America’s anime industry was an early adopter of streaming networks. Credit it to otaku’s profound impatience, perhaps. Nobody wanted to wait for a hot show to get across the Pacific–and nobody ever really has to, now.
We’ve shared recommendations for some of the best simulcasts out now, but now let’s focus on something even more specific. You know how there’s been something of a content “arms race” between streaming services? The Marvel Defenders is only available on Netflix Instant, South Park episodes are only licensed to Hulu, and The Man in the High Castle will only ever be watchable on Amazon Video. That same exclusivity arms race is happening in these services’ anime sections, too.
Understand, though: there’s still plenty of overlap. Titles VIZ Media has rights to, like Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, are handily available on VIZ’s channel. And mainstay FUNimation brands like Dragon Ball Z are always up on the FUNi channel. However, you can still find episodes of each show on CrunchyRoll and Hulu, respectively. The real differences come with subscription benefits. Pay a monthly fee and watch every single DBZ dub whenever you want; or get just a mixed handful of subs and dubs with free membership. Likewise, you can always watch Jojo’s gratis, if you’re patient enough to wait a week after each episode’s airdate. Want to watch Jojo’s as soon as possible, though? You need a premium account. And obviously, if you can’t stand standard def streaming, you’ll have to pay for HD.
There are many factors to compare all these services by. Is Daisuki‘s interface more convenient than CrunchyRoll? Is the anime selection on Amazon Video better than Netflix? That’s up to your particular tastes. And since the licensed line-ups can change from month to month, it’d probably be best to just list some exclusives. See if any of their premises intrigue you enough to make a commitment.
Knights of Sidonia
Not to be confused with the Muse song, this CG series follows a team of mech pilots who must battle the big, evil, shape-shifting alien race “Guana” in defense of Sidonia, a colossal starship containing some of the last remnants of humanity. Fans of Battlestar Galactica should find a lot to like here.
If we could only just share our pain, wouldn’t we understand each other so much better? Would high school have to be such a hellish experience? A handful of teenagers are conscripted for what might be the ultimate experiment in empathy in this new series from the creators of Kill la Kill and Gurren Lagann.
Chivalry of a Failed Knight
When your nickname is “the Failure Knight,” you’ve already got a long way to go. But young Ikki is still bound and determined to become a proper Mage Knight. When the young lady Stella Vermillion enters his life, and turns it upside-down, he discovers the kind of motivation only love can inspire.
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
[Amazon Video Exclusive]
The thing about sanctuaries in post-Apocalyptic futures? Sooner or later, the legions of the undead will over-run them. It’s just going to happen. In this case, a teen steamsmith manages to stave off infection and become a dampyr-like “kabaneri,” using the powers of these ghouls to bring the fight back to them with his totally nasty “piercing gun.”
Seven Deadly Sins
Just taking a peek at the animation style might leave audiences to assume that there’s something of a disconnect between the crisp, bubbly animation style and the deadliness of the eponymous Sins, but Seven Deadly Sins is a delightful adventure. Years after a troupe of dishonored heroes mysteriously disbands, a young princess must “get the band back together” in order to free her kingdom from a gang of corrupt knights.
Which streaming services do you prefer for anime? Have any of these exclusive titles sold you on one over the other? Let your thoughts be known in the talkback.
Image Credits: Polygon Pictures, A-1 Pictures, Studio Trigger, Silver Link, Wit Studio
Featured Image Credit: Studio Trigger