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Crunchyroll Free: Everything you need to know (Updated 2022)

Crunchyroll is a highly decorated anime streaming site with a dedicated community. Apart from general TV shows, manga, and games, members can engage in conversations and drop reviews on popular shows. While this sounds fascinating, Crunchyroll is no longer the powerhouse it once was and the average experience is not worth your time or money.


Nicole Sommer
Last updated: Tuesday, 03.October 2023
Author Biography
Hello. My name is Nicole Sommer. I am a big soccer enthusiast and do a lot of reserach around the easiest way to watch soccer on TV and online across the whole globe.
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The streaming market has now passed the mainstream stage, and specialty services such as Crunchyroll have been successful in carving out their own niche. Netflix, Prime Video, HBO, and Hulu are competing in the upper echelons, while services such as Crunchyroll have been successful in maintaining its popularity whilst separating itself from the mainstream battle. How? Unlike the streaming services, Crunchyroll focuses exclusively on anime content. This trend can be seen with NBC's "Seeso" (comedy-only service) and AMC's "Shudder" (horror-themed service).
If you were to rank the five most impactful streaming services, Crunchyroll would easily place among them. However, this service has now passed its peak and is on a decline; according to the ratings on the Play Store app, animosity between anime lovers can be understood. Apparently, Crunchyroll couldn't handle its success and subsequently fell flat after a successful period. As far as bashing the brand goes, I'd like to share information about the site without furtherdetails.

What is Crunchyroll?

Crunchyroll is a streaming app and website that allows users to watch anime content for free. The app has been in its prime for approximately 5-6 years ago, however, the service has declined recently. Streaming on Crunchyroll is still recommended in spite of this decline, as the platform still offers a variety of anime content. There are several reasons why streaming on Crunchyroll would be enjoyable even today.
There is also a podcast with new episodes released every week. After considering Crunchyroll to be the biggest anime streaming platform, it is largely due to its content depth that you will find it here. It has thousands of shows and manga, as well as simulpubs of popular manga titles from Kodansha Comics. You can watch anime titles one hour after they air, read manga on Crunchyroll using a premium account, and listen to new episodic podcasts every week.

Interactive games

Crunchyroll might be a relatively new player in the gaming industry, but it provides a decent number of games for iOS and Android users. That's the benefit of downloading the app rather than streaming on the website. I'm sure that in the near future, Crunchyroll will work on expanding its gaming titles and possibly carve out an ultra-niche within the anime segment.

Excellent Compatibility

While Crunchyroll may have lost some of its touch in terms of streaming quality, there is no problem in the compatibility department. You can download the app on a wide range of platforms such as Chromecast, WiiU, Apple iOS, Windows Phone, Roku, Google TV, Apple TV, and Gaming Consoles such as Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PS Vita. If you go premium, you can access a massive content library and stream content on all the aforementioned devices.


What sets Crunchyroll apart from other anime streaming services is its intention to create a community. The social functionality of Chatroom, along with video recommendations and badges, really gives the platform a community vibe. Users don't just want to stream anime; they want to share their opinion and want to hear from others.


But, if you want to see these anime without having to pay for them, I would recommend looking elsewhere. Crunchyroll used to be a free service, but that's no longer the case. You can stream any content on the app, but only for 14 days. After that, you'll need to subscribe to the premium service. So unless you're ready to go premium, I don't think you should attach yourself to this platform. With shows such as Black Clover, Naruto, One Piece, Dr.Stone, and Fire Force, it's easy to get lured by the stellar line-up. But if you want to see these anime without having to pay for them, I would recommend looking elsewhere.

Crunchyroll App Information

Crunchyroll has been installed more than 10 million times. If you need numbers, these are enough to demonstrate the website's credibility in the anime space. As for app size, it depends upon your device. The app was updated on 31st December 2019, and it's been more than three months since the last update. Thus, the developers don't seem quite active as compared to other streaming services.

How to access Crunchyroll?

You can download the app from Google Play Store (Android) or App Store (iOS). If not these platforms, you can even opt for compatible devices that I mentioned above. Install the device and sign up. After two weeks, you'll need to subscribe to the premium service, which costs $6.95/mo.


I find the design of this app appealing. Its orange and white color scheme is quite different from most dark theme apps, which feature darker menus and buttons. The app has two major genres, Drama and Anime. Using these tabs, you can find various content buckets such as Popular, Simulcasts, and Updated. All the content that you see in these sections is arranged alphabetically.
Unlike Crackle, which has a different interface for different devices, Crunchyroll seems to have a standard layout. However, the app doesn't have enough information when you compare it to the website, which has news and discussion boards as well. But because of those options, the website does look a little cluttered.


Crunchyroll provides access to over 200+ anime series compatible with a wide range of devices. You can watch popular anime series such as Naruto, One Piece, or Death Note and can even create a queue to keep track of the progress. If you are new to the anime world, the random option is worth exploring if you are on a 14-day free trial. Don't pick the popular anime because you might find it anywhere on the web. Just watch what the app recommends, and you will be able to make the decision for yourself.
You can even find polls and quizzes about anime. Crunchyroll is expanding its content lineup, which has kept its audience glued for so long. The introduction of games on the app feels like an interesting start to something iconic. Other than games, forums, and features that help you stay up-to-date and learn more about the anime industry in general, there are so many videos other than anime that you can watch on this platform. There are even podcasts and reviews of various anime series and manga. You can even find polls and quizzes about anime.

Plans & Pricing

Crunchyroll is free for a limited time, but the premium service costs $6.95/month. I know that might not be much, but niche-genre-based streaming services such as Shudder and Sesso fall in the same category. What's worse? You get the Hulu + Live TV package for that amount. But if you're an anime fan, I don't think these comparisons would make much difference. Is the premium worth it? I don't think so. Why? Because there are many quality anime streaming websites that don't charge you for HD streaming.

Desktop/Mobile experience

I had a positive experience streaming on the Crunchyroll app a couple of years ago. However, I had a negative streaming experience this past month. I tried watching an episode of ?One Piece?, and the stream kept buffering. After every one minute, the app would buffer for two minutes. Though I thought it could be because of my internet connection, I was on a 16MBPS connection where other apps, such as YouTube and Daily motion, were steady. Submitting a ticket is not helpful either because they take forever to address the user's concerns.

Suggestions I have for Crunchyroll

Despite its content catalog being massive, with a lack of stable streaming and customer support, it is quite hard to rely on a premium platform. The ads on the free version are so repetitive that you would end up Memorizing them. Long load times, buffering speed, and crashes further mar the app. I hope the developers pay attention to this and get to work.


If you are a huge anime fan, the chances are that you are already subscribed to this service. However, as you are reading this review, you yourself know that Crunchyroll is only a shadow of its former self. On the other hand, if you are a new user, I would recommend you start off with a 14-day free trial. Experience the platform and see if it makes sense for you to go premium. If it does, then $6.95/mo shouldn't be a major stumbling block.
Nicole Sommer
Nicole Sommer is a true soccer fan and loyal supporter of FC Arsenal and 1.FC Köln. She plays actively her self as central forward in the women's aquad of TuS Köln in Germany. In her spare time she spends a lot of time online including researching the soccer streaming space. Her research has been published in several online soccer magazines.
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Crunchyroll Free: Everything you need to know (Updated 2022).

Crunchyroll is a highly decorated anime streaming site with a dedicated community. Apart from general TV shows, manga, and games, members can engage in conversations and drop reviews on popular shows. While this sounds fascinating, Crunchyroll is no longer the powerhouse it once was and the average experience is not worth your time or money.

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