The Best Anime Streaming Services on the Market

Cowboy Bebop, best anime streaming services
Image courtesy of Funimation
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Whether you’re an occasional anime lover or a full-blown fan, the format has something for everyone. Anime — a style of Japanese film and television animation for adults and children alike — is as broad as it is diverse. The style opens the door for new and interesting storytelling that regular old scripted fare can’t deliver. Plus, through a variety of creators, it gives voices to communities that don’t always feel represented on screen.

Knowing all that, it’s no wonder that anime is a $20.47 billion global business, and one that only continues to grow. The great news is that as more and more people discover the format, there are increasing options for fans to get their hands on new content.

Want to get into some new and interesting projects? Or perhaps you’re on the hunt for fresh shows and films? We’ve rounded up 10 of the best streaming services that either specialize in anime content or have a large selection of hidden gems. Take a look at our list below!

  

1. Crunchyroll

BEST OVERALL

This streaming service promises one of the largest collections of licensed anime around thanks to its partnerships with Anime Digital Network and Anime on Demand streaming services. Subscribers can see some of the top series immediately after they broadcast in Japan, plus there is also a wide selection of theatrical, home video, video game and consumer products at your disposal. Choose from an ad-based or subscriber-based membership, and get streaming on more than 1,000 titles and 30,000 episodes of anime content.

Crunchyroll logo, best anime streaming service Image courtesy of Crunchyroll
  

2. Funimation

BEST FOR GENRE FANS

If you’re looking to take your anime love to the next level, Funimation offers a large library of content (more than 15,000 hours), including iconic series like Attack on Titan and Cowboy Bebop. Some users have complained that subtitles can go off at times, however, the service’s clean interface and an easy-to-browse library make the overall user experience a good one. Plus it features a giant online store with hard-to-find collectibles and apparel.

funimation logo, best anime streaming service Image courtesy of funimation
  

3. RetroCrush

BEST FOR NOSTALGIC FANS

If you’re just getting into anime and aren’t sure if you like it, or if you’re a longtime fan who wants to revisit beloved titles, RetroCrush is a good option. Its ad-based model means users never have to pay for the content, although you will have to sit through some ads. Unfortunately, you can’t watch the service through a video game console, but its app game is strong. Create an account and you can also cobble together custom playlists and see what’s trending, all while keeping an eye on new arrivals.

RetroCrush logo, best anime streaming service Image courtesy of RetroCrush
  

4. HIDIVE

BEST FOR HARDCORE FANS

HIDIVE may have a smaller catalog than some of the other anime streaming services out there, but it also has a few select titles that you can’t find anywhere else. In terms of content, it also offers uncensored fare that some other services may find too mature for some audiences, and all of its offerings have dubs and simulcast subs. On its own, it doesn’t offer a comprehensive library to anime fans, but when paired with another anime streaming service, it can take a hardcore fan’s love of the genre to the next level.

HIDIVE logo, best anime streaming service Image courtesy of HIDIVE
  

5. Hulu

BEST FOR CLASSICS

Much like Netflix, Hulu is experimenting more in the anime genre as of late. The service offers a few classics and dubbed Gundam shows, not to mention offerings like Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and Blood-C. Also like Netflix, not all of its series are complete. Furthermore, the dubbing can be weird at times (some users report titles switch to subs midway through an episode, for example), but overall if you want more anime in your life, then this collection will give you some classics to stream on pretty much every streaming device you can think of.

Hulu logo, best anime streaming service Image courtesy of Hulu
  

6. Prime Video

BEST FOR SELECT VIEWING

Prime Video hasn’t dabbled in anime as much as some of the other anime streaming services, but it still has a decent sample of shows and movies to choose from. It’s got a mix of classics (Akira, Cowboy Bebop) and hidden gems (Birdy the Mighty: DECODE, Grand Blue), as well as select new releases that may pleasantly surprise you.

PrimeVideo logo, best anime streaming service Image courtesy of Prime Video
  

7. VRV

BEST FOR COMBO SERVICES

If you’re looking to bundle anime streaming services, then this platform, which launched in 2016, offers both the Crunchyroll and HIDIVE experience. (It also offers animated fare from Cartoon Hangover, Mondo Media, Rooster Teeth and a curation of other select movies and shows for premium subscribers.) Pronounced “verve,” the WarnerMedia-owned product currently offers more than 20,000 hours of free ad-based content, and even more if you have a paid subscription.

Related: Best Music Streaming Services

VRV logo Image courtesy of VRV
  

8. CONtv

BEST FOR NICHE VIEWING

Aimed at the Comic-Con set, CONtv is a curated selection of “weird, hilarious and terrifying content celebrated at the Cons.” Although anime isn’t the main attraction in the 1,000-plus hour library, it is a celebrated genre (along with horror, sci-fi and martial arts). The service offers the option of a free or paid account, and it boasts exclusive content that can be hard to find elsewhere on the internet.

Related: Best Free Streaming Services

CONTV logo Image courtesy of ConTV
  

9. Netflix

BEST FOR ORIGINAL ANIME

Netflix isn’t a streaming service to let any genres get away, and so it too has invested in a decent anime library. In fact, anime is becoming a fairly big driver for the service, so it will continue to explore new opportunities. For now, the service boasts plenty of popular titles, from Pokemon to Gurren Lagann, as it continues to work with notable studios like Production I.G. It’s also worth noting that Netflix has deals in place to produce more original anime content in the near future.

Netflix logo Image courtesy of Netflix
  

10. YouTube

BEST FOR HIDDEN GEMS

When you’re talking about streaming services (and even anime streaming services), you can’t forget to include the original video platform, YouTube. While it can be hard to track down some content on the platform, it remains the place to find otherwise inaccessible titles and clips — including in the world of anime. Plus, thanks to all of the creatives out there, there are also plenty of anime YouTube channels to explore, including Gigguk, The Anime Man, and Lost Pause.

YouTube logo Image courtesy of YouTube

  

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