Is HIDIVE Worth It for Anime Fans? Crunchyroll Comparison Explored

Is HIDIVE Worth It Crunchyroll Comparison Oshi no Ko

Is HIDIVE Worth It Crunchyroll Comparison Oshi no Ko

Crunchyroll has firmly established itself as the go-to place to watch anime. However, with an increasing number of good exclusives and a growing back catalogue, could HIDIVE offer more value than Crunchyroll for some fans?

Ever since the merger with Funimation, Crunchyroll has become by far the largest anime streaming service in the US and Europe, building an enormous library of anime titles.

However, with Funimation now out of the way, a new challenger has emerged for Crunchyroll's crown.

Personally, I first started subscribing to HIDIVE in the Spring 2022 season, and have been a Crunchyroll subscriber for many years more. This article is based on my own first-hand experiences with both services as well as further research.

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What is HIDIVE?

What is HIDIVE
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HIDIVE is an online streaming platform predominantly consisting of anime titles. Similar to Crunchyroll, HIDIVE offers anime simulcasts, dubs and a small selection of live-action series and movies.

HIDIVE was launched in 2017 and is operated by Sentai Holdings, which also owns Sentai Filmworks which licenses many of the anime on the platform.

Early in 2022, Sentai Holdings and HIDIVE were purchased by AMC Networks as part of their ‘targeted streaming strategy’, according to AMC Networks interim CEO Matt Blank.

The streaming platform also has a partnership with Mainichi Broadcasting System (MBS) that includes programme distribution outside of Asia.

Following Crunchyroll’s merger with Funimation, HIDIVE is arguably the largest competitor to Crunchyroll in the anime-focused streaming market.

HIDIVE vs Crunchyroll Comparison

Is HIDIVE Worth It? Crunchyroll Comparison Eminence in Shadow
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At the time of writing, HIDIVE struggles to compare as an overall anime service due to the huge amount of shows available on Crunchyroll. However, there are some areas where it does compete.

Here is a quick round-up:

Anime Library
Classic series and some seasonal simulcasts.
Massive library and more simulcasts.
The Platform
Small, clunky player with more features.
Reliable player but with few features.
$4.99 per month, or $3.99 per month on a 12-month contract.
$7.99 per month, or some series free with adverts.

Anime Library: What Shows Can HIDIVE Offer?

HIDIVE anime Oshi no Ko
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Crunchyroll has a hugely impressive anime library far beyond anything available elsewhere, including HIDIVE. If you love anime, the best place to get as much of what you want as possible is Crunchyroll.

That being said, HIDIVE has a small but reputable library of its own, including some Classic shows like Food Wars, DanMachi and Made in Abyss.

Some of the biggest anime of the last 12 months have also been HIDIVE exclusives, including Oshi no Ko and The Eminence in Shadow.

While HIDIVE doesn't have the breadth of titles that Crunchyroll does, there's still something for everyone, whether you want to binge an all-time favourite or catch the latest simulcasts.

Discover More: The Best Anime on HIDIVE Right Now

HIDIVE's Platform Is Clunky Compared to Crunchyroll

HIDIVE Made in Abyss
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HIDIVE is a smaller operation compared to Crunchyroll, and you really feel that in its applications.

Whether you're watching on a mobile, laptop or Smart TV, HIDIVE's platforms get regular criticism from fans for being clunky, unresponsive and occasionally suffering random crashes and glitches.

While no video service is perfect, including Crunchyroll, I've noticed a significant drop in the quality of user experience when using HIDIVE compared to Crunchyroll, which for the most part is seamless and reliable.

On a personal level, my main issues are that HIDIVE's watchlists don't always work, and you can't trust that the 'continue watching' feature will actually open on the right episode, which is pretty standard fare for streamers these days.

Ultimately, though, both Crunchyroll and HIDIVE are just video hosts, and the actual watching experience, when you get there, is not very different.

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How Much Does HIDIVE Cost?

HIDIVE Cost My Isekai Life
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One thing that HIDIVE has in its favour compared to Crunchyroll is a notably reduced cost.

The cheapest HIDIVE subscription you can get is $47.99 for a year, which is about $3.99 per month. By comparison, the cheapest Crunchyroll subscription is currently $7.99 per month, which works out at $95.88 for the year, nearly double the price.

Note that these are the current subscription costs in the US and prices for Crunchyroll elsewhere can vary. For example, in the UK, a Crunchyroll subscription is slightly cheaper at £4.99 per month.

Crunchyroll does have a free with adds option which includes recent hits such as Spy x Family. However, its latest simulcasts are only available to subscribers.

So, for new anime releases, HIDIVE is a cheaper subscription. However, Crunchyroll will argue that, for the higher price, you get a much larger selection of popular titles.

It's also worth noting that in late 2023, HIDIVE withdrew from many international markets. According to correspondents shared by ScreenRant, HIDIVE has said they "would only be available in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand in the near future."

So, Is HIDIVE Really Worth It?

Is HIDIVE Worth It? Food Wars
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Currently, HIDIVE is only worth subscribing to if you are looking for specific anime to watch. However, with a growing library available, there are an increasing number of reasons to consider the service.

Personally, I use HIDIVE to keep up to date on the big anime airing right now. There are usually one or two popular HIDIVE simulcasts each season that, for me, are worth the relatively small subscription.

However, if you just wanted to dip your toe into anime and discover something new, by far the best option right now is Crunchyroll.

Remember, both services offer a monthly rolling subscription. If you want to binge a certain series, you can always just subscribe for a month.

Beyond simply accessing certain anime, though, it’s also important to recognise HIDIVE as an important competitor to Crunchyroll.

Supporting other anime providers rather than streaming series illegally can help to create a more competitive anime landscape, improving the quality across all platforms.

If you want to try it for yourself, HIDIVE offers a 7-day free trial period similar to other streaming platforms.

Discover more of our insights and the latest anime news by following us on Facebook and Twitter @epicstreamanime!

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