The Best Niche Streaming Services For Every Kind of Viewer

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Illustration for article titled The Best Niche Streaming Services For Every Kind of Viewer

Screenshot: Jordan Calhoun

CrunchyRoll
If you love anime, CrunchyRoll is the place for you. Not only can fans watch a ton of it, they can also keep up with anime news, read manga, and play anime-based games. It can be a lot, which makes CrunchyRoll a luxury best fit for anime enthusiasts who aren’t just casually interested or looking to watch a show or two. (In fact, I imagine it would be pretty overwhelming and intimidating to newer fans, and would recommend starting with basic streaming services if you’re only looking for a popular show or two.) But if you want to catch something like Haikyū!! season 4 as soon as possible, watch popular exclusive originals like The God of High School, or just find a place where your anime-loving heart can feel at home with otaku friends, CrunchyRoll is there for you. The tiered subscription model allows you to choose your level of obsession—if you pay extra you can see new episodes one hour after they air in Japan.
Cost: Free with ads, or starting at $7.99/month without ads, 14-day free trial

Funimation
Funimation is the second twin tower of anime streaming, and choosing between them and CrunchyRoll can feel like choosing sides in a nerd war. With its slimmer library, Funimation still has more than enough anime to keep you watching while also being less overwhelming and easier to navigate. Don’t expect original programming—there aren’t any Funimation originals—and there’s no manga reader or games vying for your limited time and attention, but you can catch My Hero Academia, Attack on Titan, and plenty of other popular series.
Cost: Free with ads, or $5.99/month without ads, 14-day free trial

RetroCrush
There’s a lot of anime out there, and where you may look to CrunchyRoll and Funimation for what’s new and trending, you might want to look elsewhere for the rarest titles from the golden age of anime. That’s where RetroCrush comes in, a newer service that launched just this year as a place to find forgotten gems and deep cuts. Given its angle of super niche, vintage anime, it comes with a narrower library but a high volume of movies and series that you just won’t find anywhere else. Paying subscribers get ad-free viewing of their library, plus exclusive (and euphemistically titled) age-gated content. If you’re looking for the marriage of niche and nostalgia, RetroCrush might be just what you need.
Cost: Free with ads, or $4.99/month without ads

 

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