Think for a moment about how anime fans before the current generation of fans got the latest series. First-generation fans watched anime on VHS from local fans across Japan. Second generation fans were able to watch English dubbing of anime directly on their televisions. Then the third generation of fans were able to watch a new episode as soon as they were released online.

With the popularity of anime higher than ever, there are more legal ways to watch anime on a PC or on television through a streaming device. Here are some ways to find where to watch the best anime series.

Streaming services

Fans are switching to online streaming to watch their favorite shows without having to download multiple files that require multiple video codecs. There are streaming services like Crunchyroll that offer anime shows from the recent and current season to free and paid subscribers. Paid users are offered new episodes just hours after airing in Japan, where free users will have to wait a week later to catch up. One advantage of streaming services like Crunchyroll is that most of the shows on offer are only captioned, where there are a growing number of general streaming sites like Hulu offering subs and dubs.

On demand

On-Demand through a local cable or satellite provider is another option for finding new and popular shows. The on-demand offers model is shown on a rotating basis, which means that viewers have a limited time to watch earlier or later episodes. Most of the episodes are free to customers, but they are also offered for payment. It’s a secondary option for those who are willing to accidentally find a new series on their television in no time.

Digital Rentals

Even with the cemented desire for more digital media, there will always be a demand for physical media. But when no one wants physical or digital versions, there are rentals. Stores like Amazon for PC and Mac users, and the respective stores for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 console users, offer digital rentals of movies and TV shows, including a growing library of anime titles. When a movie or episode is rented, the user has a limited time to watch it before it expires, usually within 48 hours. The concept is also similar with most On-Demand content.

Despite the options given, streaming is the best option to watch a good anime series. Of course, it makes the series more enjoyable by purchasing the complete series on DVD after finishing it online. Watching anime through online streaming is better as no money is wasted buying a series that turns out to be no good.

If a particular anime series is not offered through legal means, avoid watching it on sites that offer free streaming or downloads. Not only is it illegal, but it doesn’t benefit distributors who are working with major services to bring the next best anime series for years to come.

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