Best anime streaming services for 2021
Whether you’re a long-time fan of this particular Japanese art form or a curious newbie, the best way to immerse yourself in the world of anime is with a streaming service. You will find it, Science fiction , Horror stories, rom-coms and superhero quests in this storytelling landscape. Longstanding favorites like and prove that the audience sticks to classics while making room for rising stars like My Hero Academia and the global phenomenon Attack on Titan.
Anime is an expanding area with major players in the streaming game dedicated to meeting demand. Whether you’re a true otaku with a particular taste or a newbie, look no further than thisto satisfy your anime cravings.
Because of its robust content stability, Crunchyroll has become a global target for anime streaming. Founded in 2006, the brand has over 100 million registered users and more than 5 million subscribers. After being acquired by Sony, Crunchyroll is now sharing its extensive line-up with other genre titan Funimation to deliver thousands of titles around the clock. The whole anime is under one roof.
The biggest selling points? An hour after their Japanese premiere, new episodes of My Hero Academia and other hot goods land on the streamer. Viewers can also count on surprising releases like the eight special episodes of Attack of Titan that were released on December 19, weeks prior to the airing of Part 2 of the final season.
Fans love the variety and appreciate being able to watch the unabridged Japanese versions of their favorite series of some content on this service. There is also a carousel with original, in-house creations that spin alongside the latest releases from Japan. And thanks to Crunchyroll’s partnership with the anime streaming service VRV, US customers can tap even more programs.
Sony plans to create a single subscription for Crunchyroll and Funimation, but it hasn’t done so yet. However, you can sign up for a free subscription and get access to current and older content with a check mark: you have to wait a week to watch new episodes.
For those who prefer instant access to new episodes, Crunchyroll’s basic ad-free option is $ 8.
As a former rival, partner and rival of Crunchyroll, Funimation shares many important titles with the anime giant. The difference between the two lies in their respective libraries. Funimation has over 13,000 hours of content and claims the entire Dragon Ball Z collection. Crunchyroll has some, but not all, of the popular franchises.
But you can find a multitude of sub-genres in the service and Funimation excels in the dub department. When it comes to new episodes, the streamer has a set simulcast schedule that releases each season, and its Winter 2022 slate includes Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Entertainment District Arc, Tribe Nine, and, like Crunchyroll, Attack on Titan Final Season Part 2.
As with Crunchyroll, you can sign up for a free account to see both classics and new content. In the free version you can create bookmarks and personal watch lists. Take advantage of Funimation’s ad-free membership for $ 6 a month to stream all content and get access to simulcasts on the same day.
If you’re unsure about Crunchyroll or Funimation subscriptions, Hulu has more than 300 anime titles and is a first-class place to go to for the hits My Hero Academia, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, Tokyo Ghoul, Attack on Titan, Soul Eater , Inuyasha, bleach and more. There are also simulcasts that are streamed every season and treat viewers to the latest releases from Japan. This is one area where Hulu outperforms Netflix. Fans will find Pokémon films and oldies, but also goodies like Sailor Moon and Akira.
Hulu also has partnerships with Crunchyroll and Funimation to carry a few titles, but not the entire catalog. The original Crunchyroll and Adult Swim film, Blade Runner: Black Lotus, is available along with favorites like Assassination Classroom. However, new subtitled episodes may arrive immediately on the streamer, while synchronized versions take longer. The debut times vary depending on the series.
An additional benefit is the special anime hub, where you can find content organized into categories such as classic, AZ, or simulcasts.
As a pioneer in streaming TV, Netflix has expanded its anime offering despite lacking the fresh installments and simulcasts from Hulu. There are currently dozens of Japanese imports on the platform, as well as Netflix originals Castlevania, Yasuke, Cannon Busters, Devilman Crybaby, and Blood of Zeus.
While it’s not the go-to streamer for more obscure titles, Netflix has a reliable selection of popular animes, including Demon Slayer, Hunter x Hunter, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and nine glorious seasons of Naruto. Another big plus for the streamer is the lack of advertising. Subscribers should be aware that they will need to take the additional step of turning off the skip feature at the end of episodes to see if their favorite show has post-credits scenes.
In the spring of 2021, Netflix opened its Anime Creators’ Base in Tokyo, where writers, designers and other artists come together to expand the streamer’s productions. Viewers can keep an eye out for upcoming anime films and shows like Bubble, Tomb Raider, Skull Island, and Terminator.
Hidive is a service for audiences aged 18 and over and streams content, including simulcasts, to fans around the world. Not only will you find curated animes from all sub-genres, but also a selection of live-action adaptations.
Hidive prides itself on its customizable subtitle option, live chats on episodes, and exclusive catalog. You can even choose between censored and uncensored anime. As an independent service, the company encourages fans to request their favorite tracks if they can’t find them on the platform.
Hidive is supported on iOS, Android and smart TVs and runs content directly from its website. There is no free subscription option and the monthly rate is $ 5 after the 14-day free trial.
Frequently asked questions about streaming anime
What is the difference between dub and sub?
In the anime community, the terms “dubbed” and “subtitled” are used to describe the difference between an item of content streamed in Japanese with subtitles and an English language (or other language version). It’s a matter of personal preference, but some fans like one guy over the other. Funimation is known among die-hard fans for its extensive dubbed collection.
Why can’t I find certain anime content on some streaming services?
Due to licensing agreements, the anime lineups of some streaming providers will change. It also depends on what country you live in, as various content may only be available in Japan, the US, or other regions.
Timing matters and can determine whether the new season or movie in a series will be released on a platform on the same day, month, or year of original release. However, viewers will find that some shows are streamed on multiple platforms at the same time.
What is the meaning of OAD and OVA in the anime and does it matter?
From time to time streaming services may refer to OAD or OVA as special promotions. In general, OAD and OVA are additional episodes that were not televised but are part of the story and may or may not be canonical. They can be prequel episodes or storylines that happen during or after what is featured on a series and serve as cool additions for anime lovers.
Which devices support these apps?
Each of these anime streaming providers are accessible through their standalone websites, smart TVs, Roku, iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon FireTV, Apple TV, and Xbox One devices. You can watch it on your phone, tablet, PC or TV.