In the most basic sense, anime is merely the Japanese word for “animation,” whether it’s hand-drawn or computer generated. But in essence, anime is a unique and diverse form of art with as much potential to create meaningful storylines as live-action television or film. Plenty of animes—especially the ones on this list—are more imaginative, more daring, and overall just better pieces of entertainment than what Western production companies churn out on a daily basis.
And yet anime still gets a bad rap, mostly for being a nerdy thing to watch. It’s hard to pinpoint just where this stereotype comes from, but honestly, when the stories are this good, who really cares what everyone else says? Now that Hulu has such a healthy selection of anime episodes and movies ready to stream anywhere, anytime, it’s hard to come up with a reason why you wouldn’t want to try something new.
Anime movies and series are usually long, expansive series or movies that tend to be more creative and ambitious than the type of Western television or Hollywood fare you may be used to watching. Although the animated nature of anime might lead one to assume that the medium is mainly targeted towards children, this is definitely not the case. In fact, the best anime series deal with themes and characters that are intricate enough for any adult to chew on for several hours. Additionally, the freedom of animation means lower budgets and less egos to please, variables that easily translate into fantastical, complex, and entirely original plots and settings. Often, anime will start to veer into science-fiction territory, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t less out-there options to choose from if that genre is not your cup of tea.
In fact, we’ve kept that in mind when compiling this list: Below is what we believe is a wide selection of different genres within the anime medium. It’s a great introductory list for those who are just to getting into the whole thing but also includes some lesser known entries for those looking for something new to sink their teeth into. Happy streaming these Hulu anime movies!