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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.

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fblan0012001d ago (Edited 2001d ago )

Not if I have anything to say about it. Pretty soon there will be another anime site to deal with. Monopolies even in the anime industry are a huge hazle, and paying 2 bucs per episode is a ripoff for funimation. also crunchyroll does have English dub and they have apps for the xbox and mobile services. the day funimation takes over, that is the day anime will die. two dollar tv to computer adapters fix all of that. there is no need for roku.

koga882000d ago

Well, think of it this way. FUNimation spends a nice chunk of change making sure their shows are dubbed into English and even older releases are sometimes re-released as Classics or as part of the SAVE line-up, so unless they charge people a fee to watch their service, it would lose them a lot of DVD/Blu-ray sales.

If you really need some English anime, currently Viz's Neon Alley is an alright way to go about it, though it does have it's limitations. Mainly that the shows are almost entirely shonen and it's a TV Channel more than anything else, so you can't fast forward or select shows you actually may want to watch at any time, instead you're stuck to their streaming.

D3acon2000d ago (Edited 2000d ago )

thanks for the recommendation of neon alley, I took a look at it and its not for me. They show a lot of shonen and the fact you can't control what you want to see makes it a pass. I am going to try the free trial for Crunchyroll and Hulu, but it looks like I may be choosing Hulu until something better comes out.

@Fblan001 you mentioned crunchyroll has Dubbs is that for select titles or do you have to be a premium member? Because every anime I watched including those that have English Dubbs have been subtitled.

koga882000d ago

As far as I know, Crunchyroll only has subtitled anime even if you are a premium member. They'd probably lose some cash if they tried to license English dubs from companies. Not sure what Fblan is talking about.

MrsBlunder1996d ago

The dubs are for select titles. So far, I've only come across one: Code Geass.

D3acon1999d ago

I going through the 7 day trial with hulu and the app is different from the website, the most glaring thing is that it doesn't carry all the episodes and that the app doesn't show english dubbs then of course I can't use the web browsers on my ps3 or google tv.

The fact Hulu doesn't have all the episodes is more than a little annoying. I watched the entire season of Bakemongatari to episode 12. Hulu has an auto play feature, after the 12th episode it started playing another anime. I stopped the anime checked the app and website and that was all the episodes, after check I confirmed that there were 15 episodes. So I finished the other 3 episodes on another site and i'm currently watching the second episode on crunchyroll.

Guess I'll try crunchyroll's trial in a couple days and I may go ahead and sign up with them.

futurefrog2000d ago (Edited 2000d ago )

I think Crunchyroll is the best service overall. The quality of their product is phenomenal. If only more companies would work with them to provide dubs. At the moment however nothing even comes close to the service provided by Crunchyroll in terms of quality, quantity and speed of release.

SynGamer1999d ago

Crunchyroll is a great service, I just wish they could offer English dubbing, but alas, FUNimation/Viz/etc have the rights to those it appears.

FUNimation's Elite service had promise, but their current apps are just terrible considering the option options.

Neon Alley is kind of the opposite; their product is a great idea, but I'm not going to pay $7.99 for programming I have no control over. If they ever get around to offering VOD with the service, I'm sold INSTANTLY.

For now, we'll continue to use the free portion of FUNImation Elite and keep our subscription to Crunchyroll. I may occasionally watch some anime on Netflix...

Simon_Brezhnev1999d ago

I notice funimation are on Hulu now. A show i watch used to be streamed through them now its through Hulu.

Crunchy Roll wont offer English dub because of all the copyright issues. Thats why its easier to just sub it. That way Japan gets the money directly instead of all these third parties.

As in new anime crunchyroll is dominating. I just wish it was free on PS3 just put the adds. Hulu is horrible on PS3 they show longer commercials then regular tv. LOL

Archaic1999d ago

Of course, for those of us outside the US, our choices are much more limited. It's pretty much Crunchyroll or bust for a lot of us. Some of us are lucky to have local distributors who have their own online platform, such as we have here in Australia with Madman, but I gather platforms like this which actually show subtitled anime are few and far between.

futurefrog1999d ago

I agree Archaic. Madman's service is okay but their subtitles are average at best

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