Some of the big names in cord cutting probably already have you covered when it comes to prime time TV, news, sports, and movies. After working out the basics, you can start choosing specialty streaming services to fill in the gaps for any genre specific content you might be interested in. Crunchyroll was created to meet the need for streaming anime, drama, and manga.
Crunchyroll has been bringing anime to a broader audience since being founded in 2006. It soon drew the attention of investors and distributors, and the content library grew to include some of the most well known anime, drama, and manga series, along with exclusive content that can’t be found on other services in the US. Since then, the service has grown to include over 20 million users.
The majority of the content available on Crunchyroll is in Japanese, with English subtitles. Some shows, like Dragonball, Beyblade, and Digimon, are dubbed in English.
While Crunchyroll is a free service, the content and features you’ll have access to with a free account are very limited. Upgrading to a paid account will give you full access to all of the service’s content and features. You’ll need an app to watch on a mobile device, and you’ll need to have Flash enabled on your web browser to watch from a computer.
Plans and Pricing
There are three plans to choose from when signing up for Crunchyroll – Free, Premium, and Premium+.
The Free Membership offers limited anime and manga to anyone who signs up for an account. With a free account, you’ll have to watch the content in standard definition and will have ads during episodes.
A Premium Membership, at $6.95/month, will give you access to all of the content on Crunchyroll, without ads. Content is available in high definition, and can be streamed on any compatible device. Bonuses of a Premium Membership include priority customer service and a discount on merch at the online Crunchyroll store.
The Premium+ Membership costs $11.95/month, and includes the same benefits as a Premium Membership. In addition, you’ll get VIP perks at conventions, access to contests, and a first look at new beta features.
The Free plan will allow you to watch Crunchyroll content on iOS and Android devices, with the Crunchyroll app.
With Premium and Premium+ plans, you can stream Crunchyroll content on the following devices:
- Apple TV
- Playstation 3
- Playstation 4
- Playstation Vita
- Fire TV
- Wii U
Features and Content
With over 800 titles available on Crunchyroll, and more content being added consistently, you’ll find a good amount of episodes to choose from. Series that are currently airing are kept up to date, with most new episodes available to stream as soon as one hour after airing in Japan.
The Crunchyroll website and apps don’t offer much in terms of bells and whistles, but they do have everything you’ll need to easily sort through content and choose what you want to watch. Add episodes to your queue to create a watch list. An interesting feature on the website is the random button. Not sure what to watch? Click it to let Crunchyroll choose a random show and episode for you.
Anime makes up the bulk of the content available on Crunchyroll. On the anime section of the website, you can search by popular shows, simulcasts, recently updated, alphabetical, genre, and seasons. The mobile app has few options, allowing you to search by popular shows, genre, alphabetical, and seasons. You’ll find past seasons of popular series, along with a great selection of shows that are currently airing.
In addition to anime, Crunchyroll offers a long list of drama titles. The same search options are available, allowing users to search for and sort content to find favorite shows or discover a new series.
Finally, the manga section is a feature that sets Crunchyroll apart from other services. Check out some of the most popular manga from Japan, and read it on your computer or mobile device with the Manga by Crunchyroll app. Crunchyroll gets most new volumes immediately after they’re released in Japan.
Crunchyroll was started by anime fans, for anime fans, and the service has continued in that spirit. Check out the forums to join in on conversations about the content on the site, as well as video games, music, and life in general. There’s an active community of anime fans to connect with while exploring past and current anime shows and dramas.
Anime fans looking for merch from their favorite mangas and series can find it at the Crunchyroll online store. Browse the store for everything from cosplay outfits to home decor to stickers. Premium+ members can ship items purchased at the store for free in the US.
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