Saturday, December 6, 2008

Watching stuff online

While I do own a TV, I only use it for DVDs - I haven't been able to bring myself to add cable (or whatever) to my list of bills. That's okay, though. I have access to the Internet.

If you've visited this blog enough, or if you actually happen to know me, you know I like anime. My addiction to that is a bit like my addiction to books: if I tried to feed it all on my own, I would be broke and unsatisfied. Libraries help me with my addiction to books, but they can't often help me with my addiction to anime.

When I first ventured into the world of online anime viewing, I began with YouTube. It wasn't necessarily easy to find what I wanted, and I had to hope that whatever person posted the first episode of a show also posted all the rest of them, or I'd have to hunt them all down one by one. Then YouTube started cracking down on people for breaking copyright law, and now YouTube, while a pretty good place for finding AMVs, is no longer such a good place to find full episodes.

So what do I use now?
  1. Veoh - For my purposes, Veoh is similar to YouTube, in that it can be difficult to hunt down all consecutive episodes of shows. Also, there's the whole copyright thing. Shows that have been licensed in the US, like Fullmetal Alchemist, are much more difficult to find on Veoh than shows that haven't been licensed yet, like Vampire Knight. If you watch streamed episodes, the quality generally isn't good enough for the videos to be viewed fullscreen. However, episodes generally seem to look better fullscreen when downloaded and viewed using Veoh's software.
  2. Toonami Jetstream - These episodes are posted by the Cartoon Network and are therefore all legal. Unfortunately, there are limitations. For instance, episodes are only available for viewing for a limited amount of time. If you missed out on the earlier episodes of a show, you're out of luck. I don't tend to view anime here often, but it's an option.
  3. Hulu - I just found this (it's another legal one), and I'm loving it so far. The drawback is that its number of anime titles is extremely limited. However, a high percentage of the few titles they do have are titles I've been wanting to see. Also, I just watched the first episode of Mr. Stain on Junk Alley (a lot more disturbing than I thought it would be, btw), and I was able to view it fullscreen without too much fuzziness.
  4. Official show websites - You won't be able to watch an entire series, but quite a few official websites for licensed shows have begun including the first 1 to 4 episodes of the shows. It's a great way to try out a show and hear what the dub sounds like (a big plus for me). FUNimation has been doing this quite a bit - I watched the first couple episodes of the dubbed version of Ouran High School Host Club this way.
  5. Adult Swim website - For the most part, you have to stay up pretty late (or get up really early, depending on your viewpoint) to watch anime on Adult Swim. I've accidentally fallen asleep and slept through several episodes of shows I wanted to watch before - that's where Adult Swim's website comes in. They don't necessarily post episodes of every show in their lineup, but they've still got some good ones.
Not bad - only one site on the list (two, if you count YouTube) that's likely to have lots of copyright-law-violating material. Well, just because I've seen an entire show on Veoh or YouTube doesn't mean I won't buy it eventually. I saw all of Loveless on YouTube twice before it managed to make its way onto DVD in the US, and I now legally own all the DVDs. Of course, the sad thing is that the fansubs on the YouTube episodes were more informative and had fewer spelling and grammatical errors than the subtitles on the official DVDs.

Anyway, this post was brought on by my recent discovery of Hulu. Hulu makes me happy so far. Maybe if I get through an entire show, I'll do a series post for it, even though I don't own it - if I ever buy the DVDs, I can then add posts for the individual DVDs.


  1. Thanks for this list! I can always use new anime sources. I have a Netflix subscription but don't really trust their recommendation system, so I still have to rely on other recs. It sounds like these all have a manageable amount at each site to make it less overwhelming. Plus I now have no excuse not to check out Ouran and see if it's worth all the hype.

  2. You're welcome. I know I'd be completely broke if I actually bought all the stuff I watch - as it is, I spend too much trying to collect what I can.

    As for Ouran, I can only speak for myself, but I thought it was a lot of fun. Not much happens, but the characters are so enjoyable. My only disappointment, mainly because I'm a romance fan, is that the series didn't really pay up in the romance department.