First row: Daisuke Niwa of D.N.Angel | Eren Yeager of Attack On Titan | Kirito and Asuna of Sword Art Online | Kaneki and Hide of Tokyo Ghoul
Second row: Sakura Kinomoto of Cardcaptor Sakura | Sakura, Naruto and Sasuke of Naruto | Izuku Midoriya a.k.a. Deku of My Hero Academia | Kei Nagai of Ajin: Demi-Human
Am I the only one who finds anime more interesting than other TV shows? Perhaps not. Anyway, let’s get on with this post.
For many years, anime is (and will always be) a part of my happy childhood. Some of you may not admit this, but I’m pretty sure you also feel the same way.
Nowadays, there aren’t much anime shows aired on FTA (free-to-air) TV channels (excluding the digital subchannels). If there is one, then I’m pretty sure they’re more likely to air re-runs of popular anime like Detective Conan, One Piece, or Bleach. As for the digital sub-channel that airs some anime (along with cartoons and kid-oriented shows), they’re only exclusive to a specific brand of set-up top black box.
While there are some dedicated anime channels on cable and satellite TV, you need to subscribe in order to watch them. There used to be a Filipino-dubbed anime channel on cable TV, but unfortunately, it ceased airing early this year due to lack of advertiser support, with some of the ongoing anime shows on the now defunct channel will be aired soon on a digital subchannel of a major TV network. Online, there are some sites that let you watch anime shows, but is often restricted to certain regions and may require a subscription and/or registration. Anime channels on cable and satellite TV and some legit streaming sites offer a choice of original Japanese dub with English subs or an English dub, so these should suffice.
Now, why the lack of anime programming on FTA TV channels? First, acquiring broadcast rights to anime shows can be pretty expensive, and second, there are certain elements such as excessive violence, nudity, and a few others that can’t be shown on TV.
Anyway, with the lack of anime programming on FTA TV channels, there are some people wishing to bring back anime on afternoons. But the thing is, teledramas (television drama shows) and some Asian drama shows are already dominating the afternoon block, and talk shows and fantasy series are dominating the morning block, meaning that the only way to watch anime shows on free TV is on weekends, particularly Saturdays.
I don’t watch TV nowadays except for news and some public affairs programs so I don’t have any idea about the anime shows airing on these major TV networks. All I know is that anime is already a dying breed on TV owing to the rise of online streaming sites.
So what makes anime shows more interesting than any other TV programs?
First of all, the cool-looking animation, the story (whether adapted from its manga counterpart or not), and the characters can really entice some of the viewers into watching these shows. Since some anime shows generally feature adolescents and teenagers as characters, they actually make it more appealing for the younger (and older) audiences to watch. It doesn’t matter whether it’s action, sports, romance, supernatural, or slice of life anime series, as long as the plot is good enough for them to keep tuning in.
Second, anime shows are getting more diverse than before. And with a lot of anime shows being produced in the recent years, there’s no shortage of interesting anime shows to watch. So it’s not all about the superpowers, high school romance, and giant (mecha) robots or machines that you’re watching nowadays, but almost everything.
And finally, the emotions in some anime shows are far more relatable and realistic than the ones in TV dramas. Also, some anime soundtracks (particularly the ones used as the opening and ending theme songs) are generally upbeat, and at times, emotional, and are far more enjoyable to listen to (though not much in my case). And don’t forget the anime scores, especially the ones that are played during some memorable scenes.
Nothing against TV dramas, but while they are popular with some of the viewers, there’s always the possibility of recycling some parts of the show’s script for another (similar) drama series. Major TV networks air drama series that feature the usual rivalry of the protagonist and the antagonist, intense scenes such as on-screen confrontations and fights, sensuality, third-party relationships, infidelity, and revenge, enough to burn out some of the viewers. I simply find them too boring to watch, no matter how great these kinds of shows are produced.
As for the rest… well, other than the afternoon and primetime teledramas, I can’t say much about comedy shows, game shows, and lifestyle shows, as these are what I typically watch aside from news and anime.
Well, am I the only one who’s more interested in watching anime than any other TV shows? Of course, not.
There are others who binge-watch anime for hours, and some of them take their fascination with anime to a whole new level—including writing fan fiction, drawing fan art, buying anime-related merchandise, as well as accumulating an insane collection of anime figures, manga, and DVDs/Blu-ray discs of their favorite anime series and attending anime conventions and otaku events. For me, anime is not just a simple fascination or obsession, but it’s also a part of our lives.
But the lack of anime programming on FTA TV channels (excluding digital subchannels) will surely disappoint some of the anime fans and otakus who don’t have access to cable/satellite TV and some legitimate online streaming sites just to watch some cool anime shows. There’s Crunchyroll at least, but with limited availability of anime shows outside of North America (mainly due to geographical restrictions), and you’ll need premium membership for ad-free and high definition versions of anime, as well as simulcasts of newly aired anime one hour after its original Japanese broadcast. Completely deprived of such anime cravings, they might resort to illegal streaming sites or torrent downloads just to watch their favorite anime. Others would content themselves with replays of “classic” anime shows, even though some of them are getting tired of it and are wishing for some new anime shows to air on free TV. Right now, for those who don’t have access to cable or satellite TV, online streaming sites are the only way to watch these cool anime shows.
Call me a weeb, but I love watching anime shows and I really can’t part with it. Besides, I tend to discover a lot of great anime since three years ago, and I ended up with a long list of anime to watch. It’s so hard to keep up, to be honest.
And by the way, if you think anime is for kids, then think again. Maybe you haven’t heard of hentai or yaoi anime, and these are strictly for mature audiences just so you know. Not to mention that there are certain elements which are not suitable for young audiences, such as nudity and violence. Of course, anime is generally targeted towards adolescents and teenagers, but it is actually meant to be enjoyed by everyone.