The 15 best anime on Crunchyroll

Pochita and Denji from Chainsaw Man
Image via Crunchyroll

If you’re a long-term anime fan, 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, you were out of luck.

Thankfully those days are long past us, and we have our pick of streaming sites to watch our new and old faves. When choosing a website to stream anime from, Crunchyroll stands out. The internet streaming service has over 1,000 anime titles to choose from making for one impressive library. While the variety is appreciated, it’s 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 15 best anime available on Crunchyroll. Our list includes both old and new favorites and hopefully introduces you to some cool new anime series. Without further ado, we present the best anime on Crunchyroll in no particular order.

One Piece (1999-)

One Piece is a long-running anime with a huge following and over 1000 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 which started two years earlier in 1997, follows Monkey D. Luffy as he embarks on an ambitious journey to become the Pirate King. During his quest to become the strongest pirate alive, 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 still high-quality even after over two decades. One Piece is popular for a reason and this influential anime is worth your time.

Spy x Family (2022-)

This newer anime about a spy masquerading as a family man is a great time. Spy x Family only began airing in April of last year but already has had great commercial and critical success. The story follows master spy Twilight who needs to create a fake nuclear family in order to complete what might be the greatest mission of his career. The fake family finds themselves 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 this year.

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 the 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 great watch.

Blue Lock (2022-)

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 pit against 299 other players for a chance to play as striker for the national team. If players loses the competition, they permanently forfeit the chance to join the national team, and this leads to 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-)

Chainsaw Man is a seinen (anime geared more toward slightly older audiences than your standard shonen) anime 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 in order to make even a small dent in his mountain of debt. Things change when he gains the power to spout massive chainsaw 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.

My Hero Academia (2016-)

For anime fans who loved Sky High and enjoy a good underdog tale, My Hero Academia is a great choice. My 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. Eventually Izuku is able 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 hero 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-)

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 began 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-)

If you’re a lover of romance anime or rom-coms like 10 Things I Hate About You, you’ll 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-)

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 powerful sorcerers who use their abilities to fight “curses,” monsters formed from excess negative human emotions. Itadori Yuji ends up possessed after swallowing the toe (yes, the toe) of the king of curses, Sukuna, and is quickly sentenced to an exorcism and 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 balances light, humorous scenes with horrifying battles with some truly evil curses.

Attack on Titan (2013-)

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 with a 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. The last half of the final season ends later this year, so catch up while you can.

Demon Slayer (2019-)

https://youtu.be/vFFyX928D9k

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 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 we’ve seen in any anime.

Naruto (2002-2017)

Considered a shonen classic by many, 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 off as somewhat 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. Over the course of 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-)

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is the anime adaptation of the long-running manga series which began publication in Shonen Jump in 1987. The anime is not nearly as long-lived as the manga, but it is 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 they possess. 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.

The Devil is a Part-Timer! (2013-)

We love an anime with a unique concept, and The Devil is a Part-Timer! definitely 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, taking on the name Sadao Maou. Over the course of the series, he encounters a human version of Emilia and other characters from his original universe. It is a funny commentary on late-stage capitalism and explores the morality of each character. The series will be getting a new season sometime in 2023.

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 bodyless, and his soul is contained in a suit of armor. Ed becomes a government-sanctioned alchemist in a 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 we’ve seen in anime. If you haven’t seen it (and even if you have), it’s always worth a watch or rewatch.