Since you’ve landed here, we’re assuming that you’re looking to find out whether Daisuki is a suitable free anime streaming service for you. And we’re here to tell you just that. But before we get on with it, you must know that Daisuki is going to shut down all their services by the end of October, 2017. However, it is still worth a try, even if only for a few months.
There are millions of anime fans across the world, and it’s easy to tell why. The interesting plotlines, fantastical characters, and the splash of colors draw not only kids and the youth but also adults. Though anime originated in the far East, in Japan, it quickly received attention from the West. This happened around the same time when most of the U.S. households had a cable TV subscription. For some, it was the series Star Blazers that grew their interest in anime while others got hooked onto it after watching the movie “Akira”. Whatever the inspiration, there is an evident craze for anime and it’s not going to take a dip anytime soon.
Daisuki’s Background –
In the late nineties, several companies were bringing TV content and movies for entertainment lovers to stream online. Soon, anime distributors followed suit with Crunchyroll being one of the first services to offer a huge library of anime online. Since then, there have been more than a dozen legal services that enable anime streaming, the latest entrant being Daisuki. It is owned by Asatsu-DK and a bunch of anime studios like Toei Animation, Aniplex, TMS Entertainment, and Dentsu. Daisuki, a Japanese service, was launched in 2013, at a time when other anime streaming services had already established themselves in the market. One has to commend their courage!
In 2014, Daisuki Inc. was replaced by ACJ, short for Anime Consortium Japan. The initial shareholders were joined by a few more, namely, Shueisha, Kadokawa Bushiroad Inc., and Kodansha. Earlier in 2017, Daisuki was entirely acquired by Bandai Namco, one of the major shareholders.
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Are There Any Paid Plans?
Originally, Daisuki offered all its content for free. However, in July 2016, the company introduced a paid plan to provide exclusive content to users. At only $5, users can stream series such as Time Travel Girl, Tsukiuta, Planetarian, and Gundam Seed, in a fairly good video quality, without being interrupted by too many ads as opposed to the free version.
What Can You Watch on Daisuki?
You’re in luck if you like simulcasts, i.e. anime series that are released online on the same day as their official broadcasting date in Japan; because Daisuki is known for bringing quality simulcast content to its website. What’s more? Thanks to its ownership, the company gets a huge list of Anime shows for the viewing pleasure of its audience.
Initially, Daisuki facilitated streaming of roughly 30 episodes’ worth of content with series such as The Prince of Tennis: The National Tournament, Lupin III: Part II, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and Sword Art Online. Today, its library has expanded significantly with titles like One Punch Man, Gundam Seed, Tales of Zestiria the X, M3 the Dark Metal, Sushi Ninja, etc.; belonging to various genres including Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action, Magical, Robot, and Horror.
Daisuki even has a community forum where users can exchange thoughts and feedback regarding the platform and pretty much anything to do with anime. They also have an online store that sells limited items entailing figurines of popular anime characters and a legion of anime merch for a very reasonable price.
Although Daisuki has a fairly small library of anime and does not really offer any exclusive content compared to its contenders, their effort is praiseworthy, given that a lot of the content can be watched for free, that too, legally.
Where and How to Watch Content on Daisuki?
What gives Daisuki an edge over most of its rivals is the fact that their website can be accessed from anywhere in the world unless other companies have secured exclusive distribution/broadcasting rights in that particular region. Unfortunately, the service is not supported across an extensive range of devices. However, they do have an app for iPhone/iPad and Android users. Alternatively, you can even stream on their official website using your laptop or computer.
Ease of Use and Design:
Personally, we were quite impressed with the interface and layout of Daisuki across mediums. Navigating through the site pages and finding content was a breeze (no exaggeration). All the main categories like “Watch Anime”, “Store”, “Community”, “Info”, and the social media page buttons appear in bold font on the left. These options can also be found at the bottom of the screen. The layout is one of the best we’ve seen on a free streaming site. In fact, on discussion forums such as Quora, some users have gone onto saying that they like Daisuki’s layout better than Crunchyroll; which is saying a lot! The design is pretty neat too.
That said, we did face one issue, that of load speed. Despite being connected to a relatively fast internet; it took a while to load the content. Also, on more than one occasion, it displayed an error stating that the player couldn’t load the content. However, this could be our individual issue since our peers haven’t encountered it at all.
All in all, the website is quite easy to use and very well-designed considering that it is still in its neonatal stage.
Weighing the Pros and Cons:
As with any service, Daisuki has both, advantages and disadvantages but the good news is that the former overrides the latter.
The Pros –
- Boasts of some extremely rare-to-find anime series such as Gundam as well as simulcasts.
- Unlike its adversaries, Daisuki is available worldwide.
- Economically viable for most people.
- Is supported on a decent number of platforms with superlative interface.
The Cons –
- Library isn’t as large as its counterparts.
- The video quality is not the best, especially if your internet speed is slow.
- Lack of support on other devices such as gaming consoles and smart TVs.
Final Thoughts + An Important Tip-Off:
Daisuki is a great initiative especially for those who’ve just been introduced to anime or have very little budget to spend on paid subscriptions. It’s also great for those who’re looking for titles that aren’t very easily available; the Gundam series for example. However, if you want an extensive library, the best video quality, and a widely-supported service with regards to devices, Daisuki may not be for you. Instead, you could try checking out other paid services such as Hulu and Crunchyroll.
As mentioned earlier, Daisuki is close to kicking the bucket. The company has announced that they will be closing down all the services by 31st October, 2017 and all customer support by the end of the year. While this may not really affect anime lovers in North America, those outside the region will definitely feel the pinch. We think that one of the reasons why Daisuki is coming to an end is due to its late entrance. Despite being backed by big anime studios; the company has failed to offer exclusivity to its audience. We secretly wish that they had brought the Premium membership to the users earlier and offered a wider catalogue of content.
It is sad to see Daisuki go. However, there’s no harm in using the service while it lasts!