Too Many Anime Platforms?

I don’t have FUNimation or Hulu. I watch anime on Crunchyroll, Canadian Netflix (where’s my Beastars!!???!!!!) and Prime. But for the last few seasons there’s always been at least one series I was looking forward to that ends up on FUNimation and it’s annoying.

Before I get into this, I’m not here to vent about pricing. I think any service that offers me dozens of new anime to choose from each season plus a library of thousands to browse at my leisure, all in a language I can understand (with several choices at that) for 7 to 12 bucks a month, is fantastic buy. I live in a pretty expensive city. That’s like 2 coffees a month.

This said, I’m aware that pricing can be an issue for some and am grateful for the fact that I can afford an extra platform. I know it’s not the case for everyone and I understand it can be daunting to take on another bill just for an extra handful of shows.

As always, my side is really very silly in comparison. Personally my issue is with organization and rational.

from-up-on-poppy-hill-cleaning

what can I say – I’m tons of fun!

One of the big reasons I have been holding out on getting extra platforms is that I frankly have too much to watch already. I have playlists of anime on all three of those platforms and they don’t seem to be getting much shorter or shorter at all. I’m hoping that trying to watch only shows I really like is going to change that but who knows. And I discover animes already in Crunchyroll’s archives all the time!

Essentially limiting my platforms has been a way to limit my each list and keep it reasonable-ish.

The other and more important reason to me which also happens to be way dumber and crazier is the disorganization. I really like having all my Anime in one place. My Cruncyroll watchlist is all organized by series length and genre so that I can easily decide what to watch next. It has the handy calendar of new titles so I can add shows as soon as they show up. It’s great. But now, I have to switch between 3 different platforms and compare in my brain.

I know just how crazy this sounds. Believe me, I really do. But I end up forgetting about shows all the time because they happen to be on the platform I’m not currently using. I can just imagine this would get even worse with more streaming services available.

anime party

I couldn’t find the artist 🙁

A little while ago I stumbled upon an app apparently specifically created for my type of crazy. It’s called reel good. It promised to combine my watchlists from multiple streaming sources (Cruncyroll included) and had an enormous library that I could browse and it would show me which platform the show was available on. It would even track new episodes of series on my watchlist and redirect me to my accounts when I wanted to watch something so it would act as a singular interface.

It sounded too good to be true….and it was.

Maybe for more traditional media it would work but it wasn’t so great for my needs. I couldn’t figure out how to import watchlists so I tried manually recreating one by selecting each show individually and adding it in. That’s when I found out that their anime library was considerably less impressive and I wasn’t able to find 2/3rds of the shows I was looking for. Well that was useless….

As a backup I decided to create a combined watchlist by adding these shows to my AniList profile as “plan to watch”. To be fair this is a very good solution and if I had thought f that first I would probably be thrilled but I had gotten so excited about the prospect of all those additional filtering and direct watching opportunities that I couldn’t help but feel let down.

demon slayer photoshop

brilliant photoshop

I know in my brain box that this situation is for the best. I’m not renowned for being disciplined when it comes to anime and had reel good worked magically like I had imagined it in my head I would probably have already added FUNimation, Hulu and HiDive by now and just be staring wide eyed and unresponsive at my TV, completely overwhelmed by the abundance of choices…

Honestly, this weird need for a centralized watchlist is the only thing standing between me and certain doom!!!! Or I’ll just get comfortable with using my AniList and doom will come for me anyway.

Honestly, the only reasonable thing for me to do is to forget about this and that was exactly what I was going to do until…. Crunchyroll updated their site and now I can’t arrange my to watch list in whatever order I want and I’m pretty sure a big chink of it disappeared (this is how unreasonable my watchlist is – a big chunk can disappear without me being certain anything happened…) so now the debate is raging again in my head.

If I can’t have a neat little list then why not just get a few more platforms and have the shows I really want to watch. If I have more options I can cut down my watchlist by only picking shows I am truly very excited about instead of sampling everything (the shopping will save me money reasoning…) Watching anime is my favourite hobby, I should invest in it…

This is why I need you guys. I need you to tell me I’m crazy. That explain to me why I most definetly do not need another platform using small words like I’m a 4 year old…

or you could just tell me HiDives, FUNimation or whatever else is out there is more than worth it and I should get it right now!

Out of curiosity, do you have a favourite anime platform? What is it? I’m asking for a friend…

Rini 2020 (11)

Irina

I'm much nicer than I seem, we should be friends!

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66 Responses

  1. chikorita157 says:

    I am subscribed to all three (Crunchyroll, Funimation and Hidive), which cost close to $20 a month, but I get 3% cash back since I subscribe them though iTunes, which in turn goes on my Apple Card. I do subscribe yearly for Crunchyroll and Hidive to save some money. But before that, Amazon tried to get into the Anime Strike, which requires you to have Amazon Prime, meaning it’s more like $13.25 a month. Thankfully that died in 2018 I believe.

    Yes, there is probably too many competition. Sure, it’s not a good thing for Crunchyroll to take most of the lionshare of the Anime as they would get lazy. On the other hand, I kind of feel that the Anime streaming is getting a bit too fragmented. With Crunchyroll and Funimation deal falling through, I had to subscribe to three different services just to watch the shows I want instead of missing out. I unlike most people only watch a few 3-5 titles per season.

    If you look outside anime, the same applies with streaming services in America. Back in the day, Netflix, Amazon and Hulu were the only players. Now we have HBO, Showtime, Peacock, Disney Plus, Apple TV+ etc jumping into the whole streaming game. As a result, the same thing is happening, and I don’t think this is a good thing as not everyone can afford all these services, thus causing the whole Piracy thing again. While Anime streaming haven’t gotten to that point yet, but it’s still kind of bad with the fragmentation.

    But yes, this topic is something I kind of want to touch upon again, especially after the whole Anime Strike fiasco.

    • Irina says:

      It’s tricky because monopoly is convenient but we know there’s a lot of issues with it. I look forward to your thoughts

  2. Maica says:

    Thanks for this! Good to know if I ever end up paying for a platform to watch anime.
    We have limited internet, so things like Netflix, Crunchyroll, etc is just a no-go.

    Therefore, the anime I watch is based upon hard copies I order, or borrowing from friends. On the plus-side, it makes anime viewing a little more social. On the down-side… there are so many animes that I haven’t seen.
    I haven’t seen past season two of Attack on Titan, I don’t even know if Made in the Abyss went past that first season- is that really where it ended- in the middle of nowhere???
    Ahhhhhh!

  3. Nah you’re not crazy lol. That sounds pretty normal to me, at least.

  4. If you wait a week, then most shows should be available to you legally without paying on some services, provided you use an adblocker or have enough patience/time to wait for the ads. That’s something I don’t think everyone knows – so long as you know what’s locked on each platform behind the paywall, you’re fine. Of course, if you have enough income for all the services at once, there’s no excuse to get out of paying, but for those who need to know that, it’s important to know.

    I keep the paywall-only services locked because there’s enough coming out that I can’t keep up wth it all already. HiDive and Amazon only occasionally get shows I want anyway, so I mostly stick to Funi/CR.

    • Irina says:

      For me, price is not a consideration. It’s more a question of convenience and the fact that I work a lot and have little time for anime as is. I’m just being greedy

  5. You can avoid those nasty ares restrictions by running a VPN. I once hit a Youtube

  6. Krystallina says:

    With the Great Streaming Wars, it’s going to keep getting worse until a couple of years down the line when the bubble bursts. But out of the anime platforms, I agree Crunchyroll is probably the most consistent, although others like Hulu and Netflix are likely to entice as people try to limit themselves on the number of streaming options, which can add up quickly.

  7. VRV is an over an animation aggregator. It has channels for various sources. Crunchyroll is the primary source of anime but there is also HDIVE. Other non-anime channels are NickSplat, Boomerang, Cartoon Hangover, MONDO, Rooster Teeth and VRV Select. To get all that you have to go premium.

    Right now I have Hulu and Netflix courtesy of my cable TV service. I have Amazon Prime but most of the time what I want to watch isn’t available free. The notion of paying for a premium service just to have the ability to pay more to watch something grates on me. I keep it for the free shipping. Otherwise, I pay for Funimation and Crunchyroll.

    Does anyone know what Darkanime Stream is? It doesn’t act like a pirate site. It doesn’t try to swamp my computer with spyware and popups. According to islegitsite.com, it is “potentially legitimate.” (Thanks for the “potential” information!)

    • I don’t track what I watch and what I want to watch. Tried doing that on MAL for a while and it was a lot of work with no real gain.

    • Irina says:

      Sadly no vrv in Canada. I looked into it first

    • Dawnstorm says:

      I don’t know darkanime.stream, but at a glance was around 70 % sure they don’t have a distrubitor’s license for any of those shows. Then I browsed the site, and I’m now around 99 % sure they don’t. First, they have shows like High Score Girl, which is definitely a Netflix exclusive. Then, if you click the “Premium” link, you find that they receive money via patreon.

      Legitsite won’t tell you if they have the licenses. It’s not a scam site: I think they just genuinely want to share anime, so you get what you think you get. But that doesn’t mean anyone in the industry gets anything (but word of mouth) from you if you use that site to watch the show.

      Also, this looks like one of those sites that don’t host any shows themselves but provide off-site links and run them through their own player. That means that even if most of the shows don’t give you any unwanted gift, some might. I couldn’t find a statement that explicitly says this (many sites have those statements), but then the site looks pretty amateur itself. For example, I couldn’t find a way to browse the shows by alphabet, and all I get is thumbnails, so browsing is a no-go on that site. Not sure how long that site will exist, given that they use patreon. I wouldn’t be surprised if the owners of the site didn’t even know they were doing something illegal.

      All this is, in the end, guess work – but I really, really doubt the site legit in the sense of being a licensed distributor. (It is likely legit in the “legitsite” sense, in that it’s not a scam, nor trying to get money from you through backdoor methods.)

  8. foovay says:

    I am entirely too familiar with the feeling of finding that whatever I want to watch right now is on some platform I don’t subscribe to. Originally I was a total Crunchyroll girl. Then I moved up in the world a little to VRV when they finally started supporting the PC as well as the tablets and phone apps. VRV gives me Crunchyroll, AND HiDive, AND a few other nerdy channels I like. As we have Netflix and Hulu for the husband, when they finally started having some anime I already had them to stream from. I’m kind of perma mad at Amazon for some other stuff, and so refuse to pay for Prime.I find with the platforms I have there’s more anime than I can reasonably watch:P

    Please don’t mention watch lists to me. My list on CR is endless. My list on VRV, in spite of me attempting to keep it to stuff I really want to watch RIGHt now is growing at an exponential rate. AniList has defeated me several times already. I give up. Reel Good sounds real good. Too bad it didn’t work. Recently I’ve gone back to old school spiral notebooks and a pen with sticky bookmarks and dividers to keep track of my watching. Just to keep track of what I HAVE watched (as Netflix and Hulu now and then seem to throw their history for me out the window) and where I am in a certain series and what I really DO want to watch next. It’s odd how organized I am in some aspects of my life, and yet when it comes to gaming and anime I’m a complete disaster. I think because it is all for fun I allow my inner ADD to go wild and all I do is chase the shiny…

    • Irina says:

      I know… I created such a silly problem for myself

      • foovay says:

        The thing about third world problems, like the problems on the uber-rich have, is they are still problems. They’re just as real to the sufferer as wondering where your next meal is coming from is for others. Never belittle a problem if it is a problem for you. (imagine me shaking a finger at you) It still is something you want to sort, and thus I am sure you will put in the work to do so 😉

        • Irina says:

          I actually agree with you there. Pain is pain and trouble is trouble. We should not judge what can cause anxiety in others. It’s always real even when it’s baseless. For the record, this doesn’t in fact cause me anxiety. Very few things do. But I wouldn’t juge someone else if it did for them.

  9. Karandi says:

    Crunchyroll is about the one service I keep consistently. I dropped AnimeLab when Funimation and Crunchyroll merged because it wasn’t getting many shows. Since the break-up of those two companies, AnimeLab has been getting a large number of shows and has made up the bulk of my watch list in the last two seasons so clearly I renewed my subscription. I did have Hi-Dive for a few seasons and they had some great niche shows but the volume just wasn’t there so I let that one go as well. Prime is pointless in Australia. While they consistently get one anime I really wanted to watch each season, the overall catalogue just doesn’t justify the cost and from the brief trial period I already know that unlike Netflix there aren’t other programs or movies on Prime that I have much interest in.
    I do wish though that shows were just licensed across platforms because it really is unrealistic to expect viewers to subscribe to 4 – 6 services. Ultimately it really does just encourage people to find shows they can’t access via less than legal means when they’d probably pay a few more dollars for one of their existing services if it had the bulk of the content.

    • Irina says:

      Oh but exclusive licensing deals are really way sweeter. I don’t blame studios for jumping on them

      • Karandi says:

        Good for the studio, terrible for the consumer, and they do nothing to reduce piracy which industries keep claiming is doing them massive harm.

        • Irina says:

          It is. Although readily available multiplatform anime gets pirated more frequently and with more ease. It’s not an very easy question. I mean ultimately i can watch only Crunchy and probably never run out. I’m just being capricious

  10. Scott says:

    The one change I kind of suggest is going from just Crunchyroll to vrv. That way you can have everything you want on Crunchyroll, but also have hidive too under one service instead of a lot more services which will help you somewhat.

    I don’t think I can recommend Funimation, because I watch things from their service for free when it’s not on Hulu. I’m rebelling from them.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It is very easy to be overwhelmed with the variety of streaming services when it comes to anime and i personally don’t really subscribe to any pay to watch or read streaming services like crunchyroll,funimation or hulu partly due to budgetary reasons. Of course the variety of the shows thats on the streaming service can be very alluring to watch like Gundam Seed or Psycho Pass and it is very helpful to have a list to show what you are watching,dropped,plan to or completed like on Myanimelist.
    I’m personally a physical media type person i like the feeling of ownership and that you can always rely on it in comparison to streaming services like if the site goes down,titles are being removed or altered. And also region locking is something that can really get on my nerves since what might not be available in where i live could be available in Japan.
    The streaming sites i do use are free to watch ones like Kissanime or Watch Cartoon Online but you can still fully support the anime industry by buying merch or sharing it with your acquaintances.
    So basically its best to stick which one you think caters to your tastes.
    -K(rogueotakugamer)

    • Anonymous says:

      One more thing
      Funimation does still have full series episodes on their youtube channel its Sub only and theres alot of it like the Disgaea 1 anime and its all totally free.

    • Irina says:

      I beg to differ as merch us usually wholly subsidized and you end up suppirting the merchandising company… As for word of mouth is great if they don’t also watch for free… Gwash there is no way I could afford to buy physical copies of all the anime I watch. I often go through a season or two a week. It would cost me at least 10x as much as a subscription if not more. I’m impressed by your means

    • Anonymous says:

      You can say i am very resourceful in my methods of watching anime or reading manga.
      Word of mouth is very effective in supporting an anime and if you buy merch directly from the anime company like Production I.G or especially for Kyoto animation then part of it will go to the company.
      The physical copies of anime i find are from thrift stores,flea markets,pawn shops,amazon.ca or the video stores as well but the video stores i really like to go since i like supporting mom and pop shops.

      • Irina says:

        Merch from studios does go in part to them and the manufacturers. If you can get it shipped to where you are and don’t mind the huge price tag it’s really a great optin but it’s very expensive in a lot of places so I totally understand that not everyone will be able to go that route.

  12. Mari says:

    Gah, I wrote out a long reply to this but I guess wordpress didn’t save it. I find the amount of streaming platforms there are these days to be very frustrating and anti-consumer. There’s just too many of them, and even though one or two services may not cost very much, putting them all together is more expensive than cable! Exclusivity deals and region locking make it even worse – like how Netflix recently added Studio Ghibli films for every region *except* North America, while we have to wait 3 months and shell out $15 a month to watch them on HBO Max. And if that wasn’t bad enough, a lot of the streaming services (Hulu and Amazon are the worst offenders IMO) put some of their best stuff behind a paywall – on a service that you’re already paying for!

    These huge corporations are so fucking greedy, they are screwing over their consumer base and driving people back to piracy. Sorry for the long rant but this is a major pet peeve of mine as a broke-ass Millenial. I think maybe I should write my own post about this heh

    • Irina says:

      The thing is, traditionally monopolies don’t tend to drive prices down so competition is not a bad thing from that standpoint. But I understand your frustrations completely.

      • Mari says:

        That is true, but I think that exclusivity deals kind of muddy the waters a bit there. If Coca-Cola jacked up their prices, people could just drink Pepsi and it would be fine. But if I want to watch, say, the original Star Wars trilogy, I have to either pay for a Disney+ subscription or buy an overpriced box set on Blu-ray. And let’s make no mistake – the companies behind these streaming services are monopolies, at least vertical ones. Disney owns what, like 40% of all US media now? They actually own a majority share in Hulu, but they decided to launch Disney+ to make us pay them for two streaming services instead of just one! (I really hate Disney if you couldn’t tell lol)

  13. David Boone (moonhawk81) says:

    For a friend, huh? Well, tell her that your buddy David has subscriptions to Crunchyroll, HiDive, and Funimation, and that he almost always loves them all!

    Crunchyroll remains my most frequently viewed and subsequent favorite–it also has a very active community, although CR intentionally cut into a lot of that aspect when they reorganized their site. Not sure why they’d want to do that, but they did. (On a related side note, I had already left the CR forums because the site wouldn’t control its Mods–it had reached a point where if you so much as posted an opinion a Mod disliked, you would be banned without recourse.) And while HiDive is currently under the thumb of CR, you can still find enough outlier shows to make it worth a separate membership (for instance, Wasted Days of High School Girls, an absolutely phenomenal show!).

    Meanwhile, Funimation has been playing dirty with viewers lately, pulling audience favorite Interspecies Reviewers from its lineup. Two sex-filled episodes skate by without any problem, but the series is suddenly dropped after a single gender-swap episode?! Yeah, Funi, did you really think we wouldn’t catch that?! (Dare I ask: Got bias?) But as indignant as that makes me, Funi still has a strong, deep anime catalogue–of both current and past shows. . .and that’s just hard to walk away from.

    So, there’s my two cents. Hope your friend finds it useful!

  14. Seeing as I was formerly a sailor of the high seas, I’m not TOO hung up on the abundance of platforms, I’m more hung-up on the costliness of it. If they were all at least reasonably priced and had a large pool to choose from, sure. But as it stands, so many good anime are being paywalled or worse, region locked.

  15. So, I’ll admit I’m on kind of all the anime streaming platforms (Netflix is for general streaming and also the on-disk plan, and I got Amazon Prime for shipping first and streaming second).

    As it stands – for older stuff, HiDive has a much stronger selection, they have RahXephon, and VOTOMS, and a lot of other similar stuff, with Crunchyroll probably coming a close second on that front.

  16. GeatsxShogun says:

    I’d vote for getting Funimation. While its the least used of my subscriptions, alongside Amazon Prime, I love being able to get the content when I want to watch it.

    Crunchyroll is my favorite platform by far. It’s where I do the majority of my viewing.

  17. *Can’t order it yourself.

  18. I have Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Netflix and find I spend most of my time between the first two. I love the streaming services and growing up with a limited VHS selection that would cost as much for a 30 minute video, I have no complaints. There is always something that I can’t watch because of Prime or HiDive, but maybe I’ll branch out once I’ve seen everything…

    Also, didn’t Crunchyroll recently change the watchlist so you can order it yourself. That was pretty annoying as I had mine lined up in a specific way too.

  19. I tend to stick to Crunchyroll, though recently I’ve starting watching stuff on funimation, but I’ve limited myself to only a couple of shows because there’s just too much I need to catch up on.

    There’s so many series on Netflix and a bunch of dvds I got for a decent price that I need to watch. It’s…just…too…much…and I don’t know where to start so I end up just wasting time and don’t watch anything I planned to.

  20. ashleycapes says:

    Maybe one vote for not adding another platform?

    I’m finding the more I have access to (across three platforms down here in Australia + my own collection) the far less I *finish*. I start a lot of shows but it’s now too easy for me to abandon a series, with so many other options vying for my attention, which I guess I don’t really like.

    Although, it’s a nice problem to have too, in a way.

  1. March 16, 2020

    […] adds up in the end. This phenomenon is called subscription fatigue. While some bloggers have covered this concern, it’s time to go more in depth in it. Back before competition blew up in 2017, it’s […]

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