Ever wish you could easily access the anime you love all in one place? Well, following Sony’s $1.175 billion acquisition of Crunchyroll last August, plans are now being put in motion to unify the streaming service with Sony’s pre-existing anime streaming service, Funimation. The two will operate under the Crunchyroll brand. Notably, Funimation’s simulcast and simuldub services, which brought new anime subbed and dubbed to fans in a timely manner, is making the move to Crunchyroll. However, while both services have always provided fans with same or close to same day access to current run series, a huge portion of Funimation’s vast library of legacy titles are also being added to Crunchyroll. No matter what genre you dig, there’s bound to be something on this new mega streaming service for you. Here are five suggestions to get you started on your journey into the depths of everything Crunchyroll has to offer.
Kaguya-Sama Love is War? (2020, DUB)
While season one of Kaguya-sama: Love is War has been available in its subbed form on Crunchyroll, Kaguya-sama: Love is War?, season two (you can tell it’s a different season because of the question mark) of this popular romantic comedy, was locked to Funimation, where it had been simulcast. Now the dub of season one as well as the dub of season two have made their way over to Crunchyroll. Season two being locked to dub only (as of writing) might anger those who abide by the ancient law of “subs not dubs”, but in the case of this series, the dub is truly a thing to behold. This already funny slice of life is elevated to new heights by a stellar localization. Even if you’ve already enjoyed the absolute blast that is Kaguya-sama: Love is War, experiencing the show all over again through the dub is well worth your time.
Kaguya-sama: Love is War tells the story of student council president Miyuki Shirogane and his vice president Kaguya Shinomiya, two teens with obvious crushes on one another, who are both too proud to actually confess. Each episode consists of around three skits in which one party tries to get the other to own up to their feelings. Naturally, hijinks ensue. Enjoy romance? What about absurd situations? Tragic backstories? 5D chess and other mind games? If you answered a resounding “yes!” to any of the above, Kaguya-sama: Love is War might be the anime you’re looking for.
Hunter x Hunter Episodes 1-74
Speaking of quality dubs–been meaning to get into Hunter x Hunter but those 148 episodes seem a little daunting? Never fear, as with this new merger Crunchyroll now has the first 74 episodes of the dub available for your viewing pleasure. You might find the task just a bit more manageable now that you can glance down at your phone without fear of missing too many key details while Kurapika explains the rules of rock-paper-scissors.
Gon Freecss is on a journey to follow in his missing father’s footsteps and become a Hunter, a licensed professional allowed to go anywhere in the world and do anything. Those who become Hunters typically devote themselves to the pursuit of priceless artifacts and undiscovered world wonders. Broadly speaking, you could think of Hunters as people legally allowed to do sidequests. Along the way, Gon meets and befriends (or in some cases, be-enemies) fellow would-be hunters.
This show is a shonen classic with good reason. Memorable characters, a unique and interesting combat system, exciting fight scenes, and astonishingly well crafted story arcs will leave you wanting more even when that seemingly bottomless well runs dry. Now that the show is even more accessible, this is definitely one to check out. Plus the creator, Yoshihiro Togashi, is married to Naoko Takeuchi, the woman behind Sailor Moon, and we stan an IRL anime power couple.
Yu Yu Hakusho
(1992-1995, SUB and DUB)
And speaking of Hunter x Hunter, another of Togashi’s seminal works is now available to stream through Crunchyroll. Again. Yu Yu Hakusho tells the story of Yusuke Urameshi, a teen delinquent who is hit by a car and killed while trying to save a child’s life. After being put through a series of tests by the son of the ruler of the Spirit World, Yusuke is brought back to life… but with a catch. His fighting prowess and newfound spirit awareness has made him a perfect fit for the job of “Spirit Detective”. Now he has to run around hunting down demons who threaten peace on Earth on top of the hard work he already puts in as a junior high delinquent. Joining him in his demon hunting adventures are Kazuma Kuwabara, a fellow delinquent and rival; Kurama, a former thief and ancient fox demon trapped in a human body; and Hiei, a certified rude guy™ and fire demon, who’s only helping the team out as part of his sentence.
With groundbreaking cinematography and fight choreography, Yu Yu Hakusho is perfect if you’ve been thinking about checking out some more classic anime. Not to mention, it has an absolute bop of a theme song. And it’s only 112 episodes (plus 2 movies and a small collection of OVAs) which, when compared to some other Shonen Anime that shall not be named and have over 1000 episodes, is basically a miniseries.
Revolutionary Girl Utena
(1997, SUB and DUB)
And speaking of classic anime with absolute bops of theme songs, if you’re in the market for something more on the surreal side, then Revolutionary Girl Utena might be the series for you. This anime expertly weaves allegorical language, beautiful imagery and an amazing soundtrack to craft a coming of age romance that simply hits like no other.
Utena Tenjou, an orphaned teen girl, dreams of becoming a prince, a desire she expresses through her masculine style of dress and headstrong personality. Through a string of events and her own sense of chivalry, she finds herself drawn into a series of secret duels, beneath a floating upside castle, with the very powerful Student Council of Ohtori Academy, in order to win the hand of the Rose Bride, Anthy Himemiya. Okay, that might not sound too surreal, aside from the whole floating castle thing, but that’s only because you haven’t heard the choral heavy metal rock opera that scores every duel. Yet.
Worth noting, Revolutionary Girl Utena is a series that you may want to seek out content warnings for before diving right in. The show approaches the concept of “coming of age” by touching upon a great deal of harrowing subject matters that may be overwhelming for some viewers. However, should the content of this series fall within your comfort zone, then this bold series from legendary Sailor Moon director and David Lynch fan, Kunihiko Ikuhara, is absolutely one for the watchlist.
Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun
(2014, SUB and DUB)
Bookending these recommendations with another romantic comedy, one more series for your watchlist is Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun. This love letter to shoujo manga is peak comfort show, full stop. Each and every one of the characters is exceptionally endearing and bursting with personality, which perfectly sells the fairly basic premise.
Chiyo Sakura has a crush on a schoolmate of hers, Umetarou Nozaki. Unfortunately when she decides to shoot her shot and confess her feelings to him, he mistakes her for a fan and gives her his autograph. She soon finds herself at his place, helping him out with artwork since, surprise!– Nozaki is actually a renowned shoujo manga artist. Taking things very well, all things considered, Chiyo agrees to be his assistant to get closer to him. As the series goes on, more and more characters join the cast to help in the manga creation process, either through direct assistance or by acting as a source of inspiration for Nozaki’s storytelling.
This series is an absolute joy to watch. For as much as it mocks the stories of romance manga, the passion it has for the creative process will leave you wanting to pick up and read a few shoujo titles yourself. If that is the case, and you are looking for some post Nozaki romance manga, maybe check out Lovely Complex (fun fact: its anime adaptation is also on Crunchyroll) for an extra shot of those good, good romantic vibes. And hey Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun is only twelve episodes! You could knock this one out in a day!
Now that’s just the tiniest tip of the massive iceberg resulting from fusion dance between Funimation and Crunchyroll. The merger of these two streaming services is creating an insanely extensive library of new and classic anime that can, understandably, be more than a little overwhelming to navigate. Even iconic series like Cowboy Bebop are finally hitting the digital shelves of Crunchyroll, in case you’ve somehow missed all the streaming release iterations of that one. Though this is far from a comprehensive list of everything good, hopefully these recommendations serve as a good jumping off point for your long and fruitful anime journey.