Crunchyroll is one of the most popular streaming services for Japanese anime. It has more than 25,000 shows and over 15,000 hours of content. It’s a legal, secure solution that lets you enjoy your favorite Asian content without the illegal content you find on other sites.
In fact, Crunchyroll has a license to stream content from The Asian Media. You can watch multiple film translations on several different platforms including Windows, Android, iOS, PlayStation, and Kindle.
The price is on par with other streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+, but if you’re looking for anime alternatives to weigh your options before you decide, here are some of the best Crunchyroll alternatives out there.
This site is free and has hundreds of titles you can view without needing a subscription. No need to register or create an account. You can simply go to the website, search for what you want, and begin watching.
The interface is super easy to understand, so you can find what you want quickly. All content is displayed in high resolution and if you don’t find what you want, you can request it be uploaded to the database.
Use filters like year, season, genre, quality, and more to find something to watch or scroll through an endless selection of options.
The most troublesome thing you’ll have to deal with here is ads, but you’re safe to use 9Anime on your computer without worrying about getting a virus. Another downside is that because the service is free, no money is going back to the original content providers.
- Open source
- Easy UI
- Filters for searching
- High resolution content
- No mobile app
Animelab is an anime streaming service accessible via your web browser, PlayStation, Android, or iOS device. However, it’s only available for streaming in Australia and New Zealand.
It’s free, but you do have to register with an email address, leaving you vulnerable to marketing emails and other communications. They have a huge library of options from moves to TV shows and the interface is attractive and easy to use.
With mobile apps, you can view it on your phone from anywhere, provided you’re in a part of the world where Animelab is streaming.
- Mobile apps
- Huge library of content
- High resolution streaming
- Requires registration
- Only available in Australia and New Zealand
AnimaNova is constantly uploading the latest episodes of your favorite anime shows, so you’ll always be up to date if you use this service. AnimeNova is free and the site has a really great reputation for working well.
The interface could be better. In fact, I won’t sugar coat it. The interface is pretty bad and not easy to use at all. But if you’re willing to struggle through it to get the latest content, you’ll be watching new things all the time.
The benefit here is that not only is it free, but you won’t get very many annoying ads either, which is always a plus when you don’t have to pay. You also don’t have to register with an email address. You can just go to the website and start streaming.
- No registration
- No ads
- Updated content
- Bad user interface
Anime Planet has more than 45,000 free videos to watch with no membership fees. It does require a sign up to start streaming. It’s highly trusted among those who watch anime online and all of their content is legal.
Anime Planet has both anime and manga, and they give each a separate space on the site for those who prefer one over the other. You can also use helpful filters to find what you like based on subject, title, or TV show season.
The downside to Anime Planet is having to watch annoying ads at every turn. Every page contains some sort of miscellaneous content that’s not relevant to what you’re watching. It can bog down the site and be distracting.
- Helpful user interface
- Free content
- Huge library
- All content is legal
- Requires registration
- Contains ads
Funimation has been around for 20 years and they’re well-known in the area of dubbed anime. It gives you the option to watch anime in either Japanese or English, and you’ll have access to dubbed shows the day after they air in Japan.
In fact, Funimation focuses on dubs more than any other anime streaming site, which means their library is more limited compared to others that just throw subtitles in their content. However, their library is still rather large and it’s one of the best ways to watch your favorite titles without have to read.
Funimation isn’t free, but the price is reasonable and on par with most other streaming services. There is a free version, but you’ll have to watch ads to get your content.
The interface isn’t as good as Crunchyroll, but it’s functional and it is easier to use than some of the free options. This is probably the best paid Crunchyroll alternative.
- Dubbed in English the next day
- Free version
- Paid versions have no ads
- Interface could be better
This option is likely the best free anime streaming service there is. Browsing and finding content you want to watch is super easy. It has trending lists, you can report bugs, and you can request new content.
The interface is functional and makes it easy to find what you need. The video player is responsive and content streams from a Cloud9 server without lag. It has both movies and TV shows, plus a search feature so you can find what you want quickly.
It’s rare that Kissanime won’t have what you want because of their huge library of content, and you don’t have to subscribe or register to start watching. It doesn’t even require an email address.
- Fast streaming
- No registration or fees
- Huge library of movies and TV
- Contains ads
This is a site dedicated to all kinds of TV shows, not just anime. However, they do have a wide variety of anime content, so if you want the latest anime TV, it’s a good option. They also have cartoons, dramas, and more.
The interface isn’t the greatest, but once you learn how to navigate, you’ll be able to find what you want via the filters. While you don’t have to register to watch, you will have to deal with some annoying pop up ads.
Sidereel is a video aggregation site, so it’s scraping the internet to find anime and displaying it in one place. Most of the time, you’ll be directed to another site to watch the content you want, but you have access to a lot more titles than other streaming sites because Sidereel is sharing libraries from many other sites with you.
- Wide variety of anime plus other content
- Easy filters
- Pop ups
- Poor interface
- No movies or soundtracks
Technically, VRV isn’t a streaming site by itself. It simply gives you access to other streaming services like Crunchyroll, Funimation, Shudder, and Mubi. There are eight curated channels offering more than 20,000 options for streaming content. And that’s just with the free account.
VRV is compatible with plenty of platforms including Android, iOS, Xbox, PlayStation, Chromecast, Roku TV, Android TV, Apple TV, and Fire TV. You’ll be able to watch this content anywhere.
If you choose to subscribe to VRV, you can enjoy a 30 day free trial and then pricing is comparable with other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.
With VRV, you don’t need to subscribe to Crunchyroll or Funimation separately. You can manage those accounts directly from VRV. Avoid paying twice by ensuring you connect your anime streaming accounts to VRV.
- Plenty of content
- Eight curated channels
- Compatible with many platforms
- Can be confusing if you already have an account on Crunchyroll or Funimation
Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu
Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu are content kings. They may have a lot of content variety, but they also have some anime as well. If you already have subscriptions to any of those services, it’s worth it to check out what they have in terms of anime before subscribing to something else.
Granted, their selection is not going to be as good, but their subscriptions are legal, if that’s important to you. They are legitimate versions of the shows and movies you love, and you’ll have access to all of the other content they provide as well.
While Hulu is really good about posting the latest episodes 24-48 hours after they air, Netflix will wait to post entire seasons at once after the conclusion of the season on television.
Amazon has some content included in their Prime subscription, but they are notorious for making you pay over and above your Prime subscription for many items, meaning you’ll want to take a look and do your research first, before deciding if it’s something you want to pay for.
If you’re new to anime or you simply need a new way to watch your favorites, here are some frequently asked questions to get you started.
Is there anything better than Crunchyroll?
Crunchyroll is known as one of the best ways to stream anime. There’s no doubt that their content library is extensive and their mobile app makes it super convenient to watch. Plus, it’s affordable.
In your mind, if free is better, then yes, there are better alternatives to Crunchyroll that offer streaming anime at no cost. Kissanime is one of the best free alternatives, while AnimeNova is the best at uploading the most recent content fast.
If you are looking for a paid alternative, Funimation puts up a good fight. They’re well-known in the industry and have several tiered subscriptions to choose from, all of which have no ads. If you want to use the free version of Funimation, you’ll have to deal with ads, but they do offer some features for free.
Is there a free version of Crunchyroll?
There’s also a free version of Crunchyroll. If you’re not bothered by watching ads and you don’t care about the latest content, you can subscribe to Crunchyroll for free as well. You’ll get access to older content, but you’ll also be prompted to upgrade at every turn.
Is VRV replacing Crunchyroll?
VRV is a content streaming service, but if you have VRV and a Crunchyroll account, make sure you’re not paying on both. You can connect your Crunchyroll account to VRV and pay your Crunchyroll subscription through VRV, or you can continue to keep your Crunchyroll account separate from VRV completely.
VRV is not replacing Crunchyroll. They are two different services and you can have one without the other. However, if you do have both, make sure you keep your subscriptions straight so you don’t pay for Crunchyroll twice.
Is Kissanime illegal?
As with many free anime streaming services, it depends on where you are and how you’re accessing the content. Pirating is generally illegal in most places. However, there are countries that don’t have anti-pirating laws.
Kissanime pirates and hosts their content on servers like Google and OpenLoad. However, depending on where these servers are located, they may not be breaking the law. If you’re in the United States, it’s likely that you are breaking the law by watching this content, even though you technically didn’t pirate it.
The moral of the story is to be careful. Pirating laws vary from country to country.
You’re never going to match the experience of an app that requires a paid subscription. If you want a genuine Crunchyroll alternative, you’ll likely end up paying for something like VSV or Funimation. VSV gives you the best of both worlds by allowing you to connect both your Crunchyroll and your Funimation accounts.
With those subscription fees, they can eliminate ads, improve their user experience, and keep the interface updated as needed.
However, if you are looking for an alternative to Crunchyroll that might save you some money, AnimeNova and Kissanime are some of the best. If you can handle ads or the lack of a mobile app, you can try any or all of these to find one you like.