Crunchyroll is a video streaming site with a focus on anime, as well as being a licensor.
Founded in 2006 by a group of University of California, Berkeley graduates, Crunchyroll's distribution channel and partnership program delivers content to over twenty million online community members worldwide.
Crunchyroll offers over 200 anime shows and more than 200 Asian dramas to users, although not all programming is available worldwide due to licensing restrictions. The site also has a growing number of manga titles available, but they're for premium users only.
On July 1, 2016, at Anime Expo, Crunchyroll announced that would start to do its own home video releases for some of their licensed titles, and that it would be commissioning dubs for them as well. Two months later, on September 8, they announced that they entered a deal with Funimation, in which they would allow cross-streams for shows both companies had licenses to, and that Funimation would handle home video releases, in addition to also creating dubs for them.
Two years later, on October 18, 2018, Crunchyroll and Funimation announced the formal end to their business partnership. This was mainly because Funimation was acquired by Sony Pictures, while Otter Media became a wholly-owned subsidiary of WarnerMedia after AT&T bought out all remaining ownership stakes in August 2018, including that of The Chernin Group. Under their owners, a curated selection of Crunchyroll licensed anime was also made available on HBO Max. As for home video releases, Crunchyroll announced in September 2020 they would work with Sentai Filmworks.
And then, in December 2020, it was announced that Funimation's parent company Sony Pictures would acquire Crunchyroll for $1.175 billion, as part of AT&T's efforts to sell non-core assets in an effort to pay down debt. The sale was completed on August 9, 2021. The following March, it was announced that Funimation would undergo a rebrand as Crunchyroll, LLC and their content would move over to Crunchyroll. In August 2022, Crunchyroll acquired Right Stuf Inc. and most of the divisions under its umbrella, such as Nozomi Entertainment.
While mainly being a licensor of anime, Crunchyroll has been part of production committees of some titles, including The Rising of the Shield Hero, Magical Girl Ore, and Magical Girl Raising Project. Crunchyroll would later place titles they either co-produced or directly produced under their Crunchyroll Originals banner and has been collaborating with then-corporate sibling Adult Swim on some of these titles.
VRV, an over-the-top streaming service launched in 2016, also features Crunchyroll as a channel.
Crunchyroll Originals series:
- Tower of God
- The God of High School
- Fly Me to the Moon
- Onyx Equinox
- So I'm a Spider, So What?
- Dr. Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist
- Fena: Pirate Princess
- High Guardian Spice
- Blade Runner: Black Lotus
Crunchyroll provide examples of:
- 30-Day Free Trial: Crunchyroll offers a 14-day free trial for their premium membership, unless you use certain promotional codes provided by YouTubers who are partnered with them, which bump that free trial up to 30 days. Furthermore, the site offers premium members "Guest Passes", which allow them to gift their friends with 48-hour premium trials.
- Becoming the Mask: Crunchyroll started as an anime piracy hub, often hosting fansubs without permission from the ones who did it and masquerading as a legitimate business during its early days. Eventually, however, thanks to just how many users the site had and the sheer demand for the content from its market, Crunchyroll was able to restructure itself as a legitimate streaming service, hosting and even licensing official titles on its platform before they could get shut down for their actions, essentially dodging a major bullet while establishing themselves firmly in the industry.
- Content Warnings:
- Crunchyroll added content warnings to Goblin Slayer after they accidentally mislabeled the first episode as PG-13 and received complaints. Only the first episode really needs it, since the sexual violence and gorn are significantly toned down (although still present) afterwards. Amusingly, it even shows up on Breather Episodes with little if any violence:This show contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.
- Crunchyroll added a content warning for the 10th episode of the Sword Art Online anime's third season, showcasing the Attempted Rape of two female characters:The following program contains scenes of violence and sexual assault, and is intended only for mature audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.
- Crunchyroll added content warnings to Goblin Slayer after they accidentally mislabeled the first episode as PG-13 and received complaints. Only the first episode really needs it, since the sexual violence and gorn are significantly toned down (although still present) afterwards. Amusingly, it even shows up on Breather Episodes with little if any violence:
- Crunchyroll's free service offers anime up to 480p with limited advertisements, along with the most recent chapter of their simulpublished manga. In Canada, free users are only able to watch series that are currently being simulcasted. Premium subscribers in all countries get ad-free series/access to the entire Crunchyroll catalog up to 1080p (when available), along with a back catalog of all their manga.
- Starting in 2022, only a select few anime can be watch for free. The large majority can only be watch with a premium account.
- Fun with Subtitles: In an unintentional example, when episode 30 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind was simulcasted on Crunchyroll, it was accidentally put up with the subtitle track for episode 7 of Fruits Basket, which had debuted during the same week. It stayed like that for the entire day until it was fixed the next day.
- Moe Anthropomorphism: Crunchyroll-Hime is the mascot and personification of Crunchyroll.
- Repeating Ad: Crunchyroll tends to have this problem. It's not uncommon for all the ad breaks in a video to consist of a single ad repeated across the ad break (a total of ten times for the average anime episode).
- Virtual YouTuber: Crunchyroll has hired one, who hosts livestreams as their mascot character, Crunchyroll-Hime.