Anime Vice News

Online Streaming and Why I Love It

AnimeVice user JJOR64 tells us why, with the rise of internet anime streaming, getting into and keeping up with anime has never been easier.


Before online streaming, there was Toonami 
Before online streaming, there was Toonami 
Long, long ago before the internet came along, the only way to watch anime was on VHS tapes or cable.  Years have gone by and they started to appear on DVDs while the internet kept getting better and better.  Now in the 21st century we are able to watch anime online with the simple click of a button.  Why is online streaming such a good thing for anime?  Well, because of online streaming new people can discover the world of anime, like myself.  I’ve been a fan of anime since the early days of Toonami featuring  Dragon Ball Z Rurouni Kenshin, and other great shows.  With online streaming available, it does have many positive things that I love, but it has some negatives as well.

The first thing I love about online streaming is the number of websites where I can watch the shows I love.   FUNimation VIZ Crunchyroll, and  Hulu are some of the major websites that help people like me watch their shows easily.  The second thing I love about it is all the great selection of shows to watch.  They have old shows that you may not be able to view on TV anymore like  Gundam (on Crunchyroll) to new (and current) shows like  Naruto Shippuden on Hulu.  Another great thing is that I can watch new shows like  School Rumble.  The best thing about online streaming, though, is being able to watch them whenever I want. For free.

Thanks to online streaming I now love School Rumble 
Thanks to online streaming I now love School Rumble 
While I do love online streaming for anime, there are some negatives to it.  First is the selection of titles on the publisher's website.  While sites like FUNimation do have have many streaming shows available, there are also many popular titles missing like  Dragon Ball Z.  If you want to check out certain shows, you either have to buy the DVDs or try to find fan subs.  The second thing that bums me out is the quality.  While there are good steaming quality sites out there like Hulu, usually it’s not DVD quality.  Plus with HD anime coming out, you can only watch HD shows on Blu Ray or on Crunchyroll.  With good quality, you will also need a solid internet to watch shows without any disturbances.  Third is that not everything is free to watch.  There are anime streaming websites that offer paid subscriptions like  Crunchyroll and  The Anime Network.  To watch some shows you have to subscribe to their service and for a guy like me who is low on money, it’s a bummer.  Even with these negative things about online streaming, though, I will keep on watching anime this way for a long time.

Online streaming is a fantastic way to watch anime and stay current.  There are great things about it like being able to watch anime whenever and discovering new shows that you end up loving.  While there some negatives like low quality, the pros greatly outweigh the cons.  All in all, online streaming offers me hours of entertainment and I will continue to use the service.     
 
- - JJOR64 is a long time Anime Vice user and maintains a very active blog on the site. - -
metalsnakezeroon Feb. 23, 2010 at 12:26 p.m.
There are still problems with streaming but it is getting better and I do hope things can get better for anime as well.
crusader8463on Feb. 23, 2010 at 12:27 p.m.
 Grats on getting picked to write the next article for the site. I'm sure you where as excited as i was when i saw the e-mail in my inbox.
 
As for your opinions in the article. I must say the pros most certainly do not outweigh the cons for one big reasons, region lockouts. Most legal ways of watching streaming anime are locked away completely from most of the world, or has ridiculousness restrictions on how and what we can watch. I realize why it is done, but until they fix this glaring problem streaming anime is not going to be as big as you make it out to be. Unless of course you are lucky enough to be in the select minority with access to it. When a service, no matter how great it may be, is not available in over 90% of the world it cant really be considered "a fantastic way to watch anime and stay current", as you put it. 
 
As for streaming anime in general, I'm still not a big fan of it when given the option. From watching anime on the few places that do allow it legally, and the illegal streaming sites too, I always found it to be a hassle. In order for it to be really streaming the quality needs to be degraded to such a low level it's almost unwatchable most times, and to get a half way decent quality you have to Que it up and wait for the whole thing to finish downloading before you start to watch it; hardly streaming in my opinion. When it's still more convenient to pop in a DVD that you bought/rent/stole from a little kid in the park, or "obtaining" your anime by simply leaving bit torrent on while you sleep at night for a day or two you can have access to high quality anime that you can: watch at anytime, with no annoying pop ups, no subscription fees, no worrying about if/when a show will not be available anymore, bad video/sound quality, wondering if the service has all of the episodes of the show you want to watch, or even if it has that particular show in general.
 
Streaming has a lot of obstacles to over come before it can be considered a viable way to watch anime for most people, as it's only good for a small percentage of people out there. Until they take into account all of the much easier and more convenient ways for people to watch anime, and work on making streaming a more realistic choice to watch anime over all the other ways offered, it's not go to be all that viable of a means for companies to distribute their products.
Halberdierv2on Feb. 23, 2010 at 12:47 p.m.
it has its positives and negatives. i got into a lot of anime through streaming, being introduced to Gintama, Shippuden, and eyeshield 21, to name a few. to be honest, it can be problematic finding a few anime online, but for the most part, streaming makes it easier to watch anime. and saves HDD space too.
JJOR64on Feb. 23, 2010 at 12:52 p.m.
@crusader8463:  I didn't really think about the region lock thing when I was writing the article.  It is a big issue for a lot of people outside the USA.  Streaming does have a long way to become viable source for most people, but I'm willing to deal with the current issues to keep watching my anime online.
crusader8466on Feb. 23, 2010 at 12:56 p.m.
@JJOR64: This is crusader8463. My account got magicly deleted so i made this one until they can fix it.
 
That's the thing. You have the option to deal with the issues. Most people don't even get that choice.
daotherkenjion Feb. 23, 2010 at 3:30 p.m.
@crusader8463: I like where youre coming from on this side too. I guess im in the middle since I do have access to most of these sites. I think it comes down to money. They know that they get alot of money from american companies if they put ads in before, during, and after the show. 

But if it was not for streaming I would not have  discovered school rumble (Harima and Yakumo are my favs on the show) and I love it. I watch nearly all of my anime online since the only anime that comes on in my part of North America is Ani-Monday and Saturday night/  Sunday morning on adult swim. I didnt get to watch anime when I was younger since a. I didnt have cable and b. I had dial up ( I used to think 56kbs was fast).  But now that I pay for both myself I get to enjoy plenty of great shows.
Boddingtonon Feb. 23, 2010 at 3:54 p.m.
Folks, let me tell you a story about the old days.
 
In the old days there were no streams,  subtitles, or even dubs. If you didn't know Japanese you scoured a BBS on your 2400 baud dial-up modem-equipped Commodore 64 and printed out a timestamped script some guy in LA or UC Berkeley or Stanford typed up and then followed along. Lots of pauses and rewinds on that tape deck if you missed a line or lost your place. You'd get the cassettes either by trading/borrowing with fellow fans or getting lucky at a Chinatown video store. It was all a messy and inexact science. Your friends would come over and all-night parties would commence in the basement over 24-packs of Coke and metric tons of powdered donuts and pizza.
 
Those were the early days of my fandom. Streaming titles is pretty much magic to me. You can not imagine how many more options you have now compared to the late 80s and early 90s.
 
And this is only the beginning. There will be a point in the near future when one can veg away an entire summer streaming titles into a computer. Your limbs will literally atrophy because there will be little reason to get up during these marathon sessions. The future means investing in bedpans.
Oishi_47on Feb. 23, 2010 at 5:08 p.m.
Streaming would be aided greatly by two things: the practicality of the media PC in the living room or some other means of streaming to the family TV, and the kind of infrastructure that can support seamless streaming of High Definition video files. The former I could see happening in the coming years, that is to say, a form of internet on the family TV, but the latter would require the companies that provide the streaming anime to dedicate a massive amount of  bandwidth to streaming and the people viewing the files to have a fairly good internet connection. Considering that most people in the U.S. live in an area where there is a geographical monopoly on utilities, the kind of internet connection they can get is limited to what their ISP offers. Basically, the infrastructure would be dependent on the ISPs who are unconcerned with the increasing convenience of faster and faster connections due to their geographic monopolies.  
 
For most people in more densely populated areas, the connection speeds aren't usually a problem, I lived in the upper peninsula of Michigan which has an entire population less than several of the cities in the lower part(not combined, just alone). I lived about 100 yards from where I could get a 5 meg connection as the slowest and instead had about a 768kbps connection. To stream, I had to queue up several episodes and wait for several hours.
Papasanon Feb. 23, 2010 at 7:10 p.m.
@Boddington: 
 The old days were definitely immensely harder... and as someone who just missed them, it sounds AWESOME!!! The way everyone from the old BBS and VHS days describes it, it sounds like a super rad treasure hunt! I know it was a pain in the ass, but man, it sounds cool as hell! Kind of Indiana Jones-like! 
 
I envy your experience!
Konandaon Feb. 23, 2010 at 7:31 p.m.
@Boddington:
I bet you had to walk 20km in the freezing cold and snow (or blazing heat and high humidity) to get to said Chinatown as well only to have to wait 2 hours, while you dipped in and out of hypothermia (or hyperthermia) only to buy what you could quickly before the police cracked down on purchasing of illegal tapes.  Am I close?
John_Martoneon Feb. 24, 2010 at 12:28 p.m.
@crusader8463:  You know, I actually thought that was Daniel writing it for like... the first minute and I was like "whoa, someone's got a secret nerd card lying around."
 
@Boddington: Hey gramps, do you have to get off the porch to heckle the kids, or can you do it just fine from there. As an early 90's child of the anime revolution, VHS is as far back as I go, and I have no desire to reflect fondly (@Papasan: ) At such concepts ever again.
 
My one, and only complaint about streaming is that it entirely discourages me from perusing things that are not. As JJOR said, many, many things are not streaming... and while I know I should watch them... when it comes down to it, the streaming objects are a click-away.
 
Though I do not lament how this cuts down on having to hunt down the elusive, out of print DVDs, or just small production orders. It took me weeks to find a copy of Princess Tutu, and I'm still lacking a full set of Utena discs.
giaon Feb. 24, 2010 at 1:58 p.m.
@Boddington: I only ever had scripts for manga, not for anime, but there were still plenty of VHS tapes roaming around when I got into anime back with Sailor Moon-- I think I still have some of my tapes of like, the last two episodes of the series raw somewhere.

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