There are a multitude of SVoD streaming platforms for anime. But sometimes it can be difficult to find your way around… We invite you here to discover the most important ones, with their advantages and disadvantages.
Our comparison of the different SVoD services in 2023 reviews the main platforms, but does not give anime a privileged place. However, since the 1980s, Japanese animation has firmly established itself on the pop culture landscape in Europe. The content is intended for viewers of all ages, and therefore it is no surprise that there are now a large number of streaming services dedicated to Japanese animation. However, from the user’s point of view, it can be difficult to find your way around this multitude of platforms.
In fact, each service has its own catalog of works to view. In addition, compatibility with different media (Android TV, Apple TV Chromecast, etc.) varies depending on the platform consulted.
That is why we offer you here a small summary of the main services available in France to watch anime legally and simultaneously (most of the time) with Japanese releases.
Comparison of the main streaming services
|streaming platform||crunchyroll||anime digital network||People||Netflix||Amazon Prime Video|
|Free subscription (limited)||Yes (with advertising)||Yes (but limited to a few series)||Yeah||No||No|
|LANGUAGES||VOSTFR, mainly||VOSTFR and VF||VOSTFR and VF||VOSTFR and VF||VOSTFR|
If you’ve ever tried to watch, legally, I mean, anime on the web, chances are you’ve come across the name Crunchyroll. Created in 2006, the American has reigned in this field throughout the world for several years. And it only gets worse with the recent acquisition of Wakanim.
In addition to the website, this service has the advantage of being available on smartphones, Chromecast and Android TV, with, each time, an interface that is not necessarily very pretty, but which has the merit of being very easy to use. As for their catalog, it’s hard to know where to start since it’s so rich, but it still frustrates us that it’s not as important as what’s on offer on the other side of the Atlantic. Not long ago the Crunchyroll and DNA catalogs were shared. Now they are well separated.
But let’s not spoil our pleasure. Crunchyroll brings together many recent series (each episode comes out an hour after Japan) and older works that we can see binge in spare time in 1080p, except for a few titles.
We can regret that the interface is quite messy in some places and deserves to gain a bit of intuition. It is possible to subscribe to Crunchyroll from just 4.99 euros per month. A very attractive price that allows you to enjoy Full HD in a large number of titles. Attention, the offline mode is only available from the subscription to 6.49 euros per month.
A 14-day free trial is always offered.
The free subscription, for its part, allows you to enjoy the series several days after its premiere, only in 480p and with advertising.
Anime Digital Network (DNA)
Anime Digital Network is a very good French site that offers a well-stocked catalog and each new season brings very interesting news. This platform is well provided, with the diffusion of very popular animes such as One Punch Man, Boruto, One Piece, Fire Force et my hero academia. and classics almost ancient 80 and 90: Albator, Cobra, City Hunter, Captain Tsubasa, Cat Eye, lullaby and so right away.
Generally speaking, if you want to see the most popular works, some will probably say ” of commercial works – very soon after its launch in Japan, DNA is a service worth considering, even if it doesn’t always work as fast as Crunchyroll. The service is very well organized and easy to understand on the web, on Apple TV and Android TV. On smartphones, the search function can be greatly improved. Finally, keep in mind that 1080p quality is only available with a paid plan.
Subscription starts in €6.99 per month or 59.99 euros per year. This goes up to 14.99 euros if you want to download your episodes (13 per month).
Wakanim is the other French service. Previously little known, it has now taken a more important place. First of all, its price is still very attractive, because you only have to pay 5 euros per month to enjoy unlimited streaming (with a 14-day trial offered).
The platform also offers to watch each episode for free, thirty days after its release, as long as you watch an advertisement before the start of the video and have to wait 100 minutes between viewings. Please note that to take advantage of it, you need to create an account.
Wakanim’s problem lies more in its catalogue, which is a little less extensive than ADN or Crunchyroll. Rest assured, excellent titles are available on this platform, and moreover, simultaneously with Japan. But it’s hard to find exclusives on this site that would convince you to opt for Wakanim.
Above all, a recent event changes the situation: Wakanim, together with Funimation, will gradually merge with Crunchyroll, the industry giant. Content migration is done gradually.
No need to introduce Netflix. The most famous SVoD service in the world has broken viewership records year after year. That’s good, because this platform, although it hasn’t become its workhorse, displays a limited but interesting anime offer.
Where Netflix particularly stands out is on the strength of its exclusives. We can, in this regard, mention large successful licenses such as Seven deadly sins either Class. Other, slightly lesser-known titles are also worth a look, such as kuromukuro, very entertaining. Since 2020, Netflix offers Studio Ghibli movies, great references.
But that’s about all that can be said about Netflix in terms of anime. Although not classified as animated, original series such as Castlevania, Arcane or even Cyberpunk are also very interesting. Most of the other series are very classic and can be watched on the other platforms featured above. Finally, this service has the advantage of being available in all media, with an intuitive interface for each one.
The least expensive subscription (Netflix Essential) starts at €8.99 per month.
Amazon Prime Video
For Amazon Prime customers, Jeff Bezos’ firm offers its video streaming service in France. Like Netflix, this one is clearly not anime-oriented, unlike Anime Strike, which is not yet available in France.
However, Prime Video recently increased the share of Japanese animation in its catalogue. There are also some confidential titles that will certainly delight their fans, but it is difficult to know if they will appeal to neophytes. The latter will be able to find their mark with some great classics such as naruto, Hunter × Hunter, Dororo either Dragon Ball Z.
This offer is especially interesting if you already have an Amazon Prime account for 49 euro per year — but beware, this price increases dramatically on September 15, 2022. Also, the platform is available in all media. We regret an interface that is not always very intuitive…
What anime to watch?
You have many options, and if we don’t recommend the particular anime, Numerama has produced many files on the subject:
Do you want to join a community of enthusiasts? Our Discord welcomes you, it is a place of mutual help and passion for technology.