UK anime streaming services 2014

It may be of interest to update the earlier post:
There is a new UK streaming service at: http://www.animaxtv.co.uk/
So far, they offer a modest number of recent shows, including some from the latest Japanese season. The subscription is £5.99 per month. As a come-on, you can watch the latest episode of a few of the current-season shows for free, in what looks like standard definition.
This looks like good value if any of it catches your interest – a few months’ sub would be as cheap as buying one box-set.

Anime streaming services – UK, Feb 2012
Posted on February 5, 2012 by admin
These legitimate anime streaming services are available in the UK:

Crunchyroll: Large number of titles, including both the current Winter 2012 season and older titles. Includes the two best shows from the Winter 2012 season. Choose between a free service (ad-laden, and with hot episodes delayed one week, some titles barred) and paid-for service (no ads, hot episodes available the same day as in Japan.) Subtitled, choice of several screen resolutions, including 1080p. www.crunchyroll.com Still going.

Anime On Demand: Recently revised service, with a small but recent title list. It added its only 2012 title at the beginning of Feb. Subscription only, with free trial period. Quarterly or annual sub. available. Choice of screen resolutions. Subtitled. http://www.anime-on-demand.com/ Inactive in 2012-13. This link now takes you to Animax

The Anime Network: Select “Watch Now” to see what’s available to the UK. A modest number of shows is available, all of them several years old. First episodes are generally free as samples; to see the rest you have to subscribe. Monthly subscription available. Dubbed. (I cancelled after I’d watched everything of interest).
Link still works, but nothing seems new since I last looked.

Netflix: Recently launched in the UK, it offers a large selection of movies and TV shows, including a small anime component. Does not include any recent or current anime shows. Has “Ghost in the Shell” anime series. 1 month free trial available at time of writing. Dubbed. www.netflix.com They still advertise.

Nico Nico Douga: Nico Nico Douga started as a sort of Japanese Youtube, but recently they have started a licenced streaming service, which includes an anime channel.
Registration is required, but once you have jumped through the hoops you can watch a few current or recent anime, e.g “Symphogear” which don’t seem to be legitimately available here by other means. Annoyingly, some titles, including the most enticing ones, turn out to be for US/Canada only when one tries to start them. This is free.
The USP of Nico Nico Douga is that synchronised user comments appear on the videos – often funnier than the actual show!! Subtitled.
They also announce a one-time screening of Madoka Magica ep#1 for Friday, February 10th 20:20 PST (4.20am Sat 11th) (PST is 8 hours later than British time). I have not looked recently.

uk-anime.net:They offer streamed anime on their useful site, but this is just an interface for Crunchyroll. http://www.uk-anime.net/video-main.asp Site still active, but they don’t offer videos, other than their own output on Youtube

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Bakemomogatari DVD release in UK

It seems that there will be a R2 DVD release of Bakemonogatari (eps #1-8)in the UK on June 17 from MVM. It is already available to pre-order from the usual outlets for around £17.75 upwards.
A R4 DVD release of eps #1-8 is already available from Australia.
A UK BD release later this year, in conjunction with an Australian partner, seems highly likely.
http://www.animenewsnetwork.co.uk/news/2013-05-07/bakemonogatari-dvd-release-in-june-and-july

I’ve no information about a US DVD release, and given the above this would be of little interest to me.
There is a US region A/B BD box-set of all 15 episodes available – at an eye-watering price.

If you’re wondering why all the fuss, check my earlier review:
http://www.sandg-anime-reviews.net/allanimedb/allanim_detail.php?ID=962

Blu-Ray – worth the money?

Is Blu-Ray worth the money?
If you’re asking UK fans of Japanese animation, the answer seems to be a resounding “no”. You need only look at the shelves, and when I asked an assistant at a major store, he confirmed that sales of BD anime were very low.
Why? Possibly because there’s not much point having a BD if you’re going to play it on a 19″ 720p TV in your student bedroom. And then there’s the patchy availability of titles. I got a BD player along with my HD TV with the intention of buying BD instead of DVD in the future, but that was over a year ago, and the number of BD titles I have been able to buy remains very small. In several cases I was balked because the title of interest was not issued on BD at all, or only as a region A.

One had the region annoyance with DVDs, but in that case the answer was to order a player modified to play all-regions. Problem solved. Unfortunately this just isn’t possible with BD players. All is not lost however, and there seem to be several ways around the problem, none of them particularly satisfactory. Some models of player, now discontinued but still available second-hand or ‘reconditioned’ could be altered quite easily to region A or ABC, usually by the expedient of downloading the firmware for another region version of the player and installing it. (The catch is that if you are foolish enough to connect the player to the Internet, it may self-update its firmware…) You could order a new ABC or region-free player, possibly hacked and definitely premium-priced. You could import a new player from the region of interest, in addition to your locally bought BD player. There are two problems with this: the high cost of carriage, and what to do if it goes wrong.
Then there is the PC. If you have a recent model PC capable of handling 1080p HD, and with a BD-ROM drive in it, this will play BD disks of your local region, and apparently some easy software hackery will allow it to play BDs from any region. If you already have such a machine stood next to your TV, that looks like the best way to go.
[Actually I would strongly recommend having a small-form-factor PC stood next to your TV, as it will handle lots of things that a smart IPTV can’t quite handle yet, such as display streaming from Crunchyroll and 4OD or other TV archive services, or bittorrent downloads.]

Anime broadcast on TV

Attack no 1 (RTL II)

It may be interesting to look at the availability of Japanese animation on television outside Japan.
Quite a number of countries have had anime broadcasts at some time in the past, often sparking an interest in anime in those countries. See for instance:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff/AnimeAndManga
However, if one was to ask which have a significant amount of anime programming today, the answer seems to be that few do.
Those having a significant amount are listed below:

USA: Anime is broadcast on many channels. The website below gives listings for local stations in the USA and Canada:
http://www.animeontv.com/tv.htm
http://www.animeontv.com/myStations.php
lists a number of them. There are so many that it would be tedious to copy them all out. See also Cartoon Network, Toonami, Funimation etc.

UK: negligible, apart from occasional kid’s shows and movie broadcasts.

France: Regular programming on ‘Mangas’ channel (pay channel).

Germany: Regular programming on several channels: see
http://www.tomodachi.de/html/ant/service/tv_planer.html
Mainly on RTLII, Anixe, Viva, Animax.

Italy: Regular programming on several channels: see
http://anigate.net/palinsesti_tv/
mainly Italia 1, Rai2, Boing

Spain: There appears to be some anime on Spanish TV. It’s not clear how much regular programming there is, as I couldn’t find a fan-site with a schedule.
Mainly Tres Espana, Nicktoons, cartoon Network Espana, Antena3, Boing

Switzerland: Swiss viewers have three languages to choose from. RTL II Schweiz and Animax have anime in German.

Austria: Animax (pay TV), Viva. See also ‘Germany’.

Astute readers may have guessed that some of these channels are broadcast on satellite, and that some are free-to-air, raising the possibility of cross-border viewing. Continue reading “Anime broadcast on TV”

Anime streaming services – UK, Feb 2012

These legitimate anime streaming services are available in the UK:

Crunchyroll: Large number of titles, including both the current Winter 2012 season and older titles. Includes the two best shows from the Winter 2012 season. Choose between a free service (ad-laden, and with hot episodes delayed one week, some titles barred) and paid-for service (no ads, hot episodes available the same day as in Japan.) Subtitled, choice of several screen resolutions, including 1080p. www.crunchyroll.com

Anime On Demand: Recently revised service, with a small but recent title list. It added its only 2012 title at the beginning of Feb. Subscription only, with free trial period. Quarterly or annual sub. available. Choice of screen resolutions. Subtitled. http://www.anime-on-demand.com/

The Anime Network: Select “Watch Now” to see what’s available to the UK. A modest number of shows is available, all of them several years old. First episodes are generally free as samples; to see the rest you have to subscribe. Monthly subscription available. Dubbed. (I cancelled after I’d watched everything of interest).

Netflix: Recently launched in the UK, it offers a large selection of movies and TV shows, including a small anime component. Does not include any recent or current anime shows. Has “Ghost in the Shell” anime series. 1 month free trial available at time of writing. Dubbed. www.netflix.com

Nico Nico Douga: Nico Nico Douga started as a sort of Japanese Youtube, but recently they have started a licenced streaming service, which includes an anime channel.
Registration is required, but once you have jumped through the hoops you can watch a few current or recent anime, e.g “Symphogear” which don’t seem to be legitimately available here by other means. Annoyingly, some titles, including the most enticing ones, turn out to be for US/Canada only when one tries to start them. This is free.
The USP of Nico Nico Douga is that synchronised user comments appear on the videos – often funnier than the actual show!! Subtitled.
They also announce a one-time screening of Madoka Magica ep#1 for Friday, February 10th 20:20 PST (4.20am Sat 11th) (PST is 8 hours later than British time).

uk-anime.net:They offer streamed anime on their useful site, but this is just an interface for Crunchyroll. http://www.uk-anime.net/video-main.asp

Fall Anime 2011 – roundup

Scene from Guilty Crown
Guilty Crown
In Fall 2011 I checked out most of the titles as far as the first episode. I don’t as a rule follow many titles through a whole season, so unless otherwise indicated I have dropped titles early.
I was impressed by Chihaya furu (still watching) and Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai (watched all), and entertained by Tamayura – Hitotose , Last Exile – Ginkyo no Fam , and Mirai Nikki (still watching).
I was watching Un-Go and Ben-Tou but have dropped some way behind the schedule, and dropped Guilty Crown after about 3 episodes. Un-Go and Mirai Nikki are on the ANN/http://www.anime-on-demand.com/ UK site, but they are making a faff of revising their site and getting people to register and pay.
Ginkyo no Fam‘ turned out to be very silly, but it looks great on a big screen and if you dismiss pre-conceptions based on the previous series it’s good fun.
I got quite fond of the characters in Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai. The ending, like a lot of series endings these days, turned out to be rather minimalist, though their club seems to have been a success.
I’ve written about these series at greater length previously (below).

Year 2011 anime rankings

Madoka and Kyubei
Madoka Magica
My list of notables (in seasonal order):
I checked out the majority of new TV anime, but those I rapidly dropped are not mentioned here:

Particularly liked/would watch again:
Hourou Musuko
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (Magical Girl anime will never seem the same again!)
Kore wa Zombie desu ka?
Hanasaku Iroha
Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai
Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko
Hyouge Mono (* only 10 eps subbed)
Usagi Drop
Mawaru Penguin Drum
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
Chihaya furu

Liked a lot/watched all:
Yumekui Merry
Gothic
Kami Nomi 2 (The World God Only Knows 2)
Moshidora (Drucker in the Dugout)
Showa Monogatari (*only a few episodes subbed)
Steins; gate
Ikoku Meiru no Croisee
Kami-sama no memo-chou (God’s Notepad)
No. 6
Tamayura – Hitotose

Worth a mention:
level E
C – The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera
Ao no Exorcist (Blue Exorcist)
Hen Zemi (Strange Seminar)
Double-J
Ben-Tou
Mirai Nikki (Future Diary)
Un-Go

Most annoying:
Fractale
Blood-C
Last Exile – Ginkyo no Fam

Obscure but worthy, discovered this year:
White Snake Enchantress – early movie
Tetsuko no Tabi – about train otaku
Welcome to the Space Show – movie worth buying
Cleopatra = Cleopatra, Queen of S** (1970) Osamu Tezuka. Resembles a “Carry On..” film.

I have written about most of these at greater length here (below).

Anime streaming in UK

Note the following titles are streamed to UK on the ANN associated site: http://www.anime-on-demand.com/video/16702/
Nichijou (My Ordinary Life)
C – The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
Deadman Wonderland
Steins; Gate
Tiger & Bunny

+ at Sept. 2011:
Usagi Drop
Dantalian
Youkai Clan
All titles are from the current Japanese anime season. Basic package is free to view. The number of titles on offer is gradually increasing.

More old anime available

Here’s a list of older (i.e. possibly older than you, dear visitor) anime that I note has become available on Animesuki and/or Nyaatorrents.

Marvelous Melmo #01
Angie Girl #01
Homeless Child Remy #01,02,03. (Ie naki ko Remi) [The WMT “homeless girl” version]
Tokimeki Tonight #01-07
Aim for the Ace #22 [tennis]
NG Knight Lamune & 40 #01-06
Kimagure Orange Road TV #15 [US licence expired]
Little Princess Sara #01-46 [“A Little Princess” novel]
Heavy Metal L-Gaim #40
Gear Fighter Dendoh #12
Genshi Shonen Ryuu #16
Kinnikuman #13
Babel II #9
Ginguiser #1
Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo #14-17
Iga no Kabamaru #5
Goldfish Warning #34
Mikan Enikki #0-3

Here are some fansub groups that appear to specialise in older anime:
Saitei, Takara, mSubs, Anime_Daisuki, KiteSeekers, ARR, Live-evil, The Skaro Hunting Society, Hokuto no Gun, Bluefixer, Honobono, Fuko Ibuki Fansubs.

There are rather more of these than I imagined when I started this post. The quality of these old shows varies (depending on your tastes). Some are well worth preserving. Others cause me to react with a “Why?”
Several are detailed in my database; here’s one to start you off:
Remi

Old Anime

Really Old Anime – available

Robin abd Bell in PegasusFansubbing group the Skaro Hunting Society are providing digisubs of a number of really old anime series from the 1960’s and 1970’s, plus a short movie from 1947.  They are giving us the first few episodes from each, rather than doing one or two series in depth.  This is great if your main interest is to see what these old series actually looked and sounded like, and to compare them with the 2011 output.

Titles are:
Cyborg 009 (1968)
Dororon Enma-kun (1973)
GeGeGe no Kitaro (1968)
Koutetsu Jeeg (1975)
Mahou Tsukai Sally (1966)
Rainbow Sentai Robin (1966)
Shinzou Ningen Casshan (1973)
Suteneko Tora-chan (1947)
Wonder 3 (1965)
Yusei Shonen Papi (1965)

All are in good (digital) quality and available from the usual sources :-)

I have detailed write-ups and clips in my Anime database- see the menu bar above. You can use the “romaji” option when you get there. There is a matching “Japanese” search. Old Anime