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:
Amazon Fire TV
How much does Crunchyroll cost?
Limited anime titles and dramas
Limited manga titles
Ads on video and manga content
Standard definition 480p
Standard customer support
$7.99 a month, plus taxes
Complete access to anime and drama library
Complete access to manga library
High definition 720p and 1080p for select titles
Email support and guaranteed priority response
$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
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
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:
Leah Fallon is an editor with more than 10 years of teaching under her belt. She's written feature pieces for regional print and digital media. When she's not helping people with their finances, you can find her wrangling her two sprightly girls or running the trails of Virginia.
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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