“Crunchyroll started as a passion project that I created with my buddies from Berkeley (Go Bears). It’s grown to a global streaming platform that brings Japanese anime and drama to millions of fans around the world. By partnering with the leading Asian content creators, we’re able to bring the most popular series…to millions of fans internationally.”
~Kun Gao, the Co-Founder and CEO of Crunchyroll, ( written on Reddit 2+ years ago)
Crunchyroll was founded by graduates from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006. Crunchyroll hosts over 20 million users world wide, with over 1 million of those being paid subscribers. “Crunchy,” as Crunchyroll is often shortened to, by users, started out as a for profit video upload & streaming site. Unlicensed fan subbed versions of shows were uploaded by users for other users of the site. It is now a legal distributor that is committed to hosting only content with legitimate distribution rights.
There are over 950 shows available, with over 8,000 hours of officially licensed content available in multiple languages.
At home, we have “Crunchyroll Premium.” This means we have access to shows minutes (sometimes an hour, sometimes a couple of days) after they air in Japan with no ads, in High Definition quality. Shows are, generally, available an hour after they air. Their library (what is available through them) contains anime, manga, & dramas. There are three membership options, Free ($0.00 a month), Premium ($6.95 a month), & Premium+ ($11.95). I find Premium to be enough.
The downsides of Crunchyroll are few, but they can be quite annoying. Sometimes show lists take up to 10 minutes to load. Sometimes Crunchyroll is down on Premium (nothing will load) but is available on the free version, but then we have to deal with commercials – and sometimes the commercials freeze, so they take, what feels like forever. Sometimes both Free & Premium won’t load, even after they have been exited, or uninstalled, then reinstalled, & signed back into. Sometimes you have to exit the app completely then log back in to scroll through shows, then repeat when you want the next episode & it won’t load. We keep using it though. It has the shows as they air in Japan, & there are few things we enjoy more than fresh content that is good.
Not all anime is going to be your type of anime. To find out what you like, watch it all, at least a bit of each show. Sometimes the first episode won’t hook you, but the 3rd one will. Sometimes it is all bad, but you watch until the end anyway (Why I have done , I like to call optimism.) & then go nuts asking yourself ‘why, ‘ while you go over everything that was bad in excruciating detail in your head and out loud to someone else who watched the show. Just because a friend liked a show, that doesn’t mean you will.
A recent show that was worth watching through until the end and had a great pay out ending, for me, was ‘Coffin Princess Chaika’. Conversely, a recent show I found to be terrible and unsatisfying, but I watched every agonizingly bad episode of was ‘Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World’.