Nowadays, there are lots of places you can stream anime — just about any title you want! Crunchyroll and Funimation have simulcasts and impressive catalogs, and even mainstream sites like Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix are getting in on the anime action. But what if you want to watch some of anime’s essential titles, and you don’t have enough for a subscription?
RetroCrush is the latest on the anime streaming scene. While there are lots of cross-platform titles, this new site also has some impressive license rescues you won’t see anywhere else (or will need a subscription to grab). Don’t know where to start? We recommend these Big Three titles that every anime fan should have in their collection — or at least in their watch list.
If you’re into anime it’s pretty much a given you’ll have heard of Akira, Katsuhiro Otomo’s epic post-apocalyptic film based on his manga of the same name. Otomo has many memorable titles under his belt, but Memories in particular is a must-see for fans. The 1995 anthology film adapts three of his manga short stories for the big screen, two scripted by Otomo himself and one by the then-up-and-coming Satoshi Kon.
It’s a treat to be able to stream this anime, as it’s a strong trio of sci-fi stories: in particular “Magnetic Rose,” about a long-dead opera singer who lures astronauts to their doom.
Full of action, comedy, and fanservice, the 1986 film Project A-ko may have nothing to do with Jackie Chan’s Project A, but that hardly matters. Our trio of heroines — A-ko, B-ko, and C-ko — are trying to live normal high school lives, except for the fact that they’re not at all normal high school girls. When rich girl B-ko grows jealous of A-ko and C-ko’s friendship, she whips out the big guns (literally) to get between them. But A-ko is super-strong and super-fast… and C-ko has secrets of her own. Somehow.
After lapsing in and out of copyright for years, Project A-ko is now available to stream. It’s goofy and plot-minimal, but it’s still a fun watch and an anime classic.
Inspired by Blade Runner and Streets of Fire and with a weird-sounding name, Bubblegum Crisis is a standard of sci-fi anime. Our heroines are the Knight Sabers: four hard-suited fighters who protect the streets of Mega Tokyo. Their main targets are Boomers: cybernetic life forms manufactured by the corrupt organization known as Genom and turned toward crime by unscrupulous individuals.
If you’re into cyberpunk and 80s action, this 8-episode OVA is a must-stream.
Be sure to look through the RetroCrush catalog for more streaming anime!