Crunchyroll and Me, One Month Later

crunchyroll_logo
As a reaction to my previous post about Manga and Anime, I’ve decided to give Crunchyroll (CR) a try. After more than a month of watching and reading, it is time to pen down my thoughts.
First , I’ll give a basic overview of my setup. Second, I will take about Crunchyroll, followed by my experiences with CactusVPN. At the end you can expect a general conclusion.


Overview Setup

  • Crunchyroll Premium Subscription
  • CactusVPN US VPN Subscription
  • used Devices
    • iPad Mini 2
    • iPhone 4S

Crunchyroll

As I like the use of bulleted lists , lets start with one for the advantages of CR.
  • wide variety of series
  • apps optimized for both iPad and iPhone
  • queue series you’re watching (this feature had a major bug, however, it was resolved after 2-3 weeks with CR; a small glitch in its functionality is still present where it sometimes doesn’t register the completion of an episode.)
  • CR Anime and CR Manga is now one subscription
  • Recently more features were added to the premium subscription without additional costs
  • Recently the catalog for Belgium (maybe Europe in general?) has expanded enormously. However, no official announcement about this was released.
  • We can even watch series that are not available in the US.
  • It’s cheap.
  • PayPal support (prefer this over Visa)
Now, the bulleted list for the disadvantages of CR.
  • Some region-restrictions apply (see my previous post).
  • A VPN service is needed if you want to bypass these restrictions.
  • However, the expanded catalog might make the use of a VPN service superfluous, of course, depending on your preferences.
  • The experience on my iPhone 4S is badder than on my iPad Mini. The quality is lower and the time to buffer the videos is bigger. However, both devices were used on the same network. I don’t know if this is related to the difference in iOS version (iOS 7 vs iOS 8).
  • I experienced some problems watching certain videos on my iDevices, and I’ve sent an email regarding that to their support service. However, the respond that I got back was (I think) computer-generated and talkes about Flash, cache, and so on. Hence, they were assuming that I was using a web browser. However,  I stated my used devices, and in the form I was not able to select any options regarding my setup.
Conclusion
Get a subscription now if you love Anime and/or Manga, however, their support-service is lacking minimum quality.

CactusVPN

For more information about this service, I redirect you to their website. However, the most important thing you need to know about this CactusVPN is that it provides VPN and SmartDNS services to its customers. Based on my experiences, its advantages are listed in the following bulleted list.
  • You can try their VPN service for free for 24 hours.
  • You can try their SmartDNS service for free for 7 days.
  • Easy to set up. They have a lot of tutorials for different devices and operating systems.
  • It’s cheap.
  • For iDevices they have an app to install the correct certificates.
  • A similar application is available for Mac.
  • I got four US VPN to choose from. When it happened to me that I could not connect to my ‘default’ one, I could easily switch to one of the other three remaining ones.
  • PayPal support
  • Easy to switch between billing cycles
The disadvantages of CactusVPN are
  • VPN will not work with Apple TV (unless you have VPN set up on your router). An alternative is the use of SmartDNS, however, if find the use of VPN easier. You could also do both, but I figured out that VPN (and CR on my iPad and iPhone) would be enough to start with, and with the expanded catalog I might not even need CactusVPN for some of the series I watch.
Conclusion
If you want to watch series that are not available in your region, consider CactusVPN (or another VPN service). However, for the non-US citizens, the catalog has expanded, so be sure to check it out first.

Conclusion

The overall conclusion is that I’m satisfied with both services, and that I’ve extended my subscriptions. So if you want to watch Anime and/or read Manga Crunchyroll is the way to go. However, the use of a VPN services such as CactusVPN might be needed if a series is not available in your region.

 

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