Crunchyroll Review – 2020

If you enjoy anime and manga, you will love Crunchyroll. This streaming service specializes in Japanese animation and its successful format has won it 50 million members around the world. The success of Crunchyroll has grabbed the attention of Netflix, which is now chasing after the anime market.

Pros of Crunchyroll

  • A good service for those interested in anime and manga
  • A new service that helps anime fans find out about conventions
  • A way to make friends and contacts through the user forum
  • Free access to genuine Japanese anime
  • Original content not available online anywhere else

Cons of Crunchyroll

  • The website is not very sophisticated
  • The free service includes ads in videos

Table of Contents

Overview of Crunchyroll Internet Services

Crunchyroll is the first port of call for anyone who loves manga and anime. While mainstream video services overlooked this channel of entertainment, Crunchyroll was able to achieve a commanding position in the niche. Now, more than a decade in operation, Crunchyroll is the leader to beat and everyone wants a slice of its market.

Founded by enthusiasts, the key to Crunchyroll’s success is that it has never lost its passion for its content. Although the business is now owned by megacorporation AT&T through its WarnerMedia division, fans of anime and manga are drawn to the site because its genuine love for the media shines through its increasingly slick presentation. In short, the growing sophistication of the Crunchyroll service hasn’t dented its integrity.

Although Crunchyroll started out as a place where fans could upload their own copies of anime, the service has gone legal and now only allows its own team to upload videos and makes sure it gets the licenses to broadcast all of them. Now part of the world’s largest media company, Crunchyroll is 100 percent legit.

Who is Crunchyroll best for?

As the dominant force in anime video streaming, Crunchyroll attracts fans of East Asian animated entertainment. The site is based in San Francisco, California, but its audience spreads all over the world.

According to Google Trends, Anime keywords are most searched for in Japan (unsurprisingly) followed by the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, El Salvador, and then Peru. So, the USA doesn’t have the largest market for anime, despite hosting more than 300 anime conventions every year. It is Crunchyroll’s global user community that makes this American brand such a success.

How to access Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll is available at the Crunchyroll website, which gives access to anime and manga videos. The media play in the site is small. However, it can be expanded to full screen. The Crunchyroll website can be reached through any standard web browser. This includes Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Safari browsers.

Casting the video player to a TV with Chromecast is possible and it can also be channeled through an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, or a Roku set-top box.

Many game consoles can stream Crunchyroll to your TV. This includes PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. There is a Crunchyroll app for the handheld PlayStation Vita. You can also access Crunchyroll through a Wii U and the Xbox One console.

Apps for mobile devices are available for iOS, which gets you access from an iPhone or an iPad. The Google Play store gives you an app to access Crunchyroll on Android phones and that will also run on Kindle Fire tablets. The Windows Phone Marketplace also has a Crunchyroll app available.

You don’t need to create an account at the Crunchyroll website to watch anime there. However, there are benefits to paying for a membership, which include the ability to watch videos ad-free. The player available to members has HD definition, whereas the free service’s media player is at 480 pixels. The paid service has access to a much larger video library and anime titles become available on the paid site much quicker than they are released on the open-access web pages of Crunchyroll.

Some Points About Crunchyroll

The Crunchyroll streaming services feature:

  • Free access – It isn’t compulsory to create an account and log in to watch videos at the Crunchyroll website.
  • Combined membership plans – Subscribers can expand the service by opting for a joint Crunchyroll and VRV streaming service membership.
  • Original content – Crunchyroll teams up with big-name Japanese anime producers to co-produce content that isn’t available on any other streaming service.

Crunchyroll Pricing Overview

It is possible to watch anime at the Crunchyroll without paying and without an account. However, paying members get access to a larger video library.

To make access easier for all, Crunchyroll offers a 14-day free trial to membership. It is necessary to enter payment card account details when signing up for the free trial so you can be caught out by an unexpected charge should you forget to cancel your membership before the free trial ends.

The straightforward paid Premium service of Crunchyroll costs $7.99 plus tax per month. Each account is entitled to login to the service on two devices simultaneously. After each month of paid membership, each account holder gets a 48-hour guest pass that they can give to a friend to access the paid service.

An alternative plan to the standard Premium membership is the Fan Pack, which gets Crunchyroll Premium plus Premium membership to the VRV video streaming service. That costs $9.99 plus tax per month. 

The most expensive Crunchyroll membership plan available is the Super Fan Pack, which costs $14.00 plus tax per month. That includes Crunchyroll Premium and VRV Premium plus Ultimate Anime Extras, which amounts to free shipping on purchases from the Crunchyroll store, so it’s similar to Amazon Prime.

Crunchyroll Customer Service

The Crunchyroll website has a support area which includes a FAQ section. The help items are searchable, so you can type in a question and the page will return a list of help documents that most closely match your query.  Crunchyroll also runs a forum for the user community. This is a place where users can seek help from each other.