Considering the incredible number of people that have turned anime into a lifestyle, it’s not surprising that there are hundreds of websites where fans can watch anime series online for free or with a subscription. Although the interest in an animation form that brings something different from classic Western cartoon series is encouraging, it should be mentioned that not all anime websites are what they claim to be. If you are looking for a platform where you can watch all your favorite shows and discover new ones and you don’t know where to start your search, then here are a few guidelines to help you sort the options. Needless to say, the quality of the videos is a must and you shouldn’t settle for anything that has less than HD. There are many websites to choose from and you shouldn’t make compromises, because there is always something better out there.
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The first thing on the list is genre diversity. The perfect website should have it all – and not just the typical movie genres that Western movies offer (comedy, action, romance, horror, science fiction), but also several other genres that are specific to Japanese anime. This includes subcategories such as Shoujo, slice of life, dystopia, Shounen, Mecha and many others. Genre separation is incredibly important in the anime world and it’s even a topic of heated debate among fans. Most people only prefer several genres and hate all the others with a passion, so the website where you watch anime series online should allow you to sort all of the anime into categories, otherwise you’ll have a hard time finding something new to watch. A rating system would also be nice, because it will save you the trouble of finding low quality videos, videos that don’t load, videos where the subtitle is missing or just bad anime in general. In addition, a comment section or chat is always welcome, because you can meet people from all over the world who share your hobby.
Another criterion that should weigh heavily on your list is the possibility to choose between subbed and dubbed episodes. It’s true that not all shows have been dubbed (Japanese is a difficult language to master, so new or somewhat underground shows take longer to be dubbed), but, where they have, the option should be available. If you prefer episodes with subtitles, which is considered to be the right way of watching anime, then make sure the website has subtitles and that they are accurate. Most subtitles are fan-made, but that doesn’t mean that their quality is low. Last, but not least, the website should be updated with new episodes as soon as they are released and you should be able to filter the anime based on rating. Some websites, especially paid ones, also offer additional benefits to subscribed members, such as access to manga, forums or fandom stores. If you have the money and you’re a true fan, then the investment is worth it, because you can get exclusive content and you can enjoy anime from multiple perspectives.