Do you like anime? Then you probably would love to watch them legally on streaming platforms. In our guide you will find out how and where to watch anime online and compare the best available streaming platforms. Read on!
Streaming and watching anime online may at times be challenging, especially in certain countries. Despite the wealth of anime movies and the constant development and growing popularity of the Japanese animation, until recently many anime lovers have had to either wait for the boxed edition of their favourite series, or resort to platforms with a questionable reputation. Fortunately, some of the most renowned streaming services have started to appreciate this niche and begun to make up for the shortcomings in their offers.
Streaming and watching anime online – the question of legality
How can you watch anime online and is it legal at all? A while ago the biggest, most popular, albeit pirate website offering Japanese animation productions to stream and download, KissAnime, was blocked and removed from the web. Although the platform was described as disseminating infringing content coming from illegal sources, it didn’t stop it from enjoying a huge popularity, hosting millions of visitors and audiences from all over the world. Now that the site has shut down, many anime fans have begun to wonder where to turn to in order to get access to their favourite Japanese films and series. No reason to be disheartened, though, as there are legal solutions just as exciting as KissAnime.
Legally accessible streaming platforms and services are offering a pretty decent selection of anime films and TV shows. In spite of the fact that some countries may not have full access to some of the most extensives offers of websites such as, for example, FUNimation (unavailable in many locations), it’s safe to say that the trend continues and more and more sources are becoming available. To mention a few, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Crunchyroll offer access to legal streaming of your favourite Japanese animation movies. Get familiar with the offer of the most popular VOD platforms and watch anime online legally!
What does Netflix offer?
Currently, one of the best and most reliable services providing Japanese anime films and TV shows to stream from all over the world is Netflix. The platform’s offer is incredibly varied – you’ll find there both old-school anime classics as well as the newest titles. On top of that, the service not only gives you access to licensed movies and series, but it increasingly enhances their selection with Netflix original productions. What are the best anime movies and series to stream and watch on Netflix? Have a look at the list below and find out about the diverse positions in the platform’s library.
Death Note – one of the absolute classics
Death Note needs no introduction. It’s an absolute classic in the books of every anime lover and not only. The main character of the series, which first ran in 2006 and 2007, is Light Yagami, a high-school student who accidentally discovers the ‘Death Note’, a mysterious notebook with a terrifying power: when a name of a person is noted inside it, the person soon dies. Initially shaken by his newly-acquired power, Light Yagami begins to search possibilities to make use of the notebook in the wisest, most beneficial way possible. Death Note is an ultimate classic and one of the many must-see anime titles available to stream on Netflix.
Eden – the future of man among robots
Eden is a significant position in the Netflix library since it is one of the platform’s original productions. The television series was released in May 2021, and though Netflix had previously released anime under the banner of Netflix Originals, it is Eden that was the first fully-original, produced entirely in Japan streaming series on the platform.
The series is set in a distant future, a thousand years after the disappearance of the humans from Earth, in a monolithic city inhabited solely by artificially intelligent robots. One day, while on a routine assignment, two maintenance robots accidentally awaken a human baby girl, Sara Grace. The incident is set to significantly shake up their beliefs and everything they thought they knew.
Violet Evergarden – in search of the true self
Violet Evergarden is not a Netflix Original series, but it made it to the platform’s worldwide distribution almost immediately. It tells the story of Violet Evergarden, a ghostwriter who writes letters for people who are not able to write or need help expressing their feelings. Violet herself is a former soldier who has been enlisted in the army and fought in the war, where she was treated rather as a weapon and not as a human being.
As a consequence, she became emotionless and unable to express and understand human emotions. Violet becomes a ghostwriter at the CH Postal Company after the war, seeking to better comprehend her own self and understand the meaning of ‘I love you’, the words that were said to her by her major during the last battle of the war. Apart from the series, Netflix hosts two full feature films about Violet as a continuation of her story.
My neighbour Totoro – a timeless anime movie
My neighbour Totoro is an anime film produced by the Japanese animation studio Ghibli. As one of the key titles of anime cinematography, it tells the story of two little girls who, after moving to the countryside, discover mysterious fantastical creatures inhabiting the nearby forest. The 1998 film is directed by the cult anime director Hayao Miyazaki.
Other popular platforms
Besides Netflix, one of the most popular platforms is HBO Max. While the service doesn’t offer any anime selection at the moment, it has announced that some key films are coming soon. You can expect such titles as Howl’s Moving Castle, Tokyo Revengers or Weathering with You.
Other than that, you will be able to find some anime films on Amazon Prime Video (for example Pokemon), and Hulu (Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba). You should consider, however, that Hulu is not available outside of the States and you will need a VPN to use it.
Crunchyroll is an American streaming platform with a huge anime selection available to access from most countries, although it won’t offer subtitles in all the languages. The service is available without registration and for free, but keep in mind that in that option the library will be limited. To take full advantage of the platform’s offer of anime, manga and other Asian series, you will need to sign up with a premium account. Among the most interesting titles are Konosuba or Attack on Titan.