Originating in Japan, anime has become a global sensation over the years. As someone who’s recently been discovering this art form, I felt compelled to find the best anime streaming apps for iPhone and iPad.
For the uninitiated, anime refers to animation films or series often based on Japanese comics known as manga. With distinctive characters and uniquely gripping storylines, anime has a lot to offer by way of entertainment. Start watching now with the apps below.
1. Crunchyroll – Editor’s Choice
Crunchyroll is the front-runner among anime apps in the US, and for a good reason. It boasts an extensive collection of over 1,000 titles, including critically acclaimed Crunchyroll Originals.
Some of the top shows include One Piece, Naruto Shippuden, My Hero Academia, Dr. STONE, Tower of God, Black Clover, Food Wars!, Fire Force, and more. At the same time, you can access other content like manga and Asian dramas.
If you’re looking for the best free anime streaming app, Crunchyroll is a viable option, but it has many ads!
Fortunately, you can get a premium membership to get rid of ads and enjoy extra benefits. These include access to the latest episodes just one hour after they air in Japan, simultaneous streaming on up to 6 screens, and offline viewing.
You can even try premium free for 14 days to experience it before paying. No matter what genre you enjoy, from comedy to action, adventure, fantasy, romance, supernatural, and more. Further, it also features the latest news for upcoming anime shows, voiceover artists, and animators.
The interface is well-designed and easy to navigate. All these factors make Crunchyroll a one-stop destination for anime addicts and newbies alike.
- Largest anime catalog
- 14-day free premium trial
- Excessive ads in the free version
Price: Subscription starts at $7.99/month
2. Tubi – Best free anime streaming app
Every anime fan wants to know how to watch anime without ads for free. But the truth is if you want free content, the ads help compensate the streaming platform.
Nonetheless, here’s an app that has much fewer ads than others. The anime collection is not as expansive as other platforms but still worth checking out.
It’s got a friendly interface that’s easy on the eyes and includes key features like a customizable personal video queue and the ability to cast to your TV with AirPlay or Chromecast.
Moreover, it doubles up as a Netflix alternative, offering many award-winning movies and TV series from Paramount, Lionsgate, MGM, and other studios. Tubi has a special “Not on Netflix” section that includes unique content and hidden gems.
Not only is it one of the best anime streaming apps on iOS, but it is available on a range of other platforms such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku, and Xbox.
You can even stream on the web at tubitv.com. Oh, and did I mention that it’s absolutely free with no subscriptions
- New videos are added every week
- Sync between online devices, including Apple TV, Roku, Xbox, and Amazon
- Available on web
- No offline viewing
- Limited anime collection
3. YouTube: Easiest to access anywhere
Let’s go back to the basics! YouTube is the most popular video streaming app out there, but did you know it offers an excellent anime collection too? I didn’t know until recently and have just started watching Death Note on it.
Other popular shows available include Hajime No Ippo, Beyblade, Hellsing, Soul Eater, and many more. Just search for the anime you’re looking for and see if YouTube has it. Of course, the more you watch, the more recommendations the YouTube algorithm will give you.
You can also enjoy other YouTube features, such as adjustable playback speed and offline downloads. It’s legal, free, and easily accessible almost anywhere. Of course, if you want to get rid of ads, you can go for a YouTube premium subscription.
- Easily accessible anywhere
- Many titles available
- Easy to use
- Offline downloads
- Sometimes episodes are missing or incomplete
- Often not high quality
Price: Free ($15.99 for premium)
4. Amazon Prime Video: Best variety of content
You’re probably already aware of Amazon’s subscription-based video streaming service. It offers a massive catalog of movies and series that includes notable anime titles such as Great Teacher Onizuka, Akira, Cowboy Bebop, Flame of Recca, and more.
Your all-inclusive subscription lets you watch on multiple devices, download for offline viewing, cast from your phone or tablet to the big screen, and even learn more about a show or movie with the X-ray feature. It’s easy to use and consistently updated with fresh content.
- Good collection
- Watch on multiple devices
- High quality dubbed and subtitled animes
- Includes other shows and movies
- Interface could be better
Price: $8.99 per month
5. Netflix: Best for original content
Netflix – the name itself is enough for this global streaming service known for its amazing content. It boasts a good collection of popular anime, such as Pokemon, Naruto, Your Lie in April, Hunter x Hunter, and many more.
The collection of original anime is bound to keep growing as Netflix has partnered with four Japanese anime production houses, namely ANIMA & COMPANY, owning NAZ, Science SARU and MAPPA, and Studio Mir from Korea.
There are different Netflix subscription plans available based on how many devices you want to stream on. Moreover, within a single account, you can create separate user profiles so that multiple people can get personalized recommendations.
This makes it a comprehensive app for wholesome entertainment for the whole family.
- Original content in partnership with Japanese studios
- Add up to 5 profiles in one account
- Great recommendations
- Lots of other original movies and shows
- Screen restrictions for each plan
Price: Starts at $8.99 per month
6. RetroCrush – Classic Anime
If you’re wondering what are the best anime streaming apps for classic titles, RetroCrush is your answer. You can find tons of 90s favorites spanning myriad genres, including action, adventure, fantasy, and more.
Enjoy everything for free with minimal ads that do not distract you from the content.
You can get rid of ads altogether by opting for a RetroCrush Plus membership that also gives you access to exclusive content unavailable to free users.
I especially appreciate this app’s minimalist design and easy-to-use interface. Enjoy streaming on multiple devices at the same time.
Moreover, just because it’s retro doesn’t mean you don’t get fresh content. The app is routinely updated with new series and movies to keep you entertained. Further, it has an active online community across all major social media platforms so you can connect with fellow fans.
Lastly, you can also watch anime on its website if you don’t want to download the app.
- Great library of nostalgic anime
- Minimal ads in the free version
- Connect with an anime community
- The Search functionality could be better
Price: Free ($4.99 per month for premium)
7. Hulu: Affordable all-in-one streaming service
Yet another option for streaming anime is Hulu. Unlike Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, Hulu is unavailable in many countries but exclusively in the US and Japan.
It offers some of the best anime shows such as Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia, Hunter x Hunter, Akira, Cowboy Bebop, and many more.
Further, it’s one of the best apps to watch anime offline because you can easily save things to watch later. This feature is only available when you subscribe to Hulu’s No Ads plan.
Of course, there’s lots of other great content, including original series, movies, and even live TV.
- Add up to 6 profiles in one account
- Affordable pricing
- Personalized recommendations
- Watch Live TV
- Even paid plans have ads; need to pay extra to remove ads
Price: Starts at $5.99
8. Funimation: Best for dubbed anime
This is one of the oldest anime streaming apps founded in 1994. It started by offering the Dragon Ball series to the American audience. Today, it has an expansive catalog of English-dubbed and subtitled anime.
I prefer watching dubbed shows, and this app focuses on that. It has English-dubbed programs from various animation studios such as BLT Productions, Ocean Studios, Pioneer, and Saban Entertainment.
It’s available across a range of devices, so you can enjoy your content wherever conveniently. Watch on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, game consoles, and Smart TVs.
Upgrading to the premium plan lets you have two simultaneous streams across your linked devices, while the premium plus plan lets you stream simultaneously on up to five devices at once.
- Many English-dubbed animes
- Variety of content
- Affordable pricing
- Not many new series; focuses on nostalgia
Price: Free ($5.99 per month for premium)
9. VRV – Different All Together: Access multiple streaming services
This anime app for iPhone and iPad integrates several streaming services into one catalog for your convenience.
It includes shows and movies from Crunchyroll, Cartoon Hangover, Boomerang, HIDIVE, MONDO, NickSplat, Rooster Teeth, and VRV Select.
You can opt to bundle your subscription with other channels to gain access to more anime titles. The content is updated regularly, and basic users can watch for free with ads.
To get rid of ads, upgrade to the premium plan, unlocking access to exclusive titles.
VRV is compatible with many devices, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android, Xbox, Playstation, Fire TV, Roku, etc.
- Access multiple platforms on one
- No pressure to get premium
- Vibrant comments section
- Difficult to search for titles
Price: Free ($9.99 for premium)
That wraps up my list of the best anime streaming apps for iPhone and iPad. I’ve been exploring them all since I recently got interested in anime. Do you have any series or movie recommendations? Share with me in the comments below.
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