Unfortunately for western anime fans, it can be hard to track down fresh episodes of non-mainstream series.
While shows like Attack on Titan and My Hero Academia are available on common streaming services, there are dozens of lesser-known series and films that have yet to seize popular attention. Without adding more expensive streaming services to users’ already stacked lists, there aren’t many options. Anime rarely airs on regular television, and its existence on most commonly used streaming services is rather bare and sometimes scattered.
Anime fans have found a solution to this issue in the form of AniMixPlay, an anime-streaming site that offers up a massive selection of anime at no cost. The free streaming service is all the rage among anime fans, but it’s also sparking concern. Many users feel the service can’t be legal, given its free status, and have concerns about viruses and malware. The site may be convenient, but is it safe to use?
Is AniMixPlay safe?
AniMixPlay functions like most any other video-sharing website. It offers up a huge swath of animated content, organized and searchable based on a number of criteria like popularity, genre, and whether or not it’s been dubbed.
It differs from sites like Netflix or even TikTok in its approach in that AniMixPlay does not host the majority of the videos it offers up, instead providing a directory of content that is hosted on other sites. This doesn’t mean that selecting a stream will lead to a redirect, however — each of the videos on AniMixPlay can be enjoyed then and there, embedded on the site itself. It is simply notable that the site isn’t downloading illegal videos to list on its site, instead embedding links — usually more than one, in case issues arise — through which users can enjoy their favorite anime content. Tech With Tech describes the site as the “middleman that connects to the real video host.”
This approach allows the company to offer up a massive amount of anime, for free, without the constant distraction of ads — though ads are connected to its videos. It also sparks major concern in some of the site’s users, who feel the whole process can’t possibly be legal.
Is AniMixPlay legal?
If the content on AniMixPlay is being hosted without permission, it not only introduces a host of potential legal issues — primarily for the site, but occasionally for users — but also leeches income from the creators behind these beloved works. Fans of specific series and creators likely don’t want to damage their income potential, even if the trade-off is convenient, free content.
The potential for actual legal issues on the streamer’s part is relatively slim, but that doesn’t mean a person using an illegal site couldn’t face fines or other legal pushback. It’s difficult to tell if the anime on AniMixPlay is legally sourced — particularly given the site’s free status — but chances seem good that at least some of the content hosted on the site wasn’t obtained with the permission of the creator.
That being said, most users are unlikely to face any major consequences for using the site. The site itself could easily have its days numbered if it is truly using illegal methods to obtain its content, but the people that flock to the site to watch its anime shouldn’t face many major hurdles, other than fines. Those fines could reach into the hundreds, however, so users considering AniMixPlay should carefully consider before they start streaming. While browsing the selection is entirely legal, the moment you click play, you could be in trouble.
Then there’s the issue of malware or identity theft. Shady sites are known to be unsafe for your computer, downloading viruses and malware onto your device or leeching information. This doesn’t appear to be the case with AniMixPlay or its ads, based on users who have frequented the site so far. It’s been popular for a while now, and history says the site is overall free and clear when it comes to viruses, malware, and identity theft, according to Tech With Tech. The site notes that no information is required to use the site — a major factor in most attempts at online identity theft — and thus far, no reports claim that malware is an issue among users.
Overall, it appears that AniMixPlay is a safe and generally favorable option for anime fans. Use of the site is unlikely to yield any returns for the creators behind the series — a factor that users should certainly consider — but the major concerns of safety appear to be unfounded. Your favorite creators will certainly thank you for saving up and making a legal purchase of their anime offerings, but an alternative is always nice. While the site’s free status and overall wealth of options do seem suspicious, it seems that AniMixPlay is in the clear.