aired in the late 2010s and this is that newer version. The show revolves around a ronin (a Samurai without a master) who was born massively disfigured because his father struck a deal with some demons. Dororo joins up and helps the ronin defeat more demons. There is obviously more there but we don’t want to spoil anything. It’s a darker show as the genre implies. The show runs for 24 episodes.
Elfen Lied – Horror/gore/thriller
Elfen Lied is another classic anime, but this one is a horror show. This one is not for the feint of heart and often features very violent scenes along with nudity. The story revolves around Lucy, a Diclonius with special abilities. An agency tries to recapture her after she escapes from a research lab. The anime is often cited by the Duffer Brothers as a major influence to the Netflix show Stranger Things. Fun fact, it’s also banned in China. The show lasts only 13 episodes and all of them are on Amazon Prime Video.
Girls’ Last Tour – Drama/Sci-fi
Girls’ Last Tour is a dystopian drama and science fiction show. The show revolves around two girls, Yuuri and Chito, as they navigate and explore the ruins of civilization. It’s basically an anime version of a classic survival simulator. The girls spend episodes exploring things, learning about their surroundings, and finding food and water in order to survive. Unlike many dystopian shows, this one is more about the day-to-day life kind of stuff rather than action or violence. Amazon has the entire show in its 12 episode entirety.
Grand Blue Dreaming – Slice of life
Grand Blue Dreaming is an interesting and fun slice of life anime. It revolves around Iori Kitahara, a mechanical engineering student who can’t swim. He gets swept up in the antics of a local diving club while in college and hilarity ensues. It straddles the line between slice of life and comedy, but we filed it under slice of life because it basically just follows the adventures of Iori without any real story arcs. In any case, it’s comfortable, fun, and the entire first season is available.
Grimoire of Zero – Fantasy
Grimoire of Zero is a fairly standard fantasy anime with a lot of the usual tropes. It revolves around Zero, a witch, and her body guard, Mercenary. The two agree to hunt down a magical tome together in exchange for Zero making Mercenary a full human. The unlikely duo adventure together for the show’s whole run. The show only lasts for 12 episodes, but it’s a good romp and it scratches that itch for fantasy fans.
Pop Team Epic – Comedy
Pop Team Epic is a goofy comedy. It’s kind of like an anime version of Robot Chicken with short sketches that make up entire episodes. It’s full of jokes, pop culture parodies, and other such things. The show revolves around 14-year old girls and the crazy things they get into. You can see from the trailer that things get absurd very quickly in the show. It’s one of the few pure comedy anime on Amazon Prime Video. Amazon has 12 of the 14 total available episodes.
Re:CREATORS – Action
Re:CREATORS is one of the flagship original anime on Amazon Prime Video. It’s an isekai, an anime subgenre where characters are pulled into another world and live life there for at least a while. The main character launches into a mechan anime he’s watching on a tablet and the adventure begins there. He eventually leaves and fictional characters are dragged into the real world with him. The cast is divided between creations and their creators, a neat dynamic that underlines the entire show’s story. Amazon has the show’s entire 22 episode run along with some bonus commentary episodes.
RWBY – Action/Fantasy
RWBY is an anime-style show from Rooster Teeth. It has the distinction of being one of the few good anime not from Japan. The animation style takes a bit to get used to, but the show itself is solid. It follows a team of four huntresses as they become friends, defeat the evil Grimm, and try to save the world. Amazon doesn’t have the individual episodes. However, it does have the movie versions of each season. The episodes are much shorter than typical TV shows so a single two hour movie actually covers the entire season pretty well. You can find seasons one through six on Amazon Prime Video.
Toradora! – Romance/Slice of Life
Toradora! is a romance, slice of life with a bit of comedy thrown it. It revolves around two high school students. Each one has a crush on the other’s friend so they help each other win over their crush. Their plans have the unintended effect of making the two closer than they originally intended. It’s a cute little romance story with bits of comedy as their plans to set each other up consistently backfire. The show is actually one of the better romance anime on any streaming service and one of the hidden gems on Amazon Prime Video.
Vinland Saga – Historical fiction
Vinland Saga is another Amazon exclusive and a surprisingly good anime. It’s a fictional story based on real events. A Viking boy sets out on a journey to avenge his murdered father. The story takes place during the same era as the Danish invasion of London. Even the main character, Thorfinn, is loosely based on the Vinland explorer Thorfinn Karlsefni. The animation and storytelling is quite good in this one, even if it’s a bit dry by anime standards. It compares well to older anime like Berserk in terms of tone. It’s also a nice break away from anime aimed at younger viewers because this one is definitely intended for adults.
Just because a show isn’t the best in its category doesn’t mean it’s not good. We wanted to give a shout out to some other great anime on Amazon Prime Video.
- After the Rain – A romantic comedy about a girl who falls in love with an older shopkeeper after he cheers her up one day. It’s a bit weird to watch, but the underlying tone is cutesy and fun.
- Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga – Amazon Prime Video doesn’t have season one of Blue Exorcist, but it does have the second season. The two seasons feel very much like separate shows and you can watch the second season without the first and not miss too much. It’s an action-adventure anime with demons.
- KOKKOKU – KOKKOKU is a horror mystery show with elements of drama as well. A family has the secret ability to stop time and enter the Statis, a place with weird monsters and other strange people.
- Made in Abyss – Made in Abyss is a fantasy-adventure show about a little girl looking for her mother inside of a multi-layered ruin (the Abyss). She stumbles on a boy who seems tailor made to fight and deal with the horrors of the ruin. This show is occasionally rough to watch, but it’s an endearing anime with some good storytelling. The first season is on Amazon and the second season isn’t out yet.
- Pokemon the Series: Black and White – We basically added this for name recognition. Amazon has three seasons of the popular Pokemon anime. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but each season is nearly 50 episodes a piece and has well over 100 episodes to watch. It’s excellent binge material even if you’re being dropped right into the middle.
- Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul – This one is another adventure-fantasy show about a huge dragon (Bahamut) that is about to destroy everything and it’s up to a gritty team of adventurers to put it to a stop. Technically, Virgin Soul is the second season. However, Amazon doesn’t have the first and you can start here without being too far out of the loop to know what’s happening.
If we missed any great anime on Amazon Prime, tell us about it in the comments! We’ll update this post with new titles as they launch. Finally, we strongly recommend you skip Eromanga Sensei. Trust us, it’s not very good and actually quite creepy.