Animax SA – Okay, you can go now.

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

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.

Takeshi’s Castle

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.

Posted in Anime.

I'm a dedicated anime junkie, avid gamer and terminally excited Vocaloid fan. I'm permanently trying to find that point at which a human being can officially overdose on anime - haven't gotten there yet.

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  1. I agree… I can’t say I watched much Animax since it started… but the first few shows, like you said, were at least anime but we’ve seen most of them. Then later I tried watching it again and for some odd reason they would have a anime with the black border… o_O… so the anime isn’t even fullscreen? What? Were they broadcasting downloaded eps or something?
    The final nail in the coffin for me was the adverts on billboards about “ANIMAX on channel 126. Come watch Ninja Warriors”. It’s ANIMax… just get more good anime… Where’s Ranma? Where’s Pokemon? (they could show Pokemon again from 15:00 for the children who come back from school) For late night shows they could show stuff like BGC, Blue gender, Gunsmith cats, etc…

  2. I agree… as the name suggest “Animax” you would expect a channel fulled with Anime not fulled with teen romance american crap. We want Anime! The latest Anime shows were pretty good ( Bleach & Death note) but they don’t even finish Bleach, they get up to ep 52 and then… back to ep 1 fan fucking tastick, I spent all this time to only see a quarter of the bloody show.
    Animax must be smocking toilet duck because their timing with shows couldn’t be worse. All the Anime shows are past midnight and the day is filled up with useless crap like bromance and next ect…
    Redeem your self Animax by killing the fool who decided that anime fans should be ‘treated’ to such shit as bormance and next and all other non anime shows.

    Carry on with bleach past ep 52! delete all non anime shows.
    Get new anime shows on air because all other shows are stale. Animax could have a Anime movie night every Saturday/Sunday. Shows are endless eg Naruto, Gintama, Blue Gender, Gun Grave, Cowboy Bebop… the list goes on forever. Don’t give Copyright excuses either because if you can’t get the shows then you might as well go off the air.

  3. I know, man! It’s turning into a reality TV nightmare! And it’s even worse than MTV…these shows are just plain trashy. I thought Animax was primarily a channel to air anime…I’m not saying that they can’t do reality shows, as like you said, Takeshi’s Castle and Ninja Warrior are fine and dandy but the others…what on earth do they have to do with Animax? I mean, I’m wondering who their target market is or better yet, what kind of “image” does it give to the channel and those people who are associated with watching anime on it?

  4. Apparently a lot of my non-anime watching friends have been attracted to tune into channel 126 lately. The joy.

    It doesn’t help that along with Otakumag, Shoujo Beat was also cancelled June/July last year… maybe a bit of late news by now, but it saddens me to think that anime/manga is one of the first things enterprises drop when financials look threatened. Would like to put it out there that it is not a niche market, it is a potentially growing one! Respect our love for ANIME!!! *RAWR*

  5. I agree 100%. The channel is a failure. It should be renamed Realimax or something along those lines.

  6. How in the blue fuck did Happy Tree Friends end up on this channel?!? I say burn it all. I’d rather have the endless reruns of Lodoss War than the current slew of garbage. And Kung Faux?!? You need to be on some serious LSD to even understand that.

    Christ… why does everything SA touch turn to shite.

  7. ppl is there nothin we can do to stop animax i think the otaku mag kept animax in line but know that they are goneh everyting is going to shit for the preservation of our blue and pure world

  8. I agree. I’m a little busy right now but can someone please try to contact those Animax idiots and tell them to take that non-anime shit off. Please. Maybe they’ll listen if lots of people do it.

  9. really animax south africa is pathetic
    i dont want the channel to be shut down all together but animax have swayed from displaying their true purpose, to give us as much anime as possible
    i love bleach so much but animax ruined my life
    i had to resort to to find out if rukia lived or not
    and to find out if ichigo learnrd his bankai or not
    i am very dissapointed
    they do not even show naruto!
    please animax sa
    bring your anime viewers back to your channel and bring us back to your channel
    or dissapear because an anime channel as bestial as that
    does not deserve existence

  10. Absolutely horrible channel. Not for showing absolutely horrible shows, that’s still excusable, but for pretending that this sleazy stool-sample inspired television is what people want. How could they call the channel ‘Animax’ and resort to showing the minimum amount of anime possible?

    Recently Animax has responded to a forum brimming with complaints about (what else?) their disregard for viewer feedback and the veritable plethora of sorry television that resulted, saying: “While we are sorry you are not keen on these changes, the range of new programming has generally proven to be a big success with our audience. ” And how were these statistics begotten? Threats or torture perhaps? It’s not beyond comprehension that the head-trauma resulting from exposure to the ‘range of new programming’ could cause severe damage to the part of the brain that forms opinions.

    I can only hope for a change of heart in whoever is responsible for the wrong direction this channel is currently taking. However, given the way these things usually go, It is far more likely that the channel will wither and die before they recognise their (many, many) mistakes.

  11. Oh Man….i cannot believe i stumbled onto your write-up so quickly…LOL…..It was just what i was loking for….Thanks so much

  12. Leave it to South Africa to fuck up something like Animax. I’ve been following the responses from the Animax SA representatives and it’s the same arrogant shit you hear from people in government. Justifying their decisions with fantasy stats, bullshit “audience” and slick media jargon. Talking to the actual anime fans that supported this ANIME channel asif we dont know what we are talking about.

    Rename it. Burn it. Call it VUZU2 or whatever. Just take the Anime part out of it. Pretty soon you will see the likes of Dexters Lab and Looney Tunes in there – and they will still have the audacity to call it Animax.

    Fuck you Animax SA. You’ve knowingly and deliberately fucked over the fans.

  13. Why on earth does Animax play shows that doesnt even interest us? The point is, we want anime… hence the name Animax. And I dont mean repeat the same old sh*t everytime. We want something new and exciting! At the moment, I dont even know why I bother watching Animax

  14. I used to tolerate (although not a lot) in the beginning when they aired re-runs of the same anime. However, even though Takeshi’s Castle and Ninja Warrior were interesting, the fact that they air crap like Bromance, Next, etc is a real slap in the face for anime fans everywhere in SA.

    I mean, really. As many of you have said, it’s called Animax because it was supposed to be an ANIME channel. If I wanted to watch American reality shows, I would watch them on MTV.

    There are so many anime to air on Animax. I just don’t understand it. What is the f*ckin deal with these reality shows?

  15. Tolerance comes at a high price I guess. The official line from Sony is that they are showing what people want to see – which doesn’t give me a lot of faith in civilisation – but personally I think they’re just too lazy to speak to the people actually watching the channel.

    My advice – get a nice high-bandwidth broadband connection – sign up to Crunchyroll for $6.95 a month (they have licenced shows running – perfectly legal) and watch the streams. Or knock at a mate’s door and get them to share, and buy the DVDs of the shows you like. I’d love to share the satisfaction I feel when I look a shelf full of shiny DVD boxes, although sadly I suppose it’s not possible for everyone.

    Thanks for your input :)

  16. The annoying thing is the really good anime shows like: Naruto, Devil May Cry, APH and Kuroshitsuji don’t even get shown on it. There are so many wonderful shows out there that we don’t get to see here because of Animax’s crap.

    And the reruns are the worst thing I think. I had to resort to getting uncapped just so I could finish watching Bleach.

  17. Thanks for your comment Sachiya.

    Long story short, I think we’re a ways away from being able to rely on broadcasters to narrow in on our market properly – which leaves us with options like using uncapped and whatnot. As the saying goes – if you want something done right, do it yourself. Luckily we do now have uncapped as a viable option.

  18. I don,t mind the re-runs of anime but fuck all the the reality shows! exept ninga warrior and whats with fucking happy tree friends!?! The only way to fix the problem is the only way how to get things done in south africa a Protest or a Strike we as anime fans join up to go the animax office and let our voices be heard because its clear the channel is going to get worse and i am dead serious about the strike! No joke!

  19. The sad reality is the fact that Animax is operated by Sony – and the relevant offices are located in the UK.

    The worst part of the story is this: there is a poll re Favourite shows located on the site at Animax SA – go look at it. 38% of the votes or Ninja Warrior, which is great. But 34% of the votes went for Kenny vs Spenny. Not a single anime show listed. Not a single anime show listed on the poll, but people voted anyway.

    Not helping our cause much, I’d say. In any case, I’m busy composing an e-mail to Animax SA – whether a reply will be forthcoming is anyone’s guess, but it’s worth a try.

  20. I see by your IP that you are based in India, srinithi – my post specifically refers to Animax South Africa. Just based on a quick glance at Animax India though, I can see the reason for your comment … you guys have plenty of more recent shows – K-On!, Kaze no Stigma, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, just to mention a few. They are also airing coverage of the 2010 Comic-con as a special.

    Completely different animal – would’ve been nice to have something like that in SA.

  21. Well, Sci Fi Channel (now Syfy except for eastern europe versions, called Sci Fi Universal) hasn’t even launched in South Africa. Also, they stopped airing anime. Maybe G4 would do since they are airing anime again.

  22. Actually, South Africa did have access to Sci-fi channel as part of the MultiChoice/DStv bouquet that was available, but this was only for a relatively short period, as the service was cancelled somewhere in … not entirely sure … I believe it was in the mid to late 90’s somewhere.

    Due to lack of demand or something. They did also air some anime, late-night mostly – I think Evangelion may have been one of the shows … but this all happened before I even started watching anime, so my memory of events is a little sketchy.

  23. Pingback: The Final Death of Animax

  24. FRI 12:18
    Hi. I’m looking for a series/film I saw on Animax in 2010. Sci fi. The moment featured a guy in a test tube tank; he seems to be a science experiment. His hair is blue/green, he has tubes connected to his body and is almost naked (as best I can recall). A scientist/doctor – short, old man with glasses, grey hair walks up to him. The boy begs to be set free from his tube and says he wants to walk and live outside the incubator. The scientist tries to explain to him that he can’t survive outside of the water he is kept in. But the boy insists and the scientist gives in. He opens the tank and the boy steps out, happy to be free. He slowly sinks to the ground and disintegrates, but is blissful as he dies. This is all I can remember, please help me find this anime.

    Also: the boy was delusional and explained the meaning of his name, but I cannot remember the name.

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