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. So, how does Crunchyroll work and subscription plans does it offer? Let’s jump in and take a closer look.
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. What sets Crunchyroll apart from the competition, however, 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 One, PlayStation 4, WiiU 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 price
As previously mentioned, you can watch the majority of content on Crunchyroll for free. However, the streaming service also has two premium plans with great perks. Here are the main differences and how to decide which plan is the best for you.
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 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 Premium 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 Premium you can watch your favorites in full HD (720p and 1080p). You also receive email support and Crunchyroll Store discounts.
The Crunchyroll Premium subscription costs $7.99 a month, but you can save if you choose a billing cycle of 3 months for $22.99 or a 12-month one for $79.99. You can also try Premium for free for two weeks by using the link below.
This subscription plan is for the anime fanatics: those that love going to conventions, collecting merch and more. Content-wise, Premium+ is identical to the Premium plan. However, it offers other perks such as goodie bags for conventions, exclusive events and contests. It costs $11.95 per month or $99.95 per year, but we don’t recommend it unless you are a die-hard anime fan.
If you live in the US and you love all things nerdy, not just anime, you might be interested in 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 premium Crunchyroll 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. But 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.
Do you use Crunchyroll? What are your favorite anime and manga? Let us know in the comments.