Anime of Tomorrow
Neon Alley – The All Anime Channel on PS3
Getting access to anime in America through official means hasn’t been cheap or easy. And aside from Saturday night Toonami on Adult Swim, if you want to watch anime on TV you’d need a lot more than the basic cable package. Which is why I’m excited by the prospect of a new way for viewers to get access to anime in America. As part of a venture by VIZ Media, PS3 owners can subscribe to a 24×7 anime channel called Neon Alley. Here’s their promotional video.
This is my breakdown on Neon Alley. For about $7 a month you get access to an all-anime channel. I want to look at exactly what this means. Consider a cable subscription can cost upwards of $60 a month. Then, investing in a 12 episode series on BD can be anywhere from $30 to $60 or WAY more. If you’re as big an anime fan as I am and you’ve got a certain series you may be on the fence about, this is a perfectly reasonable price to get a lot of anime for your dollar.
The next question to ask is, “What anime DO I get to watch?” Well, sure enough you’ll see VIZ licensed / Toonami staples like Naruto, Bleach, One Piece and Death Note. Then they have the classics like InuYasha and Berserk. But I’m pleased to see some other impressive titles in their lineup that I think a lot of people may otherwise overlook without access to a service like Neon Alley that lets you sample series that have gone under the radar. Some of my favorites from this list include Blue Exorcist, Lagrange, Vampire Knight and Zetman. And while it’s not been announced to show on Neon Alley just yet, VIZ has licensed Accel World, one of the best anime to come out so far this year.
The one complaint I have is that the current list of shows is action, action / comedy and more action. While that’s fine to get a base started, I worry that it’s going to give anime fans with much broader tastes some hesitation before they jump on board. But all in all, this is a solid idea in my opinion. Anime in America needs these kinds of outlets to grow communities and ease access to lesser-known shows that deserve more attention. So if you want to watch dubbed, uncensored / uncut anime, anytime you want and at a really good price (and you have a PS3) go check out Neon Alley. And if you want to wait, I think this is worth paying attention to future developments because my instincts are telling me this channel may just succeed at doing for anime what Steam has done for video games and Netflix for movies.