I don't think it should concern me, but I am still curious as to how legal anime streaming sites are. A popular site being AnimeUltima, I've watched probably 300+ different anime just from there. However, when asked if the site I use is legal, I usually respond with, "yes," despite not knowing the answer; this is sort of annoying in itself.

AnimeUltima as an example, is this site legally subbing and uploading anime?

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    reddit.com/r/anime/wiki/legal_streams_/_downloads found by googling "legal anime streaming sites"
    – Hakase
    Commented May 30, 2014 at 10:12
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    You might wanna check meta.anime.stackexchange.com/questions/922/…
    – Dimitri mx
    Commented May 30, 2014 at 12:34
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    @Dimitrimx- I think that list needs to be updated to be perfectly honest. E.g. under youtube channels add "Manga Entertainment". Commented May 30, 2014 at 13:41
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    @MiharuDante as i said in the answer to that meta people can update that if they want so long as no illegal sites are added, if it's not a community wiki answer then it should be but i can't edit it at work because Anime and manga Meta is blocked at work
    – Memor-X
    Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 22:35
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    Niconico also have legal live streaming of anime (for example, Date A Live season 1 was streamed on Niconico before it is aired on TV), just that the contents are only available in Japan only.
    – nhahtdh
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 9:48

4 Answers 4


The main legal anime streaming site I am aware of is Crunchyroll, a pay for service. If not the only legal one, it certainly is the largest.

They actually work with the broadcasters in Japan in order to bring the shows to people across the globe, pretty much at the same time they are being broadcast in Japan.

Many sources of streaming anime (including AnimeUltima) are actually rips of Crunchyroll and other legitimate sources.

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    Crunchyroll also has a free (ad-supported, 1-week delayed) option. Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 13:01

There are a number of legal streaming sites: Crunchyroll, Funimation, Manga Entertainment, Daisuki (which is relatively new), and some Youtube channels associated with legal sites (such as Funimation or Manga Entertainment), possibly among some other sites that I haven't heard of yet or am not completely sure about. Some of these are very region-specific (e.g. a lot of Funimation videos on Youtube can't be accessed outside of North America (I think)).

Most other streaming sites (including some pretty popular ones, it seems) are actually not legal (using, as stated by @Oded, rips of videos from elsewhere, illegal fansubs, etc.).

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    You are correct with the Funimation Youtube Channel, i'm in Australia and i get a message on the video saying that the video is unavailable in my country
    – Memor-X
    Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 22:36
  • @Memor-X: definitely - when I was out of NA for the summer I couldn't watch most of their videos, but I'm also not sure if it works in Canada, for instance.
    – Maroon
    Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 23:41

I think where all forgetting one which is Hulu. Not only is it free but it is legal too and provides a service called Hulu Plus (Which provides an ad-free experience) and allows you to watch several animes (Plus TV shows) without ads.

Just thought this would be interesting to bring up.

Also another interesting fact is that most of the videos that are hosted on sites such as animeultima are actually hosted on other sites such as auengine.com which is a file uploading service and then are just embedded into the site. So it all becomes a bit of a gray area here whether the site is legal or illegal.

This is just my opinion though.

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    On the contrary though, Hulu Plus is not ad-free, actually, far from ad free. It just has less restrictions on video releases and availability.
    – FatalSleep
    Commented May 30, 2014 at 12:31
  • @FatalSleep- Definitely not ad-free but on hulu plus it is or apparently it is. Commented May 30, 2014 at 13:19
  • No, hulu-plus is not ad free and does not advertise itself as such
    – kaine
    Commented May 30, 2014 at 15:10
  • @kaine- Yeah I think your right on that. They just don't add as much ads. Commented May 30, 2014 at 21:20
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    hulu.com/support/article/20356372 Commented May 30, 2014 at 21:21

If you are worried about legal trouble for your own person, you need not worry. Accessing streaming sites is not a crime. The crime lies with those hosting said illegal site. Also there is probably some really fun legal deal where the sites are being hosted in countries that don't have laws against it.

The morality of using such sites is another thing entirely. I actually buy series I like, but only after I watch them. So I justify my use of such sites. I also don't want to increase the numbers for a show I think is horrid.

  • All though I am not sure about 2014, now a days it is considered a crime in all of europe.
    – Dimitri mx
    Commented Jul 19, 2018 at 17:56

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