Anime, which simply means “animation” in Japan, has become one of the country’s most famous exports. Anime has been around since the early 1900s and became popular in Japan in the 60s. However, in the West, the public did not pay attention to this only in the mid-80s.
Anime, which began as a subculture of its own on VHS tapes and later in digital copies of shows with fan subtitles, has become a global phenomenon. All you have to do to watch anime these days is turn on your TV, but streaming quality can vary greatly.
To help you, we’ve compiled a list of six of the best places to stream anime online.
Crunchyroll (Free with Ads or $ 7.99 / month Premium)
Without a doubt, Crunchyroll is the undisputed king of specialized anime streaming services. Not only does it have a wide international reach, but it also includes an amazing library of shows spanning several years. You can watch simulcast episodes, which become available just hours after airing in Japan.
Most of the shows on offer are subtitled, and dubbed versions of some of the shows are available a few weeks after airing. Almost all the shows that someone cares about are on Crunchyroll. You also get an included subscription to their Manga app if you pay for the premium service.
If you’re on a free subscription, expect frequent advertisements and delays between airing a new episode and being able to watch it. A 14-day trial is offered for new users to try out the Premium. At $ 7.99 a month, it’s very difficult to recommend a free route if you can afford it.
You can stream anime online using Crunchyroll in your browser, as well as Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Roku, Apple TV, Android, iOS and a few others. Sadly, Crunchyroll no longer releases apps for Smart TV, but they say they are developing apps as new platforms emerge, so we expect support for future consoles as well.
Who is Crunchyroll for: If you don’t mind reading subtitles, want access to most of the new shows as they air, and you have a supported device, this is the # 1 service we recommend to everyone. Especially if you live outside the United States.
Funimation (multiple levels starting at $ 5.99 per month)
Funimation is another major player in the anime distribution world, offering a more detailed catalog with more emphasis on dubbed anime When it comes to new simultaneous broadcasts, you’ll find a lot in common with Crunchyroll, but there are more classic shows and additional features like the ability to download episodes to mobile devices.
By the way, Funimation has apps for Apple TV, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Kindle, Roku, Xbox One, PS4, Chromecast and some Samsung and LG TV models. This Smart TV support definitely gives it an edge over Crunchyroll.
Who Funimation Is For: Funimation is currently limited to the US, so anyone outside of this area should contact Crunchyroll. If you are in the US and need to choose, then go to Funimation if you want to stream a classic anime that you may have missed, or strongly prefer dubbed anime over subtitled anime.
HiDive ($ 4.99 per month)
If you live in the United States, you can use VRV to tie Crunchyroll and HiDive together, and get quite a few other PC fan-friendly tech and sci-fi streaming content as a good measure. There is also a pretty good reason for this. In the US, HiDive has exclusive rights to some popular anime studios such as Sentai Filmworks.
The service also offers some unique perks, such as home video releases of certain shows and dubbed versions of the show within two weeks of the episode airing. Similar to Funimation
Who HiDive is for: If you’re in the US and want Crunchyroll, we highly recommend using the VRV package, which also includes HiDive The two anime services complement each other, and the exclusive HiDive shows are definitely worth the asking price.
Netflix (starting at $ 9 per month)
Netflix needs no introduction, the world leader in on-demand streaming services and renowned for original content like The Witcher and Stranger Things. When it comes to streaming anime online using Netflix, it certainly isn’t the largest and most varied selection.
Who is Netflix for: If you’re somehow not yet subscribed to Netflix and are only interested in anime content, then it’s definitely worth subscribing to the service for a month or two just to watch shows that are exclusive to the streaming service. Even so, the asking price still represents a great deal.
Amazon Prime Video ($ 5.99 per month)
Notable games include Vinland Saga and Dororo Some show seasons are split between Amazon and other services, which means that if you want to watch all of the shows, you need to subscribe to several services. The good news is that Amazon is one of the cheapest streaming services when it comes to streaming anime online.
Who is Amazon Prime Video for: As with Netflix, if you’re not an Amazon Prime Video subscriber and only care about anime content, it’s worth subscribing briefly to follow their exclusive shows. Which can be easily consumed within 30 days.
Hulu (Starting at $ 5.99)
The last streaming service on our list is also a major competitor to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, but is for the US only, and there are no published plans to expand outside that territory. Hulu has a huge library of shared content, especially old classic shows.
This also applies to their anime. While there are no anime-exclusive shows on Hulu, the selection is impressive. There is a lot of quality classic anime here and it takes a long time to watch all the good ones. Just remember, the base price is not ad-free. To use the service without ads, you need to pay $ 11.99 per month.
Who is Hulu for: While we advised you to subscribe online to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video for their smaller but great selections, when it comes to Hulu it’s worth subscribing to as a standalone anime service. In fact, if you can only afford one streaming service and want to stream both general content and anime online, then Hulu is undoubtedly the best choice.