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Crunchyroll Has Deleted One of the Streamer’s Most Beloved Features, and Users Are Outraged

RIP my post-episode ritual.

From Monday, July 8, Crunchyroll’s beloved comments section was no more.

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Crunchyroll was the only major streamer—other than user-generated content websites like YouTube or Twitch—that had a comments section. And that section was truly beloved. Other than the curated content on the streamer itself, for many users, the comments section was a huge part of what made Crunchyroll unique and desirable.

Crunchyroll issues a very short explanation of the decision in their help section:

At Crunchyroll, we prioritize creating a safe and respectful community environment. To maintain this standard, we are removing all existing user-generated content, including comments, across all our platforms and experiences.

The user ratings system will, however, remain allowing you to express your opinions through star ratings.


One user immediately asked Crunchyroll’s help center about the change. The support entity (be it bot or human) said comments were removed to “help us reduce harmful content, prevent misinformation, and improve overall user experience.”

The general reaction to the change seems to negate that last point, but while Crunchyroll hasn’t elaborated officially on specifics, there was an incident this weekend that likely inspired the change. A new BL series for the summer 2024 season, Twilight Out of Focus, got review bombed by homophobes upon its premiere. One user even added “F#ck P#ide” to the end of their comment. I speak for the entire (sane) One Piece fandom when I renounce their usage of a Gear 5 Luffy icon.

The answer to hate speech appearing on your platform isn’t to entirely cut all speech, though. It’s to create better guidelines and strengthen moderation.

An ode to the comments section

This winter, I got really into The Apothecary Diaries, which I was watching on Crunchyroll. I loved it. But I was studying away from home and had no one immediately available to talk about the series with. After a few episodes, I found myself pausing at the very end and scrolling through the comments section. It was the first time I’d interacted with the comments section, but I was incredibly grateful it was there.

Even though I rarely commented myself, it made me feel like I had a community I could process my love for the series with. I had no one to talk about it with in real life, and I was removed from my normal social circles. The comments section gave me comfort.

What’s more, The Apothecary Diaries’ comments section was heartwarmingly wholesome. A couple of bad actors emerged here and there, sure, but it was overwhelmingly populated with people who genuinely wanted to gush about what they just watched. The comments were passionate and funny. I still remember one user saying after a certain climactic episode, “Jinshi, my man, why aren’t you running.”

Ever since then, I got into the habit of glancing over the comments section. It felt like a warm cup of tea, a reminder that places of open discussion on the internet aren’t all horrible. As Twitter—excuse me, X—has devolved into a cesspool, that reminder was deeply welcome.

But, unfortunately, it seems bad actors eventually ruin everything.

The toll on Crunchyroll’s community

Reddit user situbusitgooddog summed up what the loss of Crunchyroll’s comments section means quite nicely: “Watching an incredible episode and jumping down to the comments to see/share in the hype was the best and the reason why watching anything on Prime or Hidive always felt a bit lonely. In removing the comments they’ve removed the community, a damn shame.”

Because this isn’t the first move Crunchyroll has made to remove the community from the website. There used to be a message board. You used to be able to add friends and message them. Granted, as Crunchyroll expanded, they seemed to have decided that they were not interested in focusing their energy on being a social platform. Which, even if you disagree, makes sense.

Removing the comments section feels different. Partially because it was the last social interaction left on the website, but also because it fundamentally changes how users interact with Crunchyroll itself and the media we watch on it.

The comments section was, far more often than not, a force for good. It’s incredibly saddening that a small horde of bad wrongdoers is apparently enough to kill it.

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Kirsten Carey
Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.