Two decades ago, the only scope of entertainment was cable TV: numerous channels, tonnes of advertisements, and a long wait for the latest movies to show up.
In 2022, streaming has replaced almost everything. Even though people still use cable TV, many have opted for smart TVs that open a doorway to the streaming world.
This allows the kids and adults to watch their favorite shows, movies, and even animes.
Yes, even adults like to watch anime. And why shouldn’t we? Many animes are excellent and somewhat better than adult series.
Anime – or Japanese animation – can be watched by streaming services and even by those who don’t have any.
This listicle focuses on the saint-like apps that offer free anime, so you aren’t forced to subscribe to a streaming service just because you have to watch a few episodes.
For those who don’t mind pungling up a few dollars every month, there are options for you too!
Thanks to our smartphones and a proper internet connection, you can watch anime anytime!
Those who don’t know why anime is a global sensation could also take a leap of faith and watch them on these very free apps.
For those who wouldn’t mind paying for their daily dose of anime, I have listed two paid options that host many lauded animes.
Best Apps for iPhone to Watch Anime for Free
Anime is an entertaining category, and everyone has a right to enjoy the best it offers. Some are based on Manga (Japanese comics), while some are new.
You will find unique storylines, distinguishing characters, and entertainment. So, grab your popcorn, read this listicle, download an app, and watch an anime.
YouTube needs no introduction in the world of videos. So many of you might wonder what YouTube has to do with anime? A lot!
This free app has a fabulous collection of anime, including Death Note, a critically-acclaimed series spawned a few times.
Apart from a few incomplete episodes of anime here and there, YouTube has a complete collection of Soul Eater, Beyblade, Hajime No Ippo, Hellsing, and a lot more.
As for the app’s features, you can view the content from 240p to 2140p resolution, the video playback speed is adjustable, making playlists is still here, and downloading videos for offline viewing.
If you want advanced features such as zero advertisements and background playback, you’ll need to subscribe to YouTube Premium.
- Offline downloads with YouTube Premium
- Easily accessible
- Easy interface
- 4K content
- Not often high quality
- Some episodes are incomplete/missing
Pricing: Free to download; $6.99-$15.49
App rating: 4.7/26.3M
Crunchyroll is almost synonymous with anime as the app has a wide selection of award-winning and critically acclaimed Japanese cartoons.
This front-runner of anime has a vast repository of 1000+ titles, including critically acclaimed ‘Crunchyroll Originals.’
Even though Crunchyroll is one of the best apps for iPhone to watch anime, its ads are somewhat annoying. Opt for a premium membership to say goodbye to ads forever and enjoy the bonus content such as rid of accessing the latest episodes just one hour after they air in Japan, offline viewing, and streaming on up to 6 screens simultaneously.
Some of the best shows on Crunchyroll are My Hero Academia, Food Wars!, Fire Force, Dr. STONE, Black Clover, Naruto Shippuden, One Piece, and Tower of God.
You can also access non-anime content, Asian dramas, and manga.
- Humongous anime catalog
- User-friendly UI
- 14-day free premium trial
- Uncontrolled advertisements in the free version
Pricing: Free to download; $7.99-$99.99
App rating: 4.6/422.5K
Tubi is an excellent app for watching anime for free, and you get an extensive repository of series and movies that includes anime.
The app also features some of the best live-action movies and shows.
Tubi is considered by many a viable Netflix alternative due to its award-winning shows and movies from well-known studios such as MGM, Paramount, Lionsgate, and so many more.
The app’s user interface is butter-smooth, and its functionalities mimic other tremendous streaming services.
Remember that the free version plays advertisements while streaming, but they won’t interrupt the lovely content you would be watching.
Tubi’s exclusive “Not on Netflix” catalog has all the distinctive content that might reveal some hidden gems.
Tubi can be streamed on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Roku, Xbox, and Amazon Fire Stick.
- New content is added every week
- Sync between different devices
- Available on web
- Limited anime collection
- No option to view videos offline
Pricing: Completely free
App rating: 4.7/186.4K
Funimation is one of the oldest anime streaming apps that debuted with the Dragon Ball series.
Fast forward to 2022 from 1994, and you will find a catalog of English-dubbed and subtitled anime. Original ones are available, too!
Not many Otakus prefer the original anime, so this app is an excellent place for watching English-dubbed shows and movies. Animation studios such Saban Entertainment, Pioneer, Ocean Studios, and BLT Productions provide English-dubbed programs.
You can watch your favorite anime on iPad, iPhone, Windows, Android, gaming consoles, and smart TVs.
A premium tier unlocks streaming across your linked devices on up to five devices at once.
- Several English-dubbed animes
- Large anime content
- Affordable subscription
- Not many new anime
Pricing: Free to download; $5.99-$99.99
App rating: 3.6/11.6k
5. VRV – Different All Together
VRV – Different All Together is an app to get for your iPhone for fresh anime as it amalgamates various streaming services into one index. The app is quite convenient.
You will find movies and series from VRV Select, Crunchyroll, HIDIVE, MONDO, Boomerang, Rooster Teeth, Cartoon Hangover, and NickSplat.
VRV app works seamlessly with iPhone, iPad, Android, Xbox, Playstation, Roku, Fire TV, and Apple TV.
The free version has some advertisements, but you can get rid of them with VRV’s premium plan that also unlocks exclusive titles.
The content on the app is fairly updated regularly, so stay in the loop for upcoming titles.
- Ability to access multiple platforms (Crunchyroll, Mondo, VRV Select)
- Comments section is vibrant
- Fan-favorite indie shows
Searching for titles is strenuous
Pricing: Free to download; $2.99-$9.99
App rating: 3.4/10.2K
As the name suggests, RetroCrush lets you stream classic anime titles. So, 90s kids, this is an app for you.
Titles are sourced from genres, including action, adventure, fantasy, and many more.
The app in itself is free, but there’s a catch – advertisements. But they aren’t pesky and will seldom distract you from your watching content.
The app has an easy-to-use interface, and I dig its minimalist design. The only flaw I found is its tedious search functionality. Searching for content is a task!
If you like to pay for subscriptions, the app has one. RetroCrush Plus membership will eliminate advertisements and enable access to exclusive content otherwise inaccessible to the app’s free users.
Remember that retro in ‘RetroCrush’ doesn’t necessarily mean just old anime. You will find fresh content as the app routinely gets updated so that users don’t feel jaded.
RetrrCrush also has an active online community on all popular social media platforms that let you connect with fellow anime fans.
Lastly, you can watch anime on its website if you don’t want to download the app.
- Great library of nostalgic anime
- Minimal ads in the free version
- Connect with an anime community
- Available on web
Difficult to search for titles
Pricing: Free to download; $2.99-$9.99
App rating: 4.7/3.9K
7. 4 Anime
Last on our list is 4 Anime. It is a genuinely free app that doesn’t require any in-app purchases or subscriptions to say so.
4 Anime offers a large selection of anime movies and series. This app has all the popular anime and some lesser-known series.
The app lets you see how others have rated the content, favorite movies, and series so that you can find them later and add some exciting titles to your watchlist.
I am slightly disappointed with 4 Anime’s slow interface and wonky video player. But all this is okay considering its enormous library and zero subscription fees.
- Track favorite animes
- Make watchlists Kissanime
- Plan what to watch Kissanime
- English SUB Animes
- Check the schedule for new episodes
- Inaccessible application servers on iOS 15
Pricing: Completely free
App rating: 4.6/628
Other Paid Options
Following are two of the best streaming services known to house tonnes of critically-acclaimed animes. I dedicated a different section for them so those interested in paying for services can enjoy them.
In a way, Netflix started the streaming trend and remains the number one source for animes.
Known for its superb content, the American streaming service has a humongous collection of popular anime such as Naruto, Hunter x Hunter, Your life in April, Pokémon, etc.
Netflix will continue to have more anime content as it has partnered with four mega Japanese anime production houses – Studio Mir, ANIMA & COMPANY, MAPPA, and Science SARU.
You will find several subscription options to watch your favorite anime that don’t cost a bomb. If you choose the basic option, your account will be limited to only 2 devices. You can make several separate user profiles if you choose the premium plan.
- Several Anime titles in partnership with Japanese studios
- 5 profiles in one account
- Superb recommendations
- Offline downloads
- Available on web
- Screen restrictions for each plan
- No 4K for the Basic plan
Pricing: Free to download; $9.99 per month (Basic), $15.49 per month (Standard), $19.99 per month (Premium)
App rating: 3.8/318.2K
2. Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is one of the best streaming services in the world.
Its massive catalog of anime series and movies is well-known and viewed by millions. Some titles include Akira, Flame of Recca, Great Teacher Onizuka, Cowboy Bebop, and many more.
Although the app could do with a better user interface, it is swift in loading all its titles.
Unlike Netflix, the Prime Video app lets you watch content on multiple devices, and there’s an offline download for when you are traveling. The screencast is another best feature to cast from your smartphone to your television screen.
You can learn more about a movie or series with the X-Ray feature.
- High-quality dubbed and subtitled animes
- Watch on several devices
- Great content collection
- Available on web
- The interface is flawed
Pricing: Free to download; $14.99 per month, $139 per year, Prime Student membership pricing: $7.49 per month, $69 per year
App rating: 4.6/2.8K
Best Anime Recommendations
As animes are being dubbed in English and come with English subtitles, the world is eager to watch as many as possible. I haven’t watched a lot of anime, but I know there are some great animes and some you shouldn’t bother to look at.
This section focuses on the former aspect, so I scoured the internet to find some of the best anime titles that mankind can stream from the comfort of their couch:
Castlevania, Blue Period, One Man Punch, Demon Slayer, Death Note, The Millionaire Detective Balance: UNLIMITED, Digimon, Black Clover, Attack on Titan, Beastars, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Violet Evergarden, Your Lie in April, Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma, Spy Family, Erased, Dorohedoro, The Disastrous Life of Saiki K., Gokushufudou (The Way of the Househusband), The Promised Neverland, Tokyo Revengers, Bleach, My Hero Academia, and Naruto.
Which app is the best for watching anime free?
YouTube and Crunchyroll are the best free apps for watching anime for free. You can also try the apps on this listicle.
Is Crunchyroll or Funimation better?
Funimation’s anime has more substance even though the library isn’t too huge, while Crunchyroll has an enormous collection of anime. But both Crunchyroll and Funimation have an exclusive collection. Those who want English-dubbed animes should opt for Funimation.
Is Crunchyroll illegal?
Crunchyroll is legal in the anime streaming world. You can even watch videos without an account. You can create an account if you want to keep track of the anime you watch.
How can I legally watch anime?
Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Crunchyroll, Disney+, HBO Max, Funimation, etc., are a few legal ways to watch anime.
These are the 7 best apps for iPhone to watch anime for free.
I have added two more apps that aren’t free but will open doors to great anime!
Anime is an excellent form of entertainment, and many will make a great way to end your day.
You can watch your favorite anime on the apps from this list.
If this is your first time in the anime realm, consider our recommendations above or simply make a Google search.
There is anime for everyone, and with ubiquitous streaming services, the world gets access to the best form of entertainment.