Ever since Disney+ launched in Japan in 2020, we’ve seen a flurry of Japanese anime series being released in the country, many of which have also been released globally, for the rest of the world to enjoy, many of which are exclusive to Disney’s streaming platforms.
Here’s a look at some of the best anime series available on Disney+:
Note: The availability of titles can vary between countries, as in the US, many of these are available on Hulu instead.
The Tatami Time Machine Blues
It is August 12th. After the remote control to his boarding house’s only air conditioning unit is inadvertently destroyed by spilled cola, “I” devises a plan to return to yesterday in a time machine to recover the remote before it breaks. However, his prankster friend Ozu cannot resist playing with past events, even if it means bringing the universe to the brink of destruction. Now “I” finds himself racing through time to avoid disaster.
Star Wars: Visions
As a first formal venture into anime, each “Star Wars: Visions” short bears a unique Japanese sensibility, which in many ways aligns with the tone and spirit of Star Wars storytelling. From the beginning, stories told in the Star Wars galaxy have counted Japanese mythology and the films of Akira Kurosawa among their many influences, and these new visions will further explore that cultural heritage through the unique animation style and perspective of each anime studio.
This collection of animated short films has been created by seven Japanese anime studios, Kamikaze Douga, Geno Studio (Twin Engine), Studio Colorido (Twin Engine), TRIGGER, Kinema Citrus, Science Saru, and Production I.G. Each studio uses their signature animation and storytelling styles to realize their own visions of the galaxy far, far away.
If you’re after a different take on the Star Wars Universe, this should be high on your watchlist as it offers something unique and refreshing.
Black Rock Shooter Dawn Fall
The year is 2062. Earth has been left in ruin after the failure of a labor automation project when the AI called Artemis waged war against humanity. A girl, Empress, awakens in a research lab. As one of the three surviving guardians, she must destroy the Orbital Elevator before Artemis can complete its construction. Failure will result in a machine army overrunning Earth. However, Artemis’ Unmanned Forces and a cult may have motives of their own.
Summer Time Rendering
A sci-fi, summer story filled with suspense set on a small island begins with Shinpei Ajiro, whose childhood friend Ushio Kofune died. He returns to his hometown for the first time in two years for the funeral. Sou Hishigata, his best friend, suspects something’s off with Ushio’s death, and that someone else can die next. A sinister omen is heard as an entire family next door suddenly disappears the following day. Furthermore, Mio implicates a “shadow” three days before Ushio’s death.
The Avengers rescue a trio of children (Makoto, Adi, and Chloe) who were granted superhuman powers from a nefarious experiment by the evil organization, Hydra. The superhero team decides to take the youngsters under their wing, training them to be a new generation of heroes while foiling the schemes of villains. If you fancy something a little different featuring some classic Marvel characters, this could be worthy of your time.
For as long as he can remember, Ichigo Kurosaki has been able to see ghosts. But when he meets Rukia, a Soul Reaper who battles evil spirits known as Hollows, he finds his life is changed forever when Rukia transfers most of her powers to him. Now a Soul Reaper himself with a new found wealth of spiritual energy, Ichigo discovers his true calling: to protect the living and the dead from evil. But when Rukia’s actions are called under scrutiny, Ichigo and his friends must put everything on the line to prepare to save their friend from the harsh justice of the Soul Society.
All sixteen seasons of this animated series are available to stream now on Disney+ in many countries, including in the UK, Canada and Australia.
Bleach: Thousand Year War
When a new enemy appears, Substitute Soul Reaper Ichigo Kurosaki jumps back into the battlefield with his Zanpakuto to help those in need. This series is a follow-up to the popular “Bleach” franchise and is exclusive to Disney+ in many countries around the world, and has become one of the most popular shows on the streaming platform.
Already low and down on his luck, Takemichi Hanagaki is devastated to learn that the love of his life from his middle school years has been killed by the criminal Tokyo Manji Gang. While Takemichi waits for a train the very next day, he is pushed from behind into the path of an oncoming train. Prepared to die, he instead wakes up to find he has traveled twelve years into the past and is again a middle school student. Now, Takemichi can rewrite history by making different choices in the hopes of preventing the death of his sweetheart. New episodes from the second season are currently being released weekly on Disney’s streaming services.
What anime are you looking forward to watching on Disney+? Let us know on social media!
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.