If you’re an anime fan and you’re not using Funimation, 2021 is the time to sign up. In 2020, Sony’s Funimation branch purchased Crunchyroll, the undisputed king of anime subs, for $1.2 billion. At some point, Funimation will fully absorb Crunchyroll. Once that happens, Funimation will be the best legal source for both subs and dubs. Thankfully, Funimation is a world-class anime streaming service with an incredibly large catalog at an incredibly low price.
What Is Funimation?
Funimation is one of the largest anime streaming services in the US and worldwide. It’s also a major anime distribution and localization company. The service typically purchases the regional broadcast rights for Japanese anime and then does the hard work of dubbing that anime for non-Japanese audiences. Funimation is distinguished by what was its largest competitor, Crunchyroll, which as noted earlier Funimation now owns after a major purchase in 2020.
For several years, Funimation and Crunchyroll existed in harmony. Crunchyroll specializes in subbed anime and Funimation specialized in dubbed anime. And at one point, users could get both services under the same roof for a discount via the streaming service VRV. While Funimation still specializes in dubs, it’s started branching out with a larger selection of subs. And for its part, Crunchyroll has also started offering more dubs.
All of that will be moot in the near future, however. After Funimation’s Crunchyroll acquisition, it’s only a matter of time before the two services merge. So if you’re a Crunchyroll subscriber, you might as well take Funimation for a test drive to determine if you’re going to remain a Funimation customer once the merger happens.
Funimation 60-Second Review
Funimation is an anime streaming service that carries nearly 700 anime TV shows and movies. Its library adds up to over 13,000 hours of video available to stream right now. The company adds to its library regularly, both by acquiring distribution rights for new-season anime, as well as adding dubbed anime for anime aired during previous anime seasons.
The service is incredibly inexpensive entry price that’s just under $6 per month for ad-free access. It may have numerous competitors (including Netflix, Hulu, and Hi-Dive), but none have the market power over Anime that Funimation currently possesses, especially for the major English-speaking markets.
Funimation can be streamed on numerous devices, including desktop computers, iPhones, Android devices, and Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Xbox, PlayStation, and more.
Funimation Pros and Cons
This service is currently dominating its market thanks to a huge list of positive features. But being at the top also means its negatives are sometimes rather glaringly obvious.
- Cheap price. This company’s market strength means it could charge far more than it does. It may raise prices, but for now, its $5.99 entry point is highly attractive.
- Exciting content library. Funimation’s content library is smaller than some competitors, but it’s full of dubs and subs of the most popular shows.
- Wide device support. You can stream Funimation almost any device you may own.
- A free tier available. You don’t even have to pay if you’re OK with ads and limited features. Funimation offers a free tier for everyone.
- Extensive premium features. If you’re going all-out, Funimation’s “Premium Plus Ultra” tier is one of the best premium tiers of any streaming service.
- Limited number of obscure anime. If you’re a fan of obscure or hard-to-find anime, Funimation’s library may be a big disappointment.
- Buffering issues. Funimation needs to up its server game. You’ll experience more buffering issues than you’d like.
- No 4K streaming. If you like streaming in 4K UHD, you’ll be out of luck with Funimation
- Limited payment options. Funimation’s payment methods are limited to major credit cards, PayPal, and Funimation gift cards.
- Terrible desktop UI. Don’t use this service on a desktop if you can avoid it.
Funimation Plans & Pricing
Funimation offers four subscription tiers. These tiers come with an increasingly attractive number of features.
Free tier: $0/month
The Funimation free tier is just that. A free subscription that gives you access to the entire content library. The biggest downsides to the free tier are that it’s completely ad-supported, and you don’t get any of the benefits available with a paid subscription.
Funimation’s Premium subscription is just $5.99 per month. At that level, you’ll get all of Funimation’s content library, including its trademark SimulDubs, completely ad-free. The Premium tier also gives you 2 simultaneous streams per account, making the service shareable with a friend or family member.
Premium Plus: $7.99/month
The Premium Plus subscription level is Funimation’s most popular paid subscription tier. At that level, you get everything included with the Premium tier, only better. The number of simultaneous streams goes up to 5 with the Premium Plus tier. You also now get:
- Offline viewing
- Access to members-only events
- Early access to Funimation Shop sales
- Free shipping on Funimation Shop purchases over $20
- Members-only offers
Premium Plus Ultra: $99/year
The yearly subscription option is an annual payment that is equivalent to $8.25 per month. This tier includes everything available in the Premium Plus tier but with one additional benefit: Annual anniversary gifts. The “gifts” gimmick is fairly new to Funimation, and there’s still some mystery around what the gifts actually are. As of 2021, it appears the first “anniversary” gift Funimation gave to subscribers was a scarf, according to one Redditor (so take that with a grain of salt).
Funimation On-Demand Streaming Quality
There are two things to note about Funimation’s streaming quality.
Up to 1080p HD streaming
Funimation’s streaming quality maxes out at 1080p HD. If you were hoping for 4K streaming, Funimation won’t give you that. However, given all of its content is animated, 4K is not really going to give that you much benefit anyway. You can also adjust the streaming quality for your Funimation videos under the Settings.
The video quality settings aren’t exactly specific, though, as you can only choose between “Low”, “Medium”, “High”, or “Auto”. The “Auto” option will adjust the quality up or down, depending on the strength of your connection.
Buffering issues abound
Funimation has some serious buffering issues at times. Some of this is not necessarily all on Funimation. If you’re trying to stream My Hero Academia or any other SimulDub the same night it drops, good luck. So is everyone else. However, it can still have issues with videos loading slowly or buffering even for older shows viewed during off-peak hours.
The company doesn’t have many solutions for that, and if you ask customer support you’ll likely get a “we don’t have any advice for you” message. Lowering your video quality will help. You may also want to switch your video quality to “Auto” so that it automatically switches you to lower quality when your connection is weaker.
Funimation Device Support
This service exceptionally wide device support. It’s available as an app on almost any streaming device you might be using, including Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
Stream Funimation on any of the following devices as of this time of writing:
- TV streaming media players: Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast
- Smart TVs: Samsung, LG, AndroidTV
- Mobile devices and tablets: Android and iOS
- Game consoles: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
- Desktop browsers: Current versions of most modern browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Safari
Funimation on Roku
Funimation subscribers enjoy the Roku app. It currently has a 4.2 out of 5 stars from the Roku App Store and over 33,000 reviews.
Funimation on Amazon Fire TV
The Funimation app for Amazon Fire TV works great. It has 4.3 out of 5 stars from over 3,000 Amazon Fire TV users. Only a few users call it “glitchy” or “bad” and they are definitely in the minority opinion.
Funimation on Apple TV
The Funimation app for Apple TV is one of the worst-received of the company’s streaming apps. It has a rather low 3.1 out of 5 stars across over 40,000 user reviews. Users generally consider this app to be fairly buggy on iOS devices, including the Apple TV.
Funimation on iPhones and iPads
The iPhone and iPad apps have the same problem as the Apple TV app. They’re shared across the same ecosystem, resulting in the same bugs across all of these devices. If you plan to use Funimation, you may want to stream on a different device.
Funimation on Android Phones and Tablets
Funimation also seems to have a problem with its Android apps. The Android apps have a paltry 3.3 out of 5 stars across over 114,000 reviews. Again, the issue is with bugginess and buffering, although many users also complain about the interface. We note below, though, that your viewing experience via the apps is far better than on a desktop.
Funimation Streaming Library
Current data scraped from Funimation indicates that the site has just under 700 titles available for viewing as of this time of writing. That includes 650 TV shows and about 50 movies. The total amount of viewable content is around 13,000 hours, which is not insignificant. That’s going to grow massively once the service merges with Crunchyroll.
If you plan to use Crunchyroll, we recommend its apps. They’re much more user-friendly with the interface.
The desktop UI is just painfully clunky and hard to navigate. You can find all of the content under its “Shows” category, but if you’re using the app, the navigation is far more intuitive and faster, giving you easily-accessed sections for “My Queue”, “My Library”, “All Shows”, “SimulDub”, and “Genres”.
Seriously, it’s a world of difference, and enough that we actively recommend against using the desktop version of Funimation, at least until they improve the desktop UI.
Beyond that, Funimation has several wonderful features available through its content library.
Fast video queuing
This is possibly my favorite Funimation app feature. If you see an anime you like and haven’t tried, you can add it to your queue just by pushing the “+” symbol next to the anime. You can also quickly remove shows or moves from your queue the same way.
Funimation has trademarked the term “SimulDub”. Part of the company’s appeal is that it brings new season dubbed anime to market rapidly after the subtitled versions land elsewhere. And now that the company owns Crunchyroll, it means you’ll get access to both dubs and subs rapidly, especially once the two services merge into one in the future.
Dubs and subs
Speaking of SimulDubs, Funimation is now a great source for subs and dubs. The company’s acquisition of Crunchyroll will boost the sub library, but it also has many subs that are unavailable on Crunchyroll at present.
Funimation Offline Viewing
Offline viewing (e.g., digital downloads) is available to any Premium Plus or Premium Plus Ultra subscriber. As with all offline download features on other streaming services, there are limits.
- You can only download videos using Android phones, iOS devices, or tablets
- Only video download allowed at a time
- You can queue up as many as 13 videos for download
- Not all videos can be downloaded for offline viewing
- Funimation doesn’t have a list of which videos can or cannot be downloaded
Thankfully, you can adjust the video quality before you download videos for offline streaming.
Funimation allows free tier subscribers to download content for offline viewing. However, there’s still money that needs to be exchanged, as the Digital Copy codes are only available if you’ve purchased a DVD or Blu-Ray through Funimation that also has a digital copy and is also labeled “Digital Copy”.
Funimation Customer Support
Although Funimation’s service is pretty straightforward, you may encounter some issues, either with billing, streaming, or app failures. Regardless, the company makes getting support really easy. There are three customer support avenues:
- An extensive knowledge base of support articles
- A contact form for email communication
- An online chat system
Knowledge base articles
The knowledge base is your fastest route to quick and easy answers. Most questions are probably easily answered with the knowledge base articles. The service currently offers over 60 different support articles covering everything from streaming issues to problems product return policies.
If you’re OK with a slower form of direct communication, the contact form is fairly simple. Just enter your email address, problem category, a short description of the problem, and a file that might help illuminate the issue (such as a screenshot).
I’m an unashamed heavy user of chat support systems. Although they’ve slowly been taken over by bots, I find them to be much friendlier than knowledge base articles and much faster than email. You might get queued in a line with chat support, but the support agents are fast and friendly.
Don’t expect too much from the chat support or email support, though. With these types of systems, the chat support agents are usually outsourced. They only have limited access to information and in many cases, they’re just giving you answers right from the knowledge base.
How to Cancel Funimation
Your cancellation process for Funimation will depend on how you created an account.
Did you sign up through the Funimation website using a credit card or PayPal?
If you used this method, just log into Funimation using your account information, go to “My Account”, and click on/tap “Subscription”. From there, find the Summary section and then click on “Cancel”.
Did you create your account on an app?
Signing up via an app means you may have a slightly more complicated cancellation process, especially if you made an account and paid for that account through iTunes or the Google Play Store. If this describes your situation, check out the Funimation cancellation page for more details.
Funimation Refund Policy
Premium subscriptions for Funimation currently include a two-week free trial everywhere Funimation is available (exception Canada, apparently). Once that free trial ends, you’ll be charged. If you cancel before the free trial ends, you won’t be charged. However, if you cancel after the free trial ends and after you’ve been charged, Funimation maintains a strict no-refunds policy in its Terms of Service.
Can I Get Funimation on VRV?
Short answer: not anymore. Funimation is a standalone service that you cannot get anywhere else. If you’re confused by that, yes, Funimation was at once available alongside Crunchyroll on VRV. However, Funimation pulled itself out of VRV, a move that did not make too many headlines. As such, the only way to get Funimation in 2021 is to sign up for it directly.
Funimation is among the best anime streaming services on the market right now, especially if you want dubbed anime. We’d even go as far as to say that if you want dubbed anime, there’s almost no other option but to go with Funimation. And with its recent purchase of Crunchyroll, Funimation is going to be the undisputed king of anime in the US and other English-speaking countries, especially given Crunchyroll’s dominance in subbed anime.
The pricing on this service is excellent. It still offers a free, ad-supported tier. And the Premium tiers are very fairly priced with some excellent additional features, including simultaneous streaming and shipping discounts on Funimation Store purchases.
The biggest issues we have? A terrible desktop UI and buffering. That’s it. We’re rating this service on the high end. For anime fans, creating a Funimation account is pretty much a must.