In short, yes. It really depends though, if you do nothing but stream anime illegally, without buying merch, manga or box sets then yes. You are hurting the anime industry. If every fan in the world did this, then anime wouldn’t produce any income and companies would shut down. However, if you combine illegal streaming with the use of Netflix or Crunchyroll, and/or buying official merch/box sets then you’re not really harming it that much.
“But I don’t have any money!” Crunchyroll and Funimation both offer free-streaming (which includes ads). While it’s not the best, it is an alternative to paying for it.
If anime is always viewed legally, it puts money into the industry and the series you love can be continued, as well as series you want can be made. It also helps companies like Crunchyroll and Funimation bring out subs and dubs quickly. Even if you hate dubbed series, it’s still better to support it. Without these companies you won’t be able to buy any box set releases, and legal streaming sites won’t be available – so no legal subs with decent translations, instead of translations like:
Crunchyroll isn’t that bad, yes the ads are annoying, but when you finish a series the site will recommend other anime series from what other people have watched after, so it makes finding anime to watch a lot easier. You can’t watch anime in HD (bleh) but if you don’t care for high quality then it’s not too bad. (I’m not being paid by Crunchyroll, by the way, I just know it’s a legal anime streaming site).
So what can you do? If you can afford to pay for premium (which I would recommend) and if Crunchyroll doesn’t have the anime you want, then feel free to watch it via other means (Crunchyroll are still getting money either way). Then when that anime gets a box set release in your country you can buy it.
If you don’t have money, just make sure to view ads on Crunchyroll (if you can’t stand watching I crappy quality) whenever you watch anime elsewhere. If you don’t mind crappy quality, then just use Crunchyroll, and if they don’t have the anime you want or they’re making you wait a week for the next episode that has already aired, then just make sure you view a few ads.
Do you think illegal streaming is bad? Leave a comment below!