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If you’re an anime fan, chances are you’ve spent some time on Crunchyroll, or at least checked it out after seeing it mentioned somewhere.
The streaming service originally started out hosting illegal anime streams with fan subs, but removed all illegal content in 2009 and committed to legal anime distribution. It has since become the largest anime distribution service in the West.
With Crunchyroll’s recent merger with Funimation, the platform has become the largest ever and is now home to some of the most iconic and popular anime series of all time.
With thousands of anime series to choose from – and many more released every year – it can be hard to know where to start. Whether you’re an anime newbie or veteran, here are some of the best anime series available on Crunchyroll that are worth checking out.
Note: Anime distribution rights can be tricky. Not all shows are available in all regions. We’ve focused on what’s available to stream on Crunchyroll US, but check with your local app to see if they’re available to you!
If you have seen the movie Minority reportyou will be familiar with the principle of Psycho Pass. This anime series is set in a future where science has become so good that it can assess a person’s mental state and tell if they are psychologically prone to commit crimes.
And if it is determined that someone will be commit a crime, the state can stop them before they do any harm.
What sets Psycho Pass other than how he dives headfirst into the impact this mechanism has on society and law enforcement people. It’s a brilliant exploration of what utopias really look like, with fantastic characters and animations.
There are countless isekai anime series there, but KonoSuba: God’s blessing on this wonderful world! is probably the best of the lot. He refuses to take himself seriously, and he seems true to how an adventurer’s party really ends after a handful of sessions.
What does that mean? Well, the thief has terrible luck and can only steal panties; the paladin enjoys being beaten up; the mage can only cast one spell per day and it is always Fireball; and the cleric is a literal goddess who also happens to be an idiot.
On paper, none of this should work, but the comedy is so fast-paced and uninterrupted that you never get a chance to dwell on what’s going on. KonoSuba is one of the best palate cleansers on Crunchyroll, giving fans the chance to do something silly in between more serious shows.
Gojo spends every day at school hiding a large part of himself from everyone. His grandfather runs a hina doll shop and Gojo dreams of making dolls like him, but he’s worried that no one would accept him if they knew he had such a “girly” hobby.
Everything changes when Marin, the popular girl in her class, asks her to help her cosplay her favorite character.
This series was one of the big hits of the winter 2022 anime season for several reasons, but mainly for Gojo and Marin having an adorable high school romance where the two are nervous about telling the other how they feel.
The art and animation are top-notch while the writing delivers great comedy with heartfelt moments. Plus, it portrays cosplayers more accurately than any other anime!
What happens when you have a spy, a telepath and an assassin playing together at home? Hijins, of course!
Spy X Family is an animated series about a nation on the brink of war, with Twilight being the nation’s greatest spy. He is tasked with recruiting a wife and daughter to pose as his fake family to gather intelligence and influence business.
What he doesn’t know is that his fake wife (Yor) is the world’s greatest assassin, and she also doesn’t know he’s a spy. Neither of them realize that their adopted daughter (Anya) is a telepath who knows their true identity but keeps it a secret because she doesn’t want to lose them.
Spy X Family is all about how these three avoid revealing their identities to each other, while bonding together as a family unit. There are sweet moments mixed with comedy and action that make it one of the most balanced ongoing anime series.
Miyuki and Kaguya are the envy of their class. They are student council president and vice president, respectively, and both consistently rank at the top of their class.
Everyone thinks they’d be the perfect couple, including themselves…except they both refuse to be the first to confess their feelings.
Kaguya-sama: Love is war follows these two teenage lovers as they try to trick, force and coerce the other into admitting their feelings. It has plenty of angst and romance, but also leans into its wacky elements with rap battles, cosplay cafes, and cooking contests mixed together.
There isn’t much to say about this classic anime. cowboy bebop follows the Bebop crew as they travel through space, in search of bounties in a distant, near-western world. It’s sleek and stylish and features one of the best English voice acting you’ll find in any anime.
If you enjoyed Firefly and want more of this sci-fi genre, cowboy bebop going to scratch that itch and then some. There are very few more hip and stylish anime series, even 20 years after its debut.
Most anime series are about heroes who need to gain strength to defeat a great opponent. Trigun is different in that the hero of this story – Vash the Stampede – is already the most powerful character on the planet.
Instead of wanting more power, Vash the Stampede just wants to use what he has to help people and live a life of love and peace. And while he’s undeniably the star of the show, Trigun surrounds him with equally amusing secondary characters.
Vash’s pacifist ideals are tested by everyone on the planet looking for him, until he finally feels he might snap. The show swings between comedy and tragedy at a blistering pace, sometimes causing an emotional jolt.
A play is the anime series that refuses to end and we love it for it. Luffy and his crew sail across the seas, finding new adventures and fighting injustice wherever they find it.
All told, this anime is pure escapist fantasy that still has a deep political and philosophical message beneath its surface.
With over 1,000 episodes and more released weekly, A play is the biggest investment of time in anime. However, for anime fans, there’s no better way to spend a weekend than watching Monkey D. Luffy pursue his dream of becoming the Pirate King.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if someone threw Ren & Stimpy, Powerpuff Girlsand Invader Zim in a blender and animated the R-rated concoction that popped up? If so, then we have good news! Panties and stockings with garter belt is here to answer your question.
Two angel sisters are expelled from heaven for being terrible at being good. They are sent to Earth to return home, but discover that they enjoy all the vices of humanity far too much.
The music, animation and performances are all fantastic, with the English dub being one of the few that is clearly better than the original. If you like crude humor and lots of swearing, you’ll love this show.
The most mythical shonen The all-time anime series is still going strong and all of its episodes are on Crunchyroll.
You can start with the original dragonball and follow Goku’s initial journey to Dragon Ball Super. It’s the franchise that forever changed the face of anime and became one of the biggest intellectual properties on the planet.
Of all the anime series on Crunchyroll, none have had the kind of cultural impact that dragonball had. Goku is more important than Superman in some parts of the world, and the legacy of Akira Toriyama’s work cannot be overstated. It’s a must if you haven’t done it yet.