Cost: Free | Developer:Crunchyroll | Platform: iPad/ iPhone | Version 1.13 | 2.7 MB | iOS 3.1+
Apple products have nice, high quality screens which means that, especially with the iPad, they’re great for watching TV series’, movies and animation.
Which is where Crunchyroll comes in. If you’re a fan of Japanese animation (‘anime’) and drama, the massive catalogue of episodes available (at least for anime - the TV selection needs improving) for streaming makes this little application a must have. Everything from the obscure through to the popular shows such as Bleach, Gundam and Naruto Shippuden are available through the service.
It’s free to download and watch shows, although it’s also possible to pay (via in-app purchases) for ‘tickets’ to ad-free high resolution episodes. Alternatively you can pay a monthly subscription to have full access for everything.
Footage is streamed from Crunchyroll servers, so you’ll need to have a steady fast connection to watch. Shows are subtitled, rather than dubbed. For most anime fans, this will be a major benefit to the service.
Now we just need Viz Media to get its act together and release an iPad Manga application.
Pros: Great variety of anime shows on offer, high quality footage for subscribers, free content also great.
Cons: The layout could be slightly more attractive and the TV show selection is, at this stage, quite poor.
Verdict: Japanophiles and animation fans will get a lot of value out of this, and people with a more casual interest in anime don’t need to pay. It’s what I like to call a win-win app.
Get it here: Apple App Store
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