I know, I know. You came here looking for a fight. Expecting this to be one of those rants about how pirates are literally killing the anime industry in the West. Well, I’ve got some news for you.
This isn’t one of those rants.
Unless you are some kind of modern saint in the church of Haruhi, it is likely that you obtained anime through less than upstanding means at one point or another. That could be downloading or streaming from one of those sites. You know the ones.
And that’s fine. At least, if you are a kid or otherwise have no disposable income. Young anime fans do what they must or sit at the mercy of Toonami and Adult Swim. Even for adults, pirating was better than buying bulky box sets that you would literally watch once and never again.
But it is time to grow up. Times have changed.
No longer do you need to buy box sets when you can support the anime industry by paying to use streaming sites. You can enjoy a series and not feel bad about immediately moving onto the next. It can be Crunchyroll, Anime Network, Funimation, and even Hulu has a decent selection of anime to watch. On most of these streaming sites, you can even watch anime for free if you can put up with ads.
With more legal ways than ever before, why should you be paying at least some among for anime if you are an adult with a job?
* Before we get into this, I already realize this sounds suspiciously like sponsored content. It is not, no one is paying me. I wish they were, I would totally sell out, but they’re not. If we are being honest with each other, that Hulu link is my referral link, but that is all. This article is about doing your duty as an anime fan, just as you do when you buy video games or go see movies. Unless you are a pirate in those realms too. If so, then … Shame on you, I guess. *
It Funds More Anime
This is the most obvious reason to pay for your hobby. The money goes to paying more story writers, animators, and voice actors to make more of what you love. Some of those shows may be just terrible, but at least they exist. For those who believe that the money somehow isn’t going to the creators, it is paranoid to think it isn’t while sites still provide content.
It is Pretty Cheap These Days
You’ll pay $8.99 for Netflix, but not a messily $6.95 for Crunchyroll? You get access to hundreds of titles in high quality and simulcasts airing the same day they air in Japan. It is a better deal than that random $15 season one box set of Naruto, especially when you can watch all of Naruto.
The Videos Always Work
How many torrent sites for anime have you had shut down on you? How many pieces of malware have they given you? A lot? A lot. Pay for your anime and you no longer have to worry if a file has seeds or getting a video to buffer without having to close 15 ads that all pop-up in new browser windows.
You Are More Likely to Find Your Favorite Shows
Are you the only fan of Hot Blooded Justice Robot Gekiganger III? (It’s a real anime.) Well that good luck finding it on one of those illegal sites, much less with subtitles. The more obscure the anime, the less likely you are to find it. Fan subs typically only cater to shows that have some sort of fan base.
Although, realistically, Gekiganger would probably be a rare find on legal sites too.
It Makes Anime Look More Mainstream
“Anime? You mean Japanese cartoons?” – Remember those days? Horrible days, full of tired sighs. When you are “invisibly” enjoying anime, you are making it seem like it is not a big thing in the West. Yet, when you have 100,000 people tuning in for an episode of One Punch Man, it is hard to say that anime is still a fringe genre of entertainment.
You Can Watch Anime on Your Couch
Sure, sure. You can connect your laptop to your TV with a simple cord, and apparently you can get flash videos to work on the next gen consoles now – but why bother? It is such a pain. Just pick a service and use their streaming app. Free yourself from the computer chair and wear a butt-shaped dip into your couch instead.
There Aren’t As Many Fan Subbers As Their Used to Be
Fan subs have their place. Sometimes they do a better job and often point out cultural things that other subs or dubs do not. Unfortunately, with anime so easily available from other sources, there are less and less fan sub groups out there. Downloads are down and if no one is watching, why bother? Less fan subbers, less shows to watch.
It is the Right Thing to Do
If you think it is your right to get your entertainment for free, then I bet someone has used the word “entitled” at least once to describe your person. People work hard to bring you that anime. They work long hours to meet their deadlines. Just watch Shirobako and you will get a glimpse at it. Do you expect these people to work for free so you can slip out of your reality for 30-minute intervals?
You Don’t Need to Pay a Fortune
Of course, why pay full price for an anime series. Some of the prices can get pretty ridiculous. However, as affiliates with J-List, purveyor of anime and other fun anime related things, our readers get an awesome discount. Just go to J-List, find something awesome, and use coupon code:
That will net you a 5% discount on any purchase.