There’s a small issue with the anime category on Netflix: they have a plethora of dubbed series on the site, but when it comes to anime features, the numbers aren’t there. Pretty sad, especially given the enormous amount of diversity in the genre just under the category of “anime films.”
Hopefully, Netflix will expand their Anime Features in the future, but for now, enjoy the selection of the Top 10 Anime Features that are presently on Netflix, by rating.
Bleach the Movie: Hell Verse
Released in 2010 under the Japanese title Bleach: The Hell Verse, this feature currently has the honor of being the highest rated anime film on Netflix, with almost a full five stars. It’s the fourth and last feature film based on the anime and manga series. Hell Verse follows Ichigo and the gang as they quite literally descend into hell, raising many questions about the overall mythos of the Bleach universe. Watch as Ichigo slaughters enemy after enemy in order to save his sister, Yuzu, and yes, it is a trap! Don’t worry: there’s plenty of Hollow Ichigo for everyone.
Berserk Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the King
This one’s for all of you out there that are looking for an anime film that takes on a more Western theme. Berserk was released in 2012 in Japan, as part one of a 3-part film series. Only part one is available on Netflix, which is majorly disappointing given the series of questions and cliffhangers left by the first film. If you’re interested in a Japanese take on knights and the middle ages, plus some major fantasy elements, then Berserk is worth a watch.
Bleach the Movie: Fade to Black
Released in 2008 in Japan as the third Bleach film, Fade to Black is like that one episode where everyone gets amnesia — except instead of hilarious hijinks, there’s a lot of sword fighting. The film primarily focuses on Ichigo’s relationship with Rukia, and is also known as the film that gave fans of the Ichigo x Rukia pairing no less than three consecutive heart attacks. Every fan. Three heart attacks. For a movie that was created pretty much to be an angst-fest with yelling and slicing action, Fade to Black is actually pretty excellent. It’s worth noting that out of the four Bleach films, only Fade to Black and Hell Verse are available on Netflix.
Naruto Shippuden the Movie: Bonds
Finally making an appearance as the fourth highest rated anime feature on Netflix, the 2008 Bonds is the fifth overall movie in the Naruto series and the second Shippuden film. Bonds follows, of course, Naruto’s bond with best frenemy Sasuke Uchiha. If you thought CW frenemies were bad, just wait until you have 98 minutes of Naruto and Sasuke time. Worth mentioning: there are some enemy ninjas that appear to be using kites to give themselves a fighter-plane style edge. There are no planes in Naruto. There are only ninjas.
Naruto Shippuden: The Movie
If you’re looking for a Sasuke-free Naruto experience, look no further than the first Shippuden movie. Following Naruto tradition, this film has absolutely no mark on actual film canon, and instead follows characters we will only ever see in this film and never again. Many fans say that this movie is actually quite a bit like the first Naruto film, Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow, released in 2004. The elements are similar, and the cheesy but action-packed Naruto film style comes across loud and clear. If you’re looking to start the Shippuden canon, this wouldn’t be the film, but it is a good time if you’re looking for a Naruto one-shot.
Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos
This 2011 film is the second Fullmetal Alchemist film, and actually comes with quite a few awards attached to its name. Sacred Star won three awards in 2011 at the Burbank International Film Festival: Best Feature (Animation), Best Writing (Animation / Adaptation), and Best Director (Animation). The film follows the two Elric brothers in a one-shot adventure. Though the film came out after the end of Brotherhood, it has no relation to the overall canon of the FMA universe.
Expelled from Paradise
Released in 2014, Expelled from Paradise is a sci-fi thriller from Toei Animation. We follow our two protagonists, Angela and Dingo, as they track the hacker known as “Frontier Settler.” In the Paradise world, human minds have been uploaded to a digital reality, which the Settler threatens. To find him, Angela’s given an organic body and sent to earth, where what’s left of humanity lives in a wasteland. Steve Blum voices Dingo in the English dub, assumedly because he’s never once been allowed to leave his VA booth.
Pokémon the Movie: Black – Victini and Reshiram
This, the 14th Pokemon movie, was released in 2011 to coincide with the Black and White games and the Black and White manga. Pokemon doesn’t mess around on marketing. There are only three Pokemon movies available on Netflix, and they round out the bottom three anime features on this list. And no, the first Pokemon movie is not available for instant streaming.
Pokémon the Movie: Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice
Released in 2012, Kyurem features the adorable Keldeo as the legendary of the film. It also marks Keldeo’s first appearance, though it would later appear as a generation V Pokemon in Black and White, X and Y, and ORAS. This is the fifteenth movie in the Pokemon franchise, and one of the few where the Pokemon in question is given the gift of human speech. Like Mewtwo, Keldeo can communicate telepathically with humans.
Pokémon the Movie: White – Victini and Zekrom
This one is actually the same film as Pokemon the Movie: Black, but with Zekrom taking Reshiram’s place. It’s had an odd affect on Netflix, since it’s got 4 stars to Pokemon Black’s 4 1/2. Is Zekrom a less popular Pokemon? Isn’t it kind of impressive that the Pokemon team animated two different Pokemon into the same movie? Have a little love for Zekrom! Giant doom Pokemon deserve appreciation, too.