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Streaming Review: Neon Alley 24/7 Anime Network
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RoughJustice   |  
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Neon Alley logo bannerNeon Alley
24/7 Streaming Anime Network
Available on Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Launch Date: October 2, 2012
Viz Media
Price: $6.99 Monthly Membership

They say it takes a month to really get to know someone (okay, no one really says that, I just needed to set up this review, okay?). After a month, with any luck, all the quirks and vices that drive us to love or hate someone have began to bubble to the surface. It’s from there that we decide whether to keep the relationship going or not.

Streaming anime network Neon Alley and I have been courting for the past month, and I have got to tell you: things are looking good.

Neon Alley works like no other streaming anime service out right now. Unlike Crunchyroll or Hulu, Neon Alley runs exactly like any cable network with a full slot of programmed shows airing with episode one. It’s a novel idea that harkens back to the days of Cartoon Network’s Toonami.

Okay, a television network that plays all anime, not that special, right? Wrong, dead wrong [says while pointing an accusatory finger].

I’ve always struggled with the idea of subtitles. Typically when watching anime, living in the digital world we do, we are distracted by something that doesn’t facilitate the reading of subs. Neon Alley eliminates that problem by offering fully dubbed episodes for every one of their shows.

Anime’s biggest are all on Neon Alley including Tiger & Bunny, Naruto, and One Piece. Being owned by Viz Media, Neon Alley is able to air the best there is, which is one of this service’s biggest selling points. It’s a terrific roster made even better by professional English dubbing.

Neon Alley: Xbox showing Blue Exorcist

But of course, with any relationship there are also some downsides. Chief among them with Neon Alley is the channel’s format. Unfortunately, we live in a streaming age. We want shows at our convenience and as soon as humanly possible.

Neon Alley’s programming blocks make diving into animes easier and harder at the same time. On one hand, launching English-dubbed first episodes makes the genre more penetrable than ever. However, as each show airs according to Neon Alley’s schedule, missing an episode is a very real possibility. And in the world of anime, one missed episode can spiral your entire experience out of control.

It’s a bold new world for anime fans and Neon Alley is helping to wrangle new ones in daily. If you’ve got some free cash and can schedule your time around the channel’s programming blocks, Neon Alley might just be the one-stop-shop for that kaiju-kicking madness we all crave so badly.

If you’d like to check it out for yourself, you can sign up for a one-week free trial at neonalley.com.

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