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Crunchyroll streaming service review

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Hundreds of anime and manga titles and dramas — but Crunchyroll Premium users report poor streaming quality.

Details

Service typeOn-demand streaming
Free trial30 days
Pricing$7.99
Lock-in contractNo

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Niche provider. Crunchyroll is one of the few streaming services that provides 100% Eastern Asian content.
  • Simulcasts. Get fresh Japanese content, with subtitles, within a couple hours of broadcast.
  • Large library. With more than 1,000 shows to stream, and hundreds of games to play, Crunchyroll is the primary streaming service for Eastern Asian content.

Cons

  • Browse and search features. Users have reported difficulty in sorting content, especially programs with and without subtitles.
  • Poor streaming. Many reviews cite poor streaming quality, and buffering — even with Crunchyroll Premium service.
  • Missing old titles. Some older popular anime titles, like Yu Yu Hakusho and Cowboy Bebop, are missing from its extensive library.

What features does Crunchyroll offer?

With Crunchyroll’s focus on Japanese pop culture content, it could be a great streaming service for anime and manga fans.

Shows

Watch popular anime titles and live-action dramas included in its extensive library. But, possibly its most popular features are simulcasts which allow you to access select new episodes within hours of their original broadcast.

Manga

With its Crunchyroll Premium account, you can read popular comics online, and access the newest releases from Kodansha Comics with its simulpub feature.

Games

Crunchyroll Games brings anime games to your iOS and Android phone or tablet. It’s fairly new to the gaming space, and says it’s working to bring on more games to its service for Crunchyroll users and beyond.

What devices is Crunchyroll compatible with?

Crunchyroll works with many platforms and devices such as:

  • Smart TV
    • Amazon Fire TV
    • Apple TV
    • Chromecast
    • Roku
  • Mobile devices
    • Android
    • Apple
    • Windows Phone
  • Gaming consoles
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation 4
    • PlayStation Vita
    • Xbox 360
    • Xbox One
    • Wii U

How much does Crunchyroll cost?

Service tierPriceFeatures
Crunchyroll Free$0
  • Limited anime titles and dramas
  • Limited manga titles
  • Ads on video and manga content
  • Standard definition 480p
  • Standard customer support
Crunchyroll Premium$7.99 a month, plus taxes
  • Complete access to anime and drama library
  • Complete access to manga library
  • Simulcasts
  • No ads
  • High definition 720p and 1080p for select titles
  • Email support and guaranteed priority response
  • Store discounts
Crunchyroll Premium+$11.99 a month, plus taxes
    All Crunchyroll Premium benefits plus:
  • Free shipping at its store
  • Goodie bags, access to exclusive events and front-of-line privileges for events
  • Entry into contests
  • Virtual lightning bolt badge
  • Access to beta testing

Free trial

Crunchyroll offers a free 30-day trial for its Crunchyroll Premium and Crunchyroll Premium+ membership tiers — including access to its entire library and simulcasts. You have to give your personal information and credit card, and your subscription is automatically purchased at the end of the trial. If you decide its Crunchyroll Premium service isn’t for you, cancel before your trial is up to avoid getting charged.

Is Crunchyroll Premium worth it?

The biggest benefit to subscribing to Crunchyroll’s Crunchyroll Premium tier is having high-definition access to its entire library without ads. Though upgrading to Crunchyroll Premium+ for $4 more gives you add-ons like swag, conventions and testing. But if you’re into Crunchyroll for only the videos, Crunchyroll Premium does the job.

Case study: Mariam's experience

Mariam Parra profile photo
Mariam Parra
Author
I’ve been a Crunchyroll user since 2007, when I saw it became one of the first platforms to jump into legal online streaming — a huge and rare thing for anime back then. Getting easy access to HD-quality anime, while at the same time giving back to the industry that produced it, was one of the reasons I stuck with the service, as well as getting subtitles in Spanish, my native language.
 
The biggest advantage to Crunchyroll, besides its availability on a great range of devices, is the simulcast, which means you get the newest episodes of ongoing series one hour after their release in Japan. The downside is that it’s a Premium-only feature.
 
If you don’t mind waiting a little, you can still see most of the content with a free account. But be aware that free accounts also come with ads between episodes, which can be annoying in the long run.

What can I watch with Crunchyroll?

Watch popular anime and Japanese simulcasts hours after broadcast. Crunchyroll also gives you access to manga simulpubs. Popular anime and manga titles include:

  • Anime
    • Boruto: Naruto Next Generation
    • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
    • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
    • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
    • My Hero Academia
    • One Piece
  • Manga
    • Fairy Tail
    • The Diary of Ochibi
    • The Heroic Legend of Arslan
    • The Seven Deadly Sins
    • Silver Nina
    • Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches

Compare other streaming services.

Name Product Service type Pricing Free trial 4K or UHD Number of devices Simultaneous streams
Hulu
On-demand streaming
$5.99
30 days
Yes
99
1
Disney+
On-demand streaming
$6.99
7 days
Yes
10
4
ESPN+
Sports
$4.99
No
No
99
3
Sling TV
Pay TV
$25
7 days
No
3
3
Amazon Prime
On-demand streaming
$8.99
30 days
Yes
99
2

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Frequently asked questions

Expert review

Leah Fallon

Review by


Leah Fallon is an editor for finder.com. With 10 years of teaching English under her belt, it was a natural progression to move into editorial. She's written feature pieces for regional print and digital media and today helps fix annoying apostrophes, elusive infinitives and the muddled em and en dash. When she's not helping people with their finances, you can find her exploring the trails of Loudoun County, Virginia and wrangling her two sprightly girls.

Expert review

Crunchyroll offers an extensive library of anime, both dubbed and subtitled. You don’t need to pay for a subscription if you don’t mind the ads, but Crunchyroll Premium tiers give you more titles, ad-free. Be sure to search its catalogue before signing up if you’re looking for specific shows — it’s missing some older titles that are making their way back into the scene.

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