Oct 15, 2006

The Myths of Animax

The world is ready for a new animation channel.

Okay, scratch that. The world largely has this animation channel. It's just the United States that's missing this channel. Of course, I'm talking about Animax (the title of the post gives the identity away), Sony's animation channel that's spreading throughout the world like ivy at Wrigley.

In 2004, after Sony and Comcast forged an alliance that helped them buy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (and such lucrative properties like James Bond, the Pink Panther, and Rocky), they planned to many many cable networks together. Over the decade, Sony has been slowly introducing the Animax brand to the Western hemisphere by sponsoring numerous events, putting Animax-branded programming on certain anime DVDs, and prominently placing the Animax logo in the end credits of Astro Boy, which sadly failed on broadcast and cable (though for the life of me, the cable channel that aired the series no longer exist, with some odd live-action/animation mix in its place). It's almost 2007, and I'm not saying that Sony and Comcast hasn't come up with a plan, because for all I know, they could make the network announcement any day now. Or a few months from now. Or at a socially crippling time in their life right in front of your friends.

It's coming. However, they are facing three distinct myths that has caused them to fear launching Animax in the US. I doubt they're afraid of The Anime Network and the FUNimation Channel, two networks (well, a network and a block) that beat Animax for the title of North America's first all-anime channel (though it should be known that Locomotion, which is now Animax Latin America, predated both of them by years and yet wasn't all anime by any stretch). I think they're only hesitating making any discussion because of three myths:

Myth #1: Animax has to be 100% anime.

Myth #2: Animax won't have access to popular titles.

Myth #3: Animax has to be a basic cable network and limited by those rules.

I think that if they get beyond those myths, perhaps then maybe they'll get on the ball and finally create Animax USA. I know exactly how they can get beyond these fears. They have to look at what they have, know who they can count on, know who their friends are, and look deeper in the channelscape for inspiration. But unlike my European adventure, I can't just explain anything online and publicly. Been burned before and I've learned that I can't trust everybody. But I've actually worked it all out. Took me a little under five hours (an hour to write it out and four hours to fully comprehend it myself), yet, I truly have the master plan written down for Animax. And trust me, it'll have something for everybody.

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