If you’re a long-term anime fan, then you probably remember the dark ages of not being able to find a high-quality version of your favorite show. Finding a video over 480p with accurate, official, and not-fan-made subs was like finding a unicorn. Forget watching an episode in its entirety; it would be uploaded in parts on YouTube, and if a part was taken down due to copyright issues, then you were out of luck.
Thankfully, those days are long past us and we now have our pick of streaming sites on which we can watch old and new faves alike. When choosing a website to stream anime from, Crunchyroll is an obvious standout. The internet streaming service has over 1,000 anime titles to choose from, making for one impressive library. While the variety is appreciated, it can be hard to pick something to watch when there’s such a staggering amount to choose from.
Luckily, we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of the 20 best anime available on Crunchyroll and it includes both old and new favorites and will hopefully introduce you to a variety of anime series you might not have otherwise known about. Without further ado, we present the best anime on Crunchyroll in no particular order.
One Piece (1999-present)
One Piece is a long-running anime with a huge following and over 1,000 episodes. This makes starting the show a daunting task, but we’re here to assure you that it’s worth it. The anime, adapted from the One Piece manga that started two years earlier in 1997, follows Monkey D. Luffy as he embarks on an ambitious journey to become King of the Pirates.
During his quest, Luffy encounters (many) new friends and enemies that you can’t help but appreciate. With so many episodes, there’s obviously some filler, but the story is surprisingly high-quality even after over two decades. One Piece is popular for a reason and this influential anime is well worth your time (as is the new Netflix series).
Spy x Family (2022-present)
This newer anime about a spy masquerading as a family man is a great time. Spy x Family only began airing in Apr. 2022 but has already had great commercial and critical success. The story follows master spy Twilight, who needs to create a fake nuclear family to complete what might be the greatest mission of his career. The fake family finds itself occasionally lost in the charade and the story has a great balance of action and wholesome moments.
Season two of Spy x Family will release sometime in 2023.
Mob Psycho 100 (2016-2022)
From the creator of One-Punch Man (another contender for this list), Mob Psycho 100 is a fantastic anime that takes common shonen (a genre of anime mostly geared toward young boys; think something like Dragon Ball or Naruto) anime tropes and subverts them for a fresh take on the genre. The series follows protagonist Shigeo Kageyama (Mob), a talented esper who prefers to solve his problems by bettering himself physically rather than relying on his ESP.
Mob is a rather stoic character and presses his emotions down instead of expressing them. When he finally lets his emotion meter reach 100, prepare for some massive psychic energy and some crazy animated sequences. The anime has some great characters (like Mob’s mentor Reigen Arataka) and is a worthwhile watch.
Blue Lock (2022-present)
Blue Lock presents viewers with something that’s been missing from sports anime: high stakes. Isagi Yoichi is a pitifully average high school soccer player who receives an invitation from the Japan Football Federation that changes the trajectory of his life. The sports organization has chosen him to be part of project Blue Lock, where he will be pitted against 299 other players for a chance to play as a striker for the national team.
If players lose the competition, they permanently forfeit the chance to join the national team, and this leads to an intense, cut-throat competition among the contestants. The show has viewers and Isagi wondering if any of the friendships he forms are real while they fight to nab the coveted spot.
Chainsaw Man (2022-present)
Chainsaw Man is a seinen anime (meaning it’s geared more toward an older audience than your standard shonen) and, boy, is it bleak. This one follows Denji, a teen stuck with ruinous debt he acquired from his late father. He is forced to sell his own body parts and work for the Yakuza as a Devil Hunter to make even a small dent in his mountain of debt. Things change when he gains the power to spout massive chainsaws from his limbs from his best friend, the adorable puppy-shaped Chainsaw Devil, Pochita.
Fans appreciate that Denji is a twist on the stereotypical shonen-anime protagonist archetype; it’s not to say he’s a bad guy, but you won’t find any heroes here. The show is equal parts hilarious, violent, and dark, and the surreal aspect of Denji’s transformation into a human chainsaw sets it apart.
Solo Leveling (2024-present)
Solo Leveling is one of the biggest manhwa titles and one of the most anticipated releases for 2024. The series is set in a world where people with supernatural abilities, known as hunters, venture into monster-infested dungeons to protect the rest of the world from destruction. Sung Jinwoo is an infamous hunter, known for being the weakest of the weak. After a ridiculously overpowered dungeon decimates most of his party, Jinwoo is near death himself before a mysterious entity known only as the System saves his life.
The System offers Jinwoo the chance to level up and become the strongest hunter of them all. Now, Jinwoo must learn the truth about the System, the dungeons, and the mysterious power he’s been granted.
My Hero Academia (2016-present)
For anime fans who loved Sky High and enjoy a good underdog tale, My Hero Academia is a quality choice. Hero is set in a world where about 80 percent of the population has superhuman abilities known as Quirks. Izuku Midoriya is born Quirkless, but dreams of becoming a hero like his idol All Might, the number one hero in Japan.
Izuku is eventuallyable to enroll in the prestigious UA, a school for upcoming young heroes to hone their Quirks. Of course, in a world with heroes, you’re sure to find villains, and this anime crafts villains just as well thought-out as their heroic counterparts. If you’re a fan of classic shonen series like Naruto and Dragon Ball, you’re sure to enjoy My Hero Academia.
Bocchi the Rock! (2022-present)
This music-filled anime has plenty of humor and just as much heart. Bocchi the Rock! tells the story of Hitori “Bocchi” Gotou, a teenage loner with social anxiety. Hitori first begins learning how to play the guitar as a way to make friends, and by the time she’s in high school, she’s amassed an online following by posting videos of her playing (anonymously, of course).
Her dreams of making friends through music haven’t come true until she’s approached by Nijika Ijichi to join Kessoku Band as their guitarist. The show follows Hitori and her band’s exploits as she tries to get out of her shell and excel musically with her newfound friends.
Kaguya-Sama: Love is War (2019-present)
If you’re a lover of romance anime or rom-coms like 10 Things I Hate About You, then you’re going to fall in love with Kaguya-Sama: Love is War. All their classmates believe class president Miyuki Shirogane and vice president Kaguya Shinomiya would make the perfect couple. The two individually decide to get the other to confess their love first and both vow not to “lose” this competition.
This battle of wits makes even the most benign events (getting a text from your classmate) feel like momentous occasions, and this seriousness juxtaposed with high school normalcy makes the anime a funny watch. The show is never too predictable despite the premise and has a great supporting cast and a lot of heart.
Jujutsu Kaisen (2020-present)
Literally translated as “Sorcery Battle,” Jujutsu Kaisen has quickly become one of Crunchyroll’s most-watched anime, and for good reason. This seinen anime combines the specialized school for super-powered youths from My Hero Academia with Chainsaw Man’s body horror and darker tone. There are no superheroes in Jujutsu Kaisen, but plenty of powerful sorcerers who use their abilities to fight “curses,” or monsters formed from excess negative human emotions.
Itadori Yuji ends up possessed after swallowing a finger (yes, a finger) of the king of curses, Sukuna, and is quickly sentenced to death. Eccentric teacher and very powerful sorcerer Satoru Gojo convinces the other sorcerers to allow Itadori the chance to consume the rest of Sukuna’s 20 fingers and finish off the king of curses once and for all. Jujutsu Kaisen is a beautifully-animated adventure where characters face dire consequences for their actions and the show balances light, humorous scenes with high-stakes battles.
Attack on Titan (2013-present)
When Attack on Titan first released in 2013, viewers were mesmerized by the beautiful animation and fresh story. Although it’s already been a decade since then, new viewers will still be awed by this instant classic. Giant humanoid beings known as Titans terrorize the post-apocalyptic world of Attack on Titan, and Eren Jaegar vows to get revenge after one devours his mother in front of him as a child. He enlists in the military along with his childhood friends to further his goal of destroying all Titans so humanity can finally live in peace, but in this anime, nothing is ever as it seems.
Even when you think you’ve figured it all out, the plot will keep you on your toes. It isn’t all action; there’s an element of mystery as Eren and his companions unearth the history of the Titans and the catastrophic event that led to humanity’s current state.
Demon Slayer (2019-present)
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is massive both in Japan and abroad, and it’s easy to see why. The popular anime follows protagonist Tanjiro Kamado after he returns home to find that his entire family has been slaughtered and his sister Nezuko has been transformed into a demon. In the world of Demon Slayer, demons are former humans with supernatural abilities who now feed on people. Demon Slayers are the only defense humanity has against these fiends.
When Tanjiro sees that Nezuko still retains her humanity despite becoming a demon, he vows to become a Demon Slayer and find a cure for his sister’s condition. The show explores whether morality is truly black and white and has some of the most beautiful animated sequences I’ve ever seen in any anime.
An undisputed anime classic, Naruto is worth your time if you somehow haven’t seen it yet. Naruto follows the titular Naruto Uzumaki on his quest to become the Hokage, the strongest ninja and leader of his village Konoha despite lacking any aptitude for being a ninja. Naruto starts as something of an outcast in his village as he carries the powerful nine-tailed fox spirit inside him after the Hokage sealed it within him during an attack on Konoha.
Throughout the series, Naruto forms strong friendships as he and his peers strive to become great ninjas. Naruto inspired multiple anime on this list and features some of the greatest fight scenes in the genre. Although a large part of the anime is filler, Naruto is always worth a watch.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (2012-present)
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is the anime adaptation of the long-running manga series first published in Shonen Jump in 1987. The anime is not nearly as long-lived as the manga, but it’s a joy to watch nonetheless. The series is made up of several parts following different generations of the Joestar family, a bloodline destined to fight evil with the supernatural abilities it possesses.
In each part, a different family member with the nickname “Jojo” goes on an adventure to battle different variations or relatives of the original Jojo’s adoptive brother and arch-nemesis Dio Brando. The show is animated in a very distinct style and each new series is better than the last.
Shangri-La Frontier (2023-present)
Shangri-La Frontier, adapted from the 2017 web novel by Katarina, takes place in a near future where modern games are all super-immersive VR games. Rakuro Hizutome is a self-described “trash game hunter” who spends his time mastering the so-called “trash” VR games: rushed games full of glitches. After he beats yet another of these faulty games, Rakuro decides to try playing the popular game, Shangri-La Frontier, as his online alias “Sunraku.”
If you love laughing and playing games yourself, you’ll love Shangri-La Frontier. This anime really captures the feeling of falling in love with a new game and wanting to learn everything about it.
The Devil is a Part-Timer! (2013-present)
We love an anime with a unique concept, and The Devil is a Part-Timer! fits the bill. In this anime, Satan himself is forced to work a part-time job at a fast food restaurant when transported to modern-day Tokyo after a battle with the hero, Emilia. Satan escapes through a portal that takes him to our world, where he appears human and takes on the name Sadao Maou.
Throughout the series, he encounters a human version of Emilia and other characters from his original universe. The Devil is a Part-Timer! is a funny commentary on late-stage capitalism and explores the morality of each character.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009-2010)
Considered one of the best anime adaptations by many, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood deserves its reputation. Fullmetal Alchemist was originally adapted in a 2003 anime that aired while the manga was simultaneously being published. Eventually, the 2003 series had to stray from the manga plot after it ran out of material to adapt; however, Brotherhood stays true to the manga and is better off for it.
The anime tells the story of brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric who committed the ultimate taboo in alchemy — human transmutation. The incident causes Ed to lose his arm and leg and Alphonse ends up body-less, his soul contained in a suit of armor. Ed becomes a government-sanctioned alchemist in his quest to get his brother’s body back and the two encounter a government conspiracy in the process. Brotherhood has well-written characters, fantastic villains, top-tier comedy, and some of the most satisfying storytelling I’ve seen in anime. If you haven’t seen it (and even if you have), it’s always worth a watch or rewatch.
Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End (2023-present)
Bittersweet is the best way to describe Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End. The story follows the long-lived Frieren, an elf who was part of a 10-year quest to save the world from the Demon King. 50 years later, she returns from her own adventures to reunite with her old traveling party, only to learn how much the rest of the world has changed in her absence.
The anime explores the meaning of life, death, and the passage of time. It’s better to go into this one without knowing too much but make sure you have the tissues ready.
Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku (2023-?)
If you enjoy Jujutsu Kaisen and Chainsaw Man, check out animation studio MAPPA’s newest offering, Hell’s Paradise. Similarly dark in tone (but no less beautifully animated), Hell’s Paradise is set in Japan’s Edo Period and follows protagonist Gabimaru as he embarks on a dangerous journey to find the elixir of life.
A lifelong assassin, Gabimaru was eventually sentenced to death for his crimes but was unable to be killed; now, he’s been given the chance of a pardon alongside several other Death Row criminals if they can return from the legendary Shinsenkyo intact. The show’s first season finished July 2023 and a second season has already been announced.
Hunter X Hunter (2011-2014)
Considered one of the quintessential shonen anime, Hunter X Hunter was first published in 1998 by Yoshihiro Togashi and has two notable anime adaptations. While the 1999 version is worth a watch, the 2011 series is considered by many to be a near-perfect anime adaptation. The show follows Gon, a young boy who sets out to become a Hunter (a hard-to-define profession requiring a license) after he learns his estranged father is a world-renowned Hunter himself.
He begins his journey by taking the Hunter Exam and meets interesting characters like Killua while never losing sight of his goal to meet his father. The series closely follows the events in the manga so there’s little filler to wade through. Unfortunately, Togashi frequently places the manga on long hiatuses, so don’t expect either the manga or any anime adaptation to reach its conclusion anytime soon.
Fruits Basket (2019-2021)
Originally adapted into a 26-episode anime in 2001 (which I also recommend you check out), a second Fruits Basket series began airing in 2019. Don’t let its looks fool you; Fruits Basket is a lighthearted shojo series filled with beautiful characters, but it’s also an emotional rollercoaster. You’ll watch protagonist Tohru meet a cast of essentially Chinese zodiac furries, you will care about all of them, and you will cry.
Tohru is a high school student who lives with her grandfather after her mother dies in a sudden accident. Soon, she discovers that the Sohma family is hiding a secret and turn into their respective Chinese zodiac animals under certain conditions (like being hugged by the opposite gender, which lends itself to some funny situations). Promising to keep their secret, she vows to help break the family curse, becoming close with Yuki and his cousin Kyo, who is possessed by the cat who was ultimately excluded from the zodiac.
When you think of sports anime, Haikyuu!! is one of the first titles that comes to mind. After protagonist Hinata Shoyo watches the Nationals on TV, he is inspired to become a great volleyball player himself. Despite his short stature and lack of experience, Hinata is naturally athletic and gifted with the ability to jump extremely high.
The show follows him from his junior high beginnings to his entering Karasuno High School, the same school he watched compete in Nationals. With a cast of great characters and a likeable protagonist, Haikyuu!! is a must-watch for any fan of heartwarming sports anime.
Fire Force (2019-present)
Fire Force is a new classic in the shonen genre. The series is set on an alternate Earth where an event called The Great Cataclysm burned most of the planet and left much of the world uninhabitable. On the remaining landmass, named the Tokyo Empire, the Fire Force literally fight fire with fire as cases of spontaneous human combustion increase and turn people into malicious flamed creatures known as Infernals.
Shinra is a pyrokinetic with the ability to light his feet on fire (it’s cooler than it sounds), earning him the nickname “Devil’s Footprints.” He joins Fire Force Company 8 to help keep the city safe from fire all while uncovering a conspiracy threatening to burn the world down once more. The show’s typical shonen plot combined with a suspenseful behind-the-scenes mystery will keep you engaged as you wait for the upcoming season three.
The Apothecary Diaries (2023-present)
The Apothecary Diaries follows a young girl named MaoMao who works in an apothecary alongside her father in the red light district. One day, MaoMao is kidnapped and sold to the Imperial Palace. Now a lowly servant, MaoMao uses her apothecary knowledge to solve the mysterious illness affecting the emperor’s children; although she wants to serve the palace anonymously, she catches the eye of the incredibly good-looking Jinshi, who enlists her help solving other mysteries in the court.
If you love political intrigue, mystery, and a sassy, headstrong heroine, you’ll love The Apothecary Diaries.
Berserk of Gluttony (2023)
Berserk of Gluttony, like many popular anime, is set in a fantasy world where people have magical abilities. The main character, Fate Graphite, has been ridiculed for his “useless” skill, Gluttony. Suffering from a seemingly endless hunger, Fate is resigned to his fate and finds work as a gatekeeper for a noble family.
When Fate is forced to kill a thief, he learns the truth about his power: he can absorb the skills of people he kills and become stronger. His hunger temporarily sated, Fate leaves to learn more about his skill and level up, all while trying to keep his appetite in check. Fans of dark fantasy should check this one out.