Crunchyroll streaming service review
Hundreds of anime and manga titles and dramas — but Crunchyroll Premium users report poor streaming quality.
Pros and Cons
- 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.
- 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.
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.
With its Crunchyroll Premium account, you can read popular comics online, and access the newest releases from Kodansha Comics with its simulpub feature.
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
- Mobile devices
- Windows Phone
- Gaming consoles
- PlayStation 3
- PlayStation 4
- PlayStation Vita
- Xbox 360
- Xbox One
- Wii U
How much does Crunchyroll cost?
|Crunchyroll Premium||$7.99 a month, plus taxes|
|Crunchyroll Premium+||$11.99 a month, plus taxes|
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
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:
- Boruto: Naruto Next Generation
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
- My Hero Academia
- One Piece
- Fairy Tail
- The Diary of Ochibi
- The Heroic Legend of Arslan
- The Seven Deadly Sins
- Silver Nina
- Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches
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Frequently asked questions
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.
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.