Funimation and Crunchyroll are the two of the biggest and most popular anime streaming services existing today. Both provide excellent value-for-money services for Japanese animation fans. But if you can only subscribe to one service, what should it be? Let’s see which service is best for anime streaming.
As long as you are willing to bear the advertisements, you can enjoy Funimation and Crunchyroll for free, but there are restrictions.
On Crunchyroll, you cannot watch the latest simulcast anime series. Funimation has blocked most of its catalogue. Older shows, such as Chobits, can be watched in their entirety through commercials. Newer shows will only allow you to watch the first few episodes or previews.
When we look at the payment options, things get more interesting because both services now offer multiple levels of payment.
- Crunchyroll’s basic fan plan starts at $ 7.99 plus tax per month, providing you unlimited access to library and no ads. You will also receive a new simulcast show after one hour of broadcast in Japan. The Medium Comic Library contains a digital comic application that you can stream on one device at a time.
- Crunchyroll’s Mega Fan plan costs $ 9.99 plus tax per month, allowing you to stream on four devices and download in-app shows for offline viewing. It also includes participation in special events and one-time discounts on physical goods purchased from your online store.
- Finally, the Ultimate Fan Program costs $14.99 per month plus tax, increases the total number of streams to 6, and adds in-kind rewards, such as the annual “gift bag” and a slightly larger one-off discount in online store.
- Funimation’s basic plan is called Premium and costs $ 5.99 per month, which includes ad-free streaming and two simultaneous streams for the entire library.
- Premium Plus costs $ 7.99 per month, supports five streams, and allows offline downloads. There are also membership-based activities, early access store sales, free shipping on orders over $ 20, and membership-based discounts. The
- Premium Plus Ultra plan only offers an annual subscription of $ 99.99. The only difference that exists is that the free shipping comes with no minimum value, and you will get an exclusive gift, annually.
Verdict: Funimation offers better options and lesser starting options.
Interface and Streaming Experience
Funimation and Crunchyroll, both have mobile applications available on Android and iOS and even a browser-based web interface, which are fairly similar. If you have used Netflix, Plex, Amazon Prime Video or any other streaming services, then you will be satisfied with Crunchyroll or Funimation.
In terms of actual streaming: In our test,
- Crunchyroll’s streaming performance is always worse than Funimation.
- Crunchyroll is disappointing, constantly buffering on the same 40Mbps connection and frequently downgrading to lower quality streaming media. This can be alleviated by paying for the level that allows downloading episodes.
- Even when tested on Android and iOS platforms and on various connections, including mobile internet, the issue with Crunchyroll still exists.
Verdict: Funimation quickly takes this with a better streaming experience.
Sub vs Dubs
Whether subtitles or dubbing animations are better is still the subject of intense debate among movie fans. This also makes it easier to distinguish between Funimation and Crunchyroll. Traditionally, Funimation focused on providing dubbed animation, while Crunchyroll focused on delivering animation as quickly as possible via subtitles. Before the partnership between Funimation and Crunchyroll ended in 2018, they used to share content. Since then, Crunchyroll has provided dubbing services for several titles, including German, Portuguese, and other languages.
Funimation provides dubbing in more programs, but as far as we know, it is only available in English.
Verdict: No clear winner.
- If you like as many English dubbing programs as possible, Funimation is for you.
- Or if you like watching subtitled anime or like dubbing in a language other than English, Crunchyroll is better choice.
This is a difficult comparison. The libraries of the two services are similar in size, Funimation provides older programs, and Crunchyroll provides more new materials. However, each service has its own set of titles. Therefore, the choice here will be very personal, depending on the shows you want to watch.
Verdict: No clear winner. Both of them have extensive libraries.
- If you want to keep up with all the new hookups, Crunchyroll is your best choice.
- Crunchyroll also has a considerable number of original programs, which they help fund and own the copyright.
- If you want to watch classic games, Funimation seems better.
As with any streaming service, there will always be regional licensing issues that need to be resolved.
Crunchyroll is available in almost every country. However, if you do not obtain permission for your region, certain programs will not appear in the library. Funimation is only available in certain countries;like United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.
Verdict: Crunchyroll wins this especially if you are an international fan.
So which one to go for?
For most people, the choice will depend on the anime you want to watch. The main difference is the availability of dubbing episodes. Crunchyroll focuses on anime with subtitles. It’s a bit expensive, but there is a larger animation library. Funimation has less content and is more affordable, but it focuses on English dubbing animation and subtitle animation. If you like original Japanese anime with English subtitles, please subscribe to Crunchyroll. If you want to dub your animation in English, choose Funimation.