Best Anime Streaming Services for 2022

Animated went mainstream and found audiences around the world with high-profile TV shows, movies, and merchandise. While Japan and other countries are broadcasting these stories, it’s streaming services that are opening the door to this entertaining world full of colorful characters and twist-filled plots.

Nowadays, anime adaptations of popular Japanese manga and Hollywood properties (like rick and morty) hit the small screen. You will find high school melodramasscience fiction anthologies, horror tales, romantic comedies and superhero quests in this storybook landscape. Longtime favorites such as A piece and Pokemon proving that audiences will stick with the classics while making room for popular titles like My Hero Academia and a global phenomenon The attack of the Titans.

Anime is a growing genre with major game streaming players dedicated to meeting demand. It doesn’t matter if you’re a true otaku with specific tastes, a casual viewer, or a newbie, look no further than these streaming services to satisfy your anime cravings.

Hajime Isayama, Kodansha/Crunchyroll

Due to its robust content stability, Crunchyroll has become the global destination for anime streaming. Launched in 2006, the brand has over 100 million registered users and over 5 million subscribers. Following its acquisition by Sony, Crunchyroll merged its extensive lineup with fellow genre titan Funimation to offer thousands of titles 24/7. All of this anime is under one umbrella, which includes Demon Slayer, Jujutsu Kaisen, and To Your Eternity. According to Crunchyroll, it’s now “the largest anime library in the world with over 40,000 episodes and over 16,000 hours of content.”

The biggest selling points? The new episodes land on the streamer an hour after their premieres in Japan. Viewers can also count on surprise releases like the eight special episodes of Attack on Titan that dropped weeks before the final season premiered.

Anime fans love variety and appreciate that for some content they can watch uncut Japanese versions of their favorite series on this service. Plus, there’s a carousel of original in-house creations spinning alongside the latest releases from Japan. And thanks to Crunchyroll’s partnership with anime streaming service VRV, US customers can access even more programming.

Existing Funimation Subscribers must visit the site to find out how to create a Crunchyroll account or combine the two if they have two subscriptions. You will need your own set of login credentials for Crunchyroll (separate from Funimation) to access all content.

You can create a free account to stream ad-supported content on the service. Just note that not all titles are available with this release and there is a wait for new releases. However, anime watchers who prefer immediate access to new episodes should opt for Crunchyroll’s ad-free base subscription at $8.

Hajime Isayama, Kodansha/Crunchyroll

If you’re on the fence about a Crunchyroll subscription, Hulu offers over 300 anime titles and is a top stop to watch the hits My Hero Academia, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, Tokyo Ghoul, Attack on Titan, Soul Eater, Bleach and more. There are also simulcasts that air every season, bringing viewers the latest releases from Japan. This is one area where Hulu outperforms Netflix. Fans will find movies and old Pokémon but also goodies like Sailor Moon and Akira.

Hulu also has partnerships with Crunchyroll and Funimation to offer some titles, but not their entire catalog. The original Crunchyroll and Adult Swim series, Blade Runner: Black Lotus is available with favorites such as Assassination Classroom. However, new subtitled episodes may hit the streamer immediately while dubbed versions take longer. Start times vary by series.

An added benefit is the dedicated Anime Hub where you’ll find content organized into categories like classic, AZ, or simulcasts. Hulu starts at $7 per month.

netflix

As a pioneer in streaming TV, Netflix has expanded its anime offerings although it lacks new installments and Hulu simulcasts. Currently, there are dozens of Japanese imports on the platform as well as Netflix originals Castlevania, Yasuke, Cannon Busters, and Devilman Crybaby.

While it’s not the benchmark for more obscure titles, Netflix has a reliable selection of popular anime that includes Demon Slayer, Hunter x Hunter, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and nine glorious seasons of Naruto. His latest releases for 2022 include Kotaro Lives Alone, an adaptation of Mami Tsumura’s manga, and a small-screen version of Spriggan.

Another major advantage for the streamer is the absence of ads. But subscribers should be aware that they’ll have to take the extra step of removing the skip feature at the end of episodes to see if there are any post-credits scenes in their favorite show.

Viewers can watch upcoming anime movies and shows like Bubble, Tomb Raider, Skull Island and Terminator. Netflix starts at $10 per month.

netflix

A cheap option for viewers, Hide streams content to fans around the world, including simulcasts. Not only will you find selected anime from all subgenres, but there is also an assortment of live-action adaptations. And while the service has family-friendly titles, it caters to 18+.

Hidive prides itself on its customizable subtitle option, live in-episode chats, and exclusive catalog. You can even choose between censored and uncensored anime. An independent service, the company encourages fans to request their favorite titles if they can’t find them on the platform.

Hidive is supported on iOS, Android, and smart TVs, and it runs content directly through its site. There is no free subscription option and the monthly fee is $5 after the 14-day free trial.


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Anime Streaming FAQ

What is the difference between dub and sub?

In the anime community, the terms dubbed and subtitled are used to describe the difference between content streamed in Japanese with subtitles or a dubbed version in English (or another language). It’s a matter of personal preference, but some fans like one type over another. Among die-hard fans, Funimation is known for its extensive dubbed collection.

Why can’t I find some anime content on some streaming services?

Due to licensing agreements, some streaming providers’ anime lineups will change. It also depends on the country you live in, as various content may only be available in Japan, the United States, or other regions.

Timing plays a role and can determine whether a new season or movie of a series hits a platform on the same day, month, or year of its original release. However, viewers will notice that some shows air on multiple platforms at the same time.

What is the meaning of OAD and OVA in anime and does it matter?

Occasionally, you may see streaming services refer to OAD or OVA as special promotions. Generally, OAD and OVA are additional episodes that have not been shown on TV, but are part of the story and may or may not be canon. They can be past episodes or storylines that happen during or after what is seen in a series and are great additions for anime lovers.

What devices support these apps?

Each of these anime streaming providers can be accessed through their standalone websites, smart TVs, Roku, iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon FireTV, Apple TV, and Xbox One. You can watch it on your phone, tablet, PC or TV.

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