If you are an anime fan there is no doubt that we are living in what I would consider ‘the Golden era’. We are currently living in the time where we are able to access all the latest and greatest anime directly from Japan. Thanks to the wonders of technology and streaming platforms gone are the days where we would have to rely on trips down to the local video store (fun fact: they don’t even exist anymore) to get out a singular DVD (or if you are my age a VCR tape) to watch a grand maximum of three episodes and then having to wait at least three months (if not more) to get the next episodes. With the release of Funimation streaming service here in Australia and New Zealand I figured it would be the perfect time to take a look at some of our legal anime streaming providers here in Australia and New Zealand.
To me this was the original streaming platform that provided us anime fans with the access to all the anime we could get our hands on. Crunchyroll has become the ‘King Kong’ in the anime streaming industry with allowing fans access to all the latest anime directly streaming on their site. With the many choices for fans to choose from the only downfall with this service is if you are a dub fan there are not many choices for fans, if any at all. The app itself on your mobile device is decent. It allows you to stream directly onto your device and is pretty straightforward for the occasional viewer. Streaming through the website is good, but not great. It does get complicated at times, as well as the quality of videos do not stream as well as it should. Having Crunchroll is in my opinion vital. It does cost more than it’s competitors, however you are definitely getting your value for money in regards to simulcasts from Japan.
I rate this service 4/5
This is the service to own in Australia and New Zealand. If you want reliable and easy to access anime then look no further than AnimeLab. This service is the first streaming platform from Madman Entertainment and it has delivered exactly what they promoted. The web and app layouts make it super easy and user friendly for anyone to use. AnimeLab had recently added movies to their websites adding titles such as ‘The Girl Who Leapt Through Time’, Children Who Chase Lost Voices’ and ‘Wolf Children’ to name a few make this a service to rival any other streaming service. The beauty of AnimeLab is that they have been adding classics that have not been seen on other legal anime streaming platforms such as the much acclaimed ‘Death Note’ that make them stand out from the rest. The addition of the latest anime of simulcast season is the thing to note as in recent times it has been slow, but the latest titles that have been added are some that are not to be missed. Although their library seems to be small now, the anime is adding up onto the site thanks to additions of classic and well as new titles. It is very affordable for people that might be interested in taking on a premium membership.
I rate this service 4.5/5
The latest anime streaming site to join the battle royale of streaming sites in Australia. This is the go to place for dubs, no question about it. If you are a dub fan then this is the site you need to invest in. With the Crunchyroll partnership the site is working on producing more dubs for fans and aiming to have dubs being released the same day as it is being released in Japan. The latest title to take on this challenge is ‘My Hero Academia’ season two which is now currently streaming on Funimation. The layout on both the website and mobile app is unfortunately very confusing, it is very difficult for fans to find shows and also the catalogue offered to Australia/New Zealand fans is not the same as offered to the U.S market. As it is a new service it will definitely take time to establish, but they are definitely giving their competitors a run for their money, as they are currently the cheapest service.
I rate this service 3/5
I could discuss Netflix into this mix, however as I wanted to focus mainly on the streaming platforms that are purely dealing with anime, it would not seem right. Netflix is offereing some shows that are currently not available on other streaming platforms but their catalogue at this present time is small. They would benefit if they had longer running series such as ‘Hunter X Hunter’ or even ‘One Piece’ to make them stand out from the rest. As an anime fan we have no right to complain anymore about not having access to anime. Most of these platforms offer their fans anime for free and all in HD quality. I use all three (four if I count Netflix) and it is because of having these platforms that it is making me a better fan. Rather than fans turning towards pirating anime, we should be turning towards these sites and supporting them. By supporting them, we are supporting the anime industry. Give it a go, let us know in the comments what platform you use and why.
(Names will link you directly to the streaming platforms should you want to check them out!)