[Editor's Note: Yes, the writer omitted Crunchyroll, so I personally would put Crunchroll as my number one spot.]
By Dennis Schmid
In the United States, viewers can easily find many anime television shows on TV and the internet. Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming block features an eclectic blend of anime, American animation and bizarre independent comedy. Adult Swim block has hosted popular anime shows including the acclaimed Death Note, the extravagantly violent Blood +, the classic space western Cowboy Bebop and the latest mech-fighting phenomenon, Gigantor.
Some are more obscure than others, and the network showcases a rotating wheel of shows to keep viewers interested. On the other hand, Nickelodeon has some anime available, but it’s not traditional, is dubbed and caters towards a younger demographic. When it comes to finding great anime on television, the options can be frustratingly slim on general broadcast.
Fortunately, there are a handful of options available online and through cable that greatly increase the variety and can keep you exploring new shows for years.
1. Amazon Instant Video
The titanic online retailer Amazon has enhanced their overall offering with the Amazon Instant Video. Users can download videos right to respective mobile devices, including a slew of anime features of many genres. Shows include Samurai Girls, Legends of the Dark King, Orphen and Blue Drop.
Instant Video is also compatible with many mobile platforms. Devices include Kindle Fire, Blu-ray, Roku and console video game systems. A select few are exclusive to the service, and Amazon adds content to the medium on a regular basis.
2. Online Streaming: Hulu Plus/Netflix
Hulu Plus and Netflix both offer mobile streaming options to the plan. Netflix has two key options for customers. The unlimited streaming plan for $7.99 a month allows for streaming from a PC or laptop. With the Google Netflix app, users can stream on various devices, including tablets, Android or iPads. Users can also sign up for the DVD-by-mail service for $12.99 a month. Users can experience a wide variety of anime streaming, but they are allowed access to anime by mail that is not available on the streaming service.
Hulu Plus is a bit different in design. It is completely digital, restrictive and generally just hosts new and classic content. The service offers access to a breadth of streaming content for mobile devices. Hulu Plus is compatible with a PlayStation 3 and 4, iPad, iPhone and Windows 8 among others.
3. The Anime Network
The Anime Network is the main resource for real anime on cable. The channel showcases brand new hit shows such as High School of the Dead alongside reccurring classics. The sheer variety of programming keeps all fans interested. The network sets storied dramas, such as Chobits, against adventure franchises such as Broken Blade or Needless. Many TV and Internet packages contain the Anime Network, and the upgraded bundles offer cost savings for users.
4. Viki Streaming
There are surface anime fans that enjoy many of the Western shows, and there are anime fans that truly want to reach into the depths of the medium. Viki Streaming is a Korean-based streaming platform that offers shows from Korea, Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines. The anime selection is vast and delivers some shows that can not be found anywhere else on a legal platform. Some of the most popular shows include Black Jack, Grenadier, and the classic anime legend, Astro Boy.
Funimation is a company that focuses on the big Western franchises. At Funimation.com, users can stream select episodes of the immortal Dragon Ball Z series, as well as Full Metal Alchemist, Haganai and left-of-center series FLCL. Visitors can also purchase Funimation products directly.
About Dennis Schmid
Dennis is an intern for a music licensing firm for film and TV. He’s a hardcore Black Keys fan, and a Breaking Bad addict.