For fans worldwide, anime is not just a form of entertainment, but also an escape from reality. It’s no wonder that the popularity of watching anime online has skyrocketed, thanks to the Internet and myriad advancements in digital technology.
The good news is that there are numerous platforms where you can immerse yourself in this animated universe. Whether you’re an “otaku” or a total newbie eager to explore the vibrant waters of anime, this guide will cover everything you need to know.
Let’s dive in!
Where to watch anime for free?
Let’s start with one of the most-sought after choices — websites that offer free streaming of anime titles. With so many options available, it can seem overwhelming to find a reliable source.
Here are some of our top recommendations:
Anime Planet features a collection of anime series, movies and OVAs. The website boasts more than 45,000 legally-available episodes of various anime titles. Here you’ll find a wide variety of genres to choose from and access useful features such as progress tracking, watch lists, and a thriving online community.
One thing that stood out to us about this particular website is that it would serve as a good starting point for beginners. This is thanks to its user-friendly interface and detailed anime descriptions.
However, it’s important to note that the website includes ads to generate revenue. This is how it manages to keep the platform free for everyone.
Crunchyroll is another excellent platform for free anime streaming. It’s particularly popular for its extensive catalog of subtitled anime episodes available just an hour after they air in Japan. This makes Crunchyroll a great choice for those keen on keeping up with ongoing series in real-time.
While the platform does offer a premium subscription for ad-free and HD streaming, its free version is still a great deal, providing access to most of its content albeit with occasional ad interruptions.
Crunchyroll is also more than just a streaming site: it’s a vibrant community for anime enthusiasts, offering forums, news, and even anime merchandise.
For anime fans seeking anything from the most popular to the rarest of titles, 9anime is a frequent choice and for good reason. This free anime streaming platform offers an extensive library with well organized categories to suit all preferences — adventure, romance and mystery, and everything else under the sun.
While it may not operate under the legal framework as Anime Planet or Crunchyroll, it manages to offer high quality streaming supported by ads while keeping interruptions to a minimum.
One standout feature of 9anime is its update schedule ensuring that many series are promptly updated with new episodes soon after their original air dates. Additionally, this platform provides a user interface and the option to download episodes for offline viewing allowing for greater flexibility.
Funimation stands out as a free anime streaming platform specializing in dubbed content. This makes it ideal for those who prefer watching anime in English rather than relying on subtitles.
While there is a premium subscription, the site offers a substantial amount of free content, of course albeit with advertisements. With its intuitive design and genre specific categories, users can easily navigate the site and revisit their favorite anime shows or explore new ones.
One of the standout features of Funimation is its “SimulDub” service, which provides English dubbed versions of anime episodes shortly after their original release.
Are free anime streaming sites safe?
Free anime streaming sites can be a tricky subject when it comes to safety. Suspicious pop ups, annoying redirects and confusing links are pretty typical for these websites. However, the platforms mentioned in this guide – Anime Planet, Crunchyroll, 9anime and Funimation – are all reputable streaming services that offer safe and quality content.
These platforms prioritize user safety by maintaining their legal status through partnerships with anime production companies and/or through ad based revenue models. They do not require downloads or lead users to suspicious redirects commonly found on illegitimate streaming platforms.
However, it’s always advisable to use an updated antivirus program and an ad-blocker while streaming anime online. Remember, never provide personal or financial information unless you are sure of the platform’s legitimacy and use a secure network connection.
Premium websites to watch anime
While free streaming sites offer a broad range of anime content, premium websites ensure an ad-free, high-quality viewing experience with added features.
Here are some top premium platforms that you can use to watch anime online:
While we’ve already mentioned Crunchyroll in a previous section, we feel that it is worth highlighting their paid plan which happens to be one of the best options out there for anime streaming.
Crunchyroll Premium offers an ad-free experience with access to the newest episodes of ongoing series just an hour after their original air dates in Japan. For $7.99 per month (basic plan), it provides a higher quality video streaming of up to 1080p, and it also allows users to stream on multiple devices.
As a subscriber, you get to enjoy new episodes of your favorite anime in real-time, a feature that is a real game-changer for avid fans who want to keep up with their favorite series.
Netflix might not be the first platform that comes to mind when you think of websites to watch anime, but it has significantly expanded its anime library over the years. Plus, they have original anime titles that you won’t find anywhere else.
In the US, you can get a Netflix subscription for just $7 per month (ad-supported plan). As expected, the streaming quality is excellent, and you can watch on multiple devices.
One of Netflix’s strengths is its robust subtitle and dubbing options, making it a flexible choice for both “sub” and “dub” fans. However, when compared to anime-focused platforms like Crunchyroll, Netflix’s anime library is notablylimited.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is another versatile streaming platform that houses an impressive collection of anime titles. They offer a wide variety of genres of both popular and lesser-known anime titles.
The subscription cost starts at $8.99 per month in the US, and if you have Amazon Prime, the service is included in your membership at no extra cost.
The platform excels in video quality, and offers both subtitles and dubbed versions for most of its anime content. However, just like Netflix, anime isn’t its primary focus, so its library may not be as extensive as dedicated anime streaming sites.
Hulu is a robust streaming platform that hosts a variety of television shows, movies, and, yes, a noteworthy selection of anime. While not exclusively an anime platform, Hulu offers an impressive range of popular anime titles, from classics like “Naruto” and “Bleach” to recent hits like “Chainsaw Man” and “Trigun Stampede”.
The platform also provides both dubbed and subtitled versions for many of its titles. A subscription to Hulu starts at $5.99 per month, but they also offer a one-month free trial for new users.
Best Anime to Watch
Now that we’ve covered the best platforms to watch anime, let’s talk about some of the best anime series to check out.
Monster is a psychological thriller that delves into the depths of human nature and morality. Dr. Kenzo Tenma, a renowned neurosurgeon, is faced with a moral dilemma when he’s forced to choose between saving a young boy or the city’s mayor. His decision leads him down a dark path filled with suspense, murder, and intrigue.
The Monster anime is based on Naoki Urasawa’s critically acclaimed manga and is widely regarded for its rich narrative, developed characters, and thought-provoking themes. It’s a must-watch for anyone who enjoys a good mystery thriller.
Oshi No Ko anime
Oshi No Ko is a compelling drama that offers a unique perspective on the world of idols and celebrity culture. The story revolves around a successful obstetrician, who reincarnates as the son of his favorite idol, after his untimely death.
Despite his initial reluctance, he embarks on a journey to stardom, navigating the highs and lows of fame while uncovering dark truths about the entertainment industry.
With its captivating plot and relatable characters, the Oshi No Ko anime provides a thoughtful exploration of dreams, ambition, and the pursuit of happiness.
Dragon Raja anime
Dragon Raja is a captivating fantasy that plunges viewers into a world where dragons and humans coexist. The story follows Lu Mingfei, a regular high school student, whose life takes a turn after accepting an invitation from a mysterious university. Surrounded by a motley crew of allies, he embarks on an adventure to uncover hidden truths about his identity and the world around him.
The anime stands out for its stunning visuals, dynamic characters, and well-executed blend of fantasy and real-world elements. Despite being a newcomer to the field, the Dragon Raja anime has already garnered a significant following for its engaging story and eye-catching animation.
Call of the Night anime
Call of the Night is an intriguing romantic-comedy sprinkled with a dash of supernatural elements. The story focuses on Ko Yamori, a young boy who develops an unusual friendship with Nazuna Nanakusa, a charming vampire. This nightly encounter leads to a unique bond, opening up a world of late-night adventures and profound insights about life and love.
The show’s heartwarming narrative, coupled with its whimsical atmosphere, captures the essence of youth, curiosity, and the complexities of human emotions. For those seeking a refreshing and light-hearted viewing experience, the Call of the Night anime is certainly worth checking out.
Hero Return anime
The Hero Returns is an exhilarating action-packed series that is sure to captivate fans of superhero-themed anime. The plot revolves around Lin Jie, a once-exceptional hero who, after saving the world, decides to retire and run a small shop. However, his peaceful existence is disrupted when old enemies resurface, forcing him to step back into the heroic world he had left behind.
The Hero Return anime is a refreshing take on the superhero genre, featuring well-drawn characters, thrilling battles, and an engaging storyline. Its unique blend of humor and action provides an entertaining viewing experience that leaves audiences anticipating the next episode.
Nana is a classic drama that explores the complexities of friendship, love, and the pursuit of dreams. The story is centered around two young women, both named Nana, who cross paths by chance and decide to share an apartment in Tokyo. While they come from different backgrounds and have contrasting aspirations, they establish a profound bond that shapes their journey towards adulthood.
The Nana anime is based on Ai Yazawa’s popular manga and has been praised for its realistic portrayal of relationships and its focus on character development.
Attack on Titan anime
Attack on Titan is an iconic anime that has dramatically transformed the landscape of the genre. Set in a world where humans live inside cities surrounded by enormous walls to protect themselves from gigantic humanoid beings known as Titans.
The story follows Eren Jaeger, a young boy who dreams of joining the Scout Regiment to explore the world beyond the walls. Following a devastating Titan attack on his hometown, Eren, along with his friends Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert, enlist in the military to combat the Titan threat.
The Attack on Titan anime, based on Hajime Isayama’s best-selling manga, is renowned for its breath-taking visuals, intense action sequences, and thought-provoking narratives about humanity and survival.
Death Note anime
Death Note is a masterfully crafted psychological thriller that has captured the attention of anime enthusiasts worldwide. The story centers on Light Yagami, a high school prodigy who stumbles upon a mysterious notebook – the ‘Death Note’. He discovers that it has the power to kill anyone simply by writing their name in it while picturing their face. Driven by his strong sense of justice, Light uses the notebook to eliminate criminals, with the aim of creating a utopian world free of crime.
However, his actions draw the attention of L, a brilliant and eccentric detective, leading to a high-stakes game of cat and mouse. The Death Note anime explores complex themes such as morality, justice, and the thin line between good and evil.
New Naruto anime
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations delves into the life of Boruto Uzumaki, the son of Naruto Uzumaki, the Seventh Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village. Following in his father’s footsteps, Boruto enters the Ninja Academy to learn the ways of the ninja. He meets new friends, and together they face the challenges of being young ninjas, making both allies and foes along the way.
This new Naruto anime offers a fresh perspective of the classic universe, showcasing the evolution of the ninja world through the eyes of a new generation. It balances a mix of action and humor with new character dynamics and maintains the spirit of adventure and determination that characterized the original Naruto series.
Watch anime online without restrictions with a VPN
There might be instances where certain shows or even entire platforms are not available in your location due to regional restrictions. This is where a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can prove invaluable.
A VPN allows you to access geographically restricted content by masking your IP address and making it appear as if you’re browsing from another country.
For example, let’s say that you want to watch an anime title on Hulu, but the streaming platform is not available from your location. You can connect to a US-based VPN server, and Hulu will now be accessible as if you were in the US.
The best part is that you can easily start doing that without any technical knowledge or experience using VPNs. Premium VPN services like ClearVPN offer a user-friendly app that you can download and run on your device in just a few minutes for free!
In the case of ClearVPN, all you have to do is go to the streaming mode.
Then select the streaming service that you want to unblock access to.
It’s that easy and you never have to worry about missing out on your favorite anime titles again. With a VPN, you can enjoy unrestricted access to various streaming platforms and watch all the anime content you desire without any limitations.