Streaming video services continue to rise in popularity throughout the United States, with Sandvine reporting that 68 percent of Internet downstream is used to deliver streaming media to computers and mobile devices. Netflix and other streaming media services are generally known for delivering movies and network television series through their services. However, there’s plenty of anime for your streaming needs, if you know where to look.
Crunchyroll is the Netflix of the Anime world, with a huge library filled with current anime favorites and old reliable shows. According to its website Crunchyroll.com, Crunchyroll doesn’t skimp on the selection, with one of the largest streaming anime collections available. Other important features they offer include simulcast with Japan, professional subtitles, HD videos, and an associated store to buy DVDs and other merchandise of your favorite shows. It’s available for computer and mobile viewing. Pricing starts at $6.95 per month.
Netflix might not be known for its anime selection, but it has a surprising number of titles available. Generally, Netflix has an entire anime category, so you aren’t left searching through the cartoon section like with some services. Most of the anime available on Netflix are more popular titles, such as Full Metal Alchemist, Trigun, Chobits, and Hetalia. It does have a rather limited anime selection, so the $7.99 per month is better spent elsewhere unless you also want to watch other programming on Netflix. The Netflix app is convenient for viewing on smart TVs, as it’s included in the best TV apps that commonly find their way onto modern television sets.
Hulu has a surprisingly large anime category that features long running shows such as Bleach, alongside full length movies, according to its website. Overall, Hulu has a much better selection than Netflix when it comes to anime. Given that it’s also $7.99 a month, it’s the better choice if you want a service that also provides network television shows.
Some anime studios offer streaming media on their own site, usually on a delay after they’ve been released for public consumption on television. Funimation (Funimation.com) offers an extensive selection of full episodes from their series. As one of the larger anime producers around, chances are you’re going to find something to watch. Ah! My Goddess, .hack//Quantum, BlazBlue, Fist of the North Star, and Romeo x Juliet are a few of the shows you’ll find through this service. The shows detail whether they are subbed, dubbed, or both, as well as their release dates. You have the option of watching them for free, but Funimation also offers a $7.95 per month subscription service that gives you HD videos without any commercials. The subscription also gives you access to a library of 9,000 episodes, uncut and streaming exclusive series, and compatibility with the Kindle, Roku, iOS, and Android platforms.
Viz Media is another anime studio who takes streaming into their own hands. They are best known for Naruto, Inuyasha, Death Note, and Bleach. It does not have a paid subscription service associated with their studio site, although they do push DVD and digital sales, as well as placing commercials on their streaming videos.