by Chris McDonald | staff writer
Viz Media’s Neon Alley service aims to provide anime enthusiasts with a concentrated helping of dubbed and uncut anime and martial arts movies via any Playstation 3 console with an internet connection.
The service has a monthly fee comparable to that of movie streaming giant Netflix, but instead acts as a television station solely dedicated to anime and the occasional martial arts flick (it even has a built in programming guide, which is rather useful). The most interesting feature of Neon Alley, however, is undoubtedly the fact that its the only place to watch newly dubbed episodes of shows previously lacking a proper North American release. Titles like Tiger & Bunny, InuYasha: The Final Chapter, and Blue Exorcist are being shown in syndication in a fashion identical to that of a normal television station.
While the stream quality itself is mostly good, I do have a few gripes with its reliability. Often times, I’d find myself utterly frustrated because the stream would freeze, or I’d have to relaunch the app altogether from my Playstation’s XMB. That issue aside, Neon Alley is easy to use and airs some great shows, with new movies premiering every couple of weeks (most recently of which was Bleach: Fade to Black).
Considering its cheap monthly price ($6.99/month) and the promise of a channel that exclusively airs anime around the clock, most viewers could do a whole lot worse than Neon Alley (especially if you don’t like reading subtitles).