Animax (アニマックス Animakkusu?) is a Japanese anime satellite television network, dedicated to broadcasting anime programming. A subsidiary of Japanese media conglomerate Sony, it is headquartered in New Pier Takeshiba North Tower (ニューピア竹芝ノースタワー Nyū Pia Takeshiba Nōsu Tawā?) in Minato, Tokyo, Japan, with its co-founders and shareholders including Sony Pictures Entertainment and the noted anime studios Sunrise, Toei Animation, TMS Entertainment, and production company NAS.
Operating across Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Latin America and most recently in Europe (launching across Germany, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic in 2007, Slovakia, Spain and Portugal in 2008, and soon to be launched in the United Kingdom, Poland, Italy, France and several other countries), Africa and Australia, Animax is the first and largest 24-hour network dedicated to anime in the world, with a viewer reach of over 89 million households, 62 countries and more than 17 languages.
Its title is a portmanteau of the words anime (アニメ?) and max (マックス makkusu?). It also has English language networks in Southeast Asia, South Asia, South Africa, and most recently, a two-hour network in Australia, and is expected to plan launching other English language networks, most notably in the United Kingdom, Australia, and North America.
Established on May 20, 1998 by Sony, Animax Broadcast Japan Inc. (株式会社アニマックスブロードキャスト・ジャパン Kabushiki-gaisha Animakkusu Burōdokyasuto Japan?) originally premiered in Japan on June 1, the same year, across the SKY PerfecTV! satellite television platform. Headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan, and presided by Masao Takiyama, Animax's shareholders and founders include Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sunrise, Toei Animation, TMS Entertainment, and NAS. Its founders also include noted anime producer and production designer Yoshirō Kataoka. The network began broadcasting in high definition from October 2009.
Animax also exhibits affiliations with anime pioneer Osamu Tezuka's Tezuka Productions company, Pierrot, Nippon Animation, and numerous others. It has produced and exclusively premiered several anime in Japan, such as Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Ultra Maniac, Astro Boy, Hungry Heart: Wild Striker, Aishiteruze Baby, and many others, including Madhouse's upcoming anime adaptation of Marvel's Iron Man and Wolverine.
Noted Japanese celebrities and personalities to have appeared on Animax with their own programs, include actress Natsuki Kato, among numerous others. The network's narrators are the seiyū Yukari Tamura and Kōsuke Okano, and from October 2007, Sayuri Yahagi. Animax also hosts and organizes several anime-based competitions across Japan, such as the Animax Taishō scriptwriting competition and Animax Anison Grand Prix anime song music competition, which are judged by a panel of noted anime figures, as well as several events and concerts across Japan, such as the annual Animax Summer Fest (アニマックスサマーフェス Animakkusu Samāfesu?), an annual live concert during which renowned Japanese bands, artists and seiyū perform to a live audience, often held at Zepp Tokyo.
Apart from operating its business primarily as a television network, Animax has also begun operating a mobile television service. In February 2007, Animax announced that it would be launching a mobile television service of its network on the mobile phone company MOBAHO! from April 2007, having its programming being viewable by the company's mobile phone subscribers.
Animax launched separate Asian versions of the channel featuring its anime programming within separate networks and feeds in the respective regions and languages beginning in 2004. The first one was launched in Taiwan and the Philippines on January 1, 2004, and in Hong Kong on January 12, 2004. A week later, Animax launched in Southeast Asia on January 19, 2004, featuring its programming within feeds in English audio, as well as Japanese audio, with English subtitling, and other languages in the region, becoming the company's first English language network.
On July 5, 2004, Animax started operations across South Asia, featuring its programming within an English-language feed. On April 29, 2006, Animax started its operations in South Korea, broadcasting separately from Seoul. On August 31, 2006, Animax launched its Malaysian feed.
Animax Asia uses the latest logo launched on May 4, 2010.
Animax launched a Latin America network on July 31, 2005, following Sony's acquisition of Locomotion. Animax Latin America began operating across the entire region and broadcasting its anime programming in separate Spanish and Portuguese feeds across Spanish-speaking countries in the region and Brazil respectively, becoming the region's largest anime television network. It is controlled by HBO Latin America Group under the license of Sony.
Over the years, Animax has aired various anime series, with the Spanish versions being dubbed in Venezuela by Estudios Lain and after in Mexico, and the Portuguese versions dubbed in Brazil, most of whom have never been shown before locally. Its programs include Lunar Legend Tsukihime, Noir, Wolf's Rain, Last Exile, Twin Spica, Planet Survival, Excel Saga, Samurai 7, Gun Frontier, Vandread, Gantz, Heat Guy J, Galaxy Angel, Burst Angel, Get Backers, Hunter x Hunter, The Prince of Tennis, Fullmetal Alchemist, Blood+, Hell Girl, Mushishi, Bleach, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Samurai X, The Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok, Death Note, Fate Stay Night, Black Cat, Solty Rei, R.O.D. The TV, xxxHOLIC, Bokurano, Humanoid Monster Bem, Speed Grapher, Basilisk, Trinity Blood, Hellsing, Black Jack, Gankutsuou, Hungry Heart: Wild Striker, Legend of Blue, 009-1 and Musumet.
Starting January 2007, Animax changed completely its lineup and some anime series that were removed before returned. Animax Latin America announced a renewal in its image and projection from August 2007, as well as the premiere of a new programming block (named Lollipop), where adult-oriented series will be destinated to.
Likewise, on March 18, 2008, it was announced that the mobile service Animax Mobile, available on Japan and Australia, was to be launched as well in Mexico and eventually in other Latin American countries. In current years, the channel has aired less Japanese series than initially and more reality and music programs. The change in focus was finally confirmed by its chief executive, Klaudia Bermudez-Key, who on an interview on Tela Viva confirmed its change in programming, after closing down the channel website's official forums, which were taken over by anime fans enraged by the new line-up. As of November, 2010 it still airs some Japanese animation in the very late night schedule, cancelled the Bleach and Nodame Cantabile dubs, has not synchronized its programming lineup with the TV guides for months, and is airing obscure or old sitcoms (Clueless, Beverly Hills 90210). Beside the reality and music programs, they have created the Reciclo (recicle) time slot with U.S. action movies (Ultraviolet, Godzilla, etc).
Animax has sponsored several anime-based events across North America, including hosting an anime festival, in association with other anime distributive enterprises such as Bandai Entertainment and VIZ Media, across Sony's San Francisco-based entertainment shopping complex Metreon in October 2001, during which it aired numerous of its anime titles across the centre, including special Gundam, The Making of Metropolis, and Love Hina screenings.
The noted international business newspaper The Financial Times, reported, in September 2004, of Sony planning and being "keen" to launch Animax across the United States and North America, after Sony had signed an agreement with the largest cable company in the United States, Comcast, with whom it had co-partnered in a US$4.8 billion acquisition of legendary Hollywood studio MGM, to bring at least three of Sony's television networks across the region.
On June 13, 2007, Sony Pictures Television International officially announced that Animax would be launching its mobile television service, Animax Mobile, in Canada from July 2007, on Bell Digital's mobile phone service. This was Animax Mobile's third major expansion, after initially launching the mobile television service in Japan from April 2007 and Australia from June 12, 2007.
On March 30, 2010, Crackle.com announced on their blog that they have launched a collection of anime videos under the title, ANIMAX. In their blog, they make references to the original 24-hour Japanese Animax channel. Some of the titles under Crackle.com's "ANIMAX Collection" include: Blood+, Nodame Cantabile, Samurai X, Astroboy, Voltron, Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs. Crackle.com also plans to include anime and live-action titles under the ANIMAX name.
In April 2007, Animax launched across several countries in Europe, including Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, with Sony announcing plans to launch in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Poland and other major countries in the continent, with discussions at an advanced stage. The launch marked Animax's first major expansion into Europe. The network then soon launched in Germany on May 2007, Spain and Portugal in 2008. In October 2007, further details emerged on Animax's launch details in the United Kingdom, with Sony Pictures Television International senior-vice president of international networks Ross Hair being quoted by Brand Republic's Media Week as stating that Sony was preparing to launch Animax in the United Kingdom initially as a video on demand service alongside other Sony television networks, with Sony also looking at launching Animax across the free digital television service Freeview subject to new frequencies and slot being available.
Spain and Portugal
Animax began as a programming block in Spain and Portugal in the channel AXN. It broadcast InuYasha, Outlaw Star, Trigun, Orphen, Excel Saga and Samurai Champloo and later broadcast Corrector Yui, The Law of Ueki, Detective Conan, Lupin III and Kochikame at weekends from 13:00 to 16:00, which began broadcasting in Portugal and Spain since October 2007 until September 2008. The channel was subsequently fully launched on April 12, 2008 on the Imagenio and Digital+ platforms in Spain and Meo and Clix in Portugal. Among the series broadcast across Animax's networks in Spain and Portugal were Nana, Black Lagoon, Love Hina, Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Chobits, Devil May Cry.
On May 14, 2007, Sony announced Animax would be launching in Germany from early June 2007, becoming the country's first ever television network solely dedicated to anime programming. Animax launched in the country from June 5, 2007 on Unity Media's digital subscription television service in the regions of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse and other regions. Among the first anime series premiering on Animax Germany were .hack//SIGN, DragonBall, Earth Girl Arjuna, Eureka Seven, Gundam SEED, Oh! My Goddess, One Piece, Record of Lodoss War, School Rumble, The Candidate for Goddess, X and numerous others.
While a 24-hour network has not yet been launched in Australia, Animax launched as a two-hour programming block on the Sci Fi Channel Australia (which is co-owned by Animax's parent Sony Pictures Entertainment) from November 5, 2008, playing on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings. It launched with the series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Cowboy Bebop, Black Lagoon and Blood+. This is Animax's latest English language network, following their networks in Southeast Asia, South Asia and South Africa. Previously, Animax had also been similarly launched as a three-hour programming block in Spain and Portugal on AXN (also similarly owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment), beginning from 2007 and then subsequently fully launching as a separate 24-hour anime network on April 12, 2008.
Animax programming has also been available since June 12, 2007 through its mobile television service, Animax Mobile, available on 3 mobile's 3G network. Its initial programming on launch consisted of four full-length anime series, Blood+, R.O.D -The TV-, Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo and Last Exile.
In August 2007, it was announced that Animax would be launching across several countries in Africa, including South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique and Lesotho, on the DStv satellite service.And in Nigeria on HiTV,from March 19, 2009. On 31 October 2010, Animax was removed from DSTV, due to a lack of viewers, to be replaced with a more general Sony channel in February 2011. .
The network began broadcasting on DStv on November 3, 2007, till it was terminated on October 31 2010, and featured English language programming. It had been lauded by publications such as The Times for having singularly spread awareness about anime than any other platform, and celebrated its first year of broadcasts in South Africa on November 2008. Sony Pictures Television International manager Philipp Schmidt was quoted by The Times as saying that Animax's primary goal was to "establish itself as the destination for anime programming" in South Africa, and also that the feedback that it has received has shown it has been making an impact in the country. Animax South Africa premiered programs such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Tenjo Tenge, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Negima!: Magister Negi Magi, Mobile Suit Gundam Seed, Eureka 7, Angelic Layer, Solty Rei, Black Cat, Hinotori, Final Fantasy Unlimited, Last Exile, Samurai 7, Black Jack, Black Lagoon, Wolf's Rain, Basilisk, Gantz: The First Stage and Elfen Lied.
Apart from operating its programming as a television network, Animax has recently begun launching its programming across mobile television, first beginning in their original home in Japan and subsequently overseas. In February 2007, Animax announced that it would be launching a mobile television service in Japan on the mobile phone company MOBAHO! from April 2007, having its programming being viewable by the company's mobile phone subscribers. Subsequently, in June 2007, it launched in Australia and Canada, its first English language mobile networks, in Latin America on March 18, 2008, and Southeast Asia on November and December 2008, their third mobile English language network, launching in Malaysia and Singapore through mobile service providers Astro, Maxis and Starhub respectively.
Sony Pictures Television International signed a deal with developer Arkadium on January 7, 2009, to provide game arenas for Sony Pictures Television International websites, including Animax, with more than forty games licensed.
Animax's programming is dedicated to anime, and it has been acknowledged as the largest 24-hour anime-only network in the world. In its original network in Japan, it has exclusively premiered several anime, which have aired first on Animax, including Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and its sequel Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig, Hungry Heart: Wild Striker, Aishiteruze Baby, Wangan Midnight and recently the upcoming 2010 anime adaptation of Marvel's Iron Man by Madhouse Studios. In addition, its English language network, Animax Asia, aired the first ever anime simulcast with their simulcast of Tears to Tiara on the same time as the Japanese premiere and the new Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood series, on the same week as the Japanese premiere. Its viewer reach has been quoted as spanning over 89 million homes. across 62 countries and 17 languages
Other series it has broadcast both in Japan, often being nationwide premieres, as well as its networks worldwide, include Blood+, Trinity Blood, Cowboy Bebop, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, the entire Mobile Suit Gundam series, Honey and Clover, InuYasha, Fullmetal Alchemist, Eureka 7, Urusei Yatsura, Ranma 1/2, Rurouni Kenshin, the Dragon Ball series, Cardcaptor Sakura, Tsubasa Chronicle, Chobits, Vision of Escaflowne, Death Note, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ouran High School Host Club, Wolf's Rain, Future Boy Conan, Haikara-san ga Tooru, Emma - A Victorian Romance, Darker than Black, Wangan Midnight, and Kyo Kara Maoh as well as several OVA series and anime films, such as Steamboy, Metropolis, Memories, Tokyo Godfathers, Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, Nasu: Summer in Andalusia, Blood: The Last Vampire, Appleseed, Escaflowne, Spooky Kitaro, Pumpkin Scissors, Fate/Stay Night and many others.
Translation and dubbing teams
Animax have utilized numerous translation and dubbing studios for the broadcast of numerous of its anime series across its English-language networks in Southeast Asia and South Asia, some of which were not licensed by North American distributors and do not have any English adaptation counterparts, such as Detective School Q, Dokkiri Doctor, Twin Spica, Zettai Shōnen, Clamp School, Emma: A Victorian Romance, Future Boy Conan, numerous installments of the World Masterpiece Theater series, and numerous others. Animax have also produced and aired uncensored English versions and dubs of anime series, among the most notable of them being their dub of Cardcaptor Sakura, which was shown uncensored and retained all of the original names, plot details and dialogue, and numerous others.
For broadcast across its English-language networks, Animax has also broadcast English dubs produced by other enterprises, such as Bandai Entertainment, The Ocean Group, Animaze Inc., Funimation, Bang Zoom! Entertainment, Geneon Entertainment, Industrial Smoke & Mirrors, VIZ Media, Central Park Media, Omni Productions, and numerous others, airing their dubs of Cowboy Bebop, Witch Hunter Robin, Mobile Suit Gundam, Brain Powerd, Please Teacher!, Galaxy Angel, Arjuna, Jubei-chan, Tsukikage Ran, Angel Tales, Saber Marionette, Appleseed, Alien 9, the InuYasha films, Fullmetal Alchemist, Yukikaze and several others.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "会社概要." (Japanese) Animax. Retrieved on February 26, 2010.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Sunrise official website - corporate outline - Sunrise, official corporate outline, About Us section. (Japanese)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Toei Animation official website - history section, Toei Animation official website. (Japanese)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Toei Animation - official website - English section - History Toei Animation official website. (English)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Animax's official website - Official Partners - Animax official website, Official Partners section, links page. (Japanese)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Sony Pictures Entertainment to Launch Animax Asia, Press Release, SPE, 29 October 2003, Anime News Network.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Sony drives Animax across Europe". Retrieved 2007-04-12.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Animax Heads to Europe". Archived from the original on 2007-05-04. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 The Anime Biz - By Ian Rowley, with Hiroko Tashiro, Chester Dawson, and Moon Ihlwan, BusinessWeek, June 27, 2005.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 "SONY ANIMAX". Retrieved 2008-07-11.
- ↑ (Japanese) Inter-Wikipedia article
- ↑ Official Ghost in the Shell information site, Production I.G official website. (English)
- ↑ Animax's corporate page at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- ↑ Animax Award official site, Animax official website. (Japanese)
- ↑ Animax Summer Festival 2005 - Report, Excite.co.jp. (Japanese)
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Animax Official Press, Animax Official Press. (Japanese)
- ↑ Animax Asia - Corporate Profile - Animax-Asia official website.
- ↑ "Animax Crashes Korea on Saturday". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2007-10-20.
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Anabella Marciello (2008-03-18). "Las señales de TV alistan sus contenidos multiplataformas".
- ↑ Sony Metreon media release, Anime News Network, 9 October 2001.
- ↑ Sony and Comcast plan new channels, Tim Burt, The Financial Times, 22 September 2004.
- ↑ Animax could be available in North America soon., Anime News Network, 23 September 2004.
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 23.2 "Sony Pictures Television International's Global Animax Brand Goes Mobile". Sony Pictures Television International. 2007-06-13. Retrieved 2007-06-20.
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 24.2 "Sony's Animax Channel Goes Mobile in Australia - Further Information". Anime News Network. 2007-06-15. Retrieved 2007-06-20.
- ↑ Crackle Presents: Your Anime Fix with ANIMAX
- ↑ Tristan O'Carroll (2007-10-16). "Sony pay-TV channels will come to UK as VoD services". Media Week. Retrieved 2007-10-20.
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 "Animax, the Animé [sic] Channel from Sony Pictures Television International, to Launch in Germany". 2007-05-14. Retrieved 2007-05-14.
- ↑ Clarke, Steve (2007-05-15). "Animax toons in Teutons". Variety.com. Retrieved 2007-05-14.
- ↑ 29.0 29.1 "Animax Channel Expands into Germany with Unity Media". Anime News Network. 2007-05-14. Retrieved 2007-05-14.
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 Ed Meza (2007-06-08). "Sony launches anime channel". Variety. Retrieved 2007-06-20.
- ↑ "Animax Germany official website". Retrieved 2007-05-05.
- ↑ "Information about polish launch of Animax". Retrieved 2007-10-17.
- ↑ 33.0 33.1 "Animax block to start on SciFi Channel". 2008-11-02. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
- ↑ 
- ↑ 35.0 35.1 "Anime channel for mobiles". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2007-06-14. Retrieved 2007-06-20.
- ↑ 36.0 36.1 "Sony Brings Anime Channel to Africa". Anime News Network. 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2007-08-26.
- ↑ 37.0 37.1 "SPTI to Launch SET, AXN Channels in Africa". WorldScreen.com. 2007-08-23. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-26.
- ↑ "Five more channels for DSTV". MyBroadband. 2007-10-17. Retrieved 2007-10-20.
- ↑ 39.0 39.1 39.2 Benji Pienaar (2009-01-04). "Anime Kingdom". The Times. Retrieved 2009-01-13.
- ↑ "Animax South Africa". Retrieved 2008-07-11.
- ↑ "Comic Fiesta 2008". The Star. 2008-12-21. Retrieved 2009-01-13.
- ↑ "Anime on the small screen". 2009-01-03. Retrieved 2009-01-13.
- ↑ "Animax Mobile spreads festive cheer in Malaysia and Singapore". 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2009-01-13.
- ↑ "Arkadium Inks Deal With Sony Pictures Television International to Roll Out Game Arenas Across Europe, Latin America and Asia". MSNBC. 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2009-01-13.[dead link]
- ↑ "Arkadium Inks Deal With Sony Pictures Television International to Roll Out Game Arenas Across Europe, Latin America and Asia". International Business Times. 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2009-01-13.[dead link]
- ↑ "Iron Man, Wolverine in Marvel, Madhouse's 1st TV Anime (Updated)". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2008-02-25.
- ↑ "Animax Asia to Run 2009 Fullmetal Alchemist in Same Week as Japan". Anime News Network. 2009-03-20. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- Official sites
- Animax Asia (English)
- Animax Asia Forum (English)
- Animax Philippines and Malaysia (English)
- Animax Taiwan (Chinese)
- Animax Hong Kong (Chinese)
- Animax South Asia (English)
- Animax India (English)
- Animax India Forum (English)
- Animax Korea (Korean)
- Animax Poland (Polish)
- Animax Spain (Spanish)
- Animax Portugal (Portuguese)
- Animax Germany (German)
- Animax Hungary (Hungarian)
- Animax Romania (Romanian)
- Animax Czech Republic (Czech)
- Animax Slovakia (Czech)
- Animax South Africa (English)
- Animax Australian Block (English)