The influence of Japanese animation on Western audiences over the past several decades is undeniable. From the beautiful picturesque children’s movies created by Hayao Miyazaki, known as the Walt Disney of Japan, to supernatural horror series such as Death Note, anime has remained incredibly popular since its introduction in the West back in the 1960s.
Today, anime fans show their devotion by cosplaying their favorite characters, often while attending conventions such as Anime Matsuri, Sakura-Con, and Youmacon, hosted in sprawling convention centers across North America. Anime conventions are a global phenomenon, to be sure, but Westerners make up a large percentage of anime fans.
With Internet fan communities for virtually every anime series imaginable and easily accessible English dubs available for streaming, it has never been a better time to be an anime fan in the United States. Whether you prefer to watch dubs or shows in the original Japanese, you have a variety of options. Where can you find your favorite series at affordable rates?
This one is a no-brainer. Although it’s not yet available in Canada, Hulu is on par with Netflix in the United States. For Americans, Hulu provides easy access to all kinds of content, including lots of anime that can’t be found on Netflix, its main competitor. Hulu is arguably a better fit for an anime geek than Netflix because of the vast supply of up-to-date content, for the same price of $7.99 per month.
According to statistics, some of the most streamed anime series on Hulu include My Hero Academia, Attack on Titan, and Death Note. Further down the list are the perennially popular Cowboy Bebop and Bleach. These older anime shows appear to be the most popular among Western consumers. Ask any otakus (anime super-fans) in your life, and they’ll most likely mention these titles on their lists of the best anime shows.
Rather than search high and low for low-quality streams of the best anime shows, consider signing up for a Hulu membership. It costs only slightly more than your daily Starbucks coffee and provides access to all of the most sought-after anime series. Plus, algorithms introduce you to new shows based on your previous viewing history, so you’ll be introduced to brand- new content all the time.
Never heard of this American streaming platform? You’ll surely become familiar with it soon. It has been around since 1994, but Funimation, headquartered in Texas, is becoming increasingly popular among anime fans because of its focus on distribution of foreign content and excellence in dubbing.
With a monthly subscription fee of only $5.99, it’s cheaper than most other streaming platforms and is solely dedicated to anime, which makes it appealing to fans who might wish to find a specific series that is difficult to track down on more mainstream streaming platforms. Sony Pictures Television is its parent company, so it’s highly regarded and considered by many anime geeks to be the best resource available for English dubs.
With a name like that, it has to be good. Sushi reference aside, this distribution, publishing, and licensing company is headquartered in the US and provides all kinds of East Asian content to premium members at a rate of $6.95 per month.
Even though the price is low, the quality is high. Not only does Crunchyroll allow premium members to watch popular anime such as Black Butler, Black Clover, and My Hero Academia, it also provides access to all of the most popular manga series.
The site also has a social networking, with forums for anime super-fans to mingle, discuss shows, and form friendships. It’s not just a streaming site. It’s a new kind of social media for anime lovers. Altogether, explore the libraries of these platforms and you will have no trouble finding a great anime series to watch.
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