14 Best Sites to Watch Anime Legally, Free, or No Ads in the US in 2021

Author Thumbnail
By L.B. Bryant | More Articles Anime Editor Just a person who enjoys writing about anime.
April 14, 2021  01:55 PM
Feature Detail
 
 

One thing that I love about living in North America is all the options available to me for watching anime! All I have to do is go into the other room; fire up my PS4, Fire Stick, laptop, or tablet, and I have nearly limitless possibilities available to me at any time. This is truly a great era to be alive in. 

With so many options, however, it’s difficult to know where are the reliable sites that allow you to watch anime legally in North America. That’s where this list comes in; we’ve compiled this list of every streaming service that offers anime in the United States!

1Adult Swim

Feature Detail
 
 

Cost: Free (but requires a cable provider login)

Originally launching in September 2001 as a cable programming block, Adult Swim expanded online within the last few years after it was relaunched. While they don’t have a vast selection of anime outside of the usual shonen action that they show during their weekly programming block, the selection is big enough to warrant a closer inspection if you’re not looking to sort through a ton of different options and just want to get straight to the action.

2Amazon Prime

Feature Detail
 
 

Cost: $99/year

Once upon a time, Amazon tried to jump on the anime gravy train with their double pay walled Anime Strike service, but unfortunately, their car got derailed pretty quickly. Despite that, there are a number of good anime series and movies available on the service that are worth your time, including Wotakoi, Vinland Saga, and Welcome to the Ballroom.

3AsianCrush

Feature Detail
 
 

Cost: Free with Ads ($4.99/month for ad-free)

What’s neat about AsianCrush is that their catalog selection doesn’t skew very heavily in any one direction. Their catalog covers pretty much any genre that you might want to check out from action to moe to sports. 

4Crunchyroll

Feature Detail
 
 

Cost: Free with Ads or $6.95/month (or $11.95/month if you want the special tier)

Originally a pirate site that went legit after gaining some healthy venture capital funds, Crunchyroll was one of the first sites to attempt to stream anime as close to its Japanese air date as possible. 

While it’s not really old enough to be considered the granddaddy of anime streaming sites, it might as well be. Boasting one of the largest catalogs of anime on the internet, this site is the place to go for pretty much all the latest and greatest anime series that premieres each season.

5Funimation

Feature Detail
 
 

Cost: $5.99/month, $7.99/month, or $99.99/year

The second-largest anime streaming service in North America, Funimation has been in the anime business for decades now and has learned from pretty much all of their mistakes from their infancy. Now a global powerhouse, Funimation boasts a library that rivals Crunchyroll and is still growing quarterly. From action/adventure series to fan service fests to shonen and shoujo, you can always find something new to watch on Funimation.

6HBO Max

Feature Detail
 
 

Cost: $14.99/month

HBO Max doesn’t have the largest library of anime, but thanks to partnerships with Crunchyroll and Studio Ghibli, they don’t need to have a comprehensive library to still be impressive. HBO Max is the place that you’ll be going if you’re a fan of Hayao Miyazaki and want to watch one of his many movies from throughout the years.

7HIDIVE

Feature Detail
 
 

Cost: $4.99/month

HIDIVE replaced the former streaming site Anime Network Online and became the exclusive home to anime titles licensed by Sentai Filmworks. While HIDIVE doesn’t get mentioned nearly as much as their bigger competitors, this scrappy little company has carved itself out a nice catalog that includes some exclusive material like dubs you can’t find anywhere else including Chihayafuru, My Love Story!!, and many others. 

8Hulu

Feature Detail
 
 

Cost: $7.99 with Ads/$11.99 without Ads

Hulu launched in March 2008 after six months of beta testing and has been a strong service ever since (though it did have some rocky times initially as they struggled to figure out their subscription service). 

While they have a healthy catalog and a clean/easy-to-use user interface, Hulu is still finding its footing within the anime streaming industry. They are getting better about adding more series weekly, but they still have a long way to go before they are a “go-to” destination.

9Netflix

Feature Detail
 
 

Cost: $7.99/$9.99/$11.99

The place that started my anime addiction back when Netflix was primarily known for renting DVDs by mail (kids, ask your parents). Nowadays, Netflix likes to brand anything that is vaguely anime as a “Netflix Original Anime” but your opinion on that may vary. Despite this caveat, Netflix still has some of the best anime available on the internet, including gems like Violet Evergarden and Aggretsuko.

10RetroCrush

Feature Detail
 
 

Cost: Free or $4.99/month

One of the youngest entries on this list, RetroCrush, has only been around for a couple of years, but wow have they made a big splash in that time by finding their niche right away; classic anime!

What RetroCrush offers that no one else can lay claim to is a library of classic anime from yesteryear. Many of the titles available on the site had long since been forgotten by modern fans, but anime veterans have been eating up the titles available here, and for good reason!

11TubiTV

Feature Detail
 
 

Cost: Free with Ads (no premium available)

TubiTV is a solid service with a very healthy library of anime. However, note the cost listed above. If you use Tubi, you’re going to be watching commercials. Despite this, fans can expect to find some great titles, including the Sound! Euphonium movie, so maybe you’ll find it worth sitting through a few commercial breaks in order to consume the free content.

12VIZ Media

Feature Detail
 
 

Cost: Free

VIZ is mostly known for manga, so you shouldn’t expect a lot from their anime division. That said, VIZ still hosts some brilliant series that are worth checking out, including Sailor Moon and Mr. Osomatsu.

13VRV

Feature Detail
 
 

Cost: Free with Ads ($9.99/month for Ad-Free)

It’s pronounced “verve” by the way.

Launching in 2016, VRV has quickly become one of the anime industry’s best deals on the internet in terms of anime streaming! What’s awesome about VRV is that for one low cost, you’re getting both Crunchyroll and HIDIVE catalogs for a nice little discount. If you watch a lot of anime and you don’t have an account with VRV, you’re wasting a ton of money.

14YouTube

Feature Detail
 
 

Cost: Free with Ads

There are a number of official accounts that offer free anime for viewing in the United States. Naturally, if you go this route, you should do research to make sure that the account you’re watching from is an official, legal account and not a fan trying to make money by streaming illegal uploads.

And there you have it. A list of all the streaming services available in the United States to watch anime from! Want to know what is available in your country? Let us know where you’re from and we’ll follow up with additional lists!

Related: 5 Best Sites to Read Manga Legally Online 

 
Author Name
L.B. Bryant