It’s good news for anime fans on a budget as Crunchyroll has officially announced that they will be expanding their free-with-ads library to include a number of currently-popular series including Blue Lock, Chainsaw Man, and Vinland Saga.
As of August 1st, the popular anime streaming platform has made the following series – some in both sub and dub form – available for streaming to free-tier users in English-speaking territories (the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa):
Beast Tamer (Sub Episodes 1-13, Dub Episodes 1-3)
Adapted from the light novel series written by Suzu Miyama, Beast Tamer follows Rein, a Beast Tamer who finds himself booted out of the ‘legendary hero’s’ party on the grounds that his ability – making ‘contracts’ with animals – is far too weak to be of any use to their quest.
Left to his own devices, he soon finds himself striking up a contract with the Cat Spirit Kanade, and in turns discover that, in doing so, he has begun to take on some of her power. A path to glory now unfolding before him, Rein sets out to carve his own path and make as many contracts as possible – much to the disdain of his former employer.
Blue Lock (Sub Episodes 1-24, Dub Episodes 1-3)
Based on Muneyuki Kaneshiro and Yusuke Nomura’s best-selling manga of the same name, Blue Lock sees Japan develop the eponymous training program in order to help them find and develop a striker who will lead Japan’s World Cup team to glory.
The competition made up of roughly 300 other high schoolers, protagonist Isagi Yoichi throws himself headfirst into the pitch as he strives to be the pointman to a new era of Japanese soccer.
Bocchi the Rock (Sub Episodes 1-12)
An adaptation of Aki Hamaji’s titular manga, Bocchi the Rock centers on the life of Hitori “Bocchi-Chan” Gotoh, a high school student who despite her extreme social anxiety and awkwardness dreams of playing guitar at her school’s annual festival.
Thankfully, Bocchi is eventually rescued from her self-imposed exile by Nijika Ijichi, dummer for the Kessoku Band. Taking notice of Bocchi’s skills, Nijika proceeds to do what she can to help her new friend break out of her shell and show her skills to the world.
Bungo Stray Dogs (Sub Episodes 1-12, Dub Episodes 1-3)
Originally penned in manga form by Kafrka Asagiri and Sango Harukawa, Bungo Stray Dogs presents an alternate reality where a number of the world’s literary giants – such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Natsume Sōseki – not only possess supernatural abilities, but have also banded together as the Armed Detective Agency to serve as a unified front against a variety of supernatural threats.
In particular, the series follows a fictionalized version of author Atsushi Nakajima as he tries to make sense of the connection between his ‘Weretiger’ powers and a mysterious artifact capable of rewriting reality.
Campfire Cooking in Another World with My Absurd Skill (Sub Episodes 1-12, Dub Episodes 1-3)
Based on Ren Eguchi’s original light novel, Campfire Cooking in Another World with my Absurd Skill is – unsurprisingly – an iseaki series.
One day, four individuals – three teenagers and one average adult salaryman – are transported to a fantasy world, and while the younger of the group discover they’re strong enough to be considered ‘Heroes’, the singular adult Tsyuoshi Mukouda finds that he is only able to access a power described as ‘Online Supermarket’.
Discovering that he’s able to summon various foodstuffs from Japan into his new reality and disinterested in the ‘hero life’, Tsuyoshi instead opts to use his gift to form contracts with the various monsters – and gods – that inhabit the realm.
Chainsaw Man (Sub Episodes 1-12, Dub Episodes 1-3)
Introduced to the world in the pages of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump, Tatsuki Fujimoto’s popular shonen series takes place in a world where Devils – evil creatures borne from the fears of humanity – continually pose a danger to life on Earth.
Enter Denji, a young man who’s able to transform into the eponymous ‘superhero’ thanks to having struck up a contract with his companion, the Chainsaw Devil Pochita. Thanks to his ability to literally carve a path through the supernatural enemies, Denji is soon recruited to the Public Safety Division, a taskforce specifcally assigned to monitor and combat the Devils.
However, though he is initially eager to help his new employer, Denji soon discovers that there’s more to the entire situation than initially believed.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (Sub Episodes 1-25, Dub Episodes 1-3)
Set in an alternative timeline where the world is controlled by just three superpowers – the Holy Britannian Empire, the Chinese Federation and Europa United – Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion tells the story of Lelouch Lamperouge, the exiled prince of the Holy Britannian Empire.
Driven by revenge against his father, who he believes failed his family by choosing not to pursue his mother’s killer, Lelouch soon finds himself trapped in an ever-winding game of politics, subterfuge, and mecha.
Thankfully, Lelouch has an advantage: Gifted with the power of The Geass, the prince is able to make anyone – at least once and only after making direct eye contact – do whatever he desires.
(Note: Unfortunately, Code Geass will not be available for users in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand)
The Daily Life of the Immortal King (Sub Episodes 1-15, Dub Episodes 1-3)
Based on a novel by Chinese author Kuxuan rather than any Japanese manga, The Daily Life of the Immortal King recounts the story of Wang Ling, a genius whose upper limits both mental and physical know no real limits.
However, despite his unbridled power, Wang still must receive a proper education, and thus at age sixteen, the wizard prodigy is forced to undertake high school life as an ordinary teenager – though an impending world-ending threat soon puts a breaks on his plans!
Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro (Sub Episodes 1-12, Dub Episodes 1-3)
In this animated take on Nanashi’s popular manga, timid second-year high school introvert Naoto Hachiouji is trying to simply get through his days undisturbed, preferring solitary activities like drawing manga over interacting with his peers.
And on that path he would stay until his introduction to Hayase Nagatoro, a new first-year who has a penchant for acting equal parts sadistic and tempermental. However, while he does find himself run ragged by Nagatoro’s constant teasing and tormenting, Naoto comes to discover that she also tantalizes him as well.
Golden Kamuy (Sub Episodes 1-25, Dub Episodes 1-3)
An anime adaptation of Satoru Noda’s historical fiction manga, Golden Kamuy takes place in the years immediately following the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. Having survived the war, Sugimoto “The Immortal Sugimoto” Saichi now spends his days attempting to take care of one of his brothers-in-arms’ now-widowed wife in the city of Hokkaido.
But his fortunes change when he hears tell of a secret cache of gold supposedly hidden in the region by the Ainu peoples. Hoping to use the money to turn his fortunes around, Sugimoto soon teams up with an Ainu girl named Asirpa in order to find the gold – and along the way, enact revenge on behalf of her murdered father.
Lycoris Recoil (Sub Episodes 1-12, Dub Episodes 1-3)
One of two original works included in Crunchyroll’s latest library update, Lycoris Recoil revolves around the titular Lycoris, an all-girl group that fights crime on behalf of the secret organization Direct Attack.
At the center of the series are Chisato Nishikigi, the strongest Lycoris agent of all-time, and Takina Inoue, a mysterious and reserved agent who has found herself butting heads with her superiors.
Eventually teamed up in an effort to minimize the effects of their ‘loose cannon’ outlooks, Chisato and Takina are first assigned to work at the undercover branch of the Direct Attack, the Café LycoReco – and while both believe the tasj to be, for better or worse, unbefitting for a Lycoris Agent, they soon find themselves perfectly placed to thwart a terrorist plot.
Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch of Mercury (Sub Episodes 0-12, Dub Episodes 0-2)
The second original series on the list and the latest entry of the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise, The Witch from Mercury takes place at a time when corporations have begun to extend their reach into the stars, resulting in growing turmoil between space-born humans and Earth-born ones.
Introduced into this budding conflict is Suletta Mercury, a young woman who transfers to the Beneritt Group’s Asticassia School of Technology in the hopes of becoming a full-blown Mobile Suit pilot.
Unfortunately for the wide-eyed, bushy-eye-browed teen, the reality of her dreams is not as rosy as the fantasy, and Suletta must eventually confront the question of ‘Is what I’m fighting for worth the cost?’
My Dress-Up Darling (Sub Episodes 1-12, Dub Episodes 1-3)
Based on Shinichi Fukuda’s manga of the same name, My Dress-Up Darling tells the story of Wakana Gojo, a talented-but-socially-awkward craftsman of Hina dolls.
Though Wakana is content in his work, his world changes forever when he’s approached by one of the most popular girls at his school, Marin Kitagawa, to make a cosplay costume.
Agreeing to undertake the challenge, Wakana soon finds himself not only delving head first into cosplay costuming, prop work, and make-up techniques, but also forming a budding romance with the girl who he once believed to be completely out of his league.
Ranking of Kings (Sub Episodes 1-23, Dub Episodes 1-3)
Created by mangaka Sōsuke Tōka and adapated by Wit Studio, Ranking of Kings is set in a world where the various kings of Earth are continually ranked according to their general ‘power’, with the king at the top receiving a small payout from the fabled ‘Divine Treasure Vault’.
Though deaf and often looked-down upon due to his extremely-small-size, Bosse Kingdom prince Bojji dreams of one day taking the seat atop the pantheon of kings.
Sadly, Bojji does eventually receive the chance to pursue his goals, but only when his father, King Bosse, passes away – but thanks to the Kingdom’s low opinion of Bojji’s capabilities, rather than being crowned the ruler of Bosse Kingdom, the young Prince is instead temporarily ousted from the throne, being told that he must train himself in order to be worthy of his position.
The Reincarnation Of The Strongest Exorcist In Another World (Sub Episodes 1-23, Dub Episodes 1-3)
Adapted from Kiichi Kosuzu’s isekai light novel, The Reincarnation of the Strongest Exorcist In Another World recounts the tale of Haruyoshi Kuga, a genius exorcist who manages to pull off a successful reincarnation after finding himself on the brink of death.
Reborn as the much younger Seika Lamprouge, Haruyoshi is shocked to discover that despite being born into a distinguished wizarding family, he does not possess any magical ability whatsoever.
Resolving to make the best of a bad situation, Haruyoshi/Seika dedicates declares that rather than give up, he will instead master various talismans and jutsu in order to emulate his past abilities.
Soul Eater (Sub Episodes 1-25, Dub Episodes 1-3)
Taking place in Nevada, USA, Atsushi Ohkubo’s Soul Eater revolves around the Death Weapon Meister Academy, a fictional organization organization run by Death itself.
Therein, humans are trained to use various supernatural weapons – all of which are able to take on a human form – before being tasked by with reaping a total of 99 ‘evil’ souls and the soul of one ‘witch’, which if done in order will successfully produce a new sycthe for their headmaster to use in his eternal work.
Prepared for this task, the Academy’s latest class – Maka Albarn and Soul Eater, Black Star and Tsubaki Nakatsukasa, and Death the Kid with his weapon-partner Liz and Patty Thompson – finds their futures rocked when they stumble onto a plot to revive the evil god Asura, whose return threatens to ruin mankind once again.
(Note: Unfortunately, Soul Eaer will not be available for users in the United Kingdom or Ireland.)
Spy x Family (Sub Episodes 1-25, Dub Episodes 1-3)
Set in a Cold War-esque period of counterintelligence warfare and intelligence-hungry subterfuge, the adaptation of Tatsuya Endo’s Spy x Family follows Twilight, a highly-skilled spy for the Westaslis agency whose latest assignment is to spy on the leader of the neighboring Ostania nation.
Of course, this is easier said than done, and in order to even get close to the politician, Twilight – under the alias Loid Forger – ends up adopting a daughter and faking a marriage to a local woman.
However, unbeknownst to Twilight, both members of his fake family hold startling secrets, with his ‘wife’ Yor actually being the alter-ego of a notorious assassin known as the Thorn Princess and his ‘daughter’ possessing the ability to read the minds of those around her.
Vinland Saga (Sub Episodes 1-24)
A fictionalized retelling of the real-world Norse historical documents the Saga of Erik the Red and the Saga of the Greenlanders, Vinland Saga revolves around the jounrney of Thorfinn, a young Viking who once dreamed of setting sail on the open seas for an adventure all his own.
However, these dreams were quickly dashed when his father, Thors, was murdered by the mercenary Askeladd. Forcefully taken under Askeladd’s wing and trained as a terrifying warrior – his father figure knowing full-well that the lessons he would impart on the boy would eventually be turned against him – Thorfinn’s life soon spirals into an endless road of battle, bloodsheed, and broken bones.
Yona of the Dawn (Sub Episodes 1-24, Dub Episodes 1-3)
2,000 years after an epic battle between the Gods resulted in the formation of the Kouka Kingdom, Princess Yona is preparing for her 16th birthday.
However, before any festivities can occur, Yona is visited by Soo-won, her childhood friend and love interest. Though she is initially elated to see him, she is soon shocked to discover him brutally murdering her father, the current King of Kouka.
Informed by Soo-won that he intends to forcefully take over as the nation’s next king, Yona – along with her bodyguard Hak – proceed to go on the run, fleeing-in-exile to the capital city of a neighboring kingdom.
After catching their breaths, the two vow to do what they can to stop Soo-won’s machinations – starting with recruiting to her side the very Gods whose power created the world she lives in.