Consider this to be some sort of a spin-off post. Surely if anime and manga franchises have spin-offs, then I can surely write a spin-off too! But let’s just say this is targeted to the anime crowd, so only anime related places will be on the list. Why? Because reasons. This is basically where you can get your anime legally, and for the most part, for free. But watch as I change things up from how I did the old post that included these websites, and include some new stuff. Please feel free to voice your concerns about said places again (because of course we can do that) and new places, ask questions about the services (ex. How does Crunchyroll play on Xbox Live and PS3?), or whatever else you feel you have to say about them. Now, let’s get started!
(Ok before that, a major thanks to Gina of Anime Picks, Naru who sometimes writes for me and blogger of What is This “Culture” You Speak of?, and Iso of Nabe!! for information on their respective countries’ legal alternatives.)
Update 3: @GlitchyMoo has provided info on Madman Entertainment.
Update 4: I guess this list is retired! It served its purpose! Now here’s the 2014 list.
Table of Contents (Who knows, you might want a specific one)
- Viz Anime
- The Anime Network
- Neon Alley
- Anime on Demand (UK)
- Kazé (FR)
- Wakanim (FR)
- Dybex (FR)
- GONG (FR)
- Wat TV (FR)
- Mangas (FR)
- Anibee (SG)
- Madman (AU)
- Anime on Demand (GER)
- MyVideo Schweiz (GER)
- RTL II Anime (GER)
- Future Streaming Sites: Anime Sols, Daisuki, NTT Docomo (FR)
Where you can watch it: Worldwide!…with region locking for certain titles in most countries. I.E, you live in the U.S, you’ll get all the titles.
Subbed or Dubbed: Without having looked at every single title in their catalog, I can confidently say 99.9% of their titles are subbed. I can’t say 100% because back when they had Kurokami, that was dubbed. Dubbed! But chances are, you’re probably gonna watch anime subbed.
How you can watch it: Online, On Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Apple iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Google TV, and The Roku Box.
Anything Extra: For certain titles (think of recent season stuff), you can watch the first episode in whatever quality you want. Maybe something to look out for when you watch anything in the spring.
Free Trial link to see if CR is for you: https://www.crunchyroll.com/freetrial/anime
Recently they’ve been doing a delaycast, which sucks, but I remember seeing on Twitter somewhere that the reason for this is what TV station CR licenses it from, since some stations in Japan air at different times. Kind of reminds me of the first Episode of Gintama, which was an hour long special, but for certain regions I believe they had to wait another week to watch the rest.
Player can play up to 1080p.
Where you can watch it: Apparently only available in the U.S. Sorry Canada?
Subbed or Dubbed: Looks to be both. Not all titles of course, but you can either watch an anime subbed or dubbed. Like Claymore. Hmm, I should probably watch this shouldn’t I?
How can you watch it: Online, On the Wii, WiiU, Xbox 360, PS3, Apple TV, Roku Box, Apple iPhone, Apple iPad, iPad Mini, Apple iPod Touch, Android Phones & Tables, Windows 8, Amazon Kindle Fire, Nook, Nintendo 3DS (Eventually)
Anything extra: Free 1-week trial for Hulu Plus here: www.hulu.com/freetrial
If you get Hulu Plus, you can stream anime on all the various devices and in HD. That’s about it. Otherwise, you don’t have to pay a cent to watch any anime on Hulu if you don’t want to.
Where you can watch it: U.S or Canada. I.E, North America.
Subbed or Dubbed: Both. for certain titles.
How Can You Watch It: Online, on Roku, iPad, iPhone, Android, iPod Touch
Anything Extra: Two week trial for Funimation Elite here: http://www.funimation.com/subscribe
You become an Elite Member, you get just about everything and in HD quality. Great right?
Ok, not all that great since some of the problems (site loads slow, video problems, etc) are pretty bad for a good portion of people (if my Twitter followers mean anything, and various posts on the interwebs about it), though for me recently when I had tried it, it played pretty well. I was told by a Funimation Rep at NYCC that they are trying to fix the problem, and the expectation is it will be fixed in Winter 2013. That window is gonna close soon, so they better take care of it.
Where can you watch it: North America and Canada!
Sub or Dub: Mostly subbed.
How can you watch it: Online. But seriously, it’s just Hulu, but with Viz showing what they have licensed.
Anything Extra: Fun times: you can watch Naruto in many different ways…on CR…on Hulu…on Viz (though it’s Hulu)…
Uh, they don’t have a bunch of titles on their site. And all of them are on Hulu so…methinks Viz should come up with their own player and benefits just like everyone else. Then again, their main focus is manga so…
Where can you watch it: WORLDWIDE!…but for anime as far as I can tell official stuff is region locked and served to be seen in U.S and Canada. Whoops.
Subbed or Dubbed: Both, but this depends on what titles are uploaded.
How can you watch it: On PS3, Wii, Xbox 360, WiiU, Google TV, iOS, Android 3.0, Android 4.0, Android 2.0 Phones, Android 4.0 Phones
Anything extra: Official sites that upload anime (should note these are the ones I found. If you find any more, list in the comments, shall add here):
Where you can watch it: only in the U.S. of A. I mean U.S.A.
Subbed or Dubbed: Subs it seems.
How can you watch it: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Google TV, Roku, Boxee, PS3, Xbox 360
Anything Extra: You don’t have to sign up to access anything.
Problem is there’s a limited selection of anime. But I did remember complaining about how to find anime the last time I wrote about them, and I’m glad they fixed that.
Where you can watch it: Hahaha…you can watch everything in North America…and sometimes Great Britain?
Subbed or Dubbed: Subs and Dubs.
How can you watch it: Online, VOD (Depends on provider) iPhone, Android, Nokia, Sprint, Kindle Fire
Anything Extra: I’m not quite sure what to say. They do have a lot of titles, but I’m guessing a good portion of them are at Hulu. They do have their own player so you can watch anime on that, but you would have to subscribe in order to use it. And pay some amount of dollars to do it.
Where you can watch it: Worldwide, with some titles in multiple languages!
Subbed or Dubbed: Subs of course.
How can you watch it: Online, iPhone, iPad, iPad Touch, Android, Blackberry, Kindle Fire, Roku,
Anything Extra: Their anime selection here http://www.viki.com/genres/anime
Viki is an interesting beast, as you probably think of them as a publisher of lots of old stuff (which is convenient actually), but they do occasion stream new stuff. Maybe, if you want to count Ozma. Yeah, they might want to step up on that front, but they have a niche they want to appeal to, and that’s good enough.
Player seems to be different from the last time I checked (it’s definitely been a while I admit), and streams from the lowest of the low (360p) to 720p. Free anime here (hooray!)
Where you can watch it: U.S only!
Subbed or Dubbed: Dubbed.
How you can watch it: Online, PS3, Wii, Xbox, Blu-Ray, Android, iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, Nook, Windows Phone, Roku, TiVo
Anything Extra: When you sign up, you get a 1 month free trial; you cancel before it’s up, it’s free: https://signup.netflix.com/
Netflix is Netflix. It has a varied choice of films, and also a varied choice of anime for online streaming. It doesn’t have a ginormous amount of course. Anyways, the anime listed are all dubbed. The player is pretty good, as it can go to HD quality for streams.
Where you can watch it: U.S and Canada
Subbed or Dubbed: Dub only.
How you can watch it: On the PS3 and Xbox 360
Anyways, I tried it out and…I have to admit, I enjoyed it better than I thought I would. I can just merely have the anime playing on my TV while I do something else, or if it’s something I wanna check out, I can kick back and watch. Takes me back to my childhood–ok, getting a bit nostalgic here. Anyways, I probably would be willing to pay for more of this except my internet sucks and I keep getting logged off of Xbox Live. One day I won’t have these problems. When that day comes it better be at a time where there are more ways to watch Neon Alley. Maybe. Until then, the price point might be somewhat of a sticking spot for some since there’s a solid amount of titles that you can’t pick to watch and it’s dubbed.
Anime on Demand (UK) Thoughts on the service from Gina of Anime Picks!
Where you can watch it: In the UK and Ireland.
Subbed or Dubbed: Subbed.
How can you watch it: Online at this time.
Anything Extra: Right now there are a group of free shows to watch on Anime on Demand, and these can be found in their Free Zone (http://www.anime-on-demand.com/free-zone) for a limited time. Still relatively new, Anime on Demand is constantly going through changes so bear this in mind when viewing shows.
Where you can watch it: In France
Subbed or Dubbed: Subbed and Dubbed, but it depends on how recent the anime is.
How can you watch it: Online, and has a app available on iTunes where you can watch it anywhere you go
Anything Extra: Kazé was simply an anime licensor and just a few years ago started editing manga also. They also have a channel on cable where they diffuse the anime they have the rights to (such as GTO, Blue Exorcist, and every new anime that comes out in Japan since they have good relations with Japanese anime/manga businesses). Not only that, but Kazé has a streaming website which is exactly like Crunchyroll except for the fact that only the first episodes of every anime available are free. If you ever what to watch the rest, you need to sign up and pay.
Where you can watch it: In France
Subbed or Dubbed: Subbed and Dubbed, but it depends.
How can you watch it: Online, episodes are downloadable.
Anything Extra: Wakanim are also anime licensors (KamiNomi, C-Control, Fractale…). As for the anime they stream, I saw SAO, Tsuritama, Nekomonogatari, Jormungand, and Usagi Drop in subbed versions and I believe they’ll dub them once they’ll release them on DVD. Compared to Kazé, they have no app to watch anime, but their streaming is free for 1 to 2 months. You can also download episodes if you’re subscribed.
Where you can watch it: In France
Subbed or Dubbed: Dubbed except for recent anime (meaning those that aren’t released on DVD yet)
How can you watch it: Online
Anything Extra: Dybex (my favorite anime licensor thanks to FMA, Kenshin, and Samurai Champloo) have been in the anime licensing business since 1996. While they aren’t as big as Kazé, they’re more appreciated by French anime fans who are usually people who only enjoy classic anime (Ghost in the Shell, Trigun and Akira, I believe). They have a channel on Dailymotion where you can (generally) watch their recent anime in subs before their release on DVD. On their channel I’ve seen Kids on the Slope, Another, Hetalia, Nisemonogatari, and for some obscure reason, FMA Brotherhood and High School of the Dead that have already been released on DVD.
Where you can watch it: France
Subbed or Dubbed: Mostly subbed.
How can you watch it: TV Channel, On it’s app available on iTunes, and live from its website
Anything Extra: GONG is at the same level as Kazé regarding television and streaming, however…that’s all they do since they’re only a TV channel and not licensors. They have an app where you can watch their channel live, and another one where you can watch anime you’ve missed and such (Neither are free to watch~). Similar to Kazé, the first episode of every anime on their VOD site are free. Also, there is a system of paying an episode by credits, which is a pretty better idea than what Kazé proposes. Unfortunately, their choice of anime is very limited and not all the episodes of the series are available. Plus, you have to sign up to watch.
Where you can watch it: France
Subbed or Dubbed: Dubbed except for very recent anime
How can you watch it: TV Channel, online
Anything Extra: There isn’t a big difference between the TV channels Gong and Mangas, apart from the fact that the latter has existed since 1996. Mangas is basically known among French fans for broadcasting popular anime from the 80-90’s. To this day, you can still view Dragonball Z, Maison Ikkoku, City Hunter (known as Nicky Larson here) and Saint Seiya on this channel. Mangas also provides an much more interesting choice of recent anime than Gong such as Code Geass, Saint Seiya Lost Canvas, and Soul Eater, but don’t expect too much, since Mangas is only for nostalgic fans (For recent anime, Kazé/KZTV is by far the best source in my opinion).
Mangas is view-able on your computer for a price, just like its apps on smartphones and its VOD (0.99€ per episode).
Where you can watch it: In France
Subbed or Dubbed: ????
How can you watch it: ????
Anything Extra: ???
Where you can watch it: Singapore
Subbed or Dubbed: I checked out Rinne no Lagrange and Majikoi, and both are Japanese with English subs, so subs only.
How can you watch it: Online only at the moment.
Anything Extra: My comments are as follows:
- You are forced to watch an Ad before the episode starts
- Video quality is terrible
- There is an Anibee watermark on top of the video
- For some reason, the stream is extremely slow
- Their selection is terrible. Take a look at these three screenshots.
- From what I see, it is evident that you can only watch up to the first two episodes per anime series as a free member. If you want to continue, you’ll have to obtain premium membership.
- Premium membership prices are ridiculously high with the limited titles that they offer. They also have a restriction on how many times each anime title may be viewed. Video on demand is expensive as well. See this screenshot of the page on premium membership (actual URL).
With all that said, I think Anibee is a terrible Crunchyroll ripoff and does not qualify as a viable alternative to watching anime legally.
Where you can watch it: Episodes available for people in Australia and New Zealand only. Other countries are locked out.
Subbed or dubbed: Both.
- Dubbed: Series that have been dubbed usually show the dub versions, e.g. Black Butler, Rideback, My Bride is a Mermaid, Xam’d, and Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom. However, only one or two episodes can be viewed online.
- Subbed: The majority of the shows available in sub-only format only have two episodes available for viewing online (e.g. Waiting in the Summer, Deadman Wonderland, and K). Some are currently fully available, such as Eureka Seven AO and Chunibyo Demo Koi Ga Shitai, because Madman has finished putting up the episodes (1 per week). At the time of writing, Magi and Sword Art Online were not fully available because Madman’s weekly updates were not finished (although these anime have finished airing in Japan). Madman very rarely releases anime in sync with Japanese broadcasts, they mostly latecast.
How you can watch it: I couldn’t find any specialised options. Eps can be viewed online via a web browser only.
Anything extra: It is free. There is no paid option. Advertisements always show at the beginning of each episode. I couldn’t find any options for improving the video quality.
Where you can watch it: Germany, Switzerland, Austria
Subbed or Dubbed: Mostly dubbed, some subs available
How can you watch it: Online
Anything Extra: Some first episodes are available for free on their youtube site: http://www.youtube.com/user/animeondemand
For the rest you have to pay per stream or you pay a monthly fee.
Where you can watch it: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein
Subbed or Dubbed: German Dub only
How can you watch it: Online
Anything Extra: Free anime, advertisements before the video starts and after 10min. Only a few titles are available.
Where you can watch it: Germany and France, might be more
Subbed or Dubbed: Dub only
How can you watch it: Online only
Anything Extra: Free, advertisement before the video starts. Only 5 shows at the moment.
Who They Are: A service that will combine Kickstarter and online streaming portals
Launch Date: Spring 2013 (UPDATE: http://animesols.com/ is live now!)
Announced Titles at Launch: Tekkaman, The Space Knight (1975), Creamy Mami, the Magic Angel (1983), Yatterman (2008), Bander Book (1978)
Thoughts: For now, it’s somewhat lukewarm for me. We could always use another legal streaming source to view anime, but of course we do have to see if they’ll be attempting to appeal to the older fans or their main goal is to stream anime titles backed by funding from the fans. It’ll also be a question as to where they will stream the titles (just in the U.S, or other locations), how the player is, etc. Needless to say, it’ll be a wait and see, but again, it’s a good thing there’s another legal alternative.
Who They Are: A combination of six anime companies teaming up to stream a lot of anime
Launch Date: April (UPDATE: https://www.daisuki.net/ site is live!)
Announced Titles at Launch (Tentative, they will have 500 titles on their site at some point): One Piece, Lupin The Third, Mobile Suit Gundam, Prince of Tennis, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
Thoughts: Welp, I just had a feeling there would be another streaming service to rise up out of nowhere and say, “Hi Crunchyroll and Funimation and Viki!” Needless to say, I didn’t count on this streaming service involving many of the key anime companies in Japan. Basically, this is something that needed to be done a couple of years ago. Now Japan can properly advertise what they own. However, we still have to see where they go with this. As far as I can tell, it looks as if they’ll stream their anime to every country. If they do, that might just be the only good thing to come with this. Needless to say, there will be a ton of questions with this service, from how will it affect Crunchyroll to how good their titles will be to how their subs will be and what player will they use…ok there are way more questions to ask as well, but none of them really matter to me (well, they do, but not as much as this). What will matter is what titles are actually streamed. For example, is it possible to finally watch Detective Conan (TMS) in a legal matter? Will they stream anime films on the site? The real key is what anime they choose to have on the site, since this can have an impact on what titles Crunchyroll can get. This should also be the case for Funimation, but who knows, this might actually benefit them since they’re a physical distributor. Still, we’ll just have to see where it goes before we can really make any true judgments. Probably.
Who They Are: Japanese telecommunication company Docomo’s French version of their anime streaming platform.
Launch Date: July 1st (UPDATE: site is now live https://www.docomo-anime.jp/fr/p_animestore/tp)
Announced Titles at Launch: They’re starting with 60 titles, all with subtitles, such as Zetsuen no Tempest, Maoyuu, Zettai Bouei Leviathan, Zero no Tsukaima, FMA, Madoka, Last Exile, Gurenn Lagann and many more.
Thoughts: First, it seems like it’s blocked in other countries, French speaking included. As much as I understand it from a legal perspective, it’s also a slight problem that takes away customers. But well, their choice.
As of now their price seems correct (1000 yen 7,70€), it’s more or less the price of a manga per month to watch as much anime as you like, definitely correct. Only problem is that it only seems to be a beginning price and that it’s going to be higher very soon. Good marketing practice, only if the actual price end up not being too different, else, it’ll be a problem.
Their catalog is pretty good, a good balance of old classics and new things (some of them already being licensed elsewhere, some others not). 60 titles with potentially a lot more as new seasons start and they negotiate some more is a very good start.
All in all, we don’t know much just yet about this, for now they’re building the hype. Let’s just wait and see until after the Japan Expo. (Where I won’t go because I work but that’s another story…)
Latest posts by Justin (see all)
- Insight Into The Manga Industry Panel With Manga Editor and Letterer Abigail Blackman - March 31, 2015
- Justin’s Journey To Castle Point Anime Convention 2015 - March 27, 2015
- Maria The Virgin Witch Review - March 25, 2015
- My Neighbor Seki Review - March 23, 2015
- Meet The Creator of The Weird and Wonderful Henshin Manga - March 23, 2015