Looking for the Perfect Anime Streaming Service
Netflix, Crackle, Cruchyroll, Hulu, Funiamtion Oh My
Will Funimation ever complete its dominance in the overseas anime market? I love anime as much as the next guy but I do want to enjoy it at home on my TV. They have apps that allow you to watch on the go, but it’s difficult if you just want to watch it like you do any other show, on a couch looking at a large screen.
I’ve been using Netflix for the longest and lets face it they have a big selection however, they don’t expand their library. Months on end they have the same offerings and then maybe trade out one or two with something I would never consider calling anime. So being fed up with Netflix lack of offerings I decided to see if there are any other places I can enjoy anime.
I’ve been with Crunchyroll a long time and the free service is above par but they don’t have any dubbs. At some point you want to enjoy the sequence on screen instead of reading and missing the action. If they had an English dubb side then I would without question upgrade my membership. Crackle, has some good anime and English and subbs, but like Netflix there is rarely an update.
I almost forgot about Hulu, I remember when it first came out and I got a beta invitation and thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. It’s still good and better than it was in the beginning but there are some problems. First problem is when I tried to go to their website using my cell phone it wouldn’t let get through unless I signed up for a free trial. So I hopped on my computer to see what’s new and I’ve notice that they have missing episodes and in some cases only five episodes. On the plus side it look they do have subs and dubbs but if you want to watch Stein’s Gate then you enjoy the first five episodes in English then the rest of the series with subtitles. Did I mention that they don’t support Google TV, no sir, you get a message stating that they noticed you were trying to watch their content from a Google TV and that it’s not possible to stream their content on that device but they are hard at work in getting it available, I think I’ve been getting that message for the last four years. It says the same thing if you want to watch free content from my PS3 web browser.
I sighed and then thought all is lost, then remembered Funimation. Sweet wonderful Funimation great producers of the best English dubbs, I literally just bought a Roku for my parents and notice that there was an app for Funimation. So I was happy once again, I even downloaded the app to my phone and then turned to my Google TV and realized there was no Funimation app available, then thought I’ve seen Funimation anime on my Playstation 3 and Crunchyroll and even Crackle has an app, but to my surprise and, ultimately, dismay found no such app for Funimation.
So I did what any rational and sane person would do, I turned to the internet to see if there was any news on Funimation releasing a new app and discovered that the app they released came out in August and nothing about any future update to the PS3 or Google Tv. I scrolled through numerous forums and blogs with countless fans stating they would pay for a premium subscription only if there was an app to support the game consoles and I would agree I would do the same thing in an instant.
After realizing that there is nothing stating that a Funimation App would be coming, I thought to myself what would be keeping them from releasing something like this to hardware that a majority of people own.
If Crunchyroll and Crackle…Crackle of all distributors, could make an app that supports Google TV and home consoles then what are the logistics holding back Funimation from doing the same? I couldn’t think of one unless they are planning on cornering the market with some kind of exclusive deal or there is a lot of red tap they have to go through to make this available to all media hardware. In my search I never once saw anything stating that an executive was working hard to bring this out to people or that they are looking into it and after four months I would expect some kind of answer some where.
So I am disappointed in what I found out and it looks like I may be paying Hulu money for English dubbed anime, I would rather get a premium subscription to Crunchyroll but I need my English from time to time. If anyone knows any better solutions or has anything to contribute to this blog then please post.
Update: After a few days with Hulu I can see its not much better than Crunchyroll, actually the only failing with crunchyroll is no English Dubbs. Hulu on the other hand does not have complete episodes for some of its anime and there is no indication if its in English or Japanese. This based of the app, if you actually view the website there are more options but it seems the missing episodes would be pulled from another source. However, since Hulu blocks Google Tv and Playstation 3 it doesn't help me at all.
I love the Funimation App, its simple and does what its suppose to do. I used it with the roku device and without having a membership you get access to a lot of anime with English or subtitled options and you can stream in HD if its available. Funimation would be the winner but the fact its only available on mobile devices and roku device doesn't help me. So in the end it looks like I will sign up for the premium Crunchyroll service and new episodes streaming an hour after airing is awesome. I guess I will have to endure the subtitles until Funimation gets off their do nothings and make the app available to smart tvs and the PS3.
Thanks for the comments and suggestions from everyone.