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Jan 24, 8:50 PM
#1

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Jun 2017
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So, a lot of you guys must be wondering how I prefer to watch older anime with 4:3 aspect ratio on my 16:9 monitor. Fret no more, I'm going to tell you.
I just let the player fill that with black space. I used to think that was the only possible solution, but from what I've read here and there apparently some people have other preferences. Weird, but after all this is the anime community. So I thought I'd make a poll to see what other options people use.
If you know of other possibilities, post them below and I'll try to add them to the poll.

To make things clear, here is what each option looks like:


Black bars on each side:




Crop top and bottom:




Stretch sideways:




Blurred version of the video:




Background image:




4:3 monitor:




Don't watch 4:3 anime:

TirinchasJan 24, 9:26 PM

Jan 24, 8:53 PM
#2

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Sep 2020
3814
I just watch in its original form, and leave two black bars on each side of the screen.
Jan 24, 9:05 PM
#3

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Jun 2020
39
I just leave the bars there. Everything else imo detracts from the experience or is too distracting.
pretty sure Netflix used to stretch old Naruto episodes for a while and I hated it. always looked weird to me.
hey
Jan 24, 9:12 PM
#4

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Dec 2021
592
I like leaving the black bars on the side. I think it makes watching the anime feel more cozy and nostalgic. It gives it a lot of character.

Admittedly, I have formatted 16:9 anime into 4:3 in the past, just because I think it looks cool xD I only did that, like, twice though.

I'd never watch it cropped because there might little details that could be cropped out. To use a non-anime example, I remember a couple of years ago when old 4:3 episodes of The Simpsons were cropped and transferred onto Disney+, a lot of people complained about how some jokes or sight-gags couldn't be seen or understood due to the cropping which sort of ruined the experience.
SaiteiDaOretteJan 24, 9:36 PM
Jan 24, 9:20 PM
#5

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Mar 2021
1284
To correct you here it's actually 4:3 not 3:4.

The 4:3 aspect ratio denotes the width to height of the picture being 4 units wide by 3 units tall.

I personally just leave the picture alone the way it's intended to be viewed. In all respect watching Anime that is by default produced in 4:3 is actually showing a greater amount of picture info than that of 16:9. 

Someone once did a comparison between the wide screen release of "Project A-ko" vs it's original released version back in the early 2000s and found that wide screen actually eliminates a little less than one quarter of picture. This is disregarding the fact that the picture is cropped for wide screen as well. Meaning you are gathering more info from a picture in 4:3 than that of 16:9. 
ColourWheelJan 24, 9:25 PM
Jan 24, 9:24 PM
#6

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Jun 2017
2170
ColourWheel said:
To correct you here it's actually 4:3 not 3:4.

You're right of course. Fixed. Thanks.

Jan 24, 10:09 PM
#7

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Aug 2018
6795
old anime already tends to look grainy, stretching only makes it look even worse. And I dunno how anyone tolerates background images when they're playing retro 4:3 format games. didnt even know it was an option for tv/movies.

black bars are the only way to go. easy to ignore.
Jan 24, 10:17 PM
#8

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Dec 2016
5862
I watch them just the way they are intended to be watched on a 16:9 screen: with the black bars at both sides.

I'll never get those who prefer to watch cropped or stretched versions just for the sake of getting rid of those bars. With the former you lose content (sometimes even quite relevant) and with the latter you lose quality. And I don't see how any of those cases would be preferable over the original presentation.
Jan 24, 10:18 PM
#9

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Jun 2019
1131
In all honesty I never really notice aspect ratios. 
Jan 24, 10:20 PM

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Feb 2021
4163
I watch them in original resolution.
Jan 25, 12:53 AM

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Oct 2010
18217
implying that irl doesn't have black bars on the sides and up and down
if I watch anime at night, there's black everywhere
Jan 25, 12:56 AM

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Feb 2020
17266
I leave black bars on each side. (your vote)
Jan 25, 1:00 AM

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May 2019
2261
I leave the black bars on each sides.
Jan 25, 1:02 AM

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Oct 2021
140
Preferably I usually stretch the img sideways but most of the times I don't bother It's too unessary I think.
CountingCrowsJan 25, 1:05 AM
Jan 25, 1:09 AM
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Jan 2023
1
Yeah I just watch those with black bars on the side as well. I never even considered the other options before.

Jan 25, 1:10 AM

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Mar 2021
780
Just leave some black bars on both sides
Did you really think that I'd forget, And regret
The special love I have for you, My baby blue.

Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things.
And no good thing ever dies!

Jan 25, 1:20 AM

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May 2019
1192
You could also add the option to play it on windows mode since it will automatically play on 4:3 resolution then you could adjust the size of the window too.
                                                                                                

Jan 25, 1:31 AM

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Apr 2021
4
Been a while since I watched a title that was in 4:3 but i guess leaving the res in original format is a go-to for me 
Jan 25, 1:43 AM

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Aug 2022
374
You can stretch the images sideway?!

Someone needs to tell me how to do that?best mal suggestion ever - https://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=2047945
Jan 25, 1:56 AM

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Nov 2022
5
black bars, its how it was meant to be watched, everything else kinda feels like, wrong to me?
i might just be being weird but, id rather have an authentic 4:3 "this is the show" experience, then try random things that could detract from the shows experience.
Jan 25, 2:18 AM

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Jul 2021
3157
i leave black bars on the side and watch.

i actually do have an old tv at home it's like 20 years old box tv and a month ago when i was watching NGE i really wanted to watch it on that tv but i had no way of connecting my laptop to the tv as tv those days didn't have hdmi ports or anything, they had seperate video and audio ports or something and i couldn't do anything about it so i just finished watching NGE on my laptop. i will probably try setting up the tv this summer and rewatch NGE on it if possible.
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Jan 25, 2:21 AM

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Aug 2021
10150
I leave black bars on each side, I suppose.


And I just wanted you to know
That this is me trying
(And maybe I don't quite know what to say)
I just wanted you to know
That this is me trying
At least I'm trying
Jan 25, 2:39 AM

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Catalano said:
implying that irl doesn't have black bars on the sides and up and down
if I watch anime at night, there's black everywhere
mind blown to smithereens well played
Anime fans




Jan 25, 12:20 PM

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Jun 2007
3629
It's heartening to see "keeping the original content as intended" leading so decisively. Though I wonder if there's some selection bias at work, i.e. the population that dislikes 4:3 enough to distort/crop it probably prefers newer content isn't choosing to watch 4:3 shows at all. But I certainly don't remember any "how do I make this 16:9 show fill all of my 4:3 monitor?" sentiment back in the mid-00s when 4:3 screens were more common.

In addition to watching 4:3 anime pillarboxed on 16:9 displays, I do have a 4:3 TV as well. Though I don't use it for anime, because the tray on my 20-year-old DVD player / home theater receiver has stopped opening (again), and its remote control is rather questionable. And I don't have a way to connect my Blu-Ray player to the old TV, which I keep around for retro game consoles.

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Jan 25, 12:28 PM

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Jan 2021
3395
Damn I wish I had that background. Anyways I always leave the sides black just the way they are.
If you enjoyed the time you wasted, then its not a waste of time.

Jan 25, 1:20 PM
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Nov 2019
339
Tirinchas said:
So, a lot of you guys must be wondering how I prefer to watch older anime
To be honest, no not really. ^^ °~° 
Jan 25, 1:56 PM

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Jan 2023
45
Leave the black bars on each side stretching makes it look weird.
Jan 25, 1:56 PM

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Mar 2021
276
My iPad screen is a 4:3 ratio but otherwise I would just leave the black bars on each side 
Jan 25, 2:04 PM

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Jun 2017
2170
Zalis said:
It's heartening to see "keeping the original content as intended" leading so decisively.

While I agree, it's nice to see some people have the guts to admit that they prefer other options. Don't get me wrong, I still despise them and think they deserve to burn in anime hell, but it's nice.

On a side note, I wonder how many people watch stretched/cropped without realizing.

Yveltal1612 said:
Tirinchas said:
So, a lot of you guys must be wondering how I prefer to watch older anime
To be honest, no not really. ^^ °~° 

You meanie.

Thanks everyone for your replies. FYI, the True Chad's option was this:


Jan 25, 2:04 PM

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Jan 2023
110
gotta leave those black bars it just makes everything feel more nostalgic
Jan 25, 2:05 PM

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Jul 2015
423
Why in the world are you cropping and stretching anime
Anyone who does this is insane
Jan 25, 2:06 PM

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Mar 2022
5254
I leave black bars on each side...
I grew up watching anime in 4:3 ratio in the mid to late 90s so it's kind of nostalgic and reminds me of happier times when the government didn't wanna kill us as the global population was half of what it's today..
Apparently, I've discovered that I can take these yawn filled days & turn them into movies..
Starry skies at night are beautiful but I wish it would rain and cleanse this shitty world...
Jan 25, 2:07 PM

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May 2018
8667
How about compromising with 14:9 aspect ratio? It still has visible black bars and crops a bit from the top and the bottom.
I don't use this on my monitor, but sometimes I use it on my TV and it's a decent compromise for live action, not for animation tho.
Jan 25, 2:14 PM

Online
Jun 2016
10681
4:3 is one of God's preferred aspect ratios (along with 1.85:1) so it shouldn't be messed with.
Pillarboxing (and letterboxing) is the only method that preserve the perfection of 4:3 (and 1.85:1) on a 16:9 display.
MEA·MENTVLA·INGENS·EST
Jan 25, 3:16 PM

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Mar 2021
1284
Tirinchas said:
Zalis said:
It's heartening to see "keeping the original content as intended" leading so decisively.

While I agree, it's nice to see some people have the guts to admit that they prefer other options. Don't get me wrong, I still despise them and think they deserve to burn in anime hell, but it's nice.

On a side note, I wonder how many people watch stretched/cropped without realizing.

Yveltal1612 said:
To be honest, no not really. ^^ °~° 

You meanie.

Thanks everyone for your replies. FYI, the True Chad's option was this:


One thing that is sad is there are a few Anime titles out there that likely originally aired in 4:3 like "Marriage of God & Soul Godannar!!" in early 2000s that once it was released on physical discs they got cropped to fit wide screen with only a 16:9 aspect release.

I was in Japan in late 2003 and actually watched a few episodes of "Marriage of God & Soul Godannar!!" air on KBS in it's original 4:3 aspect cut. A few years later when it was released on physical disc I noticed the picture was cropped and it always looked zoomed in just to fit a wide screen TV (one reason why I never finished watching it). Not sure why they decided to do this but seems the original 4:3 cut of the TV show has been lost in history because it simply was never officially released (I should know because I tried to hunt down the series in 4:3 only to find there was never a 4:3 aspect official physical release in either the Japan or even anywhere else in the world). Even when the show got licensed for over seas distribution it was still cropped at 16:9. On the internet in the west there is no mention of "Marriage of God & Soul Godannar!!" airing in 4:3 because no one in the west ever experienced it before. 
ColourWheelJan 25, 3:28 PM
Jan 26, 6:04 AM

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May 2021
1065
Leave black bars on each. The best solution is to have a 4:3 monitor because other options are terrible for me.

1. I crop the top and bottom of the image: Didn't get the full screen -> no full experience -> never even crossed my mind -> why ppl wanna do that in the 1st place

2. I stretch the image sideways. - Fat characters even though they are not -> again, why would anyone?

3. I fill the space with a blurred version of the video. - a hindrance to my vision

4. I put a background image I like. - even more of a hindrance

๐‘‡๐ผ๐‘ƒ๐‘† ๐ผ๐‘ ๐บ๐ผ๐‘๐‘‡๐ด๐‘€๐ด
- NOT your usual shounen anime
- Pure comedy? DEAD WRONG
- Treat Gintama as SoL/weekly sitcom especially earlier seasons
- Note that ep 1 & 2 are special episodes
- BIG patience for its slow start
Jan 26, 6:41 PM

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I don't know how to put a background image on it or stretch it, so I just leave the black bars on each side.



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Anime List | Forum Set
Jan 26, 7:21 PM
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Dec 2012
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I'm a grown man who can handle black bars.
Jan 26, 11:41 PM

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Jul 2016
482
I just watch them with the black bars.

Cropping and stretching the images just looks disgusting, I don't own a 4:3 monitor, and I've yet to find an anime watching site with those other options available.

I don't particularly like the black bars, mind you, but it is what it is.
Jan 27, 12:43 AM

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Aug 2022
374
CountingCrows said:
Preferably I usually stretch the img sideways but most of the times I don't bother It's too unessary I think.
can you tell me how to stretch the anime sideways??best mal suggestion ever - https://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=2047945
Jan 27, 12:56 AM

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Oct 2021
140
SouthernmostIsle said:
CountingCrows said:
Preferably I usually stretch the img sideways but most of the times I don't bother It's too unessary I think.
can you tell me how to stretch the anime sideways??best mal suggestion ever - https://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=2047945
Usually in mordern T.Vs you can change the aspect ratio from the display setting
Jan 27, 1:01 AM

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Sep 2018
3606
The first answer is the correct answer. I have been doing that since I had a 16:9 SD TV.

Stretching makes it look really ugly and warped.
Jan 27, 8:16 AM

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Aug 2022
374
CountingCrows said:
SouthernmostIsle said:
can you tell me how to stretch the anime sideways??best mal suggestion ever - https://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=2047945
Usually in mordern T.Vs you can change the aspect ratio from the display setting
what about an android tablet?best mal suggestion ever - https://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=2047945
Jan 27, 8:17 AM

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Oct 2017
1077
I prefer to watch it on my CRT TV via DVDs on my PS2. For some anime like Sailor Moon, Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Monsters, Dragon Ball up to GT, Pokémon up to DP126 (first episode in Widescreen for the dubbed version) they all look really good in this method. However sometimes a series may not look that good on the CRT display like One Piece where the lines start to get some extreme rainbowing on the edges due to how many thin lines are used in the artwork. Also sometimes I will watch a series via a Blu Ray instead if the color correction is just night and day better than the DVD, so I would have to watch those on a 16:9 TV with the bars on the side. Also FOR SOME STUPID FUCKING REASON, most of the Dragon Ball Z DVDs and Blu Rays are cropped and it fucking pisses me off.  Overall though CRT Monitor is the way to go for me, and it looks especially nice for early digital anime since it was rendered in that resolution so it looks less blurry or smeary than when watching it on a HD display in SD  or via an upscaled version (like the Bleach Blu Rays)
This shitty post was brought to you by me Chloe a fucking idiot who does nerdy shit online and wastes her fucking life.
Jan 29, 12:18 PM

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140
SouthernmostIsle said:
CountingCrows said:
Usually in mordern T.Vs you can change the aspect ratio from the display setting
what about an android tablet?best mal suggestion ever - https://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=2047945
I don't think there is much of an option though I can't say for sure since I don't watch any entertainment media (eg. Western media or anime) on tablet or phone. SORRY I don't think I can help you how 'bout asking someone more qualified.
CountingCrowsJan 29, 12:25 PM
Jan 29, 3:30 PM

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Jun 2007
3629
LSSJ_Gaming said:
Also FOR SOME STUPID FUCKING REASON, most of the Dragon Ball Z DVDs and Blu Rays are cropped and it fucking pisses me off. 


As I understand it, Funimation has always treated DBZ as a "mainstream/casual" title for mass-market audiences, instead of one for hardcore anime fans. So in order to cater to that audience, who're more likely to whine about "this show doesn't fit my screen!," they did the "Orange Brick" DVDs cropped to 16:9. Funi did release the limited-run "Dragon Box" DVDs in 4:3, and started doing the well-regarded "Level Sets" BDs in 4:3 (with good amounts of film grain and generally faithful presentation), but abandoned them when the sales didn't live up to the expense/effort invested into them, and went with 16:9 cropped / degrained Blu-Rays instead.

I don't agree with the decisions to crop DBZ either, but they had their business-related reasons for doing so.

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Jan 29, 4:45 PM

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Zalis said:
LSSJ_Gaming said:
Also FOR SOME STUPID FUCKING REASON, most of the Dragon Ball Z DVDs and Blu Rays are cropped and it fucking pisses me off. 


As I understand it, Funimation has always treated DBZ as a "mainstream/casual" title for mass-market audiences, instead of one for hardcore anime fans. So in order to cater to that audience, who're more likely to whine about "this show doesn't fit my screen!," they did the "Orange Brick" DVDs cropped to 16:9.  Funi did release the limited-run "Dragon Box" DVDs in 4:3, and started doing the well-regarded "Level Sets" BDs in 4:3 (with good amounts of film grain and generally faithful presentation), but abandoned them when the sales didn't live up to the expense/effort invested into them, and went with 16:9 cropped / degrained Blu-Rays instead.

I don't agree with the decisions to crop DBZ either, but they had their business-related reasons for doing so.


If you were lucky enough to get your hands on this box set when it was released I think it's the full DBZ series untouched by cropping. I personally don't own this DVD box set but had a friend who bought it back in the day when no one really gave a damn about what type of Anime anyone was into or not. Simply just knowing people who watched Anime in the west period was still cool enough.


ColourWheelJan 29, 5:31 PM
Jan 29, 5:30 PM

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May 2020
525
With black sides. I don't see anyhow you can change the screen size unless you download eps or watch with an old TV but I never do

Tirinchas said:
Background image:

Btw good background image you have there, good taste ๐Ÿ‘Œ




MAL is the perfect place to s**t talk about people's opinions.
Jan 29, 5:40 PM

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Mar 2021
1284
Joshhhp said:
With black sides. I don't see anyhow you can change the screen size unless you download eps or watch with an old TV but I never do
Even modern HDTVs and smart TVs these days you can manually adjust the aspect ratio. Every HDTV I own in my house has the option in the TV settings to change the display. The oldest HDTV I own is a Sony 65" with a Bravia Engine in my living room. The newest TV I own is 32" Hisense smart TV I have in my kitchen. Basically every TV in my house has the feature to adjust ratio aspect from zoomed to standard viewing.
Jan 29, 5:44 PM

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Dec 2014
19027
I just watch with the black bars on the screen no problem.



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