A late greeting to everyone reading today: Happy New Year! Yes, I do hope you had a really happy new year, and I also do hope that you’re catching up on the my dispatches.

I must admit, I’m getting the hang of writing again after a long time out of the saddle. Backlogs really killed the hell out of me, but now, with a sense of purpose (charing!) and a new style of writing, I guess I’m now ready to tell you more stories this 2016, whether from the event floor, the field, outside the Metro or outside the country.

But in order to write one, we have to expect (or guess) one, and this is where I put on my “Pundit’s Hat”, where I am going to analyze and perhaps make a prediction or two about what will happen this year in the Philippine anime community.

This is going to be a forecast of what to expect in the TV, Online and Events scene this year. And boy, I’m already saying, we’re in for a great year this 2016.


2016 in Local TV: Not Dead Yet

Critics are already saying that anime is dead on local TV, but my pundit’s hat tells me the opposite. Just look at how GMA is going to celebrate their 66th year as a company, with Yo-Kai Watch and the re-dubbed Voltes V and Daimos in the horizon. That is, if they actually air it this year. Some of us still remember the notorious case of Idaten Jump back in 2010.

That is to say that we’re not even expecting what ABS-CBN has to offer as well. Since the network has fully “integrated” their Acquisitions department to include cable (which we will talk about later), expect a barrage of crossover titles that will air on the flagship network (and its HD simulcast, albeit up-converted but we’re praying for its current titles to air in Native HD 1080i) and its DTT counterpart, Yey!

Sports will still be on ABS-CBN‘s agenda, as it has yet to air Kuroko‘s third season (possibly as a replacement for Kuroko‘s second season which airs on Sunday mornings and is currently the only anime show on the network), Haikyuu (which has been aired but had to be cancelled again!), Yowamushi Pedal and Free! (both of these titles are in the ABS-CBN Bida Best Kid promo presentation that Anime Pilipinas previously uncovered, but has since aired on Hero). But we’re also not discounting the possibility of airing a mecha show just to make it more action-packed. Hey, why don’t you try airing Captain Earth in 1080 HD?

TV5, meanwhile, went from down, to up, to down again. After airing Sword Art Online, which trended on Social Media even for just an hour, and tried to revive the AniMEGA block, suddenly TV5 is now in the doldrums again. Will a landmark partnership with Viva Entertainment finally get a shot in the arm for the network and help them in their quest to regain Anime supremacy?

For DTT’s Yey!, we can’t blame ABS-CBN for the current direction of the channel right now because it is still on “test broadcast” phase and therefore can’t even get past the commercial stage until possibly 2017, when the DTT switchover is in full effect. But Yey! must adapt a schedule that will separate the kids fare to the anime fare, because right now, Yey’s schedule is a confusing mishmash of elements from kids shows, to old ABS-CBN shows, to anime and even old movies that are “kid friendly”.

Seriously,  Yey, like your parent network ABS-CBN, you need to get a life.


2016 in Cable TV: Sense of Hope

For people who are dissing Local TV, Cable is giving them a sense of hope, and for some, HERO and ANIMAX (and at times, Cartoon Network’s Toonami) is the way, the truth and the life.

Of course, both will still duke it out for the freshest anime titles this coming 2016. We now heard HERO’s blockbuster lineup for 2016 (which I will discuss in further detail in our next column), while ANIMAX has announced (in HD, as well) that they will air Assassination Classroom, Brynhildr in the Darkness, and Cross Ange (yes, that Cross Ange), among others.

My only message for HERO is this: Today is 2016, not 2006. I do sense that you have tons of subscribers’ money to (1) make an HD Simulcast of your channel, (2) Buy streaming rights (before Netflix does) for iWant TV (and this also applies to the “integrated” Acquisitions team at ABS-CBN), and (3) Go to Ivan Despi and the guys from The Acid House post to enhance your graphics presentation.

Seriously, you look like a channel from 2006 trying to fit in 2016, and ANIMAX eats you in the dust when it comes to channel promotions.

As for on-ground events, HERO is still going to be supportive of the World Cosplay Summit (though I miss the old “last quarter big bang”, or the major HERO event that always caps off the year like “Hataw Hanep Hero” and “HeroNation”), while we can’t wait for ANIMAX to follow-up their “ANIMAX Carnival” which they held at the SMX last May.

But, I know these two will be surely changing their tactics once Aniplus Asia HD enters the Philppine Market. The question remains: When will be the linear Aniplus Asia HD Channel be finally coming into the country?

Hello Ray Montinola of Sky, Jane Basas of Cignal TV, and a host of other cable operators. Aniplus HD is there, their content is waiting. Grab it.


2016 In Events: Busy Year at SMX
Photo from Arquitectonica
Photo from Arquitectonica

Speaking of events, 2016 is surely going to be a busy year at the Bay, as most of the major events will be using the Sy-owned Convention Center structure beside the Mall of Asia.

Yep, you heard it, most of the big events will now be held at the SMX Convention Center, arguably the next best venue in holding events that is equivalent to the SM Megamall’s Megatrade Halls, which, at this day and age, is not anymore conducive enough to hold an event for 20,000 people.

But for some event organizers, they still can’t get over the fact that the Megatrade Hall is already cramped for the community now composed not only of the decent crowd, but also includes the weebs, jejetakus and other hangers-on that I have not seen in the 10 years I have been in the community.

That’s why events like TOYCON PH, Best of Anime, Cosplay Mania and a host of other events are now going to hold their extravaganzas at the SMX Convention Center.

Let’s face it, Megatrade is so 10 years ago, let’s up the game to a notch and let’s prove to our neighbors in the region that we are capable of bringing huge crowds without sacrificing for the safety, security and overall well being of our event goers.


2016 in Events: Good year for Event Guests

Event content, meanwhile, is a different story altogether. Since Best of Anime upped the ante in 2012 by bringing in UchuSentai:Noiz, other events are now trying their very best to play catch up in bringing international J-pop and Anisong guests that would entertain the crowd and at the same time, make every peso paid to the entrance gates worth it.

Last year, we had big name guests coming in to our shores for the first time. It started with LiSA, who was brought in by the people behind Anime Festival Asia, together with their affiliate, Cosplay.ph.

Meanwhile, The Best of Anime 2015 essentially fought, and won over their rival event that weekend with the captivating performance of Eir Aoi.

And finally, Cosplay.ph’s Cosplay Mania capped off the year with the electrifying performance of Ladybeard and the soulful (and highly-emotional, I tell you) concert of Pile.

Which now leads us to this question: Is 2016 going to be a big year for events? Sure, January has definitely sizzled with the ONE OK ROCK concert that was held last January 19, but are we be going to have a really good year in terms of event content?

Are we going to have more J-pop and J-rock guests in our conventions this year? Will the ever elusive Anime Festival Asia event FINALLY come to our Philippine Shores?

To quote my favorite Inquirer Business columnist, Daxim Lucas: Abangan.


10 Years: A Good Life

And that is my Pundit’s Hat predictions for 2016. It sure is a mouthful of observations, but let’s all hope that 2016 is different in 2015, as we Filipino anime fans deserve something for all the years we became a force in the pop-culture community.

On a personal note, 2016 is going to be my 10th year in the Anime community, both as a blogger and an eventgoer, and, to quote the title of Benjamin C. Bradlee’s memoir, it was a good life, and I’d like to keep it that way for as long as I live.

Let Anime Pilipinas be your chronicler inside the Philippine Anime Community this 2016, because we will be there, writing the news that would become the historical record of the firsts that we will experience this year.


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The views and opinions expressed by the writer do not necessarily reflect the views of Anime Pilipinas, its members, partners, and colleagues. If you have comments or reactions, please email at [email protected].