The anime world is constantly changing, with new platforms emerging as more and more titles hit our screens. Previously non-anime platforms are adding Japanese anime to their platforms, while some anime platforms, like Funimation and Crunchyroll, will merge. So, where can you watch anime legally online for free in 2022? We’ve gathered an updated list:
Crunchyroll has the largest anime library, offering over 1000 anime shows. This number is likely to increase, as Crunchyroll is going to merge with Funimation – another popular anime website – in the near future.
Up until recently, it was fairly easy to watch anime on Crunchyroll without paying for an account, as all episodes became free with ads a week after release. This is, unfortunately, going to change, as fans will now only be able to stream a limited anime episode this way.
The premium Crunchyroll membership starts from $7.99 per month. Those fans who are moving from Funimation to Crunchyroll can get a lengthier than usual free trial though, so it’s worth looking into that first to decide if Crunchyroll is for you.
Funimation used to be a popular choice alongside Crunchyroll, and it was particularly famous for its SimulDubs. Funimation and Crunchyroll tended to distribute around half of a season’s anime each. Now, it seems that Funimation’s days are limited, as it will finally merge with Crunchyroll – but not for another season, at least, as anime like Kaguya-sama Season 3 will still be found there. A Funimation account starts at $5.99 per month.
Hidive is another popular option that entered the anime scene relatively recently and offers affordable anime viewing starting at $4.99 per month. It doesn’t get as much hype as Crunchyroll and Funimation, as it tends to get fewer of the currently ongoing new titles, but, following the merge of Crunchyroll and Funimation, it could be the next major competitor.
Netflix isn’t an anime-only platform but it is progressively getting more up to date with the latest anime trends. It’s currently one of the few places that have all the Ghibli movies available to watch online and it’s even changing its signature streaming method. Anime like Blue Period have recently featured on Netflix with new episodes weekly, instead of landing as a full season and, as a result, much later than in Japan.
Once again, Hulu isn’t an anime-only streaming service, but some of the best anime are on Hulu! When it comes to new titles, anime-specific platforms are likely to get them first, but several recent works such as The Case Study of Vanitas and Sonny Boy have featured on Hulu alongside Funimation.
So far, we’ve talked about anime you can watch at a low cost, as part of a relatively inexpensive subscription, but there are a few options that are actually free.
Anime-planet is an anime database with information about every anime title you can imagine. While you can’t use it to watch anime for free as they come out, certain popular works will be available to watch for free – the videos can be found underneath the descriptions.
This is a legal, industry-approved way to watch anime due to partnerships with platforms like Hidive and Crunchyroll.
Like Anime-Planet, MyAnimeList is not just an anime database; it also allows you to watch selected titles for free due to partnerships with other streaming services. Not the most helpful if you want to find more about last week’s cliffhanger for free right now, but there are many classics to be found there.
For more articles like this, take a look at our Anime page.