After a chaotic year like 2020, finding media to escape into feels essential. Looking to the fantastical worlds and tangible art styles of Animation & VFX works, we've gathered some of the best animated TV shows that you can binge right now on Netflix.
Whether it's Japanese anime or 3D animation, here's five animated series worth your binging time, either released in 2020 or have a new second season out or upcoming.
Created by J. G. Quintel (who is known best for cult classic hit, Regular Show), Close Enough is an American adult animated sitcom that explores the unique and ridiculous perils of navigating adulthood. Following happily married couple Josh and Emily, their five-year-old daughter, and their two divorced roommates, the show embraces the chaos of family dynamics in surreal, sci-fi ways to underpin one main message: you never really feel like an adult, even as a parent.
WATCH IF YOU LIKE: Regular Show, We Bare Bears, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack
As anime-only and manga readers eagerly await for season two, BEASTARS was the dark coming of age that surprised many online communities. Following the story of Legoshi, a shy gray wolf who struggles to navigate high school and his place in society, tensions arise when out of nowhere, his alpaca classmate is brutally murdered. With a new wave of unease and distrust running deep between the herbivore and carnivore students, Legoshi becomes hyperaware of his identity as a predator; questioning the prejudices, politics, social diversity, and nature of his own primal instincts and relationships.
WATCH IF YOU LIKE: Bojack Horseman, Land of the Lustrous, Tokyo Ghoul
THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
If you like shows you can get lost in, this one is for you. The Midnight Gospel is an adult animated series created by Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward and comedian Duncan Trussell, set to actual real-life podcast interviews between Trussell and guests. Taking place in a dimension known as the Chromatic Ribbon, a "spacecaster" named Clancy travels through bizarre worlds on the brink of disaster, interviewing some of their residents. Exploring eccentric metaverses and existential angst, get ready for deep-dive talks on spirituality and philosophy in stark contrast to the chaos unraveling on-screen.
WATCH IF YOU LIKE: Rick and Morty, Futurama, Ren & Stimpy
With its second season recently released on Netflix, Hilda is a British-Canadian animated television series based on the graphic novel series of the same name. The show follows the adventures of Hilda, a blue-haired girl who—along with her adorable deerfox, Twig—explore the city of Trolberg and its surrounds. Boasting an effortlessly cool soundtrack (and theme song by Grimes), the series' storytelling is poignant; exploring themes around self-confidence, grief, and conflict resolution, earning its place as an essential Netflix Originals watch for children and adults alike. (And heads up, get ready to cry in episode, The Deerfox.)
WATCH IF YOU LIKE: Gravity Falls, Adventure Time, Steven Universe
BNA: BRAND NEW ANIMALS
Set around a dazzling neon cityscape, BNA takes place in a fantastical world where Beastmen (humanoid animals) and humans live on Earth. However, Beastmen are feared by humans and segregated to Anima City; an apparent safe haven for those who carry the genetic "Beast Factor". One fateful day, happy-go-lucky student Michiru spontaneously changes from human and Beastman, compelling her to unravel the mysteries around Beastmen and their origins, exploring larger themes of intolerance, ethics, and religion.
WATCH IF YOU LIKE: Little Witch Academia, Kill La Kill, The Boy and the Beast
Animated shows we also recommend you check out that have either more than two seasons or were released before 2020 include: Bojack Horseman, AVATAR, Big Mouth, Great Pretender, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, A Lull In The Sea, Kipo and The Age of Wonderbeats, Tuca & Bertie, Violet Evergarden, Rick and Morty, AnoHana, and Aggretsuko.