Which is better for watching anime, Funimation or Crunchyroll? It's a question many otakus ask at the beginning of each new anime season.
As major streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu become the norm when it comes to watching your favorite films and shows, the distribution of anime has changed. More and more titles, old and new, can be found in the big names of streaming.
There are more legal ways to watch anime outside of Japan than ever before, but the existence of anime in non-anime-exclusive spaces doesn't undermine the importance of anime-only streaming services like Crunchyroll, HIDIVE, and Funimation.
After all, they are still the best way to access as many anime titles as possible in one place, but is Crunchyroll or Funimation the best platform for anime streaming?
Earlier in 2022, this question might have had a different answer. But since it was announced that Funimation and Crunchyroll will officially merge into one streaming service, the game has changed.
Many fans wonder if a Funimation subscription is even still worth it, and the truth is that we learn as we go. Here's a detailed analysis.
Crunchyroll vs Funimation: Comparison of Dubs
Winner of the round: Crunchyroll
While anime can't teach you the way actual Japanese people speak, it can be a good way to practice and pick up phrases if you are interested in learning the language. For those who like their anime dubbed, Funimation used to be the clear winner.
This, however, is already changing in the post-merger anime world. Crunchyroll might occasionally be slower, with some SimulDub episodes appearing a few weeks after the original release in Japanese.
Crunchyroll used to dub very specific popular anime such Blue Exorcist, Durarara!! and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood among other well-known titles.
In their FAQ page on November 2020 they did mention that they're working on providing more dubs soon and they have been true to their promise. Of course, most of us didn't know it'd take a merging with Funimation to achieve that!
Funimation specialized in dubs. But while the streaming service is still available for the time being, there is no point in keeping your account just for the dubs.
Most of Funimation shows will make it to Crunchyroll sooner rather than later, and even when Funimation is streaming one of the new anime season's popular titles, it's bound to be in Crunchyroll too.
Crunchyroll vs Funimation: Comparison of Subs
Winner of the round: Crunchyroll
What about viewers who prefer to hear the original whenever possible?If you hardly ever use dubs and prefer the original Japanese, note that there's a difference in how Crunchyroll and Funimation display subtitles.
While Crunchyroll uses normal subtitles without the background that are customizable and generally not distracting, Funimation uses closed captions instead.
Those who use the Funimation app might be particularly irritated about this, since the captions' distracting, dark background can't be removed within the app.
Visuals are very important in anime, so being unable to see a stripe of the screen due to a dark background can be annoying.Moreover, the entire Funimation layout can be a bit hard to get used to, making Crunchyroll the winner here.
Crunchyroll vs Funimation: Simulcasts
Winner of the round: Crunchyroll
Crunchyroll offers a really good number of simulcasts - works that air on Crunchyroll at the same time as the original in Japan - showing between 4 and 10 daily, depending on the day of the week.
Of course, there's no such thing as a flawless simulcast, but Crunchyroll simulcasts will often air within an hour after the anime has been first broadcast in Japan – not a long time, though in some cases you need to allow up to seven hours.
Funimation also has a good amount of simulcasts which are available within hours from the original release. What used to make Funimation competitive in this category is its own unique feature, called SimulDub.
In the past, choosing between the two streaming services was, ultimately, a question of which simulcasts you were more attached to.
After the merger, almost all popular titles will be available on Crunchyroll, even if some of them make it to Funimation too.
Eventually, Funimation could even shut down permanently, but even if it stays around a while longer, it isn't worth having just for simulcasts that are also available elsewhere - especially since Crunchyroll now has more!
Crunchyroll vs Funimation: Catalog
Winer of the round: Crunchyroll
Depending on what you're looking for, both Funimation and Crunchyroll have a good variety of anime, with some exclusives.
But some might argue that when it comes to the streaming services' catalogs, Funimation's focus on dubs might have worked against them.
After all, Crunchyroll boasts over 1200 shows, and that was before the merger!
Another major difference is that Crunchyroll isn't limited to anime. They have a range of live-action TV shows such as the Death Note live-action, as well as J-dramas.
In many spaces where anime fans discuss and exchange opinions, such as Reddit, Crunchyroll is often listed as the preferred streaming service due to its diverse and abundant content.
Crunchyroll also has a manga and apparel store, making it the ideal place for fans of Japanese culture as long as they don't need dubs, so it definitely wins this round.
This is not to say that Funimation doesn't have solid options, but users are currently advised to discontinue their subscription and move on to Crunchyroll.
In the Funimation update FAQ, Crunchyroll mentions:
"We want to get the content you love on Funimation available for you here on Crunchyroll as soon as possible. Many series are available now and we’ll continue adding more shows from Funimation on a regular basis after that."
Crunchyroll vs Funimation: Ads
Winner of the round: Tie
Both Crunchyroll and Funimation offer a free trial to new users. From there on, you can decide if you want to start paying a monthly subscription to reap all the benefits they have to offer.
In the past, ad-supported free viewing used to be much more widespread, but Crunchyroll now only allows that for a specific number of episodes and for a limited selection of shows.
But let's be honest, ads are hardly ever fun, so people are unlikely to choose or not choose a service over another because of them, unless a service has really bad ones.
Crunchyroll vs Funimation: Price Comparison
Winner of the round: Funimation, since all its options are cheaper, but Crunchyroll is considered a better option since the merger was announced.
The standard subscription for Cruchroll is $7.99 per month to reflect the enhanced services and variety it offers. For $9.99, viewers gain access to other cartoon channels including Cartoon Hangover, NickSplat, and others. For a monthly $14.99 users additionally get discounts at the MunchPak and Right Stuff Anime stores.
In the US, the price of Crunchyroll has remained the same, but prices got reduced in 100 other countries making anime more affordable for thousands of fans.
For Funimation, the monthly price is $5.99, but for only an additional $2 a month, users get up to five simultaneous streams, deals in the store, and offline mobile downloads. For $99.9 per year, you also get 2 rentals and an anniversary gift each year.
Although Funimation is a cheaper option, Crunchyroll had a much more diverse library for just a little more, and that was before the merger.
Nowadays, Crunchyroll is considered a much more cost-effective option, since Funimation's days are limited.
Crunchyroll Vs Funimation: Which is Better?
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When it comes to choosing between Crunchyroll and Funimation, Crunchyroll is a clear winner as of Summer 2022.
In the past, the choice would often boil down to what you prioritized: a great variety with subtitles, or a decent, but more limited variety, largely English dubbed.
Now, it seems that we are shifting to an anime era where all great features will be concentrated in one streaming service. This means fewer dilemmas over favorite titles, but also less antagonism.
The sheer variety of Crunchyroll and the authenticity of listening to the original Japanese has made it more attractive to many users even before the merger, but, in the near future, Funimation might close, meaning that more and more users will shift to Crunchyroll.
Of course, we currently don't know how long the full merger will take, so if you have any favorite anime on Funimation, do check that they have moved over to Crunchyroll before deleting your Funimation account!