Are you looking to add another streaming service to your household’s lineup? Maybe you’re wondering what the best option is for you and your family. Should you go with Crunchyroll’s lineup of anime, or HBO Max’s prestige TV shows and top WarnerMedia movies? In this guide, we’ll compare Crunchyroll vs. HBO Max and help you figure out the best option for your needs.
Quick Overview: Crunchyroll vs HBO Max
Crunchyroll has been around since 2006, and remains the most popular anime streaming service in the US, with more than 5 million subscribers as of the most recently-available data. It’s home to tons of the best anime shows from Japan, and a must-have for any serious manga and anime enthusiast.
HBO Max, on the other hand, is newer on the streaming scene. It launched in summer of 2020, combining HBO’s prestige shows and movies with nearly the entire WarnerMedia back catalog. It’s been a huge success, too, with nearly 75 million people worldwide subscribing to HBO and HBO Max as of December 2021. Let’s take a look at these services below and compare them.
|Pricing||Free: $0/month, with ads|
Fan: $9.99/monthUltimate Fan: $14.99/month
|With Ads: $9.99/month or $99.99/year, with ads|
Ad-Free: $14.99/month or $149.99/year
|Free Trial Length||14 days||No free trial|
|Popular Content||Attack On Titan|
My Hero Academia
That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime
Game of Thrones
The Righteous Gemstones
Blade Runner: Black Lotus
The God Of High School
The Sex Lives Of College Girls
|Home Theater Features||Up to 1080p|
|Up to 4K |
Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10
Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Digital Plus
|Device Support||Web browsers, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox/Playstation||Web browsers, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android TV, Xbox/PlayStation, select smart TVs|
|Simultaneous Streams||1-4 (plan dependent)||3|
Best Pricing: Crunchyroll vs HBO Max
Crunchyroll is cheaper than HBO Max. In fact, while HBO Max’s ad-supported plan costs $9.99/month, Crunchyroll’s ad-supported plan is completely free. However, there are some shows and episodes that free members can’t watch.
Even if you pay, Crunchyroll starts at just $7.99/month, so it’s a better bargain, particularly for anime fans. On a pure cost basis, Crunchyroll wins this category – though if you’re not into anime, it’s still not likely to be a better choice than HBO Max.
Best Free Trial: Crunchyroll vs HBO Max
Crunchyroll wins this category, too. You can watch ad-supported for free, and you can also sign up and get a free 14-day trial of a premium, ad-free subscription with Crunchyroll. In contrast, HBO Max no longer offers a free trial at all, though it had a free 7-day trial when it first launched in 2020.
However, you can still watch some select first episodes of HBO Max Originals on their website for free. You can only watch the first episode of each show, though, so this is a lot more limited compared to Crunchyroll.
Best Content Library: Crunchyroll vs HBO Max
HBO Max wins in this category. It has more overall content and a broader variety of content compared to Crunchyroll, since Crunchyroll only focuses on anime. You can watch blockbuster movies, indie films, dramas, sitcoms, and tons of other content on HBO Max, including the entire lineup of HBO shows from the last few decades.
When it comes to anime, though, Crunchyroll wins. HBO Max does actually have a surprising number of anime titles like Inuyasha, Dr. Stone, Ruruoni Kenshin, and Bungo Stray Dogs, to name just a few. But Crunchyroll has 1,000+ top titles and movies. If you’re only looking to watch anime, Crunchyroll is a better option.
What to Watch on Crunchyroll
You’ll mostly only be able to watch anime series and shows on Crunchyroll, though it also has some Asian dramas like K-dramas, too. You can stream movies, full seasons of shows, and episodes as soon as 1 hour after they air in Japan, so it’s an ideal choice for big anime fans. It does have some original shows, but most of its shows are produced by top anime studios in Japan, then licensed for US broadcast. You can find some top titles like:
- Attack On Titan
- Demon Slayer
- One Piece
- Sword Art Online
- My Hero Academia
What to Watch on HBO Max
HBO Max has an enormous catalog of movies and shows from HBO and WarnerMedia. You’ll find a lot of top movies and shows from the last few decades, and a surprisingly large media catalog overall. There are also some HBO Max exclusive shows available, like Peacemaker with John Cena, and Mindy Kaling’s The Sex Lives of College Girls. Some of its top titles include:
- Wonder Woman 1984
- Game of Thrones
- Harry Potter franchise
- The Matrix: Resurrections
Best Home Theater Features: Crunchyroll vs HBO Max
If you’re looking for a theatrical experience, HBO Max is the clear winner here. It supports 4K UHD and HDR10/Dolby Vision on compatible titles, and is also supports Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and Dolby Digital Plus.
On the other hand, Crunchyroll only offers 1080p streaming and stereo sound. This isn’t really that bad though. In fact, most anime titles in Japan air at 720p or 1080p, and only include stereo mixing – so these fancy features would be pretty much pointless while watching anime anyway.
Best Offline Viewing: Crunchyroll vs HBO Max
HBO Max wins this category, but Crunchyroll offers pretty similar downloadable content features. With HBO Max, you will need the $14.99/month Ad-Free plan in order to download shows for offline viewing. This feature isn’t available for the cheaper ad-supported plan. The same is true of Crunchyroll. You need the $9.99/month or higher plan to download shows and movies.
Most HBO Max shows and movies can be downloaded for later viewing. Just tap the download button while using the app. You can download up to 30 titles at once, and they’ll be deleted after 30 days. Once you’ve started watching a show or an episode, you have 48 hours to finish watching it before it’s deleted.
Crunchyroll has similar restrictions. You can download up to 100 shows, but they’ll be deleted after 7 days if you don’t watch them, and in 48 hours if you start watching an episode but don’t finish it.
Best Device Support: Crunchyroll vs HBO Max
- iOS and Android
- Web browsers
- Amazon Fire
- Apple TV
- PlayStation/Xbox consoles
However, HBO Max supports some other smart TVs and a few other devices that Crunchyroll doesn’t support, so it squeaks out a win in this category. Really, though, you won’t have any problem watching either service on your favorite devices.
Best Simultaneous Streaming: Crunchyroll vs HBO Max
HBO Max wins this category, since it offers more default simultaneous streams. You can stream on up to 3 devices at once with both the ad-free and ad-supported subscription, which should be plenty for most households.
In contrast, Crunchyroll lets you stream on only 1 device with its cheapest $7.99/month Fan plan. You need to pay $9.99/month to get 2 streams with the Mega Fan plan or $14.99/month to get 4 streams with the Ultimate Fan plan.
Which is Better: Crunchyroll vs HBO Max in 2022?
HBO Max is a better streaming service for cord-cutters who want to watch blockbuster movies, prestige dramas, and tons of other amazing shows and movies like The Sopranos or King Richard. It has something to offer everyone, and it even has a decent lineup of anime.
However, Crunchyroll is a better choice for anime fans. It has an unbeatable anime library. You probably couldn’t watch every anime on the service if you tried, and it has most of today’s top titles from Japan. If anime is what you’re into, it’s a better choice than HBO Max.