As we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of “the streaming wars,” HBO has come out swinging with HBO Max. Boasting several new content hubs – including DC, Adult Swim, Studio Ghibli, Cartoon Network, Sesame Workshop, Looney Tunes, and Crunchyroll – there’s a plethora of content for animation fans to get excited about. But what to watch? If you love funny, interesting, action-packed animated TV shows that offer just as much entertainment for adults as they do for kids, read on. This list is for you.
From DC – Green Lantern: The Animated Series
Picking one title from the four hubs that offer animated series, we’re starting off with a series that only got one season but definitely should’ve gotten more. Set in a distant part of the galaxy, Green Lantern: The Animated Series follows Classic Green Lantern’s Hal Jordan and Kilowog, Chaos Neutral Red Lantern Razer, and their ships’ onboard artificial intelligence, aptly named Aya as they make their way back to Oa, home planet of the guardians and creators of the green lantern core. This series manages to give you 60 years worth of Green Lantern mythology retold and weaved into a fun, compelling, and at times, heartbreaking story. You’ll be sad when it’s over, but you’ll be glad you watched.
From Crunchyroll – Rurouni Kenshin
Based on the manga of the same name, Rurouni Kenshin tells the story of a ruthless assassin (Kenshin) turned protector of the innocent with his non-lethal reverse katana. The series deals with themes of atonement and how people are influenced by those around them. Set in 1878, the show also explores themes like westernization, technological advancement, and the twilight for warriors like Rurouni Kenshin. If you’re into Japanese history or just love a goofy “nomad hero” story, give this a watch.
From Adult Swim – The Boondocks
The only “not-at-all for children” show on this list, The Boondocks provides cutting social, political, cultural, and racial commentary that will make you think a lot and laugh even more. Done with million-dollar-an-episode animation and featuring an all-star voice cast that includes Regina King, the late great John Witherspoon, Ed Asner, Busta Rhymes, and Samuel L. Jackson, The Boondocks is a must watch for anyone who wants an animated show that touches on the subjects even most live-action dramas steer clear of. This show is fearless.
From Cartoon Network – Steven Universe
Oh man, how to describe Steven Universe? It’s a show that will mean something different to you at every stage in your life. When you’re an adolescent, the show is about a boy named Steven being raised by his mother’s friends who are defenders of the Earth called the Crystal Gems. If you’re a teenager, the show will be a coming-of-age story that explores interpersonal relationships, LGBT identity, and diversity. As an adult, you’ll get everything the show gives you with the added perspective of time. No matter your age, background, or identity, you’ll see yourself in this show. If you’re thinking of checking Steven Universe out, the episodes are only 11 minutes long so you’ve got no excuse.
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