One of the oldest debates in the realm of anime is that of Funimation vs. Crunchyroll. Both anime streaming sites have their perks, but anime fans usually gravitate towards one or the other for several reasons. Which one is the better choice for anime connoisseurs, though? Whether you enjoy popular anime or your taste is more underground, subscribing to either Crunchyroll or Funimation can help you watch your favorites with ease instead of relying on old DVD copies that clutter up your shelves.
The History of Anime Streaming Services
Funimation is around 12 years older than Crunchyroll — it started in 1994, while Crunchyroll formed in 2006. Both anime streaming platforms are well-known among the anime community as the best places to find popular anime, both in the original Japanese and dubbed into other languages, most notably English. Both platforms have thrived over the years, and they’ve changed hands quite a bit, each having their time as an independent company. Sony acquired Funimation in 2017, and just recently, also bought Crunchyroll.
Since the acquisition, Sony decided to move Funimation to Crunchyroll, merging both anime streaming platforms into one comprehensive website. This process will end the Funimation vs. Crunchyroll battle, presumably, because their libraries will work together to create the ultimate anime experience that fans will enjoy, according to Funimation. Until they merge, though, you have the option of choosing either Funimation or Crunchyroll. They have similarities and differences, much like any other streaming platform, but you may find that these two websites have more similarities than you initially thought.
The Similarities Between Funimation and Crunchyroll
As they’re both anime streaming sites, the battle of Funimation vs. Crunchyroll has some similarities. Both of these platforms offer some of the most popular anime for a small fee, and their similarities are nuances that you should consider before committing to either service.
1. Free Accounts Have Ads
Crunchyroll and Funimation are some of the few streaming services that allow you to watch their extensive library without a paid account. While these anime streaming sites both have premium subscription options, you can still access their whole libraries with a free account. The caveat is that you’ll have to watch ads, which can sometimes feel tedious, during the media you’re watching. You can rid yourself of ads in an instant by upgrading, though.
2. New Anime Is Available
If an anime is airing currently, it will likely end up on both platforms. Both Crunchyroll and Funimation emphasize newer anime that can draw people in, so much of what you’ll see advertised on the platform is the season’s hottest anime. By choosing only one of the platforms, you won’t miss out on certain new, airing anime and can keep up with your friends’ conversations.
3. Offline Viewing
Premium subscriptions allow you to download episodes for viewing offline. This feature could be great for people who are traveling or don’t have stable Internet either at home or out and about. Both Crunchyroll and Funimation only offer downloading of episodes in a tier up from their regular premium subscription. However, it’s still a service you can rely on when you need it.
4. Streaming Quality
Both Crunchyroll and Funimation stream in excellent video quality. 720p and 1080p are both available for streaming, which means you can typically stream anime from either of these platforms on a standard television, and you’ll have the best quality picture. Older anime fans may remember the dark times of pixelated anime on other streaming platforms — so this opportunity may be the perfect chance for you to see some of your old favorites in excellent quality.
5. App Capabilities
You don’t have to stream only on your phone or laptop — these platforms are both available as apps on major devices, too. You can pull them up on Xbox or PlayStation, and you can also have the apps on your Apple TV, Amazon Firestick, or Roku. This ability makes these apps all the more accessible in every area of your life.
The Differences Between Funimation and Crunchyroll
The Funimation vs. Crunchyroll argument can typically be boiled down to whether a person prefers anime subs or dubs. Funimation is famously known for offering dubbed anime — an English version for those who don’t want to read subtitles. On the other hand, Crunchyroll is famous for mainly offering subbed, or subtitled, anime with only a few titles in the English dub category. Aside from this notable difference, the two streaming platforms have a few other differences you need to know before committing to one of them.
Simulcasts are particular services that allow viewers overseas to watch anime around the same time as it comes out in Japan. As this process involves perfecting subs or acquiring a dubbing team, it can typically take some time — but simulcasts make it so that you can see the anime episode with context no more than a day after it originally aired.
In this category, Crunchyroll snatches the crown. It’s much easier to put out subs in under a day than dubs. Still, Funimation should be applauded for getting out dubbed content, usually in under a week, sometimes in under two days, after the episode aired in Japan through their SimulDubs.
2. Type of Content
What content you like to watch will also influence whether you should subscribe to Crunchyroll or Funimation. Crunchyroll isn’t strictly anime — it has J-Drama and other live-action shows based on anime, so if you love everything Japanese television media, it might be the best choice for you.
On the other hand, Funimation offers shows that you likely haven’t seen for years. If you watched anime on television on the weekends and miss those shows, you’ll probably find them on Funimation. Even if Funimation’s team didn’t dub the anime itself, the anime still might be featured in their extensive library. Crunchyroll tends to focus on newer shows, so if you’re all about the nostalgia, go for Funimation instead.
3. Country Availability
Crunchyroll emerges as the winner in this field, as the anime streaming service can be accessed in 170 countries. Funimation is only available in a few areas, namely North America, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia and New Zealand. If you stream in one of those countries, you can access both Funimation and Crunchyroll, but if you live anywhere else, Crunchyroll might be your best bet, if not your only option.
4. Catalog Size
Crunchyroll has an expansive library of over 1,000 titles. These titles include simulcasts that air the same day they do in Japan and all the digital manga Crunchyroll has acquired over the years. Funimation has a massive library as well, including many older titles, but Crunchyroll’s is much more expansive. However, Crunchyroll focuses on newer titles, so you’re bound to find shows from every season in recent years.
Which Anime Streaming Service Is Cheapest?
One crucial factor to consider in the Funimation vs. Crunchyroll issue is their price point. These streaming platforms offer different pricing packages depending on what you want. At its cheapest, Funimation’s monthly price is $5.99, whereas Crunchyroll’s basic package is $7.99.
Crunchyroll divides its packages into different “fan” categories. Regular fans earn ad-free viewing, and for just $2 more a month, you can gain offline viewing and other perks. The “Ultimate Fan” package is nearly $15 a month but comes with plenty of cool anime swag each year as a way for Crunchyroll to say thank you for supporting the anime industry.
Funimation’s “Premium Plus” package is $2 more than their standard premium subscription. It ups the number of simultaneous streams from two to five, and you can get access to special sales, free shipping and member-only perks and offers. “Premium Plus Ultra” is the ultimate anime fan package at almost $100 per year, and it comes with a special anniversary gift every year.
If you look at just the basic packages, Funimation is the cheaper of the two with around the same perks. If you want to splurge on the greatest amount, Crunchyroll offers more bang for your buck. It all depends on what your budget allows and what you want your anime service to prioritize.
Funimation Vs. Crunchyroll: Who Wins?
The winner of the Funimation vs. Crunchyroll debate can boil down to two questions: How much do you feel like spending, and do you prefer watching subbed or dubbed anime? If you tend to leave anime on in the background while you’re getting stuff done around the home, you might opt for Funimation so you can follow the plot while multitasking. In the end, the best anime streaming service is the one that fits your needs the best.
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