Entering the world of Asian dramas, there is a point in the journey when you realize streaming giants like Netflix and Disney+ don’t have all the good stories. Depending on which country you live in, these services will even have fewer options and delay new drama releases. So you might be looking for something more specific to drama lovers or fans of Asian culture.
And the go-to place for movies, dramas, and variety shows is Viki, a service now owned by the Japanese company Rakuten. Updated daily with a large contribution by fans, Rakuten Viki has a massive amount of productions from Asian countries, including some original series.
Is Rakuten Viki free?
Viki was founded in 2007 and acquired by Rakuten in 2013. Over the years, it has become a hub for Asian productions and fans all over the world, who gather in groups to voluntarily translate subtitles to over a hundred languages, making content more accessible to international watchers. And among the greatest advantages of the service is the fact that at least part of the content available in Rakuten Viki can be watched for free.
Currently, there are three types of accounts: free account with ads, VikiPass Standard, and VikiPass Plus. You can use a free account for as long as you wish if your budget is tight. But each tier of the VikiPass unlocks new benefits and more content. The Standard $4.99 subscription allows you to watch most airing or recent dramas in HD with no ads, while the $9.99 VikiPass Plus includes all KOCOWA content and the option of downloading content for offline viewing. Both have a 7-day free trial, in case you want to know if it works for you.
So, despite the fact that Rakuten Viki is not exactly a free service, it does have a free tier with loads of content available. Subscribing to the VikiPass will give you more options, especially when it comes to airing dramas, which free accounts can only watch a few episodes of, and exclusive K-pop content in the Plus tier.
Is Rakuten Viki safe to use?
Because it is an official streaming service, Rakuten Viki is safe to use. In general, it will not differ much from platforms like Netflix and Disney+, except for the community subtitles and the option of watching content for free with ads.
Having ads for free accounts might remind you of illegal sites run by fans, which may or may not be safe, but there is no need to worry about that with Viki, which is, again, an actual streaming service. All content is either officially licensed or directly produced by the platform for fans around the world.