The 5 Best Websites Where You Can Watch Anime Online for Free

Anime has exploded in popularity in recent years. More people are discovering this awesome fusion of storytelling, art, music, and animation. However, purchasing anime movies or shows can be expensive, as can streaming services dedicated to anime.

Are you looking to explore this artform but aren’t sure where to watch anime online for free? These free anime websites make anime more accessible than ever, and they’re all completely legal to use. So you’ll no longer have to question whether Crunchyroll is legal.

1. Crunchyroll

crunchyroll website

Crunchyroll is currently the ruler of legally streaming anime. You can watch videos without an account. You can also create a free account to keep track of your watch history and queue shows to watch later.

Crunchyroll also offers multiple paid membership plans other than the basic free option. It offers a wonderful selection of shows from genre staples such as shonen, shojo, and seinen. Regardless of your preferences, Crunchyroll works as an excellent first stop when looking for anime to watch online.

Crunchyroll also offers manga, the comics that many animes adapt their material from. For added selections, there’s a good amount of Asian dramas and anime mobile games. On top of all the entertainment options, there’s a news section, forums, and a store.

The whole website provides a wonderful community for anyone interested in any form of Asian media.

Do you want to stream legal anime on the go? The Crunchyroll app is available on iOS and Android, and both let you watch anime for free. The simple interface gets you back to watching as quickly as possible.

Crunchyroll also has other devices covered. Upgrading to the $7.99/month anime membership plan will get rid of the video ads and provide full HD streams. On top of the viewing benefits, you can see shows shortly after they’ve aired in Japan.

You’ll also get access to the entire manga library. Compare Crunchyroll’s membership plans for additional benefits and then enjoy endless hours of anime, Korean drama, and manga. And if you need even more manga then Crunchyroll has, try the best sites to read manga online.

2. Funimation

funimation streaming favorites

In terms of anime industry history, Funimation stands as a worthy competitor to Crunchyroll. With the name power of Dragon Ball Z and other exclusives, you’ve likely heard of Funimation before. If you’re looking for titles that Crunchyroll doesn’t carry, you can probably find the other leading seasonal titles on Funimation.

Like with Crunchyroll, the FunimationNow Android app and FunimationNow iOS app allow you to stream anime for free. The app’s layout functions similarly to Crunchyroll with a few tweaks. Still, it focuses heavily on allowing you to click on popular or seasonal titles to dive right in.

Unlike the Crunchyroll app, you have more options on your menu (designated by the three bars in the upper-left). You can access your queue or view any titles in your library. The rest allows you to further sort through Funimation’s anime offerings quickly.

When it comes to Funimation’s membership plans, however, Funimation offers more between their price tiers. You can save some data and pay $7.99/month to watch anime offline via your library. You can also just pay the cheaper $5.99/month for the simple benefit of keeping all of your anime ad-free.

3. YouTube

funimation youtube channel

Finding legal anime on YouTube can be tricky, but it’s definitely out there. All major anime streaming services have a channel, but they don’t all offer free episodes.

Funimation uploads entire anime series in SD (either subbed or dubbed) that you can find amongst the channel’s playlists. Crunchyroll’s secondary channel, Crunchyroll Collection, offers clips and a small sampling of full episodes. While both channels vary in their sampling approach, they both aim to show you how they operate.

As such, YouTube doesn’t have many of the advantages of the other services when it comes to legal anime. However, it’s a great way to test the different streaming services as they come and go.


hidive free episodes

HIDIVE stands out as a relative newcomer to the list of anime sites offering free anime. While Crunchyroll and Funimation offer an extensive amount of anime to choose from, HIDIVE takes a different approach. It gives its users a small sample group in a similar fashion to Crunchyroll Collection’s YouTube channel.

The first thing you’ll notice is HIDIVE’s site features a free episodes section. For each show under this section, you can only watch its first episode. To give you a better taste of the service’s range, these single episodes demonstrate HIDIVE’s tag system.

Each episode comes from the exclusive category, subbed anime, dubbed anime, or new releases. As a small trade-off for the limited selection, you won’t see any ads while watching these free episodes. After you’ve sampled all the available episodes, you can try HIDIVE’s 14-day trial or pay the $4.99/month fee.

If there’s a specific title you’re after, make sure to check out the exclusive category list. It’s a good way to quickly check whether you should consider a subscription.

5. Anime-Planet

Anime-Planet provides over 45,000 episodes to watch on its site. Before streaming anything, it lets you know that it is fully legal due to its support by the industry. While sourced from Crunchyroll, the site offers a unique advantage over its provider.

Anime-Planet focuses heavily on its users giving fans other recommendations. When looking up any title, you’ll be recommended other shows with users giving reasons for the suggestion. It’s a very specific specialty, but it gives a reason to watch Crunchyroll’s titles on a site other than its own.

Unlike other titles on the list, its foremost use isn’t streaming. So if you’re looking for an informational site with the benefit of free anime to watch, give it a shot.

These Are the Best Free Anime Websites

As you can see from this list, when it comes to watching anime legally, there are several free anime streaming sites available. Each offers unique benefits, so be sure to try out a few. With a little research, you’ll be able to watch the best seasonal anime titles for free.

If you’re still craving more anime, be sure to check out the best anime spots on the web. You might also want to check out our list of all of the Studio Ghibli films, ranked in order.

Read the full article: The 5 Best Websites Where You Can Watch Anime Online for Free