Stuck inside and in need of some entertainment? Look no further than Crunchyroll — one of the best-dedicated anime streaming services you can find. From animated Japanese shows and movies to Asian dramas and even manga, Crunchyroll has a lot to offer even to those that are not anime fanatics.
Read more: Best anime on Crunchyroll
So, how does Crunchyroll work and what subscription plans does it offer? Let’s jump in and take a closer look. You can sign up for the service at the link below:
What is Crunchyroll and how does it work?
Crunchyroll is an on-demand streaming service primarily focused on Japanese animation. It is available worldwide and has the largest streaming catalog of licensed anime. Currently, it has 80 million registered uses and 3 million paid subscribers. What sets Crunchyroll apart from the competition is that you can enjoy most of its content for free. You can stream your favorite anime shows and movies on your PC, phone, or TV just by signing up for a free account. Crunchyroll works on a wide variety of other platforms and devices too, including Xbox, PlayStation, and more.
But what can you watch? Crunchyroll’s catalog consists mostly of anime series. It offers a lot of classic popular shows like One Piece and Gundam, but it’s also the best place to watch new releases online. You can access simulcasts: new episodes from top series are usually available to watch only an hour after they are broadcast in Japan. Don’t worry if you don’t speak a lick of Japanese — shows are translated and subtitled or dubbed in a wide variety of languages. There also are some great anime movies on Crunchyroll, but the choice there is a bit more limited. The same applies to Asian dramas since the list of available titles changes regularly.
If you can’t wait for the next season of your favorite anime to come out, you can read the manga (Japanese comics) it is based on instead. Crunchyroll has a great library of manga and many titles are available for free.
Crunchyroll subscription plans and prices
As previously mentioned, you can watch the majority of content on Crunchyroll for free. However, the streaming service also has three premium plans, each with different perks. Here are the main differences and how to decide which plan is the best for you. You can sign up for all of the plans at the link below:
For casual watchers and those just getting into Japanese animation, a free membership is usually the best choice. It allows you to stream most of the available content in standard definition or 480p. This membership is ad-supported, which means you will encounter ads both when watching anime and when reading manga. You will also have to be a bit patient if you want to watch new episodes since they are not instantly available.
Crunchyroll Fan is the best plan for anime enthusiasts and those that prefer an ad-free experience. This subscription plan not only removes all advertisements but grants you access to the full catalog of anime, manga, and dramas. This includes simulcasts and simulpubs, so you can watch or read new content as soon as it comes out. The viewing experience is upgraded too — with Fan you can watch your favorites in full HD (720p and 1080p). However, you are limited to just one concurrent stream at a time.
The Crunchyroll Fan subscription costs $7.99 a month, with a free 14-day free trial.
This subscription plan has everything in the cheaper Fan tier but increases the number of concurrent streams per account from one to four. More importantly, you also get access to offline viewing of anime with this plan. Finally, you receive a $15 discount off any one-time purchase of $100 in the Crunchyroll Store every three months.
The Crunchyroll Mega Fan subscription costs $9.99 a month, with a free 14-day free trial.
This tier has everything in the Fan and Mega Fan packages. However, you can access up to six concurrent streams per account with the Ultimate Fan subscription. Every year, you will also get a special swag bag sent to you, and you will get an exclusive limited-run Hime Nendoroid figure. You get a $25 discount off any one-time purchase of $100 in the Crunchyroll Store every three months. Finally, in 2021, Ultimate Fan subscribers will get first access to special Crunchyroll Expo events and lotteries.
The Crunchyroll Ultimate Fan subscription costs $14.99 a month, with a free 14-day free trial.
If you live in the US and you love all things nerdy, not just anime, you might want to check out VRV. This streaming service bundles a number of anime, gaming, and cartoon channels into one, including Crunchyroll. A premium subscription to VRV will net you the same benefits as a Crunchyroll Fan membership with no downsides. You also get access to HIDIVE, Cartoon Hangover, Mondo Media, and more for $9.99 a month.
The best anime to watch on Crunchyroll
So, if you are convinced and want to give Crunchyroll a try, what should you watch first? You’d be happy to know that Crunchyroll offers both quantity and quality. From little known cult classics to worldwide smash hits, it’s got something for everyone.
You will find all of the action-packed long-running shonen favorites like Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, and more. They are perfect for those that enjoy long series, thanks to the immense number of episodes most of these shows have. However, you can also enjoy shorter action series that are just as excellent in One-Punch Man, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and Attack on Titan.
Fans of fantasy, on the other hand, can check out the mysterious and captivating Mushi-shi anime or the Mononoke series and its unique and colorful art style. If you want to add a bit of romance into the mix, the recent The Ancient Magus’ Bride series is also a must-watch.
Finally, we can’t recommend Yuri on Ice enough — a sports anime smash hit from 2016 that has captivated audiences since.
Who owns Crunchyroll?
At the moment, the streaming service is owned by none other than AT&T. However, in early December, Sony announced that its Funimation anime division would acquire Crunchyroll for $1.175 billion. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval as of this writing. There’s no word yet on what will happen to Crunchyroll when the deal is completed.
That’s our look at Crunchyroll. We will update this post with any new information as warranted.