Introduction

If you are looking to watch anime legally in 2021 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: