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How to choose the best anime streaming service in 2022

Anime is the Japanese word for “animation.” These days, it’s become a blanket term for any Japanese-made or influenced cartoon series or film. Anime has been around for decades with international hits like “Dragon Ball,” “Sailor Moon,” and “Naruto.”

Its popularity is seeing a new surge thanks to streaming services, which have helped the genre gain new audiences in all corners of the world.

With new viewers and more ways to watch it, production is also ramping up to make more shows for anime fans. Whether you’re an anime enthusiast or an otaku, keep reading to discover the best streaming services with the latest anime content in 2022.

What to consider when choosing an anime streaming service

There are so many new anime shows and movies out today. Depending on what you watch and how you watch your favorite shows, you’ll probably enjoy one platform over another. For instance, if you only have one or two favorite anime series, you’ll most likely stick to the streaming service that offers them.

Anime shows are also either subbed or dubbed. Subbed means you’ll hear the original Japanese voices with the translations appearing on the screen as subtitles. On the other hand, dubbed means the show features new voice characters in English or other languages. If you’re not keen on reading what’s being said on screen while watching, you’ll probably enjoy platforms that offer dubbed shows.

Some streaming services may get new shows sooner than others, so that’s something you may want to pay attention to. The most important thing is to find an option that lets you enjoy your shows without loading malware onto your device, which can be the case for suspicious sites where you can watch free anime.

Top anime streaming services today

As viewership for Japanese-style animation expands worldwide, streaming services are only happy to meet demand. And it’s great because it offers you options whether you’re looking for original shows or classic anime.

Without further ado, here are the best anime streaming sites.

Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll is a streaming service known for its vast catalog of popular anime shows and films. The website also features Asian dramas and manga. However, most of Crunchyroll’s content is subtitled rather than dubbed, so that’s something to think about.

You can try out Crunchyroll’s ad-supported programs for free in standard definition. If you like it, you can upgrade to the Crunchyroll Fan premium plan for $7.99 a month. This plan gets rid of the ads, upgrades your viewing resolution, gives you same-day access to new episodes, and lets you stream on one device at a time.

For $9.99 a month, you can go with the Mega Fan plan, which includes everything from the previous plan upgraded to four streams at a time and offline viewing.

Finally, the Ultimate Fan plan, which is $14.99 a month, includes everything from the previous plan but allows you to stream on six devices at once and includes an annual swag bag and access to limited-run figurines.

Popular anime available on Crunchyroll

  • “Attack on Titan” (seasons 1-4)
  • “Bleach”
  • “Cowboy Bebop”
  • “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood”
  • “Black Clover”
  • “Sword Art Online”
  • “My Hero Academia”
  • “Dragon Ball Super”
  • “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba”
  • “Naruto”

Exclusive anime content

  • “The God of High School”
  • “Noblesse”
  • “Tower of God”

Funimation

Funimation is a Sony-owned entertainment company that’s been a long-time distributor of anime series in the U.S. The streaming service is focused on anime fans and has a deep library of old and new series. Anime enthusiasts looking for old, popular anime series definitely enjoy Funimation’s content.

It also has a ton of new shows, and the selection continues to grow. Funimation is also a leader in anime dubbing, so it’s the best place to go if you prefer “dubs” over “subs.” And you get simulcast, so you don’t have to wait around for shows to drop before you can watch them with everybody else.

You can access some content on Funimation for free with ads. If you want ad-free access, you have three subscription plans to choose from. The Premium plan at $5.99 per month gives you access to the entire library and two simultaneous streams.

For $7.99, the Premium Plus plan gets you five simultaneous streams, and you can download content to watch on the go. If you’re looking for an annual subscription, though, the Premium Plus Ultra plan is priced at $99.99. It includes everything in the previous plan plus two free rentals per year and an anniversary gift.

Popular anime available on Funimation:

  • “Attack on Titan”
  • “Fairy Tail”
  • “My Hero Academia”
  • “Assassination Classroom”
  • “Mob Psycho 100”
  • “Yuri!!! on ICE”
  • “Dragon Ball”
  • “Fire Force”
  • “YuYu Hakusho”

Exclusive anime content: No exclusive content

HIDIVE

HIDIVE is a streaming service that offers subscribers anime simulcasts and niche content. Most of the shows from the discontinued streaming service, Anime Network Online, went to Hidive. As such, shows from Section23 and Sentai, like “Akame ga Kill!” and “Non Non Biyori,” are exclusive to Hidive.

If you’re new to the anime world and are looking for popular titles, you might want to start with other platforms. Although Hidive features many high-quality, dubbed and subbed simulcasts straight from Japan, it has a modest selection that’s fairly niche, with no immediately recognizable titles. The streaming service does not offer any free plan, either.

If you’re an anime superfan looking for uncensored, uncut shows you’ve never seen before, you can get Hidive for only $4.99 a month.

Popular anime available on HIDIVE:

  • “Love Stage!!”
  • “Maid Sama!”
  • “Nana”
  • “Devils’ Line”
  • “Elfen Lied”
  • “Haikyu!!”

Exclusive anime content:

  • “Domestic Girlfriend”
  • “Legend of the Galactic Heroes”
  • “Akame ga Kill!”
  • “Non Non Biyori”

VRV

VRV (“verve”) is a platform that focuses on anime, animation, gaming, comedy, fantasy, and technology. The service launched in 2016 and combines several anime, gaming, and cartoon channels into one streaming service.

VRV offers the full catalogs of Crunchyroll and HIDIVE, as well as other programs from other platforms like Cartoon Hangover, Rooster Teeth, Mondo, Boomerang, and more. For $9.99 a month, you get access to ad-free streaming of Crunchyroll, HIDIVE, and more — plus offline downloads and first dibs on new releases.

Netflix

Netflix is the platform for you if you want to stream anime movies and shows — and much, much more. Needless to say, Netflix is a good place to start if you’re in the anime discovery stage. It’s also one of the most versatile platforms to watch anime and other TV series.

Since the streaming giant has an international audience, this comes with an advantage: Each program comes with audio and subtitle language options to choose from. When it comes to original anime, Netflix is the only provider who managed to get the iconic ’90s anime “Neon Genesis Evangelion” onto its service. A win for anime fans, for sure!

The drawback with Netflix is that you won’t always get the latest episodes or the most complete series, probably due to licensing costs and laws. For instance, it only has one of the three seasons of “Attack on Titan.” But at $8.99 a month, Netflix gets you an introduction to anime shows plus all of its other popular content for you and the whole family.

Popular anime available on Netflix:

  • “Naruto”
  • “Death Note:
  • “One-Punch Man”
  • “Death Note”
  • “Bleach”
  • “Blue Exorcist”
  • “The Seven Deadly Sins”

Netflix Originals:

  • “Knights of Sidonia”
  • “Castlevania”
  • “Blood of Zeus”
  • “Aggretsuko”
  • “Devilman Crybaby”

Hulu

Hulu is an on-demand video streaming platform that boasts around 2,500 movies and over 40,000 episodes from thousands of TV shows, including comedy, drama, and anime. Hulu’s partnership deal with Funimation in 2018 made it a contender in the anime department because subscribers get the biggest Funimation shows in the catalog.

Hulu offers hundreds of anime titles but, like Netflix, it doesn’t have all of the complete seasons. The streaming service also tends to only have dubbed or subbed content for each show, while other platforms typically offer both.

If you want access to anime, movies, and Hulu-only shows, subscribing to Hulu might be the best option for you. For $5.99 a month, you get access to Hulu’s streaming library with ads. If you want to get rid of the ads, the premium subscription account is $11.99 a month.

Popular anime available on Hulu:

  • “Naruto”
  • “Akira”
  • “Afro Samurai”
  • “One-Punch Man”
  • “My Hero Academia”
  • “Fairy Tail”
  • “Kill la Kill”
  • “Grave of the Fireflies”
  • “Attack on Titan”
  • “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood”
  • “Death Note”

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