Three women watching a show on their Android device

4 Great Japanese TV Apps To Your Fix on Content from the Land of the Rising Sun

Japanese TV apps are perfect for streaming authentic Japanese television on the go, including everything from anime and dramas to video clips and news broadcasts.

Unfortunately, there are quite a few duds in the Google Play store when it comes to Japanese TV apps.

Lucky for you, we sifted through them all to make this list of the four best Japanese TV apps.



Price: $9.99 a month

japanese tv app android

Rakuten’s Viki app is pretty much the poster child for Japanese TV apps. This app is known for providing excellent streaming Japanese TV series with subtitles that are actually well-written and entirely accurate.

Although the app is mainly for Korean shows, it also has plenty of Japanese content. Most of the shows you’ll find on Viki are subbed in both English and Japanese. There won’t be any discrepancies with the subtitles in this app, making it perfect for brushing up on your Japanese language skills.

Any level of learner can use this resource, but how challenging it is varies by show. It’s worth testing out episodes of different shows to get a feel for the difficulty level of the dialogue and subtitles.

It’s also worth noting that Viki contains almost exclusively Japanese TV dramas.

Viki is free to use with ads but you can purchase a premium version to watch without interruptions. Some shows are region-locked so if you’re unable to access any of our recommendations below, simply search for something else—there’s plenty of content to be explored!

We recommend:


Price: Free 14 day trial; $29.99 a month


While FluentU doesn’t contain too many full episodes, you can watch many video clips from authentic Japanese TV shows on this app. You may find this easier than committing to full episodes, especially if you’re just starting out.

FluentU provides all the authenticity of TV, anime and drama shows, combined with the structure and support of a learning program.

Each video comes with interactive subtitles created by language experts in both English and Japanese with furigana—all of which can be toggled on or off to accommodate your level or learning goals.

Personalized flashcards and quizzes allow you to practice any new words you find, and full transcripts with audio pronunciations can give you a leg up in your reading skills.

FluentU is also available to use in your browser and on the iOS app.


Price: Free 14 day trial; $7.99-$14.99 a month, depending on plan

japanese tv app android

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Crunchyroll before. This awesome website has been the main source of anime online for years. Their app is pretty cool too, and offers a few drama options as well as popular (and lesser-known!) anime.

Any level of learner could benefit from watching the shows on Crunchyroll but, like with Viki, we suggest testing the waters to find an anime or show that won’t be too challenging for you to follow.

The subtitles available depend entirely on the show you’re watching. Some have no subtitles (although most have at least English ones) while others have both English and Japanese subtitles.

Crunchyroll is free to use but a premium account is required for viewing some content. With a membership, you can also watch simulcasts of your favorite shows, which means that you’ll be watching the newest episode at the same time that it’s available to the Japanese audience.

We recommend:

  • ソードアート・オンライン — “Sword Art Online”: Players of a virtual reality game become trapped within its world and have to survive in a violent fantasy world where death in the game means death in real life. Here’s a clip to give you some flavor of this series:


Price: Free

japanese tv app android

You probably already know all about the YouTube app. What you may not know is that it’s quite possible to find Japanese television shows through this popular streaming service without violating any copyright laws.

Follow these tips to find and watch Japanese television shows on YouTube legally:

  • Try specific keywords. We suggest trying searches along the lines of “Japanese television show legal,” “Japanese news broadcast” or “Japanese TV legal.”

    You can also search by specific shows with “(Show name) official,” which will usually get you to the official channel of the show (or its broadcaster), where you might find clips, trailers and sometimes even entire episodes.

  • Change up your settings. Through the app, you can change your content location to Japan via the Settings menu. By doing this, you’ll be shown specifically Japanese media and have more opportunities to stumble upon authentic legal content.
  • Check the channel names. When looking at a channel that claims to be a YouTube version of an actual television channel, make sure to read the video titles and check the channel’s “About” page. If you find a lot of links to authentic Japanese social media, chances are they’re legitimate.

There’s also the option to settle for authentic YouTubers rather than authentic television channels.

Overall, it can be tricky to find authentic but legally uploaded Japanese television on YouTube. If you don’t have much luck using the above methods, try browsing around for Japanese YouTubers, instead. All of the content they produce is legally their own, so you won’t be engaging in any shifty business.

It’s worth noting that the subtitle situation for most YouTube videos can be dubious. Advanced learners would probably benefit from YouTube videos without subtitles the most.

We recommend:

  • That Japanese Man Yuta: Our host Yuta interviews Japanese people and dives into different aspects of Japanese culture. Here’s one of his street interview videos:


There are so many options for watching Japanese content on Japanese TV apps!

Even if you only choose one app, you’re sure to find your new favorite binge-watchable Japanese drama, anime or show through it.

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