While adult cartoons, or animated shows for adults, used to be limited to a few specialized networks and channels, the genre has grown massively. Thanks in part to Netflix’s original adult cartoons and popular anime series. The upshot being that there’s now no shortage of content to choose from.
But how do you know which adult animated shows are worth watching? We’re here to help, with the best adult cartoons on Netflix…
The Appeal of Animated TV Shows for Adults
While animated shows and cartoons are often associated with children, the genre has long had series targeted towards older viewers. These shows are all about blending funny, witty, and thought-provoking depth with a light presentation.
We have handpicked some of the best adult cartoons on Netflix that will make you laugh, provide biting satire in a colorful format, or let you indulge in cartoon action fun with more grown-up themes.
1. BoJack Horseman
IMDb Rating: 8.7
This show will: Make you do some deep thinking on your own insecurities and your ways of coping with them.
BoJack Horseman takes the struggles of trying to find your identity in modern life, but presents them in the whimsical format of a world where anthropomorphic animals and humans live side-by-side.
The show follows fictional 90s sitcom star BoJack Horseman, who grapples with his life as a washed-up actor. Still living in Hollywood, BoJack tries to get back in the limelight while never changing the behavior that made him a pariah.
The dry, dark comedy of the show creates a blend of absurd humor with poignant themes on mental health and self-sabotage.
2. F Is for Family
IMDb Rating: 8
This show will: Remind you to never take the image of the nuclear family or American dream at face value.
Rarely do shows make the protagonist unlikable, while simultaneously making you want to keep watching. But this is just what F Is For Family does with Frank Miller, a Vietnam veteran raising a family in 1970s America.
While Frank appears to be living the American dream with his wife and three children, it’s immediately clear that this sitcom follows a dysfunctional family grappling with a changing landscape.
The show blends raunchy comedy, 70s nostalgia, and dark moments to create a unique blend of humor. It stands apart from the absurdity of other adult cartoons like Family Guy or American Dad; rather using moments grounded in reality.
IMDb Rating: 8.1
This show will: Provide a fresher, more compelling take on the traditional Dracula tale.
Based on the third video game in the Castlevania franchise, this anime series depicts a world where Dracula has waged war against the human race.
Rather than a simple “good guys versus bad guys” story, the show delves into Dracula’s motivations. It turns out that superstitious humans burnt his human wife at the stake for her knowledge of medicine, incurring the ancient warlord’s wrath.
Meanwhile, the last member of the vampire-hunting Belmont family teams up with a magic wielder and Dracula’s half-human, half-vampire son to save humans.
4. Big Mouth
IMDb Rating: 8
This show will: Remind you about the awkwardness of puberty, while simultaneously making it even more embarrassing.
Created by comedian Nick Kroll, Big Mouth is an original Netflix series that explores the journey and missteps of puberty. While young teens are the central focus of the series, the raunchy humor and inappropriate gags mean that this is definitely for adults.
Rather than simply focusing on the awkwardness of growing up, Big Mouth takes a fantastical look at puberty by introducing colorful characters like hormone monsters, a shame wizard, and even a few ghosts.
5. One Punch Man
IMDb Rating: 8.8
This show will: Give those tired of traditional anime tropes a new kind of hero to root for.
One Punch Man is a refreshing addition to the anime genre, poking fun at the tropes and common formulas we see in so many series. The show is based on the viral hit manga series of the same name.
What makes the ultra-powerful protagonist Saitama different from other anime heroes is that his immense power, which allows him to destroy any enemy with a single punch, has filled him with existential boredom. However, he continues to trudge along since being a hero is his main hobby.
If you’re a fan of the anime genre, but would like a fresh and hilarious take on the typical superhero story, One Punch Man is a great option.
IMDb Rating: 7.2
This show will: Turn the typical fairy tale on its head.
Disenchantment is a Netflix original from Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons and Futurama. But this time around, the story takes place in a medieval fantasy land and follows the life of a princess who is anything but your typical fairy tale protagonist.
While not reaching the cultural phenomenon status of Groening’s other work, the animation is filled with offbeat characters and entertaining, bizarre situations. It boasts a generally lighter tone than many of the other adult animations on Netflix, with a tamer 13+ rating.
7. B: The Beginning
IMDb Rating: 7.2
This show will: Keep you guessing on a variety of fronts.
Netflix has been investing far more in anime series to stream
, with B: The Beginning being one of its later additions. The show is a blend of the thriller and fantasy genres. It follows the hunt for Killer B, a serial killer dolling out vigilante justice.
The story is seen through multiple perspectives—the police force hunting Killer B, an investigator with a dark past aiding the search, and Killer B himself. Killer B turns out to have supernatural powers—something that makes him a target for another mysterious group that claims they need him.
There’s mystery on all fronts—including B’s true identity and his connection to investigator Keith Klick.
IMDb Rating: 8
This show will: Give you a new, fluffy, metalhead icon.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Hello Kitty were a death metal icon? Well, you’d get the ultra-cute, ultra-hardcore red panda Retsuko.
Disillusioned by life as an office worker under the boot of a literal chauvinist pig boss, introvert Retsuko finds relief in her late-night death metal karaoke sessions.
The English dub of the series, available on Netflix, even includes English metal songs—so that you can get the full feel of Retsuko’s existential plight and rage.
9. Love, Death + Robots
IMDb Rating: 8.6
This show will: Make you feel everything from disgust to merriment due to the sheer variety of story topics.
Love, Death + Robots is a sci-fi anthology series; with each episode telling a different story from a different director.
This means that each episode varies not only in its chosen animation style. Rather, tone, themes, and other elements contrast starkly across each episode. Stories range from hyper-violent, hypersexual tales to entertaining, cartoonish reflections on the human condition.
There are a few stand-out episodes praised across the board, with a tale for sci-fi lovers of every taste.
IMDb Rating: 8.3
This show will: Remind you of Zootopia but with much more existential angst.
Beastars is an unusual but endearing anime that takes place in a world full of anthropomorphic animals—and the tensions that come with predator-prey relations. Think Zootopia, but with adult themes, coming-of-age drama, and an unexpected love story.
The anime series follows Legoshi, an anxious, reserved gray wolf who develops a fascination with Haru, a tiny but fearless dwarf rabbit. Their burgeoning friendship (and romantic interest) with each other takes place amid a rise in tension at their school, after the killing of a herbivore by an unknown carnivore.
Despite the strange premise, the series is filled with poignant takes on self-discovery, stereotyping, and choosing one’s own path in life.
11. Tuca and Bertie
IMDb Rating: 7.4
This show will: Remind you that unlikely friendships are sometimes the best.
Tuca and Bertie comes from the same team behind BoJack Horseman, but the anthropomorphic animals are where the similarities end.
The show focuses on best friends Tuca and Bertie, voiced by Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong respectively. The characters are as different as night and day, which often leads to them enjoying absurd adventures together.
They tackle the challenges of millennial life and being a bird lady in a bird man’s world with all the grace you can expect of maladapted adults.
More Great Content to Watch on Netflix
Netflix has a bevy of animated series and movies targeted towards adults. However, licensing deals mean that some users might miss out on certain content due to region locks. If you’re affected by this, you should consider changing your Netflix location using a VPN.
Otherwise, if you just want more animated content to binge on, try the best animated movies on Netflix