What to watch in 2022: the finest anime on Netflix

What to watch in 2022: the finest anime on Netflix

Netflix has had a rough few weeks, with the company reporting its first large subscriber loss in a decade on April 20th, as well as a significant decline in stock value.

However, the streaming giant’s saving grace may already be right in front of our eyes.

That’s right: Netflix has unveiled a schedule of 40 new and returning anime series for 2022, the products of an industry that has prospered in recent years, particularly while live-action production was put on pause during the epidemic.

The announcement was made during the AnimeJapan 2022 conference in Tokyo on March 28th. “Anime has increased in popularity throughout the globe,” said Kohei Obara, Netflix’s head of Anime Creative.

“With this new phase, we hope to continue to develop our members’ discovery and passion for anime, both in Japan and throughout the globe.”

The upcoming treasure trove seems to be a hopeful declaration of purpose. Not sure where to begin? Below is THE FACE’s selection of titles to keep an eye on the platform (both now and in the near future). 


 Seasons one and two of Ultraman are currently streaming.

Forget Iron Man; Ultraman is the strong, metal-clad emblem of Japan in 2022.

With his red and silver suit, bug eyes, and blazing blue chest orb, the 20,000-year-old extraterrestrial superhero from the galaxy of Light is one of Japan’s most recognized screen symbols.

While Ultraman has already featured in everything from the 1960s sci-fi series UltraQ to innumerable live-action blockbusters, Netflix’s CGI-anime series may be one of the greatest ways for foreign fans to become acquainted with the long-running property.

The Challenge of Bringing Ultraman to America | Den of Geek

The newest edition of Ultraman teams up with five formidable pals in Season 2, which has now landed on the platform. An extraterrestrial power known as Dark Star and new nemesis Pedanto provide a deadly menace as the planet is thrown into disarray in the wake of a mysterious “Disappearing Incident,” which has caused much of the worldwide population to mysteriously disappear.

This is an excellent moment to invest in this popular Japanese brand. Shin Ultraman, directed by Hideaki Anno (creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion) and Shinji Higuchi (co-director of Shin Godzilla), will visit Japanese theatres in just a few weeks, kicking off Toho’s MCU-style ‘Monsters Universe.’

In other words, Ultraman vs. Godzilla might be on the way… You heard it first here.

Ghost In The Shell: SAC_2045

Season two of Ghost In The Shell will begin streaming on May 23rd

Ghost In The Shell, another legendary brand, is returning to Netflix this month with the second season of CGI-anime series SAC_ 2045, which sends prosthetic cyborg mercenary Motoko Kusanagi and Public Security Section 9 to combat the newest wave of cyber-brain crime.

Ghost In The Shell SAC_2045 Season 2 release date predictions: Netflix sequel confirmed

For those unfamiliar with the genre, Ghost In The Shell is a famous example of Japanese cyberpunk literature (alongside dystopian techno-biker classic Akira and the junkyard metamorphosis art film Tetsuo: Iron Man).

Mamoru Oshii’s original 1995 anime adaptation had a huge influence on the storyline and style of classic science fiction films like The Matrix, alongside William Gibson’s cyberpunk book Neuromancer.

While the first season of SAC_ 2045 didn’t have the same effect as the second, themes of techno-paranoia, neo-noir detective work, and dystopian near-future worlds remain fascinating as the never-ending cyber-war continues. 

Thermae Romae Novae

Now streaming Thermae Romae Novae

If you don’t want to live in a gloomy future, the ancient Roman Empire could be a better fit. The comic animation series Thermae Romae Novae, which adapts and continues Mari Yamazaki’s original manga series, is now available on Netflix.

The narrative of an ancient Roman called Lucius Modestus who finds a subterranean tunnel under a spa that takes him to a bathhouse in modern-day Japan is told in Thermae Romae Novae.

Thermae Romae Novae' Netflix Review: Stream It or Skip It?

The story follows a young architect who brings a wave of inventions from the future to establish his own spa in the past, which Netflix dubs a “bath-time travel comedy.” Of course, most of this contemporary technology is beyond Lucius’ comprehension, resulting in a slew of issues with things like, um, flushing toilets.

The new series features breathtaking traditional animation, with ancient Rome, the Edo period, and modern Japan all brought to life in incredible detail. A live-action segment with manga writer Mari Yamazki visiting the several Japanese hot springs that inspired her work is tossed in at the conclusion of each episode for a little of added charm.

Drifting Home

Streaming later this year

A live-action segment with manga writer Mari Yamazki visiting the several Japanese hot springs that inspired her work is tossed in at the conclusion of each episode for a little of added charm.

A block of flats smoothly drifting into a deep blue ocean was one of the images that struck out in Netflix’s introduction montage at Anime Japan 2022.

Drifting Home Trailer Reveals Netflix Anime About Apartment Lost at Sea

This seems to be a sneak peek from Studio Colorido’s upcoming Drifting Home, a new anime feature film from the makers of A Whisker Away and Japanese Academy Film Prize contender Penguin Highway, which does exactly what it says on the box.

Kosuke and Natsume get caught in the middle of a bizarre occurrence while playing in a massive apartment complex that is about to be demolished one summer.

They lose consciousness before awakening to find themselves adrift in the ocean, onboard the same public housing complex. This fantasy adventure promises to be a delightful treat when it is launched later this year, with an enticing visual style focused on pastoral landscapes and bright colours.

Vampire in the Garden

Streaming begins on May 16th.

Vampires have already recaptured their terrifying cool on Netflix, thanks to the folkloric aswang of Trese, Netflix’s first Filipino animated series, which premiered in 2021.

Vampire in the Garden, on the other hand, seems to be ramping things up even further in 2022, with bloodsucking royals, machine gun battles, and a stunning blue-green colour scheme lifting this fresh new anime series to a higher level of fantasy.

The plot, which is similar to the classic 2003 anime series Wolf’s Rain, revolves on humanity’s lost war against vampires during a harsh winter.

Vampire in the Garden Image Reveals New Anime From Attack on Titan Studio

Momo, who is hiding behind a wall of light in one of the few surviving towns, wishes for an existence in which all sides may coexist.

She and vampire queen Fine meet in the middle of a fight and set off on a mission to find a fabled ‘Paradise’ where vampires and humans may live in peace.

Wit Company, the Japanese animation studio behind the immensely famous dark fantasy anime Attack on Titan and the upcoming animated romantic film Bubble, has released a new creation.

The latter, which had its world debut at the Berlin Film Festival in February, seems to be another highlight of Netflix’s anime line-up for 2022. 

Rilakkuma’s Theme Park Adventure

Later this year, Rilakkuma’s Theme Park Adventure will be streamed.

The newest instalment of the Rilakkuma series not only takes us on a family-friendly trip, but it also has some of the most astounding graphics of Netflix’s whole anime line-up for 2022.

The new series, which follows Rilakkuma and Kaoru from 2019, shows a fun day at an amusement park on the verge of closing.

There are anamorphic creatures featured, notably the series’ titular character (whose name is a combination of the Japanese letters for “relax” and “bear”) and his buddies, the mischievous white bear Korilakkuma and yellow pet bird Kiiroitori.

Kawaii bear Rilakkuma will be returning to Netflix for a second series - AnimationXpress

The new series’ stop-motion aesthetics are based on adorable kawaii-style felt-fuzzy character representations. (Since his debut in 2003, Rilakkuma has grown in popularity, spawning plushies, kitchenware, stationery, and even real-life cafés)

Character merchandise is expected to gross more than $10 billion in 2020.

If the Rilakkuma aesthetic appears familiar, it’s because it was influenced by Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox and Isle of Dogs, according to series director Masahito Kobayashi.

What to watch in 2022: the finest anime on Netflix

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