Best Anime Streaming Services for 2022 – CNET

Can’t get enough of Spy x Family, Bleach or One-Punch Man? With a ton of great anime out there that it can be hard to decide what to watch. But an anime streaming service can help you find the shows and movies that fit your preferences. We’ve rounded up the best anime streaming platforms available right now so you can quickly get to watching nearly countless hours of entertainment. 

These days, adaptations of popular Japanese manga and Hollywood properties (like Rick and Morty) are hitting the small screen. You’ll find high school melodramas, sci-fi anthologies, horror tales, rom-coms and superhero quests in this storytelling landscape. Longtime favorites such as One Piece and Dragon Ball prove that audiences will stick with classics while still making room for popular shows like My Hero Academia and worldwide phenomenon Attack on Titan.

Anime is an expanding genre with major players in the streaming game dedicated to meeting demand. It doesn’t matter if you’re a bona fide otaku with specific tastes, a casual viewer or a newbie, look no further than these streaming services to satisfy your anime cravings. 


Because of its robust stable of content, Crunchyroll has become the global destination for anime streaming. The brand boasts over 100 million registered users and more than 5 million subscribers. Crunchyroll merged its vast lineup with fellow genre titan Funimation to deliver thousands of titles 24/7. All that anime is under one umbrella, which includes Demon Slayer, Jujutsu Kaisen and To Your Eternity. According to Crunchyroll, it’s now “the world’s largest anime library of more than 40,000 episodes and over 16,000 hours of content.” 

The biggest selling points? New episodes land on the streamer one hour after they premiere in Japan. Viewers can also count on surprise releases like the eight special episodes of Attack on Titan that dropped weeks before the final season premiere.

Anime fans love the variety and appreciate that for some content, they can watch the uncut Japanese versions of their favorite series on this service. Additionally, there’s a carousel of original, in-house creations that spin alongside the freshest releases out of Japan. 

You can sign up for a free account to stream ad-supported content on the service. Just note that not all titles are available with this version, and there is a wait for new releases. However, anime watchers who prefer immediate viewing access to new episodes should opt for Crunchyroll’s basic $8 ad-free subscription.

Hajime Isayama, Kodansha/Crunchyroll

If you’re on the fence about a Crunchyroll subscription, Hulu boasts more than 300 anime titles and is a prime stop to watch hits My Hero Academia, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, Attack on Titan, Soul Eater, Bleach and more. There are also simulcasts that stream each season, treating viewers to the newest releases from Japan. This is an area where Hulu one-ups Netflix. Fans will find Pokemon films and oldies but goodies like Sailor Moon and Akira, too.

Hulu also has partnerships with Crunchyroll and Funimation to carry some titles, but not their entire catalog. The Crunchyroll and Adult Swim original series, Blade Runner: Black Lotus is available along with favorites such as Assassination Classroom. However, new subtitled episodes may arrive immediately on the streamer while dubbed versions take longer. Debut times vary depending on the series.

An added benefit is the dedicated Anime Hub where you’ll find content organized into categories such as classic, A-Z or simulcasts. Hulu starts at $7 a month.


Netflix has grown its anime offerings though it lacks the fresh installments and simulcasts of Hulu. Currently, there are dozens of Japanese imports on the platform as well as Netflix originals Castlevania, Yasuke and Devilman Crybaby.

Though it’s not the go-to for more obscure titles, Netflix has a reliable selection of popular anime that includes Demon Slayer, Hunter x Hunter, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and nine glorious seasons of Naruto. Its newest releases for 2022 include Kotaro Lives Alone, a small-screen version of Spriggan and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, a spinoff of the Cyberpunk 2077 video game. 

Another major plus for the streamer is the absence of ads — for now. But subscribers should be aware they’ll need to take the extra step of nixing the skip function when episodes end to see if there are post-credits scenes in their favorite show.

Viewers can look out for upcoming anime movies and shows like The Seven Deadly Sins: The Grudge of Edinburgh, Skull Island and Terminator. Netflix starts at $10 a month.


A cheap option for viewers, Hidive streams content to fans around the globe, including simulcasts. Not only will you find curated anime from all subgenres, but there’s an assortment of live-action adaptations too. And though the service has family-friendly titles, it caters to the 18-and-older crowd.

Hidive prides itself on its customizable subtitle option, in-episode live chats, and exclusive catalog. You can even choose between censored and uncensored anime. An independent service, the company encourages fans to request their favorite titles if they can’t find them on the platform.

Hidive is supported on iOS, Android and smart TVs, and it runs content directly through its site. There’s no free subscription option, and the monthly rate is $5 after the 14-day free trial.

Anime streaming FAQs

What’s the difference between dub and sub?

In the anime community, the terms dubbed and subbed are used to describe the difference between a piece of content that streams in Japanese with subtitles or an English-dubbed (or other language) version. It’s a matter of personal preference, but some fans like one type over the other. Among diehard fans, Funimation is known for its extensive dubbed collection.

Why can’t I find certain anime content on some streaming services?

Due to licensing agreements, some streaming providers’ anime lineups will change. This also depends on which country you live in, as various content may only be available in Japan, the US, or other regions.

Timing plays a role and can determine whether a series’ new season or movie hits a platform the same day, month or year of its original release. However, viewers will notice that some shows are streaming on multiple platforms at the same time.

What is the meaning of OAD and OVA in anime and does it matter?

From time to time, you may see streaming services refer to OAD or OVA as special promotions. Generally, OAD and OVA are extra episodes that did not air on television, but are part of the story and may or may not be canon. They can be prequel episodes or storylines that happen during or after what’s seen in a series and act as cool additions for anime lovers.

Which devices support these apps?

Each of these anime streaming providers are accessible via their standalone websites, smart TVs, Roku, iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon FireTV, Apple TV and Xbox One devices. You can watch it on your phone, tablet, PC or TV.