Japanese anime programs have been a fixture on Philippine TV since the 70’s, which is why each of us has our own ‘all-time’ favorites. The older generation has Voltes V, while millennials like me has Yu Yu Hakusho (Ghost Fighter), while the younger generation has Naruto.
Although anime programming on television is constant, there is probably one thing that isn’t: The time.
For years, that has been an ongoing debate in the community, whether anime shows deserve a spot in primetime or just stick to daytime. If you ask me, its a losing battle.
In this day and age, I think the concept of the timeslot doesn’t matter anymore, especially that everyone can now watch their favorite shows online at anytime. The question if they are using legal streaming platforms or not is another topic altogether.
As you may already know, ABS-CBN had their much-awaited premiere of Makoto Shinkai’s top-grossing anime movie your name last February.
Things took an interesting turn after that. After ABS-CBN Cable Channels shut down the Filipino language anime channel HEROtv, they have decided to relaunch the brand on cable channel Jeepney TV as a two-hour time block.
This timeblock airs on Sunday mornings from 10:00am to noon. This opens up an interesting question: Is this the sweet spot for anime shows on Philippine TV?
If Filipino viewers accepted dubbed foreign movies and TV shows, why not offer more options?
Personally, I think that Sunday morning block would be a good time for anime shows, because it is not too early of a timeslot for its target audience.
I still don’t know why GMA-7 starts airing their animated shows at an ungodly hour, especially on weekends. In my case, I usually wake up after 9am or even later during weekends, and I think most of the school-age audience are probably the same.
Also, I believe that particular Sunday morning block would be a good time for anime shows, because the timeslot itself doesn’t have any competition.
There is a reason why both ABS-CBN and GMA are airing movie blocks on that timeslot, and TV5 opted to air home shopping. Aside from the occasional TV specials, like Manny Pacquiao fights or beauty pageants, why not add some alternative programming that people may like? If Filipino viewers accepted dubbed foreign movies and TV shows, why not offer more options?
But then again, there are those who will argue about the ratings. If you ask me, I really don’t give a damn about ratings because it remains a mystery to me how those media research agencies collect and analyze data from select few people.
Probably, they even include in their surveys people from far-flung areas who don’t even have basic knowledge on the pop culture scene, who will then “represent” everyone in a particular region or even the whole country. But with that said…
According to Kantar Media, the TV ratings for the premiere of your name. last month is 9.2%, which is higher than the ratings for rival network GMA-7’s weekend anime block but still lower than the typical “KB Family Weekend” rating.
On the flip-side, Twitter has shown a different story. The phrases “Your Name” and “Kimi no Nawa” (a misspelled romanji of the movie’s Japanese title, Kimi no Na wa.) trended on the popular social media site for a couple of hours, with the former becoming the Number 1 trending topic in the Philippines about three hours after the end of the movie.
The timeslot may be available but if the shows being aired doesn’t click with the audience, then it may just be another recipe for disaster.
But then again, the timeslot may be available but if the shows being aired doesn’t click with the audience, then it may just be another recipe for disaster. I think that is the problem that “HERO Zone” on cable channel Jeepney TV currently facing.
When HEROtv ceased broadcast last February, everyone felt like their part of their childhood has died, or even lost one of their comrades. I’m sure Filipino anime fans were overjoyed when their Filipino-dubbed anime shows came back, albeit a two-hour block.
The problem is that the first anime titles featured in the timeblock were honestly not attention-grabbing: Initial D the Movie and Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc V.
I’m not intentionally dissing the fans of these popular franchises, but I feel that they could’ve chosen among HEROtv’s more recent titles that resonate with the anime-viewing audience like Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma, Log Horizon, Free! Iwatobi Swim Club and Love Live! School idol project.
Starting this Sunday, they will air the popular comedy anime KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World, so there is still some hope.
We are living in interesting times, and even media conglomerates have to adapt to survive. You win some, you lose some. HEROtv is gone, but at least they resurrected it on Jeepney TV.
To answer my own question: The jury is still out, we’ll see if this could be a potential sweet spot for anime on Philippine TV, but I believe its possible. Other networks emulating it would be another story.
Sure, you could just watch those shows on Netflix, but I still think that “Fildub” has its own charm. If we give our support, maybe we could make this our Sunday morning viewing habit.
Let me hear from you. If you have reactions about the topic, you can email me at [email protected].
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].