Introduction

If you are looking to watch anime legally 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.

Important Update:

I have been doing research into the copyright situation involving anime reaction channels.
  • I learned that it’s illegal for an unlicensed YouTube channel to upload an entire anime.
  • Doing this steals money from those who worked on the project.
  • Because of this revelation, I am no longer promoting YouTube as a viable website to watch anime.
  • There are plenty of other legal sites that have free anime to watch.
  • Please support those sites and only watch anime on officially licensed YouTube Channels.

Subscription Only Streaming Services/ Sites

HIDIVE Logo Places to Watch Anime Legally in 2020

HIDIVE

1. 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.

2. Can you download a Videos for Offline Viewing?

you can only download videos if you have HIDIVE through VRV

3. 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.

4. Pros:

  • Very affordable at $5 dollars month
  • Excelent amount of exclusive anime.
  • Large selection of Dubbed and Subbed anime
  • 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.
  • Has a simple and intuitive video player
  • Borrows on the same idea as Netflix where you can learn all the information about the anime without going to another page.
    • Very handy if you just want to learn about the anime.
    • Many sites force you to have to go the viewing to get information about the anime and even view the episodes.
  • It has really great filters including Dubs, Exclusive, and much more. I wish more streaming services had filters this good. It’s obvious this was made for anime fans.
  • Unlike Prime Video and Vudu it lists each anime by season but right next to each other in the listing of the anime.
    • I only dislike the approach of having the anime broken up into seasons when the seasons are not next to each other.
    • It’s nice because you don’t have to go to the individual anime page to cycle through the seasons like every other service out there.
  • You can view the library without having to pay anything most subscription base services do not allow this.
    • Which makes no sense to me because why would not want someone to view what you have?
    • I feel like that would make them more interested in subscribing.

5. Cons:

  • The site has really slow load times

6. My Take:

HIDIVE really impresses me with their site’s construction and presentation. You could tell this was made for anime fans. It has a massive library of over 500 anime and the majority being exclusives. It’s very easy to find the different anime it has. Plus its five dollars a month. This is the one service that I would personally recommend over the other streaming options.

Link to HIDIVE:

Hulu Places to Watch Anime Legally in 2020

Hulu

1. 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 with an underwhelming library.

2. Can you download the Videos for Offline Viewing?

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

3. English Subbed or English Dubbed?

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

4. Pros:

  • Large anime selection including the most popular and recent shows.
  • If you have Disney+ you can get this in one of the packages

5. Cons:

  • Ads are repetitive and numerous.
  • Constant upsell for other packages.
  • Requiring users to pay extra to watch certain anime.
  • Canceling is egregious with Hulu prompting me several times to reconsider.
  • The page that lists all the anime is infinite scroll only so you can not view all of the episodes loaded on one page.
    • If you click to view an anime from that page and go back it will take to the top of the page instead of where you left off.
    • It is very annoying.
  • Almost no exclusives making getting this service for anime to be a complete waste of money.
  • Almost no filters for finding anything even free services give you more filters than this.
    • Good luck going through the whole catalog.
  • While the library has some popular anime most of it is very underwhelming.
  • The site does not handle switching between sub and dub anime.
    • Instead of having each version of the anime shown separately or having a switch on the video player you instead get it by episode.
    • This is really annoying because it just adds more things that you have to go through and increase the chance of clicking on the wrong anime.
  • Only movies are marked by the language options
  • Cannot view the entire anime library without subscribing.
  • If both Sub and Dub are not available, it does not tell you on the main page that displays the anime if it is in English or Japanese.
    • you have to literally have to view each one to find out
    • At least once you view the page for the anime you will see the options.

6. My Take:

Hulu is only an option if you get it some package deal. The small number of exclusives indicate that you can watch the same anime somewhere else and in some cases for free. It’s an underwhelming library and poor navigation options make this one of the worse places to watch anime. Did I mention that you still get ads when you pay for the basic package? No other streaming site does this.

Link to Hulu’s Website

Amazon Prime Logo Places to Watch Anime Legally in 2020

Prime Video

1. 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.

2. 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

3. 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.

4. Pros:

  • Contains rare classics such as Millenium Actress
  • Large selection of modern and classic anime
  • X-Ray feature 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 was it again?”
  • Provides decent filters including an anime and includes sub-genres for anime which most sites do not.
  • A decent amount of exclusives

5. Cons:

  • Falsely advertises anime that are available when they are not.
  • Follows Hulu’s policy of extra charges to watch certain anime
  • The amount of anime that are shown at a time is under 20 with no way to increase this number.
    • So, if you want to see the whole library then you need to go through at least 13 pages of content.
  • No way to filter by alphabetically.
    • This is really annoying because the anime is broken up into seasons but each season is scattered throughout the pages.
    • It would have been nice if it showed all the anime seasons together.
  • Includes both Western and Japanese cartoons in the anime filter
    • This is really annoying because it adds more shows to the anime list so it will take you longer to go through
    • It’s always incorrect and insulting.
  • It does not tell you on the main page that displays the anime if it is in English or Japanese.
    • you have to literally have to view each one to find out

6. My Take:

I do not generally watch anime on Amazon Prime Video but it has such a solid library, that there really is no reason not to. The interface is solid enough not better than Netflix but does the job. I recommend this service especially if you already have an amazon prime account (which most people do).

Link to Amazon Prime Video:

Netflix Places to Watch Anime Legally in 2020

Netflix

1. 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? It’s one of my favorite places to watch TV shows and movies. Anime on the other hand is a different animal.

2. 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

3. English Subbed or English Dubbed?

You will find that most of the anime will have both options available. Switching from either one is an option available in the video player.

4. Pros:

  • Fast load times
  • The sleek interface allows the users to find shows efficiently
  • Cool banners for each anime
  • You can skip intros and switch between sub and dub.
  • You can view all the episodes from the video player.
  • A large number of exclusives
  • You view all information about an anime from the main page that lists the anime without going to each anime’s page.
  • It has a medium-sized library of over 200 anime.

5. Cons:

  • Does not contain all seasons of each show advertised.
  • You cannot view all the anime at one time instead it’s done by film and tv shows.
  • A paid subscription is required to view the entire catalog.

6. My Take:

I love the interface of Netflix and the viewing experience you get. Netflix has really improved its catalog and continues to add more. I am glad it’s funding the creation of more exclusive anime.
HBO MAX Logo Places to Watch Anime Legally in 2020

HBO Max

1. What is it?

HBO Max is a new on-demand video streaming service launched on May 27, 2020, by Warner Media. It has a huge library of over 10,000 titles to watch from launch. This includes HBO’s shows, every DC film(animated and live-action), Cartoon Network‘ Shows, and of course anime. What makes this service unique is that it is the first one to have the Studio Ghibli films. Before this, you had to rent or buy digital or physical copies of the films. Beyond that, you could watch the films on Netflix if you changed your VPN

The other anime comes from Crunchyroll‘s library.

2. Can you download the Videos for Offline Viewing?

You can download videos as long as you have the app. The link with more information is here

3. English Subbed or English Dubbed?

Because most of the anime is from Crunchyroll English Dubbed will not always be an option. The Ghibli films have both options available.

4. Pros:

  • It has all the Ghibli films available to stream, I cannot emphasize enough how amazing this is.
  • The interface is excellent and borrows several parts from Netflix.
  • Finding the anime part is easy thanks to the drop-down menu at the left most corner of the website.
  • HBO MAX makes it very easy to find something to watch with their great search functions.

5. Cons:

  • Currently, the anime outside of Studio Ghibli is limited with only 12 titles (this will obviously increase with time).
  • It’s quite expensive at $15 dollars a month!
  • There are many problems with the video player
    • You cannotview all the episodes from the video player like you can with Netflix.
    • There is no option to go to the next episode that most streaming sites have.
    • Amazon and Netflix have one location under the video where you pick the language and closed captioning. HBO MAX has the language option to the right of the video and CC under the video which is strange.
    • You cannot control the speed or adjust the quality of the video.
    • Sometimes the CC button is not available to use regardless of what language you are watching the anime in. The Japanese voice anime will have subtitles just none you can manipulate.
    • HBO MAX does not provide a summary of each episode in the main menu for the anime. Instead, you need to click on the episode first to find out information about the episode.
    • Skipping around an episode I found to be very glitchy often it would lead the episode going to the wrong place.
    • The sad part about all of this is free services like TubiTV and RetroCrush give you way more options for the video bar and so does Crunchyroll.
    • Currently does work too well with 4K

6. My Take:

If you have an interest beyond anime and enjoy the content on HBO MAX then it’s worth it. This is the only place to watch Studio Ghibli’s films. If watching anime is your main priority this is not the place for you. For that price, you could get Funimation and Crunchyroll together (for an extra dollar) or you could save five dollars and get VRV. The point is HBO MAX has a ton of potential but does not have enough anime. The Ghibli films are not enough of a reason to subscribe to this service. As it stands there are better places to watch anime that cost way less and some that are absolutely free.

Link to HBO MAX

Google Plays Logo Places to Watch Anime Legally in 2020

Renting/Buying a Digital Copy

1. 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.

2. English Subbed or English Dubbed?

Depends on the anime you are downloading.

3. 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.
    • If you just want to watch one show it can be worth it overpaying for the entire subscription.

4. Cons:

  • Expensive over time.
  • You do not really own the footage as you would with a DVD.
    • You will need internet access to watch the anime.
  • Most of the anime that you could buy is available on other streaming sites or on one of those free questionable sites.

5. 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

Freemium Streaming Services

Crunchroll Logo

Crunchyroll

1. 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.

2. Can you download the Videos for Offline Viewing?

At this point, Crunchyroll does not offer this service.

3. English Subbed or English Dubbed?

Crunchyroll mostly has English Subbed anime.

4. Pros:

  • It has a wide range of features in addition to watching anime.
  • Large selection of anime.
  • Ads are not always present in videos.
  • It has a nice community of people and great articles written on anime.

Cons:

  • The service is expensive at $8 dollars a month if you want to remove ads and gain full access to everything.
  • Animes are falsely advertised on here
  • The ads are repetitive and obnoxious
  • It does not tell you on the main page that displays the anime if it is in English or Japanese.
    • you have to literally have to view each one to find out
    • Some sites will tell you on the main page for the anime, Crunchyroll does not do that.

5. 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 Logo

Funimation

1. 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. 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.

2. Can you download the Videos for Offline Viewing?

Yes on the Funimation Android and iOS App.

3. 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.

4. Pros:

  • Great library including quality exclusive anime.
    • Users can watch FREE anime on their YouTube Channel.
  • Better video player than Crunchyroll’s.
  • The Quality of the anime’s presentation in HD.
  • My favorite anime can be found on this platform.
  • Fast load times

5. Cons:

  • The ads are even worse than’s Crunchyroll’s.
    • Also, you cannot have your ad-block on when watching anime.
  • I do like the benefits of the premium service I am not sure if it’s worth $8 dollars a month.
  • Funimation uses the same system as Amazon and Hulu where you have to pay more to watch specific anime
    • For example Dragon Ball Z requires a Funimation subscription if you want to watch the whole series.

6. 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:

VRV Logo Places to Watch Anime Legally in 2020

VRV

1. 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.

2. Can you download the Videos for Offline Viewing?

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

3. 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.

4. Pros?

  • No ads.
  • 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 (simulcasts).

5. 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’s customizable subtitles is on available on HiDive itself.
  • 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.
  • The free account experience is no different than from watching it on Crunchyroll’s site.

6. 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. There are definitely cheaper options.

Link to VRV:

Tubi TV Logo

RetroCrush

1. What is it?:

Retro Crush is a new formerly completely free streaming service. It specializes in classic anime.

2. Can you download the Videos for Offline Viewing?

Not at the moment

3. English Subbed or English Dubbed?

The default for most anime on the platform is subbed. There is no option to switch from sub to dub if a dubbed option exists. Rather there will be another video of the same anime just dubbed. This is the same as TubiTV, and the other Digitial Rights Media channels Midnight Pulp and Asian Crush. When I first discussed this service I was very generous with it because it was free. But now that it is going the Freemium route I am going to be harsher on the service.

4. Pros:

  • A small number of Ads
  • Excellent selection of classic anime.
  • Lots of useful filters.
  • It features a nice page for each anime that has info on the anime and the episodes.

5. Cons:

  • The web app is extremely glitchy.
    • Which I never cared about before but now that they are charging a monthly fee I expect better.
    • One example is the sliders when you see use them on the homepage occasionally you will be sent back to the beginning of the slider.
    • Some menus like the genre one do not work correctly.
  • The current amount is under 150 and the exclusives are very low under 30
  • Is still does not have Kimba The White Lion, Astro Boy, Gundam, Macross, etc but at least it has BlackJack
  • Finding anime can be annoying as there are only premade filters and you have to scroll horizontally and not vertically
    • You can view the anime in a non-slider way with the filters but they should have offered this for the entire library.
  • The site does not make it clear exactly which anime are going to be exclusive.
  • When both options of Sub or Dub are not available it does not tell you on the main page that displays the anime if it is in English or Japanese.
    • You have to literally have to view each one to find out
    • The language is not even provided on the page for the anime, you need to view an episode to find out.

6. My Take:

As a free service I love Retrocrush there are so many great anime on the platform with more coming along the way. But their freemium service is a joke and no one should subscribe to it. HIDIVE is 5 dollars a month which is the same as RetroCrush. The only difference being HIDIVE has a library of over 600 anime with 400 exclusives. RetroCrush by comparison has over 110 anime with barely over 20 exclusives. Until this service gets a library of over 300 anime then maybe it will be worth it.

I am not sure why Digital Rights Media just takes the anime from AsianCrush and Midnight Pulp and put on here. It would make the 5 dollars less painful. Right now you would have to pay five for each to watch the exclusive anime.

Besides the price the lack of exclusives is a big deal, I have found many of the same anime on Amazon Prime and TubiTV. While Amazon Prime is a paid subscription service it does provide other things besides anime.

In summary, enjoy this service while it’s free I only hope that they still keep a small part of the library free no matter what. If not I would suggest going somewhere else to watch classic anime.

Link to RetroCrush:

Midnight Pulp Logo

Midnight Pulp

1. What is it?:

Is another free site under Digital Media Rights that is going freemium. For $5 a month you get no ads and exclusive content.

According to the site: “Blood-soaked bikinis, demonic stalkers, evil houses bent on murder, and pure, unadulterated cheese. These are the things that fill our dark world – and yours. All this and much more can be yours to enjoy anytime you want when you visit MIDNIGHT PULP”.

They have more horror and gory content and of course anime. Both this site and Asian Crush are very similar in design.

2. Can you download the Videos for Offline Viewing?

There is no official downloader for this site but much like TubiTV and YouTube there are sketchy sites that provide this service

3. English Subbed or English Dubbed?

Just like the other Digital Rights Media channels if both options are available you will see two different versions available. Usually, if one version is available the subbed is your only option.

4. Pros:

  • Each anime has its own page which makes it easy to go through the episodes.
  • A decent size library that is growing all the time.
  • Despite the site going freemium 90% of the anime content is free to watch (as of now)

5. Cons:

  • A lack of Exclusives
  • If you are only interested in the anime then the freemium is not worth it given how small the library is.
  • When both options of Sub or Dub are not available it does not tell you if the anime is in English or Japanese.
    • you have to literally have to view each one to find out
    • The language is not even provided on the page for the anime, you need to view an episode to find out.

6. My Take

Right now, most of Midnight Pulps’s library is free. I am concerned with their freemium model how long that will last. So, Midnight Pulp is a great place to watch anime for free. We will see if that remains going forward.

If they ever make all of the anime exclusive do not worry because Tubi TV, Prime Video, or another service will probably have most of it anyway which is why none of this makes any sense to me in the first place.

Obviously, this site shows other content besides anime so the price for the subscription makes sense. But if you are only interested in watching their anime then I would wait until Midnight Pulp gets more anime and specifically quality exclusives.

As a side note given how RetroCrush, Midnightpulp, and AsianCrush all have practically the same anime library wouldn’t make more sense to combine all of those into RetroCrush. That way someone who just wants to watch Digital Media Rights’ anime can pay $5 dollars just for RetroCrush and get all the anime.

Link to Midnight Pulp:

Asian Crush Logo

AsianCrush

1. What is it?:

Is another free site under Digital Media Rights that is going freemium. For $5 a month you get no ads and exclusive content.

According to the site: “AsianCrush is the premier Asian streaming service for movies, TV shows, and web videos online. We curate and distribute the best of Asian entertainment media to a global audience. Our content is distributed across North America on the leading cable, satellite, telco, broadband, and mobile Video-On-Demand (VOD) systems.

One of thereAsian content is Anime obviously. And much like Midnight Pulp, it has a good library of anime.

2. Can you download the Videos for Offline Viewing?

There is no official downloader for this site but much like TubiTV and YouTube there are sketchy sites that provide this service

3. English Subbed or English Dubbed?

Just like the other Digital Rights Media channels if both options are available you will see two different versions available. Usually, if one version is available the subbed is your only option.

4. Pros:

  • Each anime has its own page which makes it easy to go through the episodes.
  • A decent size library that is growing all the time.
  • Despite the site going freemium 90% of the anime content is free to watch (as of now)

5. Cons:

  • A lack of Exclusives
  • If you are only interested in the anime then the freemium is not worth it given how small the library is.
  • When both options of Sub or Dub are not available it does not tell you if the anime is in English or Japanese.
    • you have to literally have to view each one to find out
    • The language is not even provided on the page for the anime, you need to view an episode to find out.

6. My Take

To avoid complete redundancy read my thoughts on Midnight Pulp. The only additional note here is that Asian Crush and Midnight Pulp libraries are quite similar. Asiancrush tends to have more light-hearted where Midnight Pulp carries more graphic content.

Link to Asiancrush:

Free Streaming Services

Tubi TV Logo

TubiTV

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. English Subbed or English Dubbed?

This site is mainly subbed only but there are some dubbed versions of the same anime available.

4. Pros:

  • For a free service, there is a medium-sized library.
  • Few Ads.
  • It has a nice background for the show that you are watching.
    • This feature adds to the viewing experience.
  • The interface is simple.

5. Cons:

  • No way to filter the anime library
  • Lack of dub options
  • You have to turn off Adblock when watching an anime.
  • When both options of Sub or Dub are not available it does not tell you if the anime is in English or Japanese.
    • you have to literally have to view each one to find out
    • The language is not even provided on the page for the anime, you need to view an episode to find out.

6. 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:

Hoopla Logo

Hoopla

1. What is it?

From their about page “Hoopla is the digital service of Midwest Tape, a leading provider of entertainment media products and services: DVDs, CDs, audiobooks and shelf-ready solutions, to public libraries across North America for over a quarter of a century. Our purpose has always been to partner with libraries in delivering the best content to patrons in the most streamlined manner possible. Through the years, we’ve cultivated a growing passion for the evolving public library.
It’s a digital library where people with a library card to a public library can check out stuff like a brick-and-mortar library.

2. Can you download the Videos for Offline Viewing?

No

3. English Subbed or English Dubbed?

Depends on the anime hoopla is one of the few sites to have more dubs than subs

4. Pros:

  • A good size library of anime including quality exclusives under 100.
  • Completely free with no ads
  • It’s one of the only sites to have both Perfect Blue and Tokyo Godfathers. I love Satoshi’s Kon’s work so this a huge win for me and hopefully for you as well.

5. Cons:

  • This is not an anime streaming site so to find anime you have to use the advance search for anime to find anime content.
  • Only five checkouts a month this includes an individual episode.
  • You can only check out a video file for 72 hours
  • The video player is basic compared to even free places to watch anime.
  • The content may vary from state to state and obviously, this is a U.S/ Canadian only service
  • It does not tell you if the anime is in English or Japanese.
    • you have to literally have to go to each one to find out
    • This is one can be confusing as it might display the wrong information concerning the language options.

6. My Take:

Hoopla is really nice service with a good selection of anime. But the monthly checkout limit makes this site only good for short anime (under 13 episodes) or movies. This is not a problem since Hoopla has more anime films than tv shows. It used to have a limit of 10 checkouts a month I hope it goes back to that one day.

I am impressed with the ratio of exclusives that this service has, at over 50%.

If you have a library card for a public library then there is no reason not to take advantage of this service. You should do this even if the anime is not of interest. Remember you have access to a large catalog of excellent books.

Link to Hoopla’s Website:

PlutoTV Logo

PlutoTV

1. What is it?

It’s a mix between traditional television broadcast channels and on-demand streaming.

“Pluto TV licenses its content directly from providers, and as of March 2020 has deals with 170 content partners providing more than 250 channels and 100,000 unique hours worth of programming. Its content is available via its website and supported apps. As of March 2020, the service averages more than 20 million monthly active users.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluto_TV

Pluto’s on-demand structure is different from most services. Instead of typing in a search bar, you are given a list of different categories on the left side of the screen.

It’s all on one page and each category has a listing of shows/ movies for that section. You can scroll through the whole slider and eventually see an option to view all at the end.

On the mobile version you just see the movies/ shows to scroll through with the category listed below the slider.

2. Can you download the Videos for Offline Viewing?

No

3. English Subbed or English Dubbed?

It depends on which anime you select. Some anime will have both options or only available.

4. Pros:

  • For a free service, it has a nice selection of anime to watch and are adding more anime.
  • They have a channel called anime all day which plays different anime, unfortunately, there is no schedule for it but it is a nice touch.

5. Cons:

  • No ability to search.
  • Switching between shows to watch can be a little tricky since everything is done on the same page where most sites take you to a new location to watch the episode/film. You have to get used to it over time.
  • While I like the library and its potential currently is rather small under 45 anime.
  • It does not tell you if the anime is in English or Japanese.
    • you have to literally have to view each one to find out

6. My Take:

I love how this is a hybrid between on-demand and live television. It has a nice selection of anime that continues to grow. I like the channels devoted to anime but I wish there was a schedule or a list of what shows it will have at some point.

Overall it’s not the best place but if they continue to add more shows it might be in the future.

Link to PlutoTV’s Website:

Vudu Logo

Vudu

1. What is it?

“Vudu is an American digital video store and streaming service owned by Fandango Media. The company offers transactional video-on-demand rentals and digital purchases of films, as well as integration with digital locker services for streaming digital copies of films purchased as home video at retail.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vudu.

So, it’s a hybrid service since you can watch on-demand and rent/buy digital movies/shows.

2. Can you download the Videos for Offline Viewing?

Only rented/purchased digital content can be downloaded for offline viewing not any content from the free on-demand service.

https://www.vudu.com/docs/Download-and-Store-Feature-2010210.pdf

3. English Subbed or English Dubbed?

It depends on which anime you select. Some anime will have both options or only available.

4. Pros:

  • It’s free

5. Cons:

  • The animation filter will give you both anime and western-style animation you have to search the library manually.
  • Vudu breaks up the show into each season, thus when you are looking for an anime, you will see multiple entries of the same show just different seasons. Of all the issues I have this is the most annoying. Where is the logic in laying the content this way? Only Prime Video does this.
  • Most of the library is not on demand and requires renting/ purchasing.
  • It features a Small library of under 45 anime.
  • It does not tell you if the anime is in English or Japanese.
    • you have to literally have to view each one to find out

6. My Take:

The service is more focused on the purchasing element over the on-demand service. For anime especially the library is quite small. It might get more anime added in the future but regardless it might not be the best option to watch anime. Unless you need to watch Gigantor: Season 2 or want a good place to purchase anime you might want to look somewhere else.

Link to Vudu’s Website:

Places to watch anime offline

Movie Theater Picture

Movie Theater

1. 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.
With the current pandemic going to movies in theaters may not be ideal anymore. We will see how long theaters hold out.

2. English Subbed or English Dubbed?

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

Toonami's Logo

Cable / Sling TV

1. 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 in the US 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.
To watch anime from Adult Swim’s Website you need to be signed up with a cable network.

2. English Subbed or English Dubbed?

This is exclusively English Dubbed.

3. Pros:

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

4. 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.

5. 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:

Shows on Adult Swim

Japanese Store

Renting or Purchasing DVDs

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.
  • You actually own the footage unlike streaming where you pay to view it.

4. 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 require a player which is something that most standard laptops and desktop computers do not have.

5. 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 my anime reconmendations 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

A Library

The Library

1. 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 checkout. It has been my favorite source to find anime for over a decade now.

2. English Subbed or English Dubbed?

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

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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

Before I provide my favorite streaming service for each category. Let me address why certain streaming services on not one here and if they will be added at some point.
Viz Media: Right now it only has 20 anime the majority of which are not exclusive. I do like the presentation of the anime. If the library grows to at least 30 anime then I will add it to both my guide and this article.
Import Update Viz Media no longer has anime so I can’t add it as a streaming service.
Adult Swim: It has under 2o anime so much like Viz Media there needs to be at least 30 anime to justify adding it to the list.

It also requires a cable subscription to watch shows on it.

Ani.Me: The library of anime is over 30 but most of it comes from Hulu. My issue with it is that the entire library is not available to watch and seems rather sketchy to me. This is one place I probably one site that I won’t add anytime soon.

Anime Planet: Unlike other sites that have anime from other websites, this one has a video streamer as well. So, there is almost no difference between watching it on the original vs this one. It does have some Hulu content on it. I will at some point go through this one but the library is gigantic with over 3000 anime.

Crackle: This used to be on my list but Sony’s Crackle no longer has Tokyo Godfathers so I removed it. It used to not have any anime but recently I found two shows on it: Street Fighter and Robotech. Putting Vudu on here is a stretch that makes this service way too small to discuss here.

Legal Streaming on YouTube: I tend to avoid YouTube because of licensing issues. I tried in the past to take note of certain streaming channels like Funimation but it was a waste of time since they removed most of the anime they had. When it comes to other streaming sites, I can count on that most of the anime will be there will YouTube who knows.
If there are other streaming services that I missed please let me know.
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 Service: HIDIVE
Best Free Service: TubiTV
Best Way to Watch Anime Offline: Library
Best Library: Crunchyroll
But I want to hear from you what is your favorite place to watch Anime in 2020? Leave a comment below.

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Thanks so much for taking some time out of your day to read my guide.

Anime Amounts on Each Service as of January 2021

All Major Streaming Services for Anime in the U.S

All Free Major Streaming Services for Anime in the U.S

All Paid/Freemium Major Streaming Services for Anime in the U.S

Subscription Service NameVuduHBO MaxPlutoTVAsian CrushMidnight PulpHooplaRetrocrushNetflixTubiTvPrime VideoHuluHIDIVEFunimationCrunchyroll
Total Anime3554727287871602142973184166348641235
Total Exclusive Anime425100036301106110026438346623
Total Dubs29444226425176207126174300311689212
Total Subs1053316571361351991951463836037111195

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Welcome to MyMediaChops a blog created by a lifelong passionate anime fan. I love to write about my favorite anime including Gungrave, Code Geass, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Bleach, and so many others.