Are you an anime fan looking to find the best Crunchyroll alternatives? Well, you have really come to the right place.
Japanese animation, or anime, is not a niche interest for a small subsection of the population anymore. It is now a global phenomenon and has a huge following of dedicated fans. Today, anime reaches hundreds of millions of viewers all over the world – with more shows being created than ever before.
Crunchyroll is one of the best anime streaming services around and it is the most popular of the bunch. But Crunchyroll is not without its faults (see below) and sometimes you just need something different to watch for a change of pace.
Crunchyroll provides legal anime streaming and manga that is licensed from Japanese animation studios. It offers both free and paid options, depending on how much content you want to watch. Its subscription allows one to stream anime from anywhere in the world and download episodes they have missed if they are not able to watch when it airs.
Crunchyroll has a massive selection of anime content for those who are looking for mainstream anime. Crunchyroll also offers simulcast, which are episodes that air in Japan and Crunchyroll streams them as soon as they become available.
Crunchyroll has its limitations and doesn’t offer a ton of niche anime content that appeals to certain audiences. Crunchyroll is also not available in all countries, which means that it may not be available in your country of residence.
Where can I watch anime besides Crunchyroll?
If Crunchyroll is unavailable for you or you are looking for similar anime streaming sites that offer a more niche selection of anime then you should check out the following Crunchyroll alternatives that might be better suited to your needs.
The video streaming services mentioned here may not be available in all countries and might be accessible only through a VPN.
1 – Funimation
If you are an anime fan you may have heard of Funimation. There are a number of reasons why this service is worth checking out, including its price point and the amount of anime content that it offers. Funimation is very popular among anime lovers in the United States, Canada and Australia.
Funimation has been around for years and many people see it as an alternative to Crunchyroll because they offer many popular anime shows such as Naruto Shippuden, Fairy Tail, One Piece: Strong World & more! This means there should be something here for everyone’s taste in terms of genre or theme. Funimation also now carries some live-action TV series that can appeal to those who just want something different from their usual fare on Netflix or Hulu.
Funimation features a robust online video streaming service with tons of on-demand content in addition to their DVD and BluRay releases. Some of the other features of Funimation include “SimulDub” for simulcasting anime episodes as they are airing, home videos from Funimation’s new dubs, and subbed and dubbed series streamed on your device at up to 1080p HD quality.
The anime streaming site provides dubs as well as subtitles and most new anime episodes are available for viewing within an hour of their airing on TV in Japan depending on licensing agreements.
Dubbed anime is great news for those who have trouble with subs or want to experience the show in its original version with Japanese audio without needing to read subs on their screen while they watch.
This alternative to Crunchyroll also offers live streaming, TV broadcast, and free-to-watch shows with advertisement. The paid subscription plans offer ad-free content starting at $5.99 per month.
The drawback of Funimation is that its app is quite buggy and can be frustrating to use sometimes. The anime library is also lacking some of the more popular series.
If there’s one thing that Crunchyroll does better than Funimation, it’s the subtitles. Crunchyroll’s captions are more user-friendly and it has a larger selection of languages available for viewing.
Go to: Funimation.com
2 – Netflix
Netflix, the popular video streaming site that has become a household name around the world, is continuing to grow its anime content at an unprecedented rate.
Netflix has also scored big with its original anime series like Castlevania, Devilman Crybaby and B: The Beginning which have all received critical acclaim from viewers since their release.
The variety of anime content on Netflix is also expanding, with the service offering many of the popular anime to stream like Dragon Ball Super, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood and My Hero Academia.
Netflix allows you to watch anime and other content on up to four devices at a time, which means that your anime binge-watching can go all day without having to worry about anyone else in the house feeling left out.
Netflix is also one of the few major streaming services that support offline viewing, which means users can download a show to watch it later.
This Crunchyroll alternative is available with either monthly or annual subscriptions and it offers an ad-free experience for U.S. subscribers starting from $9 per month to $18 for the premium plan.
The cost of Netflix’s subscription varies depending on the country from where you are accessing it. Some anime series and movies may not be available in all regions because of licensing agreements or language barriers.
If there’s anything wrong with this alternative to Crunchyroll however, it doesn’t offer any live-action content as Funimation does.
But if you are just looking for a good anime streaming service with a large selection of titles, Netflix is a great option even for those with a slow internet connection.
Go to: Netflix.com
3 – Hulu
Founded in 2007, Hulu is another good alternative to Crunchyroll. It offers free anime streaming online with ads as well as multiple paid services.
Hulu has an impressive catalog of anime on offer from a variety of genres including action, romance, comedy, horror and even ecchi. If you are looking to binge on anime series, Hulu is perfect for you.
It includes both subbed and dubbed anime options, but you can customize your Hulu preferences for either. Most popular anime movies and series are available on the streaming site, but some of the more niche series might not be. It has quite a large catalog of cult anime like Hunter X Hunter, Inuyasha, Cowboy Bebop, Fruits Basket and Trigun, for die-hard anime fans.
While some of the anime are free to watch with ads on Hulu, others may require a Hulu+ subscription to view all the episodes. It costs $12 per month.
Like Crunchyroll, Hulu also offers a free trial for their service. This makes Hulu a great option if you’re looking to test out different streaming platforms before committing to any.
One thing to note is that Hulu has a lot to offer including TV shows and movies, but it misses out on simulcast and live-action content which Crunchyroll provides.
Go to: Hulu.com
4 – AnimeLab
AnimeLab is a great option for those living in Australia and New Zealand, however, it does not provide any content to viewers outside of this region.
It hosts a large variety of anime content including current TV shows, movies and simulcast as well. It features a sizable amount of dubbed anime and also offers subtitles for those who prefer subbed anime.
The service is available for free with ads, but has a premium subscription option which removes all the ads that come up during viewing sessions and enables users to watch in either 720p or 1080p resolution.
Animelab is one of the best anime streaming sites, with its app being a particular point of strength.
Go to: AnimeLab.com
5 – HIDIVE
HIDIVE streams the latest Japanese anime and has a wide array of content to choose from. HIDIVE is quite similar to Crunchyroll in that it offers both subbed and dubbed anime, but there are more exclusives than on Crunchyroll.
HIDIVE is one of the best places to find more mature anime, as they have a lot of 18+ titles that Crunchyroll doesn’t stream and some gory horror series like Corpse Party. They also carry popular anime TV shows such as Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Mob Psycho 100. You can even watch anime such as Fate/Extra Last Encore and The Girl in Twilight with English dubs or subtitles depending on your preference.
This alternative to Crunchyroll offers free memberships which provide ad-supported anime streaming while ad-free premium memberships cost $4.99 USD per month or $47.99 annually with no ads across all platforms.
HIDIVE offers a 30-day free trial for new subscribers to test out the service. HIDIVE is a great service to use if you want access to more recent titles that Crunchyroll doesn’t have yet.
One downside to HIDIVE is that video content cannot be downloaded and offline viewing isn’t possible as with other services reviewed here today. But this shouldn’t matter too much if you’re not opposed to streaming content.
Go to: HIDIVE.com
6 – Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime might not be the first place you think of when it comes to anime streaming, but they have been making a lot of deals with anime studios lately.
Amazon Prime’s streaming service offers an extensive catalog of anime but it is only available to Amazon Prime subscribers and costs $119 per year.
Amazon’s library of anime titles is growing rapidly, so if you’re looking for new shows this may be a good alternative service to try out. Amazon offers popular anime shows like Naruto Shippuden, One Piece, Vinland Saga, Inuyashiki and Attack on Titan.
With Amazon Prime video, you can watch all the latest simulcasts and even some older titles that Crunchyroll doesn’t offer yet like ReLIFE.
Amazon recently invested in creating their own original content for adults including an adaptation of the popular manga series Versailles no Bara (The Rose of Versailles). This would be worth checking out if you’re into historical fiction.
The downside to using Amazon over Crunchyroll is that they don’t offer any free-to-stream episodes, nor do you have offline viewing options.
However, since Amazon Prime Video Unlimited is included in your yearly Amazon.com membership fee of $119, it might make sense to just pay upfront instead of spending more over time with other services.
What makes it worth the cost is that you can watch on any device with a screen, including your TV set, laptop or mobile phone. Also, apart from anime, you’ll have access to a wide selection of television shows and movies.
Go to: Amazon Prime Video
7 – VRV
VRV is a non-gaming subscription streaming platform with a library of content from multiple providers, including anime streaming giants Crunchyroll and HIDIVE.
Since VRV has tied up with various video streaming services, it features an interesting mix of anime titles. This includes popular anime series such as “Food Wars” and “Attack on Titan.”
VRV offers monthly subscriptions so you can test their video streaming site. The subscriptions to their channels can be purchased individually or in a premium bundle. VRV has a premium ad-free streaming service starting at $9.99 (plus taxes) a month.
In addition to having an expansive catalog of anime titles, VRV also offers viewers their first 30 days free. This option on our roster of alternatives to Crunchyroll is currently available only in the United States.
Go to: VRV.co
8 – YouTube
Japanese animation studios have recently started to stream their classic anime series and movies on YouTube in a bid to expand their audience base and stop illegal video distribution of their content.
Many old anime shows like Black Jack, Monster, Future Boy Conan, Doraemon, Sailor Moon, and Astro Boy are currently available on YouTube for free, and the studios hope that releasing their content in this fashion will put a stop to illegal distribution.
Recently, YouTube channel Animelog partnered with various studios to distribute their respective content through its YouTube channel, thereby offering a wider selection of anime series and movies for viewers to choose from.
YouTube is the world’s largest video-sharing ad network with over a billion users, so it’s no surprise that many studios are now turning to this platform as an alternative distribution channel.
This Crunchyroll alternative is also good for users with a slow internet connection since many of the videos on YouTube are even encoded at a lower bitrate.
Though YouTube is a free alternative to Crunchyroll and offers a wide selection of anime TV shows and movies, the drawback is that some content is restricted to certain regions which can make it difficult for a fan of anime to access.
Go to: YouTube.com
Crunchyroll Alternatives: Conclusion
The Crunchyroll alternatives listed above may not have the same expansive list of anime titles as Crunchyroll, but they are all worth checking out before making your final decision about which option will suit your needs best. By reading this article, we hope you can avoid some common pitfalls when choosing an anime streaming site. With these tips in mind, there should be nothing stopping you from getting what you want out of watching anime online.