It was hard for anime lovers to enjoy anime in the past. Nowadays, they can watch all kinds of anime online because there are many good anime websites. This post is going to show you the top 5 anime streaming websites. They are completely legal for you to catch up with new episodes of your favorite anime. And all of them offer some free content.
- Price: FREE, $5.99/month (Premium), $7.99/month (Premium Plus), $99.99/year (Premium Plus Ultra)
- Available titles: 300+
- Available countries: United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand
- Compatibility: Chromecast, Android, iOS, Xbox ONE, Fire TV, Amazon Kindle, Android TV, Apple TV, PS 4, Roku, Samsung and LG Smart TVs.
Founded in 1994 by Gen Fukunaga and Cindy, it was named FUNimation productions. In 2005, Navarre Corporations acquired it and rebranded it as FUNimation Entertainment. FUNimation was later sold to a group of investors (including Fukunaga) in 2011. Then, it adopted the simple name Funimation.
Funimation is a great platform for enjoying anime of various genres, including comedy, drama, romance, etc. Besides, it offers simulcast streaming. And you only need to wait for less than two weeks to watch dubbed new episodes. So, if you prefer to watch dubs, Funimation is definitely a good place for you.
There are free services and paid services. If you don’t mind watching ads, Funimation offers you free access to a limited library. By purchasing different plans provided by Funimation, you will have different levels of access to Funimation. Here are the premium features come with each package:
Each package offers a 14-day free trial. However, Premium, Premium Plus, and Premium Plus Ultra are available in the United States and Canada. Fans on the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand can only buy Premium Plus. If you happen to be from other countries, you can’t even access Funimation from your home country.
- Price: FREE, $7.99/month
- Available titles: 1200+
- Available countries: 180+ Countries
- Compatibility: Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku Box, Fire TV, Android, iOS, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Wii U.
Crunchyroll is another anime streaming website that has a sizable library. You can not only watch anime but also read manga on Crunchyroll. It is different from Funimation because most of its content is subs. There are just a few dubs. Crunchyroll has planned to provide its users with more dubbed anime. More importantly, Crunchyroll is available in more countries when compared with Funimation.
Currently, there are more than 40 series in Crunchyroll’s simulcasts section. You will find your favorite shows and catch up with each new episode on Crunchyroll. Normally, it’s just one hour after the broadcast.
Like Funimation, you are allowed to watch limited content on Crunchyroll for free. But you have to put up with annoying ads while using the free version. Costs $7.99 per month, the paid version offers ad-free service and unlimited access to all anime and manga on Crunchyroll. And it also offers a 14-day free trial so that you are free to cancel the subscription within two weeks.
- Price: FREE
- Available titles: 200+
- Available countries: Globally
- Compatibility: web version
Anime-Planet is an anime streaming platform that is available globally for free. Run by a group of volunteers, it is completely free and legal to use. It costs a lot to run such a website. And that’s why they are getting revenue from ads on the site and receiving donations from fans. Although they have to show you ads to maintain the service, you have to admit that there are fewer ads when compared to free services offered by other anime streaming platforms.
In partnership with Crunchyroll, HIDIVE and Hulu, Anime-Planet offers more than 45,000 episodes and a huge library of manga.
Although you can watch Anime-Planet from all over the world, the content you can access depends on your location. So, you might be blocked from your favorite anime series. Generally, you will be able to watch most titles in the US.
In addition to anime and manga, Anime-Planet is famous for allowing fans to communicate with fans in its community. When you search for anime on Anime-Planet, you can get recommendations and reviews given by other users. Besides, you can register an account and create your own list to record every anime you’ve seen. This also helps you make friends with other anime fans who love the same anime.
- Price: $4.99/month, $47.99/year
- Available titles: 100+
- Available countries: US, Canada, Mexico, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Netherlands, Latin America, Central America, South America and Scandinavia
- Compatibility: Chromecast, Android, iOS, Xbox ONE, Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Fire Tablet, Roku.
Launched in 2017, it is a relatively new anime streaming provider. But it won’t let you down because it offers the latest titles, exclusives, subs, dubs and simulcasts. Hidive also offers local-language dubs of new episodes within two weeks of the broadcast. It is in partnership with Sentai Filmworks, Maiden Japan, Kraken Releasing, Aesir Holdings, and ADV. Watching anime on Hidive is legal and safe.
It is available on many devices and platforms, including Chromecast, Android, iOS, Xbox ONE, Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Fire Tablet and Roku.
Hidive doesn’t offer a free version to anime lovers. You need to pay $4.99 per month or $47.99 per year to watch anime on Hidive. Currently, there is a limited offer of a 30-day free trial. You can have a try and see whether it meets your requirements. Besides, Hidive also allows you to have free access to the first episode of shows under the free episodes section.
- Price: FREE, $9.99/month (bundle), purchase channels individually
- Currently available channels: Boomerang, Cartoon Hangover, Crunchyroll, Hidive, Mondo, NickSplat, Rooster Teeth and VRV Select
- Available countries: United States
- Compatibility: iOS, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku, PS 4, and Xbox One.
Launched in 2016, VRV is a streaming platform from Otter Media, a subsidiary of AT&T’s WarnerMedia. You can watch various content on VRV because it offers channels focusing on different content. At present, there are eight channels available on VRV: Boomerang, Cartoon Hangover, Crunchyroll, Hidive, Mondo, NickSplat, Rooster Teeth and VRV Select. That is to say, you can watch anime from Crunchyroll and Hidive on VRV.
Like many other popular anime websites, VRV allows users to watch selected content for free by watching ads. It’s about 20,000 hours of free episodes.
If you want to remove ads, you can purchase a subscription. To watch everything on VRV, you just need to pay $9.99 for the bundle. You can also choose to pay for a single channel on VRV. For example, Cartoon Hangover costs $3.99 per month and Hidive costs $4.99 per month. All packages enjoy a 30-day free trial. Only the bundle offers a 30-day free trial.
VRV is a good place to watch anime and other types of content. The downside is that it is only available in the US. If you go abroad or come from other countries, you can’t access it. Other anime websites mentioned above also offer different content according to your location. Thus, you need a VPN service to bypass geo-restrictions. By masking your IP address with that of the VPN server, you pretend to be from a different country, such as the United States.