HomeAnimeThere is never a free anime online

There is never a free anime online

Amazon makes it easier for people to scratch together 10 bucks a month

With this week's changes in Amazon's Prime services, you've got to be asking yourself is Prime worth it for anime-watchers?

The answer could depend on your own needs, of course, but I'll give you a little guide to go by.

First, let me explain the changes that have happened. On Sunday, Amazon informed its website visitors that it is offering a new monthly-payment version of the service. Rather than paying $99 in one fell swoop each year, they would pay it incrementally -- $8.99 a month if they want only TV and movies, or $10.99 a month if they want the full Amazon Prime experience: TV, movies, music streaming and free two-day shipping.

In the end, the new prices would cost you a little more over the entire year, but paying it out incrementally might be more palatable to some people, particularly the ones who are also paying services like Netflix and Hulu monthly fees already.

Although Amazon video was considered only a nice add-on when Prime first started, the service has become a growing powerhouse in home that have cut out cable TV over the past couple of years.

As the New York Times termed it, "It has nabbed rights to popular series like 'Downton Abbey' and 'Mr. Robot,' which are not available to stream on Netflix. Like Netflix, Amazon has poured money into producing original content, including award-winning shows like 'Transparent' and 'Mozart in the Jungle.'”

But does the service make sense for viewers of anime to consider? If you already are using Amazon Prime, you know what the answer to that question is. But for those of you without the service, all you really care about is your favorite shows.

Amazon gives new Prime members a free month, so that would be a great way to check it out. Go to the Amazon home page and click the front-page link to "Try Prime" and then the button to "Start Your Free Month."

If you're interested in browsing a little first, Click in the search bar at the top of the screen, choose the Movies & TV category and type in the word "anime" or the specific show you are wanting to watch. If it's available on Amazon streaming video, it will show up on the screen.

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If the show is available for Prime members to stream for free, that will be indicated right under the name of the show.

In sheer numbers, a simple search for "anime" yielded 1,548 video in Amazon, with only 29 that indicated they were "included with Prime." Your numbers may vary.

If you're wondering about the quality of the service, I've been using it for a couple of years and find the quality to be on par with any of the similar streaming services, such as Hulu and Crunchyroll. In addition, Amazon has an app that makes it simple to stream their content on iPhones and iPads.

The only downside is that newer anime programs are either not available or not priced for free streaming. You'll have to rely on more intense services, like Crunchyroll or Funimation for that.

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