Introduction

If you are looking to watch anime in 2020 then you picked a great time. Never before have there been so many ways to watch anime. It’s crazy to think there was a time where pirating anime was the best way to watch it. Luckily for you anime is right at your fingertips.
 
The issue now is well which service is the best for watching anime. Well, I go through all the best options and give you my thoughts at the end.
 
This list goes through the obvious choices and other ways you may have forgotten about. With that in mind let’s get started.

Online Places to Watch Anime

Streaming Services

Hulu

What is it?:

Hulu is great but also terrible at the same time which is why I love to hate it. I remember when it started out it’s a simple service the watch stuff. First, it was free with no ads, then it added ads. Then paying to remove ads became an option. Now you have to pay to use Hulu and you get ads in the standard package. They even try to upsell for other packages and services.
Basically Hulu is so damn expensive but it’s really good place to watch anime

Can you download the Videos for Offline Viewing:

Yes you can on the Hulu app. Here is a link with instructions

English Subbed or English Dubbed:

Hulu selection caters to both with an easy interface to switch from one to the other.

Pros:

Of all the places to watch anime Hulu has the largest selection. When doing research I found it to have the majority of the anime that I recommend that people should watch.
The load times are quick and finding things to watch is easy.
It has a great interface for watching and looking for media.

Cons:

Ads are annoying and repetitive plus you get several in one video.
There is constant upsell for other packages. This really drives me crazy because the service is already pricey and it has ads.
Many anime that I wanted to watch required that I buy an extra package which is ridiculous.
Even canceling my subscription required three menus of more egregious ways to get me to not unsubscribe.

My Take:

Hulu is very pricey and consistently up selling. It does have tons of anime and because now it’s bundled with Disney plus it might not be the worse option to watch anime.

Link to Hulu’s Website 

Netflix

What is it?:

Is one of the best sources in the world to watch anything. Who would have thought that a competitor to Blockbuster that had a simple premise of no late fees would grow to this massive becometh of company. From watching Shows only it’s one of my favorite places to watch TV shows and movies. Anime on the other hand is a different animal.

Can you download the Videos for Offline Viewing:

Yes you can using the Neflix mobile or desktop app.  Here is a link that has instructions

English Subbed or English Dubbed:

You will find that most of anime will have both options available.

Pros:

It has a nice interface and find shows is easy and fast. The site loads fast. There are great banners for each show that makes the page specialized for the series. You can skip intros and switch between sub and dub is easy which is a must for all anime fans.

Cons:

Netflix has a small amount of anime to watch. It does have some exclusive anime made for it and the Miyazaki films will be on Netflix at some point. Regardless it still does not have alot when compared to the competition.
Also most of the anime found on Netflix is available on free sites with a bigger selection. So the only reason why you would use Netflix to watch anime is that you enjoy the interface or you already have it.

My Take:

I love the interface of Netflix and the viewing experience you get. If you are looking for a place to watch anime this might not be the best place yet. They are always adding new shows so my opinion on this will change in the future.

Prime Video

primeVideoLogo

What is it?:

What is it Prime Video is the streaming service that comes with an Amazon Prime subscription. So besides the free two-day delivery, you also get access to a large library of movies and tv shows to watch. You, of course, have access to a nice library of anime as well.

Can you download the Videos for Offline Viewing:

You can download videos as long as you have a Fire Tablet or the Prime Video App for iOS or Android. The link with more information is here

English Subbed or English Dubbed:

Prime will only have one option for the anime. But I have seen a good variety of Subbed and Dubbed anime.

Pros:

Prime Video’s library contains anime that I have a hard time finding in other places. For example, Millenium actress is available and I have had a hard time finding anywhere where I can stream that movie. There is a large library of anime with series ranging from classics to modern stuff. There is a good chance you will find something to watch here.

Prime video has a feature called X-Ray which allows you to see the cast of the show and all the scenes in the episode. This is a nice addition as it allows you to skip around the episode easier or help you quickly answer the question of “wait that voice actor sounds familiar who is it again?”

Cons:

I have seen anime on prime as a show you can watch in the search results. But then viewing the actual page I found it was not available. This happened more times than I can remember. I get really annoyed when services do this false advertising. There are also series that requires another purchase to watch. This is the same problem that Hulu has. Thankfully in both service, you still get access to plenty of anime to watch just expect that certain shows may require an additional purchase.

My Take:

I do not generally watch anime on Amazon Prime Video but it has a solid library that there really is not reason not to. The interface is solid enough not better than Netflix but does the job. I reconmend this service especially if you already have an amazon prime account.

Link to Amazon Prime Video:

VRV

VRV Logo

What is it?:

VRV is a streaming service that combines several other channels in one place. Including HiDive and Crunchyroll.
 
The advantage of this is you can pay a smaller fee per month to get access to all of the channels instead of paying for each one separately.

Can you download the Videos for Offline Viewing:

You can download videos to your VRV app on either iOS or Android link with instructions:

English Subbed or English Dubbed:

VRV uses both HiDive’s and Crunchyroll’s libraries so you have a large selection of both Dubbed and Subbed to choose from.

Pros:

No ads since you are paying for the premium service. Access to both Crunchyroll’s and HiDives’ library of anime.
 
You can create watchlists that contain your favorite shows from all the services provided.
 
You get early access to new episodes that come out.

Cons:

The price is too high at over 36 a month. Plus if you are only interested in the anime content it might be cheaper to just get an individual Crunchyroll and HiDive account.
 
Also even though you get access to many channels you do not get channel-specific features.
For example, HiDive has customizable subtitles. After spending a considerable amount of time on HiDive on VRV I could not find the option to do this.
The video player for VRV are the same regardless of which channel you are on. This takes away a little bit from the experience of watching an anime from a different channel.
It is important to note that with a free account you can watch anime on Crunchyroll channel. The experience is not different from watching it on Crunchyroll’s site.

My Take:

I like the idea behind this and it is a great deal if you watch all of the content this streaming service provides. However, if you are looking for just anime streaming services you may want to look somewhere else. It is definitely cheaper that way.

Link to VRV:

HIDIVE

HIDIVE LOGO

What is it?:

HIDIVE is a premium-only streaming service for anime from Sentai Filmworks. It features a large library of anime and tons of features.

Can you download the Videos for Offline Viewing:

you can only download videos if you have HiDive through VRV

English Subbed or English Dubbed:

There is a nice selection of both. For English Dub fans there is a whole section devoted to English Dubs.

Pros:

The subscription fee is only five dollars a month making it one of the cheaper streaming services.
 
It has a large library of anime that you cannot find anywhere else.
 
The selection of Dubs is high and there are many language options for the subtitles.
 
The simulcasts allow you to watch anime as it comes out and chat with people at the same time.
 
Each entry for an anime gives you all the details about the series.
 
The video player is great and provides enough options and is user-friendly.

Cons:

The site has really slow load times.
 
I wish the service had more quality exclusive anime.
 
HIDIVE ‘s anime selection interface is not the greatest. My particular complaint is the preview anime option.
 
If you click on an anime you get a preview of the show (avoiding the play button). This is bad because it slows the site even more to process the request and most likely the user just wanted to go the anime page.
 
Also, the anime that you select has a page with the same information as the preview so why even have the preview.

My Take:

If you are on a budget this a great option. I really like the exclusive titles including the original version of Legend of Galactic Heroes. Which is hard to find.
 
But the overall interface for this site does not resonate with me. There are better-paid options and even some of the places to watch anime for free are superior.
 
This is a great service but as the old saying goes you get what you pay for.

Link to HIDIVE: 

Renting or Purchasing the Digital Copy of an Anime

DVD.com Logo

What is it?:

Besides watching anime through a streaming service you can also rent or buy the digital copy. I often find these options when there is no streaming service available. YouTube, Amazon Prime, and Google Play are the biggest players here.

English Subbed or English Dubbed:

Depends on the anime you are downloading.

Pros:

You gain immediate access to the anime that you want to watch. Also once you buy it you never have to again and you can watch it on any device. You will need an internet access to watch the anime. If you just want to watch one show it can be worth it overpaying for the entire subscription.

Cons:

This method is very expensive over time. You do not really own the footage as you would with a DVD. Most of the anime that you could buy is available on other streaming sites or on one of those free questionable sites.

My Take:

This method of watching anime and any other form of media to me is not a good idea. You basically pay for one item that you can only watch online exclusively with that service. I would rather buy the DVD or go to a dodgy free site to watch it. I am kinda surprised that this method is still popular.

Websites where you can digitally rent anime:

GooglePlay Link

Amazon Primve Video Rent or Buy Link

Free Places to Stream With Ads

Crunchyroll

Crunchroll Logo

What is it?:

Crunchyroll is an American distributor of anime, manga, and Japanese drama television. Over 900 animes are available to watch through this service. Since starting in 2006 Crunchyroll has grown to become one of the largest places to watch anime. It has agreements with the other two large players Funimation and Viz Media.

Can you download the Videos for Offline Viewing:

At this point Crunchyroll does not offer this service.

English Subbed or English Dubbed:

Crunchyroll mostly has English Subbed anime.

Pros:

It offers more than just the ability to watch anime. It has a large selection of anime to choose from. It has ads but from experience not every show will have ads playing. Crunchyroll also has a nice social aspect to it. You can find a nice community of people and great articles written on anime.

Cons:

The service is expensive if you want to remove ads and gain full access to everything. Much like Amazon Prime Video, I found many shows advertised on Crunchyroll to not be available. Also unlike Hulu, Netflix, etc not all series on Crunchyroll give you options for both Sub and Dub. The ads are awful and very annoying.

My Take:

Crunchyroll is a great service. It has a large selection of shows and continues to evolve over time. If you can tolerate the annoying ads then sticking to the basic free plan will be fine.

Links to Crunchyroll’s Website:

Crunchyroll’s Store where you can buy Anime on DVD and Blue Ray: 

Funimation

Funimation Logo

What is it?:

Funimation “You Should be Watching”. I am very thankful for this organization for all the efforts it has done in dubbing some of my favorite anime of all time. Funimation is the other major competitor to Crunchyroll. It specializes in Dubbing of anime and has grown to be a large streaming and distributor of anime stuff. It addition it offers a service to buy all kinds of anime stuff. This includes DVDs, Toys, figures, etc. It even has Simulcasts for new anime that comes out in Japan.

Can you download the Videos for Offline Viewing:

Yes on the  Funimation Android and iOS App.

English Subbed or English Dubbed:

Funimation is the king of English Dubbing so of course it has plenty of English dubbed anime. All of the Anime has an English Subbed option.

Pros:

There are tons of anime to watch including exclusives. On their YouTube channel, you can find many of their shows free to watch. The interface for watching anime is much better than Crunchyroll’s. The Quality of the anime’s presentation in HD. Half the shows I recommend for beginners can be streamed here.

Cons:

The ads are even worse than’s Crunchyroll’s. Also, you cannot have your ad-block on when watching anime on this site. I do like the benefits of the premium service I am not sure if it’s worth 8 dollars a month.

A Funimation subscription might be required to unlock certain anime. For example to Dragon Ball Z requires a Funimation subscription if you want to watch the whole series.

My Take:

Funimation is a fantastic place to watch anime in 2020. It has a large library of great shows at a fantastic quality. Unless you are willing to fork over 8 dollars a month prepare for annoying commercials.

Link to Funimation’s Website:

Funimation’s where you can buy Anime on DVD and Blue Ray: 

TubiTV

Tubi TV Logo

What is it?:

TubiTV is becoming my favorite place to watch anime. I am not sure why I had never heard about it until recently? On more than one occasion I have found a series here that I could not find anywhere else and that includes the previously mentioned services.
The platform is a simple place to watch TV shows and Movies. It has a lot of anime too including shows from different eras and genres.

Can you download the Videos for Offline Viewing:

Yes, there is no Tubi app that functions like Funimation. But much like YouTube, there are sites that will download the videos in the same way. A simple search for “download Tubi videos” should point you in the right direction.

English Subbed or English Dubbed:

This site is exclusively English Subbed only.

Pros:

For a free service there is a medium-sized library. There are not too many ads when watching an episode. It has a nice background for the show that you are watching. This feature adds to the viewing experience. The interface is simple and switching on Subs is intuitive.

Cons:

It has a limited amount of anime when compared to other services out there. You have to turn off Adblock when watching an anime.

My Take:

This is my favorite Free place to watch anime right now. It may not have the greatest library but it has the shows that you want to watch. Combine that with the small number of Ads, excellent video interface and you have a great place to watch anime.

Link to TubiTv’s Website:

Crackle

Crackle Logo

What is it?:

Crackle was the first free service that I used back in 2010 with an Xbox Live Subscription. Back then it has tons of anime, movies, and TV shows. Today the selection is very small, but I still wanted to mention it because on occasion you might a gem to watch. In this case, Tokyo Godfathers is free on Crackle.
 
Normally, I would go further into the service but with Crackle, there is not much to talk about. It has a tiny amount of shows and too many commercials. Right now this is the best place to watch Tokyo Godfathers which is why I am mentioning it all.
Can you download the Videos for Offline Viewing:
There is not official way to do this. You might find dodgy ways to do this online.

YouTube

YouTube Logo

What is it?:

YouTube is the biggest platform to watch videos. It has grown from individual contributors to large companies. Every major network has a YouTube channel at this point. In terms of Anime YouTube is an unexpected place to watch anime. You might be surprised how many shows you can find by simply searching for them on YouTube. It also has a service similar to Google Play where you can buy anime.

Can you download the Videos for Offline Viewing:

There are plenty of YouTube to mp4 websites out there. The only issues that I have are that some have a limit on the video lengths. But for individual episodes, this should not be an issue.

English Subbed or English Dubbed:

Depends on which anime you are watching on YouTube. You might even find different parts in different formats.

Pros:

If you are looking for classic anime from the 80’s and early 90’s you might find them on YouTube. Some shows are so obscure that it seems the licensors do not care if someone posts it on YouTube. Plus many companies like Funimation post free anime on YouTube.

Cons:

Most of the free anime is on different channels and in weird parts. You are not going to get the same level of presentation on other sites. The selection of anime is limited so this not the premier place to watch. The service to purchase movies and shows are too expensive.

My Take:

In doing research for this article and my anime challenge I found that YouTube has many shows that I cannot find elsewhere. For hidden gems and forgotten series go to YouTube you should be able to find it.

Places to watch anime offline

Theater

Movie Theater Picture

What is it?:

Movie Theaters are places to watch films usually new releases. Sometimes theaters will show classic films and anime in the US. Outside of Japan, there are events called Fathom where theaters show many types of films including anime.
The majority of the anime films you will find are Miyazaki, Satoshi Kon, and Shinkai’s films.
 
As anime popularity continues to grow more theaters will showcase anime films. There are a few anime films currently shown in theaters but if you get a chance Fathom events are some of the best out there.

English Subbed or English Dubbed:

most events offer both with each one being on a different day.

Cable / Sling TV

Toonami's Logo

What is it?:

Okay, I am technically cheating since Sling TV is not an offline way to watch anime. However, it is so close to cable television I decided to put them together.
SlingTV is an on-demand streaming service that gives you the cable experience to your computer without the cord. Cable television is a service that delivers television programmers to its audience. It does this through Radio Frequencies.
Before modern online streaming cable was the premier place to watch television. However as Netflix and services like it continue to grow in popularity, the term cutting the cord is becoming more commonplace.
Anime has no official cable television instead Cartoon Network has a show called Toonami. Toonami’s first run was from 1997 to 2008. Four years later in 2012 Cartoon Network brought Toonami back on the air. Since then it continues to be a place to watch anime. At this point, Toonami is the best place on Cable to watch anime.

English Subbed or English Dubbed:

This is exclusively English Dubbed.

Pros:

Not specifically with Cable Television but Toonami is a great television program that shows the best anime out there.

Cons:

You can only watch what is showing right now. Also while Toonami has a great lineup but it’s only eleven anime. Obviously any streaming services offer significantly more than that. Cable, in general, is quite expensive hence why people are starting to move away from it.

My Take:

If you have cable already then Toonami is a great place to watch anime. This is obvious but do not cable just to watch anime. This might be the worse way to watch anime in 2020.

Link to Toonami’s Website: 

SlingTV’s Website: 

Renting or Purchasing DVDs

Japanese Store

What is it?:

The time of DVDs and Blu Rays is coming to an end but that does not mean they have no value. I find DVDs to be a fun way to watch old shows. There is something special about opening a DVD menu and going through all the extra footage. Even today there are many services to rent and buy DVDs. Anime is no exception to this. Some of the best places to rent and buy anime include GameFly, DVD.com, Funimation, Amazon, etc. You have no shortage of options.

English Subbed or English Dubbed:

If the anime was English Dubbed the dvd you will have it as well this goes for English Subbed as well.

Pros:

You can watch the DVD anywhere no internet required. Older DVDs and BluRays have tons of extra footage that you will not find on any streaming service. Having the physical copy gives you a sense of ownership not found from any streaming service.

Cons:

Overtime BluRays and DVDs can get expensive. This is especially true if you collect the special edition versions. Discs can be broken or lost. They need storage space. DVDs need a player which is something that most laptops and desktop computers do not have.

My Take:

Despite all the downsides of DVDs I still recommend them. My greatest joy is putting in a disc from one of my favorite anime and seeing what menu options are available. Many of the anime that I watch came from coming attractions on many DVDs. It’s one of the best ways to find hidden gems and forgotten series.

Links for sites where you can rent DVDs:

DVD.com Link

Gamefly Link

RedBox Link

Library

A Library

What is it?:

The modern library has taken over blockbuster as the best place to find DVDs to watch. It’s, of course, free plus if you live in a large city you might have access to the whole system of libraries. This will increase the number of shows you can watch. It has been my favorite source to find anime for over a decade.

English Subbed or English Dubbed:

If the anime was English Dubbed the dvd you will have it as well this goes for English Subbed as well.

Pros:

The library is free to check out stuff. The selection is quite large, especially in larger cities. I find with streaming services there are so many shows to watch that you will never get to them. Due dates encourage you to watch the show. It keeps your focus on one show at a time.

Cons:

Everyone has access to the discs which results in damages and scratches. There could be long waiting lists for the item that you want. The location could determine the selection. I happen to live in a bigger city so my selection is quite large.

My Take:

Before considering purchasing a DVD or getting a subscription service check out the library. I have saved so much money doing this and continue to do so this very day.

Final thoughts

Thanks for joining me in discussing the best places to watch anime. After going through the different places here are my top choices.
 
Best Viewing Experience: Netflix
 
Best Paid Viewing Service: Hulu
 
Best Free Service: TubiTV
 
Best Way to Watch Anime Offline: Library
 
Best Library: Crunchyroll
But I want to here from you what is your favorite place to watch Anime in 2020. Are there places that I missed. Leave a comment below.
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Thanks so much for reading and have a great day
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Mymediachops is a blog created by a life long anime fan. My goal is to prove that anime is for everyone. I focus on created content to help new fans get into the medium while also discussing anime that made a big impact on my life.