November 28, 2020

The 14 best anime on Funimation to binge right now

Funimation is one of the best sources of anime in North America. Here are the best anime on Funimation!

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Funimation is a large and growing anime streaming service from North America. It specializes in English dubbed anime. There are a lot of huge shows here that you probably know, including the Dragon Ball series, Attack on Titan, One Piece, and many others. The service also has a merch store with collectibles and other things along with a healthy DVD and Blu-ray options. Its main attraction is its streaming service.

Not only are there a bunch of great shows to binge, but the service (like Crunchyroll) puts out new anime every season on an episode by episode basis. It’s not a bad way to go if you like English dubs. Here are the best anime on Funimation. You can learn even more about Funimation here! In the interest of variety, we obviously recommend Sword Art Online (Funimation link), arguably the most popular anime on Funimation, but we won’t list it below because it’s too easy of a recommendation. 

  1. My Hero Academia (super-series)
  2. Fairy Tail (super-series)
  3. Cowboy Bebop (action-adventure)
  4. Attack on Titan (action-adventure)
  5. Puella Magi Madoka Magica (thriller/horror)
  6. Dangaronpa (mystery/thriller)
  7. Toradora! (romance)

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1. My Hero Academia (super-series)

My Hero Academia tells the story of young Midoriya as he tries to become a hero even though he doesn’t have any powers like many of his peers. He meets All Might, the best hero, and the show goes from there. It watches like most super-series shows do. There are long seasonal arcs that back up into one another so you can seamlessly go from season to season. The show has four seasons right now with no sign of slowing down yet. It’s easily this generation’s Naruto because you can find merch for this show everywhere and all anime fans know about it. This is also an excellent starting point for people new to anime.


2. Fairy Tail (super-series)

Fairy Tail is a vastly underrated super-series and one of the best anime on Funimation. It aired during the early 2010’s and finished up its 328 episode run in early 2020. A lot of anime fans prefer subtitles over English dubs and usually I do too. However, between excellent casting decisions and outstanding performances, this is one of the few anime I tell people to absolutely watch in English. It’s an action-adventure show with fantasy elements about Natsu, Lucy, and their friends at the Fairy Tail guild. The show also has an expensive, outstanding, and original soundtrack. The only downside is the show switched studios twice during its run and neither of the replacement studios came close to replicating the quality of the original. 


3. Cowboy Bebop (action-adventure)

Cowboy Bebop is one of Funimation’s best properties. The show only runs for 26 episodes, but it’s a really good 26 episodes. The show follows Spike and his ever expanding crew of bounty hunters as they get into trouble. Cowboy Bebop has some noir elements and the universe reminds me a little bit of Firefly where it’s all in space but has a distinctive Wild West vibe. This noir space western bounty hunter feel gives the show a unique feel to it and that’s probably why it was so popular on TV back in the early 2000’s.


4. Attack on Titan (action-adventure)

Attack on Titan hit the mainstream running, but fizzled out of popularity a bit because it takes the studio so long to release new seasons. The show is best known for its unique animation style and horror-tinged story about how the human race is facing extinction from a truly terrifying group of massive titans. It pulls no punches so you’ll see characters die a lot and the gore is a bit intense for some. Still, the story is riveting, the English voice actors do a really good job, and the show is still churning after its third season. Binge it now, then strap in for the long wait for the fourth (and final) season. It really one of the better anime on Funimation.


5. Puella Magi Madoka Magica (thriller/horror)

Madoka Magica is one of the seminal anime works of the last 15 or so years. It’s a magical girls show where girls can ask for any one wish. In return, they must defeat evil witches to keep the world safe. It sounds like a cutesy show and it is that way through a few episodes, but then things really start getting creepy. The show is relatively short at only 12 episodes, but it’s a good 12 episodes. There is a sequel series also on Funimation. You can check out Madoka Magica at the button below and Magia Record (the sequel) here.


6. Danganronpa (mystery/thriller)

Danganronpa is a mystery thriller anime about a bunch of kids in a weird school. You only graduate from the school if you can kill one of your classmates and not get caught doing it. The show is quite good despite being an adaptation of the visual novel game on PC. It only lasts for 13 episodes, but it’s rather enjoyable with excellent pacing and enough throwbacks to the game to make players happy without losing people new to the series. If you play the game for the second story, Funimation has the third story in anime form here as well. It’s a bit of a weird series to get into, but it’s one of the best mystery anime on Funimation.


7. Toradora! (romance)

Toradora! (yes with the exclamation point) is a romance anime about two kids in high school. Ryuji and Taiga have crushes on each other’s friends so they take turns setting up the other one. It generally results in epic failure, but feelings develop among their group of friends as the show progresses. The main focus, though, is on Taiga and Ryuji. It’s a cute anime with some decent comedy and good pacing. There is a solid 25 episodes and it’s the romance anime on Funimation we’d recommend first. 


8. Tsukigakirei (romance)

Tsukigakirei (technically Tsuki ga Kirei) is a romance coming-of-age anime about two high school kids learning more about who they are. Kotar� and Akane meet for the first time in high school and become close as equipment managers for the school’s sports festival. The two have friends, but the show revolves around their blossoming romance. It takes some twists and turns toward the end, but it’s generally a satisfying entrant into the genre with a bunch of excellent moments. It runs for 12 total episodes.


9. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid (slice of life)

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is one of the more popular slice of life anime on Funimation. It’s about a woman who helps out a random dragon she ran into. The dragon repays the debt by becoming her maid. The little family rounds itself out with the addition of a younger dragon later on and the show revolves around their life together. The show has some funny moments, but most of them are pretty cutesy. It’s one of the better slice of life anime on Funimation.


10. March Comes In Like A Lion (slice of life)

March Comes In Like A Lion is another decent slice of life anime on Funimation. It’s about a 17 year old who lost his family in an accident and lives alone. He is often in the company of three neighboring sisters who help take care of him as he figures out life. He’s also really good at Shogi, a Japanese chess style game. The show goes for 22 episodes and it’s pretty good.


11. Gurren Lagann (mecha)

Gurren Lagann is one of the best mechas of the last 20 years and arguably the best that isn’t a Gundam show. The show revolves around two boys who want to escape their subterranean home and see the open world. They succeed but put in a chain of events that runs for the rest of the show. There is an over-the-top nature to this one that is just super enjoyable to watch. It frequently turns it up to 11 and the show’s opera-rap main theme certainly works well with the show’s aesthetic. This is an easy recommendation. Watch it.


12. Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin (mecha)

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin is a diamond in the rough pick. Gundam is a massive franchise with dozens of shows over several decades. The first was in the 1970’s when animation wasn’t all that great. Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin retells the original story across 13 episodes with modern animation. It’s a great entrant into the Gundam universe and opens up viewers to a lot of other stuff. Plus, this is one of the original anime redone for modern audiences. It’s nice to catch up on the classics.


13. Demon Slayer (fantasy)

Demon Slayer is about a boy who lives up in the mountains. One day, his family is attacked by demons and his sister turns into one. He becomes a demon slayer in order to find a way to turn his sister back to normal. This is a fairly standard fantasy anime, but it’s accessible, shorter than average, and a good show for both new and existing anime fans. Ufotable does the animation for this one and if there’s anything Ufotable does well, it’s fight scenes and general animation. It runs for 26 episodes so you can binge it easily over a weekend.


14. Grimgar, Ashes and Illusions (fantasy)

Grimgar, Ashes and Illusions (or Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash everywhere except Funimation) is a dark fantasy isekai. It starts with a group of adventurers who woke up randomly in a new world one day and had to begin adapting to this new one. There are ups and downs over the course of the 12 episode run but it’s a solid experience overall and it only takes a few days to binge. The only real downside is the pacing starts out rather slow.


Honorable mentions

If we had the space, we could make this list go to 30 or even 45 anime. We don’t so in the interest of space, here are an additional 15 shows that could easily make this list based on who you ask.

Assassination Classroom – A science fiction comedy about an extremely powerful octopus teacher in a high school and his class trying to kill him. The Japanese government has a $100 million (¥10 billion) bounty for any student that can do it, except all of the monster’s students like him because he’s actually a good teacher. Hilarity ensues. 

Black Clover – Black Clover is a budding fantasy-adventure super-series and one with a lot of traction. It doesn’t have the mass commercial appeal of My Hero Academia. Plus, the story and character development move at a snail’s pace for the first 20 or so episodes. However, the show starts picking up around there and it’s quickly becoming a must-watch for super-series fans. The show’s guild and wizard set-up have left some to dub it “Fairy Tail Jr�. 

Black Lagoon – Black Lagoon is a crime thriller about a band of mercenary pirates and their adventures to smuggle goods all over the place and engage in other missions. It’s an episodic show without too much of a long-running arc so it’s a good time killer or palette cleanser. The show is definitely not for kids, though, so don’t let them watch this. The show runs for a very manageable 12 episodes.

Blue Exorcist – Blue Exorcist tells the tale of two boys who are raised to be exorcists. The problem is that they’re both the sons of Satan himself. The show has two seasons and each have vastly different arcs. The two seasons were released six years apart so that’s probably why. Other than the massive disconnect, this is an excellent action-adventure anime with some decent fight scenes and storytelling. 

A Certain Scientific Railgun, A Certain Scientific Accelerator, and A Certain Magical Index – This series of three shows is commonly referred to as the “Raildex� series. The show starts with A Certain Magical Index as it follows the exploits of Toma and Index as they do battle against religious people with supernatural powers. Railgun transitions to a different part of the city and follows the adventures of Mikoto Misaka, a side character in Index. Finally, Accelerator is a spin-off about a villain from the previous two shows. You can watch the first two in any order, but you should probably wait to watch Accelerator until after the first two seasons of both Railgun and Index. 

Dragon Ball – The Dragon Ball series was the entrance to anime for a lot of folks. It dominated the 1990’s and it’s still quite popular to this day. Funimation has Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Z Kai, Dragon Ball Super, and a few others. It’s about as close as you can get to streaming the entire franchise without piracy. Some of the storytelling, animation, and sound quality didn’t age overly well, but it’s still fun.

Dr. Stone – Dr. Stone is a fantasy-adventure show about a world where everyone was turned into stone. The main characters are freed from the curse and set out to bring everyone else back, except one guy who likes the new world as it is. The show is almost like an anime version of Minecraft as the main story arcs revolve around the invention of increasingly complicated technology and medicine. It’s in a seasonal break right now but it should pick up again later in 2020. 

Fruits Basket – Fruits Basket is a slice of life romantic comedy about a girl who’s mother dies in a car accident. She runs away and finds a new home with some people who can magically turn into animals. The show has some fantasy elements as the family’s curse is deeper and darker than they originally let on. Funimation has all 31 episodes.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – FMA: Brotherhood is one of the best and most popular anime ever. It follows the story of the Elric brothers as they navigate life, uncover mysteries, and try to find out the truth about the Philosopher Stone. The show has some outstanding pacing and storytelling along with some excellent character development. It’s a must-watch even if it is fairly old.

Hellsing – Hellsing is a dark fantasy action show with some horror elements. This one is actually pretty interesting. The 13-episode anime uses the same setting and characters as the manga, but tells an entirely different story. The show is over a decade old and originally aired on STARZ! as part of its Animidnight programming. It’s a great show for horror and dark fantasy fans. 

Hyperdimension Neptunia – This one is a comedy-fantasy anime. The story is about four girls who represent the four major gaming platforms in the world and must unite to fight a greater evil. This anime is part of a much larger franchise that includes multiple manga and video games. The anime is actually a nice entrant into the series. The show’s over-the-top comedy style mixed with its bright characters make it enjoyable to watch and you can always get more if you buy the games. 

Noragami – Noragami is an action-adventure anime about a Japanese god looking for followers. He gets them by offering them services for 5 yen a piece. He befriends a girl who can transition into multiple planes of existence after a near-death experience and the two go on adventures together. The show’s 25 episode run is best known for its fluid action sequences, outstanding opening and closing credit scenes, and fun style. The English dubs for this one are actually really good as well.

Paranoia Agent – Paranoia Agent is a psychological thriller. It’s about a girl under pressure to repeat her success as a character designer, but is instead mugged by a kid on rollerblades. The cops think she’s lying until it happens over and over again. The attacks, however, lead to positive changes in people’s lives. It’s a neat little show that runs for only 13 episodes. 

Rising of the Shield Hero – Rising of the Shield Hero is a fantasy-adventure isekai. It’s about a boy who ends up in another world and in possession of a legendary shield. He puts together a party and adventuring ensues. The hero, Naofumi, is mocked constantly because he doesn’t use a real weapon. There are some ups and downs, but the show generally delights in its 25-episode run. 

Steins;Gate – Steins;Gate is a science fiction show with thriller elements. The show starts with Rintaro Okabe learning he send text messages into the past. An organization opts to steal his technology and kill his friend so he goes back in time over and over to prevent it. The show’s original run was 2011 and it’s held up quite well over the last decade. Funimation has the entire 24-episode run along with an OVA to cap everything off.

Tokyo Ghoul – Tokyo Ghoul is a dark fantasy horror anime and one of the most popular in the genre. It follows the story of ghouls, a secretive race of creatures that look and act like humans, but must eat human flesh to live. Ken Kaneki starts the series out as a human and winds up a half-ghoul after being attacked. It’s a quick watch at only 12 episodes, but you’ll remember this one when you’re done with it.


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If we missed any great anime on Funimation, tell us about it in the comments! We’ll update this post whenever something truly special comes out.