Everything to know about anime on Hulu: movies, shows, and more

Who doesn’t love anime? It’s wildly popular with a dedicated fanbase that gravitates to the genre’s top movies and shows. But the big question is — does Hulu have anime? Well, yes. Hulu offers a pretty healthy selection of anime titles that are great if you’re new to the genre, as well as fan favorites that have a significant rewatch value (ahem, Cowboy Bebop). 

You’ll also be pleased to know that Hulu even provides simulcasts of certain series — more on that below. Just keep in mind, not every anime series included on Hulu comes with every season. For instance, Hunter x Hunter only offers the first 2 seasons. But overall, Hulu is a solid streaming service for popular anime movies and shows. Keep reading to find out how to watch anime on Hulu. 

What is anime? 

Anime is a genre that originated out of Japan. It’s known for its unique animation characteristics and styles. However, even though we label it as a genre here (as well as nearly every streaming service that does the same), anime actually is a catch-all term for Japanese animated works. So, there are comedies, dramas, mysteries, and thrillers, all in anime. 

How does Hulu’s anime content compare? 

Hulu stacks up pretty well compared to other streaming services. Let’s start with the cost. Hulu offers a few plans that include Hulu ($5.99/mo.), Hulu Premium ($11.99/mo.), Hulu + Live TV ($54.99/mo.), and Hulu Premium + Live TV ($60.99/mo.). 

By comparison, Crunchyroll specializes in everything anime. It offers a free subscription with limited access and then a few premium plans — Fan ($7.99/mo.), Mega Fan ($9.99/mo.), and Ultimate Fan ($14.99/mo.). Funimation, like Crunchyroll, is dedicated to anime in all of its forms. Similarly, Funimation offers free access with ads, along with 3 premium tiers. These are Premium ($5.99/mo.), Premium Plus ($7.99/mo.), and Premium Plus Ultra ($99.99/yr.).

There’s not as much anime on Hulu as there is on Crunchyroll and Funimation. But compared to other larger services, it’s pretty reliable in this area. This is more specifically the case with series over movies. Per ReelGood, Hulu carries over 175 shows and only 8 movies. Meanwhile, topping the list is Crunchyroll with about 1,200 titles, whereas Funimation has half that with 600 anime series. Netflix weighs in under Hulu with 95 anime movies and shows.

Anime TV shows and Movies on Hulu 

Hulu carries popular titles that top the lists of anime fandom. Below are a few of the most groundbreaking anime movies and series available on Hulu as of October 2020. 

Akira (1988)

As one of the pinnacle feature phenomenons to bring anime to the U.S. market, Akira is a science fiction thriller set in Neo-Tokyo. Involving psychics, teenage biker gangs, and the military, the world is thrust into turmoil when a gang member gains telepathic powers and unleashes total chaos. 

Hulu offers both a dubbed and a subs version of Akira. For the layperson, “dubbed” indicates English voice actors, and “subs” is short for subtitles. 

Cowboy Bebop (1998)

# of seasons: 1

Redefining the genre, Cowboy Bebop follows the escapades of a meandering group of bounty hunters just trying to earn enough to scrape by. Episodes mostly stand on their own, making them in-depth, introspective pieces that examine various genres, philosophies, and biases. The main character Spike Spiegel believes he already died and is living a dream, and the slow ride to the end makes you wonder if he was right all along.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly (2019)

Dragon Ball Super: Broly received high praise from critics upon its release. When Goku and Vegeta’s training is disturbed by a mysterious new power, they are soon challenged by a forgotten Saiyan, Broly. In this fresh glimpse into the origins of Goku, Broly’s intense hatred of him is revealed. 

One-Punch Man (2015)

# of seasons: 2

Picture your favorite superhero and the trials and tribulations they must go through in order to defeat the villain. Now imagine if that hero could defeat anyone with a single punch. One-Punch Man turns the traditional superhero genre on its head by taking away the tension of what makes superhero flicks exciting in the first place. This in effect creates a surprisingly hilarious series. 

Samurai Champloo (2004)

# of seasons: 1

Inspired by traditional Kurosawa samurai films and hip hop music, Samurai Champloo follows an unlikely band comprised of two polar opposite samurais and a girl in search of the “samurai who smells of sunflowers.” Each character has their own complicated backstories which amount to rewarding character arcs and uncanny revelations. 

The final cut 

If you’re a fan of anime but also want a well-rounded experience with lots of other content, Hulu checks all the boxes. With Hulu, you have the option to choose between on-demand and cable-replacement services. And with 175 anime titles on Hulu, you’ll be busy for a while. Although, if you’re an anime purist, and want all the bells and whistles, then you should consider Crunchyroll or Funimation. 

Hulu offers free trials for each of its plans, but the trial period varies depending on the plan type. For instance, Hulu lets you try out its on-demand plans for 30 days, while Live TV is available free for 1 week. Just be sure to cancel your subscription before the time period is up if you don’t want to proceed and be charged. 

Are you still on the fence about watching anime on Hulu? We recommend learning everything in the land of Hulu with our complete review. Or, put Hulu’s packages, pricing, and channels under the microscope with our in-depth analysis. And if you’re interested in cutting the cord and swapping cable for Hulu + Live TV, allow us to help inform your decision with our expert breakdown

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