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?
UPDATE (10/18/18) AS OF NOVEMBER 9TH 2018 FUNIMATION DUBBED OR SUBBED ANIME WILL NO LONGER BE OFFERED ON VRV. IN ITS PLACE HiDive WILL BE COMING TO THE PLATFORM. FULL INFO HERE.
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.
- 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
- 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!