If you’re an anime fan, then here’s a pleasant surprise. While the Crunchyroll anime service has been available on PlayStation consoles for quite some time, as of this week, Sony has added a new, familiar name to is streaming services roster; Funimation is now available as a downloadable app on consoles.
As with Crunchyroll, the Funimation service comes in both free and subscription flavours, although the free service here is not quite as all-encompassing as it is on Crunchyroll, giving users the option to only watch a few episodes in a given series, and, of course, there are ads. There are two additional subscription tiers, one at $5 per month which entitles viewers to ad free, subtitled content and access to some Funimation perks.The “All-Access” subscription at $8 includes all the same, plus access to English dubbed episodes and even more perks.
Personally, that plan seems a bit backwards to me, since I have a preference for original Japanese voice acting and avoid dubs like the plague whenever possible, but Funimation probably knows its core audience better than I do. A quick look at the content shows a service that is probably aimed at a slight more casual, less “otaku” fan than Crunchyroll. While there’s surprisingly little overlap in content (excepting big hits of course, like Attack On Titan), the Funimation service is clearly smaller and more selective, focusing mostly curating content for bigger Japanese hits with broader appeal. Crunchyroll tends to release as much as it can, covering diverse genres, whereas Funimation sticks to more familiar mecha/fantasy/action genres, meaning you won’t find Kids On The Slope or Shirobako here.
On the other hand, its archives are worth looking into for people that grew up with Funimation over the last 20 years, since classics like Cowboy Bebop, Bubblegum Crisis, FLCL, Ergo Proxy and even Serial Experiments Lain are in here. Basically a lot of the stuff Crunchyroll might have also had, if it had been importing anime into North America for more than 20 years. Still even MORE anime on your PS4 can’t be a bad thing, right?