In the early 90s I remember watching cartoons like Samurai Pizza Cats, Voltron, Dragonball and Sailor Moon. Those were some of the anime that I was able to see from the land of the rising sun, and they were only available via VHS. These cost around $20 for only 3-4 episodes. Nowadays, that has all changed with anime appearing on many different channels and sites.
If you’re a big anime fan, chances are you at one point torrented fan-subbed anime. Thanks to anime companies that are focusing on simulcasting and streaming (Crunchyroll, Hulu, Android Apps, Modern Apps), we’re able to watch them legally and conveniently.
There’s another new way to watch anime, and that’s through the Neon Alley app that’s exclusive for PlayStation 3. Neon Alley is a 24-hour anime streaming channel featuring all-dubbed anime. Some series are Naruto, One Piece, Kekkaishi, Death Note, Inuyasha, Blue Exorcist, and my personal favorite, Tiger and Bunny.
Neon Alley has a set schedule for animes, with the new episodes airing Saturdays. For rest of the week the anime play in blocks, which can be anywhere from 2-4 episodes of any series. Luckily you are informed ahead of time what you are watching by heading to Neon Alley’s website or by viewing the showtime using the square button. Neon Alley does offer more than just anime, like live-action movies.
You will see plenty of ads showing off some old school anime series or even new school for sale, and between episodes the occasional animenewsnetwork style ads which showcase the popular series or mangas for the week/month, nothing super special I just wait for the next episode to start, but it does get very repetitive.
Neon Alley is a great way for fans who enjoy dubbed anime, and while the service is still young, it does has its faults. There were some random audio problems where it stopped syncing, as well as dropped frames, causing it to become pixelated. There some great shows on to watch and while many have already been seen on channels like Cartoon Network, it’s better to see the newer series you haven’t seen on TV.
Neon Alley, like any other major service, does charge a fee of $6.99 a month. If you watch a lot of anime and like dubbed series, then it’s a good way to go to supporting the anime scene. While the service is a PS3 exclusive right now, Neon Alley does suggest you post on their FB or tweet them to voice your thoughts for other platforms.
Let’s take a look at Tiger & Bunny. If you haven’t watched it yet, do so since it is an amazing anime. It focuses around heroes who have different abilities. Each hero uses their power to protect the city, and everything is televised. They are sponsored by different corporations that actually exists (Amazon.jp and Pepsi) and compete for points. The series focuses on Kotetsu, who is known as the hero Wild Tiger. He only cares about being a hero and isn’t concerned about the glamour.
I simulcasted this weekly when the series came out and had a great mix of Japanese and English culture and ideas for heroes. The animation was amazing and you could really just get into the series. I prefer subbed anime, but Viz did a great job dubbing the series.
If you want to watch anime for hours, Neon Alley is something to check out. As time goes by you can expect more series appear as well as more blocks. Certain shows like Blue Exorcist and Tiger and Bunny are still airing new episodes every weekend.