Premium Vs. Free: Which One To Choose When It Comes To Online Anime Streaming?

If you are considering going for paid anime streaming services, hold on, this article might save you from headaches and paying a dozen bucks a month.

We all think that premium sites are superior to free sites. It totally makes sense, who would pay to get a quality that is only as good as what free sites offer anyway? However, with the birth of, you might have to rethink it. is where you can get premium features at no cost. Don't believe us? Let's take a look at this detailed comparison between the two leading freemium sites, CrunchyRoll and Funimation, and, a newly established site that will soon be on everyone's lips.


With over 2 million subscribers, CrunchyRoll is no doubt a giant in the streaming industry. If it doesn’t sound impressive enough, that’s only the number of those who go for paid tiers, obviously, many more millions of anime lovers visit the site for its free content as well. Founded in 2006, CrunchyRoll is one of the most well-established on-demand freemium streaming services, primarily focused on Japanese animation.


We know at least 2 million anime lovers find the site worth their money. CrunchyRoll is not perfect, but it offers great features that we cannot find on most sites. Let’s take a look at the reasons why CrunchyRoll deserves its popularity.

  • An intensive/exclusive content library: CrunchyRoll’s collection is huge with titles you cannot find anywhere else. The site currently has over 1,000 titles with As said, you can have access to over 1,000 titles and 30,000 episodes of anime. It also provides us with Korean dramas, games, and manga.
  • High resolution: All titles on CrunchyRoll come in the best quality possible, specifically Ultra HD quality.
  • Fast updates: CrunchyRoll’s database is updated on a daily basis with new episodes, and new shows (if any).
  • Safety and Legality: Although there are ads and popups on the site, CrunchyRoll is a safe site to visit as it belongs to a legal company.
  • Streaming capabilities: If you don’t expect so much from such a top tier site, you won’t be disappointed with the streaming experience CrunchyRoll offers.
  • Device compatibility: The site is compatible with most devices including mobile devices, desktop, laptop, smart TVs, etc. However, if you use Nintendo Switch, Xbox 360 or the original Wii, the site might not be accessible for you.
  • Account and registration:  An account is not required if you only want to watch the site’s free content.

Given that the site has been on the market for 15 years, it still falls short in some aspects. For such a big name brand, we really hope CrunchyRoll can fix them soon to live up to its name.

  • Poorly-made desktop website design: Honestly, it’s hard to believe that CrunchyRoll is a premium site if you look at its design. The desktop website needs a major makeover as it is currently extremely inconvenient for the users with confusing multiple menus, unappealing background, and strange scrolling on the desktop.
  • Ads and popups: If you come to CrunchyRoll for free content only, ads and popups are unavoidable. We understand that they need to somehow make us pay back but if they let us stream several titles with no ads for free, we might be interested to start paying $9.99 a month for a much more seamless streaming experience.
  • Lack of dubbed anime: According to a pack between ChruncyRoll and Funimation back in 2016, CrunchyRoll would be focusing on subbed anime while Funimation would be specialized in dubbed versions. Although the pact is no longer in effect, that’s still how the two sites work. Therefore, if you are looking for dubbed anime, you are highly unlikely to find your title of interest with dubs on CrunchyRoll.


Founded in 1994, Funimation is a leading freemium streaming site focusing on dubbed anime. Funimation might not have as many subscribers as CrunchyRoll but it is a clear winner between the two if you are interested in dubbed anime only.


Funimation is a freemium anime site, which means that it offers a limited number of shows for us to stream for free but if we want to have access to the site’s full content library as well as other premium features, we will need to register for membership. The site offers free trials for all plans (7 to 14 days) so take advantage of it before making up your mind.

  • Extensive content library of dubbed anime: Funimation doesn’t have the biggest content library out there but it does provide us with the biggest collection of dubbed anime. You can find here up to 600 anime shows (the number of shows is limited for free tier) from all genres. Funimation is also the only legal site to stream Dragon Ball online.
  • High resolution: Funimation offers the best resolution possible with most titles in Ultra HD quality. Your anime world will become more real than ever with such high resolution.
  • Fast updates: Funimation cannot be as fast as other sites when it comes to updates due to the amount of time it takes to make dubs. However, it is among the first sites that update the dubbed anime you are waiting patiently for.
  • Safety and Legality: Like CrunchyRoll, Funimation is a legal site so you can rest assured that you are completely safe while streaming here. Funimation is as safe as Hulu and Youtube.
  • Simple user interface: Although both CrunchyRoll and Funimation belong to Sony, Funimation's user interface is on another level. Anyone can easily figure out how to use the site after a quick look.
  • Excellent streaming capabilities: As long as your Internet connection is stable and strong enough, you won’t have any hassle streaming at Funimation. With fast load times and seamless streaming feature, the site provides us a watching experience as smooth as butter
  • Great device compatibility: Funimation is compatible with most devices such as mobiles, desktops, laptops, smart TVS, gaming consoles and even Amazon Kindle. If you register for membership, you can even stream their anime on 5 different devices simultaneously.
  • Account and Registration: To access the site’s free content, you don’t need to sign up or register at all.

As stated above, many features are limited to paid tiers only, so you have to either pay for a plan (among the site’s 3 different plans) or deal with these drawbacks:

  • Slow website response: Expect to get frustrated as sometimes, the response time is so sluggish that you might need to click for the third time for specific actions.
  • Ads and popups: In order to enjoy a completely seamless streaming experience with no ads, you must pay for a plan. If not, you will have to sit through multiple ads and popups, not to mention that the content you can access is already limited.
  • Restrictive free membership: It makes sense that a freemium site like Funimation cannot offer us so much or we won’t be interested in their plans. But if they can be a bit more generous, we might be more encouraged to start paying $5.99 a month (at least) to support their business.
  • Episode navigation: It is extremely inconvenient to skip an episode as the only thing we can do is to exit out of the stream to the main menu and into videos again.


If you are not convinced yet with what Funimation and CrunchyRoll have to offer, don’t give up, we still have to make your day! Whatever you feel the two freemium sites are lacking, you can find it on  And don’t worry about the cost, this site is completely free! That doesn’t sound real, does it? 


If you are fine with both subs and dubs, is your one-stop shop. You won’t need to switch between Funimation and CrunchyRoll when all the subbed and dubbed anime you need are available to stream on But that’s not the only strength holds, it offers more benefits than you can expect. Let’s check them all out!

  • Safety: When there are no ads, there are no risks. As is ad-free, you are 100% protected from viruses, malware, and other malicious computer programs. The site doesn’t require any signup or registration either, therefore, both your device and identity are kept safe here.
  • Extensive content library: You can stream and download up to thousands of anime shows from all genres on this site. No matter what title you are having in mind, you are highly likely to find it there.
  • High resolution: is one of a few free anime sites that provides us with Ultra HD quality. Normally, we will have to pay a few bucks a month to get this resolution on even free sites.
  • Fast updates: New titles come on the site on a daily basis as the site updates the latest releases, new episodes, as well as requested shows frequently. The updates on are as fast as on CrunchyRoll and Funimation.
  • Superb streaming capabilities: With no ads, no lagging, no buffering, streaming experience on is completely seamless. It can easily beat other sites, including freemium ones.
  • Simple user interface: Navigating and browsing through is a piece of cake. All you need is a quick look and you can easily figure out how to use this site. In addition, although the site is free, no one can realize it thanks to its well-designed look.
  • Great device compatibility: is mobile-friendly and Chromecast supported so it is compatible with most devices, including smart phones, desktop, laptop, and smart TVs.
  • Excellent customer care: Although we don’t directly pay for the Zoro team, they seem to work extremely hard to satisfy us. On their website, the Zoro team shares that they are on active mode 24/7. It sounds true as broken links are fixed, requested titles are updated, and our inquiries are responded to in no time.

No site is perfect, but we should give credit to sites that try their best to be as near to perfection as possible. is willing to take feedback from users in an attempt to improve their quality, however, there are still things that no matter how hard they try, they still cannot fix them.

  • Legality: isn’t considered as a legal site as its content is not paid for. If you are strict about the copyright, you might not be interested in this site. But if you are ok with it, as long as you are safe, simply use a VPN before accessing the site. By doing so, you can stay completely anonymous. Even when your VPN is not on, you shouldn’t be worried. As Japan’s copyright control law is not strictly enforced, you are highly unlikely to get into any trouble.
  • App: Many prefer a mobile application so hopefully, we can soon find Zoro app on both Android and iOS stores.
If you are wondering how can fix the problems of Funimation and CrunchyRoll, the Zoro team actually explains it on their website. In an attempt to create the best anime site for anime lovers, they have learned from the other sites’ mistakes. They have kept all the good things and fixed the drawbacks. So why spend your hard-earned money on Funimation and CrunchyRoll when you can get all of their great features on 

If you love, don’t hesitate to show them some support by sharing the site with your fellow anime lovers. We believe that would be a huge source of motivation for the Zoro team to work harder to provide us with even more awesomeness.

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