Advantages to watching anime online :
>> Easy to access - sites that stream anime, you can browse and find what you want instantly
>> Watch something ongoing as soon as it has been released or subtitled
>> Can watch it whereever you have access to an internet connection
>> Free to access
>> There is a limited amount of animes that have been released on DVD and very easy to access to buy.
>> Don't have to wait for it to air on TV and don't have to follow up when it will air, what time etc. Also depending regionally where you are from, certain things may not air for years after it came out in Japan depending on how much viewership they expect for it, and time to dub it.
Disadvantages on watching anime online :
>> On a financial level, Companies lose out on gains for their hard work. Just like how companies and musicians lose out on downloaded music the same applies to people who just watch a licensed series online instead of buying it.
>> Usually, there isn't as good a video quality, depending on where you are watching it from.
>> Slow internet connection, can for some people make viewing an anime online a very difficult task.
>> Might not show a full appreciation of the anime you are watching
>> I can recognise the two sides to the argument, I am going to be honest and say I mostly watch things online. If I bought the amount of anime I've watched I would be completely bankrupt ;D
>> Although, if I really enjoy something I will buy it, so I can rewatch it good quality, and because I enjoyed it so much, I think it would be respectful to the company. Eg. Higurashi No Naku, Ergo Proxy, Fullmetal Alchemist ect :)
>> Hope this helps :)
[[edit : I don't see how I could just wait until adulthood ;D Most students are broke (I'm technically an "adult" now), then when you are working fulltime you don't really have time and sometimes extra money, I spend most of my earnings on music and anime already. My plan to have a summer anime spree has fallen apart abit because I'm working fulltime. I think being young is the best time to appreciate anime :) Though I'm sure you disagree because that would only force ardent fans to choose the free option ]]
[[edit @ animegeek : I 100% agree with you :) Since I can sympathise not coming from a well off family myself, buying legal copies of anime in the UK costs twice the price it would in Japan, and buying it on eBay or something is pointless because most of the copies that are cheap on internet bidding sites are illegal copies anyway, going on past experience where I've tried to buy it out of loyal fanship]]
[[edit... 2... : Surely, buying anime doesn't resolve the matter though? If you notice, most of the famous animes are ones that have been dubbed and shown on television stations like Adult Swim, most of the anime available in shops is that which has been dubbed and more well known than others. Everytime I go in HMV the shelves for the anime section (which I might add is only one shelving unit) is stacked with a copy of every section of the Naruto series, every Ghost in the Shell boxset and a couple of sections of FMA, Death Note, Code Geass and Elfen Lied. Nothing not mainstream, nothing not heard of. How can underrated anime be showcased if no one can access it?
Although I appreciate what you are saying I also think that there are two ways of looking at it. I wouldn't say having it on demand is the main reason, well certainly not for me. I would say financially it's the main reason. It's simply beyond most people's pockets. If you add priority to the equation then eating comes before anime, but that shouldn't stop someone being a fan
I think the resolve would be making it readily available at affordable prices. I don't know if you understand English currency but a box set of Elfen Lied over here is £50, that is literally how much I earn after working for 10 hours! ]]
[[ Also neither me nor animegeek said you didn't understand real life.. O.O" I wasn't implying it either, I think we're both just trying to show another side to the argument, it isn't as black and white, as the people who can afford should get advantaged over the people who can't and I obviously wouldn't put anime before everything, that would be verging on Otaku behaviour ]]