If you’re a Crunchyroll subscriber, AnimeLab wouldn’t come off as appealing to you. Mostly because in terms of content, everything that’s there on this platform is already available on Crunchyroll. But mind you, it’s just the extensive library where Crunchyroll has one up. In departments such as interface, design, streaming capabilities and other features, AnimeLab is miles ahead of Crunchyroll. The excellent user interface with an impressive search function makes browsing and watching your favorite content seamless.
What is AnimeLab?
AnimeLab is an online anime streaming website started in 2014. It is owned by an Australian-based company that goes by the name of Madman Entertainment. Over the years, the company has built quite a reputation for kids’ programs, TV series, manga, graphic novels, and sports. With anime content, it has quickly gathered momentum and expanded its 50 series project to over 260 series. AnimeLab went from a meager 600 episodes to 6000+ episodes. Their success is visible through their massive following which recently surpassed the 500,000 subscribers mark.
Why should you stream on AnimeLab?
AnimeLab is among a handful of websites that legally airs anime content. It provides a great user interface along with several other benefits. We’ll discuss the key features of this service to understand more about the platform.
Amazing website design
My first impression of the website is that it looks quite distinctive. It reminds me of ‘Quvor’ except that this one’s a shade darker. The purple background with colorful banners looks amazing. The white text with flat icons really gives it a modern touch. Yellow CTA buttons and keywords with white borderline really add a distinctive touch to the website.
Great user interface
An amazing website design is backed up by a great user interface. In my opinion, an interface plays a crucial role in improving the user experience on a website. Since Animelab is a premium service, you can enjoy an ad-free experience. Well-designed menus and well-defined categories make navigating and browsing across the website quite seamless.
AnimeLab is among the very few services where you can access the premium content for free. The only catch is that you can only watch the content in 480p quality. Still, that’s a massive upgrade from 20-second previews. It’s a great initiative that allows people to watch the anime regardless of their interest in paying the amount. In third-world countries, accessing AnimeLab using a VPN is quite the trend.
If you’re an anime lover, you certainly won’t see AnimeLab’s pricing as a stumbling block. For nearly $7-8/mo, you get access to premium content. You can watch anything on the network and in the best possible quality. You don’t have to settle for 480p and you can watch content in 1080p. Given that you have access to thousands of episodes at just $7-8/mo, it comes off extremely affordable.
Quality streaming service
One thing that you don’t have to worry about on a premium anime network is the streaming quality. If you have a stable internet connection, you’ll be able to stream lag-free. The quality of the stream is directly related to your internet speed. If you have a 32MBPS internet speed, which is quite ordinary, you’ll be able to stream 1080p quality without any hassle.
How to access AnimeLab?
You can access AnimeLab in two ways. First, search for the term ‘AnimeLab’ and click on the first result that you find in the search engine. Make sure that it isn’t a competitor’s advert. Pay attention to the URL. Second, if you want to access the website directly, you can use the following link: AnimeLab. Before you access AnimeLab, know that the website is currently unavailable in Asian countries such as India and Pakistan. Thus, if you want to access the website from those regions make use of a VPN to do so.
Design is where AnimeLab hits all the right notes. The distinctive green and purple color combination makes the website look unique. In addition to that, the well-designed banners amplify the homepage followed by horizontal scrolling thumbnails. There’s a lot of good things happening throughout the website. Let’s check out each section one by one.
The header section has three main colors – Purple, White and Yellow. The purple background has white text and a yellow CTA button. As for the options, you can choose from three drop-down menus – Shows, Simulcasts, genres and a static category – Movies. Under shows, you’ll find different options such as ‘Recently Added’, ‘Popular Shows’, ‘Subbed Shows’, and ‘Dubbed Shows’. You can choose any of these options to enter the specific page.
The hero section is where AnimeLab throws the competition out of water. Each banner on the homepage is designed to perfection. Specific characters have been designed to enhance individual banners. There’s the title on the left followed by a CTA button that reads ‘Start Watching Now’. There are ten banners in the hero section.
The amazing standards set by the hero section are maintained by the supporting sections. First, you’ll find the ‘Simulcasts’ section which has shows such as ‘ID: Invaded’, ‘Boruto’, ‘One Piece’, and ‘Magia Record’. There are more than five sections in the body of this website. These include ‘Trending Now’, ‘Popular Shows’, ‘Freshly Added Shows’, ‘Fresh Dubs’, ‘Fresh Subs’, and ‘Latest Movies’. Each of these sections has a slider button towards the right.
The inner pages of Animelab follow the design input we saw on the homepage. It’s predominantly purple in color. There’s a vertical thumbnail on the left followed by details such as Title, Date, Episodes, Language, and Synopsis on the right. The keywords you see under the synopsis is exactly how the website is able to sort the content. Each inner page has a simple yet attractive design that manages to keep you engaged.
With AnimeLab hoping to extend their content catalog by 300+ anime series this year, you can rest assured that there’s plenty of content available on the website. Sure, it’s nothing in comparison to Crunchyroll’s massive content catalog which sits at over 800+ series. But we’ve to give AnimeLab its due credit because it’s fairly new and as of now just caters to the Australian audience.
In terms of genres, you can watch anime series from over 25 genres. These include authentic and unique genres such as Yuri, Moe, Reverse Harem, Bishoujo, Romance, Action, and even LGBT relationships. Though I’m not a big fan of the dubbed versions, you can still find plenty of content in English language if you’re not keen on the subbed version.
Some of the popular titles available on the streaming platform include ‘One Punch Man’, ‘Naruto Shippuden’, ‘Attack on Titan’, ‘Dragon Ball Z’, ‘Death Note’, ‘Blue Exorcist’, ‘One Piece’, ‘Boruto’, ‘Atom the Beginning’, ‘Vatican Miracle Examiner’, ‘Battle Girls High School’, and ‘Grimoire of Zero’. Just from the stellar names, you can estimate the content depth of this streaming platform. Some of the shows that I’d recommend you watch include ‘Robotics’, ‘Ping Pong’, and ‘Rideback’.
AnimeLab is compatible with a wide range of platforms such as Apple TV, iOS devices, Android Devices, Blu-Ray players, Chromecast, Laptops/PCs, Gaming consoles such as PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. This means that you can enjoy the service on any of the aforementioned devices. Though AnimeLab is just available in New Zealand and Australia, you can easily access the website using a VPN.
Plans & Pricing
As learned before, AnimeLab’s free membership does come with limitations. You can sign-up for free and watch all the content in 480p resolution. If you’re watching the said quality on your mobile phone, I don’t think you have much to complain about. On the contrary, if you want the premium HD experience, you can do so for just $7/month, which according to me is peanuts.
Suggestions I have for AnimeLab
I like the 480p resolution as part of the free membership. But why the pre-roll ads? This approach might reverse engineer the free members. Instead of luring them towards the network, they might want to opt-out of the frustration. I’d suggest the developers provide a single episode at 1080p with no ads. That would serve the purpose without rubbing users the wrong way.
I’m paying $7/month simply for the simulcast. I’m more impressed with the speed at which the episodes are updated on the website. If you’re an anime lover looking for a seamless anime viewing experience, you seriously need to consider subscribing to AnimeLab.