Netflix vs. KissAnime

Netflix vs. KissAnime

Introduction

This post was supposed to go live yesterday, but I was out all day until around 10:30pm, so here we are. Normally today would be set aside for the latest episode of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, but since it’s just a filler episode I figured I’d skip that review for today in favor of this post.

It’s finally time for the second entry into my Battle of the Streaming Platforms series, and this time I’ll be taking a look at two polar opposites, Netflix and KissAnime. In case you missed it, the first entry in this series looked at Crunchyroll vs. Funimation.

But, for anyone new to this series, the format is as follows: I discuss five different aspects of each of the streaming services in question, website mobile app, free tier, subtitles, and title selection. Then, at the end of the post I rate how each service performed in each section out of five and add up their total points.

For example, if a streaming platform scored a 3/5 in all five categories, its final score would be 15/25.

If you’re just interested in the end results, they’ll be listed in a table down in the conclusion. But, for everyone else, let’s get started by taking a look at the websites for Netflix and KissAnime respectively.

Website

For most streaming services, the website is one of the most important aspects because this is likely where a majority of your users are viewing your content. However, I’d be willing to bet that isn’t the case for Netflix.

Instead, Netflix has native apps on just about every platform, be they mobile, game consoles, TVs, or computers, so there’s not really ever a reason to use their actual website. That said, their website is one of the best when it comes to streaming services because it’s built exactly like their apps.

Netflix website anime series
Netflix Website

Not only is the panel layout visually appealing, but it’s also extremely easy to find anything you’re looking for either through the search function or the genre groupings. And, as a bonus, by simply hovering over each entry you can view a trailer and read a brief summary without needing to go to a separate page.

On the other hand we have KissAnime, which functions more like a searchable forum of anime entries. The basic search functionality is still the same as with Netflix or any other site, and so this is probably your best bet for finding what you want to watch.

However, the problem there is that you’ll likely want to know what you want to watch before even venturing to KissAnime. Unless the episode or series you’re looking for was just added to their database, you’ll have to do some digging in order to find it.

Now, this is the part at which I’d showcase a picture of how KissAnime is structured so you can visually compare it to Netflix, but if you’re familiar with the site you’ll understand why I can’t do that. KissAnime doesn’t allow adblock of any kind, and because of that, it’s covered in ads for hentai games.

This is probably the biggest drawback to the KissAnime site. Not only does this mean you and those around you will have to see all of these ads, but it also means that your load times may take a bit longer. A lot of ads on a page means there are a lot of things to load, and this can sometimes affect performance.

Mobile App

Alright, so Netflix wins the website category because it has a sleek, elegant design without ads, but what about the mobile app category? Surely KissAnime can mount a comeback here, right? Well, if you thought that was the case then you’d be wrong.

In fact, KissAnime doesn’t have a mobile app, so I can’t even give it a rating for this category. So, by default, Netflix wins again.

But, just because Netflix gets an automatic win for the category doesn’t mean I won’t discuss what it does well, or not so well, in this aspect. As you might have guessed, Netflix’s app is extremely good considering it functions exactly like its apps across all other platforms.

However, what really sets Netflix’s mobile app apart from say, the one from Crunchyroll which I looked at in the last entry of this series, is the ability to download series and movies. Whenever I go on a long trip, I always make sure to download multiple anime series and movies beforehand so I can watch them without using up data.

Yes, downloading anime to your phone takes up a decent amount of space, but you have to remember that it’s a temporary use of space. Once you finish an episode or movie, the app will either automatically delete it from your device, or ask if you’d like to delete it, depending on your settings.

Free Tier

Alright, so KissAnime wasn’t really able to put up any sort of fight in that previous category, but don’t worry, that doesn’t mean it’s out of the competition just yet. That’s because this next category, the free tier, goes in KissAnime’s favor by default.

Since everyone I know has a Netflix subscription in one form or another, it’s sometimes hard to remember that it’s solely a subscription-based service. If you don’t pay, you can’t watch anything via Netflix’s platform, which means it’s automatically disqualified from this category.

But, just having a free tier wouldn’t be enough for KissAnime to make a comeback in this competition, so is there anything special about it? In fact, there is. The great thing about KissAnime’s free tier is that free is the only tier it has. That’s right, everything is free, so there’s no episodes, series, or movies locked away just for members.

However, if everything being free sounds a bit too good to be true, then you’d be right. As previously mentioned, the site is plastered with undesirable ads with no way of removing them. If you happen to visit KissAnime without first having it whitelisted, prepare for a ban lasting at least 24 hours.

That said, at least it doesn’t have video player ads, so your viewing will never get interrupted.

Subtitles

Subtitles have the potential to make or break an anime, so it’s no surprise that they would be important enough to have their own category. In this section, we’ll see two very different methods of navigating the wonderful world of subtitles.

First, let’s take a look at Netflix. Whoever does the subtitles for anime over at Netflix (or not at Netflix if they outsource this job) does great work. Unlike the subtitles of other services, I haven’t noticed any typos or egregious assaults on grammar, and that’s pretty important.

However, Netflix’s subtitles go beyond just being well written. Depending on the platform you’re using Netflix on, you can also customize how the subtitles appear to either make them easier to read, or just give them a different style that you like more.

You may remember from the previous entry into this series that Funimation has a similar subtitle customization feature, but the key difference here is that with Netflix it’s optional. The base subtitle settings are just fine on Netflix, while on Funimation they were so bad you’re forced to edit them.

But, Funimation isn’t the focus of today’s discussion, KissAnime is. So how are KissAnime’s subtitles compared to those of Netflix?

To put it frankly, they’re bad. KissAnime doesn’t have a team of translators who work on each episode and make sure the subtitles are polished before release. No, instead KissAnime relies on fan-subs, which is to say subtitles done by fans of the particular anime.

Sometimes these subs can be good, and sometimes they can be horrendous. And, when they’re bad, they’re extremely bad. When the Violet Evergarden special first released I watched it on KissAnime (it’s now made it to Netflix as well), and the subtitles were incomprehensible at times, which really detracted from the episode.

Basically, if you’re using KissAnime and want to have readable subtitles, you’d better hope the anime you’re watching is popular and has been out for a while. The good subtitles often take longer to be released than the bad ones, so you might have to wait a few weeks before you can get them.

For those of you wondering where my review of Zoku Owarimonogatari is, this is the reason I haven’t watched it yet. Since I love that series so much, I’m choosing to wait for it to be released somewhere with good subtitles rather than risking watching it with bad ones.

Title Selection

But, as you might expect, the other categories above don’t matter for much if a streaming platform doesn’t have anything you want to watch on it. So, how do Netflix and KissAnime compare to each other in that regard?

While Netflix has certainly gotten a lot better with both the quantity and quality of the anime it has in its library, its anime library still isn’t all that expansive compared to other streaming services. This is likely due to the fact that Netflix isn’t purely an anime streaming service.

Yes, they have some amazing anime over on Netflix, but your options are definitely limited. KissAnime, on the other hand, doesn’t have this problem. Because it’s not exactly a legal streaming site, it doesn’t have to worry about whether or not it has the rights to stream any particular anime.

This means that you can find just about any anime on KissAnime, even if it’s nowhere else to be found. I’ll admit that I use KissAnime, but only for anime which I can’t find on another service, such as Neon Genesis Evangelion (which Netflix somehow now acquired).

So, while KissAnime has a lot of issues, it still has a library which is about at extensive as it can get. I’ve never searched for something there and hadn’t been able to find it.

Conclusion

And, now it’s time to take a look at the results in the chart below.

Service Website Mobile App Free Tier Subtitles Title Selection
Netflix 5 5 x 5 3
KissAnime 1 x 4 2 5

As you can see, Netflix won three out of five categories, while KissAnime only came away with two. They also each failed to score in one of the categories, so their scores are effectively out of 20 points instead of 25.

The final tally for this entry in the Battle of the Streaming Platforms series is Netflix with 18/25 points and KissAnime with 12/25 points. But, just because Netflix won this competition doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for every person in every situation.

If you’re looking for a better user experience, then Netflix has your back for a monthly fee and a more limited title selection. However, if you’re all about getting everything for free, want an extremely large title selection, and don’t care about giving up some user comfort, then KissAnime is a great option.

I’m not sure when the next entry of this series is going to be released, but I’m thinking it will be between Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, so you can look forward to that. I’ll also release an infographic displaying the results of this series over on Twitter @DoubleSama in the near future.

So, if you enjoyed today’s non-Boruto filler review post that should have come out yesterday, click the like button ❤ down below. However, if you were really hoping to read my review of Shikadai deciding to become a politician for an episode, then you can leave a comment and I’ll take your words into consideration for the future.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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