Ever since Hulu announced the launch of its sub-brand, the anime industry has been left flabbergasted. It was initially established as a joint venture between News Corporation and NBC Universal, Providence Equity, and later The Walt Disney Company. Hulu has been competing against the streaming giants for 15 years and has now amassed a tight-knit community. However, the platform is now diversifying its reach to cater to anime geeks through its newly designed service, Animayhem. June 2023 has marked a pivotal moment in the streaming service’s history due to their official announcement.
Hulu’s executive vice president, Barrie Gruner claimed, “When you have the number one offering in adult animation and anime of any major streaming service, creating this destination is obvious. We know exactly where we can meet these fans because they’re already here.” But this doesn’t mean Hulu is cutting down on animes. In fact, it is doubling down on the genre and reviving several iconic series. So, here is the list of the 12 best adult anime on Hulu you could stream before the launch of Animayhem!
12. High School of the Dead
A step beyond the cliche high-school dramas, Deathnote’s director, Tetsurō Araki delivers a refreshing tale. High School of the Dead explores the horror, action, thriller and dystopian genres by portraying the enthralling journey of Takashi Komuro. The Fujimi High School is surrounded by zombies and is on the verge of destruction. But Takashi and his team vow to protect their school and the entire Japan all the while dealing with their internal issues.
High School of the Dead has been adapted by the late manga artist, Daisuke Satō’s eponymous web novel. The anime series aired in Japan from July to September 2010. It has been recently acquired by Hulu and boasts twenty-four episodes, all brimming with enticing plot arcs. Araki’s anime captures the fine line between a zombie apocalypse and a societal cataclysm. It features high-octane action sequences and gripping drama that you shouldn’t miss out on.
11. Spy x Family
Spy x Family chronicles the tale of the ostentatious empires of Westalia and Ostania, which happen to be at war. Loid, a cynical spy is tasked with retrieving information of Donovan Desmond, who could prove to be fatal to the war circumstances. Loid assembles a temporary family to reach Desmond with Yor, an undercover agent and Anya, a seemingly normal elementary school girl with teleporting abilities. Anya’s dream of a fairytale family is threatened by the numerous secrets and threats lurking around the corner.
Adapted from Tatsuya Endo’s titular manga, Spy x Family is renowned as the best manga for male readers due to its thought-provoking storyline. Be it the United States, France or Japan, the manga has sold over a million copies and stands firm in the spy fiction genre. Wit Studio and CloverWorks along with Kimi ni Todoke’s director, Kazuhiro Furuhashi, have released two seasons of this animated delight so far. Reportedly, a third iteration is under works and the mystical spies, Loid and Yor will soon knock on our screens. Though Netflix and Disney+ have acquired the distribution rights initially, Hulu has now joined the list as well.
10. Tokyo Ghoul
A dark fantasy anime television series adaptation of Sui Ishida’s manga by Pierrot, Tokyo Ghoul stands firm in the list of best animes and mangas of all time. While One Piece and Naruto are undeniably the pioneers of the manga and anime universe, Tokyo Ghoul is nothing short of an enigmatic delight. Three sequel web novels have been produced since September 2011 and two out of them boast of an anime adaptation. Multiple live-action films and OVAs of the same are currently trending as well. Though Funimation initially acquired the streaming rights, Hulu is now hosting the animated series as well.
Tokyo Ghoul revolves around a university freshman, Ken Kaneki, who somehow manages to fend off Rhize’s ambush. However, he is severely injured and undergoes organ transplant surgery in which half of his organs are replaced by Rhize’s. Though Ken’s surgical procedure proves to be successful, his life is left in shambles as he develops ghoul-like tendencies. The anime narrates Ken’s journey of weaving through tumultuous times and identity crises while enduring the torment inflicted upon the ghouls–an umbrella term for species that feast on humans.
9. Danganronpa: The Animation
The director Seiji Kishi along with the screenplay writer, Norimitsu Kaihō, adapted the video game Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc into an anime. The thirteen-episode animated television series has been produced by the Lerche studio and is licensed by both, Crunchyroll and Hulu. Danganronpa: The Animation has witnessed two sequels, entitled Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair and Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak High School.
Each of these series follows Hope’s Peak Academy’s students and emphasizes Makoto Naegi’s journey. Though he considers himself optimistic and approachable, he doesn’t possess any significant traits as per his classmates. However, when these students are put to the ultimate test by an anthropomorphic bear, Monukama, they are soon left questioning the credibility of their beliefs. Naegi and his friends are caught in a web of blood, deceit and betrayal with only one resort left: obey Monukama and it isn’t as easy of a chore.
A collaborative in-house project of CLAMP, an all-female manga artist group–Blood-C is the second anime series of the Blood franchise. It serves as an extended continuation of the Blood+ series. With the aid of xxxHolic’s director Tsutomu Mizushima, the anime has established a firm position for itself in the horror fantasy genre. Moreover, it has paved the way for a sequel film, Blood-C: The Last Dark, a stage play, three live-action films, a novel and two manhwas.
Set in a distant rural town, the Hulu series chronicles an intense tale of survival. It streamlines its focus on Saya Kisaragi, a maiden of the Shinto shrine operated by her father, Tadayoshi Kisaragi. She is a kindhearted freshman who juggles her time between studies and a passion project. Both Saya and Tadayoshi possess skills to compete against the Elder Bairns, a species of monsters that bewitch inanimate objects to ambush humans and feast on their blood. As Saya proceeds further with her mission, she is left contemplating whether there is a secret about her past that she is oblivious to.
7. Cowboy Bebop
A neo-noir space Western anime, Cowboy Bebop is a reflection of interstantial humanity. The Anime Grand Prix winner is set in a dystopian future where bounty hunters are appointed by the Inter Solar System Police (ISSP) to chase criminals. The twenty-six-episode series follows Spike Spiegel, a bounty hunter who is assigned the Bebop spaceship. Though the anime delves into multiple genres and tries to incorporate several story arcs, vengeance and existential loneliness form its essence. Due to Spike’s forbidden relationship with Julia, his best friend, Vicious’s girlfriend, he has had to forego the Red Dragon Syndicate and resort to bounty-hunting. However, his past soon lunges back at him to destroy his future.
Hulu’s recent acquisition, Cowboy Bebop, was originally manifested in 1997. It was released a year later along with a manga adaptation by Cain Kuga. Currently, the noir anime is hailed as a “gateway series” due to its emphasis on modern-day concepts and issues. The English dub is still regarded as the best-translated anime to date.
6. My Hero Academia
Though My Hero Academia is essentially a superhero anime and manga, it has managed to amass the attention of every age span due to its engrossing plot. The Western noir anime has been nominated for several accolades including the Harvey Award and Crunchyroll Anime Awards. It has been adapted by Kōhei Horikoshi’s eponymous manga which has been recognized as The New York Times bestseller having sold over 85 million copies as of 2023. Currently, Kenji Nagasaki’s directorial boasts over 130 episodes and 8 OVAs.
My Hero Academy weaves a tapestry of action sequences and moral dilemmas by portraying the journey of Izuku Modaria. It is set in an alternate reality where a person’s quirk (superpower) serves as his identity and represents his social status. Since Midoriya is void of any quirk, he is bullied throughout his childhood. However, he is chosen as a successor by All Might, “the world’s greatest hero”, and inherits his quirk, One For All. Izuki then embarks on a journey to defeat the mysterious antagonist, All For One, oblivious to his true identity.
5. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Influenced by the evergreen animes and mangas, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures, Bleach and Naruto, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is a dark fantasy tale. It explores the martial arts, adventure and emotional drama genres by portraying a heart-wrenching tale of Tanjiro Kamado. Even though he is a seemingly ordinary boy, his father’s death and the attack on his family transform him into a bloodthirsty Demon Slayer. Kamado wages war against the community that has slaughtered his family and transforms his sister into a demon.
Initially, Koyaharu Gotouge’s idea was rejected by the publication due to its overtly complex plot. However, Gotouge’s perseverance has established it as one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time. Recently, Hulu has acquired the streaming rights to all twenty-four episodes of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.
4. Attack on Titan
Hulu has recently listed Attack on Titan, in its hefty catalogue of intriguing anime. It explores the dystopian and sci-fi genres while navigating through the dark fantasy, adventure and psychological thriller tropes. The anime chronicles Eren Yeager and his friends, Mikasa Ackeman and Armin Alert’s journey of defending the humans against the bloodthirsty humanoids entitled Titans. After Eren’s mother is swallowed whole by a Titan, he swears vengeance on Titans and vows to defeat their entire race. However, he underestimates the gravity of his situation and the Titans’ lack of moral quandaries.
Tetsurō Araki adapted Hajime Isayama’s best-selling manga in 2012 in association with Wit Studio. So far, three seasons have been released by the production agency and a fourth and final iteration is currently under production. It has been split into four parts, out of which the last one is scheduled for release on November 5. Possibilities of a revival and spin-off are still open though.
3. Trigun Stampede
A psychological thriller anime, Trigun Stampede delves into the space western genre and portrays a stupefying journey of two brothers, Nai and Vash. The director Kenji Mutō along with the screenplay writers, Tatsurō Inamoto, Shin Okashima and Yoshihisa Ueda has reimagined Yasuhiro Nightow’s best-selling manga, Trigun. While several anime films and series have been centred around the eponymous manga, Mutō aspired to delve into the untouched corners of the tale. He then curated a series dedicated to Vash’s perspective in association with Orange Studio.
Trigun Stampede is set in a post-apocalyptic future where Earth has become an arid land due to a lack of oxygen. Vash and Nai along with their troop embark on a mission to discover a habitable planet. However, due to a technical error, they have to crash land on an arid planet when they lose their guardian, Rem Savarem. Vash is devastated to learn that Nai is behind the disaster and he aspires to ambush the entire troop due to their neglect towards plants. The anime chronicles Vash’s journey of competing against his own brother and salvaging the entire human race.
2. Kaguya-sama: Love Is War
Penned by Oshi no Ko’s author, Aka Akasaka, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is a slice-of-life drama. Though initially, it comes off as a mere romantic comedy conjured in the high-school setting, the tale is weaved with complex issues. It is drenched in a myriad of secrets and is essentially a journey of weaving through heart-wrenching emotions. The Mamoru Hatakeyama’s directorial follows the elite Shuchiin Academy, where the student council president Miyuki Shirogane and vice president Kaguya Shinomiya are hailed as a couple. As the duo navigate their intense emotions, they are ambushed by a force of secrets that leave them questioning the essence of life.
Derived from the Japanese folktale-centred Kaguya-hime, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War was adapted into an anime version by A-1 Pictures in 2018. It debuted in 2019 with twelve episodes and encouraged the creators to continue this psychological thriller for two more seasons. Moreover, a follow-up film, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War – The First Kiss That Never Ends, has also been manifested by the production agency. Now, the first twenty-four episodes of this series are available on Hulu for you to binge-watch!
1. Fruits Basket
Described as “a classic fan favourite in Shōjo manga around the world”, Fruits Basket is renowned for its psychological story arc. It follows a high-school student, Tohru Honda, who moves in with his classmates, Yuki Sohma, Kyo and Shigure after her mother’s demise. As she accidentally stumbles upon Yuki, he suddenly shapeshifts into a cat, rendering her speechless. Tohru then discovers that the entire Sohma family, except for Kyo, are cursed by zodiac spirits. Whenever they come in contact with the opposite gender, they transform into their spirit animals. Tohru then decides to help the people who stood for her.
Ever since 1998, Natsuki Takaya’s slice-of-life manga has been a fan favourite. Fruit Basket currently possesses 23 volumes two anime television series adaptations, several spin-off manhwa’s and films to its name. 2001 marked the first anime adaptation by Akitaro Daichi while Yoshihide Ibata directed the second unique series. 63 episodes have been premiered from 2019 to 2021.
12 Best Adult Anime on Hulu: FAQs
Hulu boasts an impressive compilation of animes comprising Fruit Basket, My Hero Academia, Trigun Stampede and more.
No, Hulu is yet to launch its new sub-streaming service, Animayhem.
Yes, Kaguya-sama: Love is War is available on Hulu.
Attack on Titan is a sci-fi anime centred around an ordinary human Eren Yeager, who swears vengeance on humanoids entitled Titans.
Yes, a trailer is available for the Spy x Family series.
You can subscribe to Hulu at 7 dollars per month.