If you’re an anime fan today, you’re lucky. Gone are the days when anime fans had to stay up late to catch their favorite shows on Toonami or stream them from sketchy, ad-filled websites because there was no English broadcaster for their favorite show.

You could say that we’re living in the anime renaissance. There are more high-quality Japanese cartoons than ever, and more ways to watch them legally!

In fact, anime streaming services are the best way to watch anime because very few American broadcast or cable networks air any kind of anime at all. So if you’re a cord-cutter looking for the complete list of anime streaming services, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ll go over all of your options for anime streaming services. From simulcast episodes of currently popular shows like Attack on Titan and My Hero Academia to back-catalogs of shows like Dragonball and Cowboy Bebop, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get started now!


crunchyroll anime streaming services best options in usa america
Source: Crunchyroll

Let’s start with Crunchyroll. This company is one of the first anime-focused distributors to launch in the United States, and it got its start 12 years ago in 2006.

It offers more than 900 anime titles to users, with a huge back catalog of seasons and content. It reached over 1 million paid subscribers in 2017, so it’s safe to say it’s the most popular anime streaming service.

What we like

First, Crunchyroll is very affordable. You can watch most episodes for free simply by watching ads – although you will have to wait a while for recently-aired episodes to unlock after they air in Japan.

However, if you’re willing to fork over a reasonable $6.95 per month, you’ll never have to watch a single ad on Crunchyroll. You can watch more than 10,000 episodes of anime – as well as episodes of more than 200 Asian drama shows – without any interruptions.

You’ll also get access to anime that airs in Japan just 1 hour after its airdate, making Premium a must-have for serious anime fans.

Finally, Crunchyroll has apps for an enormous number of different devices. You can watch it on:

  • Wii U
  • Chromecast
  • Xbox 360 and Xbox One
  • PlayStation 3/4
  • PlayStation Vita
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Apple TV
  • Roku
  • Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

What we don’t like

Crunchyroll is great, but it’s not perfect. First, there is no kind of recommendation engine – unlike competitors such as Netflix and Hulu, you’ll have to do your own research to find anime shows you’ll like.

It also has a somewhat confusing interface, and the app is not terribly intuitive. There are also very few feature-length movies included with Crunchyroll, and many OVA anime specials are missing as well.

There also are not as many older titles in the back catalog. It’s primarily newer shows, so you’ll have to get your anime nostalgia fix from another streaming service in most cases.

However, these are all small nitpicks. The main functionality of Crunchyroll is pretty much flawless, and pretty much any anime fan should consider picking up a Premium subscription.

The bottom line

Crunchyroll has an unequaled number of anime titles, supports a huge and growing list of devices, and offers an affordable premium subscription which eliminates ads and provides bonus features like same-day simulcasts of popular anime shows and free guest passes for your friends and family.

Despite its minor flaws, it’s a must-have for any anime fan. And because you can watch for free with ads, you can always try it out before you fork over any cash for a paid subscription.


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Source: Funimation

Funimation is likely Crunchyroll’s biggest competitor in the anime streaming space. While they haven’t released subscriber numbers for their paid service, the company is thought to be somewhat smaller than Crunchyroll. Here’s what you need to know about Funimation as an anime streaming service.

What we like

Funimation has hundreds of different shows and movies for streaming. It also has a bigger emphasis on classic shows like Dragonball and Dragonball Z, as well as Afro Samurai, and a number of others. Additionally, the company acquires quite a few exclusives, like Ghost in the Shell: Arise.

Anime movies are also well-represented, featuring classics like Akira. All in all, the selection of shows Funimation offers is quite good. And, like Crunchyroll, it offers same-day simulcasts of shows aired in Japan.

The cost of a subscription is reasonable, too. You’ll pay $7.95 per month, or $59.95/year for an annual plan. That undercuts Crunchyroll so long as you don’t mind paying for a year in advance.

Funimation also supports most modern streaming devices, such as:

  • iOS
  • Apple TV
  • Android
  • Chromecast
  • Xbox consoles (360 and One)
  • PlayStation 3 and 4
  • Roku
  • Amazon Fire TV

The apps are well-designed and intuitive, making it a pleasure to stream your favorite anime.

What we don’t like

You can’t watch Funimation for free. Unlike with Crunchyroll, there is no ad-supported option. In addition, Funimation has fewer newer releases compared to Crunchyroll.

Finally, Funimation almost exclusively provides more dubs than subs. This approach may offend those of us who think that subtitled anime is superior to dubbed anime.

The bottom line

If you want to watch feature-length anime films, older and more obscure titles, and prefer dubs, Funimation is the way to go. With a reasonable cost, great selection of anime, and plenty of app support, Funimation is definitely one of the best anime streaming services.


vrv funimation crunchyroll best option anime streaming service cheap cord-cutting
Source: VRV

Why settle for just Crunchyroll or Funimation when you could get them both – and more? VRV can be thought of as a “geeky Netflix”, designed for anime fans and lovers of geek culture.

With both a paid and free option – and the ability to bundle both Crunchyroll and Funimation and save money – VRV might be the best among our list of anime streaming services.

What we like

VRV allows you to choose from a number of different channels – including Funimation and Crunchyroll – and pay based on the ones you choose. We recommend simply buying the $9.99 Combo Pack, though, as it will get you access to all of the content on VRV, including:

  • Crunchyroll
  • Funimation
  • Nerdist
  • Mondo
  • Geek & Sundry
  • Rooster Teeth
  • Cartoon Hangover
  • VRV Select
  • Shudder
  • Tested

You get all of this content with your $9.99 monthly subscription, and VRV even offers a number of ad-supported free videos, with only some of its content locked behind a paywall.

VRV is supported on most modern devices, too, like:

  • Android and iOS
  • Xbox One
  • PS4
  • Roku
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Chromecast

With a slick interface, a huge amount of content that isn’t just limited to anime, and a low monthly price tag, VRV is a great deal for anime lovers.

What we don’t like

The VRV catalog contains quite a bit of fluff, including a truly tremendous number of podcasts. The free version also blasts you with an overwhelming number of messages promoting a paid account.

In addition, anime fans may not use all of the extra “channels” provided by VRV in the $9.99 package, such as Rooster Teeth and Nerdist.

The bottom line

If you can’t choose between Funimation and Crunchyroll, you don’t have to. For $9.99 per month with VRV, you can get both, and a huge amount of additional content.

If you can only choose a single service on this list, it should be VRV. You’ll get the most anime content possible, and plenty of other great shows and exclusive videos. Most importantly, you’ll save money compared to a $6.95 per month Crunchyroll subscription and a $59.95 yearly (or $7.95 monthly) Funimation subscription.


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Source: Hulu

Surprised to see Hulu on this list? You shouldn’t be! Hulu has become one of the biggest video streaming websites in America, and on the way there it’s picked up quite a wide catalog of anime, including classics like FLCL, and Cowboy Bebop. Learn more about Hulu’s anime offerings now!

What we like

Naturally, if you subscribe to Hulu, you get much more than just anime. You get current-season episodes of popular network and cable shows, as well as a huge back-catalog of TV, movies, and even Hulu Originals like The Handmaid’s Tale.

However, that doesn’t mean Hulu is a slouch when it comes to anime. Their catalog includes hundreds of anime titles, like Attack on Titan, Naruto Shippuden, Soul Eater, Hunter x Hunter, Bleach, Sword Art Online, Kill la Kill, InuYasha, Dragon Ball – the list could go on.

New shows usually have episodes added within a day of airing in Japan, so you can easily keep up with your favorites.

Suffice it to say, Hulu has made a huge investment in anime, and you can watch it all at a reasonable price of $7.99 per month. This price gets you a bundle of anime titles, as well as thousands of other live-action shows and movies from top networks and studios.

And, of course, Hulu is available on every major streaming platform. It’s even the only streaming service available on the Nintendo Switch (as of this time of writing). You’ll always be able to watch Hulu on your favorite device.

What we don’t like

Even if you pay $7.99 per month for Hulu, you’ll be assaulted with ads – before, during, and after your shows. Ad breaks often seem to come at the wrong times, too, especially when watching anime.

To get rid of ads, you’ll have to pony up $11.99 per month for an “ad-free” Hulu subscription. However, even this subscription will force you to watch ads on some movies and TV shows. In addition, not everything is in HD – though most anime shows are.

The bottom line

Hulu is fantastic both for watching anime, and for watching the most recent episodes of American live-action shows.

It’s a great supplement to either Crunchyroll or Funimation for cord-cutters. Just be prepared to endure commercials, unless you pay $11.99 per month to get rid of ads.


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Source: Netflix

Netflix has made a huge investment in original content in recent years – and this has paid off in a big way for anime fans. Netflix has a huge number of anime shows – both original and licensed – making it a great choice for anime lovers.

What we like

It’s Netflix! You get an absolutely titanic number of shows, movies, and anime titles to choose from, starting at $11.99 per month. While this is a bit more expensive than the other choices on our list, Netflix still has the most diverse lineup of streaming media of any of the above services.

In addition, Netflix has some of the best original anime shows in recent memory which are unavailable anywhere else. This includes shows like B: The Beginning, Your Lie In April, Violet Evergarden, Seven Deadly Sins, Kakegurui. Third-party shows include Bleach, Naruto, Rurouni Kenshin, Death Note, and InuYasha, making up more than 100 titles in total.

And, of course, Netflix can be viewed on pretty much any internet-connected device under the sun, from phones and tablets to game consoles, smart TV, and more.

What we don’t like

Netflix is a bit costly after several recent price hikes in the last few years. If you’re exclusively interested in watching anime, it’s hard to recommend – you could get VRV for a cheaper price.

Netflix also doesn’t simulcast episodes of the most recent seasons of anime shows. It also doesn’t have every season of some newer shows, like Attack on Titan.

In addition, the availability of shows often changes with little-to-no warning, and it can be hard to discover new anime shows, given how many different titles are on Netflix.

The bottom line

Overall, Netflix has a huge selection of TV, movies, and anime, as well as a number of critically acclaimed anime shows that are exclusive to the service.

And, chances are that you already have a Netflix subscription (or know someone who does), so you can watch all of the anime you want without adding another monthly service to your bills.

While it’s hard to recommend Netflix if you only care about anime, subscribing to the service is much a no-brainer if you are a cord-cutter.

Amazon Prime Video

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Source: Amazon

Amazon Prime Video is often overlooked as an anime streaming service, but it has a lot to offer for anime fans, who will also benefit from the many features of Amazon Prime, such as a free Twitch Prime subscription.

What we like

Amazon Prime Video has a huge catalog of content, such as Yu-Gi-Oh, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, and a number of other titles, both new and old.

The cost is a bit steep at $12.99 per month or $119 per year, but considering the other benefits you get with Prime, it’s worth the price of entry.

The service also supports a number of apps for most major mobile and living room devices. However, Chromecast is notably excluded, due to the ongoing Amazon-Google feud.

What we don’t like

Amazon is more expensive than our other picks. If you don’t use your other Prime benefits, it’s really not worth the cost, and the Chromecast exclusion is quite annoying.

The bottom line

Compared to our other choices, Amazon Prime Video doesn’t have the most anime titles. It has a lot of content overall, but mostly TV shows and movies, not anime. It’s a good choice to supplement your other streaming services, but not ideal if you only want to watch anime.


hidive streaming anime services best cord-cutting cable alternatives 2018
Source: HIDIVE

HIDIVE was launched by Sentai Filmworks about a year ago, and has a number of current shows and hard-to-find anime titles.

What we like

HIDIVE has a good mix of older anime shows like Initial D and Rurouni Kenshin, as well as a number of newer titles, and simulcast shows aired directly after they’re shown in Japan. There are also plenty of dub and sub options. There are also tons of movies and OVA options.

The cost is reasonable too, at only $4.99 per month. You can save even more if you opt for a $47.88 yearly subscription. All videos are 1080 HD when possible, and you can stream on up to 2 devices at once. It’s a pretty good deal.

What we don’t like

HIDIVE still doesn’t quite have as many titles at other competitors like Crunchyroll and Funimation. Device support is also somewhat lacking compared to the competition – there is currently no Chromecast support, or support for Roku or gaming consoles.

The bottom line

If you find exclusive shows on HIDIVE that you can’t get anywhere else, it’s probably worth the price of entry. But if you’re looking for the best cost/value, you’re better served with Funimation or Crunchyroll.

Yahoo View

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Source: Yahoo View

Yahoo View is the new “free” version of Hulu – many people don’t know that you can watch recent episodes of shows for free on Yahoo View. Let’s take a look at the details now.

What we like

Yahoo View is free! It’s ad-supported, so you’ll have to deal with quite a few ad breaks, but you get to view quite of bit of anime without paying a cent. Shows like Bleach, Pokemon, Hunter x Hunter, Attack on Titan, and many more are available.

What we don’t like

Ads. Ads. Ads. So many ads! You’ll have to sit through an average of 5-6 minutes of ads for a single anime episode. It gets tiring, fast.

In addition, not all episodes of every show are present, which can be frustrating if you binge-watch a show and the latest season aren’t available for free.

The bottom line

Yahoo View is totally free, so there’s no reason not to give it a shot. However, prepare for a somewhat uneven experience with quite a few ads.

Tubi TV

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Source: Tubi TV

Tubi TV is another streaming startup launched in 2014, and it focuses on ad-supported, free content. Here’s what you need to know about Tubi TV as an anime streaming service.

What we like

Tubi TV has nearly 7,500 total titles available for streaming, completely free. In addition, it’s supported on a wide range of devices, including PS4, Xbox, Amazon Fire devices, Roku, iOS, Android, and Chromecast.

There is also a pretty good selection of anime, with titles such as Pokemon and Digimon, as well as Attack on Titan, Yu Yu Hakusho, and The Devil Is A Part Timer. It also has great discovery algorithms which can help you find new shows.

Tubi TV is completely free and ad-supported, so you won’t have to pay to try it out.

What we don’t like

Like Yahoo View, Tubi TV is not stingy about serving up ads. Expect a several-minute long ad break about every 10 minutes, with a lot of repetitive advertisements.

It also doesn’t have the biggest selection of anime – but that’s not really a big deal, since it’s free.

The bottom line

Tubi TV doesn’t have the biggest selection of content, and you’ll need to spend quite a bit of time watching ads. But there are plenty of good shows available, and it’s free, so there’s no reason not to use this anime streaming service.


viewster best anime streaming services alternatives watch anime free
Source: Viewster

Viewster was first founded in 2007 in Switzerland, and today it provides a large library of totally free ad-supported videos, including movies, TV shows, and anime.

What we like

Again, Viewster is free! You won’t have to pay a cent – or even register – to use this service, which is available in more than 120 different countries. The total library includes more than 12,000 titles.

As far as anime goes, there’s a pretty decent selection, including Food Wars and Fist of the North Star, although the titles are mostly more obscure, and there aren’t many popular modern or classic anime shows available.

What we don’t like

Many of the shows and movies are DVD-quality or below, so this is not a great choice if you’re a stickler for HD. There is also quite a bit of periodic buffering, especially before and after the (frequent) advertisements.

The bottom line

Viewster offers a reasonable number of anime titles, and they’re free – with most of the newer shows in full HD. Because it’s available free of charge, it’s worth browsing through their selection to see if you can find something you’re interested in watching.


best anime streaming services in australia new zealand cord-cutting
Source: AnimeLab

AnimeLab lets you stream episodes of some of the most popular shows, like Dragon Ball Super and Attack on Titan, free of charge. The catch? It’s only available in Australia and New Zealand.

What we like

AnimeLab has a huge selection of the most popular anime shows, including Boruto, Overlord, Tokyo Ghoul, and more. It has a slick user interface and it’s easy to find something to watch.

In addition, it supports most streaming devices, and it’s completely free, supported by ads. There are no limits on what you can watch, and the shows are in HD.

What we don’t like

You can’t get it unless you live in Australia or New Zealand! Which is quite unfortunate, as user reviews for AnimeLab are quite positive, in general.

The bottom line

If you live in New Zealand or Australia, count yourself lucky – you can watch AnimeLab for free, and enjoy a large number of top anime titles.

If you’re elsewhere in the world, though, one of our other picks for the top anime streaming services will have to do.

Eric Liston is a freelance writer and tech enthusiast based in Ohio, specializing in internet security, cord-cutting, and more.