The Best Anime Streaming Sites for 2021: Free & Paid

Whether you’ve been watching anime for years, or are new to the genre, you’ve probably been looking for a really great anime streaming site, right?

Thankfully, there are plenty of options out there – some free, and some that you’ll need to pay for. In this article, I’m going to walk you through some of my favorites.

The Best Anime Streaming Sites (Free & Premium)

To compile this list, I looked at over thirty anime streaming sites, both paid and free. Each site was ranked based on the user experience, anime catalog, cost (if any), and how many ads and annoying popups you’re likely to encounter.

As of the time of this article, all of these sites are up and running. However, keep in mind that some of these are getting their anime content from places other than the content creators. As such, it’s quite possible for one of these sites to disappear. When that happens, I’ll remove it from the list and (hopefully) add a replacement.

With that said, let’s take a look at my list of the best anime streaming sites!


Crunchyroll   

Crunchyroll is one of the most popular anime streaming sites on the internet today. It has a 14-day free trial and three levels of premium subscriptions.

The three subscriptions include the Fan level ($7.99), Mega Fan level ($9.99), and Ultimate Fan level ($14.99). With any of these subscriptions, ads are eliminated. Even the lowest-priced subscription gives you unlimited access to the library, new episodes one hour after airing in Japan, and access to digital manga in English. However, you only have the ability to stream on one device at a time.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: Crunchyroll

Users will like that there are over 30,000 episodes of anime on the site, particularly because of how easy it is to search by genre, season, recent updates, simulcast, or by what’s popular. You can also search by alphabetical order, which makes it easy to locate anime that others suggest to you.

An easy-to-understand layout and simple login make this one of the best sites to use. There is a queue option or randomizer to help you find new content to enjoy. That’s a great help if you’re not sure what you want to watch.

Perhaps the best thing about Crunchyroll is that it is mainstream. You can trust it on your computer, and you’re not going to get inappropriate ads or content coming up.


Funimation

Funimation is another excellent site when you want to watch anime. What makes it unique is that it carries some anime that other sites can’t get yet. That’s because Funimation is actually involved in creating them.

Funimation offers a Premium Plus plan that is $7.99 a month and allows ad-free streaming. There are also two other options for streaming without ads. These include Premium at $5.99 a month and a Premium Ultra subscription for $100 annually. The site has both subs and dubs. So if you’re like me and don’t like dubbed anime, then this is an excellent option.

Some of the latest shows out of Japan come to Funimation’s site first. With one of the premium plans, you can download content, have up to five video streams at once and also get free shipping on any order over $20.

There’s also a 14-day free trial to see how you like the platform.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: Funimation

The site is organized by what’s new, discover, shows or shop. Shows are organized by “all shows, “genres,” “Simuldub” and “popular.”

Personally, I liked that I could find pre-orders and home videos in the shop as well, if you don’t need to have all of your anime in digital formats. There are over 15,000 hours of anime on the site, all ad-free with a subscription.

Something I love about Funimation is that it’s a known name. I feel like it’s trustworthy and something I can trust with my subscription fee.


Animixplay

Animixplay has an excellent layout. From the moment you get to the site, you intuitively understand how to get around.

There is a scrolling list of current popular anime. New episodes are shown immediately on the front page, too. Select a genre on the sidebar to find an anime, or sort by stream, sub, or dub. There is a randomizer, and you can get a list of all of the current anime on the site by clicking “A-Z List” at the top of the site. A simple search engine also makes it easy to locate anime you might be interested in on the webpage.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: AnimixPlay

Once you click into the A-Z list, you’ll find that there are literally hundreds of shows to choose from. Some are dubbed and will note that with a red [Dub] mark.

The shows do have ads, unfortunately. However, they open on the site instead of sending you to third party sites to watch your video. This is better for younger audience members, but remember that ads may not be safe for work (or kids).

Downloads are possible on the site, too, though not for everything. You can create an account, but there is nothing to pay for. At the very bottom of the screen, you can find a place to donate if you love the service.


VRV

At VRV, you need to create an account to use the site. Once you do, you can log in to save and browse your favorite anime.

The site states that it has the best in anime, gaming, cartoons and more. With a free account, you can create a watchlist and watch the shows on multiple apps.
VRV does offer a premium subscription. It has a 30-day free trial, which is one of the longest free trials available. Premium is available for $9.99 per month plus tax where applicable. Buying premium removes ads and gives priority access to new episodes and exclusive series.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: VRV

VRV is the home of multiple channels including Crunchyroll, HiDive, Mondo, Rooster Teeth, VRV Select and Cartoon Hangover. With one subscription, you can use all of the apps interchangeably (that’s why it’s ranked high on the list!)

One great thing about this site is that you can easily add series to your watchlist from the main page. You can also access your watchlist by clicking on the watchlist symbol on the upper right-hand corner of the page.

The page itself seems to be in perpetual dark mode. So if you like browsing on darker-toned sites, this is a good one to use. It’s arranged nicely, and a simple drop-down menu lets you switch between apps.


Anime-Planet

When you sign on to Anime-Planet, you’ll immediately see options to select from anime, manga, characters or to join the community to chat with others. You can sign up here to save you favorites, too.

Anime-Planet streams 45,000 legal anime episodes. The most popular releases are available on the main page. You can also click on “see all popular this week” to see what most of the crowd has been watching.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: Anime Planet

The page also has anime and manga recommendations, so you can try out a new episode from a series you might not have found otherwise. Since it’s free to watch anything on Anime-Planet, you don’t have to worry about a subscription fee or paying per episode.

To support Anime-Planet, there are ads embedded into the page. No popups usually appear. The site is run by fans, so they have a Patreon account where you can donate if you enjoyed using the site.

One clever thing I like about this website is that it has a light mode at the bottom of the page. By clicking on it, you can toggle between light and dark mode. If you’re watching TV at night, being able to switch over to dark mode is great, since it reduces brightness that otherwise might feel a bit blinding.


Animelab

When you open the main page of AnimeLab, you have to sign in or sign up. The anime come straight from Japan, so the releases are sooner than on some of the other free-to-watch sites. You can stream the latest shows within an hour of the broadcast, which is awesome for people wanting to watch with friends overseas. Simulcasts are also available.

You can watch from anywhere with AnimeLab. Phones, Roku, Amazon FireSticks, PlayStation and other devices all handle the app. I love that the shows adapt to different screen sizes. There is nothing worse than seeing half a video when you want it to go full screen.

There are thousands of anime on this site, so it almost seems endless as you’re scrolling through them.

lab

To sign up, there are two plans. The first is a free plan, which has standard support, limited selection, online only playback, and a max of 480p definition. Subbed titles are available. Simulcasts are delayed by a week.

With the premium upgrade, there is a fee or $6.95. At the moment, it’s only available to those in Australia and New Zealand. If you live in the US, you’ll need to use a VPN to access this site for now. But you can sign up for an email notification when it’s released here.

Those minor issues aside, Animelab is a solid choice for people there who want to stay up-to-date on their favorite shows.


Animedao

Animedao is an interesting website with a simple layout. The latest episodes are available on the main page. You can also browse by ongoing, added. It even has a dark mode, which is great for people who are on the computer a lot, or are sensitive to blue light. I personally switch my sites to dark mode as soon as possible if they have the option.

At the top of the page, you can search for a specific anime. There is a list format to browse, or you can have the site choose a random anime for you to watch. If you like it, you can bookmark it to your favorites to watch later.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: Animedao

One thing I love about this site is that it actually resizes based on your viewing platform. It works just as well on a phone as it does on a desktop. There is no fee for using the site.

When you click on the specific anime you want to watch, it opens directly on the page. There are multiple streams available, so there is a potential for one of them to be down. The anime were in good quality and had subtitles directly on the feed rather than through closed captions.

A comment area is below (watch out for links and viral content there), and AnimeDao also has a Discord. It’s a more popular site with 33,125 members of the discord at the time of this article. 


Anime Kisa

Anime Kisa is a simple site where you can see some of the latest episodes for your favorite anime. On the front page, recently added shows include Kumo Desu Ga, Nani Ka? Back Arrow and Shaman King (2021). Clicking into the menu, you can sort by anime, dubbed, movies, categories, schedule, random, and most popular. You can also select from subbed or dubbed anime.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: Anime Kisa

On the lower right-hand corner, you’ll see a Discord button. Click there to join over 58,000 members of the Anime Kisa group. The site is ad-free, permanently, and it does not charge you to watch your favorite shows.

There seem to be thousands of titles if you click on “anime” to see all that the site currently hosts. Each title has an additional page that shows a summary. Individual episodes are listed under the title. Clicking on the episode you want takes you to the player. The video itself may have an ad (this isn’t controlled by the site), but clicking out of that is easy enough. Then, the episode plays with a single click.

There are no fees to use Anime Kisa, so this is a great place to watch anime for free, and with minimal ads.


MyAnimeList

The first time you open up the main page of My Anime List, it can be overwhelming.

There is a scrolling view of summer anime, the manga store, and the latest episodes. Top airing anime are listed on the right, and adds, all moving, are scattered around the page.

However, unlike some of the pages, you have the option to hide ads.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: MyAnimeList

On the upper right-hand corner, you’ll see an orange “hide ads” button. This will take you to a subscription page. For an affordable $29.99 per year or $2.99 a month, you can totally remove ads.

Premium extras include being able to save up to 20 favorites in each category, having the ability to ignore forum users, and getting more interactivity with your profile status bar. You’ll also get a custom forum title and profile badge.

The nice thing about My Anime List is that you don’t have to subscribe to get all the same content. You can still browse by genre, find anime and manga through the menu and even get industry news.

This site is busy to look at, but the content here is top-notch and they have a dedicated staff and support system. Any issues can be reported and taken care of.


Anime Fever

Animefever has a clean, simple design that reminds me a lot of Netflix. As you scroll down the page, you see trending and recently added content. There is no fee to use it, so it’s great for people on a budget.

You can register to save your content, check out the anime schedule, get a random anime suggestion, or explore what’s currently on with a search. If you click explore, you can filter the anime into types, like OVA or Currently Airing. You can also select a parental rating control if your kids use the site.

There are some pop-ups, like most of the other sites on this list. So it’s a good idea to use a popup blocker. All the shows open up in the browser on the site, so you’re not taken to a third party website.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: Anime Fever

The quality of the videos was good. You also get some cool additional features like taking a screenshot, using closed captions, sharing the content with others, or going fullscreen.

Overall, for a totally free site, this is a good place to watch anime without a risk of malware or virus-laden pop-ups. I didn’t get taken to 3rd-party websites when checking out the content, so it was easy to navigate and stay where I wanted to be on the page. For free content, I think this is a winning solution.


GoGoAnimeTV

GoGoAnime‘s website is laid out nicely. You can browse recent releases, dubs, and even Chinese shows, which is a first for sites on this list. You can browse by scrolling through the most recent items, which appear in a grid format that gives you around twenty new suggestions for recent releases.

The site tells you if a video is subtitled or dubbed right on the thumbnail. However, you’ll have to maneuver through popup windows and ads for each episode, then select the anime from one of several servers. I found a few servers which were no longer in service.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: GoGoAnime

However, on the main page, you’ll definitely get a lot of popup ads and embedded ads. Definitely use an ad blocker if you’re concerned about accidentally clicking on one or getting a virus.

Some of the ads on the site are pretty risque. When I was browsing the menu, a nude woman sprawled across my screen, so be careful if you’ve got younger viewers in the room with you.

But if that doesn’t bother you, you can view some great anime on GoGoAnime.


9Anime

9Anime is another extremely popular anime streaming site. However, it’s a little challenging to get to, if you only try to rely on Google Search. There are actually four official URL’s for 9Anime:

  • https://9anime.to
  • https://9anime.ru
  • https://9anime.nl
  • https://9anime.live

No matter which URL you go to, the first page you see is extremely simple, with only a search bar and a link to an alphabetic list at the bottom of the screen. If browsing is more your thing, you can click the button to go to the home page, which is what you see in the image below.

Here you can browse different categories, new releases and see the estimated schedule for new releases. If you create a log-in, you can save your favorites to view later.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: 9Anime

There’s also a drop-down menu with a good variety of options. These include sorting by genre, type, newest, updated, ongoing, added, schedule, and choosing a video at random. You can also request an anime that you want to watch by filling out the request form. I think that’s a nice touch, since some rare anime may still be missing from the site.

On the main page, there is an A-Z sorting bar where you can search for your favorite anime. There is also a toggle to turn on ads that are safe for the workplace. All-in-all, there are over 414 pages of anime on the site, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one you’ll enjoy.

However, there are a lot of pop-up ads to watch out for. When clicking to sign in, the first thing it did was take me to a completely different website. So watch out that you aren’t inputting information into another site.


Animepahe

Animepahe hosts some of the latest releases on their site. In fact, when you log on, you’ll see a grid full of new releases right on the home screen. This makes it easy if you’re looking for a brand-new video that was just uploaded.

If you’re looking for something different, you can search for titles directly in the search bar. Alternately, there’s also a full list of all the anime on the site as well.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: Animepahe

Speaking of the index, Animepahe has thousands of anime videos available for streaming on the site. Since the entire site is free, this is a perfect way to watch the anime you want without spending any money.

When you click on the show you want to watch, you’re taken to a summary page that’s similar to what you’d find on Netflix. There you’ll find details about the show, such as the English name, how many episodes there are, and whether the anime is done airing.

A cool feature is custom tags that you can click on to see other anime shows in the same genre. Personally, I really like this idea. It’s common for me to like a specific style of anime, but not really know why. Being able to search for similar programs is a great way to find similar anime to something that you already like.


GENOAnime

GENO Anime doesn’t have the best looking website, but it’s fun to scroll through rows of anime to see what catches your eye.

Each icon is full-color cover-art, complete with tags under each to give you an idea of the genre. A quick look at eachtritle will show you how many episodes are in the series, as well as whether it is dubbed or subtitled.

On the main menu, there’s the option to search for a specific anime to stream, find a random anime, check the release schedule or browse what’s on the site. Though the layout isn’t the best, it’s still easy to use the menu and get around the site. The imagery is reminiscent of the early 2000’s anime sites you might remember.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: GenoAnime

If you click on browse, you can sort by season, type of anime or genre. Best of all, there is no fee to use the site, so you aren’t going to waste time or money on finding anime only to be upset if a link is broken or an episode is missing.

Some newer anime are available, such as Kimetsu no Yaiba’s dub. If you click on the show you’d like to watch, a full list of available episodes populates at the bottom of the screen.

The nice thing about GENOAnime is that there were no ads when I was browsing. GENO Anime has an Instagram, Discord and Facebook page. It also has two sister sites, GENODrama and GENOMovies.


Aniorb

Aniorb has a simple layout, and it’s easy to see that this streaming site was clearly made by anime fans.

There’s no fees to watch anything on Aniorb, and searching for anime to stream is simple with the search bar at the top of the screen. e are no fees to watch shows. On the left sidebar, you can filter by recently added, or one of almost 40 different genres of anime. You can even create your own list and add anime you want to watch to your list. That makes it easy to build up a list of shows to watch when you have time.

Aniorb

I really like having all of those different genres to search. It’s easy to quickly find all of the “vampire” or Sci-Fi” themed anime to stream.

When you click on the anime you want to watch, it opens on the same page, on a single stream. The default setting is for high-speed internet, Quality is configurable, up to 1080p. Just be aware that some older anime will still look grainy despite the better quality.


Shiro

Like many of the sites on this list, at Shiro.is, you can stream both dubbed and subbed episodes of your favorite anime. What’s different about this site, it that it’s a non-profit organization,. This is a totally free anime streaming platform, with only a few ads to support it. Donations are accepted if you like what you see and feel there is value in watching anime on the site.

You can browse all sorts of anime, though there is no exact number of programs available. You do have access to some ongoing anime on this site as well as being able to sort by the trending, popular shows.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: Shiro

Registering lets you save shows, and there is a Discord where you can connect with others who use the site. The Discord itself had 1,111 members online at the time this article was being written, and there are nearly 8,000 overall members. Join them to talk about your favorite shows or the latest releases on the site.

Since the site is free, there’s no need to pay for a subscription. If you do decide to donate to the site, you should be able to, but I didn’t find an easy way to it on the site at this time.


Array Anime

Array Anime hosts subbed, dubbed, and Chinese content. There are thumbnails that open on the main screen, but what I find odd about them is that you can’t see what they’re for until you scroll over them. The episodes don’t seem to be in any order, and I found it difficult to see which show I was looking at.

There are ads on the site, but they are embedded. This makes it easier to get around without popups. If you click on one of the thumbnails you want to watch, an ad will come up that you have to click out of. The video opens on the Array Anime page, so it’s not taking you off-site.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: arrayAnime

This streaming site doesn’t look as slick as some others, but it does have a menu bar where you can find trending anime, a full list of anime, movies, and a donate button. On the top right of the page, you can search for your favorite shows. This site has thousands of anime available, and they are sorted from A-Z to make them easy to find.

This site does have a Discord server (it’s at the very bottom of the page) with 710 members presently.  


4anime

4Anime and I started off on the wrong foot because it plastered my computer screen ads. Once I was able to navigate away from them, the site itself was pretty simple. At the top, there is a randomizer that allows you to search for any anime that is currently popular or suggested by the app. There is a simple search function to let you look for the anime you want to watch as well.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: 4Anime

The menu slides out from the left-hand side (the first click took me off-site again and, again, gave me virus-laden ads) and allows you to search through different genres or by randomizing the content. You can also browse all the anime.

On this site, you can log in and register, allowing you to save your favorites. Presently, donations are disabled, so there is no suggestion for payment at all. There is a Reddit page for the site, so you can check that for updates. In the FAQ, there is a discussion about monthly subscriptions, but there is no direct link to that site. The Discord server currently has 94,258 members, around 19,000 of which were online at the time of this article.


AsianCrush.com

Asian Crush is a beta site that offers a free or premium membership. It primarily hosts Asian dramas. The premium subscription is available for $4.99 a month or $49.99 per year. With the annual plan, you save 15% on the cost.

For more live-action movies, Asian Crush is a great site. It does host anime as well, although there are not nearly as many titles as on some other anime-focused sites. The anime that is available includes more popular anime like Fushigi Yugi or Blue Submarine No. 6.

The site does have a search bar and randomizer. When you click into the show you want, you’ll be prompted to try the 30-day free trial for ad-free streaming. You need to create an account to sign up.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: AsianCrush

Some of the shows can only be watched with premium, so you may find that you have to upgrade to see what you want to watch. There doesn’t seem to be an easy way to browse for titles that are free to watch, but you’ll know you need to upgrade if the thumbnail has a white crown on an orange background in the upper left-hand corner.

You can browse titles by country, genre, movie, or show. I would suggest going to premium to be able to watch everything you want, but if anime is your priority, you may want to try a different site first.


Viz.com

If you have ever watched anime in America, then you’re going to be familiar with VIZ. VIZ has been an authority on manga and anime for years and is a leading pop culture publisher and producer. As a leading distributor of anime in the USA, this is one site that carries many of the most popular shows (and manga to match).

You can watch VIZ shows through multiple apps, like Netflix and Hulu. You can also watch content on the site. By clicking on WATCH, users will be taken to a page with the latest anime. Many of the videos are hosted on YouTube, so they’re easy to access, too.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: Viz

While this site is not as easy to get around as the others, it does have more anime content for a seasoned otaku. You can buy the series you want to watch and download it on the site in some cases, which is wonderful if you like to watch shows offline and to support the people who created them.

Uniquely, VIZ does have a fan section where you can see cool cosplays and interesting artwork made by other users of the site and fans of a specific show. It’s an interesting site, to say the least, though it does sit closer to the bottom of the list for the difficulty in finding and accessing shows.  


Simplyaweeb.com

Simply a Weeb has a welcoming vibe the moment you land on the front page. With a black background and easy-to-read layout, it’s great for first-time visitors. If you want to support the site, you can click on “Consider Supporting” at the top of the page. When clicked, this brings up a popup that allows you to join the Patreon page as a support or to buy a coffee (which translates to donating to the admin).

On Patreon, you have the option of joining on a $1 monthly plan, $10 plan, or $30 plan. The only difference is that there is an exclusive Discord channel for subscribers who spend $10 or more a month.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: SimplyaWeeb

The site itself is free, and it’s organized nicely. When you scroll down, you’ll see tags for popular genres and current creator content. At the bottom of the page, there is a bar that allows you to sort through music, video, memes, series, and manga.

On the left-hand side, you’ll see a menu bar with the option to hide ads. Clicking it seems to give you the option to block ads, but it wouldn’t open when it was attempted this time. Other sidebar info includes the about me page, sources, DMCA, color options for the background, and a donate button.


AnimeHeaven.ru

Cleverly, AnimeHeaven has a simple search bar to allow you to search and find the anime you’re interested in watching. At the top of the site, you can browse by anime, dub, series, movies, ongoing content, popular, schedule, and random. I personally enjoy the random feature, because it introduces content that might otherwise be overlooked. However, a lot of the ads I was shown had an emphasis on hentai, so I wouldn’t suggest this site for those under 18.

If you’ve been to the old AnimeHeaven, there is an option to switch back to it. AnimeHeaven is free, which appeals to those who aren’t interested in a subscription service. The site is secured with an SSL certificate through CloudFlare, so you shouldn’t, ideally, pick up any viruses.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: AnimeHeaven

What I don’t love about this site is that it doesn’t store files on the server. This makes them prone to broken links at third-party save points. There are popups all over the website, and one even appeared to have a virus. That said, once you get to the anime, it’s possible to find some hidden gems. Overall, though, I’d suggest skipping this one unless you want your computer to get a bug.


Twist.moe

On Twist.moe, the site claims to be ad-free and subscription-free, but the first thing that pops up is an ad (which most likely contains a virus). This is something to watch out for if you’re looking for a streaming site and also want to avoid damaging your phone, tablet, or computer.

If you have an ad blocker, that’s a good way to get around the issue. There is a chat on the website, which you can try to use to talk to others if you need information about popular anime or trends on the site. You can also sign up and make a username, so you can chat under any name you’d like. You do have to log in to chat, which helps cut down on the random chat bots.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: Twist Anime

When you click on a show that you’d like, you will find that it pulls up immediately on a new page. The chat may remain open on the right0hand side if you like. There is no indication of how many shows there are, but they’re in alphabetical order and available for search with the search bar.

The site seems like a good deal for anime lovers. Just watch that you don’t accidentally click a popup and get pulled off-site.


DarkAnime

As a streaming site, I can’t recommend DarkAnime.stream. The site has multiple popups, and frequently took me to thrid-party websites whenever I tried to click on anything. You can get rid of them if you create an an account… supposedly. Even when trying to do that, as soon as I clicked on “hide ads,” it took me to a completely different website.

If you click on the anime you’d like to watch, it will take you to a preview page. From there, you click on the link to the show you want, but this forwards you to sites that were not safe for work.

Trying the link to the anime again, I was able to pull up an episode, but there were multiple popups and I never could get the video to play. I personally think you should be wary of this site, but it may be possible to get around it more easily with an ad-blocking application.

Best Anime Streaming Sites: DarkAnime

There is a Patreon for donations, which turns off ads, but the “donate” button takes you off-site. Be cautious, because it may take a few attempts to get to the Patreon due to pop-up ads.

That said, if you can get the episodes to run, they’re free or inexpensive. The Patreon starts at $1 a month and ranges up to $10 a month for the Sama badge. You can search by genre, recent updates, and hot series without ads with the upgrade.

Tim Wells

Tim Wells got his first computer at the age of ten and hasn't stopped tinkering ever since. After discovering Android TV boxes in 2013, he created a popular Android PC Review website and guided it to over 8 million pageviews before stepping away in 2018. After a brief hiatus from the industry he's back at the helm of AndroidTVNews.com to bring Android TV and TV boxes to the forefront of the streaming world. When he's not writing, he spends as much time as he can with his beautiful wife and his bulldog.

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