There was a lot of excitement generated last year when it was finally announced that South Africa would be getting its own anime channel. The end of November finally rolled around and there was a sigh of collective relief when the channel started airing as promised.
Unfortunately – it must be said – Animax has turned into something of a disappointment. After airing for 3 months, Animax is still basically airing the same shows it started with on day one. Having said that, a few new shows have started showing on the channel – but none of the older shows have been taken from the schedule yet. And I have to be quite honest, if I have to see another episode of Samurai 7 – I’m going to kill something, or somebody.
Part of the problem with Animax was the fact that no-one had any idea what episode of a given series would be airing when, since the sequence seemed to have been decided through a combination of dice and janken. There was an initial screw-up with episode order right at the beginning when viewers watched the first episode of a series on the first day and then managed to be just in time for the final episode the day after.
Apart from that the shorter series (Earth Girl Arjuna, .hack//Legend of the Twilight) must have been repeated about eight or nine times already – if not more. Quite frankly, I enjoy the .hack franchise tremendously, but enough is enough.
All in all, it would appear that Animax is almost destined to fail at this point. Confusing airing times, out of sequence episodes and a lack of new episodes are not going to help to attract new watchers to the channel.
There is hope though, in the shape of the Animax SA Website, but while you can find an up to date schedule as well as the exact episodes and when they’re airing – something else I would like to see on the site would be a section telling me what to expect in the future. Come on Animax, what have you guys got lined up for us?
Okay, I don’t expect to see Animax dwindling into the distance just yet. But considering that South Africa is a country with a very low (what we shall call) geekness factor – unless Animax gets their act straight, they may just end up going the same way as the Sci-Fi Channel.