Where to Watch Anime Online

Free and paid sites give you plenty of options

Image of Super Saiyan God Son Goku
Watching anime series like Dragon Ball Super online is easy with official streaming and downloading options.

 FUNimation, Toei

Watching anime series and movies online has become a popular pastime for young and mature fans of the genre. As a result, there are now numerous services that allow users to stream or download their favorite dubbed and subbed anime for free or as part of a monthly paid subscription plan.

Here are some of the best places to watch anime online.

Woman in bed watching Marvel's Daredevil and anime on Netflix on iPad
Netflix lets you stream and download series and movies for watching anywhere.

 Netflix

Most people don't think of Netflix as a source of anime but the streaming service actually has a rather large library of licensed series and movies. It has even begun producing its own Netflix Original anime by funding several animation studios in Japan.

Some anime series and movies to check out on Netflix are Aggretsuko, Knights of Sidona, and Glitter Force, the Netflix-produced English dub of the popular Japanese anime, Pretty Cure.

What We Like

  • In addition to its growing catalog of anime films and series, Netflix subscribers are also given access to a number of regular movies and shows, making it a great value for the money.

What We Don't Like

  • Netflix lacks a lot of mainstream anime series due to many American anime companies choosing to keep their series and films as exclusives for their own streaming services.

How to Watch: Netflix has official apps on almost every device imaginable from smart TVs and Blu-ray players to gaming consoles and smartphones. You can also stream anime via the Netflix website. Monthly subscription fees start at $7.99 with a 30-day free trial available for first-time users.

Image of the Xbox One Crunchyroll anime streaming app
The Crunchyroll anime streaming service has apps on almost every device.

 Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll is one of the biggest and longest-running anime streaming services. Looking to watch all 1,000+ episodes of the One Piece anime series or maybe all 500+ episodes of Naruto Shippuden? Crunchyroll has you covered and then some.

What We Like

  • Crunchyroll regularly offers new episodes of popular anime series for viewing on the platform literally minutes after they air on television in Japan. Named simulcasts, these episodes look the same as they do on Japanese TV but have English subtitles for Western viewers. This is great for hardcore anime fans who don't want their favorite series spoiled for them. Many anime shows also offer the English-dubbed version for those that don't like to read subtitles while watching TV.

What We Don't Like

  • The Crunchyroll servers often have a hard time keeping up with user demand when a new anime episode debuts on the platform. This can result in such a reduction in image and sound quality that new content can often be unwatchable for the 12 hours following its launch.

How to Watch: Crunchyroll offers free anime streaming to all users. However, those who pay for the Premium subscription at $6.95 a month are given access to anime simulcasts, ad-free viewing, and HD image quality. Official Crunchyroll apps are available on most major gaming consoles, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, Chromecast, and Roku Box. Users can also watch anime online via the Crunchyroll website.

Stream and download anime series and movies on the Microsoft Store app on Windows 10, Xbox One, and Windows phone
Microsoft Store lets you stream and download anime series and movies on your Windows 10 PC or tablet, Xbox One console, and Windows phone.

 Microsoft

The Microsoft Store is Microsoft's digital marketplace for selling apps, ebooks, video games, and movies and TV series on Windows 10 PCs and tablets, Windows phones, and Xbox consoles. Buying content on one device, such as a PC, makes it available for consuming on another device that uses the same Microsoft account, such as an Xbox One. The store has an impressive collection of dubbed and subbed anime shows and movies available from niche series to more popular ones like Dragon Ball Super and Boruto.

What We Like

  • Once an anime film or TV episode is purchased, it can be downloaded onto a Windows 10 PC or tablet for viewing offline. This is great for those who want to watch some anime when on the road or in the skies. Microsoft Store frequently offers the first episode of many anime series for free, which is good for trialing an anime show you haven't seen before.

What We Don't Like

  • The download option isn't available on Xbox One consoles which means that you'll need a reliable internet connection to stream the media in real-time. The Microsoft Store servers are also nowhere near as fast as Netflix's, so you may encounter some buffering and image distortion if your connection is on the slow side.

How to Watch: After purchasing an anime season or movie in the Microsoft Store app on your Windows 10 device or Xbox console, you can watch it through the Movies & TV app.

Image of FUNimation anime streaming apps
The FUNimation anime streaming apps are available on a variety of devices.

 FUNimation

FUNimation is a major distributor of anime in North America and is involved in the English dubbing and subbing of popular anime series like Dragon Ball Z, Fairy Tail, and My Hero Academia. They also offer an online streaming service of their large library with both a free and paid account option.

What We Like

  • The free option is fantastic for anime fans on a budget, though the selection of anime shows isn't as large as it is for those who pay. Free users will also be shown ads while watching their anime, and they'll be limited to a single device at a time.

What We Don't Like

  • FUNimation is notorious for reusing the same voice actors over and over again in their English anime dubs. This can often be distracting for viewers who notice that many of the characters in completely different anime series all sound the same. Because of this, FUNimation is a good option for watching specific anime series online, but those who watch a lot of anime should also use an additional service to break up the repetitive nature of their English dubs.

How to Watch: Free FUNimation accounts get a small selection of anime series for viewing with ads while those who pay the $5.99 monthly fee for FUNimationNow Premium gain access to the entire anime catalog, ad-free viewing, and early access to English dubs. Official FUNimation apps are available on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, Xbox 360 and Xbox One gaming consoles, Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Fire TV, and Samsung smart television sets. 

Image of simukcast anime series on HiDive
Watch simulcast anime series on HiDive.

 HiDive

HiDive may not be as well-known as some of the other streaming services, but it is a solid option for those looking to watch anime online in either subbed or dubbed format. HiDive has a lot of niche series that hardcore anime fans will enjoy, but it also has some popular franchises such as Cutie Honey and Initial D that casual anime viewers will recognize.

What We Like

  • There is no free option for HiDive, but its $4.99 monthly fee makes it one of the cheapest paid streaming services online.

What We Don't Like

  • There are official HiDive apps for Apple TV, Fire TV, and iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. To stream some anime online on another device such as a computer or gaming console, you'll need to access the web version via an internet browser. This isn't the best user experience, especially on a console.

How to Watch: The $4.99 monthly fee gives subscribers access to HiDive's full library of English and Japanese language anime series and films. Official apps are available for Apple TV, Fire TV, iOS, and Android.