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What is Crunchyroll? Can’t watch it from Japan? Is it illegal? Is all anime episodes free?



What is Crunchyroll? Can't watch it from Japan? Is it illegal? Is all anime episodes free?

Do you know any legitimate websites where you can watch anime for free? There is a misconception that free means illegal, but Crunchyroll is an exception. It is operated by a company under Sony and has contracts with distribution companies, making it a reliable source for viewing.

However, it is more commonly known for its services overseas and not so much in Japan. In this article, we will provide a detailed explanation about Crunchyroll.

What is Crunchyroll? Features and Fee Plans

Crunchyroll is a streaming service primarily focused on delivering Japanese anime to an international audience. While it may not be widely known in Japan, it has gained immense popularity among anime fans worldwide.

As of 2022, Crunchyroll has surpassed 120 million users, with over 11 million paying subscribers as of July 2023. The platform continues to grow and expand its offerings.

One unique feature of Crunchyroll is that it not only provides anime streaming but also offers the option to purchase anime-related merchandise. Users can browse and buy a wide range of products, including figures, plush toys, and apparel like hoodies.

The selection of merchandise is diverse, covering various anime titles. Crunchyroll has also collaborated with other entities, such as in 2022 when they launched the “Crunchyroll Loves x Lady Gaga” streetwear collection inspired by Lady Gaga’s latest album.

Crunchyroll offers different subscription plans with varying features. The free plan includes advertisements, while the paid plans offer an ad-free experience.

However, it’s worth noting that offline playback is available only from the “MEGA FAN” tier and upwards. The number of simultaneous streams allowed also differs with each plan, with the “ULTIMATE FAN” plan offering up to six concurrent streams.

Here’s an overview of Crunchyroll’s subscription plans:

Monthly Price $0 $7.99 + tax $9.99 + tax $14.99 + tax
Advertisements Yes No No No
Offline Playback x x
Simultaneous Streams 1 1 4 6

Overall, Crunchyroll stands out as a popular streaming service for anime enthusiasts worldwide, offering a vast catalog of anime titles, a platform to purchase related merchandise, and various subscription plans catering to different user preferences.

Can I watch Crunchyroll from Japan?

Crunchyroll is a service primarily targeted towards overseas viewers, but it is still possible to access it from Japan. Let’s discuss the available content and methods for streaming.

Examples of shows available on Crunchyroll:

Here are some examples of shows that are available for streaming on Crunchyroll:


2. One Piece


4. Chainsaw Man

5. My Hero Academia

For currently airing shows, they are typically made available for streaming on Crunchyroll approximately one week after their broadcast.

How to watch Crunchyroll from Japan:

Since Crunchyroll does not accept Japan’s IP addresses, you cannot directly access it for streaming from Japan. To overcome this, you need to acquire a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

A VPN creates a dedicated and encrypted tunnel for your online communications, making it difficult for external sources to decipher the information. By connecting to a VPN server in the United States, you can watch Crunchyroll even from Japan.

You can choose any VPN service, but for example, let’s consider TunnelBear. Open the TunnelBear app and select the United States as your desired location.

Once you have established the VPN connection, you can simply open Crunchyroll in your browser. You will be able to access the content and watch shows, although the free plan may include advertisements that cannot be skipped.

How to download Crunchyroll animations

To download anime from Crunchyroll, you can use the StreamFab Crunchroll Downloader. This software allows you to download Crunchyroll anime as MP4 files onto your computer. It supports high-quality 1080p video and AAC2.0 audio, ensuring that you can preserve the content’s quality.

With the batch download feature, you can download up to five videos at once, making it convenient for downloading multiple anime episodes. Additionally, by integrating with DVDFab Blu-ray Creator, another software developed by StreamFab’s parent company, you can even burn the downloaded anime onto Blu-ray discs.

StreamFab offers a 30-day free trial, during which you can also try downloading videos from over 1000 other paid and free video streaming services, apart from Crunchyroll.

Below are steps on how to use StreamFab Crunchroll Downloader:

1. Use a VPN to access Crunchyroll even if you are in Japan.

2. Launch the StreamFab Crunchroll Downloader and click on the Crunchyroll icon in the “VIP Services” section.

3. The Crunchyroll website will open.

4. Play and analyze the anime you want to download.

5. Start the download.

Please note that it’s important to respect the copyright and terms of use of the content you download from Crunchyroll or any other streaming service. Ensure that you have the necessary permissions to download and use the content in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

Frequently asked questions about Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll is not illegal. It is currently operated by Sony Group (acquired in 2020) and has official connections with distributors. For example, in 2008, they partnered with TV Tokyo, and the following year, they joined the Association of Japanese Animations.

In 2016, they also signed a comprehensive licensing agreement with KADOKAWA for overseas anime distribution rights. Although Crunchyroll offers free content, it is supported by advertisements. If you prefer an ad-free experience, you can consider their paid plans.

Here are some frequently asked questions about Crunchyroll:

1. Why is Crunchyroll free?

Crunchyroll is free because it includes advertisements. Advertisements support the platform’s ability to legally distribute anime. If you prefer an ad-free experience, you can choose their paid plans.

If you have any further questions or need more information, feel free to ask!


Crunchyroll, a video streaming service owned by Sony, is renowned worldwide for its free and legal access to popular anime titles. While it may be a bit challenging to use in Japan, it remains an excellent platform for anime enthusiasts living abroad. Whether you’re keen on exploring Japanese anime or simply looking for a legitimate streaming service, Crunchyroll is definitely worth checking out.

If you’re interested in learning how to download Japanese anime, you can refer to this article, which provides a step-by-step guide. Start your anime adventure today and immerse yourself in the captivating.

SEE ALSO: Exciting Lineup: PlayStation Plus Free Games Unveiled For October 2023

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