VRV – Worth It?

You May Have Noticed Crunchyroll Pushing a NEW Service:  VRV

Note:  this article was written 7/21/2017. Some points made in this article may be irrelevant as the service is updated for those of you viewing this in future land.

I mean, how could you not? At least, if you live in the US. Countless ads and emails have been flung in my direction for this new service they’ve cooked up. Eventually, I caved and gave it a shot. So here we are, a month into using this service. Was it worth the price of admission or was I better off with just using Crunchyroll all along?

VRV offers 8 channels for $9.99 a month. The eight channels are Crunchyroll, Funimation, Rooster Teeth, Geek & Sundry, Cartoon Hangover, Mondo, Nerdist, and Tested. All ad free of course. Compare this to just a subscription to Crunchyroll at $6.95 a month, and the price seems right.

On the surface, VRV seems like a really great service. It’s expensive to sub to a lot of these services individually, so having them all in one place is great. For the most part, this is absolutely true. However, there are some things you should know before you jump on board.

Pros:

  • Lots of content
  • Not just anime, but there is fair amount of animation focused content
  • Better PS4 app than Crunchyroll’s app (which is weird)
  • Easy to use, fast to learn
  • Can link Crunchyroll account to VRV account
  • Price is more than fair
  • Can pay with Crunchyroll gift cards

Cons:

  • Only a monthly fee; can’t buy a year’s worth for a bit cheaper
  • Missing content from both Crunchyroll & Funimation
  • Funimation stuff is mostly dub only, which is not the case if you have subscribed to their individual service before.
  • Watch lists do not transfer over, you have to do that manually
  • Rarely, VRV can be a bit buggy which is a little annoying
  • Other channels locked behind additional pay wall, though there are not many that aren’t included in the base package

Let’s get the smallest thing out of the way first, since I don’t really see this as a negative. VRV has some other channels that aren’t included in the base price that you can add at any time a la carte. There really aren’t that many of them and the added cost ranges from about two bucks to about five dollars. If there were tons of super desirable channels this would be a big negative in my book, but it is just something to be aware of at this point.

I’ve personally not bothered with the web player, since I primarily use my PS4 for streaming stuff and generally prefer this app compared to any of the other individual apps. Quality is as expected, the app itself isn’t too hard to navigate after fiddling with it for a few minutes, and doesn’t crash every other time like the Crunchyroll app loves to do.

The app itself does occasionally have this playback stutter where it’ll randomly just jump back a few seconds in whatever you are watching. It’s jarring and annoying when it happens. I’ve only had it occur a few times though. A minor nuisance. I also dislike the jump forward or back 30 second buttons on the player, they just aren’t useful.

Additionally, there are times where images and titles for episodes won’t load properly but that tends to not be a big issue since the app remembers where you were when you last watched and if you are starting something new, it defaults to episode one (as expected). So far, fairly minor issues.

There is one hefty negative however. Largely, the incomplete library of shows. Now, this is a new service and so some content delay is to be expected, but the fact that it doesn’t even have all the shows that Crunchyroll has on their own app is inexcusable. Funimation is also missing stuff too, but that’s being added in with a lot of visibility and frequency. Mostly, you miss out on older stuff but the fact that so many titles (~5) I was excited to watch were missing was a big put off. I’m sure this will be fixed, but right now it is a turn off to the service.

What’s going to definitely bug some people is the fact that Funimation’s content is only dubbed from what I can tell. Some of it overlaps with Crunchyroll, so sub fans will have some of Funi’s stuff, but not all of it. Personally, not a big deal, but I know it is for many of you out there.

Since this is owned and run by Crunchyroll, you can thankfully link your two accounts so you still have access to premium Crunchyroll, on their website or app, if that is your preference. It’s one way to get around the missing content but I’m personally more of a dub guy so that doesn’t help me much. Unfortunately, linking your accounts for the other services is up to them and nobody seems to have chosen to do that yet.

For whatever reason, even if you do link your Crunchyroll account, your watch list doesn’t instantly transfer over. You have to manually add each title. Very annoying if you have a large watch list but not so bad otherwise. Crunchyroll has a better system for managing watch lists, but VRV’s is competent.

As for the other channels, everything seems to be just fine. It’s just anime stuff that seems to be missing for right now. There are some pretty fantastic series that would otherwise go unnoticed for many offered in the base package. Personally, I recommend Day 5, a show I would have otherwise missed out on, which can be found on the Rooster Teeth channel.

The service is convenient. In fact, it’s become my number one go to for watching just about anything outside of a few Hulu exclusive shows. That being said, it is a bit annoying that I can’t just buy a year’s worth of VRV like I can for Crunchyroll. It’s the one thing that would really be nice to see outside of the missing content in its library. I’ve enjoyed my time with the service and plan to continue doing so.

VRV can be found at this URL:  https://vrv.co/ which is a little confusing since most of us are used to .com, but I assure you that this is correct. You can try a 7-day free trial, which I would recommend before fully committing.

Hopefully this has helped you decide if VRV is right for you. Currently the service is only available in the US but that will change as time goes on. What are your thoughts on VRV? If this article was useful please leave a like and I hope to see you back here at the site again soon!

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24 thoughts on “VRV – Worth It?

  1. I want to thank you for the article. I was introduced to VRV at the 2016 Emerald City Comicon as an offer, but shortly went on deployment before getting it: I want to watch Crunchyroll and Mostly Funimation–(guilty as charged) I like dubbed anime, nothing against Sub, but J. Michael Tatum, and having watched Ouran With Katelyn, I am happy with the voice actors they use, In all honesty is ir really worth it for those two things alone? I am not sure I would watch the others. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment Amy! I’m glad that you found this article useful. Since writing this article VRV has only gotten a lot better (and to be clear, they don’t sponsor me. Actual thoughts here)! If you are looking for just CR & Funi content than you will be getting more than your money’s worth with that alone as both service cost more separately. However, I think you will be pleasantly please with some of the other content that they have that isn’t on either of those platforms as I have.

      A word of caution, if you are planning to use the Roku application for VRV it occasionally does not work. This may be something to consider before purchasing (use the trail in such a case). Otherwise, I would confidently recommend VRV wholesale. Regardless, the free trial is always a good option 🙂

      Thanks again for reading and commenting! 😀

      Like

      1. Thank you Jon Spencer, I did not think that you were paid for by VRV or any of the content, just an honest accessment on a product. I am a dubbed girl and I want to watch Anime. I genuinely want Funimation and Crunchyroll is a bonus, I have watched so many Funi dubbs that I have become a addict. Always looking for Ouran like or Even Maid Sama, Even the fun ones where it is action, comedy, and a little bit of it all in one. I thank you for the timely reply and your honesty!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ok, so I don’t get this…If I pay them $10 a month, what does that actually get me? It says i need premium at the moment but I’m not willing to pay that unless I get access to everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First off, thanks for reading the article and asking clarification questions is no trouble 🙂 This article is an older one so some of the information has changed since the time of writing. The app has become a lot better, rendering some of my points mute.

      Any way, currently premium grants you access to the following channels: Cartoon Hangover (Stuff like Bravest Warriors), Crunchyroll (which can be linked to your existing account if you have one), Curiosity Stream (not really sure what that all includes), Dramafever (K-dramas and stuff like that), Funimation (access to nearly all of Funimations dubbed content. If you have a Funimation account, this cannot be linked.), Geek & Sundry (Critical Role and stuff like that), Mondo (again, not sure what all is included there), Mubi (Dido previous comment), Nerdist (like the YouTube channel but with more content), Rooster Teeth (RWBY, 5 Days, etc… account cannot be linked to a preexisting Rooster Teeth account), Shudder (Horror stuff), Tested (a lot of Adam Savage and other things), VRV Select (Curated stuff that VRV recommends).

      This is everything the $10 a month gets you. Personally, I find this to be an extremely great value, especially if you will use at least two of the channels in this list. I have branched out since getting this and have tried something from almost every channel. There is a lot of good stuff on here which may surprise you, because I really didn’t expect some of these channels to be all that great. If you plan on getting VRV, the app runs a lot better than the Crunchyroll one which alone was enough value for me to switch over (Crunchyroll’s app crashes a lot).

      Full disclosure, there are some features I have not explored and I currently have never used the web browser for streaming anything from VRV. A buddy of mine said he had some difficulty linking his Crunchyroll account to his VRV account, but that was mostly because he didn’t quite understand the instructions (which at the time were more confusing, they have fixed that). He uses the web browser and says that it runs just as well, if not better than the VRV app I use on my PS4.

      Lastly, I find myself using VRV to watch a lot of dubbed content so I will note that Funimation still has not fixed the fact that they provide no subtitles for written or fictional language in there shows outside of a few stray instances. This may be irksome to you so it is worth mentioning here. The value is really amazing so I hope you decide to get the package because I think you would be quite pleased 🙂 I’m not affiliated with VRV and am not sponsored by them in any way, that’s just my actual opinion. If you have any further questions please feel to ask. I’ll be away for most of the day but I will get back to you within 24 hours for sure. Have a good one!

      Like

  3. I still watch all my crunchyroll shows on their site directly for the tracking, but use vrv mainly for any funamation shows I watch. I’ve liked it okay. I’ve had a bad experience with linking my crunchyroll account and vrv fixed it right away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s good to know but sucks that you had a bad experience when it came to linking. I’ve pretty much converted over to VRV exclusively but that is mostly due to me watching things through my PlayStation. The app just works better there.

      Like

  4. So, if you already have a CR Premium subscription, would you recommend getting the VRV account and link them? If the library is not complete, I am very hesitant to move away from what I already know…CR. I don’t pay for Funimation or other channels at this point, anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey av8geek,

      So since I wrote this article there have been some improvements with VRV! The libraries have improved immensely and are like 99% complete right now. If CR has it, VRV does. If Funi has it, VRV almost always has it.

      Word of warning, as this was something I discovered a bit later, Funimation shows do not have subtitles except for rare instances. This is not in reference to Japanese audio, but rather for on-screen text. This can make some shows rather unenjoyable or unwatchable (ex Dance with Devils). Other than that though, no issue.

      As I mention in the article, linking doesn’t port your watch list over (that I know of still) so you will likely still need to do that manually. The link does allow you to continue to use the CR website as you have been though, so there isn’t much need.

      Personally, I have found the content on offer to be more than worth the price. Not to mention the stability of the app and fast improvements made thus far. The other content is great, I can happily recommend that you consider checking out Harmon Quest and Day 5 among the non-anime stuff.

      In short, I think you would be quite happy making the switch to VRV. If you are still weary, consider using the free trail, but I don’t think you would have any issues. Hopefully that helped and thank you for taking the time to read and comment here! 😀

      Like

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