Crunchyroll website screenshot

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of sitting down to watch anime. When you don’t have time to sit down for US-based dramas with hour-long episodes, it’s nice to kick back with half-hour installments of the frantic action, bright colors, wacky comedy, and immersive drama that only anime can provide.

It used to be that the only way to watch anime was by hoping that your local video shop would stock some titles that you could rent. But in this modern age of streaming apps, there’s really no limit to where you can find content online.

What should you look for in an anime streaming service?

Obviously, the content library will be a central piece of the criteria when choosing the right anime streaming site for you. A close second to that is the price of the service, of course. In addition, considering some other key factors can help set similar platforms apart.

Concurrent stream allowance: Despite a few platforms threatening to crack down on password sharing in recent years, pretty much every mainstream streaming service allows at least two streams at once. This means that a handful of people on different devices or in different households can use the same login info and watch at the same time. Large families or friend groups who plan to share an account should probably opt for a service that allows at least three devices streaming at once, or seek a service that offers an “unlimited streams” add-on for an additional cost.

Free trials: It’s always nice to preview a service before you make a monetary commitment. Most movie streaming services offer a free week (or maybe even a month with some more generous platforms) wherein you can browse the full library, test the 4K or HDR upscaling (if you care about that), and get an overall idea of how smoothly the interface runs.

4K and HDR support: People who have gotten used to binge-watching in regular HD on the TV they’ve had since college probably don’t care much about higher resolution viewing. Others can’t focus on anything but the indistinguishable blobs. The latter group of people will have to be pickier about the apps they pay for — because while 4K TVs are common nowadays, content available to stream in 4K isn’t, yet. For instance, Netflix only unlocks 4K and HDR upscaling if you bump your plan to the most expensive one, and HBO Max only offers it for certain movies. Higher-quality viewing will require a certain internet speed, too.

Compatible devices: No one’s going to pay for an anime streaming service that’s impossible to access on their smart TV (or on the streaming device they use to access streaming apps on their TV). As new services have launched, some have had issues playing nicely with streaming devices like Fire TV and Roku for a period of time, but the bugs tend to shake out in a month or so. As it stands now, it should be safe to assume that each movie streaming site we’ve listed below is compatible with the interface of most big-brand TVs, the main mobile operating systems (iOS and Android), top streaming media players (Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV), and gaming consoles (Playstation and Xbox).

Can I stream outside the US?

Signing up for a VPN can open the door to a plethora of international shows and films that aren’t available in America. VPNs essentially allow you to make up your own internet rules by carving out a personal security tunnel in which you browse, stream, or game the way you normally would.

That security tunnel paves the way for location spoofing and getting around location-based roadblocks or censors. All decent VPNs offer a wide selection of servers based in multiple geographic locations. Picking one of those essentially tricks your ISP into thinking your device is based there, maneuvering around geoblocks and opening the door to international content, like another country’s Netflix library.

What are the best anime streaming services?

We’ve narrowed it down to some of the best places where you can get exclusive shows, English dubs, and even live-action Japanese dramas to satiate your inner otaku. Check out some of the best places to get your anime fix right now:


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