Think about it for a moment of how anime fans before the current generation of fans got their hands of the latest series. First generation fans watched anime on VHS from local fans all the way in Japan. Second generation fans were able to watch English dub anime right on their television sets. Then, the third generation of fans were able to watch a new episode as soon as they were released online.
With the popularity of anime higher than ever before, there are more and legal ways of watching anime on either a PC or on TV via a streaming device. Here are a few ways of finding where to watch the best anime series.
Fans are making the switch to online streaming to watch their favorite shows without having to download multiple files that require various video codecs. There are streaming services such as Crunchyroll who offer recent and current season anime shows to free and paid subscribers. Paid users are offered new episodes just a few hours after airing in Japan, where free users will have to wait a week after to catch up. A bonus with streaming services like Crunchyroll is that the majority of shows offered are subtitled only, where there are a growing number of general streaming sites, such as Hulu, offering both subs and dubs.
On-Demand through a local cable or satellite provider is another option of finding new and popular shows. The model of on-demand offers shows on a rotational basis, meaning viewers have limited time to watch earlier or later episodes. Most episodes are free of charge to customers, but are also offered on a per-pay basis. It's a secondary option for those who are willing to find a new series on their TV by chance within a short amount of time.
Even with the cemented desire of more digital media, there will always be a demand for physical media. But when there no one desires either physical or digital versions, there are such thing as rentals. Stores such as Amazon for PC and Mac users, and respective stores for users of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 console, offer digital rentals of movies and TV shows, including a growing library of anime titles. When a movie or episode is rented, the user has limited time to watch it before it expires, usually within 48 hours. The concept is similar with most On-Demand content, as well.
Despite the options given, streaming is the best option of watching a good anime series. Of course, it makes the series more enjoyable by buying the complete series on DVD after finishing it online. Watching anime through online streaming is better as there is no money wasted buying a series that turns out to be no good.
If a particular anime series is not offered through legal means, avoid watching it on sites that offer free streaming or downloads. Not only is it illegal, but it does not benefit distributors that are working with the major services to bring the next best anime series for years to come.