Crunchyroll users receive one of the worst news they could hope for: it will no longer broadcast free anime with ads , and those who want to enjoy the streaming platform have to pay for one of the premium subscriptions.
Crunchyroll’s service is a streaming pioneer, and when it launched in 2006 it was hard to conceive of such a platform not offering some form of ad-supported content for free. The years have passed, and alternatives like Netflix, HBO Max or Disney + do not even have an initial trial period anymore.
This restriction applies to new episodes starting in Spring 2022 (in the Northern Hemisphere), which will only be viewable with Crunchyroll Premium. Whether it’s the new standard episodes that are uploaded or the precious simulcasts (simultaneous releases with the broadcast in Japan), free anime is over.
Instead, previous episodes will remain accessible with advertising , Crunchyroll’s move does not affect the catalog prior to spring 2022.
To attract subscribers, the three simulcast episodes of a few series per season will be free to watch, but one week after the premiere. In addition, they will then become paid, with a deadline of May 31 for the first batch.
These are the simulcasts promoted in spring 2022:
- Spy x Family.
- A Couple of Cuckoos.
- Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie.
- Dawn of the Witch.
- The Greatest Demon Lord is Reborn as a Typical Nobody.
- Tomodachi Game.
- Skeleton Knight in Another World.
- Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs.
The options to watch free and legal anime are drastically reduced with Crunchyroll’s decision. It is true that alternatives like Pluto TV have free anime channels, but with few series and no premieres.
Luckily, Crunchyroll is still offering a 14-day free trial to see how it works. Then we have the Mega Fan plans for 64.99 euros per year or 6.49 euros per month , and a somewhat simpler Fan plan, which is only available in the monthly mode for 4.99 euros.
Of course, the free Crunchyroll anime is going to be missed , it is true that the ads were very annoying, but part of the young public cannot afford the subscription payment.