Not me. Even though the title rhymes, no one wants to pay for anime when you can get them for free. Same goes for videos, music, movies. Most entertainment, really. And when Labour Day draws near, we’d much rather be spending our hard-earned money on other more important things such as clothes, and food.
There’re many ways to get free anime. The most basic way is to search for the anime on YouTube and rely on the kindness of other people to upload every episode in high definition. It used to be more likely for you to get what you want, but YouTube has stamped down on copyright infringements so it gets harder to find good anime in there. I remember back 6 years ago when a very nice girl uploaded D.Gray-Man episodes on the day she downloaded them, punctually every week, and in high quality too. All the fans loved her. Gradually there were more people who uploaded D.Gray-Man episodes, and I think she stopped doing it too. But I’ll never forget people like her who generously share what they have at the risk of having their accounts frozen!
Nowadays the recommended way is to find an anime streaming site. Most such sites start with the word “anime”, but the easiest is to Google “watch [insert anime here] online”. I personally like “animeseason.com” because it has a sleek design and less irritating ads, and also doesn’t have a stupid chatbox where people just troll each other. It doesn’t have all anime — especially the ones licensed by Funimation, such as Robotics;Notes — but it has enough.
For the more hardcore fans who mistrust video mirrors, downloading these episodes is also useful, especially when you don’t have an internet connection all the time. You must prepare a hardcore otaku hard drive and torrent the anime you want, all in one shot! I don’t torrent, so I can’t recommend a good place to do it, but many anime fans torrent, so your status in the otaku ranking hierarchy will be much elevated if you do — provided you use a trustable torrent, of course.
There is a fourth solution to anime woes, and that is downloads of software that contain every anime (and also every drama and film) under the sun. PPS, for instance, is used on computers and in phones and tablets to play anime or other shows on public transport. I personally don’t derive much pleasure from squinting at a small reflective screen, but it does relieve boredom while on the go. PPS also comes with Chinese subtitles, for those who know Chinese.
There is really no shame in buying anime VCDs once in a while. Granted, video shops in Singapore sell a very limited collection most of the time, but I did manage to snag Ookamikakushi, an anime I wouldn’t brand as good but did feature FictionJunction’s Toki no Mukou, Maboroshi no Sora as its opening. Watching VCDs on the TV screen allows a much wider view than even the computer, and sometimes you just need the sensation of width to immerse in a sense of awe at the battles fought and the epic stories told.
There’re many ways to watch anime, whether paid or unpaid. Most times it’s more worthwhile not to pay, as long as you don’t get caught. I’ve listed a few ways to consider procuring your new anime fix, so I hope it broadens your options now!