Crunchyroll, Daisuki, Animax or Wakanim?

So what's the state of play for people here?

Do you use online streaming services? With two new sites to date for us to play with, has anyone taken the plunge, and how does it feel in comparison to Crunchyroll or Daisuki?

Do you have a Crunchyroll sub?
Do you have an Animax sub?
Have you purchased a download from Wakanim?
What do you think of Daisuki?

A chance for comparative reviews...

As for me. I'm old fashioned, and I never got into the subscription model, even for TV. For me, streaming is try before you buy time.

So I watch some ad supported streams on Crunchyroll, partake of the free streams on Wakanim and Animax. Wakanim is straightforward enough, probably through lack of content, although the site feels clunky. While navigating through Animax is a chore, although less so since the first batch of free streams recently expired.

Since Crunchyroll started putting episode 1s in HD, and since Wakanim and Animax both purportedly stream free titles in 720 HD, I tried a little compare and contrast. Crunchroll's HD is the sharpest, and the most pleasant to watch. I don't know what Wakanim and Animax call HD, but it doesn't look 720, it barely looks 480, and sometimes it suffers from serious compression. Still, you get what you paid for. :p

As for Daisuki, it's been a while since I used it (for Nekomonogatari), and its adaptive player was the worst of the lot, although unlike other reports, I didn't suffer from too many pauses and buffering. There's not a lot there that I want to watch that isn't on Crunchyroll, and quite frankly CR's 320 streams are good enough for a try before you buy user. Again, their HD doesn't look all that HD to me, but speeds at my end are fine. Something's clogging up the works elsewhere in the pipe. I have no problem streaming 720 HD content from Youtube for instance.

The irony is that I found Anime on Delay's HD streams the best of the lot, when they were streaming for free the last couple of seasons.
 

Joshawott

Monsieur Monster
AUKN Staff
I have an Anime membership with Crunchyroll, which is my main source of anime. I go on Wakanim exclusively for Kill la Kill but have yet to splurge any money on it (if I remember correctly, isn't only Samurai Flamenco available as download to own?). I have the Daisuki app installed on my iPad, but rarely use it.

As for Animax, I just haven't used it as they lock out too much behind a pay wall and I'm not made of money (I didn't get a chance to watch the earlier episodes of their simulcasts before they went pay-only).
 

st_owly (witch)

Time-Traveller
I have a CR anime only subscription and I think it's totally worth the £40/year. The HD streams are pretty good, and their back catalogue is pretty good. The queue feature is really useful as well. The main reason I subscribed was because the ads got on my nerves; I found you'd often get the same ad repeated 3 times before you got to the video, and then again partway through the video.

I use Wakanim for streaming Kill la Kill and SF, although I wish CR had just got the UK streaming rights instead. I have no interest in paying for downloads, so I can't comment on that. If I'm going to pay for something, I want a physical product which I can hold in my hands. The quality of the streams is pretty good as far as I can tell. and despite whitelisting the site in my adblocker, I still don't get ads, which is a nice bonus.

Animax is a pain to navigate. I wish they'd make the episode numbers much more obvious. I don't care what the episode is called, I want to know where it comes in the sequence and I don't want episodes from different shows all jumbled together. I'm only using it for the free streams. (I've managed to keep up with the simulcasts so far, but if I miss an episode, no prizes for guessing where I'll watch it...) Again, I wish CR had just got the UK rights for all these shows, rather than having them split between so many places. I don't have any inclination to subscribe because most of the shows they have I've either seen already or own on DVD, since it's mostly Viz/Kaze stuff they have. I should think the subtitles on Bakuman will probably be the godawful Kaze ones, and there's no way I'm paying money for that when I have all 3 seasons fansubbed. £5.99/month works out to £72 per year, which is almost double what CR costs, and I don't think they offer nearly enough to make it worthwhile. At least with CR you get better quality streams and no ads when you subscribe (I have adblocker enabled for Animax so I don't know what the ad situation is for them)
 

GolGotha

Death Scythe
I use Wakanim for Samurai Flamenco and Kill La Kill via streaming. Not interested in owning digital copies, but will continue to use them to sample the series before they get released on DVD.

I'm a premium user for Crunchyroll, very good value for money.

I've never used Daisuki, only because I'm not interested in any of their current titles, but if they were to continue adding new shows then I imagine I would use it.

As for Animax, I would definitely use them if they offered a yearly subscription at about £50. But will definitely use their two week trial later this week, who knows, it may change my mind.
 

VoxPhantom

Stand User
I've got a Crunchyroll anime subscription, so that's my main source for airing anime. I did watch Nekomonogatari on Daisuki a few months back though. Might give Wakanim a try when I get round to watching Kill la Kill.

I have no problems with either CR or Daisuki, the streams work fine for me, bar a slight issue my firewall has with CR's streams, and at 720p the quality is good enough for me.

To be honest, as nice as it is to see new players like Wakanim and Animax enter the market, I'd rather just watch their shows on Crunchyroll. If Animax gets a show I want and a whole bunch of others that I have no interest in, I'm not going to be very enthusiastic at shelling out for another subscription just for the one license. In fact I'd probably just not bother watching it and wait for a home video release.
 

GolGotha

Death Scythe
Just checked my emails and I received a reply from Animax. I asked them about a yearly subscription, the possibility of changing the titles from the episode name to 'X - Episode X' and the possibility of being able to buy season passes as a gift.

They responded saying that some of the things I mentioned are already being planned and they hope to be able to bring them to the platform soon.
 

Shiroi Hane

Dragon Knight
I've had a Crunchyroll account for years.
Having a PS3 app (even if it is not officially available in the UK) makes it my favourite, since I don't have to mess around with my audio cables after playing games.
Their queue system is very good (ironically AoD's system was the next best) and their player is excellent (it has keyboard shortcuts, doesn't have any annoying OSD when paused, subtitles can be turned off etc). Although the other reason I mainly watch on the PS3 is that the player still randomly freezes for no reason on my laptop.

Not really used Wakanim much yet.

I use Daisuki for Monogatari.
You can view you watch history and there is an indication of which episode you watched last but it's not a patch on CR's system.
Is this the one where you can't even pause with the spacebar? I get confused.

I use Animax for their simulcasts.
There is no free account so I don't know if having one helps keep track of things, but as it is there is no way to tell what you have or haven't watched. If you filter the simulcasts page by season, they all come up out of order. Coppelion has two episodes called episode 5. The quality is largely automatic and sometimes dips horribly, and you just have to hope it works things out and goes back up again.
IIRC you can pause with the spacebar, but not by clicking on the video. Skipping back with the left arrow does not work - it just pauses briefly and carries on.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
Crunchyroll is amazing and I have an annual all-access subscription. If every show would go to Crunchyroll each season I'd be very happy. I use it on my iOS devices, my computer and my PS3. It's a great service and I look forward to giving their manga option a proper try when they get something I actually want to follow that isn't already miles into the future of where I am.

On the other side of the scale is Animax... I don't like it. I'm only watching Magi, and it reminds me strongly of AoD in its more neglected period. The stream quality is horrible at times even though I can stream in HD from other sites without any problems. There are hardly any features and ads are both mandatory and obtrusive. The site layout is annoying, the anime listings named by episode title instead of number or SERIES gets annoying, the sorting doesn't work properly and they get Magi half a week later than the US without saying why. There's also no schedule so it's got that same vague feeling AoD had when nobody was looking after it. I asked them if I could pay for a subscription to remove ads, and they confirmed that the subscription was only for unlocking catalogue titles I already own on disc, and you don't get ad-free playback or better quality streams if you pay. So what's the point? Anyway, they have exclusivity on Magi so I'll tolerate it for now. I hope they don't do many simulcasts in future.

Wakanim seems fine. I'm following both Anime Limited shows weekly and enjoying them both. The ads don't always load for me, which is weird (I don't use any ad blocking at all) but they're reasonably unobtrusive when they do. I have no desire to purchase anything, though, as I'll be buying the hard copies in due course - I'd pay for ad-free out of principle but as it's not an option I'll just keep my fingers crossed that the shows go up on Crunchyroll at some point.

I don't actually use Daisuki for anything. It's so US-centric and non-transparent that it can get stuffed, which is a shame. It helps that they don't have any exclusives for anything I actually care about (perfectly happy to watch the slow version of Monogatari, especially as they accidentally region-locked me out of the Daisuki site for the first month it was airing so I got behind). They were ok when I watched Nekomonogatari, but they need to come up with a raison d'etre rather than existing as an anorexic alternative to Hulu for fans who live in the US.

R
 

reborn

Vampire Ninja
Out of the 4, I've used Animax and Wakanim the most.

My main annoyance with Animax is adverts. I have a subscription, and yet I get them for the simulcasts. It'll be nice if they could include the episode number as well with a possible icon to represent dubs and subs. If they make an effort with bringing new shows on a regular basis, i'll likely keep the subscription.

Wakanim needs to sort out their advert system as well. An advert should play within the player and the video should play on the actual video page rather than redirecting you. My one concern is the site still appears somewhat of a mess and the french adverts, I just think the current site is going to be more of a mess once it expands. For now, I will remain with the free option.

Crunchyroll is clean. I don't use the site often, usually only just to watch shows from previous series.

Daisuki, I have not touched.
 

NormanicGrav

Yume no Shima Shinen Kōen
AUKN Staff
Crunchyroll is nearly perfect. I can play 1080p nicely however there are a certain few shows where the player just stop (on fiber optic it should be impossibru!) and I'm forced to reload the page. The other problem is that the UK is left out in licensing announcements for certain shows, luckily Wakanim and Animax covered three of them.

Daisuki I touched once, but I recall they only use 360p or something. I watched the first 10 minutes of Bakemonogatari and it looks like the same content as the AoA products therefore making it feel like it's an illegal streaming site. They're okay but I rarely use them. I did win Kyubey from their first competition which was nice of them (see PHOTOS EDITION to find that picture).

Wakanim has a few problems; the main problem is the ad system. Seriously why couldn't they just do it as simple as CR's, at one point I was asked to explain what was going on in the YT video, why? Why wouldn't you just play the video then we can get on with it. Thankfully they did it with the free versions. Parts of the site is still in french (I'll accept the reason being it's still incomplete) and only Samurai Flamenco plays flawlessly in 1080p, Kill la Kill plays fine but does stop every now and then which requires reloading the page.

Animax is nicely done for HD streaming, no stops whatsoever. I do have ad-block on but I know when it occurs so it does feel out of place for some points (leave the ads for the middle sections only, not in the middle of a scene). I don't have a subscription because it's overpriced for its current content.
 

Y-San

Shinki
I'd agree with what you say about AoD. The HD streams were indeed of a better quality than Crunchyroll's. I also thought that the player required less buffering and was in general, of a better quality. If I skip back on a Crunchyroll stream, sometimes the video just decides to freeze up which is really annoying, since no other player seems to do that.
 

Shiroi Hane

Dragon Knight
NormanicGrav said:
Crunchyroll is nearly perfect. I can play 1080p nicely however there are a certain few shows where the player just stop (on fiber optic it should be impossibru!) and I'm forced to reload the page. The other problem is that the UK is left out in licensing announcements for certain shows, luckily Wakanim and Animax covered three of them.
That's the problem I've had for a long time which drove me to the PS3 player. It used to be that pressing the left arrow on my keyboard to skip back would unstick it, although the last time I used the site that no longer worked and I had to switch resolution or refresh (which sometimes leads to the episode restarting).
I'm on Virgin fibre (albeit 'only' 20mbps) but that's not the problem since I used to set with the Resource Manager and other tools open and when it freezes it just instantly stops transferring data completely so it's not buffering or anything, and skipping back would make it restart instantly.
 

Demelza

Adventuring Alchemist
AUKN Staff
Because of so many shows being split this season I've ended up using pretty much every service streaming stuff to the UK. I've been using Crunchyroll for the past couple of years and I'm generally pretty settled with them, I like what they do, it's easy enough to find everything, and most importantly I have simple and easy access to everything on my iPad. Of the four big services in question Crunchyroll is also the only one I pay for, I currently have an anime sub and will up it to all access at some point to take advantage of the manga offerings.

I've been using Wakanim for Kill la Kill and the other show they have this season. I've rarely been getting the adverts (I wouldn't mind if I did though, they work better than the Crunchy adds used to), and while I do wish Crunchyroll had picked the shows up to make it easier for me, I do see how the service will fit in for the long term. I personally probably won't download any episodes unless they get something really impressive, but it's a neat idea and it does set it apart.


Animax costs far too much, and while I appreciate the backlog of shows they have, I'd much rather put my money towards Crunchyroll and can't pay for both. I guess in the long run it'll come down to what people want more, a great backlog of shows, or the latest streaming stuff? Personally I'll always want to be closest to and up to date with the latest stuff. They also came in so late to the season that I only watched the first couple of episodes of Coppelion (I couldn't watch every episode and keep up with everything else) and went back recently to find I was locked out of the next couple of episodes because I'd left it too long. I'd already been watching Beyond the Boundary through other means by the time they came in too, so between missing out on Coppelion and already watching Beyond the Boundary I've largely ignored the service and will likely continue to do so. It just doesn't give you enough time to keep up with the shows and I wish Crunchyroll had them.

As for Daisuki I find the on-site streaming to be awful. Their iOS app is really slow too, but it's decent quality so I've happily been watching Bakemonogatari with them. They don't seem to be picking up any shows that Crunchyroll don't have, so what'll keep me interested in them is the older stuff they'll add and give us access too.

I guess all in all Wakanim is the only one I see with any worthwhile future, at least it's trying to do something different. Overall though I'm always going to want to put my money toward Crunchyroll, especially since they launched manga.
 

nekomonster

Completely Average High School Student
I have the Crunchyroll anime membership and I think it's worth it, even though I don't watch many shows. They offer the best video quality out of the four.

I tried to use Daisuki once for viewing Gundam SEED, but the quality was atrocious and I gave up. Their library is very limited and I'm not particularly interested in anything they offer.

I watch only Magi on Animax and it's not true HD whatever they may claim, so even if they expand their show list, I won't be subscribing.
 

Vashdaman

Za Warudo
Crunchy till I die fam. If you could split me down the middle right now, you'd see that my core is crunchy. So yeah, CR till I die...or at least for the next couple weeks or so until my subscription runs out.
 

ilmaestro

State Alchemist
Having been out of the loop for a short time, I don't really have any experience and/or detailed knowledge of the "other" two, but I'll try them out and sub to them where required to see what they're like.

Ultimately, though, I think there will be massively diminishing returns in the medium-term for the UK market to see things split like this.
 
The ads on CR drive me mad, I know you can skip them but they seem to repeat the same ad quite a lot, plus there often seems to be a jump when transitioning from the ad back to the show.

Wakanim seems fine, though not as polished as CR. Also their website looks better on an iPad screen than computer monitor, on the monitor it seems very sparse.
 

demonix

Straw Hat Pirate
robot monkey said:
Wakanim seems fine, though not as polished as CR. Also their website looks better on an iPad screen than computer monitor, on the monitor it seems very sparse.
I won't be touching Wakanim with a barge pole since they block anybody who uses an adblocker from watching the free streams.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
demonix said:
robot monkey said:
Wakanim seems fine, though not as polished as CR. Also their website looks better on an iPad screen than computer monitor, on the monitor it seems very sparse.
I won't be touching Wakanim with a barge pole since they block anybody who uses an adblocker from watching the free streams.
Isn't that understandable when you're watching them for free and the ads are paying for the license fees..?

R
 
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