By: Zeila Edrial
Sailor Moon, Pokemon, Death Note, Attack on Titan, One-Punch Man… These are just a few anime titles that many people love to watch. Anime has become more accessible in the past decade, thanks to the internet. Several streaming services have acquired licenses to anime series to draw in more customers. These are some of the websites where you can stream anime:
Amazon Prime Video
There are a few gems hidden in the Amazon Prime library. One notable animated feature film is Pokemon Origins, which is split into four parts and closely follows the original Pokemon Red and Blue video games. Pokemon Origins is based on the adventures of Red and his rival Blue from the games, so don’t expect to see any signs of Ash and Pikachu!
Other familiar anime on Amazon Prime Video are Get Backers, Angel Beats and High School of the Dead. But many of the anime that are in Amazon Prime Video’s selection are on other streaming websites, so I wouldn’t recommend getting Amazon Prime solely for anime. However, it’s good to know that you can watch some anime on Amazon Prime if you already have a membership!
Netflix also offers a small selection of anime, but more of the titles will be recognizable to casual anime fans. Its library includes old favorites Inuyasha, Digimon Adventure and Rurouni Kenshin. Popular shows from the last few years are on Netflix, like Sword Art Online, where characters are stuck inside a massive online role-playing game. Another is Kill la Kill, a series that follows a girl as she seeks revenge for her father’s death. Ajin: Demi-Human is a Netflix exclusive about a boy who discovers that he is an immortal “Ajin” after surviving an accident that should’ve claimed his life.
Although Netflix normally doesn’t have the latest anime in its library, one perk is that the streaming service releases all the episodes at once. You can easily bingewatch an entire season of an anime instead of waiting each week for the newest episode.
Compared to Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, Hulu has a bigger selection of anime. It has some of the older anime like Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon, but it also has more recent anime. Some examples of this are No Game No Life, GANGSTA. and One Punch Man. However, watching anime on Hulu has a drawback. Unless you are willing to pay a little extra for their commercial-free subscription, you will have to sit through commercials while watching each episode. This can get a little tiresome when you’re trying to bingewatch shows.
If you want to watch more recent anime, Crunchyroll is the way to go. The streaming service offers simulcasts for current anime shows if you have the premium membership. This means that you can watch new episodes as soon as 1 hour after they are aired in Japan. A couple titles from this season that can be streamed on Crunchyroll are Twin Star Exorcists and Mob Psycho 100. Although Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma is also on Hulu, Crunchyroll is the only one of the two to have the second season. You can opt for a free membership, but you will be limited to only some shows on the website. But your watching experience on Crunchyroll will be interrupted with commercials, unless you’re willing to dish out some money for the premium version. This especially got annoying when I tried to watch I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying, which had episodes that were each about three minutes long. I had to sit through ads every time I loaded the next episode.
DAISUKI is an anime streaming site from Japan. Its selection includes anime that the previously-mentioned streaming sites do not have due to licensing. One example is Love Live! Sunshine!!, which is about a group of high school girls who are trying to form their own “idol group.” A premium membership on the website also allows offers users simulcasts. However, having a premium membership doesn’t eliminate ads from the video- it only reduces the amount of ads that you see.
FUNimation is the studio responsible for acquiring the license for the Dragon Ball franchise to be shown on American television. You can stream some of the anime that the studio has licensed on its website for free, which include .hack//SIGN, Full Metal Panic! and Guilty Crown. If you want access to the entire catalog on the website, you would need to subscribe to their SubPass or All-AccessPass. One perk in having either membership is that you won’t have to see commercials.
While there are many places to watch anime online, it is important to remember not to stream them illegally on unlicensed websites. Always support the anime industry, as it is a tough industry to work in.
What are other streaming sites that allow you to watch anime legally? Let us know in the comments below!