Due to a wonderful follower asking about what source of digital subscription service was the best choice for anime watching, I decided to do a Let’s Talk today on just that subject. It is no secret that I love services like Crunchyroll and Funimation. But, I haven’t really talked about the pricing and why I choose these ones over what is available! So, grab a seat and let’s get bit further into the various options that you have. These will be based on popular sources that are generally accessible globally.
First up to bat is my trusty go to, Crunchyroll! Crunchyroll has been around since 2006 and started out as a less than legal site made by some UC Berkley grads. Over the years they managed to get support from major Tokyo outlets and larger companies and are now one of the premier if not widely known sources for legal anime viewing. So, why do I prefer Crunchyroll? Well, it was the first source I was introduced to in college and I have stuck with it ever since. Crunchyroll offers an all access premium subscription for just 6.95USD a month! 6.95!!! This gets you ad-free anime, simulcasts (One hour after the air time in Japan, they post on Crunchyroll), J/K-Drama’s and Manga! You also get some Convention stuff but they have a higher end 11USD subscription that focuses more on their online storefront and convention specials. Crunchyroll tends to focus on the bigger series and newer ones. They also do have a list of older anime that will cycle almost every month, as it all relies on licensing terms. They mainly have 98% Subtitled anime however, you do get a few English dubbed ones from time to time like RWBY or Toradora. Crunchyroll is available on all mobile phone platforms as well as, PS4, PS3, PS VITA, Wii U, Xbox-One, Xbox-360, Chromecast, Roku & Apple TV.
Coming up for our second used source for viewing anime, Funimation. This has been a company long standing in the anime industry and the primary party responsible for bringing us a lot of the popular dubbed anime we all enjoy, like Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Starting at 7.95USD for an all access subscription, you will be able to access their entire anime library both subtitled and dubbed formats. They do have two variations of access, one for subtitled only and one for everything Funimation offers. Funimation will give you access to just about every anime they have dubbed or have license to; including newer anime as well. Funimation is available on Xbox, Playstation, Apple and Android powered devices!
Next up we have Hulu. Now, when I got my first laptop, Hulu was one of the choices I went to for a free subscription. They didn’t offer too much at the time however, in recent years that has changed, drastically. Hulu does have a partnership with Funimation and will air some of the anime that Funimation has, however I have heard the library on some anime tends to be incomplete for whatever reason… Hulu starts at 7.99USD for their basic membership plan and they will also offer simulcasted anime! Often matching exactly what Crunchyroll has been offering. They may differ a bit by what they have available but you should be able to find one excellent library option here at Hulu! Oddly enough both Hulu and Crunchyroll were founded one year apart. odd. Hulu is available on Playstation, Xbox, Apple & Android devices.
Lastly for the popular choice, we have Netflix, now don’t get me wrong, Netflix is awesome. It just lacks some. Their anime library in the three year gap that I had did not change what so ever. That being said they generally will have some good staples, though it is always subject to have changed by time of this posting. It is an option for those who already use Netflix as their streaming service but I would say this is good as a brief introduction to anime streaming. They do have a few new titles, like Trigger’s Kill La Kill. Their subscription plans will start at 7.99USD as well! Netflix is available on Playstation, Xbox, Apple & Android devices!
Finishing us up is one that only just started getting popular, at least to us. supported by Sentai Filmworks, Anime Network has to be one of the older North American streaming servies, founded in 2002 they have been in the game for quite sometime. They do offer quite a bit in new and older and anime. While we do not know much about them, they do cover some of the more quirky titles which, us here at OGZ enjoy very much so! Plus they start at just 6.95USD a month! Compariing that with Crunchyroll I’d say you got some fantastic choice right here! Anime Network is available on Playstation, Xbox, Apple & Android powered devices!
So what service do I choose? Well it depends on what I am wanting. So far, Crunchyroll and Funimation have both been my go to sources and with my discovery of Anime Network, I may not renew my Funimation subscription. It all really depends on if they have they anime you like. Every site will cater to a little bit of a different audience or flavor of anime. Choosing just one may prove difficult but I can say without a doubt that out of the five listed, Crunchyroll would be the best go to as their free subscription doesn’t hamper you very much. So, I hope this helps some! I know it is a difficult task to pick one but at least now you have some choice in the matter, it really relies on you finding out what anime each one offers and if the titles that they have interest you in anyway.