20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch In 2022

20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch

Until recently, not many people had noticed the influence of Japanese animation style and writing in American animations. American animation showrunners have been editing animations for children’s viewing but with the ever-growing trend brought about by popular animes and the huge fanbase observed outside Japan, American animations have begun to incorporate mature themes in their animations to fulfill the demand of their viewers. 

In this list, I will detail the best 20 American anime you need to watch in 2022. Some of the animations listed are complete while some are still airing. No spoilers below so feel free to read through.

20. Steven Universe

20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch In 2022

Release Date: November 2013

Number of Seasons: 6

Where to Watch It: Cartoon Network, Hulu

Steven Universe is a general viewing animation produced by Cartoon Network and written by Rebecca Sugar, one of the brilliant minds behind the epic Adventure Time. Having a runtime of 10 minutes, the show follows the story of the adventures of a group of heroes known as the Crystal Gems as they battle to defend all life on Earth from monsters and other dangers. 

The group of warriors consists of the titular main character Steven Universe the awkward kid and only boy on the team, Garnet the inexplicably chill group leader, Pearl the most sensible of the group, and Amethyst the hellraiser.

19. Voltron: Legendary Defender

20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch In 2022

Release Date: June 2016

Number of Seasons: 8

Where to Watch It: Netflix

Five teenagers, Lance, Pidge, Shiro, Hunk, and Keith become space pilots and the last line of protection for the universe in an intergalactic war after being sent into space in a blue lion and discovering Allura, the crown princess of the planet Altea, who has been frozen in a crypto-pod for ten thousand years. 

She tasks them with piloting the robotic lions of Voltron and protecting the universe from an alien species of the Galra empire, led by their wicked emperor King Zarkon who destroys civilizations and enslaves the races of the species he conquers.

18. The Transformers

20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch In 2022

Release Date: September 1984

Number of Seasons: 4

Where to Watch It: The Hub (Discovery Family)

Hasbro’s famous billion-dollar franchise, The Transformers, has been adapted into 6 blockbuster films with a seventh on the way originating from the 1984 series. The story follows the Autobots and the Decepticons’ civil war that destroys their planet Cybertron, forcing the two warring factions to seek refuge on Earth. 

After a geological activity revives them, an endless struggle begins in a vital race to discover an energy source for their planet as Decepticons wish to strip Earth of its core energy, and the Autobots seek to defend the inhabitants of Earth from annihilation.

17. Megas XLR

20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch In 2022

Release Date: August 2002

Number of Seasons: 2

Where to Watch It: iTunes Store / Xbox Video

Megas XLR is an acronym for Mechanized Earth Guard Attack System eXtra Large Robot, a mecha robot from the future that is discovered by protagonist Coop in a New Jersey junkyard. 

After he modifies and replaces its control center with a classic muscle car, the original owner, Kiva, who is from the future too, finds the robot remodeled with its controls integrated into video game controllers. Unable to pilot the mecha robot because of the remodeling, Kiva partners up with Coop to protect Earth from a vicious alien race called The Glorft.

16. Teen Titans

20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch In 2022

Release Date: July 2003

Number of Seasons: 5

Where to Watch It: Cartoon Network

Adapted from the DC Comics and structured similarly to the popular Justice League, Teen Titans follows a group of five teenage superheroes that protect the world from multiple villains around the West Coast while encountering issues ordinary teens go through every day. 

The group consists of Robin, the savvy and competent leader, Cyborg, a half-human/half-cybernetic hero revered for his power and technological abilities, Beast Boy, an amiable josher who can transform into different animals, Starfire, a peculiar, inquisitive princess from Tamaran and Raven, a Stoic hero from Azarath, a parallel world where she draws dark energy from.

15. Ultimate Spider-Man

20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch In 2022

Release Date: April 2012

Number of Seasons: 4

Where to Watch It: Disney XD

Making its debut along with Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ second season as a part of the Marvel Universe franchise, it follows Marvel’s most famous superhero, Peter Parker as Spiderman. 

In this adaptation from the comics, Peter has been Spider-Man for a year after saving countless people and battling supervillains, but he is still trying to understand how to be a superhero. Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. proposes to Peter an opportunity to train to become a true superhero, but Peter will first have to learn how to work within a team setup, teaming up with four teenage superheroes: Iron Fist, Power Man, Nova, and White Tiger.

14. Ben 10

20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch In 2022

Release Date: December 2005

Number of Seasons: 22 (5 TV series)

Where to Watch It: Cartoon Network

Ben 10 is the longest-running Cartoon Network animation, having aired for 15 years and arguably one of its most successful series, having won 3 Emmys and received widespread critical acclaim. A live-action streaming reboot of the show and an anime series which is a spin-off that will focus exclusively on Ben’s cousin Gwen is currently being developed.

Ben Tennyson is your ordinary everyday kid who becomes very extraordinary after he discovers the Omnitrix, a bizarre alien watch that gives its wearer the power to transform into ten distinct alien species, each with different abilities. The story then follows his adventures with his grandfather Max and his cousin Gwen.

13. She-Ra and the Princess of Power

20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch In 2022

Release Date: November 2018

Number of Seasons: 5

Where to Watch It: Netflix

On the planet Etheria, Adora and Catra are orphans training to become soldiers for the Horde and eager to protect their planet from the threat of the Princesses. However, everything changes when Adora gets lost in the woods and finds a magical sword that transforms her into She-Ra, the legendary Princess of Power.

 Discovering the true evil of the Horde, Adora joins the Rebellion as its prophesied champion, but unfortunately pits herself against her now former best friend Catra. Its source material originates from the 1985 animation, The Secret of the Sword or also known as He-Man and She-Ra: The Secret of the Sword.

12. Boondocks

20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch In 2022

Release Date: November 2005

Number of Seasons: 4

Where to Watch It: Adult Swim

Adapted from the comic strip of the same name, it follows the adventures of Huey and Riley, brothers who move from Chicago to live with their irascible grandfather out in the suburbs. Huey is an intelligent avid reader, socially and politically motivated by theories of various left-wing movements, while Riley is a mischievous, rebellious kid who loyally follows rap music and culture.

11. Batman: The Animated Series

20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch In 2022

Release Date: September 1992

Number of Seasons: 2

Where to Watch It: Fox Kids

The first of the many shows in the shared DC Universe, Batman: The Animated Series has been praised greatly by most critics for its dark tone, complex themes, and fascinating art style. It is ranked highly in most lists of the best animations, and it has won 4 Emmys within its two seasons. 

The story follows Bruce Wayne’s transformation into his alter-ego Batman and his battles with Gotham’s worst criminals, after his parents Thomas and Martha Wayne are gunned down in cold blood.

10. Avatar: The Legend of Korra

20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch In 2022

Release Date: April 2012

Number of Seasons: 4

Where to Watch It: Nickelodeon

The sequel to the successful and critically acclaimed Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra is set 70 years after the events of its predecessor. Aang’s reincarnation is a water bender from the Southern Water Tribe named Korra. 

Having mastered all three of the elements Earth, Water, and Fire, she moves to Republic City, a metropolis powered by steampunk technology, where she seeks to master Air, the final element. After meeting Aang and Katara’s youngest son, Tenzin, she begins her training to master Air bending while fighting the crime that constantly plagues Republic City.

9. The Powerpuff Girls

20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch In 2022

Release Date: November 1998

Number of Seasons: 6

Where to Watch It: Cartoon Network

In the fictional metropolis of Townsville, Professor Utonium blends together sugar, spice, and everything nice in the hopes of creating a perfect young girl. However, he accidentally adds Chemical X resulting in the creation of the Powerpuff Girls. 

Using their powers to protect Townsville, the Pink Blossom, the Blue Bubbles, and the Green Buttercup combine to fight crime and defeat villains such as Mojo Jojo, Fuzzy Lumpkins, and The Amoeba Boys, and many others.

8. Dexter’s Laboratory

20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch In 2022

Release Date: February 1995

Number of Seasons: 4

Where to Watch It: Cartoon Network

The series follows Dexter, a small prodigy who hides a secret laboratory behind a bookcase in his bedroom, and his adventures, in and out of the lab, as he copes with his wild parents who are entirely oblivious to his high IQ and his secret laboratory, and his hyperactive sister DeeDee who views Dexter’s laboratory as her own playground and never wants to leave. 

Meanwhile, he fights his arch-nemesis and classmate Mandark who, like him, owns a laboratory and possesses an extremely high IQ.

7. RWBY

20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch In 2022

Release Date: July 2013

Number of Seasons: 8

Where to Watch It: YouTube, VRV, Crunchyroll, Amazon Prime Video

RWBY, abbreviated from the four protagonists Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang, is an ongoing computer-animated web series that is set in the world of Remnant, where supernatural forces and shadowy creatures which are known as the Grimm exist and young people train to become warriors that can defend against these creatures.

The show focuses on the four girls who each have their own unique weapons and abilities and together form a team at Beacon Academy where they are taught to become warriors.

6. Dota: Dragon’s Blood

20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch In 2022

Release Date: March 2021

Number of Seasons: 2

Where to Watch It: Netflix

Based on the 2013 video game Dota 2 developed by Valve, the series is set in a magical fantasy world where Davion, a renowned Dragon Knight hunts and slays dragons. In a war between demons and the dragon race of Eldwurm, an elder dragon fuses his soul with Davion. Along with a moon princess Mirana, Davion embarks on a quest to stop the demon Terrorblade who desires to exterminate all dragons and amass their souls.

5. Samurai Jack

20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch In 2022

Release Date: August 2001

Number of Seasons: 5

Where to Watch It: Cartoon Network, Adult Swim

Created by Genndy Tartakovsky, the mind behind Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack is the most similar show on the list to anime and has received widespread critical acclaim and bagged 8 Primetime Emmy Awards.

 The series follows the journey of an unnamed samurai who later comes to be known as Jack on his quest to liberate his kingdom from Aku, a malevolent shape-shifting demon.

Armed with a sacred sword given to him by his mother, he battles Aku, but before he can deliver the fatal blow, he is sent through time thousands of years into the future where he finds himself in a world where Aku now relishes absolute control over every living thing. 

With an indomitable will, he sets out on a new quest to undo all wickedness caused by Aku, while he finds a way back to his own time, so he can eliminate Aku for good.

4. Avatar: The Last Airbender

20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch In 2022

Release Date: February 2005

Number of Seasons: 3

Where to Watch It: Nickelodeon, Netflix, Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video

In a world where humans are divided into four nations, Earth, Water, Fire, and Air, and they can bend these four elements, the Avatar upholds the balance between them, but everything changes when the Fire Nation attacks. 

Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, can stop them. But when the world needs him most, he vanishes. A hundred years later, Katara and Sokka discover the new Avatar, an Airbender named Aang. Together, they must help Aang master the four elements and save the world.

3. Arcane

20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch In 2022

Release Date: November 2021

Number of Seasons: 1

Where to Watch It: Netflix

Based within the fictional universe of League of Legends, Arcane is a computer-animated adventure series developed for Netflix in conjunction with Riot Games. Being able to appeal to both first-time viewers of the series and loyal long-time fans of the game, it has received high praise from both critics and viewers.

Set in utopian Piltover and the tyrannized underground of Zaun, the story follows the beginnings of two iconic League champions and the power that will tear them apart.

2. Castlevania

20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch In 2022

Release Date: July 2017

Number of Seasons: 4

Where to Watch It: Netflix

Adapted from Konami’s game series of the same name, Castlevania follows the story of the pariah monster hunter Trevor Belmont’s quest to rescue a besieged city from Dracula. After his wife is burned at the stake due to false accusations of witchcraft, Count Dracula proclaims all the people of Wallachia will atone with their lives, invoking an army of demons on them.

A new series based on the same universe is in development and will focus on Trevor Belmont’s descendant, Richter Belmont.

1. Invincible

20 Best American Anime You Need To Watch In 2022

Release Date: March 2021

Number of Seasons: 1

Where to Watch It: Amazon Prime Video

Arguably the best American animation currently airing, Invincible is adapted from a comic of the same name set in the Image Universe. In a world where superheroes exist, Mark Grayson is an ordinary teenager, whose father, Nolan, also known as Omni-Man is the most powerful superhero on Earth. 

Shortly after he turns 17, Mark starts to develop abilities of his own and learns how to use them with support from his father.

The series received across-the-board praise from critics and audiences, with acclaim for its animation, action sequences, storyline, writing, performances, and adherence to the source material. Its success has resulted in Amazon renewing it for two more seasons.