Pinoy TV # 1: Demise of Anime

During the long holidays I was busy being a couch kamote. In between cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner for ordinary days I was watching TV. I appreciate the renovation of the old government channel, RPN 9, turning it into Solar TV, although only a few programs were added, almost all these programs were replays, and the only Filipino program left was the news. I missed Solar channel on Destiny cable when I still had access, and there wasn’t Lifestyle channel on VHF TV. Watching Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and sneaking a little Ellen was usual fare.

Still, I did not forget the staples. Our family was a Kapuso one since Eat Bulaga changed channels from 2 to 7. What can I say, my mother owns the set on afternoons. Plus the fact that when we moved to another house with very blurred reception of ABS-CBN, we resigned ourselves from watching other channels (aside from the defunct ABC5 whose broadcast site was near to us). Anyway, Kuya Germs and Co. were Kapuso. I missed Dolphy alone.

Then my brother came of age enough to appreciate anime, at the tender age of 3. As a family we learned not to underestimate the crying power of a toddler. We introduced the tyke to cartoons; and soon he grew to appreciate also the bug-eyed kawaii Japanese types which at that time was a fad on the networks. Soon we arranged our routine to fit around the anime. Well, we chose to adapt than be strict about it. Papa went to work on alternate shifts, cooking in a place 2 hours away from home; Mama was always tired looking after the house and me and my sister were always studying. I was home only on weekends then. (He didn’t grow up to be spoiled though, we saw to that.)

Back then anime really was a booming business. Nobody cared if Dragonball Z, Slam Dunk and Yu Yu Hakusho were on screen for the nth time. Networks even dared put Sorcerer Hunters and Fushigi Yuugi on primetime.

Nowadays, despite GMA7’s effort to seemingly resurrect the We Are Anime days, I think it won’t be as effective. Let’s see… what have they done? Returned Dragonball GT (the worst of the series), Knock/Hajime no Ippo (squeezing two episodes in a 30 minute show by cutting “unnecessary scenes”), same was done with Hunter X Hunter and . I decided to write  this piece when I watched the Kapuso kids on SOP give a presentation on the return of anime to the channel. Frankly, I didn’t know what they were supposed to be. There were a couple of girls dressed in sailor suits (Sailormoon isn’t released by GMA), boys and who seems to be Chariz Solomon in blue, yellow and red karate suits (definitely not Dragonball) aping fireballs (Mario perhaps?) and a gang of boys dressed in Japanese high school uniforms (Ghost Fighter perhaps?). They were all dancing to a dance tune I couldn’t tie to any anime I know. It sounded French. And the whole thing seemed so half-baked.

A plea to all networks: Please love your audience.

Like what TV5 is doing right now. Relatively new anime: Yamato Nadeshiko, Code Geass (at first I dismissed this as another hentai fodder but the story sucked me in like the first time I got hooked on Gundam Wing. I’m a sucker for stories.), Coyote Ragtime Show and Shakugan no Shana. For a brief while they brought back Ranma 1/2, although I feel the whole show violates the Catholic conservative atmosphere of that network. They have their own standbys on Nickelodeon, and they kept them too. Spongebob’s Birthday Bop is a work of marketing genius. No better way of broadcasting and giving love to fans.

If only they could release OAV’s in 5Max Movies…


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