Five Legal Sites to Stream Your Anime Online

If you’re just starting out in the anime world, or just don’t know of any legal sites that will allow you to help the developers make even more of the genre of television we know and love, then this list is for you.
Here I’m going to be taking a look at who’s streaming legally; who costs more than who; who has ads and who has ad free streaming; and finally the quality of the videos themselves as well as the content range. Content ratings will be on a range of 1-5, with 5 meaning the most content is streamed while 1 would be the least.

I’ll also go through the translation quality so you can get a general idea of what to expect from the provider!

Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll
  • Website:
    http://www.crunchyroll.com/
  • Simulcast:
    Yes
  • Ads:
    Only for Free Members
  • Fee:
    Anime Simulcast - $6.95/Month OR
    Free Membership with a week’s delay.
  • Quality:
    Up to 1080p for Paid Subscribers, 420p for Free Members
  • Translation Quality:
    Excellent (minimal mistakes)
  • Speed of Simulcast:
    Minutes from TV broadcast
  • Coverage Rating:
    5 (many)

This is my personal favorite as it updates regularly with the newest and hottest titles. It also has a steady stream rate with minimal lag (if there ever is any) thanks to dedicated servers. It is available on your mobile phones, computers, iPads and consoles with an easy to figure setup. The ability to search through genres also helps when you’re new so you can pick an anime for exactly the type of mood you’re in for! The only downside I have found is that content is edited, gore and violence and nudity aspect, all have different kinds of edits to them. This would be fine if it weren’t for the fact that shows like Terra Formars are heavily laden with gore, and black screens can get annoying after a while.

Daisuki

Daisuki
  • Website:
    http://www.daisuki.net/ OR
    https://www.youtube.com/user/DAISUKI
  • Simulcast:
    Yes
  • Ads:
    No
  • Fee:
    Currently Free Membership
  • Quality:
    Up to 1080p
  • Translation Quality:
    Excellent (minimal mistakes)
  • Speed of Simulcast:
    Up to a day after Japanese episode release
  • Coverage Rating:
    1 (as of Dec 19 only 16 available titles)

I do enjoy this site, mainly because they’re not out to compete with anyone else they simply want more legal ways for those of us not in Japan to enjoy anime. They have previously stated they will eventually have fee based content, but for now it’s another great way to get legal anime streams (in great quality I might add).

FUNimation

Funimation
  • Website:
    http://www.funimation.com/
  • Simulcast:
    Yes
  • Ads:
    Some, none with paid subscription
  • Fee:
    $7.95 a month with a 12 month $54.95 option
  • Quality:
    Up to 1080p for paid subscribers, 420p for Free Members
  • Translation Quality:
    Excellent (minimal mistakes)
  • Speed of Simulcast:
    Minutes after Japanese release
  • Coverage:
    5 (many)

What I love about the FUNimation is that they don’t edit content to the extent of some other providers. The paid subscription and the age of 17+ allows for full viewing of content that is rated TV-MA, including the gore. Some viewers have expressed concerns over their lineup and whether or not they’re able to bring in a good one each season. Others have refuted this so the argument, like most on the internet, stretches back and forth. One of the things fans enjoy most about this site is the ability to switch through subs and dubs depending on the show, whereas sites like Crunchyroll are strictly subs.

Hulu

Hulu
  • Website:
    http://www.hulu.com/
  • Simulcast:
    Yes
  • Ads:
    Yes
  • Fee:
    Free OR $7.99 a month
  • Quality:
    Up to 1080p for Paid Subscribers, SD for Free
  • Translation Quality:
    Excellent (minimal mistakes)
  • Speed of Simulcast:
    1 Day Delay from Japanese Air Date
  • Coverage:
    5 (many)

I can’t deny Hulu carries more titles than any other streaming site for anime, but the way they do this is by showing ads in every anime show (avoiding licensing arguments). However, if you can find it in yourself to power through them, it’s an all-around great site to view your anime from. My only concern is the day delay, when the big titles are being featured elsewhere for less cost and no ads. On this list however, no one has as many titles currently available as Hulu does with a whopping 771.

NetFlix

Netflix
  • Website:
    https://www.netflix.com
  • Simulcast:
    No
  • Ads:
    No
  • Fee:
    $7.99
  • Quality:
    Up to 1080p
  • Translation Quality:
    Excellent (minimal mistakes)
  • Speed of Simulcast:
    N/A
  • Coverage:
    3 (more than a few)

I love Netflix, but their anime selection is miniscule compared to some others. On top of the fact that they’re not simulcast, this is where I would go to watch anime that has already come out. Plus who doesn’t love the fact that it’ll keep going through the episodes until you turn it off? Makes those binge sessions much easier! As I stated before, Netflix is not the place you want to go to see the newest anime titles, it’s where you go when you’re caught up on all the new shows and don’t mind trying something a already out.


Now remember, these sites are all the legal ways to enjoy anime, and therefor safer for you, the fortunate viewer. Plus, putting some money into it will benefit the developers who actually make the content, so they can make even more. I just wanted to reiterate this as a lot of people have asked me in the past whether paying to watch was worth it. Well, I believe it’s beneficial for everyone to support it. Let them know there’s a market for anime in the states and I guarantee there will be more releases and possibly even conjoined efforts between US developers and Japanese!

by Nathaniel Loomis