It was with great joy that South African anime fans received the news that South Africa would be getting its own dedicated anime channel. The joy was short-lived however, and soon complaints surfaced regarding the endless reruns and repeats, the lack of new shows and the usual messed up episode orders.
Three months after the launch, I decided to comment on the state of Animax, and at the time, stated that I thought Animax still had some promise. Views swayed both ways though, with a lot of people having negative opinions about the channel and the direction it was moving in.
However, Animax made it through the first six months, and suddenly seemed to start getting things right. New shows started appearing, albeit at a slow pace … and when I say new I mean shows that the channel hasn’t been airing non-stop for 5 months. Nothing newer than 4 years old. In October 2008, I decided to revisit the topic.
Animax was still not living up to its promise.
And now, I’m starting to think people have given up. Animax seems to have lost the plot and turned into an MTV clone. A lot of reality TV shows have been added to the channel – not all bad, I’ll admit, but I’ll give a brief rundown:
Ninja Warriors is a Japanese reality show, in which contestants have to compete in the obstacle course from hell in order to be crowned Ninja Warrior. And to complete the course, you’ll need ninja skills – at this point (we’re watching shows from 2007 at the moment), only one person has ever managed to finish all the stages.
Another obstacle type scenario, but this one seems to be geared a lot more towards the contestants enjoying themselves. Takeshi’s Castle is good for a couple of laughs, and the commentary tends to be pretty witty as well, even though its being done in English.
That’s it for the good stuff – now lets move on to the sewage:
Next is a dating game, American I might add, which features a bunch of guys and girls who think the world of themselves. It features one guy (or girl), and a bunch of members of the opposite sex who do nothing, as far as I can see, but humiliate themselves. And of course, trying to convince the viewer that they’re the shit.
As far as dating shows go, it’s probably one of the shallowest ones I’ve come across and not worth the time I actually spent watching it. Or writing this.
No idea what this one is about. I’ve seen it advertised, but I’ve never seen it. However, it’s American, it’s reality TV, and once those two have been combined I don’t think I’m going to stress myself trying to find an actual time it’s playing at. Moving on.
Shipwrecked: Battle of the Islands
This one is a pointless little Survivor clone in which they took everything that made Survivor great, tossed it out the window and came up with their own little failure of a formula. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the point of these types of situations to challenge the contestants?
Instead, they get a new addition every so often and the two opposing teams square off and try and get the new sod to join their side. This includes getting the girls to wear nothing but bikini’s and flirt with the guy (if it’s a guy). And they get supplies dropped off from time to time. Sweet.
Sounds like the sort of desert island situation I’d like to be in. Who wants to get home if you get your food dropped off for free every week. Oh, and its British by the way. And crap.
This show is actually vaguely interesting, but I got bored pretty quickly. A bunch of contestants are locked up in cubes by themselves and competed against each other in a bunch of tortuous events – the first one to give up is out of the game. Of course, they don’t see each other, so they have no idea when someone has given up.
Their only contact with the outside world is a semi-sadistic female computer voice who completely fails at her HAL 9000 impression. I may be interested if people start vanishing mysteriously. Also British.
Kenny vs Spenny
I haven’t watched this one. I don’t want to. The ads themselves were enough to put me off for life, and convinced me that Animax has finally lost the plot. Kenny and Spenny compete against each other and whoever loses need to perform an act of humiliation. It’s the lowest form of toilet humour, and could only possibly have any kind of following in the US. I hope. But it’s nothing more than a steaming pile of …. let’s not go there.
I shudder to think that people might actually find this entertaining. Once again, its a US program – and for the life of me I don’t see its relevance to the channel or target audience.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. Shows like Bleach, Death Note and Black Lagoon have made it onto the list, but at the same time, we have Negima and Wolf’s Rain, which have been playing for two years, and .hack//Sign, which have been with us since the beginning. A brief foray into subtitled anime with a Japanese soundtrack didn’t last very long either.
The worst part is that the abovementioned reality shows take up prime-time slots. Yes, from 6pm to 11pm, the people who wanted the channel and who want to watch anime would be better off just sticking their heads in the toilet. It might be more entertaining too.
Right now, the channel has many more negatives than positives; for myself, I’d rather just go out and buy anime. It’s more expensive, yes, but I can watch it in the language of my choice, at the time of my choosing and I don’t get showered by crap every night.
I’m sorry Animax, but you’ve failed us. You probably won’t go away by yourselves. It’s sad. Hopefully, we’ll one day get a channel here that cares about its viewer base. But I won’t be switching to channel 126 again. Go away.