Crunchyroll is a video streaming service with a focus on anime series, and their mobile app allows you to watch animation on the go.
- A huge selection of anime and manga accessible directly through the app
- Streaming directly to a Smart TV or other external device
- High definition streaming for paid subscribers
- Largest selection of anime and manga available for streaming
- Pricing comparable to broader streaming services like Netflix
- Clean user interface that's a pleasure to navigate
- Comparatively high volume of ads in comparison to other streaming services
- Requires a paid subscription to access all content
For anime fans living in the west, fulfilling your hobby was once an expensive and frustrating endeavor. Videos were rarely released in the west, and those that were available were often hard to find and poorly translated. That's changed significantly, in large part because Japanese production companies are putting more effort into translating and distribution efforts, bu also in large part because of services like Crunchyroll. Drawing from the model popularized by Netflix and Hulu, the Crunchyroll mobile app gives you access to an extensive streaming library of popular anime across a diverse range of genres. The user interface for the Crunchyroll app is about what you'd expect from a streaming service, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. They've taken a proven format and applied it successfully for their users. The dashboard uses a top and bottom panel for navigation. The former allows you to quickly access your home page, check out new releases, and sort by broad sections like anime and drama. The left panel works in conjunction with this, allowing you to sort by genre, seasons, or alphabetical listings. It works intuitively, and while the two panel structure somewhat reduces the space for listings, they're all neatly paneled with distinguishable cover art and the basic information you need about the series. Access to your control panel is smartly tucked away in an expanding menu bar, while streaming and search functions are handled by small icons at the top of the screen. It's about as effective a format as you could expect from a service like this, and their clean orange and white design scheme is pleasant to view. Crunchyroll offers the ability to watch videos through Chromecast and other popular streaming devices, transforming your mobile device into a functional remote control for your viewing experience. The content that Crunchyroll offers its users is rather generous. All told, they offer hundreds of series and tens of thousands of episodes. These include both aging classics and the newest shows from the other side of the world. New episodes of shows on Crunchyroll are released immediately after their initial airing in their home country. Free users have access to an extensive portion of the Crunchyroll catalog, but viewing shows without ads or gaining access to the entire catalog requires a paid monthly subscription. Paid users also gain quicker access to newly released episodes, the ability to stream videos at higher resolutions, and the option to receive discounts on items from the Crunchyroll store. Crunchyroll initially got its start as a video streaming service, but it's since added the ability to read manga through the app as well. While a limited selection of manga is available to free subscribers, most of the content is locked behind a pay wall, and free users may get halfway through a story only to find that the rest of the content is unavailable.