24/7 Streaming Anime Network
Available on Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Launch Date: October 2, 2012
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. Itâ€™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. Itâ€™s a novel idea that harkens back to the days of Cartoon Networkâ€™s Toonami.
Okay, a television network that plays all anime, not that special, right? Wrong, dead wrong [says while pointing an accusatory finger].
Iâ€™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 doesnâ€™t facilitate the reading of subs. Neon Alley eliminates that problem by offering fully dubbed episodes for every one of their shows.
Animeâ€™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 serviceâ€™s biggest selling points. Itâ€™s a terrific roster made even better by professional English dubbing.
But of course, with any relationship there are also some downsides. Chief among them with Neon Alley is the channelâ€™s format. Unfortunately, we live in a streaming age. We want shows at our convenience and as soon as humanly possible.
Neon Alleyâ€™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 Alleyâ€™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.
Itâ€™s a bold new world for anime fans and Neon Alley is helping to wrangle new ones in daily. If youâ€™ve got some free cash and can schedule your time around the channelâ€™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.