On track with Animax

Animax logoThere 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.

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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18 Comments

  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Tom Stanley

  2. Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the comment. I hope to be adding a lot more to the blog in the future – its a pleasure to know my efforts are appreciated. :)

  3. I predicted this would happen even before Animax started to air more than 3 months back, but people labeled me as being negative about the issue.

    The exact same thing happened to Sci-Fi channel all those years ago. It was a amazing channel till all the reruns started and soon afterwards it got closed down.

    I predict the same would happen to Animax.

  4. I have similar thoughts larch – but in this case I hope we turn out to be wrong – Animax stands in a good position to do a hell of a lot for anime awareness in this country.

    We can only hope they shape up soon.

  5. Well let us see what happens but loads of unhappy people are already voicing there opinions about the endless reruns.

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  8. No flaming … but I think a couple of people on the thread in the blog were becoming a bit emotional :P

    Just wanted to see if I could calm things down a bit – and it appears as if one or two other bloggers came across my post as well …

  9. I’ve come across one or two other’s so in a way you are right about the negative feelings about Animax.

    At the moment though it would seem as though the majority of this comes from the older anime fans (by which I mean those that have been watching anime for a longer time)

  10. Well yes and no what I am trying to convey to the people on Otaku forum is that even if you are new to Anime you will still get bored and frustrated with the endless reruns, but they seem hellbent on flaming me. Oh well :P

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  12. “Thank you for your e-mail. We apologize for the delayed response.
    Please be advised that MultiChoice, whilst not programming nor scheduling the individual channels, does work very closely with its channel suppliers to provide the best possible content for the African Market.

    Repeats are integral to the business plans of pay TV channel providers and a necessary component in the multi-channel environment, for viewer convenience, as well as due to the manner in which movie rights are secured. To package a channel with fewer repeats would make the cost of the channel astronomical and thus not affordable for the DStv viewer

    We confirm that due to delivery problems with the material of Eureka Seven, we were forced to restart Eureka Seven from Episode 1. We are trying to get the outstanding episodes on air as soon as possible

    For Magister Negi Magi and Black Lagoon 2nd session we are planning to air both shows sometime this year.

    With regards to the repeats, MultiChoice works closely with channel suppliers to ensure that programming meets quality standards for a premiun Pay-TV platform.

    It is difficult to please every subscriber as subcribers have different tastes and preferences; therefore DSTV offers a variey of programmes and channels to cater for a huge and diverse subscriber base.

    Repeating programmes is very valuable as it also allows other subcribers to catch up on a programme they would have otherwise missed. We provide repeats because our customer’ request them.

    Before purchasing any new programmes, there is an agreement between MultiChoice and the supplier that there will be so many screenings of a certain programme over specific time period. Once these screenings have been aired can we then purchase new episodes.

    We have retained your query on record in order for us to follow up on your request for new programming.”

    Kind regards

    N Prior (Ms)
    MultiChoice Enquiries Team[/quote]

    We confirm that due to delivery problems with the material of Eureka Seven, we were forced to restart Eureka Seven from Episode 1. We are trying to get the outstanding episodes on air as soon as possible

    Thanks for letting us know before hand about this “small” detail as a broadcaster you should be aware of these issues long before they are suppose to pop up.

    For Magister Negi Magi and Black Lagoon 2nd session we are planning to air both shows sometime this year.

    Great thinking Animax/DSTV how are you going to show Black Lagoon 2nd Season if memory serves me Geneon who owned the rights to 2nd season is no more leaving the 2nd Season un-dubbed and in limbo.

    Navarre CEO Kerry Deacon has hinted that FUNimation may be interested in acquiring Geneon titles like Black Lagoon, but no actual transfer of license has occured, as far as anyone knows.

    So far, the first three DVDs containing episodes 1–12, have been released, completing the first season. The first DVD of The Second Barrage was scheduled for a November 20th, 2007 release, but as of now has been canceled

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Lagoon

  13. i’m an afrikaans dude from cape town and i come forward as pretty “rugged” eventhough i wear glasses,but youl be surprised at how many undercover geeks there are in SA,i love Animax(despite all the repeats and lack of new episodes)and i know a lot of people who wouldnt admit it,but also do,and things are looking up for Animax,with a lot of new shows like black cat, elfen lied and gants.Still needs obvious improvement
    but i dont think its doomed at all.

  14. Hi alexis, welcome to the blog … and thanks for your comment.

    I have to admit … in the time since I’ve made this post there has been a lot of improvement in Animax SA’s offerings … an average of 2 or 3 new shows every month – some of which are definite winners … Elfen Lied, Evangelion and Angelic Layer are some examples.

    Turns out that Animax SA was going through a 6 month trial period initially, and they weren’t allowed to add new shows.

    So … they’ve obviously made it through the trial period … and I think we can expect a lot more from them – newer shows too perhaps :)

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