Introducing The Free Anime Watching Site:

Introducing The Free Anime Watching Site:

Written by Kenneth Sawyer, In Streaming, Published On
February 17, 2024

In Shorts:

  • Legal issues forced Zoro to close in July 2023. Instead of Zoro, viewers go to the new AniWatch site.
  • The update was needed owing to copyright infringement, domain seizures, and legal concerns.
  • AniWatch’s developers promise regular, high-quality updates and feature maintenance.
  • Some consider AniWatch as extending Zoro’s legacy, while others worry about piracy’s moral and legal ramifications.

Zoro was an anime fan’s fantasy come true. With over 200 million monthly hits, it is one of the biggest pirate streaming sites in the world and provides limitless access to all the newest and greatest series. However, in mid-2023, narrative took an unexpected turn when the website vanished, sending users to the new domain AniWatch. A lot of doubts remained for the anime community after this abrupt change. What caused Zoro. to close? Is AniWatch a brand-new platform or a rebranded version of the notorious website? What does this alteration signify for free anime streaming in the future?

This article will uncover the details behind Zoro’s disappearance and rebranding saga. We’ll explore the site’s meteoric rise as an illegal streaming giant, the DMCA takedowns that threatened its future, the practical impacts of the move to AniWatch, and what it all means for anime fans relying on free access. So, for those wondering “what happened to Zoro. to?”, read on for the inside scoop.

The Rise of Zoro. to as a Top Anime Site

Zoro. to

Zoro. First emerged in the early 2010s as a new player in the anime piracy scene.

But it rapidly gained extreme popularity thanks to:

  1. Colossal Library: Offered simulcasts shortly after Japanese release plus a vast back-catalogue
  2. Complimentary Access: Available for free without login compared to legal sites’ subscriptions
  3. Streamlined UI: Simple and visually appealing site design for quickly watching shows
  4. Minimal Ads: Unintrusive ads to support operations without disrupting viewing
  5. Vibrant Community: Passionate forums and comment sections around anime

As the site grew into a central hub for millions of engaged anime fans globally, it also gained attention from studios and publishers whose content was being pirated. By 2021, Zoro was fielding increasing DMCA takedown requests and facing growing legal threats. But the site marched on, propelled by massive traffic and a loyal user base dependent on its free, readily available anime library.

DMCA Takedowns and Legal Troubles

Given that Zoro. Its position was always precarious, and I legally distributed vast amounts of copyrighted content without permission. But things took a turn in mid-2023 when mounting DMCA threats seemed to catch up with the pirate site. Industry observers noticed in July that Zoro’s domain started redirecting to a new URL – signalling its disappearance in the face of growing copyright issues. Sites like Zoro rely on changing domains and maintaining uptime to stay afloat. However, each DMCA notification and attempt to delist the site’s URL eroded the operational feasibility. After years of skirting legal consequences, the site owners migrated rather than risk further escalating lawsuits. While details are uncertain, the transition to “AniWatch” suggests a last-minute rebranding play amidst intensifying crackdown efforts.

Transition from to AniWatch

When Zoro. to visitors attempted to access the site in July 2023, they were abruptly redirected to AniWatch. – indicating an overnight rebranding. The new site features the anime content library Zoro built over the years but with a different name, web interface, and colour theme. This rebrand allows the same free streaming offerings without the legal baggage attached to the “Zoro” name. AniWatch’s website design closely mirrors its predecessor but with a beige palette replacing Zoro’s iconic green. Impressively, user login credentials and histories also made the transition. The new site owners communicated that Zoro had to change domains because of hosting licensed content. However, critics argue that AniWatch equally illegally streams copyrighted shows without permission. Regardless of ethical implications, the rebranding enabled core operations to continue relatively smoothly rather than go offline.

AniWatch – The Rebirth of Zoro. to

Zoro. to

AniWatch works to distance itself publicly from Zoro’s piracy legacy, but the technical details tell a different story. In reality, it is Zoro repackaged under a new name. The site is likely hosted on the same servers and controlled by overlapping owners. User data like watch histories seamlessly carried over from Zoro, further confirming it as essentially the same service with superficial changes:

  • Same Content Library: Offers an identical catalogue of streamed anime series as Zoro minus the name
  • Matching Credentials: User logins work across both sites, signalling linked databases
  • Continued Community: AniWatch retains Zoro’s discussion forums and comments

Website source code analysis indicates AniWatch runs on Zoro’s original codebase. So fundamentally, the two sites utilise identical streaming technology despite AniWatch’s fresh coat of paint. The rebranding conveniently dissociates from copyright issues plaguing the Zoro brand. But AniWatch ultimately perpetuates the same unauthorised anime distribution that got Zoro in legal trouble.

Practical Impacts of the Transition

Zoro. to

For visitors discovering Zoro had vanished, AniWatch prevented losing access to its massive libraries. But transition growing pains caused temporary technical headaches. Broken bookmark links were unavoidable due to the different domains. Some browsers, ad blockers, and streaming servers initially failed to support AniWatch while updates rolled out.

Despite inevitable hiccups from the brand switch, AniWatch focused on preventing significant streaming disruption. Quick software patches resolved compatibility issues for a relatively smooth continuation. However, AniWatch inherited the same exposure as Zoro, operating via content piracy at scale from legal and ethical standpoints. So, while streaming functionally persists, future copyright crackdowns could threaten AniWatch just like its predecessor.

Alternatives to Zoro

Considering AniWatch’s questionable legal status as an unofficial streaming site, many anime fans avoid the risks entirely by using licensed platforms like:



OtakuStream is one of the most excellent Aniwatch alternatives for streaming the latest anime section-by-section. You may choose Light/Dark for day and night. Besides having the most incredible layout and user experience, OtakuStream features no adverts on its home page and lets users join up with Facebook and Twitter. It also has a search box for your favourite anime. Due to its excellent UI and UX, this site receives 15 million monthly visitors from the US, UK, Canada, and Germany. Consider Animesuge alternatives.



Kiss Anime is a top Aniwatch alternative and anime streaming service. You may watch your favourite anime online without downloading it. This service provides several genres, and you may view them without registering. Other than that, such websites provide animations and films from 240p to 1080p. Kiss Anime was recently announced, and fresh anime displays are on the site for faster thoughts. Additionally, consider NarutoSpot options.



This is the finest source for dubbed anime. 9anime offers the best HD anime online. Register on this site and view your favourite anime/cartoons without ads. Consider Anilinkz alternatives.



AnimeFreak, which organises and sorts recent programs, is Aniwatch’s most significant benefit. AnimeFreak has several filters to refine your search. Simply “Register” on stage to watch the anime presentations. One of the most popular Aniwatch alternatives, AnimeFreak, lets you watch without registering. Wow, awesome! After starting a series, you may follow it to avoid missing any episodes. Consider Soul Anime alternatives.



Extra features from Anime-Planet make a list that is better and more diverse. The website offers a basic UI and rapid categories to find what you need quickly. You may also build a watch list and start streaming when ready. Despite more material, people want to filter out to see everything in one location, and they do. The site’s review platform for every show you watch is intriguing. Please give your feedback on what you’re seeing so they can improve. Consider Nanime alternatives.

The Future of Free Anime Streaming

  • AniWatch’s attempt at continuing Zoro’s mission of free anime for all highlights increasing crackdowns on piracy’s stranglehold – but significant hurdles remain curtailing illegal distribution at scale.
  • Streaming platforms leverage site blocking, threats, and domain seizures focused on making pirating inefficient. However, pirate sites often skirt consequences by hopping from server to server or rebranding under new names, as Zoro did here.
  • Legal pressure can slow down but won’t eliminate unofficial platforms potentially reincarnating in other forms.
  • The appetite from anime fans globally without streaming access or being unable to afford memberships also perpetuates the appeal of piracy.
  • Until accessible paid legal options exist across all markets, illegal distribution Fills gaps in meeting viewer demand. So, ultimately, the path forward relies on making legal streaming pervasive and affordable.

How do you watch movies safely from websites like Zoro?

  • Choose a VPN: Use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your online traffic and mask your IP address. This prevents hackers and snoops from eavesdropping on your web browsing activities. An excellent virtual private network (VPN) for anime streaming would not keep logs, has fast connections, and optimised servers for anime streaming.
  • Put in place an ad blocker: Zoro and other websites are flooded with invasive advertisements, some of which may be malicious. While you watch your favourite shows, an ad blocker keeps you safe and eliminates advertisements. Popular choices include AdGuard and uBlock Origin.
  • Check the site’s reputation: Before using any free streaming site, research to see if other users report it as safe and legitimate. Zoro has been around for years with no significant complaints, but new sites can be shady. Check anime forums and social sites to see what the community says.
  • Turn off auto-play: Auto-playing videos seem convenient but can hide unwanted content. Disable auto-play in your browser settings to avoid inadvertently triggering ads or questionable videos. This gives you complete control over when videos load.
  • Use antivirus software: Free streaming sites get a bad rap for malware issues. Running a robust antivirus program gives an extra layer of protection in case you accidentally download anything suspicious. Malwarebytes and Bitdefender are some of the top options.
  • Avoid clicking pop-ups/ads: The ads and pop-ups on these sites often lead to malicious sites or downloads. Never click them. Hover over any link to preview the URL before clicking to confirm it’s legitimate.
  • Use an ad-blocking browser: Specialty browsers like Epic Privacy Browser block ads, tracking scripts, crypto-mining malware, and more by default. It’s a pre-configured, security-focused browser tailored for sites like Zoro.

Note: Sites like Zoro inhabit a legal grey area. While it is convenient to watch anime for free, accessing unlicensed content raises piracy concerns. Proceeding with caution helps reduce risks as you explore alternative viewing options. As always, streaming content legally through official publisher platforms is the best way to support the anime industry.

Is it allowed?

Not at all. The website makes use of content that is protected by copyright without the owner’s permission. Though it may seem nice to watch anime for free, you should remember that many individuals work on these projects to gain money. Please be aware that these sorts of websites are illegal. Watching your favourite animes on official and original channels is the best option.


Zoro shocking disappearance in 2023 rocked the massive anime streaming piracy sector it dominated for so long. However, the site operators cunningly executed a last-minute rebranding as AniWatch to buy an additional runway. The new site retains Zoro’s libraries, ensuring minimal disruption for the over 200 million monthly visitors. However, simply transitioning underlying technology facilitating unlicensed distribution cannot protect against indefinite copyright crackdowns.

This latest game of cat and mouse highlights challenges in stamping out illegal streaming. But the resilience of sites like AniWatch also needs to be improved in viable paid alternatives for some anime fans globally. Ultimately, this saga reinforces broader needs to continue targeting distribution infrastructures while also improving accessible content ecosystems participants have no need to circumvent. So, while AniWatch lives on for now, the tireless game of legal whack-a-mole continues against unofficial platforms that are failing to build a legitimate streaming future that rights all stakeholders.


  1. What became of Zoro? ‘s millions of anime videos?

Zoro will no longer host the anime content formerly accessible on the website. If you want to watch your favourite anime series online, you’re advised to look into alternate platforms or legal streaming sites.

  1. Is it permissible to watch anime on Zoro?

One of the biggest pirate websites in the world for streaming and viewing anime was Zoro. Because of the platform’s design, downloading copyrighted anime content for free might raise legal concerns. To assist the industry and creators, anime fans should investigate authorised and lawful outlets.

  1. Will Aniwatch continue to assist the server that once housed Zoro. To?

Yes, the server that housed Zoro has been taken up by the new crew behind AniWatch. All anime fans who used to visit Zoro are now totally accountable for the upkeep and support of the server, ensuring uninterrupted anime streaming.

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