6 Best Streaming Services to Watch
Intricately constructed and unbearably suspenseful from beginning to end, the first season of The Promised Neverland is a masterclass in using the episodic structure of TV to maximize the effect of a mystery-driven thriller. By placing us firmly within the perspective of its child protagonists (who are, to be fair, incredibly smart and determined), every step towards freedom still feels like a shot in the dark, and every setback becomes increasingly more devastating. Even as the season hurtles towards its conclusion, it never becomes clear how much its characters will succeed, if at all. Intelligent editing and animation that goes from ominous to fully grotesque ensures that something always feels off or too good to be true, no matter what.
And it says a lot about the sheer quality of the first season that it’s still worth recommending despite a truly awful, rushed second season, which ignores its own themes and resorts to lazy animation just to get through the story faster. Viewed as a two-season series, The Promised Neverland can’t help but look disappointing, squandering an exhilarating first half with developments that lead nowhere. But even on its own, season one stands tall as a stunning achievement in anime—a self-contained story of selflessness and hope in the face of dehumanization and despair.
Hulu is an on-demand service that is currently only available in US territories. You can get access to Hulu’s on-demand content library for $7.99 a month with commercials, and $14.99 without. There’s also an option to pay for an annual subscription starting at $79.99.
You can buy nearly everything on Amazon, including movies and TV shows. Amazon’s video storefront (not to be confused with its on-demand streaming service Amazon Prime) allows you to either rent or buy thousands of titles, including new releases, blockbuster hits, niche indies, and international gems.
You’ll have to sign in using your Amazon account to start renting or purchasing, and Amazon allows you to redeem gift cards, promo codes, and points if you have them upon checkout. Like most video stores, Amazon gives you 30 days to start watching a rental and 48 hours to finish it, while unlimited access is granted to purchased titles. Lastly, you should know that a rented title is only viewable on one device, so sharing options will be limited.
Crunchyroll is a video-on-demand streaming website that specializes in anime and is available in 170 countries.
You can opt for either a free ad-supported plan or subscribe to the paid tier. The free version doesn’t include simulcasts or access to all of Crunchyroll’s content, but for $7.99 per month the premium tier removes those limitations.
You can access Crunchyroll via web browser (www.crunchyroll.com), while the Crunchyroll app is also available on all major platforms, mobile devices including Android and iOS, and media streaming devices including Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV Chromecast, and Android TV, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Hidive focuses mainly on anime shows and films. Its offerings include classical anime, popular anime films and shows, as well as hidden gems of the anime world, put together for those who love anime and don’t want to wait for the releases of their favorite shows.
They add new content via simulcasts which means that you’ll be able to stream new anime shows online as they’re released in real-time. This service is great for anime lovers who don’t want to wait months for their favorite anime shows to be released on DVD. Hidive is an independent anime streaming company based in Texas that was launched in 2017.
iTunes is one of the oldest media apps currently in use. While many people know it as a music player, iTunes has since evolved to offer digital movies and TV shows for rent or sale. The bigger and newer releases can cost up to $20 to purchase, but iTunes also has past hits, modern classics, award-winning pictures, and even local films you can rent for as low as $2. Purchased films and TV shows are available for as long as the studio allows them to be, but rentals are a different story. Once you’ve rented a particular title, you have up to 30 days to start watching it. And after you start watching it, you’ll then have 48 hours before it expires. iTunes comes pre-installed on Apple devices, but it’s also available on Windows PCs and Android Smart TVs.