Chances are good that in today’s world of online content, you can find something to watch, no matter how niche or uncommon. For example, there was once a time when access to anime was limited and only the most ardent fans knew where to find it.
That all changed when streaming services like Crunchyroll launched. Now, anime fans have a wide range of options for streaming their favorite content. However, Crunchyroll remains at the top of the list for many.
The platform provides its users with simulcast shows, more than 1,200 series, plus an ad-free tier for those who want to watch without interruption. Bear in mind that Crunchyroll only provides anime content, so if you’re looking for something else, you’re not going to find it.
So, what features does Crunchyroll have to offer its users? What are the best ways to watch? And what exactly can you watch with Crunchyroll? We’ll answer these questions and others in our Crunchyroll review below.
Crunchyroll offers its users many great features, but one of the most important is one that not all its competitors provide – the way it supports dubs and subtitles. Where many platforms are happy to simply dub over their content with English, Crunchyroll provides subtitles.
Currently, Crunchyroll only has about 50 shows that are dubbed, so if you don’t want to read subtitles, you may have to search elsewhere to get your anime fix.
Something else to be aware of is that Crunchyroll does not allow for offline downloads to your smartphone or tablet. There are many other streaming platforms on the market that support this feature, including large players like Netflix and Disney+.
Users can, however, stream content on more than one device at a time if they want to. The platform allows for up to two devices to stream simultaneously, which isn’t the best in the market, but at least it gives users this capability.
While Crunchyroll does have parental control, it would be nice to see the streaming service create more granular controls for their users. It’s nice that users can filter out mature content, but Crunchyroll doesn’t provide a way for those choices to be locked down.
For example, some streaming platforms, like Disney+, let parents set up profiles for their children. This creates restrictions and only allows a child to view age-appropriate content. Plus, users would be able to manage and organize their profile in a way that makes sense for whoever is watching.
Lastly, if you’re not entirely satisfied with the service, it’s fairly easy to cancel. The service lets users end their subscription through an online portal, via email, through their mobile device, or through iTunes. Simple and easy.
What is Available on Crunchyroll?
While you can find a few dramas in the Crunchyroll library, the vast majority of the content on the platform is anime. You can find shows in nearly any category you like, including comedy, action, fantasy, drama, adventure, romance, mystery, science fiction, and several others.
Some of the more popular shows you’ll find on Crunchyroll include Full Metal Alchemist, Death Note, Naruto, Hunter X Hunter, and many, many more. Additionally, the platform creates and produces its own original content as well.
If you’re interested in these types of options, you can check out The Rising of the Shield Hero, Onyx Equinox, and A Place Further Than the Universe. Honestly, there are simply too many options to list here. Thankfully, Crunchyroll offers a complete list of its shows on its website.
Like some of the other anime streaming options available in the market, Crunchyroll keeps a library of shows that it simulcasts. These episodes are usually available to stream an hour or two after they air.
You’ll be able to find around 40 shows in the Crunchyroll simulcast library. These shows include One Piece, Ace of the Diamond, Black Clover, and many others. If you’re interested in following all of the episodes that Crunchyroll releases, the platform provides a calendar on its site.
For users who like to have options, Crunchyroll has both a paid and free subscription plan. If you don’t want to pay for Crunchyroll, you’ll have access to an ad-supported version of the service. Additionally, you won’t be able to view simulcasts and some anime and manga will be restricted.
With a paid plan, Crunchyroll will remove the restrictions and give users access to the entire platform. Regardless of whether you choose the free or paid plan, Crunchyroll streams all its content in 1080p quality.
One thing worth noting about Crunchyroll is that the service is part of Otter Media, which is owned by Warner Media. Otter Media also offers an anime platform called VRV. This platform combines Crunchyroll’s library with other channels in a bundle package.
This bundled package is referred to as a Super Fan Pack. It includes everything you’d get on Crunchyroll, all the content from VRV, and discounts to certain anime stores. There is a free, ad-supported option as well, if you don’t mind watching commercials.
Lastly, by signing up with one of Crunchyroll’s paid subscription options, you’ll have access to its manga and apparel shop. Through this shop, users have access to accessories, books, clothes, and much more. Users can even purchase movies if they want to add to their physical anime collection.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy Crunchyroll, two of which include mobile and web. We’ll dig deeper into those two options in a moment, but for now, you should know that there are a variety of platforms that will stream Crunchyroll.
These include streaming hardware like Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, and Apple TV. There are also many gaming consoles you can use, like your PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and many others.
Even though Crunchyroll is available on the Wii U, it is not yet on the Nintendo Switch. It’s also missing on the Xbox 360. Still, even though there are a few platforms that can’t stream Crunchyroll, there are many, many more that can.
Now let’s switch gears and talk about streaming the service on your mobile devices.
Crunchyroll on Mobile
You can use the Crunchyroll mobile app on either your Android or iOS devices. Users will immediately notice the platform’s distinct white and orange colors once the app is installed. Within the app itself, there are a variety of features and menu options that make navigating simple and easy.
For example, the top of the app has a menu which allows users to view their account settings. Also included in the app is a search bar so you can quickly and easily find your favorite anime shows.
Additionally, there are plenty of links to external apps associated with Crunchyroll, such as its News and Manga apps, and its store. Unfortunately, it does not include a link to VRV, so if you choose to go that route, you’ll have to stick to other platforms.
The app also has an option for you to save your shows in a list and watch them later, called My Queue. There’s also a My History section so you can see what you recently watched as well. Users can also make use of the News section which provides information on updated episodes.
One final thing to know about the app is its dedicated section for Anime. With it, you can filter by your favorite genre, by popularity, or by release season to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Crunchyroll on the Web
If you like simple interfaces, then you’ll enjoy what Crunchyroll has to offer through its website. Again, one of the first things to notice is the typical orange and white colors throughout the site. Just don’t let the information overwhelm you.
While the site looks and feels less like a streaming service and more like a forum, it’s easy to figure out. Across the top of the site are links for News, Games, Shows, Manga, and the Crunchyroll store.
If you need to update your account information, there is a profile area that allows you to make the necessary changes. You can also add a profile photo and tell the platform what type of anime you like.
In the profile section you can also setup preferences like hiding adult content or how you want to receive notifications You can view all your payment history in this area as well.
When you’re ready to start watching shows, head on over to the Shows tab, which lets you sort your favorite dramas and anime. You can sort by alphabetical, popular, updated, genre, season, and release calendar to find the show you want.
Selecting a show directs you to a page with information about the show’s details. Here you can view episodes, see how others have rated the show, and find information about simulcasting options.
The playback design isn’t as clean as we’d like it to be, so you might want to consider watching your shows in full screen to eliminate some of this clutter. Content in the player is surrounded by user comments, suggestions for other shows, and advertisements.
This is an area where Crunchyroll could definitely improve, but the actual playback of the content is consistent with what you’ll find on other platforms. You’ll find the typical buttons you use for playback, along with resolution options, subtitle choices, and a button to move on to the next episode.
One of the drawbacks to Crunchyroll’s player is that you don’t have the options to fast-forward or rewind. You also can’t customize the way the subtitles appear while watching the show. Other options are a little cleaner and let users move forward or backward a few seconds at a time.
Pros and Cons of Crunchyroll
There are good and bad features with any streaming platform and Crunchyroll is no exception. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the benefits and drawbacks of using this anime-oriented streaming service.
- 1080p streaming no matter what tier you select
- Huge library of anime shows
- Crunchyroll original shows
- Apparel and Manga store on the site
- Offers several simulcast shows
- Subtitles for nearly all shows
- Cannot download content offline
- Interface is a little cluttered
- There aren’t very many options for dubbed shows
Let’s be honest, even with its huge library of anime content, there are simply some shows that Crunchyroll won’t have. So, if you can’t find it on Crunchyroll, you might find it on one of these alternatives.
BabyAnime – Best for Ad Free Content
For those that truly love anime, BabyAnime is a great place to find the latest that anime has to offer. The site offers users free, HD quality content on their secure platform.
The nice part is that even though the service is free, there are no ads users have to suffer through prior to watching an episode of their favorite anime show.
Masterani – Best Database of Anime Movies
If you want a site with a huge database of anime movies, then take a minute and check out Masterani. You’ll have access to HD quality anime movies and shows, right on their website. Users can access the website and watch movies at no charge, which makes it a great alternative to Crunchyroll.
9Anime – Best for Anime Dubbed in English
If you’re having trouble finding anime movies and shows dubbed in English, then search no further. 9Anime is a popular website that provides users with high-quality anime with English dubbing.
Anime Planet – Best for Manga
Another popular website for streaming anime is Anime Planet. Users will find the latest in anime shows and movies available to stream in high-quality resolution. Additionally, the site has a large collection of Japanese comics called manga. That means users can not only get their anime fix, but they can read all their favorite manga as well. All on one site!
Daisuki – Most Trendy
Daisuki is a popular Japanese website that focuses on providing anime to the masses in a wide variety of categories. For the anime enthusiasts, many different studios will be recognizable, including Toei Animation, Aniplex, and many others. If you want the latest and greatest in all things anime, this is the place to go.
Here are a few of the more commonly asked questions about Crunchyroll.
Is it legal to use Crunchyroll?
When it comes to legally providing anime content, Crunchyroll is arguably the best in the business. Those who visit the site can watch videos, even if they don’t have an account. Or you can create a free account to manage the videos you’ve watched or want to watch at a later time.
Why are there no dubs on Crunchyroll?
The biggest reach a lot of shows on Crunchyroll aren’t dubbed is because they are directly simulcast from Japan. Most of their content is straight from television in Japan with subtitles in English. While there are a few English shows available on Crunchyroll, these are usually not made in Japan.
Is Crunchyroll content appropriate for children?
While many platforms suggest that anime is suitable for kids ages 12 and older, it’s probably most appropriate for mature teenage and adults. If you’re unsure, it’s probably safest to error on the side of caution.
How does Crunchyroll support others within the anime industry?
If you choose on of Crunchyroll’s paid subscription plans, then you can rest assured that your money is going to help the industry. All of the content on the Crunchyroll site is obtained through legal means, which means the platform pays for rights to stream it.
By paying Crunchyroll, you are indirectly supporting the anime industry including the people who create and publish your favorite shows.
Crunchyroll – Providing Anime for Everyone
It should be fairly obvious that Crunchyroll is one of the more impressive anime streaming platforms in the market. It has a massive catalog and offers simulcast support as well. Plus, the site creates their own original content, so you’ll have something new and exciting to see on a regular basis.
That doesn’t mean it’s perfect though. It would be really nice if Crunchyroll provided users with the ability to download and watch content offline. The content player could also use some more development, as well as a redesign effort to make it look cleaner and more streamlined.
Overall, you’ll be hard pressed to find many streaming platforms that offer better services than you’ll get with Crunchyroll. It’s clear the site is dedicated to anime and wants to provide the best experience possible for its users.