Streaming movies, anime, and drama

What is everyone using for streaming Japanese movies, anime, and drama? I have Netflix and Amazon Prime. Both are OK, but not much content and quality. I tried Crunchyroll for a while, but didn’t;t care for it.

Any suggestions? I’m in the US, by the way.

Specifically for anime, the only legal options in the US with a significant amount of content are Crunchyroll, Funimation, and HiDive. As you said, Netflix and Amazon Prime are seriously lacking in content. There really aren’t any options besides those services, VPNs to get non-US content (but at least Netflix has successfully blocked those recently), and curating your own content.

I don’t watch non-anime, so no comment on that.


You also have the good old reliable torrenting, but it’s not something that can be linked in the forums, so you’d have to search it yourself. And it might not fit with your moral code, I guess lol.

This is just theory, not me claiming there is, but I think your best choice is just to try and find Japanese only services, if amazon, netflix and Crunchyroll aren’t doing it to you


Japanese Amazon Prime has a huge selection, often without subtitles (Jpn or Eng). It’s 500 yen a month and you’d need to use a VPN in conjunction with it.

Don’t you need a Japanese credit card to use Japanese Amazon Prime?

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Nope! I still don’t have one. You do probably need a Japanese address though.

Hmm, I tried to “purchase” a free episode once and it didn’t let me. I have the Japanese address set up already for kindle purchases, so that’s why I assumed it was a credit card issue. Maybe something else was going on.

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That is funky. Were you using a VPN? I’ve found in the past that some stuff must be purchased with the VPN on to watch later without one. At least I’m pretty sure that happened with Over the Garden Wall :thinking: (although that was American Amazon being used in Japan)

Ah, no I wasn’t using a VPN at the time. I’ll have to try again with that.

EDIT: Well, it didn’t work. I tried it on the VPN just to be sure, but the error message explicitly says I can’t rent an episode of anime with a credit card that wasn’t issued by a Japanese bank. Maybe rentals are stricter than prime for some reason. But if you said there’s rarely anime with Japanese subtitles anyway, there’s no point in trying to sign up for prime.

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I’m sorry it didn’t work. I guess I’ve never tried to rent anything. That is a bummer though.

Yeah, I haven’t found any anime with any subtitles on Jp Amazon Prime yet.

A couple more niche solutions that also come to mind, The Criterion Channel has a lot of great Japanese movies on it (and Amazon Prime also has a weird mixed bag of a selection with some gems in it), and also this official youtube channel has a lot of tokusatsu on it (albeit without subtitles).

Also, I know the title says streaming but I’ve found physical media surprisingly convenient in a lot of cases. It helps for me that region-code-wise for blu rays, the US is in the same region as Japan (so it might be less convenient elsewhere), but Japanese blu rays ship fine here just like books and play fine too, although there aren’t always subtitles and the TV shows are often prohibitively expensive. (I’m not 100% sure about DVDs… I think the regions are different so I haven’t tried it yet)
Companies like Arrow Video (which puts out a lot of cult movies from directors like Miike or Seijun Suzuki - a lot are on prime too) or Mill Creek (which has a ton of Ultraman-related shows out) have lots of great stuff with English subtitles also.

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Hello! Regarding dramas and tv shows, I have been using a site called tver.
Since it’s a Japanese site, I use a VPN to access it. Also, there’s so many types of dramas and tv shows, so it’s quite entertaining :slight_smile:

Another site I would recommend is Abema TV.
Again, you would need to use a VPN to access tv shows, anime, etc.

I hope that helped!


Oh there’s one more! There’s not much of a Japanese selection, but Rakuten Viki has some dramas on there too and this doesn’t require a VPN. :grinning:


Wow, this looks cool. I’m trying to navigate away from using subtitles, but do you find they have JP subs in the Japanese films?

I’m in the same position, and sadly no - I’m pretty sure only English subtitles. Sometimes I’ve even had trouble turning them off, at least in the roku app.
Definitely a drawback!
That selection plus whichever subs you want would be truly spectacular, but it is what it is I guess, since Criterion’s an English-language focused distributor.

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For what it’s worth, there are extensions to add subtitles manually - for example, Substital works with prime.

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I use Crunchyroll–they’ve gotten a lot better in the past few years, I think. They aren’t as glitchy as they used to be, they stream a lot more smoothly, I think. But I paid to get rid of the ads after about a year or more of using the free level, and that probably helps the experience too.

You can stream movies and anime on Netflix tho. Unlike in the early days of Netflix, there are a number of series and movies posted. You can also subscribe on Crunchyroll for more access. I used to watch at KissAnime. I think the site is still existing but the domain keeps on getting changed to avoid getting flagged down. Anyway, Netflix is the best bet. You might also want to try playing slotgames

This sounds fantastic! Sorry to ask though, but I’m not in the know, where might one find the subtitle files to make it work? :sweat_smile:

You might want to edit your reply. It’s against WK’s rules to share illegal sites, like one of the ones you mentioned. You might get flagged for it.